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MDC Press Statement



CONGRESS RESULTS

The Movement for Democratic Change would like to announce to the nation and
the world at large the major results from the 3rd Congress running under the
theme “Celebrating our diversity, creating a fair Zimbabwe” currently taking
place in Harare.  The party pays tribute to the sacrifice and dedication
shown by the cadres in the building of the movement to its present state and
the success of this congress.
The congress recognizes that this commitment and resilience is beyond
description or measure, it is through this priceless service that the
democratic revolution is still on course up to this day. The challenging
environment characterized by the oppressive system that the enemy continues
to guard made it much worse but the genuine and loyal cadres family stood
the taste of time.
This congress is a clear testimony of our commitment to democracy and the
practice of what we preach. In the highest standards of fairness found in
any thriving democracy the congress has elected a new leadership in line
with the party constitution and values. While conformity to term limit and
transfer of power remain a challenge to other political parties who pretend
to fight to democracy our congress is a testimony that this is possible in
this country and of course in this generation.
The congress elected Prof  Welshman Ncube to the position of  the President.
Prof  Welshman Ncube a professor of constitutional law, a founder member of
the National Constitutional Assembly and the MDC. He is the founding
secretary-general of the united MDC, a position he held after the split of
the MDC to the 3rd Congress in 2011.  He has a Member of Parliament for
Bulawayo East for two terms. Currently he is he Minister of Industry and
International Trade in the Government of National Unity. He is one of the
MDC negotiators, also national co-chairmen of JOMIC and Copac.
For the position of the Deputy President Edwin Mushoriwa was elected. He is
currently the party’s Secretary for Information and Publicity therefore the
spokesperson of the party. He has served for two terms as the Member of
Parliament for Dzivarasekwa for two terms. At the formation of the MDC he
was the National Secretary for Economic Affairs until he was appointed to
his present position.
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga was elected for the position of the
Secretary General. She is a veteran if the struggle for woman emancipation
in Zimbabwe, a founder member of the NCA, in the inception of the MDC she
was elected the Member Parliament for Glenorah for two terms. Currently in
the Government of National Unity she is the Minister of Regional Integration
and International Co-operation.
Moses Mzila Ndlovu was nominated for the position of the of the Deputy
Secretary General. He is an ex-combatant, a freedom fighter Mzila has been
the Provincial Chairperson of the party for Matabeleland South since the
party formation. He is the Member of Parliament for Bulilima from 2000 to
present. He is currently the co-Minister of the National Healing and
Reconciliation. He is a veteran educationist.
The party deployed Paul Themba Nyathi to the position of Treasurer General.
He was the National Director of Elections, a veteran of the struggle for
Independence, PT as he is known within the party is prominent civil rights
activist after independence, a founding spokesperson of the MDC. He has
served as the Member of Parliament for Gwanda North for one term at the
formation of MDC where he was also appointed a member of the Pan-African
parliament.
THERESA MARIMAZHIRA- has been nominated to the position of Deputy Treasurer
General. She was the Secretary General of the Women’ Assembly having risen
through the ranks from the position of the secretary of the province in the
Midlands.
Goodrich Chimbaira he has been elected the national chairman of the party.
He is a former member of Parliament for Zengeza Constituency up to 2005,
having been a councilor in ward 20 in Chitungwiza at the formation of MDC,
he rose through the ranks to the position of Chitungwiza provincial
chairperson which he holds to date. He has been nominated to the position of
National chairperson by ten provinces.


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Zimbabwe’s MDC Says Mutambara to Stay in Government

http://www.bloomberg.com/

By Nelson Gore Banya - Jan 10, 2011 1:53 AM GMT+1000

A faction of Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change party said its former
president Arthur Mutambara will stay on as deputy prime minister in the
coalition government after being ousted as party leader.

The party, which split from the mainstream MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai in 2005, elected Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube as
its new president yesterday. Ncube said the party leadership change wouldn’t
affect government positions.

“The current deployments in government remain as they are, with him as
deputy prime minister,” Ncube told reporters at a news conference today. “We’re
happy with his position.”

Ncube said his party was opposed to national elections taking place this
year before political and constitutional reforms agreed between President
Robert Mugabe and the former opposition under an accord that created the
coalition government are implemented.

“In terms of the laws of this country, an election is only due in June
 2013,” Ncube said. “We must first implement the political agreement to the
fullest extent possible to create conditions for an election whose outcome
is uncontestable.”


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Corrupt Chombo suspends those who accused him

http://www.thezimbabwemail.com/

08 January, 2011 11:22:00    By Timeslive

Ignatius Chombo, the mega-rich local government minister who is under fire
over alleged improper acquisition of vast municipal land and properties
around the country, has fired and suspended councillors investigating him
for suspected land grab scams.

Four councillors have been fired, and two who were at the forefront of
probing Chombo were suspended for different reasons late last year. This has
sparked a fierce fight for control of the Harare City Council between Chombo
and the councillors under the umbrella of the Combined Harare Residents
Association.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has
joined the fray and accused Chombo of abusing his powers to stop corruption
probes and also to reduce the number of MDC councillors.

Chombo, who was a poor university lecturer more than a decade ago, has
acquired more than 100 houses, stands and other properties in prime areas of
the country's cities and in Harare since he became a minister in the late
1990s. Most of his properties are revealed in court documents filed
concerning his divorce from his wife, Marian.

Harare city councillors accuse Chombo of using his influence to illegally
grab land in affluent suburbs like Borrowdale and Avondale. In March last
year, a special investigations committee, led by councillor Warship Dumba,
conducted a probe into the land-grab scandals in Harare. It implicated
Chombo and businessman Phillip Chiyangwa in the theft of prime land in
Borrowdale, Gunhill and Avondale. Both claim to be related to President
Robert Mugabe. The councillors reported the matter to the police but no
action was taken - the norm with cases involving people close to Mugabe.
Last month Chombo, using powers vested in him through the Urban Councils
Act, fired four councillors elected on the MDC ticket. He accused them of
illegally grabbing houses of Zanu-PF supporters.

Chombo then suspended Dumba - who is spearheading investigations which
implicated the minister in land thefts - and councillor Casper Tapera, who
is also part of the investigating committee.

In his suspension letter, Chombo said they abused council funds when they
went on an official trip to Kariba. The suspension letter, dated December
15, reads: "During the period of suspension you shall not conduct any
council business within or outside council premises, and you shall not be
eligible to receive any form of remuneration from council."

According to Zanu-PF insiders, Chombo is on a crusade to silence the MDC
ahead of elections set for an unannounced date later this year.

"Investigations on corruption will obviously implicate Zanu-PF officials
including Chombo himself, so he is eager to ensure that whoever comes up
with such probes must be silenced. Remember we are in an election year and
if reports of corruption keep coming up, they damage Zanu-PF," the insider
said.

Dumba dismissed the suspension as mere malice by Chombo. He said he and
Tapera would approach the High Court this coming week to seek a reversal of
their suspensions.

The suspensions have irked some Harare residents, who have issued a
statement attacking the decision. Part of their statement reads: "As the
residents of Harare we are alarmed at the fact that Minister Chombo can be
allowed to abuse his authority by suspending the councillors who have
presented to the police documentary evidence suggesting criminal conduct on
his part.

"We are further alarmed by the fact that the Zimbabwe Republic Police has
taken no action on the allegations against Minister Chombo, which are backed
by documentary evidence, some nine months after the report was made."

The MDC last week issued a statement, which partly reads: "He (Chombo) plans
to have a go at others he considers a threat to his political lifeline. The
pattern is the same in other towns and cities - all designed to protect his
vast interests and a personal fortune."

Chombo was not available for comment - officials at his office said he was
still on vacation.


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Actors arrested and released …. without charge

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

Written by VUSIMUZI BHEBHE
Saturday, 08 January 2011 13:02
HARARE – Ten members of a theatre group arrested and detained for two days
by Manicaland police over a political play were released from jail
apparently after prosecutors could find no grounds to prosecute the actors.
The actors were in Manicaland as part of a countrywide tour to promote the
play that is meant to encourage Zimbabweans to shun political violence.
Rooftop Promotions said the artists, who were arrested last Wednesday after
staging two shows of the play “Rituals” and were detained at Cashel Valley
police station, were released last Friday.
“Upon arrival at Mutare Magistrate Court at 12:25pm, prosecution advised the
police, after vetting the case, to compile a full docket and submit it for
set-down. They were released less than 10 minutes after arrival without even
appearing before a magistrate and police are to proceed by way of summons,”
the theatre company said in a statement.
Those arrested constitute arguably Zimbabwe’s crème de la crème and are
multi-award winners in their craft. They are Chipo Bizure, popularly known
as Eve in Studio 263, Zenzo Nyathi, popularly known as Mzambani on
Amakorokoza, Silvanos Mudzvova, Mandla Moyo, Joyce Mpofu and Rutendo
Chigudu. Rooftop Promotions founder and producer Daves Guzha said the arrest
was not only disrespectful to the work of artists but also posed serious
challenges to the commitment of the coalition government to healing and
reconciliation.
“It is sadly interesting that our artistic work in promoting national
healing and reconciliation, through a play that has been seen by the Organ
on National Healing Reconciliation and Integration and has been approved by
the Board of Censors, is being thwarted like this when the three principals
in the GPA (global political agreement) agreed to prioritise national
healing and reconciliation in their end of year address to the nation,”
Guzha said.
“We are disturbed, and I should hasten to say not discouraged or
disheartened, by this behaviour from this particular police station
especially considering that we hold a valid censorship certificate from a
board which falls under the same ministry (Home Affairs) with the police,”
he added. He said it was irrational for the Cashel Valley police to arrest
the actors following several other performances in the same province since
last year.
“We do not take this irrational act lightly at all because there is nothing
funny about sleeping in a police cell for doing your job and what makes the
situation even more disturbing is that we notified the police appropriately
according to the provisions of POSA (Public Order and Security Act) and had
done 16 performances of the same play in that same province late last year
and we were only left with 4 performances hanging in order to fulfil our
Manicaland quota”, Guzha said.
“Theatre is one of the things exempted under POSA and AIPPA but we still
have always notified police of our activities every time and in this case we
released a schedule to Mutare Central Police which stated the areas we were
covering when we started this tour and out of the 20 scheduled performances
for Manicaland, we were left with only four at the time of arresting and
detaining our team,” he said.
Written by Stephen Chifunyise, “Rituals” is a story told in panoramic
fashion chronicling how community initiated cultural solutions meet with
serious challenges which either prevent their conclusive enactment or
achievement of the desired results.


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ZANU-Ndonga, MDC-T team up against Mugabe

http://www.zimeye.org/?p=25724

By Itayi Muza

Published: January 9, 2011

Harare  -  In a frustrated move aimed at making sure that Robert Mugabe does
not win the next Presidential election ZANU Ndonga said it will joined hands
with the Morgan Tsvangirai led Movement for Democratic Change.

“We have found it prudent that as a broke party with no chances of winning
any council, parliamentary, senatorial, not talking of Presidential election
we should render our support to MDC-T which has a greater chance of winning
the next election. We are doing this in order to nip ZANU-PF in the bud.

“This is so because ZANU-PF betrayed us and the entire people of Zimbabwe.
It betrayed the aspirations of the liberation struggle. We did not go to war
in order for a selected few to enjoy. When we went to war we did not
encourage corruption, “ZANU Ndonga’s national Chairman Reketai Mushiwokufa
Semwayo told ZimEye.

ZANU-Ndonga, a bitter party which last year appealed to MDC-T leader Morgan
Tsvangirai for the revision of the criteria used on choosing national
heroes, said was happy that MDC seemed to be pushing the agenda.

“We are happy that Prime Minister Tsvangirai and his Deputy Arthur Mutambara
are working on the issue.This is evidenced by their continued boycotts to
the national heroes acre when ever a ZANU-PF official declared a hero is
being buried,” he added. mdc-march222

The late Ndabaningi Sithole,who was the party leader was denied national
heroes status when he died in 2000 at the age of 80, despite him being the
founder of ZANU the roots of Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF.
Sithole played a pivotal role in Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence from
the white minority regime of Ian Smith.

Sithole was one of the founding members of the Zimbabwe African National
Union (Zanu), the roots of President Mugabe’s Zanu PF, and was an early
advocate of armed struggle. In the years before independence, he played a
leading role at many of the peace talks and negotiations held to end the war
in the then Rhodesia, while Robert Mugabe remained exiled in Mozambique.


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Prime Minister dismisses affair claims

http://www.africareview.com

By KITSEPILE NYATHI in Harare

Posted Sunday, January 9 2011 at 13:20

Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai has denied state media reports
putting him at the centre of a divorce wrangle.

The Herald claimed that Ms Aquilina Pamberi had filed for divorce from Mr
Jacob Mandeya, her husband of 12 years so she could continue an affair with
Tsvangirai.

In a statement, Mr Tsvangirai’s spokesman, Mr Luke Tamborinyoka said the
allegations were highly defamatory and were calculated to “besmirch the
person and office of the Prime Minister”.
“It is not in the national interest to engage in needless journalistic
persecution of popularly elected national leaders.

“Responsible journalists cannot sulk on behalf of unpopular politicians,” he
said adding that the accusations were baseless and unfounded.

'Yellow journalism'

The Herald has often been accused of trying to undermine the premier and Mr
Tamborinyoka charged that the story was concocted in an effort to boost its
sales figures.

“No amount of yellow journalism will distract the Prime Minister from his
core business of bringing about real and positive change in the lives of the
people of Zimbabwe,” he said.

Divorce proceedings were heard at the juvenile court in Zimbabwe’s second
city of Bulawayo, with the media being barred from the hearing.

Even police details attached to the court were barred from the hearing after
magistrate, Ms Rosemary Sibanda declared that there was too much interest in
the court.


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Foreign Business delegations: What’s Zim benefiting?

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

Written by Willard Razawo
Friday, 07 January 2011 16:30

HARARE - Zimbabwe has over the years seen and received several foreign
business delegations from various corners of the world all seeking to
explore ways of investing in the resourceful and mineral rich country, but
on contrast foreign direct investment has remained relatively low.

South African chief economist for the Industrial Development Co-operation
(IDC) Lumkile Mondi even urged South African businesses on the need to rush
into Zimbabwe for investments saying now is the time to go into Zimbabwe to
avoid looming stampede for opportunities.

But the question is: What kind of deals does Zimbabwe need particularly this
time when the country is trying to turn around its economic fortunes?

With this sudden rush for investing in Zimbabwe, it is time to reflect on
previous deals which the government and business have entered with different
investors.

It is important to note that Zimbabwe like most African economies have over
the years received funds from the developed world mainly for
non-developmental areas like disease and poverty and other social spheres.

This development has left Zimbabwe and most developing economies in a
situation which does not permit and support economic growth or
industrialization.

Zimbabwe National Chamber Commerce Vice President Oswell Binha has
encouraged Zimbabweans to be cautious in approaching these deals.

“Zimbabwe is like a family that has been exposed to food after a long spell
in poverty. The country need to seriously consider these deals  with the
government playing a leading role to allow foreign private enterprises to
interface with local private firms for sustainable partnerships”, Binha
says.

Lack of infrastructure and human capital vital for building a modern economy
is also major stumbling block chocking Zimbabwe.

Leading Zimbabwean business woman Devine Dhlukula warned that Zimbabweans
should not play second fiddle adding that that whatever deals to be struck
Zimbabweans should at the end of the day be major drivers of the economy.

We should not be found wanting at the tail of the queue as workers, she
pleaded.

“Zimbabwe’s technological revolution is lagging far behind that of the
developed world that, what the country needs now is a fair technological
transfer to its favour”, Dhlukula advised.

Economist Luckson Zembe concurred with Dhlukula on technological transfer
but highlighted that what Zimbabwe need are fair joint ventures with foreign
investors.

In this respect for the country to transform itself from this situation more
aggressive and sustainable investment deals which will go towards supporting
the country’s industry are a prerequisite.

This can be accelerated and positively supported by the integration of
Zimbabwe’s small entrepreneurs into global manufacturing networks by
encouraging multinational and local companies to source local raw materials.

•    Willard Razawo is Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce public
relations and business development manager for Harare.


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When elephants fight, the grass suffers

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

Written by Jane Makoni
Sunday, 09 January 2011 13:00

MARONDERA - The wrangle between Marondera Municipality, war veteran Million
and the Marondera Rural District Council over ownership of Danrose Estate
has left more than 1 000 poor people allocated land by Red Cross at the farm
unable to grow crops for subsistence.
With the blessing of the municipality, the Red Cross had allocated land to
the residents benefiting from its monthly $20 food voucher scheme, to grow
farm produce and supplement the handouts. The voucher system was expected to
end last September. The farm is in the peri-urban area and reportedly fell
under the jurisdiction of the urban council.
“In this respect, council has the right to let Red Cross do as it pleased
until such time when the town developed the farm. For someone to claim
ownership of the farm is political mischief which should be stopped. No
individual should deprive poor people of their means of subsistence simply
to score cheap political points,” said a member of council management who
refused to be identified.
Following the allocation of land, the European Union through UNICEF sunk
several boreholes for irrigation. Red Cross later ploughed the plots on
behalf of the beneficiaries and supplied them with seed.
Realizing the plot beneficiaries were ready to sow seed, a war veteran
identified as Million who resides occupied the farm house, claimed Red Cross
had invaded his property and had to leave. He reportedly commandeered the
boreholes and prepared land to his own use. EU officials who intended to
visit the Red Cross project to assess and assist beneficiaries were barred
from accessing the farm.
Million claimed he possessed an offer letter issued by the ministry of
lands, entitling him to some 400 hectares of land at the disputed farm. On
the other hand, neighbouring Marondera Rural District Council, MRDC, headed
by Tendai Gundo, as Chief Executive Officer, claims ownership of the farm.
The council believes the Marondera Municipality had no authority to grant
Red Cross permission to allocate land to its beneficiaries without approval
of the MRDC. The wrangle left poor beneficiaries of the project stranded
without alternative projects to sustain them.
“I had placed hope for livelihood in the Red Cross farm project since I
could supplement my family food reserves from the land. Red Cross monthly
food vouchers could not last my family the whole month. Now that
stakeholders were locked in a protracted dispute over ownership of the farm,
welfare of the poor has been compromised. We could be exposed to serious
famine next year as we failed to work the land in time. Someone from high
offices should please intervene. Million is idly sitting on the land without
any meaningful production. Given that he did not have farming equipment such
as even a hoe, we suspect he is being used by top Zanu (PF) officials to
keep the farm for them,” said one of the Red Cross beneficiaries, Mbuya
Munhondo (78), of Rujeko.
She has been living on the generosity of Red Cross since the early nineties.
Red Cross officials have not lost hope in the fight and are engaging the
district administrator’s office for authority to continue with their
humanitarian efforts..
Recently, Director of the European Commission Humanitarian AID and Civil
Protection for the region, Francois Goemans, urged stakeholders to speedily
find an amicable solution to the farm wrangle as the poor continued to
suffer.
“I hope interested parties and responsible authorities would find a lasting
solution regarding the Red Cross project. It was disappointing for us to be
denied access to a project intended to benefit the less privileged. We
wanted to assess progress at the site and provide assistance where
 possible,” said Goemans, at the official handover ceremony of EU Commission
rehabilitated Council Water Works early this month.
Observers believe war veterans and the Zanu (PF)-controlled Marondera Rural
District Council are not keen to stand by while the MDC-T-controlled
Marondera Municipality gains political mileage through issuing of land to
thousands of poor residents.


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Africa in 2050: enlist as a driver of change now

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

09/01/2011 00:00:00
    by Mutumwa Mawere

WHAT will Africa be like in 2050 when we complete the first half of this
century dubbed the African century? Whose business is it or should be to
shape Africa’s future?

Changing what our future looks like ought to be the business of our
generation and yet as each day passes, we look to others to do what we can
and should do in our interest to make tomorrow a better and brighter day for
all. We hope and trust others to do what we are not willing to do in our own
self-interest to make the difference that we want to see in Africa.

During the colonial era, we all know what was wrong and what time it was.
We are now in control and yet the invasion of Africa by outsiders who see
more promise in its relatively unexplored and yet to be exploited belly than
its majority inhabitants suggests that in 2050, it is not unimaginable that
the Chinese investors of today, for example, will be given marching orders
by the living generation of Africans who will find cause to blame the
foreigners for their lack of progress.

When the generation of 2050 looks back at our generation, what will they say
about us? We have the privilege of writing our own story through actions and
yet in many African states the preoccupation is on political issues rather
than matters that inspire others to scale the heights of progress.

Imagine the future without your input. That future should have no relevance
to you and yet many of us would want to be alive without asking ourselves
what precisely is the purpose of life if at the end of the day we make no
difference to the environment we live in.

Is the future someone else’s business? It is and should the business to all
who have a stake in it. That makes all of us stakeholders.

On January 7, 2011, I woke up imagining what the future holds for Africa. As
a Zimbabwe-born African, I could only start by imagining what my motherland
will look like in 2050.

Will it be a country dominated by indigenous persons? What would the mining
sector look like? What would be the ownership structure of land? Who will be
the drivers of economic and political change? Will the current political
institutions be still alive in 2050 or will they sink into followers than
drivers as UNIP and Malawi Congress Party have done in Zambia and Malawi,
respectively? Who will control the economic landscape? Will the brain drain
be converted into a resident brain trust? What would be the state of
Zimbabwean schools, hospitals, roads, prisons and all the institutions we
generally associate with progress and civilisation?

In the case of Zimbabwe, the last 30 years of independence has produced a
toxic mind that regards politics as the key driver of change. It is not
uncommon for people to refer to others as, for example, a Zanu PF or MDC
person as if political parties are capable of owning people’s minds.

To the extent that political institutions and the individuals who drive them
are accorded a different status in society, it is natural that many will
look to politicians to drive the agenda for change.

What we do know is that the current players in the Zimbabwean political
drama will all have expired in 2050 and yet it will be the case that people
will seek to attribute the lack of development to the actions and choices of
a few powerful people.

If one were to ask the question of who most inspires Africans, I have no
doubt that the likely response will be the names of political actors. We
forget that politicians are human beings like all of us. They are incapable
of solving another person’s problems without the means being created by
others. The political market produces intangible outputs.

Therefore, it is difficult to measure the effectiveness of political actors
but we generally associate the impact of human development indicators to
have a relationship with the actions and choices of politicians.

The behaviour of African politicians is no different from the universal
behavior of political actors. Their business is to stay in power for as much
as possible in as much as the business of an entrepreneur is to remain in
business for a long time if not to eat into the market shares of
competitors.

Any small-scale entrepreneur will tell you that his/her ambition is to be
the biggest and yet in pursuing such an objective, it must be accepted that
the interests of others may be injured or destroyed in the process.

What will BRICSA mean to the rest of Africa? The emergence of the BRICSA
grouping as a leading global player offers opportunities and threats to
Africa’s future.

The BRIC countries are underpinned by a strong business sector with a
national character and yet the key drivers of South Africa, the only African
state to be invited to join this prestigious group, are not drawn from the
majority population.

When South Africa boasts of strong economic growth, such growth has yet to
translate into a broad-based internalisation of benefits. In terms of
control of the commanding heights of the economy, we know that in countries
like China, India, Brazil and Russia, the control vests in nationals whose
interests are an integral part of national interest.

The ruling class in South Africa, for example, is still preoccupied with the
baggage of the past while the former perpetrators of economic injustice are
now the global players with African origins.

The misalignment between politics and business is best exposed when you
examine how many of South Africa’s key economic drivers of change are
members of the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC).

In the case of Zimbabwe, we have seen business and professional persons
refusing to associate or even become part of the political process and yet
are the most vocal critics of the few who chose to dedicate their lives to a
mandate enshrined in the constitution by representing the aspirations of the
voiceless poor.

Most of the ruling parties are denied the wisdom resident in professional
and businesspersons’ minds because the status of political players has been
sufficiently undermined by the general disdain and misunderstanding of the
role envisaged in the constitution of political players.

In terms of funding, the political institutions that have no control of the
state face a tough time in sustaining their operations.

I have no doubt that the majority of Africans will be inspired more by faith
in 2050 than by their own political institutions. We have seen more being
done in the name of faith than in the name of politicians.

How can the paradigm shift to make Africa a winning proposition? We all have
work to do. We have to start focusing at what we can do to make Africa work
better for our future generations rather than what politicians have not
done.

Imagine Africa in 2050. If you can imagine it, then you can make Africa what
you want it to be. Our heritage is rich and yet we rarely broaden our
discovery to include the corporate legacy that has been created by the
contribution of all including those born outside the continent but who
decided to make Africa their home.

We all must look at ourselves as drivers of change. It is for this reason I
feel judging by the people who choose to include me in their conversations
that I have played my part in defining my generation.

Any knowledge I share with my generation will no doubt assist future
generations in better understanding what was important to me as I woke up
daily to invest in the business of life fully knowing that the future does
not belong to me physically but will be shaped and informed by the things
that I do in life.

If people gossip about you then you must know that you are alive. Even
people who credit Zanu PF for my business success, in so doing undermining
my own contribution to the process of economic and social change, confirm
the thinking that anything good or that represents progress must have a
political context. If this is true, the next 40 years will test our
collective capacity to rise above the limitations imposed by our past.

The enterprise of nation building is highly dynamic in which the past pain
or glory do not guarantee failure or success. Short-term expedient
strategies will not work for Africa. We have to be concerned about where
Africa will be in the next 20 or 40 years.

We have to carry the tradition of liberation and extend it to the economic
emancipation. We have to build our own institutions to serve not just the
needs of our generation but also the needs of future generations. The role
of the state in any human civilisation cannot be to do what citizens can do
for themselves.

Imagining the future ought to be our starting point than complaining about
the past for there is nothing we can do to change what already has
transpired. As I imagine in the quietness of my time, I hope to hear your
own imagination.  Those who choose to remain silent must remember that the
future will never know what it is that occupied our minds and time.

Let us tell the story through conversations that focus on what is possible
if we choose to work together. Rhodesia was an idea but Zimbabwe like Africa
is an idea whose time has come. We are ultimately the change that we want to
see.


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Tales of torture and survival in Zimbabwe

http://www.boston.com/
 
 
Book Review
By Jan Gardner
Globe Correspondent / January 9, 2011
 
Studs Terkel recognized the immediacy and power of people telling their own stories; his oral histories elevated and amplified the voices of ordinary Americans. Now Dave Eggers and his McSweeney’s Voice of Witness series is doing the same for people facing injustice in the United States and elsewhere. The fifth book in the series, “Hope Deferred: Narratives of Zimbabwean Lives,’’ edited by Peter Orner and Annie Holmes, is a forum for 25 men and women to tell their tales of torture and survival and express their despair about a nation on the verge of collapse.


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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 8th January 2011

Vigil supporters were interested to see that an opinion survey indicates that a majority of  Zimbabweans are in favour of elections this year (see: Seven out of 10 Zimbabweans want 2011 elections: poll - http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/jan6_2011.html#Z1.) We believe this vindicates the Vigil’s call for elections as soon as possible despite objections from a wide spectrum of Zimbabwean leaders.

 

The Vigil understands their reservations: basically that conditions are not right. But so do the people who were interviewed by the pollsters. Most of them said they feared that the elections would again be marred by violence. Nevertheless they want democracy and an end to Zanu PF tyranny.

 

We gathered behind our banner ‘Elections in Zimbabwe Now’. Why? Because the ‘Unity’ government is not working and Zanu PF will never allow it to work. Instead we get MDC ministers sounding more and more like Zanu PF. If we leave elections much longer won’t it be a question of voting for MDC-Zanu PF?

 

We too are fearful of election violence but believe that this time Mugabe will not get away with a stolen election. West African leaders have shown they will not accept this in Ivory Coast. The Vigil believes that this marks a real revolution in Africa – one which Zuma and SADC cannot ignore. No more stolen elections. The other side of our ‘Elections in Zimbabwe Now’ banner reads ‘Zuma Save Zimbabwe’. The Vigil believes he now has no choice.

 

President Zuma has made it clear there is much work to be done before credible elections can be held. What the Vigil wants from him is a firm timetable for elections and tough action to prevent Zanu PF foot-dragging.

 

Other points

·       After the bleak midwinter we are moving back to normal Vigil numbers.  People were cheered by the bright sunshine even though there was a bitingly cold wind. Anything is better that the sodden gloomy weather we have been experiencing.

·       There has been a last minute hitch with putting the ZimVigil ringtone online but we are working on it and we’ll keep you posted.

·       Vigil supporters were not surprised by the slimy rise of Welshman Ncube, farm beneficiary and stabber in the back. But we are sure Mutambara  has a plan B. (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/ZimVigil-Diary-Entries/mutambara-feeds-us-alphabetti-spaghetti.html).

·       As promised here is the second half of the Vigil’s past year’s highlights drawn from Vigil diaries from July to December. See below.

 

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: 94 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 Wolverhampton general meeting. Saturday 15th January. Venue: Heath Town Community Centre, 208 Chevril Rise, Wolverhampton WV10 0HP. Contact  Tsvakai Marambi 07915065171, Florence Munemo 07901733634, Flora Nyahuma 07900036702, Odius Sahondo 07771565949, P Chibanguza 07908406069,

·       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.

·       ROHR Nottingham general meeting. Saturday 29th January. Venue: St Saviour’s Community Hall, Arkwright Walk, Nottingham NG2 2JU. Contact Allan Nhemhara 07810197576, Mary Chabvamuperu  07412074928 , Christopher Chimbumu 07775888205, P Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.

·       ROHR Ashford Kent general meeting. Saturday 5th February, Venue: the Star Pub, Ashford, Kent TN24 8PA, opposite Liquid Night Club off Hythe Road, 5 mins walk from Ashford International Station. ROHR executive members present. Contact Danmore Munyuki 07535213801, Munyaradzi Badze 07709317869, Egbert Mtengwa 07985592931 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.

·       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.

 

 

Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights July – December 2010

 

Saturday 3rd July

The Zimbabwean Deputy Prime Minister, Thokozani Khupe, has spurned opportunities to meet the Vigil during her week long visit to London beginning on 4th July. This does not surprise us. We suspect we are seen as a noisy embarrassment by the MDC leadership as they burrow deeper into the fertile ground of Zimbabwean government corruption.  

 

Thursday 8th July

The following appeared in the Londoner’s Diary of the London Evening Standard: ‘Zimbabwean deputy PM upsets exiles: What not to wear to the Commonwealth Society . . . Zimbabwe’s Deputy Prime Minister Ms Thokozani Khupe, who was a popular anti-Robert Mugabe figure before she joined the government after the 2008 election, is in London but has upset sometime supporters by demanding they put on their gladrags and pay up to get an audience with her. Ms Khupe spoke at the Royal Commonwealth Society in Northumberland Avenue last night. Members of the Zimbabwe Vigil, who demonstrate against human rights abuses outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in The Strand every Saturday, had been surprised to be invited to meet her face to face at a dinner after the event. The catch was the ticket price and the dress code. Leaders of the Vigil find it offensive that, with Zimbabwe producing more asylum seekers than any other country, diners were expected to pay £25 for the dinner and to wear lounge suits or cocktail dresses . . .’

 

Friday 9th July

Vigil supporters attended a meeting at Lancaster House at which Mark Canning, British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, spoke on “The politics and situation in Zimbabwe and the UK Government’s response”.

 

Sataurday 10th July

The immortal Dr Pangloss was a character in Voltaire’s novel Candide – immortal not least because he is now working for the British Foreign Office. Pangloss was super-optimistic. Amid the chaos of the Lisbon earthquake 250 years ago he could still maintain ‘All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds’.  This appears to be the attitude of the Foreign Office towards the chaos in Zimbabwe. It sees steady progress (although at a ‘glacial speed’). There are good things happening, we are told. In fact we should jolly well think of going back to enjoy them.  A different picture emerges from a former British diplomat in Harare, Philip Barclay, in his book ‘Years of Hope and Despair’. Barclay has been promoting his book in London and points to continuing disregard of the rule of law and the increasing acquiescence of the MDC within the unity government.  

 

Saturday 24th July

·          Senator David Coltart, the Zimbabwean Minister for Education, was given a friendly reception when he came to the Vigil at the end of his visit to London – a welcome that turned to cheers when he put on our bracelet ‘Mugabe Must Go’. Surrounded by Vigil supporters, he said ‘I know that many of you are very sceptical about this inclusive government. But I want to let you know that there is a group working very hard to make it work.  Don’t write it off. But you do need to continue the Vigil because things are by no means right yet.’ 

·          A large contingent of our supporters went to hear Mutambara speak at a London meeting after the Vigil.  Apart from telling us about his massive intellect and brilliant education, he urged people with skills and capital to go home, brushing aside questions of violence and good governance.

·          Another highlight was the arrival of the valiant Smale father and son team who had cycled 85 miles from Salisbury to the Vigil in aid of a charity for Zimbabwe.

 

Thursday 29th July

The Vigil made the front page of the Zimbabwe Herald this week. We are mentioned in the Herald’s interview with Hebson Makuvise, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Germany.  He reportedly says of activists in the UK "Every Saturday they gather at the Zimbabwean Embassy in the UK playing drums denouncing President Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and the inclusive Government. They are then given some money by tourists who visit the embassy in the name of the suffering masses of Zimbabwe.”  He said he has tried without success to dissuade the activists from carrying out such activities . . . Makuvise, Tsvangirai’s uncle and former representative in the UK, tried to control the Vigil as he did the MDC in the UK. We can’t forget how he thundered down to the Vigil with his goons and, oblivious to the irony, waved his fist at the Vigil Co-ordinator saying ‘How dare you accuse me of being a bully-boy!’  The latest development is that Ambassador Makuvise says he is instituting legal proceedings against the Zimdiaspora website which has published a report said to have been leaked from Tsvangirai’s office which detailed alleged financial irregularities in the MDC UK and strongly criticized Makuvise. (Nothing further has been heard of these legal proceedings . . )

 

Saturday 31st July

·          While both Mugabe and Tsvangirai have been seeking support from apostolic Christians, the Vigil was surprised to be joined by a large group of Zimbabwean Christians. We were grateful for their prayers – and touched when they prayed for those on our register. Dressed in white robes, they said they had come to London to spread peace. They are members of Friday Apostles ‘Johane Masowe We Chishanu’ and have a base in Sheffield in the north of England.

·          We were glad to be joined by a Vigil activist we helped to escape from Zimbabwe. He said he was picked up on a recent trip home and randomly beaten up on the way to the police station. He was held in cells for 2 days in indescribable conditions and would probably still be there if we hadn’t got legal help to get him out. The experience left him 2 kgs lighter.

 

Saturday 7th August

‘Zuma Save Zimbabwe’ was the theme of the Vigil as SADC prepares to hold a summit meeting in Namibia.  Our banners urging South African intervention have so far failed to bear fruit but we were pleased that Mugabe’s attempt to keep Zimbabwe off the agenda seems to have failed. As the recent AU Summit in Uganda showed, African leaders are all too willing to sweep Zimbabwe under the carpet on the basis that SADC has been handed the responsibility. Vigil supporters believe that, after eighteen months of Zanu-PF arrogance in refusing to implement the GPA, South Africa and SADC must now force Mugabe’s hand. The Vigil urges SADC to address the real issue: how to ensure that elections are free and fair.

 

Saturday 14th August

A strong supporter of the Zimbabwe Vigil has been a Swazi lady Thobile Gwebu, who in January started a Vigil outside the Swaziland High Commission in London in protest at human rights abuses in her homeland. We were shocked that the UK Home Office has seen fit to detain her for immediate deportation and people at the Vigil signed a petition to the Home Office on her behalf: ‘The Zimbabwe Vigil is appalled that her asylum claim has been turned down and that she is to be handed over to this medieval despot, who would like to spend the country’s meagre revenues on a Boeing to fly his 14 wives to the fleshpots of the world...’

 

Saturday 21st August

We are glad to say that the deportation of our Swazi friend Thobile Gwebu has been halted although she is still in detention.

 

Thursday 28th August

Vigil Co-ordinator Dumi Tutani was on a panel at a screening of ‘Mugabe and the White African’ in London on Thursday.  Director Lucy Bailey was very pleased to have a black Zimbabwean’s views.  Dumi stressed that the problems in Zimbabwe were not caused by the white farmers and the land issue but by a corrupt government determined to stay in power at all costs.

 

Saturday 18th September

·          Protest to mark the second anniversary of the signing of the Zimbabwean Global Political Agreement. Comrade Mugabe – despite reports of ill-health – was fit enough to join our demonstration outside the South African High Commission.  But mentally he seems to have lost it, judging by the mis-spellings in the poster he was carrying: ‘SADC Final: Mugabwe 10, Zumabwe 0’. But the scornful message was clear. The demonstration marked the expiry of the 30-day deadline given by SADC for the leaders of the unity government to settle the issues outstanding from the Global Political Agreement signed two years ago this month.

·          We were happy to be joined by our Swazi friend and supporter Thobile Gwebu just released from detention. 

 

Saturday 25th September

During the week the Vigil sent the following message to the South American so-called Anglican cleric who invited Mugabe to Ecuador to receive an honorary doctorate. ‘Dear Revd Dr Walter Roberto Crespo: the Zimbabwe Vigil wishes to add our support to Genocide Watch in protest at your proposal to honour Robert Mugabe . . .’

 

Saturday 2nd October

Vigil team member Sue Toft arranged, at St Mary’s Church, Speldhurst, Kent, a showing of the film ‘Mugabe and the White African’ which documents the fight by white farmer Ben Freeth and his father-in-law to stop their farm being taken by Mugabe’s regime. In the audience was Ben’s mother Claire Freeth.

 

Zimbabwe Vigil’s 8th Anniversary – Saturday 9th October

·          Robert Mugabe drinking coffee out of an MDC mug and pouring in spoonfuls of salt was the centrepiece of our 8th anniversary Vigil – until he fell asleep. Featuring our well-used Mugabe mask, it was prompted by a report that Mugabe hadn’t been able to taste the difference between sugar and salt at a recent reception for diplomats in Harare – and a picture of him fast asleep at the UN (along with some of his 79 companions!).

·          Supporters gathered after the Vigil at the nearby Bell and Compass pub to discuss the way forward. Our discussions were informally chaired by Ephraim Tapa, founder member of the Vigil and President of ROHR. One subject discussed was the suggestion by the influential UK weekly The Economist that targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his gang should be suspended if they agree to allow international monitors to supervise the promised elections.

 

Saturday 16th October

The banners we have been displaying outside the London Embassy for eight years inspired posters we attached to luggage to represent the feared consequences of deportation hanging over failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers: ‘Back to Murder, Rape and Torture in Zimbabwe’ and ‘Back to Mugabe and Starvation’. Given Morgan Tsvangirai’s nauseating love-ins with Mugabe over the past 20 months, Vigil supporters were not surprised by the British government’s decision to end the moratorium on returning failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe. Whether Tsvangirai is currently flipping or flopping makes no difference now: he has been telling the world that the GNU is working and that Zimbabwe is a safe place so we could hardly expect any other decision by the British government.

 

Saturday 23rd October

Supporters signed the following petition to the Home Secretary, Theresa May: ‘We the undersigned, members of the Zimbabwean Diaspora in the UK and sympathisers, express our grave disquiet at the UK government’s announcement that failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers are to be deported – even before the hearing of a test (country guidance) case is concluded . . .’ 

 

Sunday 24th October

MEDIA NOTICE – Zimbabweans in UK say ‘Don’t send us back to Mugabe’.

Zimbabwean exiles in the UK are to stage a demonstration against deportations at a meeting to be addressed by a senior Home Office official at Lancaster House in London on Wednesday, 27th October.  Ephraim Tapa, a prominent Zimbabwean human rights activist in the UK, said ‘It is deeply disturbing that the British government seems to have predetermined the outcome of the court case.  We did not expect this in the UK.’  Mr Tapa was sceptical about the findings of a British mission to Zimbabwe this year which found that ‘Zimbabwe is for many people a safer and better place to live than it was in 2008’. Mr Tapa said ‘the stolen elections of 2008 were drenched in blood. New elections are planned for next year and we expect similar bloodshed unless peacekeepers are sent to the country’.

 

No Returns before Elections! – Wednesday 27th October

About 300 Zimbabweans gathered at Lancaster House for a meeting to hear a senior Home Office official Phil Douglas answer questions on the sudden ending of the four year moratorium on sending home failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers.  He dismissed fears that the move would influence the decision of a team of judges presently considering the Zimbabwe country guidance case. Few of his audience were satisfied by his explanations. There was laughter when Mr Douglas said that returned people could relocate to different areas. Many people expressed fears of renewed violence during next year’s elections. There was a cry of ‘blood on your hands’.  The British government team suggested that Zimbabwean concerns about the policy should be channelled through an organisation of their creation, the Zimbabwe Diaspora Focus Group.  The Zimbabwe Vigil / ROHR’s views are that they do not want to be represented by any other group and this was reaffirmed at a briefing after the meeting to the large group of Zimbabweans who had waited patiently outside. Mr Douglas agreed to accept our petition and hand it on.

 

Wednesday 10th November

Meeting on Zimbabwe at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House. If the British government has any strategy to ensure that the promised elections in Zimbabwe are free and fair it is not letting on. That’s the conclusion reached by Vigil supporters who attended a meeting at the Chatham House think-tank in London addressed by the Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham, and the British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mark Canning . . .  It was, all in all, a chilling experience of backslapping hypocrisy. Diplomacy used to be defined as being sent abroad to lie for your country.  Now you only have to go to Chatham House in St James Square.  Further light on the meeting was cast when we learnt that an honoured guest was Zanu-PF’s Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi. A firm supporter of the army’s involvement in politics, Mzembi was delighted by the supine gushing of Canning and Bellingham.

 

Monday 15th November

Vigil supporter Josephine Zhuga addressed a meeting in London of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.  They are keen to involve Zimbabweans in their Voices of African Women campaign.

 

Friday 26th November

The ZimVigil TV website (www.zimvigiltv.com) was launched on Friday. Thanks to Dr Tim Rusike of ZBN News who set it up for us. The website will be managed by a team selected by the Vigil and has space for videos, picture gallery, community area and blog.

 

Saturday 4th December

It was good to be visited by Judith Todd, the Zimbabwean human rights champion, who was briefly in London. She said how encouraged she was that we were still going and how she looked forward to reading our diary every week.

 

Friday 10th December

Vigil supporters took part in an event at City and Islington College to mark Human Rights Day. We are much sought after for events like this – for our singing and dancing apart from anything else.

 

Saturday 11th December

The day began well when we received a large box of money. Always welcome. The box came from an anonymous donor with the message: ‘We heard your protest vigil needed some money – enjoy’. The message continued ‘proudly printed in Zimbabwe and smuggled out to you by some brave friends’. It seems that Mugabe’s personal bonker has started a new bank, the Reverse Bank.  We now have a pile of new billion, trillion and zillion dollar notes all with pictures of Gono and Grace. 

 

Saturday 18th December 2010

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’.

 

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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