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talks end without agreement-SADC
Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:07pm
HARARE, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and
opposition failed to reach agreement over power-sharing talks at a
on Monday, an official of regional body SADC said.
meeting was not conclusive and ... on 25th January, the chairman of
going to report to an extraordinary summit of SADC on the meeting
Harare," Southern African Development Community executive secretary
Salomao told reporters.
Mugabe says talks to go on in Zimbabwe ahead of
Jan 20 (AFP)
President Robert Mugabe said power-sharing talks with his rival Morgan
Tsvangirai will continue in Zimbabwe ahead of a regional summit next week,
after negotiations Monday failed to reach a deal.
Mugabe said the
talks broke down after Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic
presented its own proposals which differed from recommendations
15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC).
continue with discussions here at home," Mugabe told reporters
the talks. "We shall continue to exchange ideas and see where
differences are with the SADC proposal."
Zimbabwe Power-Sharing Hangs By a Thread; Regional Summit Called
Irwin Chifera & Jonga Kandemiiri
Harare & Washington
19 January 2009
Zimbabwe's troubled power-sharing process was left in
limbo late Monday as
leaders of the Southern African Development Community
who were attempting to
broker a last-ditch deal between President Robert
Mugabe and opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai came up empty-handed and
punted the matter to a
special SADC summit one week's time.
a sad day for Zimbabwe," Tsvangirai told reporters upon emerging
Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare, the same venue where he, Mugabe and
opposition leader Arthur Mutambara last Sept. 15 signed a
that was supposed to give rise to a unity government but
has since bogged
down over just how power will be shared.
Tsvangirai told reporters he is
still committed to the power-sharing deal,
but said ZANU-PF must show its
sincerity by making further concessions.
Mr. Mugabe told reporters,"The
meeting was not successful; it broke down."
He said SADC officials
including South African President Kgalema Motlanthe
had proposed a solution
to get a government afoot, but Tsvangirai's
formation of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change had tabled a
counter-proposal at odds with
the SADC plan.
Mr. Mugabe said his ZANU-PF and the MDC would continue
talks in Harare to
see if they can find common ground, then will take the
discussion to the
Mutambara, like Tsvangirai, declared
it "a sad day" for the country. He said
the talks failed because Mr. Mugabe
and Tsvangirai could not agree, calling
He said Zimbabwe "deserves better leaders than Robert Mugabe
Most observers had not voiced optimism as to
the chances of a breakthrough
deal in these talks. Tsvangirai, who leads the
dominant formation of the
Movement for Democratic Change, had repeated that
he would not join a
government without a fair distribution of cabinet seats
and other key posts,
also demanding the release of opposition activists held
on charges they
conspired to topple the government. Mugabe said he would
make no more
Reflecting keen regional concern, Monday's
session was attended by South
African President Kgalema Motlanthe,
Mozambican President Armando Guebuza
and SADC Secretary General Tomaz
Salomao, as well as longtime Zimbabwe
mediator Thabo Mbeki, president of
South Africa until late last year. But
the high-level SADC intervention was
to no avail.
Salomao told reporters around midnight that the Tsvangirai
MDC formation had
presented its positions on the appointment of provincial
governors and other
top posts, on the alleged violation of the power-sharing
agreement by Mr.
Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, and on the composition of a
security council governing security forces.
said the SADC officials had made recommendations - but that these
be made public after they have been presented to an extraordinary
summit to be held on Jan. 26, either at SADC headquarters in Gaborone,
Botswana, or in South Africa.
A similar summit was held in Pretoria,
South Africa, in October - without
yielding the hoped-for agreement between
the Zimbabwean parties.
As the comments from the principals indicated,
diplomatic niceties did not
conceal that what most observers saw as a
make-or-break negotiating session
had failed to yield
Power-sharing remains a possibility - but an increasingly
The approach was intended to provide a structure for
coexistence by the
long-ruling ZANU-PF party of President Mugabe and
Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic Change, which in the March elections
claimed a parliamentary
majority but failed to unseat Mr. Mugabe although
acknowledged Tsvangirai achieved a plurality over the
For ZANU-PF the arrangement offered the chance of retaining
measure of control over the country despite the MDC's
while for the MDC the power-sharing solution offered hope
of an end to
political violence mainly targeting the
Ordinary Zimbabweans welcomed the power-sharing agreement
promised a more politically balanced and responsible government
with the help of foreign donors, move to resuscitate the
economy and expand
food aid and other humanitarian
Correspondent Irwin Chifera of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe was at
Rainbow Towers venue earlier Monday evening and provided an update on
Observers earlier said that in light of
recent declarations by the
principals, the talks did not seem likely to
break the impasse between
President Mugabe and Tsvangirai.
analyst John Makumbe told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the
the two leaders before the meeting suggested the talks were
National Constitutional Assembly Chairman Lovemore Madhuku said
made ahead of the meeting could be misleading as the parties have
their positions in the past - but acknowledged that the odds were
over failed Zimbabwean power-sharing talks
Article from: Agence France-Presse
ZIMBABWE opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai said 12 hours of power-sharing
talks with President Robert
Mugabe amounted to "the darkest day of our
"We came to this
meeting hoping we would put the people's plight to rest
and conclude these
power-sharing discussions,'' Tsvangirai told reporters as
he left talks
mediated by South African President Kgalema Motlanthe.
there's been no progress because the very same outstanding
issues on the
agenda... are the same issues that are creating this
impasse,'' said the
leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
"For us as the MDC,
this is probably the darkest day of our lives, for the
whole nation is
"We are committed to this deal. We are committed to the
government, subject to the resolution of these
President Mugabe said power-sharing talks would continue in
of a regional summit next week.
Mugabe said the talks
broke down after Tsvangirai's MDC presented its own
proposals which differed
from recommendations by the 15-nation Southern
African Development Community
"We will continue with discussions here at home,'' Mugabe told
after leaving the talks.
"We shall continue to exchange
ideas and see where the differences are with
Leaders of the 15-nation SADC will hold the summit on Monday,
January 26 in
a new bid to break the deadlock, the group's executive
Salomao told reporters.
"The meeting was not
conclusive,'' he said of the talks on Monday between
Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
January 19, 2009 | By Simba Dzvairo
Faction leader Arthur Mutambara told reporters on Monday that his
supports the demands of Tsvangirai's mainstream MDC as a regional
resolve Zimbabwe's unity government deadlock was under way Monday.
support those demands. We hope and trust Robert Mugabe and his party
able to respond positively to the demands," Mutambara said.
Mutambara called for "flexibility, compromise and pragmatism" the
Herald has labelled the talks as "D-Day", with Mugabe and
the meeting could be the last attempt to make the
Mugabe threatened Sunday to break off power-sharing talks if the
declined a deal, saying "either they accept or it's a break" in
government mouthpiece Sunday Mail newspaper.
meanwhile, insisted it would not join a unity government
until all its
concerns had been addressed - including allegations that its
been abducted and tortured by state security agents.
Motlanthe, Mbeki and
Guebuza were to meet the Zimbabwe leaders before
negotiating teams for the
three parties tackle the details of their
Tsvangirai have yet to agree on how to share power within cabinet
repeated interventions by African leaders.
"The meeting of the leaders
will be followed by a meeting of the negotiating
teams which is expected to
discuss outstanding matters related to the
implementation of the global
agreement," said South African government
Included in talks would be a constitutional amendment that would
to the power-sharing arrangement ahead of a parliamentary
Tuesday, he added.
The agreement calls for 84-year-old
Mugabe to remain president while
Tsvangirai would take the new post of prime
expected in Zimbabwe's parliament
The Zimbabwe Parliament resumes sessions January 20, 2009.
Parliament resume business Tuesday and fireworks are expected in the august
house as legislators debate over the constitutional amendment number 19 bill.
The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa
will table the bill in the House of Assembly during the session.
amendment number 19 bill is designed to facilitate the implementation of the 15
September Global Peace Agreement that was signed by President Robert Mugabe of
Zanu-PF, MDC leaders, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara.
vowed not to pass the bill, which favours Zanu-PF. They said the bill should
represent the will of the people as the country awaits a new
“We will make
sure wet what the people want. We were chosen to represent the people and we are
going to do that,” said an MDC MP in Bulawayo.
Parliament Austin Zvoma revealed that the minister of Justice would give notice
of his intention to table the Bill before it could be captured on the Order
Paper, a schedule that shows parliamentary business for the day.
"It is the duty
of the minister responsible for any Bill to rise and give notice on when he
intends to present a Bill. We expect that to happen when the House resumes
sitting," he told the state-run media.
According to the
proposed constitutional amendment, President Mugabe remains Head of State and
Government deputised by Vice Presidents Joseph Msika and Joice Mujuru while
Tsvangirai becomes Prime Minister with the leader of the other MDC splinter
group Mutambara, and MDC vice president Thokozani Khupe deputising him.
is also expected to introduce other regulations under the constitutional
Some of them
include the establishment of a Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission to promote human
rights and investigate any abuses in the country.
Amendment (Number 19) also provides for the establishment and functions of the
Zimbabwe Media Commission.
The functions of
the commission would be to uphold and develop freedom of the media, promote and
enforce good practice and ethics in the profession, ensure equitable and wide
access to information and develop all indigenous languages spoken in the
Zimbabwe has the
toughest media regulations and many journalists have been arrested, kidnapped
and killed for working for the private media. The state-controlled Media and
Information Commission recently announced high accreditation fees for foreign
Threat at the end of the Tunnel
Sinister new plans that could put Morgan
Tsvangirai behind bars
Tsvangirai and Mugabe are talking again. It's a
last ditch attempt to agree
on a power sharing government in Zimbabwe, and
everyone says it's doomed to
failure. There is no light at the end of the
tunnel for Morgan Tsvangirai.
But there could be a very nasty
Tsvangirai and Mugabe are being watched by President Motlanthe
Ex-President Mbeki of South Africa and President Armando Guebuza of
Mozambique. And my advice to Tsvangirai is just this: when and if these
Harare talks break down, hitch a lift out of Zimbabwe with one or other
president. Stay - and you could be in big trouble.
My sources within
Mugabe's Zanu-PF cabal tell me that plans are well
advanced for the leader
of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to be
arrested as soon as the
talking stops. The charge will be treason. And this
time Mugabe means
Tsvangirai will not be held in any local police station. He won't be
about a bit, then released, as he was last year. Instead he will be
off to the notorious police torture camp at Bindura in Mashonaland,
vintage Zanu-PF reception committee is already waiting for
"They have his cell well prepared," my source told me. "The guys
sticks can't wait to start beating him, they want to hear him
squeal like a
Tsvangirai is clearly aware that he is in
danger. He has stayed out of the
country for weeks until this meeting, and
he has watched from Botswana as
many senior MDC officials and supporters
have been abducted by the
authorities. To date 32 party members are known to
be in custody, and
another 11 are missing.
It is Tsvangirai's demands
that his people be released, together with the
long-term disagreement over
the make-up of a power-sharing government, that
has helped doom these latest
talks to probably failure. He can't be seen now
to give in to Mugabe's
Mugabe, too, is sticking to his guns. With no intention of
any real sharing
of power, he has anticipated that these talks will fail.
Then he will make
his move, charging Tsvangirai with treason, with plotting
the removal of the
President, and with attempting to raise forces in
Botswsana to invade
Grab a lift and get out of there,
Morgan. Before it's too late.
Posted on Monday, 19 January 2009 at
drown while crossing flooded Limpopo
January 19, 2009
JOHANNESBURG - At least six Zimbabwean border-jumpers drowned in
Limpopo River over the weekend, as they attempted to illegally
South Africa, their country's prosperous neighbour to the
The Monday edition of a South African daily newspaper - The Daily
published the sad picture of the body of one of the drowned Zimbabweans
still floating in the giant river, while several onlookers helplessly stood
across the river, watching the immigrants die.
Both South African
police and their Zimbabwean counterparts in the border
town of Beitbridge
confirmed to The Zimbabwe Times that they were
investigating the case,
although they were working on different figures of
"Six illegal Zimbabweans immigrants were eaten by the Limpopo
swollen by this time of the year by heavy rains," the paper
"They were desperate to get out of Zimbabwe, South
Africa's broken northern
neighbour, where life has become hell, but they are
The paper quoted eye witnesses saying that the six drowned
after the fragile
canoe they were using capsized in the middle of the
roaring torrent of the
flooded river, which has received a substantial
amount of water due to the
current heavy rains.
"I saw the vessel
overturning, leaving them to drown," the paper quoted one
another Zimbabwean immigrant already living in South Africa.
because I knew they were coming to South Africa to seek a better
Limpopo provincial police spokesman, Captain Mhlotiu Ringani,
Zimbabwe Times Monday morning that the lawmen were investigating
after hearing about the case over the weekend.
confirm that we have heard about that case, which we are
far we do not have all the details, as we are still trying
to get details
from the few eye witnesses that we have," said Ringani.
"The problem is
that some of the immigrants do not come to the police to
report such cases
for fear that they might be arrested and deported, but we
have managed to
see a few who are willing to assist."
A Zimbabwean police Superintendent
working at the Beitbridge Rural police
district also confirmed that they
were investigating the case, but said they
had received reports of a higher
number than the six cited by the South
"We have been
told that more than 20 people drowned between Saturday and
Sunday in the
same manner. We are now waiting for scuba divers from the
Unit camp to arrive, so that they search for the bodies,"
He said that hundreds of Zimbabweans die every year
either through drowning
or through being mauled by crocodiles in the Limpopo
River as they try to
cross into South Africa illegally. He said many cases
went unreported due to
the immigrants' fear of arrest.
Magistrate set to rule on activists' application
Mafaro Tuesday 20 January 2009
HARARE - A magistrate's court
is today expected to make a ruling on an
application by a jailed human
rights campaigner and an opposition MDC party
activist to have their case
referred to the Supreme Court.
"Magistrate Gloria Takundwa will make a
ruling on Tuesday on our application
to have Broderick Takawira and Audrey
Zimbudzana's case referred to the
constitutional court," their lawyer Alec
Muchadehama told ZimOnline.
Takawira a staffer at a human rights
organisation - Zimbabwe Peace Project
(ZPP) - and MDC activist Zimbudzana
are arguing that their abduction and
continued detention violated their
constitutional rights and freedom and
have asked the magistrate for
permission to take their case to the Supreme
Court, the country's highest
court that hears constitutional matters.
"Our argument is that their
constitutional rights and freedom were violated
through abduction and forced
disappearance and their continued
Takawira and Zimbudzana are part of a group of about 40 human
defenders and opposition MDC activists accused of attempting to
people for military training in neighbouring Botswana to overthrow
Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party.
were abducted in November and December from various locations
incommunicado for weeks. Their lawyers say they were severely
state agents in a bid to force them to admit to the charges of
Torture and other forms of inhuman punishment are illegal
A former staffer at the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting
now ZPP director, Jestina Mukoko is also facing similar
charges as the MDC
activists and was on Friday granted permission to take
her case to the
If convicted the group faces the the
death penalty. But the MDC and human
rights groups say the charges against
the activists are part of a
well-orchestrated scheme by state agents to
persecute human rights defenders
and government critics in a bid to scare
them from highlighting deepening
crisis in Zimbabwe. - ZimOnline.
Business Watch : Week 4
January 19th, 2009
A number of large
manufacturers may stay closed indefinitely whilst others
Christmas shutdown. This is largely due to unworkable nature of
environment rather than orders and demand for goods. Wages and
cannot be spent by employees to provide for their households.
Many of the
day to day inputs of companies cannot be obtained as virtually
priced in forex and many organizations still await their Forex
Licenses. In the meantime, they survive by transacting illegally,
potential jail sentences.
Government has more or less declared all
embarrassing statistics National
Secrets, and it is anyone's guess precisely
what the state of play is at any
one time. There have been no official
statistcs for over 4 months now. It is
reliably estimated that inflation is
now over 6 million percent per month!
Old Mutual was delaying dividend
payments to Zimbabweans because the country's
banking system could not
process the zeroes involved in the transaction.
Solidarity Statement - MDC-USA
MDC-USA unequivocally endorses President
Morgan Tsvangirai's continued
commitment to the formation of a unity
government in Zimbabwe. As stated in
prior communications, any new
agreements must be preceded by an equitable
distribution of cabinet posts, a
constitutional amendment that provisions
for a power-sharing framework as
well as the release of innocent civilians
from unknown locations and those
languishing in Zimbabwe's prisons that are
unfit for human habitation.
Justina Mukoko and many other perceived enemies
of Mugabe continue to suffer
numerous human rights abuses that include
severe torture.The very fact that
those simple conditions have not been met
rest squarely on Mr Mugabe's
brazen intransigence and lack or urgency in
addressing the ever-worsening
To this present day, Zanu PF and th e not-so-significant Mutambara
have disgracefully connived to circumvent the democratic process
attempting to short-change the people of Zimbabwe again. Other
players have also declared their partiality in a shameful manner
been quite hurtful to the people of Zimbabwe. We urge Mr Motlanthe
to be an
honest broker who does not become another spokesperson of Mugabe
just as we
saw in Thabo mbeki. Mugabe must be stopped from dictating terms
of the deal.
Let us not forget that Mugabe is an illegitimate President who
at the polls by the people Zimbabwe and they will forever
President Tsvangirai has been resolutely devoted to the much
deal that will afford the people of Zimbabwe a breath of fresh
the restoration democracy, respect for human rights and the rule
of law. We
continue to pay the highest tribute to the man Zimbabwe chose to
leader on March 29th, 2008 and we will not rest until Mr Tsvangirai
his rightful place in the political leadership of Zimbabwe. That is
solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe who voted Mugabe out fully
of the fact that change comes with new leadership.
President Morgan Tsvangirai
The struggle continues