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Prosecutor moves to impeach own witness in Bennett trial

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Violet Gonda
12 January 2010

The terrorism trial of MDC Treasurer General Roy Bennett took a new twist
when it re-opened in the High Court on Tuesday. The State's key witness,
Peter Michael Hitschmann, distanced himself from a statement he made when he
was arrested in 2006 that implicated the MDC official. This resulted in the
State, represented by Attorney General Johannes Tomana, asking the court to
impeach its own witness for making contradicting statements.

Leading the defence team, lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa objected, saying the way
the State presented its evidence was un-procedural and that in the first
instance Hitschmann's statement was obtained "under traumatic and
†unfriendly" circumstances when he was in the custody of the army, at Adams
Barracks in Mutare.

Hitschmann, a former police officer and firearms dealer, has said on record
that he was tortured by military personnel into making a statement
implicating Bennett. But he was still summoned to testify against the MDC
official, even though he had denied conniving with him to destabilise the
former ZANU PF government.

Our correspondent Simon Muchemwa said the firearms dealer denied ownership
of some of the weapons that were used as exhibits by the State in court.
Hitschmann said most of the weapons found in his possession when he was
initially arrested were left by former white commercial farmers who were
leaving the country at short notice (after losing their farms), which he
then passed on to the police armoury. He disowned most of the weapons
presented by the State in court saying they had military serial numbers and
not normal numbers.

Hitschmann was convicted in 2006 for possession of dangerous weapons,
although the court found that he had licences for most of the weapons he
kept. Ironically he was acquitted on the more serious charge of terrorism,
facing Bennett.
The State had also accused Hitschmann of communicating with Bennett via
email about the alleged plot, but he also disowned this.

Our correspondent said: "Hitschmann himself indicated that by the time he
came to know of the emails and the intention of the State to produce the
emails, it was at a police station in Mutare where he was surrounded by
about 30 police officers, CIOs and army personnel and they were forcing him
to own up to some of the emails that were purportedly taken from his
†laptop."
"He also indicated that he could not even say the laptop in court today was
his, because he only could tell after it had been switched on, but the State
refused to switch it on," added Muchemwa.
High Court Judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu deferred his ruling on the
impeachment to Wednesday.
The State's case has always hinged on Hitschmann's statement and some legal
experts say if Hitschmann is impeached it would mean his evidence is
discredited and will be seen as hostile to the State, while favouring the
defence.
Rights lawyer Alec Muchadehama believes the State's case is 'crumbling like
a deck of cards'.
Some observers say that in a situation like this, whether Hitschmann is
impeached or not, the State case is discredited and in a fair trial Bennett
should go free, but as we know in Zimbabwe nothing is ever that
straightforward.
The MDC say ZANU PF has been on a relentless campaign to get rid of Bennett,
who Robert Mugabe still refuses to swear in as the Deputy Minister of
Agriculture. It remains to be seen what game the State decides to play now.


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Zimbabwe witness U-turn boosts Roy Bennett defence

http://news.bbc.co.uk
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
Roy Bennett (file image)
The MDC says Roy Bennett's trial is politically motivated

A key prosecution witness in the trial of Zimbabwean politician Roy Bennett has rebutted much of the state's case.

Prosecutors say Peter Hitschmann stashed weapons for Mr Bennett, an ally of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who they accuse of a terrorist plot.

But Hitschmann disowned most of the weapons in court, denied ever meeting Mr Bennett and accused the police of concocting a conspiracy.

The trial has threatened to rip apart Zimbabwe's unity government.

Mr Bennett, treasurer for Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), denies all the charges against him, which include terrorism, insurgency, sabotage, banditry and a plot to kill President Robert Mugabe.

'Unfavourable' witness

Attorney General Johannes Tomana now wants to impeach Hitschmann.

During Tuesday's session, Hitschmann, a convicted arms dealer, was asked to identify an array of weapons that the prosecution argued had been stashed for Mr Bennett.

ROY BENNETT
2000: Elected MP
2004: Jailed after pushing minister in parliament
2006: Accused of plot to kill President Mugabe
2006: Fled to South Africa
2009: Nominated as deputy agriculture minister; arrested

But he disowned many of them, including six submachine guns and some tear-gas canisters.

Hischmman, who has already said he implicated Mr Bennett only after being tortured, also denied correspondence that the state said showed he had been in contact with Mr Bennett.

AFP news agency reported that Mr Tomana then asked for his witness to be impeached.

"He is not to be accepted as a favourable witness," the agency quoted him as saying.

"The docket I have clearly shows a departure of statement he made to the police."

Mr Tomana says Mr Bennett was involved in a bid to topple President Robert Mugabe's government between 2002 and 2006.

Mr Bennett was held in February last year on charges of possessing illegal weapons.

Mr Bennett's lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa has told the court the case was political persecution.

Mr Bennett had been due to be sworn in as deputy agriculture minister when he was arrested.

President Robert Mugabe has refused to swear him in while the case is ongoing.



Farming family attacked in Rusape

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Alex Bell
12 January 2010

A farming family in Rusape was physically attacked by land invaders on
Tuesday, as tensions continue to mount in the beleaguered farming community.

It's understood that farmer Koos Smit and his family have come under
increasing intimidation to vacate their property, which is one of many that
have been earmarked for forced takeover in the area. According to the
Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) the family was ambushed on Tuesday and
beaten.

CFU president Deon Theron could not confirm if the women in the family were
also beaten, but he said that the two Smit sons were apparently tied to
trees and severely beaten by the land thugs.

The CFU is still trying to confirm the nationality of the family, but
initial reports suggest the Smits are another South African family, meant to
be protected by an investment agreement.

We will have more details on Wednesday.



More farmers in Rusape handed eviction notices

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Alex Bell
12 January 2010

At least five more farmers in Rusape have been handed notices to leave their
properties, as the drive to remove the country's remaining white commercial
farmers continues to intensify.

South African Antoinette Grobler from Geluk farm in the Nyazura district is
just one of the farmers who have been told by Lands Ministry officials that
their properties have been earmarked for takeover. If evicted, the Groblers
will become the latest in a string of South African farming families to be
forced off their properties in recent weeks.

Just last week, another South African family, meant to be protected by both
regional law and a bilateral investment protection agreement, were forced to
flee their farm in Rusape. Dolf du Toit and his family left the property
after more than a week of violence and intimidation. They became the third
farming family in the area to be forced off their land in the same number of
weeks. The Du Toits have since been staying with the Groblers, and the
families have expressed fears that they will have nowhere left to go if the
evictions are carried out.

South African civil rights initiative AfriForum is now trying to force its
government to protect its citizens who are facing harassment and possible
eviction by land invaders in Zimbabwe. The group is set to launch an urgent
bid at the North Gauteng Supreme Court on Wednesday to cite the Zimbabwean
government as a respondent in the case, in an attempt to enforce a regional
ruling in 2008 that the land 'reform' exercise was unlawful. The ruling was
handed down by the human rights court of the Southern African Development
Community (SADC), which also ordered the Mugabe government to ensure the
protection of farmers and their rights to their land.

But the ruling has been openly flouted and land invasions, taking place
under the guise of so called land 'reform', have intensified this year,
including violent invasions against South African farmers who were involved
in the case. AfriForum's CEO Kallie Kriel explained that the group is trying
to get that ruling registered and enforced in South Africa, in order to use
it against Zimbabwe, from within South Africa.

"We want South Africa as a member state of SADC to recognise SADC's binding
ruling," said Spies. "This is just the first small step in the legal
process, but basically we want to eventually hold Zimbabwe to account to how
they've treated South African citizens."

Last November, AfriForum went to court to try prevent the signing of an
investment pact between South Africa and Zimbabwe, as it was feared that the
agreement would fail the South African farmers who are victims of Zimbabwe's
unlawful land 'reform' programme. In it's defence the South African
government stated it would uphold the SADC Tribunal's 2008 ruling on the
land grab campaign, and therefore protect its citizens in Zimbabwe. As a
result the investment pact was eventually signed, but South African farmers
have continued to come under attack regardless.

The civil rights initiative late last year tried to force its government to
intervene to protect the lives and property of South African farmer, Ray
Finaugty and his family in Zimbabwe. Finaugty and family were forced to flee
their home in Rusape, on Christmas Eve, after days of violence and
harassment by land invaders.

"AfriForum has already requested the South African government formally to
use its newly obtained bargaining power with the investment agreement to
protect South Africans in Zimbabwe," Kriel explained. "But the South African
government has indicated that (the agreement) first has to be ratified by
the Zimbabwean Parliament before this can happen."



Zanu-PF politburo member faces arrest

http://www.thezimbabwetimes.com/?p=26435

January 12, 2010

BULAWAYO - A warrant of arrest has been issued against Zanu-PF politburo
member, Joshua Malinga, after he failed to appear in court last week.
Malinga was scheduled to go on trial on Friday at the Bulawayo magistrates'
courts in a case in which he faces charges of undermining police authority.

He was found to have defaulted after magistrate Sithembiso Nyoni called his
name three times in court to no avail. She immediately issued a warrant for
his arrest.

When The Zimbabwe Times contacted Malinga's lawyer Job Sibanda of Sibanda
and Associates Tuesday on his client's failure to attend court, he said
Malinga who is a former Mayor of Bulawayo Mayor was in Harare where he was
attending a constitutional select committee training workshop.

"My client failed to attend court since he is in Harare where is attending a
training workshop on the constitution-making process. I have already advised
the state prosecutors about that, although they refused to cancel the
warrant of arrest," said Sibanda.

Allegations against Malinga are that on February 11 last year, at around 10
am, Constable Raphael Somerayi was on duty manning the reception at the High
Court in Bulawayo. He was dressed in police uniform.

Malinga parked his vehicle at the corner of 8th Avenue and Herbert Chitepo
Street with its tail allegedly encroaching onto the road thereby blocking
other traffic. Malinga is wheel-chair bound.

Somerayi approached Malinga and addressed him in Shona requesting him to
park properly. The State alleges that Malinga responded by insulting the
complainant in English saying, "You are stupid, idiot officer speaking Shona
in Matabeleland".

The police officer requested to see his drivers' licence but Malinga
allegedly refused to comply saying there was no law that forces him to carry
the document on his person.

Malinga allegedly threatened to put the police officer in "hot soup" for
interrupting him.

The officer requested Malinga to accompany him to Tredgold Building to see
his superiors if he was offended by his use of the Shona language.

At the Tredgold Building's Court section, Assistant Inspector Tendekayi
Murehwa, who is also a public prosecutor, attended to Somerayi and Malinga.

The State alleges that Malinga continued to use foul language and again
said, "He is a stupid, idiot police officer who speaks Shona in
Matabeleland."

Malinga's application for referral of his case to the Supreme Court was
dismissed in September last year and the trial has been postponed on
numerous occasions.



Another MDC pull-out looms

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

Written by CAJ News
Tuesday, 12 January 2010 16:14
JOHANNESBURG- ZIMBABWE'S unity government faces serious hurdles following
fresh farm invasions, minister of Information and Communication Technology,
Nelson Chamisa† told CAJ News Agency on Tuesday.
Chamisa, who is also the spokesman for Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
warned that any further farm invasions by Zanu (PF) would result in the
opposition party considering withdrawing from the inclusive government. But
President Robert Mugabe's spokesman, George Charamba, vehemently dismissed
claims that there were farm invasions in Zimbabwe arguing that the process
is called "farm repossession."
"Who is invading what in Zimbabwe? We are repossessing our land. We are
acquiring the land in terms of the Zimbabwean law. "We have a few white
racists who are resisting this new land reform† program. As government, we
will go ahead taking what is rightfully ours," said Charamba.
However, Chamisa insisted that MDC would not be part of any unity government
that is undermining the rule of law and democracy. "The latest farm
invasions have taken us by surprise, and we condemn them in strongest terms.
"If Zanu PF does not halt these fresh farm invasions targeting white
farmers, then we will be forced to 'think otherwise'," said Chamisa.
He said the fresh farm invasions were undermining frantic efforts by the
inclusive goverment to try and lure foreign investment, restore the rule of
law and revive the agricultural sector.
"How can you attract foreign investors when you are on the other hand
attacking foreign owned properties? "These fresh farm invasions are taking
us back. They (farm invasions) are threatening the existence of the Global
Political Agreement (GPA)," said Chamisa.
Already commercial farmers such as Michael Campbell and Louis Fick have been
victims of the fresh farms' invasions in Zimbabwe. The new wave of farm
invasions targeting whites comes at a time another white, Roy Bennett of
MDC, who is deputy agriculture minister designate is facing serious charges
of terrorism and possessing weapons to cause banditry in the country.
Zimbabwe High Court Judge, Justice Rita Makarau, on Monday said she expected
the power sharing government to uphold the rule of law and respect human
rights.


AN shortage hits farmers hard .. yields will be affected say experts

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

Written by Paul Ndlovu
Tuesday, 12 January 2010 06:48
HARARE - Farmers countrywide have been hit by a shortage of Ammonium Nitrate
Fertiliser, a development that is likely to affect their yield.
The fertiliser is used by farmers as first and second top dressing to the
maize crop that has reached knee level. A Zimbabwe Farmers Union senior
official, Berean Mukwende, said the fertilizer needed by farmers for top
dressing was in short supply country-wide. "January is normally
characterized by dry spells which is normal in the farming calendar. The
crops that were at temporary wilting stage managed to recover but the
challenge that farmers are faced with is the shortage of Ammonium Nitrate,"
he said. The Provincial AREX Officer for Bulawayo, Abraham Nyoni, confirmed
the shortage. He said farmers who would be most affected by the shortage of
Ammonium Nitrate were those who did not apply Compound d or manure while
planting.
"The crops will eventually turn yellow because of the absence of nitrogen in
the soil," he added. "Most parts of the region managed to get rains last
week, with isolated places where crops wilted and in some cases farmers were
forced to replant crops like groundnuts, maize, rapoko and millet," added
Nyoni. Meanwhile, the District Development Fund (DDF) has embarked on a
massive land tillage exercise in Matabeleland North meant to help
disadvantaged communities with farming preparations.
The Provincial planning officer, Moment Malandu, said the exercise-targeted
communities in Umguza, Bubi and Tsholotsho. "We would have been happy to
have started earlier but we faced a number of problems by then, but
nonetheless we are satisfied that it is in progress," he said.


Power struggle threatens split in war veterans’ body

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tichaona Sibanda
12 January 2010

The fight to control the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans
Association intensified this week, with a rival faction calling for fresh
elections for leadership positions.

The current power struggle pits the old executive, led by Jabulani Sibanda
and Joseph Chinotimba, which is aligned to ZANU PF strongman Emmerson
Mnangagwa, to a faction with strong links to retired army general, Solomon
Mujuru.

Retired Colonel Basten Beta, a Mujuru ally is leading a group that is
threatening to hold a congress in Chinhoyi this weekend. Other members of
his group include former war veterans’ secretary-general Endy Mhlanga,
Douglas Mahiya and Moffat Marashwa, who are all vying for top posts in the
war veterans’ body.

The current fight to control the war vets body first erupted in early
December last year when the Beta faction called for a congress in Chinhoyi
to elect a new leadership. But the commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces,
General Constantine Chiwenga, stepped in and ordered the faction to cancel
the meeting saying it fell too close to the ZANU PF congress, which was held
in the second week of December.

Concerned of the ‘domino effect’ the war vets congress would have on the
main party congress, Chiwenga summoned both factions to Defence House, the
headquarters of the defence forces in central Harare. He reportedly ordered
them to put their fight on hold and allow the ZANU PF congress to go ahead
without ‘any problems.’ The last congress for the war veterans’ body was
held in 2002. According to its constitution, a new executive was supposed to
be elected in 2005.

Sox Chikohwero, a war veteran who joined the MDC at its inception in 1999,
told us there is no doubt that during the ‘cooling off’ period the Beta
faction were sharpening their knives ready to pounce against the Sibanda led
executive. The ZANLA and ZIPRA guerrillas are considered an integral cog of
ZANU PF’s survival machine which is used at times to intimidate, beat,
murder and rape opponents of the party.

‘While I support the call to have elections in the war vets body, I disagree
with Beta’s views that Sibanda has failed to represent the war veterans
welfare and allowed the ex-freedom fighters to be abused by politicians
during the chaotic 2000 land reform programme which the majority of them did
not benefit. This has been a decade. Where was Beta and his colleagues in
the last 10 years to bring up such issues now,’ Chikohwero said.
Beta on Monday controversially said the war veterans were entitled to a 20
percent share of any resource in the country, because of their liberation
credentials. He told Radio VOP that they should get a 20 percent share of
land allocations under the land ‘reform’ programme, 20% of residential
stands allocations in all towns and cities, plus 20% of all natural
resources and anything to do with mines.
He said it was time for real war veterans to stand up and reclaim their
legacy and he warned that the body had been infiltrated by people who did
not go to war. In an apparent reference to Chinotimba and his legion of
youthful ‘war veteran’ supporters Beta said; ‘We have been infiltrated by
bogus people, some as young as 22 years. A war veteran is a disciplined, old
person not these 16 years old boys and girls who went around the country in
2008 killing and raping people. If you see a person beating up people then
that person is not a war veteran.’
Chikohwero countered; ‘I hope Beta can stand up and say the exact words in
front of Mugabe and the military junta. If they had known of the
infiltrations why didn’t they say so then? I think this is just
grandstanding, if it comes to crunch time Mugabe can use the former
guerillas as and when he likes without anyone objecting.’



Fort Hare University slammed for giving in to ZANU PF

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Lance Guma
13 January 2009

Over 12 students who had their government scholarships withdrawn by ZANU PF
officials have slammed Fort Hare University in South Africa for allowing
them to be victimized. ZANU PF's Manicaland Governor, Christopher Mushowe,
the director of the Presidential Scholarship Fund (which is meant to help
disadvantaged student's) wrote to the university last year informing them
that government had withdrawn the scholarships. He accused the students of
engaging in political activity on campus and denigrating their 'sponsor'
Mugabe. The scheme is of course funded by taxpayer's money and not Mugabe's.

On Tuesday Newsreel spoke to one of the affected student's, Tapiwa Shumba,
who confirmed that they were being denied their exam results over the
'outstanding' fees. Even those who have finished and are meant to graduate
this year will not be able to do so until the money is paid. The
registration process for this year begins on Monday and those affected will
not be able to continue with their studies. The students have since rallied
around and formed the Zimbabwe International Students Union (ZISU) in which
Shumba is now the Secretary General.

Shumba explained that the Scholarship Fund and university entered into a
binding contract which allowed the students to learn. The fees are paid at
the end of the year, after invoices are produced and sent to the Fund. So
effectively the scholarship fund is refusing to pay for a years worth of
learning, even though they had a contract with the university to do so. The
university also advanced allowances to the students in the course of the
year on the back of the agreement, and this means the Fund stills owes them.

Fort Hare University Vice Chancellor, Tom Mvuyo, has remained unmoved by his
institutions role in the matter, or the student's plight. He claimed the
students should be grateful because he allowed them to continue with their
education and write examinations last year even after the withdrawal of
their sponsorship. He further stated that money given to the students to
cover their transport costs came from the university coffers.

It has not been all doom and gloom for the expelled students however with
one of them, Juma Ulete, getting help from the MDC Victims Association to
continue his studies overseas. Ulete was the MDC branch chairman at Fort
Hare.

Meanwhile the remaining affected students have said they will not go back to
Zimbabwe as they fear for their lives. Even those who have completed the
programme have said they will not go back.

Every year close to 750 students are sponsored by the scholarship fund, but
it also looks like many of the graduates are unwilling to make the journey
back home because of limited job opportunities.



Mugabe buys the world's most powerful helicopter

http://www.zimdiaspora.com

Tuesday, 12 January 2010 13:04

Special correspondent in Harare
Harare - President Mugabe has mortgaged diamonds from Marange to buy his
personal new multi-million dollar Presidential helicopter after his current
luxurious French-made helicopter was grounded due to lack of spare parts
following European Union and United States military sanctions imposed in
2000.

The Airforce of Zimbabwe (AFZ), the custodians of the Presidential
helicopters, took delivery of the Russian-made Mi6 transport
helicopter in November last year and completed successful secret test
flights throughout the country.

A Senior military officer at Harare's Defence House said local pilots
and engineers have already been trained to use the Russian helicopter which
is now parked at Manyame Airbase ready for use by Mr Mugabe.

He said Mr Mugabe was forced to buy the Russian chopper after failing to
procure spare parts and get maintenance and service support from the† French
manufacturers of his grounded helicopter.

'The government† used to get spare parts through† a third country such† as
Kenya to bust the EU sanctions, but the French† discovered this.The current
presidential helicopter was now a threat to the safety and security of the
president due to unavailability of spare parts and the government had no
option but to buy another one,' said the officer.

Diamonds from Marange had to be mortgaged to buy the Mi6 helicopter as
government had no money, said a Mines and mining development official close
to the deal.

The current French-made Presidential helicopter was bought in the late1990's
under controversial circumstances as it was considered too expensive and
luxurious for a small economy like Zimbabwe's.

The helicopter was considered one of the most luxurious in the world,
with state of the art facilities including beds, toilets, kitchen and
entertainment.

However, despite the acquisition of the new Russian helicopter and
subsequent successful test flights, the office of the President has
not yet approved the use of the helicopter by Mugabe.

'The poor safety record of Russian planes is making Mugabe and his
CIO's hesitant to use the helicopter. We do not know when or if he
will use the helicopter,' said the military officer.

For the past few months, Mugabe who is not fond of travelling long
distances by road, was driven by road to Mutare in December to
officiate at an agricultural function in Mutasa district. He also
commandeered a Victoria Falls bound Air Zimbabwe to Gweru where he was
officiating at a Zimbabwe Military Academy graduation.

The Mi6, which is manufactured by Mil Moscow helicopter plant, is
considered the heaviest and most powerful transport helicopter in the
world. Some Mi6 helicopters have a capacity to carry up to 90
passengers and five crew members with a maximum speed of 3000
kilometres per hour and can fly non stop for 800 kilometres.

The European Union and USA imposed military sanctions and other
restrictive measures on Zimbabwe's military and some senior Zanu pf
government officials due to state sanctioned gross violations human
rights by the country's security forces and some government officials.

In 2008 alone, the security forces tortured and killed hundreds of
opposition supporters in a violent campaign aimed at ensuring Mugabe's
victory in a discredited June 27 presidential† run-off, where he was† the
sole candidate after the withdrawal of Morgan Tsvangirai of† the† Movement
for Democratic Change the winner of the March 29 presidential† election.


Political types in suits with stripes

A Kubatana subscriber recently emailed us his Letter to Zimbabwe. Our mailing list is pretty big, but not That Big. But Mathias Makozhombwe makes an awful lot of sense. It makes me think of that quote that suggests that the people who should be running the country are driving taxis and cutting hair. Here's Mathias on what he wants for Zimbabwe.

I feel the need to talk about Zimbabwe, and share my thoughts. We need to elevate our game and stop the rot that has plagued this beautiful nation. It's a well-known fact that Zanu more than sold us short, so I won't dwell much on that because you know the lot. The question my brothers and sisters is how do we move forward, break free from the shackles of poverty, violence, misrepresentation and institutional tribalism?

How do we break free, stay free and never return to this unbearable situation of perpetual abuse of power? How do we differentiate the real from the fake, cheap talk from real talk? I don't have all the questions or answers but these are issues that we need to consider when signing up for any future situations. The word I hear a lot is change; sure enough that's a start, but not good enough. We need SMART change, a set of objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic and Time Bound.

For clarity Zanu not only failed, they were a major catastrophe. Now as we stand up, speak up and unite for the sake of peace, it is important to note that there can be no peace without equality, and there can be no sustainable progress and stability without well-considered policies that have been debated at every level, with the Policy Makers and Implementers held accountable through effective regulation.

So when these political types in suits with stripes knock on our doors and ask for our votes, it's our responsibility to demand accountability. For over 25 years the War Vets have held the nation to ransom. The nation owes the debt for their sacrifice, but when you cheat, steal and kill the very people you sought to liberate the debt owed to you becomes null and void.

My message to Mugabe, Chihuri and the gang, your days are numbered, you are way past your sell by date and judgment day is on the way. To Tsvangirai, Biti and the team, you have huge task ahead of you, and failure is not an option. You need to deliver, if or when you assume full power of Government. For now less whining and more action.

To my fellow Zimbabweans we are at a cross roads; the battle for freedom, equality and long term prosperity is only in it's infancy. It is up to us whether we sink or swim, lose or win, die on our feet or live on our knees. I am not Dr King but I do have dreams. I am just an ordinary man who believes that one day peace and prosperity will return to Zimbabwe, and that all Zimbabweans will have equal opportunity and be judged not by the colour of their skin, tribal descent or sexual orientation, but by the nature and quality of their moral fibre.




Moyo offers 'alibi' amid political bluster



Jonathan Moyo is a known agitator within ZANU PF ranks - and he has already
been thrown out of the party once for activities that Mugabe found
unpalatable.

He hardly secured his independent seat before we saw him returned to the
loving arms of ZANU PF - and then, over Christmas, we read of another secret
meeting - this time in Gweru - with Mnangagwa and numerous others in which a
new political party was the primary discussion.

Mugabe must be fuming!

"Former Information and Publicity Minister Tsholotsho North MP Professor
Jonathan Moyo is struggling to refute claims that he organised a secret
meeting in Gweru now dubbed Tsholotsho Part II to map out strategies for a
ZANU PF break away political party to be led by the Defence Minister
Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mnangagwa was outflanked by a rival faction led by General Solomon Mujuru in
the battle to succeed veteran Robert Mugabe in ZANU PF at the last Fifth
National People's Congress."

Moyo is a 'has been' and an 'also ran'. He relies on building up people's
trust in him for him to achieve his objectives - and then he discards them
as yesterday's news.

Labelling him a 'come-back kid' would only be correct, assuming that the
latest foray is successful. Having been found out as quickly as he has, that
is now in doubt.

"In a statement loaded with sharp, abusive language and the usual bile, the
ZANU PF come-back-kid failed dismally to dispel the big story currently
doing the rounds across the country in pubs, churches and commuter busses
that he is leading an Emmerson Mnangagwa plot to form a new breakaway party
from the ashes of the beleaguered former ruling party, ZANU PF.

The unemployed, former University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer
denied the publication of a story by the 'Zimbabwean on Sunday' newspaper on
January 10 entitled: Mnangagwa plots fight-back: talk of a new splinter
group.

Moyo described the story as "fiction", merely by virtue of his creative
defensive work of sexed up alibi. But, last night a new source said Moyo had
actually revealed another venue of the plots where another secret meetings
was carried out in a boat in Kariba. The source said Moyo had this low level
meeting with staff who will man the Cape Town office. It is believed he took
them in a step by step induction training course before they left for South
Africa."

I say again - Moyo does not represent the people or ZANU PF. He is only
interested in himself and whatever riches he can accrue.

Aligning himself with Emmerson Mnangagwa, one of the richest people in
Africa, he places himself within arm's length of his objective.

"In his aggressive statement send to his mouth-piece, Moyo said, "the
desperately false claim that I attended a political meeting of any kind in
Gweru on December 25, 2009 or that I was anywhere in or near Gweru on
Christmas day to mastermind a so-called Tsholotsho Part II strategy with
some unnamed people who allegedly included Cdes Emmerson Mnangagwa, July
Moyo, Flora Buka, Fred Kanzama and Mike Madiro is a terribly fictitious and
astonishingly idiotic tale told by wretched MDC T idiots who are now running
scared of the oblivion facing their treacherous party on the back of ZANU PF's
apparent resurgence."

"If these idiots and their equally idiotic British handlers cared to check
facts and build their propaganda on some truth, something they are
apparently incapable of doing because of their breathtaking incompetence,
they would have known that from December 24 to December 27 last year I was
actually in beautiful Kariba enjoying true Zimbabwean hospitality at
Christmas with my family at Caribbea Bay."

"This is a fact known to staff at that hotel and by many other families,
some of them well known personalities, who also were guests at the hotel,"
said Mr Moyo in a desperate attempt to make up an alibi after learning that
he will soon be called to explain himself in front of the Presidium.

"Only idiots can believe and claim that I was in Gweru and in Kariba at
exactly one and the same time because that proposition is plainly idiotic!"

And the MDC did not escape comment either: "Just because some MDC-T idiots
could not have Christmas with their families because of their sell-out
commitments does not mean we are all that depraved," said "Cde" Moyo raising
the bar on hot air.

"Surely, they should have chosen a better day for their fictitious rubbish
than Christmas day!"

Amazing that Moyo can call everyone else idiots - but try call him one...

Robb WJ Ellis
The Bearded Man

http://mandebvhu.instablogs.com/entry/moyo-offers-alibi-amid-political-bluster/


Dirty Dozen: The 2010 Land Audit Must Start with Mugabe’s Gushungo Farms



Under Mugabe’s rule, all Zimbabweans are the ultimate losers. The current
fast track land acquisition exercise simply supplants a once stubborn
minority racial elite with a deceitful clique of the political elite. This
“land reform” is an opportunistic political manoeuvre, which merely
transfers “ownership” from one affluent clique to another.

The once productive farms that belonged to “Mr Colonial Settler”, taken
under the pretext of correcting a colonial wrong, are now the private
properties of revolutionaries and pseudo revolutionaries. The hordes of
youths, who performed the farm evictions-(jambanja), with orders from their
revered “chefs”, are now watching from the fringes. Their comrades in arms,
the chefs, now overindulge on the spoils of the “revolution”. Soon the youth
will become restless; they are unemployed and disproportionably swell the
hungry ranks of the landless poor.

A comprehensive land audit for Zimbabwe will bring to finality the land
inequity question and lawfully align the nation on a conclusive agrarian
reform program.

The ZANU (PF) chain of command, has now taken all the best irrigable farms
in areas such as Mvurwi, Mtepatepa, Mazowe, Enterprise, Concession,
Darwendale, Banket, Middle Sabi, etc., which have the finest agricultural
land, accompanying agricultural equipment, and infrastructure. The poor
landless farmers, already eking a living from marginal lands, are allocated
bigger plots in moisture deficient areas like Chiredzi, Mwenezi, Ngezi,
Gutu, Gokwe, Rutenga, etc., regions that cannot sustain rainfed agriculture.

When did the dignified fair play policy of a “one-man one-farm” turn into
“one-man multiple-farms”? Why is it that only senior ZANU (PF) officials
from the same ethnic group, are allocated all the prime farms, which are not
subdivided into minimum sizes?

Mugabe via Gushungo Holdings now owns 10 601 hectares (25 760 acres) of the
most fertile farms and rich land in the highest rainfall areas in Zimbabwe
thus becoming Zimbabwe’s biggest landlord:

1. Foyle Farm, Mazowe—former owner Ian Webster—area 1 000 hectares, now
Gushungo Dairy Farm – “The Agricultural Rural Development Authority (ARDA)
has now proposed to ‘buyback’ Gushungo Farm to save the Mugabe family from
appearing at variance with government's policies”;
2. Iron Mask Estate, Mazowe—taken by Grace under the pretext of creating an
orphanage, former owner John Matthews—area 1 046 hectares—now defunct;
3. Sigaro Farm, Mazowe—Deed of Transfer 8170/2000, 873 hectares, former
owner Joe Kennedy, home of National Tested Seeds, Zimbabwe’s largest
producer of agricultural seeds and Africa’s first ISO certified seed
producer—now derelict;
4. Gwebi Wood Farm, Mazowe—former owner an indigenous Zimbabwean, Washington
Matsaire, CEO Standard Bank, exporter of passion fruit, area 1 200
hectares—unutilised, burnt to the ground;
5. Gwina Farm, Banket—Deed of Grant 11120/00, former owner Vernon Nicolle, 1
287 hectares. Ben Hlatshwayo, a high court judge who chaired the commission,
which drew up the constitution that was rejected in a referendum in 2000. He
had evicted Vernon Nicolle, and was himself unceremoniously evicted by Grace
Mugabe to make way for her son from her first marriage, Russell Goreraza.
The Nicolle’s were the largest single wheat producers with the biggest
private irrigation and grain silo infrastructure in Zimbabwe, unutilised;
6. Leverdale Farm, Banket—former owner Piers Nicolle, 1 488hectares, now
derelict;
7. Highfield Farm, Norton—area 445 hectares, where he keeps five
camels—gifts from Gadaffi all nearby farms were acquired by Mugabe to create
a “security buffer zone”. Mugabe now occupies 4 050 hectares on all the
farms below the banks of Lake Darwandale.
8. Cressydale Estate, Norton—Deed of Grant 676/79 former owner Skea;
9. John O’Groat Farm, Norton—former owner Skea;
10. Tankatara Farm, Norton—former owner Skea;
11. Clifford Farm, Norton—former owner Skea;
12. Zvimba—Mugabe owns 60 hectares, his traditional home, where villages
nearby were demolished and villagers evicted to make way for Mugabe’s
expanded homestead.

Gushungo Holdings corruptly utilises the services of ARDA, itself a
technically insolvent state agricultural parastatal, to manage Mugabe’s vast
farms at taxpayers’ expense but for the financial benefit of the Mugabe
family. Mugabe by virtue of his status does not pay taxes. Twelve tax-paying
farmers have been dispossessed of their productive agricultural businesses
to make way for a single non-farmer, non-taxpayer, Robert Mugabe.

Zimbabwe must separate the business of an individual, Mugabe, from that of
the nation. The land ownership map of Zimbabwe now resembles the old
colonial Land Apportionment Act of 1930 and the Land Tenure Act of 1969 map,
with the previous white farming areas replaced with ZANU (PF)’s political
nouveau riche—who are not even farmers.

Nepotism allowed the Robert Mugabe family to misappropriate a further 10 260
hectares (24 932 acres) of land earmarked for resettlement from farmers he
terms, “the offspring of colonial settlers”. Mugabe’s brother-in-law, Reward
Marufu, got Leopards Vlei Farm, Glendale, 1 294 hectares and Kachere Farm,
Mazowe, 880 hectares; Mugabe’s sister-in-law, Rose Marufu, got Wooller Farm,
Glendale, 436 hectares; Mugabe’s sister, Sabina, got Mlembwe Farm, Makonde,
1 037 hectares, Longwood Farm, Makonde, 924 hectares, and Gowrie Farm,
Norton, 430 hectares; and Mugabe’s nephew Leo Mugabe got Diandra,
Darwandale, 815 hectares, Nangadza, Mhangura, 1 200 hectares, and Journey’s
End, Makonde, 3 000 hectares; and nephew Patrick Zhuwao got Marivale Farm,
Mazowe, 244 hectares; all are amongst the country’s largest multiple
landowners.† On some of these farms, the farmer was killed and the workers’
houses were burnt to compel the landless workers to vacate the properties.

How can one man, in a land hungry nation, take for himself twelve farms,
evict twelve farmers, and displace over 14 000-farm workers and their
families in the name of land reform? A single family, Mugabe, collectively
misappropriated twenty-four farms totalling 20 861 hectares (50 692 acres)
of prime land. Farms meant for resettling landless Zimbabweans, now belong
to Gushungo and most lie unutilised. All this plunder to nourish the
insatiable greed of a few spoiled relatives, who were already privileged by
their relation to Mugabe.

Today, January 2010, the eviction of 10 000 villagers from the one million
acre Nuanetsi Ranch in Mwenezi is underway, to make way for Mugabe’s
business partner and preferred white associate—Billy Rautenbach.

Why do persons who claim to be the liberators feel they are entitled to all
the land and yet have compensated themselves for their war contributions ten
times over?

The culture of the haphazard farm invasions, evictions, seizures of private
businesses and property, will not end when the last white farmers are off
the land. A new wave of acrimonious dispossessions will commence, whereby
indigenous will be evicting indigenous on a flimsy political raison d'Ítre.
Mugabe’s lieutenants have now plagiarised and perfected their commander in
chief’s template for multiple farm ownership.

What does correcting a colonial imbalance mean? Did colonial settlers take
all the land, now owned by Gushungo, from Mugabe’s family in the 1890’s?
Land must be returned to its rightful indigenous peoples, not to an
ethnically skewed political party elite. A once proud food self-sufficient
agrarian society has been reduced into a beggar nation.

A recent survey by the General Agricultural Plantations Workers Union
(GAPWUZ) revealed that the conditions of service for the farm workers on
Gushungo Holdings and other acquired farms now owned by ZANU (PF) officials
are no better and in most cases worse than the conditions of the previous
farm owners.

How does Grace Mugabe, a mere pool typist in the President’s office, without
formal agricultural training whatsoever, become Zimbabwe’s largest
agricultural landowner?

"Let me keep my Zimbabwe", said Mugabe addressing the 2002 Earth Summit,
September 2 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“True, some land was bought by a few Cabinet Ministers. They bought the
land. No minister, to my knowledge acquired land which was meant for
resettlement”, said Mugabe in an ABC interview with Jonathan Holmes in March
1998.

“I will never, never, never, never surrender, Zimbabwe is mine”, Mugabe said
addressing the ZANU-PF National Annual People’s Conference in Bindura on 19
December 2008.
Mugabe and his associates seem to believe in the politics of entitlement and
ZANU (PF) treats Zimbabwe as a private fiefdom. Mugabe also sanctioned the
evictions of fellow indigenous farm owners to appease a restive wife and
punish his political enemies.
He claims to be an altruistic revolutionary; the ultimate selfless freedom
fighter who supposedly sacrificed all to participate in the liberation of
Zimbabwe, therefore his disgraceful excessiveness is morally repugnant and
criminal. To deviously acquire farms and cunningly become the new absentee
landlord, the enthusiastic occupier of the very farms that create a new land
imbalance, is predatory and disingenuous.

As Mugabe preaches the virtues of land reform, the one-man one-farm policy,
he blatantly hoards the same vestiges of colonial rule meant for
redistribution to the landless. The very corrupt practises he conveniently
and loudly despises within earshot of credulous followers, he himself
illegally practises behind closed doors.

The current fast track land programme is a ruse to steal agricultural
businesses from one sector of the economy and only unfairly enrich a
particular clique—ZANU (PF).
Does land in Zimbabwe only belong to ZANU (PF) and its “war veterans”? Is
Mugabe above the law? Is Mugabe a landless peasant who deserves to be
allocated twelve farms? Has Mugabe’s seizure of twelve farms helped in
decongested communal areas?
Land is the nucleus for sustainable development and the year 2010 gives
Zimbabwe an opportunity to embark on an all-inclusive, sustainable agrarian
reform exercise that is transparent and irreversible. My desire is to return
home to a country and tolerant society that no longer focuses on its
colonial past but embraces progress with values that submits all its
peoples, regardless of political affiliation, to the rule of law.
The land audit, will determine, as with Bob Marley’s lyrical words on
Zimbabwe’s Independence in 1980, “Soon we will find out who is the real
revolutionary”.
Phil Matibe – www.madhingabucketboy.com