Fri 11 Jan 2008, 15:08 GMT
LILONGWE, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Cash-strapped Zimbabwe will pay Malawi $94
million for 400,000 tonnes of maize it is buying to feed around 4 million
people this year, National Food Reserves Agency (NFRA) said on Friday.
"Zimbabwe is paying us a total of about $94 million as soon as we finish
delivering the maize and so far over 200,000 tonnes have been delivered,"
NFRA chairman Ken Kandodo told Reuters.
Kandodo could not, however, say whether Zimbabwe has paid any money upfront.
NFRA, a government controlled food reserves body, started exporting maize to
Zimbabwe last year March, a move that angered the opposition controlled
parliament which accused government of giving away maize at the expense of
Malawians facing hunger this year.
The UN World Food Programme says 1 million people in Malawi will need food
aid this year despite a maize surplus of over 1 million tonnes.
"The benefits of selling maize to Zimbabwe are colossal. We are not only
earning $94 million from it but it also encouraged farmers to grow more
maize because the prices have been good on the local market," Kandodo said.
Zimbabwe, formerly southern Africa's bread basket, has battled serious food
shortages since 2001 when President Robert Mugabe's government seized farms
from whites to resettle landless blacks.
UN aid agencies Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Food
Programme (WFP) have said 4 million Zimbabweans -- about a third of the
population -- will require food aid by the first quarter of 2008.
(Reporting by Mabvuto Banda; editing by Chris Johnson)
Kevin Gifford left his farm in Zimbabwe six years ago, hoping
to make his fortune by turning bush land in neighbouring Mozambique into a
flourishing tobacco farm. He was one of 4,000 farmers who lost their land under President
Robert Mugabe's controversial reforms. Despite Mr Mugabe's arguments that he was fighting for the
rights of Africans against imperialists, Mozambique welcomed a small group of
them, hoping their expertise and investment would provide crucial jobs and
export earnings from its vast swathes of lush but undeveloped land. "My family pioneered what was Rhodesia in 1894, I sort of see
myself in those shoes, except that I have technology on my side. We were coming
into nothing agriculture-wise," he says. The house Mr Gifford moved into was a crumbling relic from
Portuguese colonial days, without running water or electricity. At the height of the boom, new banks and petrol stations opened
in the central province of Manica. Running water and electricity were brought to the area; people
had bicycles and radios. But now the dreams of both the farmers and Mozambique lie in
tatters. 'Ridiculous' Of Mr Gifford's syndicate, he says three men moved to Australia,
one died, one disappeared and another never left Zimbabwe. The remaining Zimbabweans in Manica only employ about 300
people, down from an estimated workforce of 4,345 in 2004. Nevertheless, Mr Gifford refuses to give up. "That is the good thing about Mozambique - it has taught us to
get off our backsides and do some work," says Kevin Gifford as he wipes dirt
from his face. Like many of the Zimbabweans who came to Mozambique, Mr Gifford
was on a scheme sponsored by an international tobacco firm. "They saw logically that tobacco volumes [in Zimbabwe] would
come crashing down and they needed to sustain their volumes to maintain their
market share," he says. In return for start-up capital and loans, the farmers were
contracted to produce a set quota of tobacco over several years. But yields were substantially less than projected and of poor
quality. "We were given the green light to start farming in August 2002
and were expected by November to have a crop of 100 hectares of tobacco in the
ground. In hindsight it was ridiculous," says Mr Gifford. Most of the inputs had to be sourced from South Africa, which
led to huge transport bills, duties and taxes, sending production costs soaring.
Soon the farmers fell into debt until many stopped growing
tobacco, and the firms pulled out of the country. Brendon Evans, another who initially made a living with support
from the tobacco companies, says Mozambique's government could have done more to
help the farmers. "Our prices were definitely not competitive... that's one of the
reasons we were knocked out of the game. Unfortunately many people left because
of that," he says. Shock Mozambique has made significant progress since 1992, when it
emerged battered by decades of war - first for independence from Portuguese
colonial rule and then a protracted civil war. Its economy has grown by an average of 8% a year since 1996.
Nearly 70% of Mozambicans, many small-scale farmers in rural
areas, live in poverty. Analyst Joseph Hanlon describes the situation as "a waste".
He says many of Mozambique's commercial farmers could also
flourish with government help, in turn creating jobs and helping to fight
poverty. "The real shock to the Zimbabweans was that the support
structures they had enjoyed back home simply did not exist in Mozambique," says
Mr Hanlon, a senior lecturer in international development at the UK's Open
University. There were no government loans for irrigation or
electrification, nor any research available from the Ministry of Agriculture on,
for example, the best maize to plant. The newly-appointed minister for agriculture and former governor
of Manica province, Soares Nhaca, declined to comment on the Zimbabweans'
situation. But in a statement, the Ministry for Agriculture said it was
working to kick-start a "green revolution" to combat rural poverty by
eliminating a lack of basic food stuffs and by generating employment in rural
areas. It said the commercialisation of the agriculture sector would
play an important role in this but added that it was not the sole solution.
New plans In order to survive, the remaining Zimbabweans have had to
become "entrepreneurial capitalists". He has planted timber and papaya; and is improving the
commercial value of local cattle by breeding them with quality bulls. He also
farms sheep and a small tobacco crop. They have waded through the sometimes crippling red tape, labour
laws and land ownership issues - in Portuguese. Some also allege extortion by corrupt local officials.
Malaria has also taken a physical toll, with the farmers
suffering repeated bouts. Despite these hardships, this resilient group of
farmers is intent on success. By the end of 2008, the Evans' goal is to have a UHT or milk
sterilisation plant, and to start supplying the domestic market with dairy
products. Meanwhile, Mr Gifford is investigating the commercial potential
of rearing crocodiles. Images by www.stevefranck.com
Friday, 11 January
2008, 11:22 GMT
BBC News, Chimoio
Kevin Gifford left his farm in Zimbabwe six years ago, hoping to make his fortune by turning bush land in neighbouring Mozambique into a flourishing tobacco farm.
He was one of 4,000 farmers who lost their land under President Robert Mugabe's controversial reforms.
Despite Mr Mugabe's arguments that he was fighting for the rights of Africans against imperialists, Mozambique welcomed a small group of them, hoping their expertise and investment would provide crucial jobs and export earnings from its vast swathes of lush but undeveloped land.
"My family pioneered what was Rhodesia in 1894, I sort of see myself in those shoes, except that I have technology on my side. We were coming into nothing agriculture-wise," he says.
The house Mr Gifford moved into was a crumbling relic from Portuguese colonial days, without running water or electricity.
At the height of the boom, new banks and petrol stations opened in the central province of Manica.
Running water and electricity were brought to the area; people had bicycles and radios.
But now the dreams of both the farmers and Mozambique lie in tatters.
Of Mr Gifford's syndicate, he says three men moved to Australia, one died, one disappeared and another never left Zimbabwe.
The remaining Zimbabweans in Manica only employ about 300 people, down from an estimated workforce of 4,345 in 2004.
Nevertheless, Mr Gifford refuses to give up.
"That is the good thing about Mozambique - it has taught us to get off our backsides and do some work," says Kevin Gifford as he wipes dirt from his face.
Like many of the Zimbabweans who came to Mozambique, Mr Gifford was on a scheme sponsored by an international tobacco firm.
"They saw logically that tobacco volumes [in Zimbabwe] would come crashing down and they needed to sustain their volumes to maintain their market share," he says.
In return for start-up capital and loans, the farmers were contracted to produce a set quota of tobacco over several years.
But yields were substantially less than projected and of poor quality.
"We were given the green light to start farming in August 2002 and were expected by November to have a crop of 100 hectares of tobacco in the ground. In hindsight it was ridiculous," says Mr Gifford.
Most of the inputs had to be sourced from South Africa, which led to huge transport bills, duties and taxes, sending production costs soaring.
Soon the farmers fell into debt until many stopped growing tobacco, and the firms pulled out of the country.
Brendon Evans, another who initially made a living with support from the tobacco companies, says Mozambique's government could have done more to help the farmers.
"Our prices were definitely not competitive... that's one of the reasons we were knocked out of the game. Unfortunately many people left because of that," he says.
Mozambique has made significant progress since 1992, when it emerged battered by decades of war - first for independence from Portuguese colonial rule and then a protracted civil war.
Its economy has grown by an average of 8% a year since 1996.
Nearly 70% of Mozambicans, many small-scale farmers in rural areas, live in poverty.
Analyst Joseph Hanlon describes the situation as "a waste".
He says many of Mozambique's commercial farmers could also flourish with government help, in turn creating jobs and helping to fight poverty.
"The real shock to the Zimbabweans was that the support structures they had enjoyed back home simply did not exist in Mozambique," says Mr Hanlon, a senior lecturer in international development at the UK's Open University.
There were no government loans for irrigation or electrification, nor any research available from the Ministry of Agriculture on, for example, the best maize to plant.
The newly-appointed minister for agriculture and former governor of Manica province, Soares Nhaca, declined to comment on the Zimbabweans' situation.
But in a statement, the Ministry for Agriculture said it was working to kick-start a "green revolution" to combat rural poverty by eliminating a lack of basic food stuffs and by generating employment in rural areas.
It said the commercialisation of the agriculture sector would play an important role in this but added that it was not the sole solution.
In order to survive, the remaining Zimbabweans have had to become "entrepreneurial capitalists".
He has planted timber and papaya; and is improving the commercial value of local cattle by breeding them with quality bulls. He also farms sheep and a small tobacco crop.
They have waded through the sometimes crippling red tape, labour laws and land ownership issues - in Portuguese.
Some also allege extortion by corrupt local officials.
Malaria has also taken a physical toll, with the farmers suffering repeated bouts. Despite these hardships, this resilient group of farmers is intent on success.
By the end of 2008, the Evans' goal is to have a UHT or milk sterilisation plant, and to start supplying the domestic market with dairy products.
Meanwhile, Mr Gifford is investigating the commercial potential of rearing crocodiles.
Images by www.stevefranck.com
Monsters and Critics
Jan 11, 2008, 8:40 GMT
Johannes/Harare - Zimbabwe has drafted in soldiers to help move food aid and
medicines to hundreds of flood victims in the north of the country, reports
An army vehicle and army personnel are in Muzarabani in Mashonaland Central
province, where several hundreds of villagers were displaced by floods in
December, the official Herald daily said.
There are plans to permanently relocate some of the affected.
'Some families are willing to move out permanently once an alternative place
is found,' Brigadier-General Douglas Nyikayaramba said. Amazingly, crops in
the Muzarabani area are not a complete write-off.
Floods hit parts of northern and south-eastern Zimbabwe during what turned
out to be the wettest December for more than 100 years. At least 32 people
were killed. Flood damage was also reported in several suburbs of Harare.
Despite the rains, some residents of one low-income suburb of the capital
have been without piped water for six months now, the Herald said in a
Residents of Hatcliffe in northern Harare have no option but to buy water by
the bucket from schools or private homes with wells.
© 2008 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur
Monsters and Critics
Jan 11, 2008, 7:22 GMT
Johannesburg/Harare - A policeman has been stoned to death by illegal
diamond dealers in eastern Zimbabwe, reports said Friday.
Undercover policeman Robert Katini and his partner posed as buyers at
Nyanyadzi, a small rural town in Manicaland province on Tuesday, the
state-controlled Herald reports.
When the policemen produced their identity cards and tried to arrest a
couple of dealers, the dealers became angry and started pelting the
policemen with stones, police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka told the paper.
More dealers joined in the attack on the police detectives. Katini pulled
out a pistol and fired warning shots before shooting one of the dealers,
Hardlife Jambayo, in the stomach.
'The attackers became even more violent and stoned Detective Sergeant Katini
who died on the spot. They then turned their attention to the police
vehicle, which was extensively damaged,' Mandipaka said.
Katini's partner managed to get away and was recovering in hospital, the
paper said. Diamond dealer Jambayo died later from his injuries.
'This incident should serve as a lesson to us all that the public and the
police must co-exist,' said Mandipaka.
Late in 2005 the government allowed desperate villagers to begin mining for
diamonds on a rich belt of the precious stones, but later clamped down on
the practice when it became evident that most of the minerals were being
sold on the black market.
Now police have been sent to guard the diamond fields. There are frequent
skirmishes between the law enforcement agents and desperate diamond seekers.
Last month central bank governor Gideon Gono said diamonds worth 800 million
US dollars had been smuggled out of the country in recent months.
© 2008 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur
By Tichaona Sibanda
11 January 2008
The ZAPU-Federal Party, led by Paul Siwela, will forge an alliance with the
Tsvangirai MDC to fight the forthcoming parliamentary and presidential
Siwela said they decided to form an alliance with the MDC because they
shared similar views on issues related to the dire political and economic
situation in the country.
He said his party will convene a congress at the end of this month to ratify
this pact, after which he would try to convince other like-minded political
parties to join in the alliance to form a united front against Robert Mugabe
and his ruling Zanu-PF party.
This is the first confirmed alliance and others are expected in the coming
weeks, as opposition parties’ band together under a proposed MDC united
front or a coalition.
The two factions of the MDC have already made contact on the issue and are
expected to meet soon to finalise a deal on reunification. It is no secret
that the MDC led by Professor Arthur Mutambara enjoys considerable support
in the two Matebeleland provinces, while Tsvangirai’s faction commands
enormous support in the rest of the country.
Siwela said he sees a united front as a significant development in the
country’s politics. It was a united front that catapulted Kenya’s Mwai
Kibaki into power five years ago, under a coalition of parties.
His National Rainbow Coalition party swept to victory in Kenya’s elections,
defeating the Kanu party, which had run the country since independence in
1963. Robert Mugabe has run Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 and analysts
believe that a carefully worked out coalition could spell trouble for the 83
year-old leader who has been ruling the country with an iron fist.
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
By Tererai Karimakwenda
11 January, 2008
A report in the Independent newspaper on Friday that a new splinter party
from ZANU-PF will next week announce a candidate to run against Mugabe in
the elections, has created a buzz in political circles. The idea has mostly
been dismissed as a joke by commentators. The report said former Finance
Minister Simba Makoni will be stand against Robert Mugabe in the polls
currently scheduled for March. Others allegedly involved in the project are
the former ZANU-PF permanent secretary and academic Ibbo Mandaza, war
veteran Wilfred Mhanda and retired army Major Kudzai Mbudzi.
The Independent quoted “impeccable sources” who said the Makoni group is to
launch its election campaign next week. One of the sources was quoted as
saying: "The Makoni camp wants to recapture the presidency of Zanu PF, that
was stolen by Mugabe through manipulation of the party’s formal structures
to endorse him as the candidate at the extraordinary congress last
Political commentator and University of Zimbabwe lecturer Dr. John Makumbe
laughed hysterically when asked to comment. He described the development as
“the joke of the year that we didn’t expect so soon,” then explained further
that Makoni and Mandaza have no grassroots support whatsoever on the ground.
Regarding suggestions that this may be a ploy by Mugabe to split the vote,
the outspoken Professor said this would be unwise, because the votes that
would be split would be those of the ruling party and not the opposition.
Makumbe warned that the whole story may turn out to be fictitious and a
creation of the Central Intelligence Organisation, intended to distract the
public and confuse voters. The idea may also be to present Mugabe as facing
real challengers, in order to legitimize the elections if the MDC does not
participate. As it stands both formations of the MDC have said that they
will not take part in the polls unless Robert Mugabe implements the changes
agreed to at the SADC mediated talks in South Africa.
The first week of March is only 7 weeks away and civil groups in the country
insist there is not enough time to hold free and fair elections in such a
short time. Makumbe said this is partly why the formation of a new party at
this stage suggests that it is a joke. “They don’t even have enough time to
print T-shirts,” he said.
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
African Press Organisation
11 janvier 2008
Relentless rain continues to cause severe flooding in many areas of
northeastern of Zimbabwe, leaving severe destruction and affecting at least
In Chipinge district on the Mozambican border, IOM teams continue to assess
and register flood- affected families to ensure they receive much needed
assistance in the form of mosquito nets, tarpaulins, blankets, water
purifying tablets and Information, Education and Communication (IEC)
materials on cholera, diarrhea, malaria and HIV/AIDS. Over the past week,
more than 800 vulnerable households have received assistance.
Many crops have been washed away and households who have been dependent on
monthly food aid from the World Food Programme have seen their food stocks
destroyed and are now depending on other households in the communities who
managed to salvage their own stocks.
In the low-lying Zambezi Valley district of Muzarabani, where IOM has been
providing aqua tabs, tarpaulins, blankets and mosquito nets as well as IEC
materials to flood affected households, the situation seems to have improved
with no further emergency interventions planned at this stage.
In the district of Gutu, in Masvingo province, IOM teams have found that
crops and granaries have been severely affected by flood waters. Some
families who have lost their home and belongings have been forced into
makeshift shelters whilst waiting for waters to subside.
In Harare, the communities of Epworth and Caledonia are particularly
affected by the rains with the collapse of building structures and a break
down of sanitary infrastructures. In Caledonia alone, 219 households were
destroyed and shallow wells are now overflowing. To address the health
concerns of flood affected communities, IOM has dispatched a mobile health
clinic and continues its distribution of aqua tabs, mosquito nets, plastic
sheeting and tarpaulins.
By Blessing Zulu
11 January 2008
Zimbabwe's deepening economic crisis has limited the government’s ability to
provide clean water to its citizens, not only causing inconvenience and
frustration as daily life becomes unmanageable but also raising the specter
of deadly epidemics.
Multiple districts of Harare, the capital, have recently seen outbreaks of
diarrheal disease, leading health activists to warn of the danger cholera
may be next.
Continuing deterioration of an aging infrastructure inherited from colonial
Rhodesia, combined with shortages of water treatment chemicals due to acute
shortages of hard currency, have reduced the output of, or even shut down,
municipal water systems.
The state-controlled Herald newspaper reported this week that the Harare
suburb of Hatcliffe has been six months without water owing to power outages
and technical problems. Similar situations have been reported in Mabvuku and
Tafara, and water is also in short supply in Bulawayo and Gweru, to mention
just two towns affected.
Ironically, water shortages have become more severe just as parts of the
country have been inundated following torrential rains, causing deaths in
Muzarabani in the north and Masvingo in the southeast, threatening disease
in those areas too.
To examine the crisis and look into what can be done, reporter Blessing Zulu
of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe spoke with two U.S.-based experts: Davison
Saungweme and Godfree Mlambo, Zimbabweans working at Johns Hopkins
University in Baltimore.
Both completed doctoral studies at Blair Research Institute in Harare, and
continue to examine how to help communities avoid water-borne diseases.
Mlambo said Zimbabweans are at high risk of water-borne diseases, and
Saungweme said the crisis could compromise the health of those living with
The Herald (Harare) Published by the government of Zimbabwe
11 January 2008
Posted to the web 11 January 2008
SOME residents of Hatcliffe suburb have gone for six months without water
owing to the frequent power outages and technical problems affecting the
city water distribution system.
As a result residents are being forced to buy drinking water from
institutions with boreholes or running taps such as the Hatcliffe Primary
and Hatcliffe Secondary Schools, Arda Ninjo and Hatcliffe Agricultural
Mechanisation and Engineering College.
A 20-litre bucket of water costs between $100 000 and $250 000 depending on
Zinwa Harare distribution manager Engineer Hosiah Chisango said the
authority was aware of the Hatcliffe problem, which he said, was a result of
the expansion of suburb.
"The problem of Hatcliffe is a bit complicated as it stems from two things;
the location of the suburb and fact that the residential area has outgrown
The reservoir was designed for a smaller population but the expansion of the
area has not been matched by infrastructural development.
"In the past we used to pump water to fill Hatcliffe reservoir once every
four days but presently we have to continuously pump water there. Any
disturbance in the pumping system has an adverse effect on the availability
of water in the suburb. "Even when there is water in the tank some areas
will not get water because the pressure in reservoir can not supply all
sections," he said.
by Thenjiwe Mabhena Saturday 12 January 2008
HARARE – The United States (US) and British governments have warned
their citizens against traveling to Zimbabwe, citing an “increased potential
for political violence” in the southern African country that holds key
presidential and parliamentary elections in March.
The US cautioned Americans traveling to Zimbabwe to avoid opposition
political meetings or demonstrations that have been attacked by state agents
in the past and often resulting in injury to opposition supporters and
In a separate warning, London said a critical shortage of basic
medicines and trained medical staff meant hospitals were often unable to
provide basic care and treatment to the sick or those injured in political
“As campaigning and preparations for 2008 presidential elections take
place, there is an increased potential for political violence, particularly
at large rallies or demonstrations,” the US government said in the travel
warning seen by ZimOnline on Friday.
“Government security forces have attacked peaceful demonstrations
protesting political repression and a deteriorating economic situation. US
citizens are strongly urged to avoid all political rallies and
demonstrations, or large gatherings of any kind anywhere in Zimbabwe,”
Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “There is a shortage
of drugs and trained medical staff in hospitals, making it difficult for
hospitals to treat certain illnesses including accidents and trauma cases.
State hospitals are particularly badly affected and are often unable to
provide basic treatment.”
Zimbabwe’s Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi was not immediately
available for comment on the matter.
Harare has in the past dismissed such warnings about lack of safety
and security in Zimbabwe as false and part of a wider campaign by Western
governments to tarnish the image of President Robert Mugabe and his ruling
ZANU PF party.
Political violence and human rights abuses, especially during
elections, have become routine in Zimbabwe since the 1999 emergence of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party as a major threat to
Mugabe and ZANU PF’s decades-long hold on power.
The MDC and local human rights groups say violence has continued
despite talks between the opposition party and ZANU PF brokered by South
African President Thabo Mbeki and aimed at ensuring free and fair polls. -
by Thenjiwe Mabhena Saturday 12 January 2008
HARARE – The Zimbabwean government says it wants to put 40 000
hectares of land under jatropha production in an attempt to boost production
of bio-diesel and end the country’s eight-year fuel crisis.
In a statement to farmers earlier this week, the state-owned National
Oil Company of Zimbabwe (NOCZIM), said it wanted farmers to sign up for the
growing of the jatropha tree in the current agricultural season.
“The aim is to produce bio-diesel to substitute 10 percent of our
national diesel requirements. To this end 40 000 hectares of jatropha has to
be established this year and further on for the next three years,” said
NOCZIM said only farmers with a minimum of five hectares would be
allowed to participate in the ambitious project that President Robert Mugabe’s
government has touted as the key to ending Zimbabwe’s fuel crisis.
Mugabe last year commissioned the country’s first bio-diesel
production plant in Harare saying that the project would ensure that
Zimbabwe reduces its dependence on petrol and diesel.
At present, the southern African country needs US$300 million to
import fuel per month. The Zimbabwe government says the new bio-diesel plant
will produce 100 million litres of diesel per annum.
Zimbabwe, in its eighth straight year of unprecedented economic
recession, has battled severe fuel shortages that have seen motorists
queuing for hours on end because it does not have hard cash to pay for fuel
imports. - ZimOnline
11 January 2008
Christmas came, as inevitably as birth and death, before giving way to the
new year which is bound to be with us – for better or for worse – until
For most Zimbabweans, 2007 had the 365 days in their lives that they would
love to forget. Even Christmas was spent in the most miserable circumstances
Apart from the food shortages, there was an unusual, if not outlandish,
scarcity: of money. As I write this, at 7pm, there is a long queue outside a
commercial bank a few metres from my office. There is an ATM operating and
optimistic depositors will stand in the queue for as long as there is a
promise of cash being available.
For weeks, Zimbabweans have spent hours outside and inside banks, waiting
for their money to be dished out to them by banks beholden to the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe, the country’s monetary custodian, whose monumental
blunders have led to calls for the resignation of the governor, Gideon Gono.
But there is more to the crisis than just the cash shortage. Corruption, the
inevitable and ugly appendage of a country whose government is lackadaisical
in looking after its economy, has scaled new heights.
A few days after January 1, I was asked to arbitrate a bizarre incident in a
lavatory. I had gone to the public toilet along Jason Moyo Avenue, after
another fruitless visit to my bank in search of you-know-what.
The charges had gone up to 200 000 for the most elementary use of the
facility. A man in a threadbare T-shirt told the attendant he could only
afford 100 000 for a “weewee”. The attendant was adamant: it was 200 000 –
or nothing doing. The customer proposed boldly that the attendant need not
give him a receipt. He could just “put it aside”.
The attendant was flabbergasted: was this a bribe? Yes, the customer said
brazenly. Then I was dragged into the tableau. “Do you know who this man
is?” asked the attendant, pointing to me. “He could be from the
anti-corruption squad or the Central Intelligence Organisation…”
I dared not respond. I didn’t want to get involved. But I did offer the
opinion that the customer had made a mistake.
I left hurriedly, unable to shake off the feeling that something nasty was
about to happen.
This was a microcosm of a country in which corruption in high and low places
has become so prevalent you get the feeling that everything, including life
itself, can be bought or sold, if the price is right.
Many people resist an acceptance of this reality. For them, hope truly
For some fortunate Zimbabweans, Christmas was an occasion for lavish
celebrations, courtesy of car loads of goodies brought into the country by
relatives working in South Africa.
There were even more spectacular celebrations for Zimbabweans whose
relatives flew in from the UK for the occasion.
Yet, after all the orgy of eating and drinking ended, the truth returned to
confront them. They would be lucky to return to a life of relative normalcy
after their relatives had returned to their haven across the oceans.
In other African countries, there would be unmistakable signs of unrest. Not
in Zimbabwe, where the people seem to be endowed with a bottomless well of
tolerance for corruption in high places, with a dash of misgovernance thrown
in for good measure.
Perhaps that hope is what sustains their sanity.
One day, as has happened in many other countries, hope will evaporate like
mist. The illusion will be shattered for ever.
a.. Bill Saidi is deputy editor of The Standard in Zimbabwe.
Friday, 11 January 2008 15:30
By Chief Reporter
HARARE - The Zimbabwean government is expected to push through Parliament
next week a controversial bill which critics say is aimed at boosting
President Robert Mugabe’s re-election bid in March.
Parliament reconvenes on Tuesday after a three-week break to consider a
Local Government Laws Amendment Bill which critics say will allow the
83-year-old autocrat to gerrymander constituencies and consolidate his power
in local authorities.
The new Parliamentary session comes as the opposition calls protests across
the country demanding free and fair polls.
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is demanding that
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission be reconstituted to undertake a
transparent and all-inclusive voter registration and delimitation exercise.
“The MDC wants a new constitution before the next election and the date of
the election that allows implementation of comprehensive reforms and
tangible deliverables,” MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said.
Leader of the House Patrick Chinamasa said the government would move to
adopt the Local Government Laws Amendment Bill “without fear or favour” and
would not be deterred by criticism led by former colonial power Britain.
The Local Government Laws Amendment Bill “harmonises” the presidential,
parliamentary, senate and municipal elections. It also contains amendments
recognising the new constitutional responsibility of the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission for dividing council areas into wards. The Amendment Bill also
amends the Rural District Councils Act, the Urban Councils Act and the
Critics say the amendment bill forms the legal framework for the 2008
electoral theft and the disenfranchisement of millions of Zimbabwean voters
in the diaspora.
The Amendment Bill changes the Urban Councils Act, setting the framework for
the abolition of executive mayors and executive committees and a return to
the pre-1996 system of mayors and deputy mayors (chairpersons and deputy
chairpersons for town councils) elected by councillors. Under the changes,
the minister of Local Government will now be empowered to appoint non-voting
councillors to represent special interests.
The changes also legislates for the takeover of city councils by the Local
Government minister through the introduction of “caretakers” to run the
affairs of non-functioning councils, replacing the present system of
The amendments to the Electoral Act merely reflect the abolition of the
institution of executive mayor.
Zimbabwe government officials said the parliamentary session starting on
Tuesday would likely coincide with the signing into law by Mugabe of a
Public Order and Security Amendment Bill as well as amendments to tough
media laws. The security and media laws were fast tracked through Parliament
before the House adjourned in December.
Critics say the amendments are largely cosmetic while Mugabe retains
sweeping powers to clamp down on the opposition as he faces the biggest
electoral challenge since taking power in 1980.
The government says the Local Government Laws Amendment Bill is aimed at
consolidating electoral legislation and has nothing to do with the March
elections in which Mugabe’s main rival will be MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
The MDC leader says that without violence, and in a fair and free political
environment, Mugabe would lose in March.
Parliament is also due to consider an election regulations bill under which
the government proposes to ban local independent monitors from the March
elections and to bar private organisations from voter education.
Friday, 11 January 2008 14:41
HARARE-THE two opposition MDC formations say the Bills on security,
information and elections passed by Parliament in a fast-tracked process
just before Christmas last year, should to be enacted as soon as possible
in terms of an agreement reached in the ongoing talks between them and the
ruling Zanu PF party. The House of Assembly and the Senate passed the
Public Order and Security Amendment Bill (POSA), Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Bill (AIPPA), Broadcasting Services Amendment Bill
(BSA) and the Electoral Laws Amendment Bills on December 18 last year
following agreements reached in the ongoing Southern African Development
Community (SADC) initiated talks under South African president Thabo Mbeki.
MDC negotiators in the talks – Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube of the Morgan
Tsvangirai and Authur Mutambara formations respectively-said in separate
interviews this week that delays in enacting the Bills would render the
The MDC negotiators were responding to enquiries on the implications of a
possible delay in the enactment of the proposed laws since President Robert
Mugabe who should assent to them, is on his annual leave in the Far East.
They said the rationale behind the fast-tracking of the four Bills, was to
ensure that they would enacted into law within the first two weeks of this
year so that political could benefit form the non restrictive provisions in
the principal Acts which reduced democratic space.
Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa concurred that the Bills should be
enacted " as soon as possible as they are crucial in paving the way for the
harmonized elections in March."
Chinamasa said if President Mugabe had gone on leave without signing the
Bills, the acting president would do so and we was hopeful that they would
be enacted within the agreed time frame.
He referred further questions to the Office of the President and Cabinet
where acting secretary Ray Ndhlukula said he needed to check his cabinet
He however could not be reached on his office and mobile phone at the tie of
going to press.
Ncube said if the Bills were not enacted within the agreed time frame, they
would "definitely convene an urgent meeting to chart the way forward."
In an interview with CAJ News, Prof. Ncube said parties expect the Bills to
be promulgated on Friday (today)..
"When we fast tracked those Bills before Christmas, it was on the
understanding that they would be enacted into law within the first two weeks
of this year. Under normal circumstances, the President can assent to Bills
within a given time frame but these were unique.
" We expect them to be enacted today (Friday). However, if they are not
promulgated, then we will urgently meet to discuss that issue," said Prof.
Biti concurred with Ncube, adding that delays enacting would "the whole
purpose of the talks."
The amendments to the four pieces of legislation are aimed at expanding
democratic space through removal of what was considered restrictive
provisions in the principal Acts.
Amendments to the POSA are expected to usher in fairer balance between the
exercise of citizens' constitutional rights to freely associate and assemble
with each other both publicly and privately, and the State's duty to protect
and promote public safety, security and the lives and freedoms of those who
may be adversely affected by public gatherings.
The opposition has complained that the Police was abusing its authority on
sanctioning public gatherings under the principal Act as they always turned
down their applications.
Under the principal Act, parties intending to hold rallies are required to
apply to the regulating authority who is the officer commanding a police
The regulating authority can turn down the application on some grounds and
the applicants are expected to appeal to the Minister of Home Affairs.
However, under the amended provisions, parties are only required to inform
the nearest police station .
There is also provision for negotiation with the police should there be any
reason for turning down an application, as well as subsequent recourse to
the courts instead of the responsible minister.
The notification period is also reduced under the amendments, while the
definition of public gathering, now refers to more than 15 people.
The new provisions have been hailed by the opposition as " a major
improvement in expanding democratic space" which is ideal for the
pre-election campaign period.
The amendments to the BSA and AIPPA are meant to clarify and improve
provisions in the principal Acts by ensuring efficient use and access to
public broadcasting services by all political parties, free operation of
media houses and journalists, among other provisions which both ruling and
opposition party legislators hailed as welcome developments.
Amendments to the Electoral Laws are meant to give effect to provisions in
the Constitutional Amendment No 18 on the harmonization of elections,
reconstitution and functions of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission-CAJ News.
Friday, 11 January 2008 14:48
ZVISHAVANE--COMMUNAL farmers in Zvishavane and Mberengwa districts in
Midlands Province are losing hundreds of their cattle to tick borne diseases
because of a shortage of dipping chemicals that has hit the country.
Communal farmers who spoke to CAJ News on Thursday in Mazvihwa communal
lands of Zvishavane, said they have so far lost 800 cattle as a result of
The subsistence farmers claim that they are losing hundreds of their cattle
on weekly basis as dip tanks have not been operating for more than three
"We last took our cattle to dip tanks three months ago. The veterinary
officers said there are no dipping chemicals and we are losing our beasts
daily to diseases", said Shinda Mapara a Mazvihwa based communal farmer.
An Agriculture Research and Extension Services (AREX) Officer, Lot
Macheza, based in Mberengwa district, said the government should address
the shortage of dipping chemicals as farmers in the district are loosing
hundreds of beasts and this is affecting the current ploughing seasons.
Contacted for comment ,Veterinary Service Department Director, Stuart
Hargreaves, said there have been shortages of dipping chemicals in the past
months due to shortages of foreign currency to import chemicals.
"We have put our request for foreign currency to Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
and we are waiting for an allocation, " he said.
Friday, 11 January 2008 14:21
BY TRUST MATSILELE
Leading civic groups in South Africa and Zimbabwe have lashed out at
pathetic salaries given to civil servants saying it was tantamount to an
insult and gross violation of people’s rights and importance.
The Zimbabwe Exiles Forum, Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum, Cosatu, Diaspora
Forum, Action for Conflict Transformation and National Constitutional
Assembly were in agreement that life for a general Zimbabwean was now
unbearable requiring an urgent intervention from regional and international
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Zimbabwean, Constitutional and
Human Rights Lawyer Dr Lovemore Madhuku said the treatment Zimbabweans were
receiving in remuneration could not be tolerated anywhere in the world.
“Even the highest paid teacher ends up living below the poverty datum line
with the reported 1000 per cent increment, it is an extreme provocation
which can not be stomached in this century.
“We believe the government of this country is failing to constitutionally
respects its citizens as even what they are paid can hardly make them
complete human beings,” said Madhuku.
Commenting on the same issue Zimbabwean economists based in South Africa
said Zimbabweans had been reduced to a state less than that of human beings
hence reducing them to a laughing stock.
According to recent reports the poverty datum line in the country had shot
up to a staggering Z$100-million, by last Thursday and expected to raise as
the country continue to expressing fiscal indiscipline.Meanwhile Central
Statistics Office has deliberately ignored releasing inflation figures as to
avoid embarrassment due to their failure to arrest the runaway inflation.
The poverty line has plummeted by over 900 per cent and this only show that
the crisis in the country is far from being solved especially considering
that the President Mugabe is prepared yet again to secure victory through
…not to Zimbabwe (that’s wishful thinking); to their jobs outside Zimbabwe.
Friends of mine recently came back from a Christmas break with their family
in Botswana. The border between Zimbabwe and Botswana was heaving. They said
the queue of people leaving the country stretched at least 3 km from the
border, winding own the road and far into ‘no man’s land’ between the two
These are obviously Zimbabweans returning to their jobs outside the country
after coming home to visit friends and family during the Christmas break.
It reminded me of my own trip through the border last Christmas. We reached
the Botswana border on our home journey and found ourselves tucked into a
queue that would last hours and hours. Too weary to wait we turned back, and
risked travelling all the way to a second border post, less used, thinking
that it would be quicker than waiting in the queue. It was a risky choice
because the crossing here involved driving across a river bed, and cars
regularly get stuck in the sand. In wet weather the river rises fast and we
have on at least one occasion been forced to turn back and spend another
forex-chomping night in Botswana before facing the same horrendous queue
into Plumtree anyway.
Last year the choice paid off. We crossed, and found ourselves the only
people on the Zimbabwe side. The border post here consists of two small
wooden huts - like large sheds - right on the river bank and shaded by big
leafy trees. I love the quaintness of it, reminding me of border crossings
into Zambia as a child. No sprawling ugly concrete buildings with impersonal
cubicles for sour-faced rubber-stamping officials. Just a small hut and a
few trees that feel friendly and welcoming.
The immigration official last year was very friendly and stamped my passport
with a smile - maybe because I was the last entry into the country for the
Encouraged by his friendliness, I asked him if I could take a photo of the
border post to send to friends overseas. He immediately became reserved and
said no, it wasn’t allowed. I of course said I respected that so wouldn’t
but thought it fairer to ask since this was a government building.
I was waiting outside while the rest of my party cleared customs. The
immigration guy had closed his office and had ventured outside to enjoy a
Castle lager under the trees on the river bank. He called me over and
whispered why he wouldn’t let me take a photo:
“See that guy there”, he said, indicating a man sitting on a stool a few
feet from the huts, “He could cause you trouble; you don’t know how things
are in this country these days. Be careful”.
The guy he pointed out was wearing all black and I spotted an unholstered
handgun tucked into the waistband of his trousers. He was doing nothing
except sitting on a stool watching the huts, a picture of calculated
gangster-style coolness. The immigration official went on to tell me that
the guy in black was not customs or immigration, but something else, he wasn’t
sure - CIO, army, or greenbomber…? He looked scary to me, scary enough that
I decided not to encourage any more conversation on the topic in case the
very friendly immigration official was actually CIO trying to lure me into a
conversation that would end up with me in jail.
So we talked about the border post itself, the weather, his other jobs in
different places, and we talked about the number of people who crossed from
Botswana into Zimbabwe at this small isolated post.
He told me then that if I drove further inland to the rural villages at
Christmas time I would see lots of cars parked outside village huts with
Botswana and South African number plates, some of them large fancy cars.
These belonged to Zimbabweans, he said, who work outside the country and
cross back and forth regularly to do their jobs, bringing food and money
home for relatives here. Christmas, he said, is the time that the biggest
number return. So the sleepy border post is not as inactive as it might
appear, and the creepy guy on the stool actually had more to observe than
just two small huts and a guy having a beer under the tree.
It’s quite strange to think of the double lives so many people in our
country lead, lives straddling countries and cultures with the terrible
loneliness of working far from families. The scale of it, described to me
last year by the immigration official and this year by my friends, shows how
‘normal’ it has become, a large number of our population sliding into a
weary acceptance of what is simply an unacceptable and inhumane existence.
These are the millions who keep the country’s economy afloat, bringing back
the critical foreign currency that our economy, so battered by government
incompetence, can’t generate any more.
I wish I had thought to ask my friends whether the cars going back to
Botswana had Zim plates or not? It occurs to me that with the wet weather we’ve
been having this year, that the river at my favourite border post is
probably in flood, making crossings there impossible. Maybe the 3km long
queue included regular local ‘border crossers’ as well as Christmas
visitors; it’s just as likely that the extra long queue reflects the fact
that things are worse, and 2008 has also seen an increase in people
desperate to find living wages outside our border.
This entry was written by Hope on Friday, January 11th, 2008
By Sithandekile Mhlanga and Carole Gombakomba
11 January 2008
Not only Zimbabwe's opposition but senior provincial officials of the ruling
party have suggested that national elections ought to be pushed off beyond
March in spite of the government’s insistence that they must be held at that
Provincial chairpersons of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic
Front of President Robert Mugabe have told party brass that the present
schedule calling for March elections leaves little time to choose candidates
and organize campaigns.
The state-controlled Herald newspaper quotes ZANU-PF Secretary for the
Commissariat Elliot Manyika as acknowledging that provincial party leaders
indicated that they needed more time to mount effective political campaigns.
The opposition says the elections must be postponed until South
African-mediated crisis talks are completed and the resulting accords have
ZANU-PF Deputy Commissar Richard Ndlovu told reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga
of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the ruling party is geared up for the
elections and will start holding "consensus" primaries beginning January 18.
Despite the concerns expressed by some ZANU-PF officials, they are not
likely to challenge Mr. Mugabe over the election date, political analyst and
University of Zimbabwe Professor John Makumbe told reporter Carole
SW Radio Africa (London)
11 January 2008
Posted to the web 11 January 2008
The recent appointment of Justice Bharat Patel as acting Attorney General,
following the suspension of Sobuza Gula Ndebele, has been described as
Lawyer Tererai Mafukidze told Newsreel the appointment raises serious
concerns about judicial independence and separation of powers in general. He
said the concerns would not arise if Justice Patel had resigned his position
as a judge, but for him to hold the two positions concurrently puts him in a
Mafukidze said a judge is meant to decide disputes between citizens, and
also between citizens and the state. By accepting a role as Acting Attorney
General, Patel has effectively become the principal legal advisor to
government. He said; 'By accepting this appointment, Justice Patel has put
himself in danger of being beholden to the executive. Such control of a
judicial officer contravenes the independence of the judiciary, as enshrined
in the constitution.' As long as Patel holds the two positions he is not
free from political influence the lawyer said.
The substantive Attorney General, Sobuza Gula Ndebele, was suspended
following politically motivated accusations that he secretly met wanted
'fugitive' banker James Mushore and offered him an immunity deal.
Speculation is rife however that Gula-Ndebele is being punished for aligning
himself with a faction of the ruling Zanu PF party, led by retired General
Solomon Mujuru. With Gula Ndebele suspended Mafukidze said the state was
supposed to get the deputy AG to take over. The problem was that Gula
Ndebele did not have a deputy at the time.
The independence of the judiciary has always been a controversial issue in
the country. Several upright judges were victimised out of office while
those who were loyal to the Zanu PF regime were rewarded with farms and
other perks. Court cases involving the opposition have dragged on for an
eternity, leaving little in the way of doubt that many of the judges take
political instructions. Mafukidze was keen to stress that Justice Patel
remained a talented lawyer who has done a good job in all his positions, but
his latest appointment was not about 'suitability' but 'compatibility.'
Government is relying on the fact that people will not know the appointment
is unconstitutional, Mafukidze added.
Namibia Economist (Windhoek)
11 January 2008
Posted to the web 11 January 2008
Zimbabwe, which is facing crippling power shortages, has started exporting
electricity to Namibia under a US$50 million power purchase deal struck by
the two governments last year.
This ironic development was confirmed by NamPower spokesman John Kaimu this
week who said that 40 MW began flowing in from Zimbabwe on 3 January.
"It will give us breathing space and add to the local generation," Kaimu
told the Economist in Windhoek.
He added, "We are going to be importing less from Eskom. In fact, it comes
at a good time when the water level at Ruacana is very low."
Last March, following a state visit to Namibia by Zimbabwe's President
Robert Mugabe, the Namibian power utility NamPower advanced US$40 million to
the country to assist towards the refurbishment of electricity generating
units at its coal fired Hwange Power Station in return for a guaranteed
supply of 150 MW over the next five years.
A further US$10 million was unveiled in December last year.
The rehabilitation involves both the turbine and generator at Unit 3 which
were disassembled for repairs. The other three units will be commissioned in
intervals of three months thereafter with the last unit scheduled for
ast year, Kaimu said a total of 150 MW for a period of five years will have
a significant impact in the supply situation in Namibia.
"Taking the current maximum demand for 449 MW into consideration, the
addition of 150 MW represents more than 30%," Kaimu said at that time.
Ironically, power exports from traditional suppliers of Zimbabwe have been
falling for different reasons.
The news comes head over heels to reports that most parts of Zimbabwe had
been plunged into darkness as the country's power shortages worsen amid
revelations that Mozambique's Hydro Cabora Bassa and Snel of the Democratic
Republic of Congo had cut supplies over the non-payment for supplies by the
country's cash strapped utility, ZESA Holdings.
Eskom of South Africa, which used to export 400 MW at any given time to
Zimbabwe, has since stopped due to "some operational hitches" at its
power-generating plants, Zimbabwe's state-owned Herald newspaper reported
While Zimbabwe requires at least 1500 MW daily, its two major sources of
electricity, Hwange Power Station and Kariba South, are producing an average
of 1,000, which falls short of the country's daily requirements resulting in
countrywide power outrages.
"Zesa is currently struggling to meet rising electricity demand owing to a
variety of factors [such as] coal shortages and hard currency limitations
needed in the importation of at least 35% of the country's total energy
requirements," the Herald quoted an official from the utility as saying.
In December last year, NamPower's Managing Director of NamPower Paulinus
Shilamba said that, despite the on-going blackout that have crippled
Zimbabwe's industry - especially the mining sector - the country was
honour-bound to fulfil the pledges of the power purchase agreement.
"If they (ZESA) can't generate the power to supply us, they still must find
the power elsewhere to fulfil their part," Shilamba said.
From The Star (SA), 11 January
Maputo - The Mozambican government is taking a tougher approach to Zimbabwe
than the Portuguese government did. The government has cut off power to its
neighbour because it is $10-million (about R69-million) in arrears. This has
left Zimbabwe powerless for all but a few hours a day, when its gets
electricity from its own run-down generators. Until this year, Zimbabwe was
getting most of its electricity from Mozambique's Cahora Bassa Dam
hydroelectric plant, which was majority-owned and therefore controlled by
Portugal, the former colonial power. The dam operating company,
Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), allowed cash-strapped Zimbabwe to run
up a large debt in unpaid electricity charges. But on November 27 the
Mozambique state bought 67% of the dam operating company from Portugal for
$700-million. This brought the Mozambican state's holding in HCB up to 85%.
The Mozambican government borrowed the $700-million from a consortium of
French and Portuguese banks, and has to repay the loan through HCB's sales
of electricity. For this scheme to work, HCB cannot tolerate its clients
running up large debts. According to an HCB source, HCB first flicked the
lights to warn the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) in
mid-December, when it cut the amount of power transmitted to Zimbabwe from
150 to 75 megawatts. When Zesa still did not pay its debt, HCB switched off
the power on December 28. Power was reinstated on December 31 as "a humane
gesture" for the New Year festivities. Despite Zesa's promises, there was
still no payment, and on January 1 the power was disconnected again.
Subsequently Zesa found $7-million, but HCB will not switch the power back
on until the full debt is paid. The HCB source was optimistic that Zesa
would pay the remaining $3-million today.
- On Monday, I wrote an opinion piece (attached below) titled “ Zimbabwe in
2008: What ought to happen versus what will happen”. I distributed the
article to journalist colleagues in Canada , UK , South Africa and the US
through an e-mail list. I am not aware if the article was used in any
However, on Tuesday, an unknown male caller with a good command of all three
official languages of Zimbabwe (English, Ndebele and Shona), left a
threatening message on my home phone.
“Mr. Madawo, Innocent. Um, this is in connection with one of the articles
that you wrote, that you indicate justifies, eh, Gukurahundi.
“Mr. Madawo, you must be very careful about what you write. Uchakuvarira
zvinhu vausingazivi. (you will be hurt for things you don’t know). Uzalimala
(you will be hurt), you hear me!?”
I listened to the message on Wednesday and called Toronto police
immediately. They assured me they would trace the call to its source and
“nip (such mischief) in the bud”.
The caller said my article “justifies” the Gukurahundi atrocities and
therefore, I will be harmed for that, presumably by him or other persons.
The caller’s message indicated violence judging from the chilling tone of
his voice and the fact that he is somebody unknown to me.
Also, considering the killing and torture of colleagues in Zimbabwe last
year, the near fatal shooting of ZimOnline editor, Abel Mutsakani in
Johannesburg and the circulation of lists of marked Zimbabwean journalists;
I am not taking this lightly.
It concerns me that the caller threatened me for no apparent reason because
in my article, I did not mention Gukurahundi nor did I imply in anyway that
it was justified.
In fact, for me justifying Gukurahundi, would be tantamount to betraying
myself and my family.
I did my fair share of sleeping under the bed in Bulawayo when Mugabe’s
former Zanla freedom fighters fought running battles with the late Joshua
Nkomo’s former Zipra combatants during the Entumbane uprising (the precursor
to the Gukurahundi era).
My father was very nearly killed when the Gukurahundi burst into our house
in Magwegwe West Township and fired indiscriminately. There is a bullet hole
in the ceiling of the house, a constant reminder of how close I was to being
orphaned at 11 years.
My late brother was tortured in the Mangwizi area of Zhombe district, in the
Midlands province when Gukurahundi accused him of being a Silambe Over (a
name given to the Zipra dissidents who were known to always demand food from
homesteads saying “silambe over” (we are very hungry). I have female
relatives who were sexually abused by both the Silambe Overs and
As a journalist, some of my best known assignments were to interview people
who saw their families being killed or were ordered to do the killing. I saw
and reported on numerous mass graves of entire families killed by
Gukurahundi. I witnessed human bones being pulled out of old mineshafts and
It would simply be unthinkable of me to “justify” Gukurahundi and if anybody
intends to harm me, at least they should know my background over this issue,
not to accuse me on the basis of misinterpreting my writing.
Friday, 11 January 2008 14:50
HARARE: The National Constitutional Assembly of Zimbabwe has made fresh
warning on South African President Thabo not to mediate on talks with
partiality as that would only serve in prolonging the crisis rather than
Pro-democracy movements in Zimbabwe accuse Mbeki of dancing to the tune of
President Robert Mugabe and his ruling party ZANU PF.The National
Spokesperson of the organisation Madock Chivasa said recently that any
outcome of the talks which would not among others deliver a new people
driven constitution for the people of Zimbabwe would be nothing but a
preserve of ZANU PF hegemony.
“As the NCA we are not going to recognize talks or leadership that will be
delivered after the coming elections as long as the new constitution is not
“The NCA urges President Thabo Mbeki not to dance to the whims of President
Mugabe and give a democratic process a chance. The NCA want to reiterate
that any leader who is elected under a flawed process will not be legitimate
to the people of Zimbabwe,” said Chivasa..
Meanwhile MDC have warned President Mugabe who is accused of stealing the
past three elections that they would boycott elections if a new constitution
is not in place.
According to the Mbeki led talks under SADC mandate the election date was
part of the discussions on those talks but Mugabe has already declared March
as a month for election when no true reforms have been implemented.
Analysts argue that postponing the election date will be one of President
Thabo Mbeki’s mammoth task as he will be tempering on President Mugabe’s
feet and if he fails to do that Mugabe might further worsen the political
crisis affecting the nation.
In the past months the Zimbabwe Election Support Network produced a report
on the progress on election which proved that the country was by far from
even reaching the SADC protocols on elections.