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WikiLeaks cables: UN offered Robert Mugabe a lucrative retirement overseas

http://www.guardian.co.uk

Source in the MDC told American officials that Zimbabwe president rejected
the offer from Kofi Annan

    * Jamie Doward
    * guardian.co.uk, Saturday 18 December 2010 21.50 GMT

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe raise Robert Mugabe raises his fist at a
rally in Mvurwi, 60 miles from Harare, in 2008. Photograph by Desmond
Kwande/AFP

The head of the United Nations offered Robert Mugabe a lucrative retirement
package in an overseas haven if he stood down as Zimbabwe's president,
according to claims quoted in leaked diplomatic cables.

The extraordinary offer was allegedly made by Kofi Annan, who was then the
UN secretary general, at the millennium summit of world leaders in New York,
according to a memo drawn up by American officials which was obtained by the
WikiLeaks website.

The memo, written in September 2000, records a meeting between a US embassy
official in Harare and a senior source in the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), the party opposed to Mugabe's Zanu-PF.

According to the MDC source, whose name the Observer has redacted, "Kofi
Annan, in the recent meeting in New York during the millennium summit
offered Mugabe a deal to step down. Although [the MDC source] said the MDC
was not privy to the details, he surmised that Annan's supposed deal
probably included provision of safe haven and a financial package from
Libyan president [Gaddafi]. The opposition party heard that Mugabe turned
down the offer the following day after discussing it with the first lady."

The offer, which many Zimbabwean experts may simply dismiss as wishful
thinking on the part of a frustrated MDC, was not the only one rumoured to
have been made to Mugabe at that time. The cable reveals that Zanu-PF itself
had put out "feelers" to see whether the MDC would be willing to allow
Mugabe a "graceful exit" that was "in Zimbabwe's national interest".

The MDC source said the business interests of senior Zanu-PF members were
being badly damaged by the "current economic and political situation. They
blame President Mugabe and are determined to find a way to ease him out in a
dignified way."

The cable notes that the MDC "is gaining strength in the rural areas" and
that the MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai, "has agreed that it is in
Zimbabwe's best interests for the MDC to do all it can to secure a graceful
exit strategy that preserves somewhat of a positive legacy for Mugabe.
Otherwise the president would have little incentive to go."

The memo also contains the claim that an international arms dealer once
reputed to be a key Mugabe ally worked for British intelligence.

A Zanu-PF source is quoted in the cable suggesting that "John Bredencamp
[sic], a shady white Zimbabwean businessman, had told Zanu-PF he would
provide a financial 'retirement' package for Mugabe".

The cable explains that the source "did not know whether Bredencamp had
sufficient resources to make such a package attractive enough, but he
claimed that Bredencamp worked for MI6 and could be a channel for the
British to provide funds to sweeten the deal". The cable goes on to note
that the British high commission in Harare "scoffed at the very idea".

The references to Bredenkamp, a former Zimbabwean rugby captain, are
intriguing. The multimillionaire, who has a home in Berkshire, has rejected
claims that he is a Mugabe crony. Bredenkamp, who made his money in tobacco
farming, was named in a 2002 UN report as a key arms trader who made
millions of pounds from illegally exploiting natural resources in the
Democratic Republic of Congo. Bredenkamp, who did not respond to Observer
emails, has rejected the UN's claims and has pursued legal action to clear
his name.

Rumours that Bredenkamp and his companies have worked with British
intelligence have been rife in Zimbabwe for two decades.

Some have suggested that it would have been inconceivable for Bredenkamp to
operate his business empire without a close relationship with MI6, but
Bredenkamp has not commented on these claims and is likely to dismiss them.

The cable also reveals that the US was pressed to play the part of an
"honest broker", organising a conference to address land allocation and
amnesties in a post-Mugabe nation because of concerns that Britain was not
suitable for the role.

According to a prominent banker in Zimbabwe, who acted as a go-between for
the Zanu-PF, the broker would have to "underwrite the costs of whatever
agreement emerged. The British government, he claimed, has 36 million pounds
available for land reform in Zimbabwe, but they are probably too
antagonistic to play an honest broker role. The Americans, though, probably
would be acceptable."

The issue of providing settlements for senior officials in the Mugabe regime
was addressed last year when the US and the UK were asked to pay into a
trust fund that would ensure Zimbabwean military officials enjoy a
comfortable retirement.

A separate memo, written in October last year, reveals that Elton Mangoma,
the minister of economic development and member of Morgan Tsvangirai's inner
circle, had asked the US to contribute to a "trust fund" to buy off the
"securocrats".

The memo notes: "Mangoma said that a primary obstacle to political progress
and reform was the service chiefs. Unlike many ZANU-PF insiders who had
stolen and invested wisely, these individuals had not become wealthy. They
feared economic pressures, as well as prosecution for their misdeeds, should
political change result in their being forced from office. Therefore, they
were resisting…progress that could ultimately result in fair elections.
Mangoma asked for consideration of US contribution to a 'trust fund' that
could be used to negotiate the service chiefs' retirement." He said he
planned to approach the UK and Germany with the same request."


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Robert Mugabe 'ready to bury the opposition' as opposition warns of beatings and intimidation

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe has said his party is ready to bury his
Western-backed opposition "forever" as there are warnings his forces are
fanning out across the country in a bid to intimidate voters ahead of
elections.

By Aislinn Laing and Peta Thornycroft, Johannesburg 3:00PM GMT 19 Dec 2010

Speaking to thousands of delegates at the annual conference of his Zanu PF
party in the eastern city of Mutare, the 86 year-old president said he
wanted to see general and presidential elections held as early as June next
year.

But Morgan Tsvangirai, the prime minister who is Mugabe's partner in a shaky
and fractious coalition, insists he will not go to the polls until at least
2012 and only then for presidential elections.

The latest disagreement came as a WikiLeaks release claimed that in 2000,
Kofi Annan, the then United Nations secretary general, offered Mr Mugabe a
lucrative retirement package in an overseas haven if he stood down as
Zimbabwe's president. Mr Mugabe reportedly turned down the offer.

Mr Mugabe told delegates that he and Zanu PF were still fit for power. "We
are indeed a fired up, fuelled and fast moving train," he said. "Those who
stand in the way of that train stand the risk of being crushed."

The party's chairman, Simon Moyo, told its members to prepare for elections
in 2011. "We must bury forever this combined British and American
non-governmental organisation," he said.

Nevanji Madanhire, editor of Sunday newspaper The Standard, said that
forcing the nation to the polls too soon was an "act of sadism". "The
elections are loathed because they will not change anything," he said. "If
Mugabe and Zanu PF lose they will not transfer power; everyone knows that.
So why be dragged into a poll whose result everybody knows?"

Mr Tsvangirai's MDC party claims that Zanu PF is stepping up its
intimidation of voters in rural areas – where the opposition is strongest –
well ahead of the elections and the arrival of international observers.

Sources say the Zimbabwe National Army is already conducting reconnaissance
missions and has orders to carry out raids on MDC-supporting villagers,
supported by local Zanu PF cadres.

Rumours are also swirling about a planned "Operation Headless Chicken" to
follow on from the 2008 "Operation Short Sleeves" which saw the limbs lopped
off those opposing Mr Mugabe as a warning to other voters.

Roy Bennett, an MDC senator and former white farmer, told journalists in
Johannesburg last week: "Rewarded by the spoils of blood diamonds, they have
been instructed to kill and wreak havoc. We may yet see violence of an
unprecedented nature. Mugabe's madness is under way."


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Mugabe Vows Never To Swear In Bennet

http://www.radiovop.com/

19/12/2010 13:21:00

HARARE, December 19, 2010- PRESIDENT Mugabe has vowed never to swear in
MDC-T treasurer Roy Bennet as deputy minister of agriculture, Mechanisation
and Infrastructure Development because his party is working with counter
revolutionaries to reverse the gains of the liberation struggle.

According to the Sunday Mail, Mugabe made the remarks at his ZANU (PF) party
conference in Mutare yesterday.Mugabe lambasted the MDC-T  for its comments
that no elections would be held until Bennet was sworn in as deputy
minister.

“Look at how they worked with the settlers who destroyed us, turning us into
semi-slaves,” he said.The MDC-T are shedding tears over Bennett because he
has not been sworn in. I cannot swear him in, some things are just not
possible.”
He said Zanu-PF had sound policies, which cannot be duplicated by the MDC-T,
adding that although the party was aligning with neo-colonialists to
destabilise the country, Zimbabweans would work with friendly nations.He
said Government would also block investment from countries that imposed
illegal economic sanctions on Zimbabwe. It will not be like what it was
yesterday, he said.

“Zimbabweans can help build our country. We will only align with those that
want to give us their hand,” he said. “Those who give us their backs and
bring sanctions we will kick out.”

“Countries without co-operation with us and which have not recognised the
hospitality we have extended to them must not sit on their laurels thinking
that yesterday will be tomorrow,” he said.

Mugabe said the same principle would also apply to financial institutions
closely linked to hostile countries.
He singled out mining concerns Rio Tinto and Anglo-American among the
companies that will cease operations if they fail to push their principals
to remove sanctions.
Bennet, who has been forced back into exile due to pending order for his
arrest, was elected senator by black Zimbabweans in his Chimanimani
constituency.A successful commercial farmer, he became so popular with the
local black people that they called him ‘ Pachedu ’ A Shona word which means
one of us.In May this year he was acquitted of charges of conspiring to
overthrow President Mugabe.


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Zimbabwe headed for turmoil after Mugabe poll boost

http://news.yahoo.com

AFP

by Godfrey Marawanika Godfrey Marawanika – Sun Dec 19, 6:46 am ET

HARARE (AFP) – Zimbabwe faces renewed political and economic turmoil as
President Robert Mugabe's push for polls next year and threats to kick out
Western firms are sending the nation backwards, analysts said Sunday.

The veteran leader, who has been in power since independence from Britain in
1980, was on Saturday endorsed by his ZANU-PF party to contest a likely
fierce election battle against the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC).

Mugabe is expected to face MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, the current prime
minister and his long-time foe, in a presidential vote, after he said an
almost two-year power-sharing arrangement between their parties would end in
February.

However, Mugabe's quest for polls and bombastic, hard-faced rhetoric that he
could nationalise British and American companies risks unravelling progress
made since 2009 that saw hyperinflation ended and a sense of normality
return.

"We are our own worst enemies because we let politicians craft the agenda of
the nation," Calisto Jokonya, a business executive and past president of the
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, told AFP.

"The economy had started to pick up as a result of the GPA (Global Political
Agreement) between Mugabe and Tsvangirai," he said.

"Now that is being lost because of the impending elections. No one wants
elections, no one knows the outcome," he added.

Hyperinflation -- which started to soar towards world record levels in the
wake of Mugabe's confiscation of white-owned farms a decade ago -- marked
Zimbabwe's slide towards the economic abyss.

In March 2008, Tsvangirai won a presidential vote defeating Mugabe, but he
fell short of the required majority resulting in a run-off ballot months
later which the MDC leader refused to take part in and Mugabe won unopposed.

The two men formed the compromise administration in February the following
year and the worthless Zimbabwean dollar was abandoned in favour of the
South African rand and US dollar. Inflation now stands at a more acceptable
4.2 percent.

Eric Bloch, a renowned Zimbabwean economist, said Mugabe's threats to take
over foreign firms if travel and financial restrictions against him and his
inner-circle are not lifted would deter investors from coming into the
country.

"Just by making those statements, they are very, very harmful to the
economy," said Bloch, from the country's second city Bulawayo.

"He is making comments on sanctions to deflate the real causes of economic
collapse," he added.

Rights groups say hundreds of MDC activists were killed during Zimbabwe's
last presidential election, a chaotic outcome that the British ambassador to
Harare warned last month could be repeated if polls happen too quickly.

Although the MDC conceded for the first time on Saturday that a presidential
ballot could take place next year, it ruled out parliamentary polls until
2013. Mugabe and his party want both elections to take place on the same day
in 2011.

"We are headed for a period of conflict which will again be characterised by
tensions," Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of pro-democracy group the National
Constitutional Assembly of Zimbabwe, and closely linked to the MDC, told
AFP.

"ZANU-PF will push for those elections no matter what," he said, dismissing
any weight that the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the
regional bloc which helped strike the 2009 power-sharing deal, could bring
to the dispute over a parliamentary election timetable.

"SADC always plays second fiddle to ZANU-PF," Madhuku added.

John Makumbe, a political science lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe,
said the country was headed for another electoral crisis.

"It will be another election which will result in a tug of war," he said.
"ZANU-PF wants to push ahead with these elections at any cost."

Makumbe, however, dismissed Mugabe's threats to nationalise British and US
companies. "He is just politicking - in real terms he will not do it."

Mugabe, who at 86 is Africa's oldest leader, could stay in power until well
into his nineties if he wins another presidential term.


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Zimbabwean ambassador back in town

http://www.canberratimes.com.au

NATASHA RUDRA
19 Dec, 2010 01:00 AM

Zimbabwean ambassador Jacqueline Zwambila has returned to her post in
Canberra after a bizarre incident in which she was accused of stripping
before her colleagues.

Mrs Zwambila returned to Canberra December 10 and the Zimbabwean embassy
said she had been in her O'Malley office this week.

Zimbabwean news outlets quoted minister Jameson Timba, who said Mrs Zwambila
had been reinstated after an official inquiry cleared her of misconduct.

''To the best of my knowledge there was no case against the ambassador and
she is back,'' Mr Timba said.

Mrs Zwambila was recalled to Harare in late November amid allegations that
she removed her clothing during a heated argument with three male staff
members.

It was claimed the ambassador accused the staff members of leaking
information about her to a government-run Zimbabwe newspaper.

But there were also reports Mrs Zwambila had fallen foul of supporters of
President Robert Mugabe, after she discovered the embassy's diplomatic bags
were being used to smuggle ''blood diamonds'' into Australia and onwards to
Asia.


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Shady group blocking official diamond sales

http://www.thezimbabwemail.com/

19 December, 2010 12:10:00    Times Live

Top government officials are deliberately creating problems with the
Kimberley Process so that they can continue selling controversial Chiadzwa
diamonds in the underworld market, according to industry and political
sources.

A review team of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), diamond
dealers in Harare, politicians and civic organisations monitoring diamond
dealings believe there is a cartel of greedy senior politicians, lawyers,
unscrupulous businessmen and top civil servants who are making it difficult
for KPCS to allow Zimbabwe to sell its diamonds.

Since diamonds are being sold unmonitored, the country is losing sales worth
millions of dollars to underworld buyers in South Africa, Dubai, India,
Lebanon and other diamond-dealing countries.

A report by the KPCS review mission, which visited Zimbabwe in August,
revealed their surprise at Zimbabwe's failure to meet KPCS requirements.

The team led by Liberia's Deputy Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy, A
Kpandel Fayia, also observed deliberate attempts by government officials to
frustrate their review mission.

"A challenge was experienced in that attempts to prevent a planned and
authorised flyover by the review mission team of the Chiadzwa area and
incidents of surveillance and intimidation of interlocutors limited the
ability of the team to fully implement its mandate. Such incidents are
considered unnecessary and contrary to the spirit of the KPCS," reads the
report.

"Overall, however, there is still some way to go to achieve full compliance
with the minimum standards of KPCS in the Marange diamond fields and also
for the government to honour all of the commitments it has made in terms of
the joint work plan.

"The review mission also found that further progress is needed for the
government of Zimbabwe to fulfil all the commitments it has made in terms of
the JWP and the St Petersburg agreement to further reduce the current level
of illicit trading and smuggling of diamonds, which remain a challenge."

The report also says that Zimbabwe has to fully demilitarise the Marange
area, improve relations between civil society and government, further
improve the process of identifying and vetting investors and push for
progress in developing a small-scale mining framework.

While government insists the country is banned from selling diamonds due to
sanctions imposed by the West, civic society organisations and diamond
experts argue that top government officials, including ministers, are not
interested in meeting the Kimberley Process requirements.

Diamond rights campaigners in Zimbabwe have been carrying out their own
secret investigations and some revealed to the Sunday Times that the failure
to meet Kimberley Process was meant to benefit a few individuals who are
smuggling diamonds outside the country.

"While it is true that Zimbabwe has enemies, the major problem with us in
terms of selling diamonds is that we have greedy ministers who are running
cartels of vultures who are denying Zimbabwe the chance to sell their
diamonds through the correct process where they are monitored, said a
diamond rights campaigner," speaking on condition of anonymity .

"Questions should be asked why Minister (Obert) Mpofu is failing to explain
to the Kimberley Process how diamonds are benefiting the population.

"Zimbabweans and the world out there believe that only top sharks are
benefiting from the diamonds because the ministry of mines is not giving out
the data. At the Namibia plenary session last year, Zimbabwe was not banned
because most of the country's presentation was done by private companies.

"The Kimberley Process does not hate anyone. They want transparency but the
ministry keeps going round in circles. To prove that these top sharks have a
hidden agenda, they caused the arrest of diamond players in the country just
before the plenary session in Israel two months ago. It was a deliberate
plan to discredit the country so that we remain banned," said the official.

He claimed that there was a deliberate ploy by officials at the ministry of
mines to mislead Zimbabweans that the Kimberley Process was being used by
the West to ban local diamonds.

The diamond expert also suggested that President Robert Mugabe and Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai appoint a committee outside the ministry of mines
to engage the Kimberley Process so that diamonds can be sold properly with
every carat being accounted for.

But government insists that it has met all the requirements. On Thursday,
Zimbabwe's representative to the United Nations, Chitsaka Chipaziwa,
dismissed claims that only the political elite were benefitting from the
diamonds.

"Our diamonds are indeed for our own people," Chipaziwa said during a
general assembly debate.


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Zimbabwean Diaspora agrees to set up reconstruction fund

http://www.africalegalbrief.com/

Sunday, 19 December 2010 15:35

Zimbabweans based in the Diaspora have agreed to establish a fund that will
act as an investment vehicle to harness resources for the economic
reconstruction of Zimbabwe, Africalegalbrief.com learnt  Sunday.

Dubbed the Diaspora Fund, the facility was agreed during a conference on
engaging Zimbabweans living abroad which ended in the resort town on
Victoria Falls on Sunday.

The proposed facility will be a pooled resources fund through which
Zimbabweans in the Diaspora can invest and participate in the economic
reconstruction of their country.

The conference was the first in a series of high profile meetings that would
consider ways in which the Diaspora and key players within Zimbabwe could
work together to promote development.

Delegates to the conference were drawn from Australia, Botswana, Ethiopia,
the Netherlands, South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States.

They also included representatives of the country’s labour movement, opinion
leaders from the key political formations and religious leaders.

An estimated four million Zimbabweans live outside the country, the majority
of them in South Africa.


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Mugabe: Mujuru has blown it

http://www.thezimbabwemail.com/

18 December, 2010 11:16:00    By ZOLI MANGENA

Robert Mugabe thinks his deputy and once-likely successor, vice-president
Joyce Mujuru, has blown her chances to take over from him after she was
caught working with Finance Minister Tendai Biti to usurp his powers on
currency and exchange rate issues.

A briefing to the Sunday Times this week by senior Mugabe aides shows the
president was fuming over Mujuru's role in Biti's bid to grab powers in the
Exchange Control Act which regulates gold, currency, securities, exchange
transactions, payments and debts, and import, export, transfer and the
settlement of property.

The situation was worsened by the failed bid by the Mujuru faction to push
for an extraordinary congress instead of the annual conference to discuss
Mugabe's future as leader of the party, his successor and the candidate in
the next elections. This was resisted by the Zanu-PF politburo and central
committee.

In 2007 the Mujuru camp succeeded in forcing Mugabe to call for an
extraordinary congress where efforts were made to oust him. Mugabe survived
and this forced two senior politburo members, Dumiso Dabengwa and Simba
Makoni, to quit Zanu-PF in frustration.

"This issue of the Exchange Control Act and board members of state entities
... on the surface of it seems to be merely administrative and technical,
but the president is taking it seriously. While he is angry with Biti and
Mujuru, the real issue is he thinks Mujuru has fluffed her succession
chances," a close presidential aide said.

"Mugabe is convinced now Mujuru is not reliable and should not be allowed to
take over from him because of this issue and her other controversial actions
before."

Some years ago Mugabe angrily berated Mujuru on national television for
allegedly plotting to oust him. This followed the publication by media and
book publisher Ibbo Mandaza of a controversial biography by veteran
nationalist Edgar Tekere, which questioned Mugabe's claims of being a
towering liberation struggle hero.

Tekere effectively painted a picture of Mugabe as a vocal coward who did not
even wear military uniform during visits to the battlefront or learn how to
fire a gun. He also shed light on the dark corners of Mugabe's personal life
history which was not previously known.

This angered Mugabe - who always seems anxious to keep his private life and
background secret - as he suspected Mandaza, a former senior civil servant,
was working in collaboration with the Mujuru camp to undermine him.

Mandaza was aligned to the Mujuru faction in Zanu-PF and was part of the
team which supported the presidential bid of Makoni, the former finance
minister, in the 2008 election. Makoni was also a Mujuru ally before he left
Zanu-PF in 2008.

While Mugabe and Mujuru maintained a façade of unity in public during this
week's annual Zanu-PF conference in Mutare, simmering political tensions
between them were bubbling under the surface. Insiders said Mugabe was also
annoyed by Mujuru's recent remarks, which appeared to suggest she was
opposed to elections next year.

While Mujuru's prospects now appear damaged, her rival, Emmerson Mnangagwa,
seems to be on the up. Mujuru is fighting with Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe.

Mnangagwa was said to have recovered lost political ground after he was
outmanoeuvred by the Mujuru faction in Zanu-PF's elective congress last
year.

Mujuru has been working with Biti and the MDC-T to position herself to
succeed Mugabe. The constitution says in the event the president cannot
continue in office either through incapacitation, illness, retirement or
death, parliament will elect a successor to continue for the rest of term.
If Mujuru had the support of the MDC-T, she would be assured of beating
Mnangagwa.

"The Biti saga has left Mujuru in a weaker position compared to Mnangagwa,
who, as defence minister, is also now close to the army commanders who are
the real movers and shakers in politics," a senior Zanu-PF official said.
"Mugabe would now want to prop up Mnangagwa to checkmate Mujuru."

In 2004 Mugabe was upset after Mnangagwa tried to become deputy president .-
Times Live


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Mudede denies tampering with voters roll

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

Written by Gift Phiri
Sunday, 19 December 2010 15:37

HARARE - Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede  has flatly denied tampering with
the voters roll saying the dead people appearing on the voters roll died
after the voter register was closed in the last election. The sly RG has
also strongly denied charges that his office had helped President Mugabe
steal elections.

In the four elections since 2000, independent observers have concluded that
President Mugabe’s victories were the result of violent intimidation;
partisan electoral laws and security services; and outright cheating through
the voters roll.  But Mudede has moved to assure the nation that the voters
roll was being cleaned and would be ready for the elections which Mugabe
wants mid 2011. Mudede claims officers from the Registrar General’s office
deployed to collect data from chiefs, headmen, village heads, and other
sources on the number of people who have died in their areas have done the
job. Mudede claims since the commencement of the program on August 16 this
year, the officials from his department have managed to collect information
on 32 065 deceased persons, who had not been issued with death certificates.
Another 5 882 deaths have also been registered during the period.
"When we close the voters roll, immediately after the closure people
continue to die," Mudede said. "And we don't tamper with the voters roll
that we have closed. So when a voters roll is put to election, the voters
roll is infact carrying deceased people right up to the voting day. Some
people die before they come to vote and this is why a figure or a
percentage, the 10 percent which is called the margin of error, thats the
margin of error, is actually applied to these systems to cater for such
things."
Despite Mudede's claims, the voters’ roll actually contains the names of
long-dead people, among them the law and order minister during the Rhodesian
era, Desmond Lardner-Burke, who was born in 1909. His name was found on a
ward list for Mount Pleasant. It appears Mudede's pronouncements are made to
buttress President Mugabe push for an early
election opposed by rivals who say the voters roll needs to be thoroughly
cleaned. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC says the voters roll is a
"graveyard." The MDC has said it wants a biometric voters roll linked to a
computer database.
A voters roll audit carried out by the MDC unearthed 503 dead voters, all of
them born on 1 January 1901. There are people who would be 107-years-old
still appearing on the voters roll.

Copies of the voter’s roll used in the disputed 208 elections, which
resulted in the formation of the unity government, reveals that there are
144,202 people over the age of 90 on the voters’ roll. There were 115 voters
who were below the age of 18, the legal voting age, with the youngest being
one-year-old at the time of 2008 elections. “We have embarked on an exercise
to clean up the voter’s roll and we are working on this ahead of next year’s
elections and we want the people
to know that we are also preparing for the elections,” said  Mudede.


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Mugabe in blackmail of Western companies for political lobbying

http://www.thezimbabwemail.com/

18 December, 2010 07:47:00    By staff Reporter

HARARE, - Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe on Saturday threatened to act against
companies from Western countries that have imposed sanctions on his party
over suspected election fraud and rights abuses.

The 86-year-old leader repeated threats to nationalize foreign firms,
threatening to retaliate against firms such as Rio Tinto and Anglo American
, which operate in Zimbabwe.

"We ask them, think again, think now. Is it sanctions or no sanctions. We
will be very, very strict to the extent of refusing investment from those
countries (that have imposed sanctions)," Mugabe told ZANU-PF supporters at
the end of the party's annual conference.

"If you have companies here, organizations here, we will work against them
also."

He told reporters after the conference that the companies "have to get their
mother countries to remove sanctions or there will be sanctions against
them."

Anglo American and Rio Tinto together with financial services firms Barclays
Plc and Standard Chartered and food group Nestle are some of the large
foreign-owned companies with investments in Zimbabwe.

The government early this year published rules forcing foreign-owned
companies worth over $500,000 to sell at least 51 percent of their shares to
local blacks.

"NOT FOOLS"

"Why should Anglo American continue to take our gold out? Why should Rio
Tinto continue to take our gold out? If the sanctions remain and continue,
those processes will have to stop," Mugabe said.

"Don't expect your banks here will remain what they are. We are not fools."

Anglo American has in the past ten years sold its mines and sugar estates in
Zimbabwe but Anglo Platinum is developing a platinum mine in central
Zimbabwe while Rio Tinto owns a diamond mine in the south-west of the
country.

Analysts say the empowerment rules have created uncertainty and deterred the
billions of dollars of foreign investment required to rebuild the economy
after a decade of mismanagement under Mugabe's ZANU-PF administration.

The veteran leader says the country has suffered from sanctions imposed by
the European Union, United States and Australia and says this is punishment
for seizing white-owned farms for landless blacks.

Mugabe said his party was well prepared for elections next year, adding his
opponents would not win as happened in 2008 when ZANU-PF lost its majority
in parliament.

Mugabe also lost the presidential vote to Movement for Democratic Change
leader Morgan Tsvangirai but retained power after a disputed run-off vote,
which forced the two rivals to form a power-sharing government last year.

"What happened in 2008 is gone. The year 2008 is not coming back, never
ever, never ever. ZANU-PF operates as an entity with a mission and we are on
a mission to re-establish ourselves, our dominance," he told his supporters.

When asked by reporters whether he was confident of victory, he said: "Sure,
why not."

ZANU-PF, which officially endorsed Mugabe as presidential candidate, also
resolved to expel envoys and relief agencies who meddle in local politics,
tasked the government to draft a treason law for people or organizations
that call for sanctions and to hold elections next year.


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US embassy cables: Obstacles to reform in Zimbabwe

http://www.guardian.co.uk/

    * guardian.co.uk, Saturday 18 December 2010 21.30 GMT

Friday, 30 October 2009, 07:29

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000865
SIPDIS
AF/S FOR B.WALCH
DRL FOR N. WILETT
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR J. HARMON AND L. DOBBINS
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR M. GAVIN
EO 12958 DECL: 10/30/2019
TAGS PGOV, PREL, PHUM, ASEC, ZI
SUBJECT: MDC FOCUSES ON SECURITY SECTOR, GONO
REF: A. HARARE 853 B. HARARE 863 C. PRETORIA 2136
Classified By: CDA Katherine Dhanani for reason 1.4 (b) and (d).

-------

SUMMARY

-------

1. (S) According to Elton Mangoma, MDC-T Minister of Economic Development
and member of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's inner circle, the MDC would
like the U.S. to contribute to a "trust fund" to buy off securocrats and
move them into retirement. The MDC will also try to pressure Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Gideon Gono to resignXXXXXXXXXXXX. Finally, Mangoma
believes an agreement will be reached ending the MDC's disengagement from
ZANU-PF, but if not, the MDC will continue pursuing its long-term strategy
of preparing for elections. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) Pol/Econ chief met with Minister of Economic Development Elton
Mangoma on October 29 at the Ministry. Mangoma is one of Tsvangirai's
closest advisors and was one of the MDC-T negotiators of the Global
Political Agreement (GPA).

3. (S) Reiterating Tsvangirai's views (Refs A and C), Mangoma said that a
primary obstacle to political progress and reform was the service chiefs.
Unlike many ZANU-PF insiders who had stolen and invested wisely, these
individuals had not become wealthy. They feared economic pressures, as well
as prosecution for their misdeeds, should political change result in their
being forced from office. Therefore, they were resisting GPA progress that
could ultimately result in fair elections. Mangoma asked for consideration
of U.S. contribution to a "trust fund" that could be used to negotiate the
service chiefs' retirement. He said he planned to approach the UK and
Germany with the same request.

4. XXXXXXXXXXXX

5. (C) Although doubtful about the ability of SADC to bring about a
rapprochement between ZANU-PF and the MDC, Mangoma Qabout a rapprochement
between ZANU-PF and the MDC, Mangoma was hopeful that the parties themselves
could ultimately reach an agreement. Most ZANU-PF officials realized that
the entry of the MDC into government had brought about stability and did not
want to see the MDC withdraw. If an agreement was not reached, the MDC would
consider next steps with the goal of eventually having elections.

HARARE 00000865 002 OF 002

6. (C) We posited there was a general perception among diplomats and in
civil society that the MDC did not have a strategic vision and had
disengaged without a Plan B in the event ZANU-PF did not compromise on
outstanding issues. Mangoma disagreed; the West had continuously
underestimated the MDC by focusing on specific events such as ZANU-PF's
repressive actions of the last week (Septel) rather than the long-term
process by which the MDC had managed to enter government and begun to set
itself up to win the next elections. With regard to the events of the last
week, Mangoma said bumps in the road were to be expected.

-------

COMMENT

-------

7. (C) The relative power of Mugabe vis-a-vis the service chiefs is a matter
of debate. While no doubt there are hardliners, including the service
chiefs, close to Mugabe who are pressuring him not to further implement the
GPA, we continue to believe he could make concessions should he choose to do
so. The current visit of the SADC Troika may give an indication if there is
any ZANU-PF flexibility. We're skeptical and expect the current impasse -- 
and ZANU-PF repression -- will continue in the near term. END COMMENT.

DHANANI


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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 18th December 2010

 

     

 

‘The big freeze – don’t travel unless you have to’ was the warning broadcast on television news. Well, some of our supporters felt they HAD to travel to the Vigil and managed to get to the Embassy despite all difficulties.

 

The difficulties included our local Charing Cross train terminus being closed by snow.  The London underground tube service was severely disrupted with at least one line closed completely. As for buses, many were brought to a standstill by icy roads. 

 

Snow fell steadily in London during the morning and it was impossible to bring the Vigil paraphernalia by car. So for the first time ever we had to have a skeleton Vigil: no drums, tables etc – just the bare necessities, such as our banners reading: ‘No to Mugabe, No to Starvation’ and ‘End Murder, Rape and Starvation in Zimbabwe’.

 

It started off as a bleak midwinter protest at the human rights abuses in Zimbabwe but, as more and more people turned up after their dreadful journeys, the Vigil became more like normal with singing and dancing, giving a defiant message to the world as Zanu PF thugs gear themselves up for another bloody stolen election.

 

We were encouraged by the news that the International Criminal Court is seeking to prosecute six Kenyan leaders over election abuses. It gave us hope that justice would eventually prevail and that the world would come to recognise how the Zimbabwean people have been abused.

 

The Vigil only started on time because of the presence of the following people: Regina Mugariri (who came down from Derby yesterday to make sure she could attend the Vigil), Eunice Mkhwanazi, Patrick Nyamwanza, Richard Mutsetse and Rose and Dennis Benton. Others who came  later because of long delays on their journeys were  Vigil stalwarts Godfrey Madzunga, Batson Chapata and Josephine Zhuga.  Others who made varyingly difficult journeys from all over the country to be with us were: Danmore Munyuki (who was a great help in selling the Zimbabwean newspaper), Mkhululi Bhebhe, Munashe Chakanetsa, Ivy Dizha, Enock Dzonga, Bernard Hukwa, Nyasha Kadzunge, Moses Kandiyawo, Blessing Kanyuchi, Sipiwe Magoche, Loveness Maposa, Miracle Mhonda, Eunice Mkhwanazi, Trevor Munangi, Tafadzwa Joyce Murungweni, Lucia Ncube, Ndana Sanyanga, Moira Sibanda, Dumi Tutani, Wendy Ziyambi, Collette and Dr Tim of ZBN News. Throughout the afternoon we were getting messages from people trying to come but caught in impossible traffic jams, in particular Florence Lada from Birmingham and Sarudzayi Matambanadzo.

 

Other Points

1.       Two articles this week by friends of the Vigil have articulated what we are fighting for. We refer you to: A mock address to the Zanu-PF National Conference by a Zimbabwean Patriot by Clifford Chitupa Mashiri (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/dec17_2010.html#Z18) and ‘Robert Mugabe is the problem in Zimbabweby Tanonoka Joseph Whande (see: http://www.swradioafrica.com/pages/heart161210.htm).

2.       A reminder that we will not be meeting outside the Embassy on Christmas Day because there will be no public transport and central London will be deserted.  We will be holding a virtual Vigil by praying for Zimbabwe and singing the national anthem at 6 pm. We will meet as normal on New Year’s Day, Saturday 1st January.

 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check the link at the top of the home page of our website. 

 

FOR THE RECORD:  29 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe.

·       ROHR Newcastle general meeting. Saturday 22nd January from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Warwick Court, Warwick Street, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE8 1EY. 3 mins walk from the Gateshead Interchange opposite Gateshead Civic Centre and Gateshead Police Station. Free parking available. For directions please contact Susan Ndlovu 07767024586, Allen Chamboko 07500246416, Kuda Derera 07411337933, Rugare Chifungo (Coordinator) 07795070609 or P Chibanguza (Coordinator) 07908406069

·       Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.

·       Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.

·       ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to ngwenyasr@yahoo.co.uk and 0send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe

·       Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk). Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa (takudzwa.mukiwa@tht.org.uk) if you are interested in taking part.

                                                   

Vigil Co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.

 

 

 


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Zimbabwe charity appeal: my quest to help victims of Mugabe's regime

http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Cassandra Jardine reports on how one woman's touching story set a British MP
on a mission to help Zimbabwe's suffering

8:11PM GMT 18 Dec 2010

In 2002, former MP Tom Benyon met the first of a series of women who were to
change the direction of his life. “Cathy Olds was a quiet woman from
Zimbabwe who had suffered from polio,” he remembers. “Over dinner at a
friend’s house, I teased out of her that her husband, Martin, had been
murdered during one of the early farm repossessions. He fought back, then
ran away to hide in a bath at their home, but died of his wounds before he
could be helped.” Cathy had fled to England with their two children.

The situation of this penniless family touched Benyon so deeply that he
raised £8,000 to help her settle in Britain. In the process, he attracted
the attention of someone of a very different ilk: Dame Daphne Park, former
senior M16 officer and principal of Somerville College, Oxford. This
formidable woman – she reminded him of the late British actress Dame
Margaret Rutherford – believed he could help not just one but thousands of
victims of Robert Mugabe’s regime.

The charity Zane: Zimbabwe, a National Emergency was born. Mr Benyon thought
it would be a five-year task, “but every time I came to the top of a hill, I
saw another one”.

In late 2010, with political tension and incidents of violence increasing in
Zimbabwe as Mr Mugabe calls for another election in 2011, and price rises
making it impossible for pensioners even to eat, he believes the need is
greater than ever.

Initially, Mr Benyon, 68 – who has a long history of fighting “monstrous
injustice” – agreed to raise money, and to help repatriate some of the many
Zimbabweans with British passports trapped in the country for lack of funds.
Visiting Zimbabwe in 2003 with his wife Jane, a retired social worker
specialising in care of the elderly, he began to see the extent of the
problem. Meeting individuals such as Colonel Norman Travers, he felt a
profound moral responsibility to help them in their time of need.

“Norman was a man with a great craggy, sunburnt face. I met him in a nursing
home where he told me about his time driving a tank in the Second World War.
He had been awarded the Military Cross because, despite heavy shelling, he
had plunged into a blazing vehicle to pull one of his men out, but by the
time I met him he had lost everything – even his MC had been stolen during a
raid on his house.” It was a proud moment for both of them when, on
Armistice Day 2008, Mr Benyon pinned a replacement MC on Col Travers’s
chest.

The son of a First World War veteran and a mother who devised crossword
puzzles for The Daily Telegraph, and who also wrote scripts for Morecambe
and Wise, Mr Benyon joined the Army after leaving school in 1963. But it was
not the career for him as, he admits, he lacks all sense of direction.

Instead, he went into Parliament, focusing his remarkable energies on
prisons and social service reform. In the 1990s he fought a dogged battle on
behalf of those who lost their homes and money as a result of the Lloyds
debacle. But he has always given generously to charity, and started them
where he sees a need.

While an MP, he set up the Guidepost Trust for the mentally ill who were
leaving institutions for care in the community. A committed Christian, he
lives on private investments but he has also raised money for two schools in
Eastern India and started a Food Bank close to his home in Oxford.

Early on in his charitable career, he confided to Frank (Lord) Longford that
he feared that he had mixed motives for helping the poor. “We’ve all got
mixed motives,” Longford replied, “I suggest you shut up and get on with
 it.”

Zane has proved his greatest challenge because of the scale of the problem
and the difficulties of operating in a country where corruption and violence
are rife. During the past eight years, Mr Benyon’s background as a soldier,
politician and businessman has proved invaluable. “I know how old soldiers
think, I know what levers to pull, and I know how to run things,” he said.

He also knows how to spot committed people who will get help to those who
need it. Again, women have shown him the way. As a non-Zimbabwean, he was
struggling with the practicalities of operating in that country until he met
a brave local doctor and a former teacher. Their names cannot be divulged,
nor their pictures shown. Even the local names of the organisations through
which they work must remain secret because it could endanger lives. “We aren’t
known as Zane in Zimbabwe,” said Mr Benyon wryly, “because Mr Mugabe doesn’t
believe there’s an emergency.”

Between them, the doctor and teacher have been running Zane within Zimbabwe
and extending its work. “I don’t want to overplay the Scarlet Pimpernel
stuff,” he said, but it is Mr Benyon’s proudest boast that, in the course of
eight years, not one penny of the money (some raised by Zane, some
distributed on behalf of other charities) has gone astray. Through careful,
but always legal, means every penny has reached those most in need.

Over the years the charity has expanded its activities: “We didn’t just want
to help the blue-eyed.” It now also helps other groups within Zimbabwe, a
country of eight million people where unemployment stands at 90 per cent.
The introduction of the US currency last year has encouraged economic
stability, but it has resulted in prices rising as much as fivefold. Even
food, let alone nursing homes, is now beyond many pensioners’ reach.

In the country’s slums, there is little medical or educational provision.
Zane’s operations now include the provision of drugs to those affected by
HIV/Aids, a makeshift school, and the Jump for Joy programme for correcting
club feet. The aim of the latter is to address this common problem before
children’s bones set. Surgery is rare in a country that has seen an exodus
of doctors.

The charity continues to help 1,800 of the dispossessed white Zimbabweans
who have no family to rescue them. Tough people who have worked hard all
their lives, they are not used to asking for handouts even when they are
starving and in physical pain. “People move from old to helpless very
quickly,” Mr Benyon observed, “because they can’t afford medical treatment.”

Raising money is not easy. This year, Mr Benyon exhausted himself by walking
from Edinburgh to London to generate funds for people whose plight has
touched him deeply. Among them is Helen, an orphan who married in 1939 and
worked unremittingly for 40 years to create a farm in the bush. Now a widow
of 87, with no children, she has lost her farm, but never complains. “I find
her fortitude in the face of the loss of everything she holds dear quite
extraordinary. She is not bitter. Each time I go she gives me something that
she has knitted. Sometimes it is bootees for my grandchildren; last time it
was a blue and pink loo seat [cover].”

There are thousands of such people in need of Zane’s assistance, but funds
are scarce so waiting lists are long. “The pain of having to turn people
away,” sighs Mr Benyon, “is more than our staff can bear.”


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The 2 lions of Zimbabwe



This month of December seem to make headlines both for the good and bad
reason. First to come was the MDC Council meeting and next which is
currently underway is the ZANU (PF) congress in Mutare. Both parties seem to
have a mandate from the people of Zimbabwe or seem to think that way. High
on the agenda is that of the likelihood of a general election next year or
presidential election depending with which party you listen to.

I am not going to analyse ZANU (PF)’s congress because apart from the fact
that they have been in power for over 30 years, they have nothing to show
that they still have the political inertia to govern the embattled country.
Their candidate at 86 years, I will only come back to you after the congress
to analyse whether Robert Mugabe, leader since independence from Britain can
offer an alternative political dispensation to what we know him to be? What
I can safely say is that Mutare seems a perfect venue for ZANU (PF), with
the newly found fortunes in Marange diamonds fields.

MDC-T or is it MDC has shown apolitical maturity by the way they have
handled MDC UK and Ireland. When the branches raised concern of the way the
province was being run including misappropriation of funds, the party moved
in to suspend the province pending investigation. Indeed they sent a
powerful delegation led by Hon Sipepa Nkomo. After a week deliberating their
findings, a report was compiled which became the basis of the decision for
this week. MDC needs to be congratulated not necessarily for the decision
made this week but for the process followed which meant that those accused
had a fair hearing and were allowed to present their defence albeit flawed.
I have always argued that MDC needs not to wait to be in power to make both
political and diplomatic decisions. In actual fact any decision that MDC
leadership takes today will be construed as a measure of MDC’s capability to
govern and its maximum use of its combined intellectual capital, which is a
measure of political sustainability to meet the challenges of world order.
Chitungwiza enquiry was again in that light, grass roots democracy, the list
is endless. Well done MDC, the party must ensure that there are no sacred
cows as we march to a new political order. If we can not save the few who
are our committed cadres then we can claim to have answers to the millions
who have been at the mercy of a brutal regime of Robert Mugabe.

ZANU (PF) is bracing itself for elections next year 2011, Mugabe will choose
the day, the election team, the announcement day and the person to be
crowned the presidential winner. He will also choose who will guard the
presidential elect, and  also where the presidential elect will eat and
sleep.

I am not an optimistic person but bravo, when will the people of Zimbabwe be
given the right to determine their own destiny?

Elliot Pfebve


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The Hippo Pool by W V Squair

Read all about the book

My novel, The Hippo Pool is set around 1985 and located on the Zambezi River close to the Victoria Falls. The book is the story of three brothers who have grown up in a village by the river; each takes a different path in life. We learn of the work they choose, the dilemmas they face and the marriages they make.

 

Those who have already enjoyed reading The Hippo Pool, describe it as a heart-warming tale of Africa with a feel-good factor. They praised the wonderful descriptions of the African scenery and wildlife encounters, and the touching moments between members of the family. Young adults have also found the story appealing.

For those living in cooler climates it brought the warmth of Africa; for others it brought back happy memories of places they have known and loved.

 

The Hippo Pool by W V Squair would make a delightful Christmas present or gift for lovers of that beautiful continent, especially those still homesick for the beloved country. The book can be purchased on Amazon.co.uk or ordered at bookshops throughout the world. Otherwise, just fill in the flyer attached and it will be delivered to the address you give.

Wendy Squair.

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