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New video exposes murderous role of ZANU PF MP

http://www.swradioafrica.com/2012/07/10/new-video-exposes-murderous-role-of-zanu-pf-mp/
Newten Kachepa

New video implicates Newten Kachepa as an inciter of violence

By Lance Guma
10 July 2012

A shocking new video supplied to SW Radio Africa has exposed the murderous role of ZANU PF’s MP for Mudzi North, Newten Kachepa (also known as Milton in other reports).

Despite the formation of a coalition government in February 2009 the MP was filmed this year warning MDC-T supporters that ZANU PF doesn’t just ‘kill’ but ‘destroys’ those who provoke it by supporting ‘sell-outs’ in the opposition.

A headman who also gave his testimony in the video says Kachepa boasted to him during a meeting that he had killed MDC-T activists known as Muronde, Tambo, the son of an official called Mweza and another activist in Ward 2.

The headman said Kachepa told him: “All these four people were killed by me. The only one left is you (he said pointing at the headman). He said ‘You are the only one left and I am yet to kill you. You are easy to kill.”

The video dated 20 April 2012 and which we have also posted to video sharing website You Tube, clearly captures Kachepa inciting violence at Dendera Business Centre in Mudzi.

Speaking in Shona he tells the crowd: “Don’t be taken away by things to do with sell outs (MDC-T). If you do sell out things, I am telling you, you will cry.” He proceeds to warn them: “You should stop provoking the spirits of the dead heroes. That’s why there was chaos in 2008.”

Kachepa was referring to the violence that preceded the June 2008 presidential run-off. After MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the first round of the March 2008 presidential election, state security chiefs loyal to a defeated Mugabe launched a retribution campaign killing over 500 people and maiming tens of thousands.

“We should not support something that will make us suffer and lose our human aspects at the end,” Kachepa lectured the crowd. “When we talk about the nation, we talk about death. I am with you here because of the issue of death. You say ZANU PF kills. It doesn’t kill. If you provoke it, it destroys,” he warned them.

Several days after Kachepa’s speech in which he was inciting violence, a group of over 300 ZANU PF supporters advanced on a gathering of some 70 MDC-T supporters who were having a rally at Chimukoko Business Centre. The skirmishes resulted in the death of MDC-T official Cephas Magura.

According to the testimony of a young boy herding cattle at the time, Magura was hit with a stone by the ZANU PF gang, who continued to assault him as he lay on the ground. He was then dragged to the roadside and left for dead. Seven other MDC-T activists were injured and treated at the Avenues Clinic in Harare.

Two ZANU PF MPs, Kachepa (Mudzi North) and Acquilina Katsande (Mudzi West), were implicated in this and many other incidents in the area. Several witnesses saw Kachepa’s pick up truck and Katsande’s Mazda T3500 truck being used to ferry the ZANU PF youths, who later attacked Magura.


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Energy workers threaten national blackout over salary dispute

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Alex Bell
10 July 2012

Workers from Zimbabwe’s energy sector have threatened to pull the plug on
the country’s power supply by Thursday, if their demands in an ongoing
salary dispute are not met.

The Zimbabwe Energy Workers’ Union (ZEWU) on Monday issued a 72-hour
ultimatum to the national power provider ZESA and other private players, to
either meet their demands or face a nationwide strike. The workers want the
salary increase that was meant to be awarded to them after a legal dispute
in June.

ZEWU president Angeline Chitambo told journalists in Harare on Monday that
the Union grouping had resolved to embark on the strike, accusing ZESA chief
executive Josh Chifamba of not honouring an arbitration order from last
month. The order promised a new salary structure would be awarded to the
energy sector on June 18th.

“We have given Chifamba 72 hours to respond to our management in a
meaningful engagement and people should not be surprised if they wake up
without electricity,” Chitambo said.

Chitambo added: “We have written so many letters and I don’t think this
blackout is going to be news to Chifamba. It will only be news to him if he
takes us for granted.”

ZEWU is an umbrella body representing workers from ZESA, the Rural
Electrification Agency, Petrotrade, the National Oil Infrastructure Company,
Green Fuels, Powertel, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and
Distribution Company, the Zimbabwe Power Company, Petrozim Lime, the Zambezi
River Authority and a Mozambican energy firm, CPMZ.

The threat comes as Zimbabwe continues to face power supply problems, with
the financially troubled ZESA unable to meet the countrywide demand for
power. Power cuts and load shedding are now a widely expected norm, and ZESA
has faced serious criticism for its service deliver failures.

Most recently, the power utility was criticised for its decision to carry on
providing estimated bills to energy users, despite its unreliable service.
ZESA has argued that it does not have the money to pay for meter readers.


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Zimbabwe Watchdog Rebukes State Media for Political Bias

http://www.voanews.com

09 July 2012

Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington DC

A Zimbabwean watchdog has criticized the state media for continued bias
against the MDC and lack of respect for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and
other politicians outside President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party.

The Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe, MMPZ, said on Monday that despite
a provision in the unity government agreement compelling public newspapers
and broadcasters to maintain balance, the outlets were still leaning towards
Zanu PF.

"We express deep regret and concern over the state media's continued biased
coverage about the activities of the MDC formations," said Edson Madondo,
the watchdog's deputy coordinator for research and monitoring.

"This kind of coverage is giving the Zanu PF arm of government an unfair
advantage over its coalition partners ahead of elections. We demand Mr.
Mugabe and his unity partners to truly reform the state media institutions."

In many cases, Madondo said, newspapers such as the Herald, Sunday Mail,
Sunday News and the Chronicle reported falsely about the MDC with the
intention of harming the party, and never apologize when their reports are
proven otherwise.

The latest case in point is a Herald report last Friday alleging Tsvangirai’s
wife, Elizabeth Macheka had left the previous day for a shopping spree in
South Africa and India to buy jewelry and other auxiliary accessories for
their upcoming wedding.

But the story turned out to be false when Macheka showed up for a public
event in Harare with Tsvangirai the same day the Herald said she was out of
the country.

This forced the newspaper to publish a follow-up report Saturday saying the
shopping trip had been canceled at the last minute. It did not explain why.
On Monday the paper ran another story saying Macheka had missed her flight.

The watchdog says there are several other examples where state media,
particularly the Herald and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation have
deliberately attempted to falsely portray the MDC in a bad light.

The Global Political Agreement, which underpins power-sharing between Zanu
PF and the MDC, requires state media to be fair to all parties. But
observers say the bias towards Zanu PF that existed before the coalition
arrangement has not gone away.

The Media Monitoring Project says the ZBC and Zimpapers boards should be
disbanded to address the situation.

Spokesman Douglas Mwonzora of the Tsvangirai MDC told VOA instead of
reducing the inflammatory and hate language in line with the unity accord,
the state media has doubled down.

"The Global Political Agreement makes it clear that all hate language must
be eliminated," Mwonzora said, "but we have seen an intensification from the
ZBC and the Herald newspaper."

His sentiments were echoed by Nhlanhla Dube, spokesman for the MDC wing
headed by Welshman Ncube, who added that while he agrees the state media is
biased, the private media is also at fault.


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MDC-T ministers and legislators declare assets to party

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Tichaona Sibanda
10 July 2012

The top leadership of the MDC-T and all its legislators have been told to
declare their assets to the party. The deadline is Tuesday.

The asset declaration exercise is expected to become routine for the party,
in a move analysts said will prove that their hands were clean of
corruption.

The party ordered it’s MP’s and Senators to declare their personal incomes
and property such as real estate in an attempt to stamp out corruption.

Determined to tackle corruption, the party also set up a high-powered
investigation team that is looking at how some of its councilors have become
mega-rich overnight.

Deputy Justice Minister and party spokesman for Harare province, Senator
Obert Gutu, told SW Radio Africa that the declaration forms requested them
to disclose all their investments, local and foreign, including any
shareholdings in companies.

‘We were asked to declare ownership of any farms or plots, motor vehicles,
immovable and movable property,’ Gutu said.

An analyst told us compliance to the party ethics of the MDC-T was important
in monitoring the conduct of its MP’s, in matters such as abuse of power,
accountability and transparency.

The MDC-T’s national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa has over the years
promised to ruthlessly fight against corruption and the embezzlement of
public monies within their party.

Although Zimbabwe’s constitution does not mandate public officials to make
their assets public, such an undertaking is more an issue of morality and
leadership than constitutionality or legality, according to Gutu.

‘We’ve got nothing as a party to hide, so we have nothing to fear and the
insistence by the party to declare our assets is also a signpost of our
resolve to tackle corruption in the country,’ the Senator added.

After the 2008 elections the MDC-T won 100 seats in Parliament and 25
senatorial seats, although some of its legislators have died in the last
four years, reducing its representation in both the upper and lower houses.

A study by Transparency International in ranked Zimbabwe 154 out of 182
countries in terms of its level of corruption. The police force, led by
Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri has been found to be the most corrupt
institution in the country.

Several leading ZANU PF politicians have also been named in the United
Nations linking them in the illegal exploitation of the Democratic Republic
of Congo’s mineral resources.


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Chamisa castigates Indigenisation policy

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

Written by Wendy Muperi, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 10 July 2012 11:20

HARARE - Minister of Information Communication Technology, Nelson Chamisa,
has castigated the scope of the indigenisation policy saying it was
benefiting political leaders at the expense of poor people.

Speaking in Kuwadzana on Sunday, Chamisa said the country was failing to
fully benefit from the vast mining activities because of “gluttonous and
unwise political leadership”.

“It pains me to see the economy of Zimbabwe in shambles when we have
infinite mineral wealth but remain as poor as we are. It is because we lack
focus on availing opportunities to deserving investors, be it black or
white,” said Chamisa during a constituency feedback meeting in Kuwadzana.

The minister tore into the Zanu PF indigenisation crusade describing it as
an “enrichment of the enriched” which has failed to benefit the impoverished
communities.

“The indigenisation policy is bent on benefiting the political elites at the
expense of development. We need the money from diamonds to fund projects
like road construction, education and health. Instead of us just providing
for the elderly, proceeds from diamonds could even provide every citizen’s
needs without labouring,” he said.

Chamisa said the failure of government to provide employment was creating a
very potentially corrupt young generation.

“I assure you these youths who are unemployed can end up being a very
dangerous group. If these youths are not given employment, they will surely
create their own crooked industry,” he said.

Chamisa said politicians were taking advantage of people because they lack
knowledge on their constitutional rights through intimidation.

“The problem we have is that citizens do not know their rights and
authorities make no efforts in educating their followers because they are
benefiting from the situation.

“We end up with a situation where the ordinary citizen will say gumbo rangu
raenda pasi perenyu rather than just saying you have stepped on me,” said
Chamisa.

He said political parties should not take advantage of the disempowered
youths in advancing their party interests through inciting violence.

“Some of the droughts we are constantly faced with are because of violent
political strategies that have cornered the youths in beating their own
grandparents,” he said.

Responding to the plea lodged by Kuwadzana-based vendors who are being
harassed by neighbourhood police who confiscate their wares, Chamisa said he
would raise the issue with the relevant ministers.

“This is why I like feedback, how can the neighbourhood police literally
take over the role of municipal police. I will raise this issue with the
relevant ministries,” he said.

Kuwadzana Ward 37 Councillor Urayayi Mangwiro raised concern that Zanu PF
supporters had taken over council vending stalls to which the minister
promised to raise the issue in Cabinet.

Chamisa, announced that he will soon start disbursing his constituency
development funds after a thorough assessment of the constituency’s needs
and will use the money on equipping schools, bankrolling poultry projects
and roads.


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Diaspora welcomes news on dual citizenship

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Alex Bell
10 July 2012

Members of Zimbabwe’s Diaspora community have cautiously welcomed news that
dual citizenship will be part of the country’s new constitution, raising
hopes that their voting rights will also soon be secure.

A chapter in the new draft constitution, which is believed to be almost
ready, stipulates that every Zimbabwean citizen by birth should retain his
or her citizenship, even if that person acquires foreign citizenship. This
comes as a positive development for the millions of Zimbabweans in the
Diaspora, many of whom now have citizenship rights in other countries after
being forced to flee the crisis back home.

It is also a positive development in terms of the right of members of the
Diaspora to vote, a right that has been denied by the Robert Mugabe regime
through partisan electoral laws.

But even though dual citizenship may be in the constitution, the Electoral
Act would still have to be amended before those in the Diaspora could vote.

MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora told SW Radio Africa this week that a new
Electoral Bill will be tabled in parliament and legislators from both sides
will be able to debate it and recommend changes to the Act. He said his
party will push for the amendment, to allow Zimbabweans in the Diaspora the
right to vote in the next elections.

“By allowing dual citizenship, what that means is that if you are Zimbabwean
by birth and have acquired British citizenship, you will still have the same
rights as people who are permanently based in Zimbabwe,” Mwonzora said.

Den Moyo from the Zimbabwe Diaspora Vote Campaign told SW Radio Africa on
Tuesday that the Electoral Act amendment is the “key” for their hopes to be
realised. He welcomed the inclusion of dual citizenship in the new draft
constitution as “progressive,” and a “step in the right direction.”

“There is still a lot that needs to happen though, chief among this is the
Electoral Act amendment. We are waiting to see what happens and we are
hoping that the support shown by the MDC-T for a Diaspora vote means there
will be no resistance to the amendment being passed,” Moyo said.

Moyo meanwhile called on members of the Diaspora to gather their paperwork
and start preparing to register to vote, saying they will push for a
separate Diaspora voters roll to be in place before a poll. He said that in
the mean time, citizens abroad can register their details with the Zimbabwe
Diaspora Vote Campaign, which will then help them secure their voting rights
in the future.


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Zimbabwe's population census and a begging bowl

http://www.theafricareport.com

Posted on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 14:38

By Janet Shoko

Zimbabwe will next month embark on a population census, but those in the
Diaspora will miss out on the chance to be counted, as the country's
statistical body says it does not have resources to reach them.

The country's fourth census since independence in 1980, will take place
between August 18 and 27.

Zimbabwe Statistics Agency's director of population census and surveys,
Washington Mapeta said the counting would only focus on Zimbabweans who
would be in the country on the set dates.

′′Mapeta says his body would rely on immigration authorities and
neighbouring countries for statistics of people in the Diaspora.′′

"We have no capacity to send enumerators worldwide to document Zimbabweans
outside our borders," he said on Tuesday. "People should understand that we
are not after the exact number of Zimbabweans as that is impossible." ′′

The census will cost about $39 million and a begging bowl has been extended
to non-governmental organisations to assist government with funding.′′

According to the 2012 World Bank-commissioned Zimbabwe Demographic Profile,
Zimbabwe's population is estimated at 12 084 304, with a population growth
rate of 4, 31 percent from the figures gathered in the 2002 census.′′

However, the population estimates do not take into account the effects of
mortality due to HIV and Aids, which affect life expectancy, infant
mortality, death rates, population growth rates, and changes in the
distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected.

′′University of Zimbabwe's population studies expert Professor Marvellous
Mhloyi says the information gathered will help with planning for
construction of schools, clinic, and hospitals, among other social needs,
and will help identify densely populated areas, which are in dire need of
the services.′′

She says the 2002 figures are no longer valid for planning purposes.′′

Unofficial estimates put the number of people that left Zimbabwe during the
past decade at over three million, with South Africa being home to the
majority.′′

Previous counts showed that in 1982 the population was 7.6 million, 10.4,
million in 1992 and 11.6 million in 2002.′′

However, with a month to go, a cross-section of ordinary Zimbabweans
continue to profess ignorance of the upcoming population census.′′

"We are not even aware of a census, when is it being held?" asked one
citizen adding: "We just heard it from school children but we don't know
where to get more information."′′

During preparatory exercises most people were taken by surprise when they
saw enumerators knocking on their doors as they were not aware of such a
programme.


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Gono, Kasukuwere call truce in banks row

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

09/07/2012 00:00:00
by Gilbert Nyambabvu

EMPOWERMENT Minister Saviour Kasukuwere and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
governor, Gideon Gono, reached a truce Monday ending their public row over
the takeover of foreign-owned banks in line with the country’s economic
empowerment legislation.

Said Gono: “The Minister (Kasukuwere) called me earlier this (Monday)
morning from Dubai and we spoke at length very cordially and, like the
brothers we are, reconciled our positions and agreed we had ‘assisted
newspapers to do good business out of our differences’ and that enough was
enough.

“We will (now) work things out taking each other’s views on board before we
do anything. I am happy with the new way forward and the mode of
collaboration we have agreed upon.”

The row between the two was sparked by a government notice issued last week
by Kasukuwere ordering foreign banks to reduce shareholding in their
Zimbabwe operations to the 49 per cent required by law within a year.

Gono, who was out of the country at the time, appeared totally flummoxed by
the move, accused Kasukuwere of over-reaching his mandate and claimed that,
having been involved with a failed bank, the Minister was not a “fit and
proper” person to be involved in banking matters.

“The fact that the two main proponents of the recent illogical moves have
presided over the failure of their two banks before, namely Unibank and
Genesis, calls for Solomonic wisdom on the part of Zimbabwe’s population and
leadership,” Gono said.

“Ordinarily, anyone who was near a failed bank is not a fit and proper
person to deal with banking matters or to ever own, run or talk about the
ownership of a bank again until cleared by the central bank; his is a
universal practice.”

However, unfazed by the attack, Kasukuwere hit back, reminding Gono that
implementation of the indigenisation programme was not his responsibility.
He added: “I know some would have wanted to be doing this task, but let’s
not turn it into unwarranted personal attacks.

“Discharging national responsibilities require maturity and sober reasoning.
We will not fall for the attacks; but will continue to be guided by the rule
of law and the necessary transformation of key institutions.”

Kasukuwere says the foreign banks – two British, Barclays and Standard
Chartered, and three South African, Stanbic, MBCA and CABS building
society – must be “transformed” because they play political games by denying
“you (Zimbabweans) funding”.

But Gono, backed by Finance Minister Tendai Biti among others, is urging a
cautious approach, arguing that applying the 51 per cent local ownership
threshold to banking could destabilise a sensitive and key sector of the
country’s struggling economy.

The RBZ chief insists he is not against the indigenisation programme but has
reservations over “technical methodologies that seem to be blind to the fact
that, as with everything we do in life, the devil is in the details of the
implementation.”

He adds that Zimbabweans should not be quick to forget “the way price
controls of 2007 were implemented, leading to unintended consequences that
gave birth to BACOSSI (Basic Commodity Supply Side Intervention) and fuelled
hyperinflation because a lot of money needed to be printed to buy forex with
which to entice industry to go back into production.”

Gono is currently in Beijing, China, attending a shareholders meeting of the
African Import and Export Bank (Afreximbank) which is being hosted by the
Chinese Import-Export Bank.

He said: “Both institutions are key to crucial to financing Zimbabwe’s trade
and development needs at a time other development agencies such as the IMF,
the World Bank and the African Development Bank are not extending support to
the country due to its arrears situation and the sanctions.”

Observers have expressed concern over the row between the pair with
Kasukuwere’s adviser Psychology Maziwisa, writing on New Zimbabwe.com this
week, saying the two men should "cut the crap" and end the
mutually-destructive public dispute.

“Let’s put it this way: even if it terribly dents their personal egos, Gono
and Kasukuwere need to find each other, cut the crap and work together for
the good of this country. It’s not too much to ask, it’s the least they can
do for a country that has endured many years of economic deprivation,”
Maziwisa said.

But sources close to Gono said his intervention was aimed at calming nervy
investors and bankers. They said, since he is the country’s main sanctions
buster, it is understandable Gono should be “upset and blast anyone who
appears to be destabilising his and (Finance Minister) Biti’s efforts at
resource mobilisation and financial sector stability.”


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Senator only joked about women shaving heads to stop HIV

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Lance Guma
10 July 2012

Chikomo Senator Morgan Femai generated international headlines in May this
year after suggesting that women shave their heads and dress shabbily to
look less attractive and therefore reduce the spread of the HIV virus.

Speaking to SW Radio Africa’s Question Time programme, Kwekwe MP Blessing
Chebundo, who chairs the Zimbabwe Parliamentarians on HIV and Aids, has
defended Femai, saying the remarks were meant as a joke during a workshop.

“I want to say that when that statement came out, I was actually leading the
parliamentarians in Kadoma and that was a workshop, mainly to sensitise
MPs,” before the public HIV testing and circumcision campaign launched
three weeks ago.

Chebundo said Femai was quoted out of context because he and several other
MP’s shared jokes during the workshop. Some MP’s said worse things than
Femai all in the name of light hearted jokes, Chebundo told SW Radio Africa.

“Unfortunately the press picked that one up and I fear, I don’t want to
usually bring in the aspect of politics into the social issue of HIV Aids,
but then the way the report was publicized, it appeared like Senator Femai
was really 100% saying this is a good solution,” yet he only cracked a joke
to ‘lighten up’ the workshop.

Chebundo said Senator Femai three weeks ago attended “the voluntary
counseling and testing, he was interviewed, he was very positive, because he
knew that he was now talking as a leader and not necessarily in a workshop
where you can actually throw jokes here and there.”


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New Report Says HIV Prevalence High in Circumcised Zimbabwe Men

http://www.voanews.com/

09 July 2012

Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington

The 2010/2011 Zimbabwe Health Demographic Survey says that 14 percent of
circumcised men in the country between the ages of 15 and 49 contracted HIV
as compared to those uncircumcised.

The survey said there was a misconception among circumcised men that the
procedure protects them from HIV infection, thus they do not use condoms
during sexual encounters.

The same report says Zimbabwe recorded the highest usage of condoms in the
world in the last five years, contributing effectively to the fight against
the pandemic.

Health expert Dr. Elopy Sibanda told VOA he was surprised by the survey's
findings since results had previously shown circumcision helping reduce new
infections.

A member of an HIV/Aids advisory group of Africa's Inter-Parliamentary
Union, Tabitha Khumalo, said condom usage must continue to be promoted, even
amongst circumcised men.


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Cox & Kings to return to Zimbabwe

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
The tour operator Cox & Kings is to reintroduce package tours to Zimbabwe after 10 years.
Cox & Kings to return to Zimbabwe
Cox & Kings has not offered trips to Zimbabwe since 2002 Photo: ALAMY

It joins other tour operators such as Expert Africa, Africa Travel and Cazenove & Loyd, who have also started featuring the country in their brochures. The airline Emirates also recently launched direct flights into Harare.

“Zimbabwe offers one of the most comprehensive and varied African safari experiences on the continent,” said Cox & Kings’ Africa Product Manager, Louise Stanion.

“We have chosen to work with partners who help their local communities and ensure that the vast majority of the money earned from tourism goes into the hands of the people who really need it.

Writing for Telegraph Travel following a recent visit to the country, Graham Boyton, who grew up in Bulawayo, said he felt his trip was not propping up Mugabe, but was more a show of support for the people of Zimbabwe.

He said: "That international airlines such as Emirates are prepared to invest in Zimbabwe, and that Mugabe’s reign must surely be drawing to a close – he is 88 and reported to be suffering from prostate cancer – may be the first green shoots of this lovely country’s recovery.

"It has wonderful natural assets, the nicest, friendliest people of the continent and for the time being at least it is not overcrowded with tourists. This may be the right time to take another look at Zimbabwe."


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Historic Masvingo City Faces Critical Water Shortages

http://www.voanews.com

09 July 2012

Tatenda Gumbo & Obert Pepukai | Washington/Masvingo

Panic has gripped the city of Masvingo, south-eastern Zimbabwe, as water
levels in Lake Mutirikwi, the country's largest inland water body, have
fallen drastically amid reports the dam wall has developed cracks posing
serious danger to families living downstream.

Presently Lake Mutirikwi is just 29 percent full, raising strong fears
available water won't be enough to take Masvingo City to the next rainy
season.

Sugar cane plantations in the lowveld that also rely heavily on the lake
will be affected resulting in loss of business. This is the lowest level
recorded in the lake in 20 years.

Masvingo Mayor Alderman Femias Chakabuda said there’s every reason for
people in the city to panic. He says the water levels have reached alarming
levels.

"I am not a water engineer but seeing from a layman yes, I am scared at the
rate it's discharging water down stream and also the levels of the lake at
this time of year," said Chakabuda. "We are getting scared."

It has also emerged that the dam wall, built by an Italian company in the
1950s, has developed cracks posing danger to everyone living down stream.

Naison Mureri of Murinye communal lands told VOA villagers are worried
despite assurances by authorities that the cracks will not give in just yet.

"We are told the wall is still okay but imagine if one day its washed away;
there will be disaster," said Mureri.

Zimbabwe National Water Authority officials in Masvingo refused to comment
on the issue.

In Harare meanwhile, residents’ advocates are pressing the city council to
liaise with defaulters rather than cutting off their water when they fail to
pay bills.

The Combined Harare Residents Association, along with other resident groups,
said the city’s move to disconnect water and remove water meters from
households that are failing to pay is too severe, adding it exposes people
to health risks.

Combined Harare Residents Association coordinator Simbarashe Moyo said they
have reached out to city fathers but there seems to be a disconnect between
employees on the ground and the authorities.


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Chrome export ban costs US$4 million

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

10/07/2012 00:00:00
by Roman Moyo

THE ban of raw chrome exports have cost the sector nearly US$4 million in
fresh revenue as well as the opportunity create of at least 2,000 new jobs,
an industry expert has said.

Chrome Miners Association chairperson Thomas Gono to a Parliamentary
committee on mines and energy that the government should lift the ban to
ensure the viability of the sector as well as facilitate job creation.

"Government should allow us to export chrome. Chrome producers are stuck
with huge stocks of the mineral as a result of the ban," he said.
Gono said nearly 2,000 jobs could be created if the ban was lifted with
revenues increasing to as much as US$3,8 million.

The government imposed the export ban in April banned to force producers to
invest in processing and value addition so that the country optimize its
benefit from the mineral.

Officials estimate that every 2,000 tonnes of chrome ore can generate close
to US$1 million when exported in processed form compared with just about
US$240,000 when raw.

Small-scale producers have appealed to government for a 36-month grace
period to export stocks of the mineral which they have accumulated to enable
them to raise capital to set up own smelters.

Gono said small scale producers were stuck with huge stocks of ore since the
ban was imposed adding existing processing companies were struggling to
cope.

Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) national chairman Edzayi Kufandarerwa
recently said the situation was dire since the country only has one smelter
at ZIMASCO.

"We have made representations to government to review the ban and give the
chrome producers 36 months to export and establish their own smelters. The
whole country cannot take chrome to ZIMASCO," he said.

"ZIMASCO does not take all grades of raw chrome. They take only (chrome of
a) certain quality which sometimes small-scale miners may not meet. If the
chrome ore is kept for two long it will lose quality," he said.

Zimbabwe, along with South Africa, holds about 90 percent of the world's
chromite reserves and resources, according to the US Geological Survey.

There are three large-scale ferrochrome miners in Zimbabwe, including
Zimbabwe Alloys and Zimasco, which is owned by China's Sinosteel.

Zimasco recently told state media it planned a $300-million investment in
the second half of 2011 to ramp up output and build a new smelter.

The country exported 600 000 t of chrome in the 18 months from November
2009, mostly to China and South Africa, according to official figures.
But the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe estimates that chrome output
could increase to 3,5 million tonnes this year.


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Policy Inconsistencies Stalling Sale of RBZ's Homelink

http://www.voanews.com/

09 July 2012

Gibbs Dube | Washington

Business strategists and economic commentators say the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe’s Homelink (Pvt) Limited has failed to attract buyers since June
last year due to fears over the lop-sided black economic empowerment program
and the country’s serious liquidity constraints.

They said the central bank’s latest decision to invite fresh bids for the
disposal of its 100 percent shares in Homelink, is an indication that the
company had no takers.

They further said no proper valuations were done before Homelink was put on
sale. The company, set up in 2004 to facilitate property development and
investment for Zimbabweans in the diaspora, is believed to be worth $5
million.

The RBZ said in a statement Saturday that preference will be given to
bidders that offer competitive prices. The bank is selling its non-core
businesses in order to raise funds to settle a $1.2 billion debt.

It is also disposing of shares in Tractive Power Holdings, Tuli Coal, Cairns
Holdings, Sirtech (Pvt) Ltd, Transload (Pvt) Ltd, Carslone Enterprises and
Astra holdings.

Business strategist Phillip Chichoni said the central bank will end up
selling Homelink assets at low prices if it fails to attract any buyers.

“This company appears to be worthless as its services are no longer in high
demand since Zimbabwe is now using the U.S. dollar,” Chichoni said.

Economic commentator Masimba Kuchera concurred adding that investors are
being discouraged from buying shares in companies like Homelink due to the
unity government’s policy inconsistencies.

The RBZ has hired KM Financial Solutions to oversee the sale of the business
entity.


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Witnesses line up against Rushwaya

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

10/07/2012 00:00:00
by Tendai Kamhungira I Daily News

FORMER Warriors manager Ernest Mapepa Sibanda and goalkeeper Energy
Murambadoro are expected to testify in the corruption trial of former
Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) chief executive officer Henrietta
Rushwaya.

Rushwaya is facing charges of corruptly concealing a transaction from a
principal, punishable by a fine or up to 20 years in jail.

Rushwaya faces nine counts in total, but the charges are less serious than
the match-fixing and bribery trial she faced in May. She was acquitted after
the prosecution said it was struggling to find cooperating witnesses.

The new trial should have resumed on Monday, but Harare regional magistrate
Esthere Chivasa said the court was overwhelmed with other cases, pushing the
trial back to July 24.

Prosecutor Oliver Marwa and Sidom Chinzete also advised the court that
Tendai Madzorera, a former Zifa board member, was also going to testify in
the case.

According to state papers, Rushwaya organised several matches outside the
country between 2007 and 2010 without advising her employers.

The court heard how between October 2007 and November of the same year,
Rushwaya facilitated an international sporting tour for the Warriors to
participate in the Agribank Cup in Vietnam, where the team lost to Finland,
Vietnam and drew with Uzbekistan.

According to state papers, the trip was in violation of Zifa rules and
regulations, which stipulate that the Zifa board and assembly members are
the only ones who can be appointed heads of delegations.

The court heard that the players were not paid their allowances.

It is further alleged Rushwaya organised soccer matches in Oman, Bahrain,
Jordan, Malaysia, Thailand, China and Bulgaria, without Zifa authority.


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Zimbabwe: is it time for British tourists to return?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk
British tour operators are starting to feature Zimbabwe in their brochures again. Graham Boynton, who grew up in Bulawayo, considers whether it is right for tourists to return.
Zimbabwe: is it time for British tourists to return?
Victoria Falls continues to astonish after countless visits Photo: ALAMY

Within hours of landing in Zimbabwe I found myself standing round the back of the Bulawayo Museum next to Cecil John Rhodes. Well, actually the John Tweed statue of Rhodes that for nearly 80 years stood on a plinth in the centre of Bulawayo proudly surveying the pretty, civilised city he was instrumental in founding.

These days colonialism is a dirty word. Indeed, the minute Robert Mugabe was sworn in in 1980 and Rhodesia became Zimbabwe, that statue was torn off the plinth and dumped out of sight – and so to show any attachment to Rhodes, his vision or indeed his statue is dramatically politically incorrect. But that is just what I was doing.

Pioneers such as Rhodes, Selous and Coghlan carved these cities out of raw bushveld. Within four years of its founding in 1894 Bulawayo had a railway, a civil administration, postal and telegraph services, reticulated water and electricity supplies, shops, churches and even a public library, the last being the recipient of many books from Rudyard Kipling as well as advice from the great man on how to protect them against white ants and dust.

Now, the colonial yoke has been lifted, the indigenous people have been freed from white rule... and Bulawayo looks a little shabbier than it did when I grew up there in the colonial heyday. I looked across from the Rhodes statue and there was another one, covered in a black shroud: the statue of Joshua Nkomo, porcine father of the Matabele people and Robert Mugabe’s opposite number in the early years of Zimbabwe.

This statue was intended to replace the one of Rhodes on the plinth on Eighth Avenue. However, the government commissioned Koreans to do the work, and when the statue was unveiled assembled dignitaries and family members were mortified to see that the representation, far from being large and portly and African as it should have been, was Korean-slim, not very tall and had narrow Asian eyes. So it was whipped off the plinth and dumped round the back of the museum with the other unsavoury statues.

I left the grounds of the museum, with the ghosts of its complicated past, mildly amused but also bewildered that so much time and executive energy had been spent on these trivial, symbolic matters when the country and this city really require some inspired economic and political leadership.

This was the first time I’d been back to Zimbabwe since the bloody and brutal election campaign of 2008. In the interim an uneasy political coalition of Mugabe’s ZANU-PF and Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has ruled the country, and some semblance of economic stability has prevailed, not least because the hyper-inflated Zimbabwe dollar has been abandoned in favour of the US currency, and tourists are trickling back.

However, it is rare to hear a British accent these days. There are plenty of Americans, some Europeans, an increasing number of Chinese tour groups, but we, as a nation, have stayed away. One reason is that British tour operators specialising in Africa have for some time left Zimbabwe out of their brochures; another is that we have clearly decided it is not right to visit while Mugabe is still in power.

Those who do choose to go will find the basic infrastructure, for which Zimbabwe was rightly famous, still there, although slightly more dilapidated. The roads are fine if somewhat potholed, the telephones all work, Wi-Fi and all the other modern aspects of connectivity operate quite efficiently. This is a safe and secure country to travel in, and the only major drawback is that the collapse of Air Zimbabwe makes getting around a little more difficult. But, as Zimbabeans always do, visitors make a plan.

My trip took me through some of Zimbabwe’s most beautiful assets, places that, were it not for the politics of the country, would be teeming with tourists. Through the Matopos, the mystical granite outcrop where Rhodes is buried; to Hwange National Park, the national wildlife reserve that is the size of Switzerland and home to 100 mammal and 400 bird species; to the Victoria Falls, which is one of the world’s natural wonders and continues to astonish after countless visits over the years; to Lake Kariba, the largest artificial lake on earth and one of my colonial peer group’s most extraordinary achievements; and, finally, on a long drive through the farming districts of Mangula and Banket, which were once at the heart of Zimbabwe’s farming industry but now stand ragged and unproductive.

Matopos, Zimbabwe's mystical granite outcrop

As I travelled through a country that was my boyhood home – and over the years in print I have expressed my distaste for both the pre-independence Smith regime and equally vociferously for the excesses of the current government – I asked myself whether this trip was in any way validating Mugabe and his regime. I was in the country for more than two weeks and, with every day I travelled and with every Zimbabwean black and white I met, I realised that this interface between foreign visitors and the local tourism people had no connection at all with the political wrangling that was taking place at conference tables in Harare, Pretoria or wherever. This was about ordinary people who have been dealt a terrible hand by a violent autocratic government and who are trying to make a living just as you and I are in Britain.

To gauge the chasm that exists between Mugabe’s ruling elite and the people on the ground, you have only to note the howls of outrage from Zimbabweans that followed reports that the United Nations World Tourism Organisation had appointed Mugabe an international tourism ambassador. The reports turned out to be exaggerated – the WTO is holding its conference in Victoria Falls next year, and a low-level document concerning it was signed off by Mugabe – but they gave Zimbabweans the opportunity to rail against a man who is banned from travelling by both the EU and the US because of widespread and sustained human-rights abuses he has visited on his own people.

As I made my way through the country in what I hoped was the last days of this terrible regime’s rule, I had no trouble arguing that my trip was in no way propping up Mugabe and his cohorts; if anything, it was a show of support for their victims. For example, two of the lodges I stayed at are operated by white farmers whose families turned to tourism after their farms were taken from them by howling mobs of so-called “war veterans”. One of these farmers is Cedric Wilde, whose 25,000-acre game farm just outside Bulawayo was a model ranch, richly stocked with rare and beautiful beasts such as sable antelope, gemsbok (imported from Namibia) and leopard. Since the farm’s “liberation”, many of these have fled and been poached and the place is now in ruins.

On the shores of Lake Kariba, Tommy Miller, a farmer who is still clinging on to parts of his dairy-and-tobacco farm, has created with his wife, Jackie, a charming eight-bed lodge called Hornbill on the promontory overlooking the lake. They have this as their “alternative plan” in case the war veterans who are occupying large parts of his farm eventually throw them off.

A spectacular sunset over Lake Kariba

“The mobs are still living on my land,” Tommy said. “If they need something, they call me Mr Miller; if they don’t, I’m just ‘You, Miller’. Hornbill Lodge is a pleasant escape from all of that.”

And then there is Beks Ndlovu...

I had been in Zimbabwe for almost a week when I met him. I arrived at his camp, Somalisa, in Hwange National Park in mid-morning, and he led me to the swimming pool for a quiet chat. We sat beside it, about 10 feet from a herd of elephants, all drinking from the pool as if it were the local waterhole. Which indeed it was.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the African bushveld, and I have to say that sitting among wild elephant as we did that morning is up there with the best wildlife experiences. As Beks said at the outset, provided we made no sudden moves, kept a low profile and made no loud impulsive exclamations the elephants would regard us as a non-threatening, integral part of the natural habitat. We watched in awe as they went about their business as if we weren’t there.

Beks is one of southern Africa’s top guides and the owner of one of the best wildlife camps in the country. As the dominant bull nudged aside a pair of high-spirited teenagers at the water, Beks made the case for tourists to visit Zimbabwe. “Leaders of countries come and go,” he said, “but the wilderness areas are here to stay, provided we look after them. We’ve had endless opportunities to leave this country and set up elsewhere, but we know we have a part to play as the good custodians and look after what we’ve inherited. And the only way we can do that is through tourism.”

He said he understood why British travellers had stayed away. But he went on: “We say to everyone out there that Zimbabwe in these desperate times is the people on the ground, and they need the support because it is the people on the ground who are keeping the country going. Sanctions or travel stay-aways are going to hurt the average person much more than they would hurt any political leader. Also, our presence here and the presence of tourists provides significant security for the wildlife. It deters poaching.”

The price Zimbabwe has paid for the past 12 years of political chaos is heavy. Garth Thompson, the wildlife guide who is one of the country’s most famous men of the bushveld, calls them “the lost years”. Although he still guides his rich and famous clients through Zimbabwe, more and more he has been using other African countries such as Botswana, Zambia and Rwanda as his African theatres. He, like Beks Ndlovu, thinks it is time international tourism came back.

British tour operators such as Cox & Kings, Expert Africa, Africa Travel and Cazenove & Loyd are now featuring the country in their brochures and Emirates has recently started direct flights into Harare. Jean-Luc Grillet, who is in charge of Emirates’ commercial operations in Africa, told me: “Nobody wanted to fly to Africa. The problem is that the image of many African countries is dictated by the image of the dictators. In fact, when we arrived in Zimbabwe we were surprised to find the infrastructure was in good condition compared with the rest of Africa.”

That international airlines such as Emirates are prepared to invest in Zimbabwe, and that Mugabe’s reign must surely be drawing to a close – he is 88 and reported to be suffering from prostate cancer – may be the first green shoots of this lovely country’s recovery. It has wonderful natural assets, the nicest, friendliest people of the continent and for the time being at least it is not overcrowded with tourists. This may be the right time to take another look at Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe basics

Africa Travel (020 7843 3500; www.africatravel.co.uk) arranges tailor-made holidays to Zimbabwe. A sample nine-night holiday, staying for three nights with breakfast at the Victoria Falls Hotel, three nights with all meals and activities at Somalisa Camp, and three nights with all meals and activities at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge in Kariba costs from 3,695 per person, including return British Airways flight from London via Johannesburg and local transfers.

Getting there
Emirates (0870 243 2222;
www.emirates.com) flies to Harare and Lusaka, via Dubai, five times a week and will start daily services from October. British Airways (0844 493 0787; www.ba.com) operates daily flights to Johannesburg and there are daily connections to Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls.

Getting around
Since Air Zimbabwe suspended operations early in the year, getting around has become rather difficult. Charter light aircraft flights are expensive but comfortable, air-conditioned buses operate between the major cities such as Bulawayo and Harare, and there are private vehicle transfers between Hwange and Victoria Falls. A private-sector consortium has plans for a regular light aircraft service between Harare and Kariba.

Staying there
In the Matopos, Camp Amalinda (00 263 964868/9;
campamalinda.com), 20 minutes’ drive from Bulawayo, is set in the granite hills and has the best archaeological/historic/socio-political guide in the country in Paul Hubbard. At Victoria Falls one really should stay at the Victoria Falls Hotel (00 263 13 44751; reservations:pacro@africansunhotels.com) because of its rich colonial history and its proximity to the Falls.

When to go
Autumn (March to May) is climatically the most pleasant as the country has come off the blistering hot summers and the nights are still balmy, but for game viewing winter (June to early September) is best. In November, you will witness spectacular late-afternoon thunderstorms followed by evenings of calm and clear light.

Currency
US dollar.

Time difference
+ 2hrs GMT

Reading
Zimbabwe by Paul Murray (Bradt), published in 2010, is probably the best around, but the time is right for a new up-to-date guidebook. Douglas Rogers’s The Last Resort: A Zimbabwe Memoir (Short Books) provides an insight into the country under Mugabe. Graham Boynton’s own Last Days In Cloud Cuckooland (Random House) describes the end of colonial rule and the transition to democracy.

Vaccinations/health
Emergency services and hospital resources are limited and potentially hazardous in their own right – there is no screened blood supply for transfusion, for example – so the best approach is to do all you can to avoid needing medical help. Travellers should be up to date with routine vaccine protection, should be vaccinated against hepatitis A and typhoid, and should also consider vaccination against rabies, hepatitis B, and possibly cholera, depending on their plans. Malaria is present in parts of the country, particularly Hwange and the Zambezi Valley. For more information, contact the Fleet Street Clinic (020 7353 5678;
www.fleetstreetclinic.com).

VISA
British citizens require a visa, which costs US$50 and is obtained at the airport on arrival.


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Gukurahundi debate haunts Mugabe

http://www.zimdiaspora.com/

Tuesday, 10 July 2012 10:14

By Dumisani Sibanda

In the absence of a truth and reconciliation mechanism to tackle issues
relating to Gukurahundi, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) should
be mandated to deal with human rights violations that were perpetrated
during the genocide, which claimed the lives of an estimated 20 000 people,
a new lobby group demanded yesterday.

Matabeleland Civil Society Organisations Forum (MCSF) spokesperson Dumisani
Nkomo said they were against proposals to limit the commission’s mandate to
violations that occurred from 2009 onwards .

MCSF was formed last week to lobby for the development of the region and has
more than 40 civil society organisations from Matabeleland.

Although the ZHRC was constituted two years ago, the legislation to enable
its operation has reached its second reading stage in Parliament.

“When the issue of cut-off point was first discussed there was outrage from
civil society groups in Matabeleland,” said Nkomo in an interview.

“That position has not changed. We didn’t think that the period where 20 000
people were killed could be ignored.”

Gukurahundi was mainly in Matabeleland and parts of the Midlands.

Nkomo said Matabeleland’s “narrative” about post-independence human rights
violations would be “incomplete” without tackling the issue of Gukurahundi.

“If we had some quasi-judicial body like the truth and reconciliation
commission, then we would accept the cut-off points of the Human Rights
Commission in terms of timeframe, but in the absence of such a body we
cannot leave it to chance,” he said.

“That would be naive. That is why we want the Human Rights Commission — in
the absence of the truth and reconciliation type of body — to deal with the
Gukurahundi violations some of which are continuing. For instance, we have
people who do not have birth certificates because of Gukurahundi.”

Nkomo said there was a legal argument that ZHRC should not tackle issues in
retrospect but it would not be wise to let “such human rights violations go
unpunished”.

“It’s 20 000 people who died, they can’t be forgotten just like that,” he
said.

“How come someone can be arrested for killing a python (which is a protected
species in Zimbabwe) or killing a rhino for its horn?

“We are not talking about animals here. We are talking about human lives. ”
Newsday


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Zimbabweans Deserve Our Solidarity In Their Hour Of Need

http://www.namibian.com.na/

10.07.2012

By: TSUDAO GURIRAB

AFTER installing South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as AU Commission’s
supremo at the AU summit this month, the leaders of our region will hunker
down for the SADC summit next month to consider issues pertaining to
regional development and (human) security.

One of the perennial questions, which will loom large at this summit is the
Zimbabwean crisis. This crisis, which goes back to the year 2000, will need
a Promethean action from the heads of state and government. It is time to
deliver now. In this regard, it was refreshing, during Botswana President’s
recent visit that President Hifikepunye Pohamba made the pertinent point
that instability in one of the country’s of the region affects the region as
a whole. Here we must give our President full marks because this observation
fits the Zimbabwean crisis like a glove.
We can state without any fear of contradiction that the long running crisis
in our neighbouring country has not only caused a drastic decline in the
economic fortunes of that country but also occasioned human insecurity and
an incessant political paralysis. True, notionally there is a Government of
National Unity (GNU) but this appears to brew more conflict than the
business for which it was created in the first place which is to prepare the
country for free, fair and credible elections. SADC is the guarantor of this
process, which is intended to return the country to normalcy beyond the
present “marriage of inconvenience”. It is for these reasons that the August
summit provides our leaders with yet another opportunity to grasp the nettle
of difficult choices in the Zimbabwean drama.
This past week a delegation of Zimbabweans under the banner of “Crisis in
Zimbabwe Coalition” visited our country to interact with a cross-section of
Namibians on obstacles in the way of implementing the Global Political
Agreement (GPA), which is SADC’s roadmap to elections in that country. These
interlocutors were from government, political parties and civil society. The
purpose of their visit was to implore us all to exercise whatever influence
we have over Harare to stop the haggling over the incomplete process of
constitution drafting and move with deliberate speed so Zimbabweans can
commence with the important business of elections. After all that is what
the GPA is all about; and which GNU should be working towards
single-mindedly.
For us in Namibia, Zimbabwe is not a distant problem. It is our important
neighbour but also a country, which was there for us in our hour of need.
Harare was a site of many key meetings from which emanated key declarations
on the liberation struggle in southern Africa. Zimbabwe’s plight is,
therefore, our business. In this case we have no option but to be our
brothers’ keepers. We can therefore not afford to be consumed in our false
self-importance to forget the important values of solidarity and the duty to
care. Zimbabwe presents us with an African problem we cannot afford to wish
away. As a matter of fact the numerous protocols we signed up under SADC
commit us, as a region, to make it our business and require of all parties
to play ball. Our failure to act and act decisively provides room for others
with ulterior motives to get involved and render outcomes which serve their
rather than our best interests. We have witness so much of these on our
continent recently that it will be foolish of our leaders to allow the
unnecessary drift in Zimbabwe.
It is for these reasons that the SADC summit of next month should not only
take stock of the (slow) pace of the implementation of GPA in Zimbabwe but
crucially bring the process back on track so as the conclude the
constitution making as soon as possible. It is therefore important that this
summit brings all Zimbabwean principals of GPA to re-commit themselves to
GPA’s full and unfettered implementation. This will allow for early
elections, hopefully, next year, which will give that country a government
with a clear mandate of the electorate. This will put an end to consuming so
much time on trivia and the government can begin to address the backlog of
development and challenges of human insecurity, which have become the
hallmarks since 2000. It is for these reasons that the visit of the “Crisis
in Zimbabwe Coalition” to our country was of benefit to us all.
In the manifold crises popping up daily on the continent our leaders and our
regional institutions have a choice: either they can be relevant by
genuinely helping to seek solutions for our problems or we can adopt the
infantile position of forever being bystanders. The world is not going to
stop waiting for us to rise from our slumber. They will impose their
solutions and move on with the business of living. And it is perhaps for
this reason that the putative election of Dlamini-Zuma to the head of the
moribund AU must be a welcome development. Our own regional organisation –
SADC- will also only survive and be of relevance to the extend that it is in
tune with the demands of our citizens and able also to grasp the rapidly
changing global environment. It cannot continue to be an old boys club (our
apologies to President Banda) where they regale each other with latest
chicanery to perpetuate their staying power in office.
The upcoming SADC summit may be crucial for this and many other reasons to
turn around the ship of Zimbabwe before it sinks faster than the Titanic.
The visit by the “Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition” group again makes the point
that the leaders of the region will need to hear the many voices and actors
interested in an immediate resolution of the Zimbabwean situation. And as
they pack their bags for the summit, the leaders will do well to remember
that SADC’s intervention is not a life support system for one or the other
political interest. The essence of the SADC Treaty signed here in Windhoek
in 1992 is to mould common values for all in the region. These values, among
others, include governments elected through free and fair elections. It is
for this reasons that as citizens of SADC we are all guarantors of the
Zimbabwean national indaba. We believe our leaders will therefore act in the
best interest of our people. We are all Zimbabweans.


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Robert Mugabe 'a complex character'

http://www.thezimbabwemail.com/

News24 7 hours 35 minutes ago

Cape Town - President Robert Mugabe is a complex character who claims to
champion the interests of the poor, yet his government has worsened the
plight of ordinary Zimbabweans through a raft of skewed laws and ruthless
actions, leader of the smaller MDC faction Welshman Ncube has reportedly
said.

According to Newsday, Ncube said that although Mugabe had "emerged a hero"
at independence in 1980, " he had turned tyrant after presiding over the
impoverishment of the masses and ruined the country’s economy as he
unleashed his dictatorship in the guise of defending the revolution".

"No doubt he is a complex character. When you talk to Mugabe, you can hear
in his mind he talks of the interests of the people," said Ncube.

"How then you reconcile what he says and what he and his Zanu-PF party goes
on to do, you then ask yourself ‘What is wrong with the man?’”

Ncube said history had already made judgement of Mugabe and his legacy.

"No matter his sincerity or not in championing the cause of the people, the
truth is that under his watch the people of Zimbabwe were impoverished." -
News24


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Individuals Purporting to be ZESN Officials

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INDIVIDUALS PURPORTING TO BE ZESN OFFICIALS

9 July 2012 - The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has received reports that there are individuals purporting to be ZESN members and officials who are conducting unauthorised meetings in various communities across the country. Recently four people were arrested in Mashonaland East for holding a community event under the disguise of ZESN.

ZESN has since disassociated itself with such groupings and urges all civic groups, individuals who are or intend to conduct workshops in communities to desist from using ZESN’s name forthwith as this can put the organisation into disrepute.

In addition ZESN would also want notify members of the official spokespersons of Zimbabwe Election Support Network who are the Chairperson and the National Director. In their absence the Vice Chair and the Acting National Director speak on behalf of the organisation.

However they are instances when a ZESN Board or representative is asked to represent the organisation, in that case they are able to speak on behalf of the organisation and it should not be assumed that they are able to continually do so. The organisation will not be held responsible and accountable for any statements that are made by individuals not officially representing ZESN.

For any official positions and or to arrange interviews, please do not hesitate to contact ZESN Media and Information Department on the numbers and email addresses below.

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------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Zimbabwe Election Support Network

10 Rochester Crescent

Belgravia

Harare

Postal address

BE 630, Belvedere

Harare

Zimbabwe

Tel: 263 4 791443/ 798193/791803

Fax: +263 4 250735

Email: zesn@africaonline.co.zw

Website: www.zesn.org.zw


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Our bitter sweet Matobo – returning to the playground of childhood

http://www.sokwanele.com/thisiszimbabwe/archives/7814

July 10th, 2012

Matopos Zimbabwe

As the burning sun set behind the Pomongwe caves, my partner and I were greeted by a beaming member of the Maleme National Parks chalet team, welcoming us to this haven of peace, nestled away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in Bulawayo – a perfect end to a long week. In his faded but immaculate National Parks uniform he is a proud man who takes his professional role very seriously. This is his camp and he will ensure you are happy, have everything you need and, more importantly, you will return, bringing your friends and family. With enough firewood to keep us warm through the chilly Matopos winter nights, we settled in for the evening with the near full moon lighting the kopje’s, only the company of each other and dozens of dassies and klipspringers. Life could not be sweeter.

The morning brought the chatter of monkey antics, some brave enough to attempt thieving our food through a miniscule open window, while we lay sleeping. But it just made us laugh and carry on with our exciting plans for the day…. a trip to Inswatugi cave paintings first, then a spot of lunch at a little dam just up the road and then some game viewing till sunset. It’s not too warm, so the animals should be aplenty….

Following the road from Maleme to Inswatugi it is very clear that a 44 is now imperative if you are going to travel many of the dirt trails. After years of zero maintenance and soil erosion, the water damage to the roads has caused huge rifts, and the journey was rocky to say the least! But once you’ve climbed the 200 metres to the caves, all that is forgotten. The cave paintings leave you in awe of the San people and we debated through lunch the extraordinary lives they must have led.

With the early afternoon sun dipping, we entered the game park excited at the prospect of some game viewing, taking bets on the last leg of our day out as to who would spot the most animals and, more importantly, the famous Matobo rhinos. But the water in the small dams is sparse, and we became increasingly anxious as we spotted not a single animal. As children we visited the park, and would almost ignore the prolific herds of impala, sometimes dubbed ‘bush rats’, as there were so many of them, saying ‘Oh it’s just another impala’..

Starting on Impala Loop, the tall dry grass and badly managed roads put the height of the 44 and the diff lock into good use, but, undaunted we continue to admire the balancing rocks, for which this park is famous. The mother and child formation is a landmark that so many will remember. These magnificent ancient rocks distract us from the fact that till then not even an impala had crossed our path.

Matopos Zimbabwe

Persevering, we continued for another two hours following every loop until we reached Mpopoma Dam. The Egyptian geese met us with exuberant excitement, as we count the location as our first wildlife spot. Sadly, the excitement is short lived, for we are forced to pull over for two Massey Ferguson tractors towing hay bales along the main link road. We need a quick reminder to ourselves that yes, we are in the game park, we are not on a farm. We both feel a sense of childhood lost, and a growing sorrow over the decay that is overtaking this magnificent wonder of the world.

Matopos Zimbabwe

After 6 hours and nearly 180km, we exit the game park having seen a grand total of 6 skittish impala and 1grumpy old waterbuck. We pep each other up with the thought of an early return at 6am the next day, determined to be at the gates as soon as they open. No tractor disturbance and surely we are bound to see the diverse game we remember so well…

Heading back to Maleme, the bitter taste of the day in our mouths, we are greeted by yet another beaming employee with our key and the old fashioned curtesy we’ve become accustomed to with the Maleme staff. We forget the day, light the fire and watch our dassie show in our own personal auditorium, all for the audience of just two!

The alarm jolted us into our 5am start. The freezing winter air makes for a bracing wake up and we load up the truck, dressed for the occasion to ensure we are at the gate for our 6am entry. We will be the first into the park!!

Matopos Zimbabwe

Well, we were the first in, but an hour later than the sign on the gate informed us it would be opening. The National Parks guard on duty slept in, and we had to wait for him in the freezing cold. The disappointment is growing, yet we both refuse to give up on our childhood memories, we are adamant we will find game……….

Two hours later and with the sighting of a lone nervous Nyala, we conclude, that the sign at the entrance to the game park is most definitely not observed. We leave with heavy hearts and wonder just who is in cahoots with who? Who checks the fence lines? Who does the poaching? Where has the game gone? Will our game park ever be the same again?

Matopos Zimbabwe


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Rethinking Zimbabwe

http://www.sokwanele.com/thisiszimbabwe/archives/7831

July 10th, 2012

Live stream by Ustream

A half-day conference hosted by the National Endowment for Democracy, the World Movement for Democracy and the Solidarity Center.

About the Speakers (more on the NED website)

Carl Gershman is the president of the National Endowment for Democracy. In addition to presiding over the Endowment’s grants programs in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and Latin America, he has overseen the creation of the quarterly Journal of Democracy, International Forum for Democratic Studies, and the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program. He also took the lead in launching the World Movement for Democracy, which is a global network of democracy practitioners and scholars. Mr. Gershman is currently encouraging other democracies to establish their own foundations devoted to the promotion of democratic institutions in the world.

Jameson Timba is the Minister of State in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office, chief political advisor to the Prime Minister and member of House of Assembly for Mount Pleasant Constituency of Harare (MDC-T). Mr. Timba is also a member of the National Executive Committee of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and the party’s secretary for international relations and cooperation. Previously, he served as Zimbabwe’s deputy minister of media, information and publicity tasked with spearheading media reforms in Zimbabwe. Mr. Timba is founding member of the Zimbabwe Unity Movement, a party led by the former Secretary General of Zanu-PF the late Edgar Tekere. He holds a Bsc in Political Science and a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa is a Board Member of the Zimbabwe Media Commission. From the mid-1980s to 2007, Ambassador Mutsvangwa served as Zimbabwe’s ambassador to China, counselor to Namibia, and the permanent mission to the United Nations. Other diplomatic posts in which he has served include the Embassy of Zimbabwe to Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and the European Union from 1980-1985. Ambassador Mutsvangwa has also served as chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), commissioner of the city of Harare (2002), provincial administrative secretary of ZANU PF, member of the constitutional commission of Zimbabwe (1999), and board member of the Trans-media Corporation for Broadcast Transmission (2001).

Arthur Mutambara is Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe and leader of the Movement for Democratic Change-Mutambara faction (MDC). He has served as director of the Standard Bank, managed consulting companies in Zimbabwe and the US. He is an author, professor, community leader, public intellectual, and activist who is extensively involved in socio-economic issues in both the US and Africa. He has served as research scientist and taught Robotics and Mechatronics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), California Institute of Technology (Caltech), FAMU-FSU, and NASA, all in the United States. He holds a BSc from the University of Zimbabwe, an MSc in Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering and Doctorate of Philosophy in Robotics and Mechatronics from Oxford.

Lovemore Madhuku is an author and awardee of several prizes including the 2004 Civil Courage Prize. Prof. Madhuku has been a civic activist since early 1992 when he provided legal defense for ZCTU officials arrested for protesting against government economic policies. He played a major role in the formation of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) in 1997, where he currently serves as chairperson. NCA is the leading organization advocating for a new, democratic and people-driven constitution in Zimbabwe. He received a Bachelor of Law from the University of Zimbabwe, and a Master and a PhD in law from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Jennifer G. Cooke is the director of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The CSIS’s Africa Program covers a broad range of U.S.-Africa policy issues, including security engagement, health assistance, conflict diplomacy, and support for good governance. It places special emphasis on analyzing political and economic dynamics within African states to better inform U.S. policy choices. Ms. Cooke has authored numerous CSIS reports and has testified before Congress on multiple occasions. Previously Ms. Cooke worked for the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa in the U.S. Congress, as well as for the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Reuben Brigety has been Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of African Affairs since November 2011, with responsibility for Southern African and Regional Security Affairs. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, where he supervised US refugee programs in Africa, managed US humanitarian diplomacy with major international partners, and oversaw the development of international migration policy. Previously he held senior positions at the Center for American Progress and at the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Dr. Brigety is a Distinguished Midshipman Graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and he holds an M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Cambridge, England.

Dr. Ibbo Mandaza is a Zimbabwean scholar, author and publisher. He has researched and written extensively on issues of governance, international relations and public policy; and was one of the first senior African Civil Servants in post-independence Zimbabwe (1980-1990). Ibbo Mandaza is currently executive director of the Southern African Political Economy Series (SAPES) Trust and group publisher and editor of the Southern African Political Economic Monthly (SAPEM).

Rukudzo Murapa is a leading expert in political science, democracy, peace and conflict resolution, leadership and governance, economic development and capacity building in Africa. He is chairman of the Great Zimbabwe Scenarios Project (GZSP), based on similar processes in South Africa – the “Mont Fleur” scenario exercise in 1991-92. Prof. Murapa has served as an Advisor with United Nations on Africa, USA and Eastern Europe (including Bosnia and Moldova). He has held several prominent positions at universities around the world including, Africa University in Zimbabwe, University of Zimbabwe, Cornell University in the USA, University of Ghana, Kinshasa, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Nairobi and the Institute of Social Sciences (ISS) in the Hague, The Netherlands. Among his several degrees includes, BA Political Science and Economics from Hamline University in St Paul, Minnesota, Graduate Certificate in African Economic and Political Development from Syracuse University in NY and PhD. Public Administration, Comparative Politics and Economics, Northern Illinois University.

Dr. Godfrey Kanyenze is an economic researcher and the founding director of the Labor and Economic Development Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ), a research institute of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) established in September 2003. Before that he worked as the chief economist of the ZCTU from 1986 to 2003 and as a statistician at the Central Statistical Office in 1986. He has done consultancy work for various UN agencies and is currently assisting governments in the SADC region on employment issues. Dr. Kanyenze has published extensively in the areas of labor market economics, trade policy, macroeconomic analysis, and others. He has a BS in Economics from the University of Zimbabwe, a Masters in Economics from the University of Kent (UK) and a PhD in Development Studies from the University of Sussex (UK).

Imani Countess is the director of the Africa Program at the Solidarity Center – American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). Ms. Countess is a veteran of the U.S.-based Africa advocacy community. A respected political strategist and analyst, she frequently makes presentations regarding U.S.-policy toward Africa, including congressional and expert witness testimony. She has extensive knowledge of African politics, particularly Southern Africa. Previously, Ms. Countess held various positions including with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the TransAfrica Forum where she provided oversight and implementation of democracy strengthening programs, and advised, conceptualized and implemented Zimbabwe programs.


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Re-engaging the EU



Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 11th July 2012.

As the EU reportedly considers re-engagement with Zimbabwe at its next
council meeting scheduled for 23rd July, there are a few tricky questions
worth pondering (see ‘EU considers re-engagement,’ ZBC, 09/07/12).

Will the EU Council discuss or review the controversial issue of sanctions
in view of the court action?

There is a sense that the EU will defer discussion or review of the
so-called targeted sanctions pending a decision by the court in Brussels.

Who will pay for the legal team representing Tomana and 120 other
applicants?

The AG Johannes Tomana told the state-controlled Herald that the government
will pay for his legal team, but Finance Minister Tendai Biti said he had
not been consulted about that in any case the Cabinet task force on
re-engaging was set up for dialogue, not litigation.

Despite the disagreement, the court action is believed to be costing
millions of dollars funded by unnamed “Friends of Zimbabwe,” with critics
pointing fingers at the unaccounted for diamonds cash.

Will Mugabe’s declaration that the indigenisation law is revenge for
sanctions help or hinder the court action? That is the big question.

Addressing people in Shurugwi in November last year, Mugabe said:

“We said they called for sanctions against us because we had taken back our
land, so we looked and said you have 400 companies which were British at the
time which were mining in Zimbabwe…so after we finished the land reform we
then moved to those companies where we are demanding a controlling stake of
not less than 51%.”

Could the Sunday Mail commentaries be equally making things better or worse
for the legal team?

That remains to be seen however, in a full commentary of the 161-page court
application, the state-owned Sunday Mail on 19 May 2012 described the court
action as “ground-breaking” - seeking the annulment of the “illegal”
sanctions.

Asked to comment, Johannes Tomana declined saying: “it is better for the
court papers to speak for themselves and for the court to decide hopefully
as soon as possible after the other side has filed its response…”

Why is the Mugabe regime so keen for a quick verdict but does not
reciprocate that at home?

The regime is getting increasingly anxious and impatient over the travel ban
and asset freezes that others are speculating if this has anything to do
with Mugabe’s medical checkups.

In another commentary citing unnamed “observers” the Sunday Mail on 16 June
2012 alleged the EU’s Registrar of the General Court Mr Emmanuel Coulson was
“invoking bureaucratic tactics to delay the sanctions case.

This followed claims that the EU official had allegedly noted the
“application did not comply with the Rules of Procedure and/or the Practice
Directions to parties…”

Mr Coulson had allegedly requested for further particulars of the applicants’
identity and current status to which Tomana and other applicants declined
but provided supporting affidavits from the Registrar of Companies.

Interestingly, the regime feels frustrated by the EU “bureaucracy” when its
own administration of justice is far from perfect and plainly partisan.

A case in point is the trend of reviving criminal cases dubbed “archival
cases” dating back several years but previously dropped by police or
prosecutors for various reasons.

According to Veritas, available figures show that this happens more
frequently when the accused person is an MDC-T supporter.

This means that although discharged from custody or released from remand,
the accused person in an archive case is on paper liable to find himself
back in court at any time for 20 years from the date of the alleged offence
(see Court Watch 6/2012 of 29 March, Constitutional Cases).

It will be fair to conclude that whereas the Mugabe regime cannot wait for
the EU General Court procedures to run their full course, back home, it
hypocritically drags its feet in the selective application of the rule of
law.

While Zimbabweans would benefit tremendously from EU’s help in addressing
mounting concerns over corruption at Marange diamond fields, it remains to
be seen if the EU Council will succumb to Zanu-pf pressure on sanctions when
the matter is already before the court.

It is unlikely that the regime will agree to an EU role in the controversial
Chiadzwa diamonds. As for the litigation, the regime seems not bothered by
sub-judice or any procedural matters, believing in the power of political
rhetoric.

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,
zimanalysis2009@gmail.com

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