By Chris Gande & Jonga Kandemiiri
23 July 2008
Officials of Zimbabwe's opposition party say that even as power-sharing
talks with the ruling party get under way, more than 2,000 members of the
Movement for Democratic Change remain behind bars on charges related to
post-election political violence.
The release of what MDC officials describe as political prisoners was one of
the conditions set by the opposition for signing a memorandum of agreement
on power-sharing negotiations this week. Opposition sources say intimidation
also continues nationwide.
Policy and Research Secretary Sekai Holland of the MDC formation headed by
Morgan Tsvangirai says she went into hiding recently after realizing that
she was under surveillance. She said a new state operation to arrest
opposition members has been launched, code-named, "Who Sent You?"
Meanwhile, some rural residents who fled political violence in recent months
are trickling back to their homes in Mashonaland East and other parts of the
country, but sources said they are receiving a mixed greeting on their
return from neighbors, village headmen and chiefs.
Some have been welcomed back, but headmen and chiefs loyal to the ruling
ZANU-PF party are imposing fines before allowing them to resettle.
The less fortunate face kangaroo courts which are presided over by war
veterans loyal to the government of President Robert Mugabe, and beaten up
for their supposed offense of supporting the opposition, before then being
allowed to return to their homes.
However, sources in Wedza, Mashonaland East, said Zimbabwe Defense Forces
Commander Constantine Chiwenga denounced political violence in an address to
mourners at a funeral in his rural Wedza South constituency recently. Many
observers including Human Rights Watch have accused the army of supporting
the political violence that followed March 29 elections and which mainly
targeted Movement for Democratic Change members.
Piniel Denga, Mashonaland East provincial information secretary for the
Tsvangirai MDC formation, told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7
for Zimbabwe that areas like Mudzi and Murehwa South remain too dangerous
for opposition members to return.
by Cuthbert Nzou and Nokuthula Sibanda Thursday 24 July 2008
HARARE - Zimbabwe's manufacturing output declined at a much faster rate of
28 percent in 2007 than the 18 percent drop the previous year, highlighting
President Robert Mugabe's inability to break a vicious recession ravaging
his country's once brilliant economy.
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) - considered the voice of
business in the country - said on Wednesday that the latest sector survey
showed several companies operating at "close to zero percent of capacity"
owing to a plethora of difficulties including government price controls and
shortages of foreign currency to import raw materials and machine spares.
"Whereas 60 percent of the respondents (to the survey) reported capacity
utilisation levels below 35 percent, there is a significant 13 percent of
the respondents who reported capacity utilisation well below 15 percent,
with some of these close to 0 percent capacity," the CZI said.
On average, manufacturing capacity utilisation plummeted to 18.9 percent
last year compared to 33.8 percent in 2006.
The CZI said business confidence levels in 2007 dropped to a shocking two
percent, in a way reflecting a bleak mood gripping Zimbabweans even as
Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party this week began talks with the opposition to
try to end the country's long-running political and economic crisis.
"A summary of the business confidence levels over the years shows a drop in
business confidence to two percent (down from five percent in 2006)," CZI
said in its 2008 state of the manufacturing sector report.
The industrial body said employment numbers declined in 2007, which has been
the trend that has been running for at least nine years now. And more
worryingly, the CZI said of those workers lucky enough to be holding a
formal job in Zimbabwe today many were earning less than the living wage.
"However, further analysis shows that the workforce is not being paid a
living wage. Transport costs in a number of instances were higher than the
actual salaries earned by staff," the CZI said.
There was no immediate response to the CZI report from Industry Minister
Obert Mpofu and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.
Critics blame Zimbabwe's crisis on political repression and wrong economic
policies by Mugabe and say the crisis had worsened following the 84-year old
President's disputed and violent re-election in the June 27 presidential
run-off which was boycotted by his challenger Morgan Tsvangirai.
Top officials from ZANU PF and Tsvangirai's MDC party were expected to begin
full-scale negotiations on Thursday aimed at forming a power-sharing
government seen as the best way to end Zimbabwe's crisis.
But political analysts remained wary that the talks in neighbouring South
Africa could collapse over who will lead the new unity government. -
July 23, 2008
By Business Correspondent
HARARE - Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) is ready to work for economic
stability in Zimbabwe, the organisation has said.
"As the voice of business in SA, with members holding business interests in
Zimbabwe, Busa stands ready to work with and support all Zimbabwean parties
in the restoration of economic stability and growth," it said in a
It welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between
President Robert Mugabe representing Zanu-PF and the two MDC factions led by
Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara respectively.
Zimbabwe is "closer than ever to complete economic collapse" under the
weight of a deepening economic crisis that threatens to destabilise southern
The International Crisis Group (ICG) encouraged the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) group of nations to overcome internal divisions
and focus on ways to persuade Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to step
"SADC must resolve internal differences about how hard to press into
retirement Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's 83-year-old president and liberation
hero, and the wider international community needs to give it full support,"
the Brussels-based think tank said in a report.
SADC launched an initiative led by South African President Thabo Mbeki aimed
at mediating between Mugabe and Zimbabwe's opposition in the hope of
reaching a political solution that would end the country's turmoil which was
done on Tuesday.
"After years of economic malaise and political instability, this watershed
event presents the best opportunity for Zimbabwe to re-establish and
redefine itself," said BUSA.
BUSA also welcomed the time horizon that had been agreed to, in particular
the commitment to finalise discussions around the establishment of an
inclusive government in two weeks.
Most SADC heads of state report "positive" mediation efforts but Western
diplomats say little progress has been made as Mugabe tightens his grip on a
once prosperous country suffering from the world's highest inflation rate
and food and fuel shortages.
"Four out of five of the country's 14 million people live below the poverty
line and a quarter have fled, mainly to neighbouring countries," the ICG
Mugabe accuses the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and
his Western foes of sabotaging Zimbabwe's economy and plotting to oust him.
He denies accusations that he has hurt the economy with policies like farm
invasion and proposed mining and indigenization legislation.
"We are pleased that the MoU has committed the parties to the establishment
of a new constitution to protect civil liberties and democratic rights,"
BUSA said. "The signing of the MoU laid the basis for the re-emergence of
the Zimbabwean nation.
"It is a beginning, and we urge all the parties to redouble their efforts to
ensure that the two weeks target is realised."
Mugabe and leaders of the two MDC parties Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur
Mutambara signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Monday, setting the agenda
for full-scale talks to resolve the country's economic and political
The stiffest challenge faced by both parties during the talks is achieving
its main objective of "restoration of economic stability and growth" in an
economy which has shrunk by 60 percent within a decade.
The MoU states that the talks should be completed within two weeks from the
date of signing. The talks are largely expected to come up with a road map
that would address the economic problems that the country has been facing
Last updated: 2 hours ago
Zimbabweans have welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding
between the country's political rivals, but with doubts as to the level of
commitment by both President Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC.
President Mugabe of Zanu PF and Mr Tsvangirai sat at the same table and even
had lunch together for the first time in a decade on Monday as they worked
out logistics that would see the beginning of a two-week negotiation meant
to bring the country back to sanity.
The signing of the MoU, which was witnessed by the talks' mediator,
President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, followed last week's visits by both
United Nations and African Union envoys.
Be more cautious
Zimbabweans, who are currently confused following the failure of similar
efforts to bring the two parties together last year, said the pact
symbolised 'a bit' of hope, but urged Tsvangirai to be more cautious.
"These are anxious moments. People are so hungry and vulnerable that those
pressures can affect their level of understanding. We feel Tsvangirai should
not lose sight of these factors," South Africa-based Zimbabwean professor
Hilda Mashava said.
The talks also include the leader of the other MDC faction, Arthur
Mutambara, who did not participate in the presidential election, but whose
faction won several parliamentary seats in the March harmonised elections.
Mr Mutambara, unlike Mr Tsvangirai, began supporting a government of
national unity settlement well before Tsvangirai. Many people believe that
Mr Tsvangirai should tread carefully, saying Mr Mugabe is a "leopard" who
can never change its spots.
The ruling party set a precedent when it frustrated elected opposition
mayors in most cities by ensuring their work is under surveillance. Some of
the mayors, including those from Harare and Chitungwiza, were l charge with
criminal offences before they were fired.
Wait and see
Most Zimbabweans say they have adopted a wait-and-see attitude as they do
not believe the talks were born out of sincerity, but from political and
There is also the issue of the two parties' inability to come up with a
common understanding to resolve the crisis during the last 10 chaotic and
"Their sincerity is questionable although as a people who have been degraded
and bruised, we should be happy with this historical event. Any patriotic
Zimbabwean would be happy to see any settlement that might lead this country
back on its feet," Mr Andrew Kaseke of the Zimbabwean Youth Alliance said.
Since the signing of the framework agreement on Monday, many people in
Harare and Bulawayo are eager to read and analyse the contents of the MoU.
Those who were privy to the document said it covered almost all critical
They said the main worry was whether the parties will be able to discuss and
agree on all issues on the agenda within the stipulated two weeks.
The document stipulated that a consensus must be reached on issues
pertaining to governance and policy since the two parties are expected to
form a government of national unity.
The MoU broadly outlines the processes and areas that need to be addressed,
amended and fine -tuned to enable healing in all sectors of the economy and
In the past 10 years, Zimbabweans, who are known for tolerance and respect
for human life, have been drifting apart due to political differences which
have seen many people tortured or killed.
The pain and suffering endured in this period has not only fragmented
families, but also made the society lose its sense of responsibility to
build the nation.
The government's efforts to curb crime in the past eight years failed, with
various sectors having to employ unorthodox tactics to survive the
Most Zimbabweans have felt the effects of the economic meltdown and have a
lost hope in Mugabe's ability to run the government, hence the mixed
feelings following the signing of the MoU.
"There is little hope that if these talks survive the tough test ahead and a
new government is formed, this might breathe some life into the country,"
Prof Mashava said.
She added that Zimbabweans have suffered enough and were tired of hoping and
waiting. "It is, therefore, critical that all parties take the talks
seriously for the sake of Zimbabwe." she added.
Restoration of the economy, the sanctions imposed by the West and the land
question are the main priorities for Zimbabweans which, if not tackled with
care, might break the talks.
President Mugabe believes the sanctions were called for by Mr Tsvangirai who
has the backing of the West, and has on several occasions requested him to
call them off.
Mr Tsvangirai is also opposed to the chaotic manner in which the land
programme has been conducted and has insisted on a land audit to identify
those who grabbed more than one farm and are not fully utlising the land.
An understanding on the formulation of a new constitution- an attempt to
reach one failed about eight years ago - is also expected to be a sensitive
The opposition MDC expects the new constitution to pay more attention to
presidential terms and trim presidential powers to allow numerous democratic
processes that are critical in national healing, cohesion and unity.
Thandazani Ndlovu of Bulawayo said that if the talks were prompted by the
impact of the immense suffering Zimbabweans have undergone, then both Mr
Tsvangirai and Mr Mugabe were likely to swallow their pride and reach a
compromise on all items on the agenda.
"We must continue to pray. The two parties have been fighting for 10 years,
during which many people died, many spouses left their families in search of
better options and the country is now ruined. This initiative must be a
serious attempt to ensure a brighter future for generations to come," Mr
Wait and see
He recalled that a former vice president, the late Joshua Nkomo, who came
from the southern part of the country, made a similar sacrifice following
differences with Mugabe after independence in 1980.
"He gave up a lot, including his pride, for the sake of Zimbabweans who died
during the "dissident" era. He knew that, as a father, he had to make that
sacrifice. What Mugabe and Tsvangirai are doing is a sacrifice; it's painful
but it has to be done," Mr Ndlovu said.
"We can hope that despite their differences, which cannot disappear
overnight, the interests of Zimbabwe will make them work together so that
the talks result in something meaningful."
July 23, 2008
THE Movement for Democratic Change's Morgan Tsvangirai is better advised to
be careful from this point on.
We already feel betrayed, no matter how you look at it.
Mugabe had time to think out things and plan accordingly and if Tsvangirai
is not careful, these talks are going to polarize his party and he might
find himself estranged from his followers.
Tsvangirai has already succumbed to one of Mugabe's most potent tools:
secrecy, a trait that makes it easier to lie, which he has done over the
While I concede that talking to the media a little too freely might, at
times, hurt delicate negotiations, Tsvangirai appears to want to go it alone
without involving what Zanu-PF refers to as "other stakeholders".
And that, I am afraid to say, is extremely dangerous.
Tsvangirai should have demanded the presence of other freedom fighting
organizations and people so that should Mugabe play his tricks, which indeed
he will, there will be others to assist and support Tsvangirai.
Mugabe is excluding other interested parties for a reason.
And Mugabe's spinner of tall tales and his incorrigible mouthpiece, Bright
Matonga, is waiting and Tsvangirai is going to spend a lot of time denying
"information that has been leaked to the press" yet he will be alone to
defend himself while people's trust in him will be taking several hard
Going through the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which they signed, I
was amused to note that nowhere does the MDC question Mugabe's legitimacy or
show intention to pursue that salient issue.
The MDC went on to sign the MoU despite the fact that Mugabe is still
holding over 1500 MDC officials in his jails on trumped up charges.
Why not do first things first?
Why didn't Tsvangirai demand, as a pre-condition, the release of his 18
elected Members of Parliament? It is this kind of behaviour that will start
gnawing at Tsvangirai's trustworthiness and it is going to be only a matter
of time before Zanu-PF pounces and uses such things to discredit Tsvangirai
among his own followers.
I read with regret that "state-sponsored violence is to be monitored by the
Tsvangirai MDC in the next two weeks, in order to test Zanu-PF's sincerity
while talks to resolve the country's political crisis are in progress".
In other words, those now under arrest are not important enough but the MDC
needs to start counting fresh victims. Doesn't Tsvangirai need to consult
with his legitimately-elected officials or he believes that his lone
decision-making is good enough?
This thing is already upsetting me and I can see Tsvangirai taking a risk he
needs not take. That is why a party leader has advisors: to advise and
Didn't Tsvangirai find it necessary to demand that those thousands of people
displaced by Zanu-PF thugs and who cannot access their homes even today be
allowed free access to their houses? Is he not representing them?
What is the MDC fighting for if not such basic things?
SWRadioAfrica, for example, quotes a BBC report broadcast on Monday, the day
Tsvangirai and Mugabe signed the MoU, showing 170 opposition activists and
officials hiding in a makeshift camp in the woods just outside Harare.
"They have been there for more than two weeks," the report said, showing a
young MDC activist in a clinic with deep flesh wounds on his buttocks who
said he had been assaulted for refusing to join in celebrations of Robert
Mugabe's runoff election victory.
The MDC itself concedes that many others are still in hiding. But,
apparently, such incidents are just little inconveniences that do not play a
part in MDC negotiations.
They don't put people first. They are in a hurry to share power and to rule.
I find it the height of hypocrisy and negligence that the MDC insists to the
media that talks cannot take place while their officials and supporters are
in prison and violence on innocent people continues but go on to sign MoUs
and schedule more talks for next week while those people who showed their
resolve and stood by the party are now hiding in the bush with Tsvangirai,
their leader, feeding on sumptuous meals with the very man who has chased
them to hide in caves and behind rocks.
The MDC is already behaving like Zanu-PF where the people are considered to
be of no consequence.
The undertakings faced by both Zanu-PF and the MDC cannot be left to
political parties alone. People and civil society must, of necessity, be
involved at the highest level and if Tsvangirai does not heed such simple
terms of political intercourse, he will find himself alone not very long
from today. And Zanu-PF is watching him.
People are tired of being abused, neglected and used. People know what they
want and they want a voice in everything that is happening to them and to
The animosity between political parties has nothing to do with people, yet
it is the people who are being killed as they sustain the political strength
of their parties. That has to stop.
These talks should be held in the open and people should be allowed to
submit their input.
Remember the Pearce Commission of 1971? That is exactly what we should see
being done with this exercise in Zimbabwe today.
For these politicians to take each other to dinner and agree not to say a
word to the media and to the people sounds like Tsvangirai is ready to be
In May 1972 the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary told the British
Parliament that the peoples of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) stood at the
crossroads between two destinies and could either accept a compromise
settlement or "suffer total racial polarisation and civil war".
The Pearce Commission was set up to ask opinion from every citizen available
if they accepted the Anglo-Rhodesian Agreement.
I also gave evidence and, like everybody else, said I did not accept the
Tsvangirai should not just agree to certain things as "trade-offs". That is
Open the damn talks and discussions to the people. They are the reason why
politicians are meeting. Everyone must be afforded to come forward and give
Zimbabweans of all persuasions were afforded such an opportunity once and
they were successful in sending a big 'NO' message to the British.
Open these talks to the public, after all, it is our future and our lives on
By Carole Gombakomba
23 July 2008
The quality of life for urban dwellers in Zimbabwe is rapidly deteriorating
as newly appointed urban authorities battle to provide essential services,
officials and civic activists say.
The central government appointed a new Harare mayor and other officials last
month to work with councilors of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change elected in March. Harare has not had an elected mayor since 2003,
when opposition incumbent Elias Mudzuri was suspended from his functions by
the government and a commission put in place.
Chief Executive Officer Barnabas Mangodza of the Combined Harare Residents
Association told Reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe
that the new municipal authorities have an uphill battle on their hands
addressing critical water and power shortages along with a collapse in
health care, all undermining the quality of life in Harare.
In the eastern Mutare, a new MDC mayor and 18 councilors were to take office
Chairman Geoff White of the Mutare Residents and Rate Payers Association
expressed confidence the new council will do its best, though offering the
caveat that central government interference could limit its ability to
Residents of Bulawayo have not fared much better than their fellow citizens
in Harare and Mutare a week after opposition councilors there chose Patrick
Moyo as mayor.
Chairman Winos Dube of the Bulawayo United Residents Association said that
while water and power are critical issues, the root cause of most problems
Hyper-inflation in Zimbabwe is reaching a record high as foreign countries
cut provisions of banknote paper to the beleaguered country.
Last Updated: 11:24PM BST 23 Jul 2008
In fresh sanctions, European nations have cut supplies of the paper - on
which the national Zimbabwean money is printed.
It means that the government is struggling to find enough money to pay both
workers and most crucially, the military.
It also comes at a time when the government has launched a new 100 billion
dollar banknote - valued at just 7p, the same cost as a loaf of bread if you
are lucky enough to find one.
The paper money in existence is often used to light fires as hyper-inflation
has rendered it so useless.
Currently, the watermarked money in Zimbabwe is provided by the Bavarian
firm Giesecke & Devrient and printed by Zimbabwe's state-run Fidelity
Printers & Refiners in Harare.
In protest at Robert Mugabe's regime, the German government has pressurized
the company to stop providing it and supplies were cut last month.
Zimbabwe is considering Malaysia as an alternative source of banknotes.
But the government is also concerned that the European software licence used
to design and print the notes would also be withdrawn.
The specialist software is supplied by another European firm, Jura JSP, a
Hungarian-Austrian company that specialises in security printing.
A knowledgeable source at Fidelity Printers said the software issue had
created an air of panic.
He said: "It's a major problem. They are very concerned that the licence
will be withdrawn or not renewed.
"They are trying to find ways around it, looking at the software, but it's
very technical. They are in a panic because without the software they can't
Mr Mugabe's regime desperately needs an injection of cash in the coming days
to pay its workers, police force and most crucially, the army.
In the political and economic turmoil since the March 29 elections, prices
have risen almost daily in a rapidly deepening economic crisis.
Factories and businesses have shut down amid empty order books and chronic
shortages of gasoline, power, water and spare parts for equipment repairs.
Official inflation is quoted at 2.2 million percent but economists have put
it at 40 million per cent, meaning it is set to overtake the previous world
inflation champions Brazil, Argentina and Peru within the next three months.
Meanwhile, leading members of Mr Mugabe's regime and their business allies
are transferring tens of millions of US dollars out of Zimbabwe to safe
havens to avoid the threat of tightening sanctions and the possibility of
financial scrutiny by a power-sharing government.
By staff writers
23 Jul 2008
The Anglican Bishop of Harare, the Rt Rev Sebastian Bakare, has warned
leaders of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to be
wary of President Robert Mugabe intentions following the signing of an
agreement to open power-sharing talks.
The southern African nation is still deeply divided following the disputed
elections, only won by Mugabe when his chief opponent Morgan Tsvangirai
withdrew as a result of death threats and intimidation.
The ruling ZANU-PF party and the two formations of the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change are expected to begin talks on Thursday in Pretoria.
This is later than expected, due to last-minute ruling party internal
consultations, diplomatic sources said today.
MDC activists have been exasperated at what some described as the "media
circus" of handshakes and rhetoric surrounding preliminaries to the talks.
They fear that Mugabe is using this to strengthen his own standing in a
country where censorship remains strong.
The note of concern was echoed by Bishop Bakare, speaking from the worldwide
Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops meeting in Kent. He spoke of the
torment suffered by many in the churches under Mugabe, but also recognised
the move towards talks rather than conflict as "a sign of hope".
His predecessor was seen as a Mugabe stooge and finally moved on after
repeated protests to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
South African President Thabo Mbeki, mediator for the Southern African
Development Community (SADC), had pushed for the Zimbabwean talks to get
going on Tuesday 22 July 2008, following the signing on Monday of a
memorandum of understanding setting the framework for the talks.
But analysts and reporters say that ZANU-PF mediators Patrick Chinamasa and
Nicholas Goche, respectively the ministers of justice and labour under
President Robert Mugabe, stalled by consulting further with the ruling party
leadership. After this they headed for Pretoria on Wednesday 23rd.
Chinamasa then confirmed to the state media that the talks will resume on
Thursday 24 July.
Negotiators for Morgan Tsvangirai used the the time to reconfigure their
team. Secretary General Tendai Biti and Deputy Treasurer Elton Mangoma will
represent the Tsvangirai formation at the table.
MDC Women's Assembly chairperson Theresa Makone and chair Lovemore Moyo will
also be on hand as observers.
Report from CHRA
Social Service Delivery update:
In line with the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)'s information
blitz activities programme, we will now be sending you a weekly update on
the service delivery situation and other related issues in Harare. This
update had been temporarily stopped as we scaled down owing to increase
threat of security concerns for our members and staff which had led to the
closure of our offices. This alert will be titled 'Harare Last Week' and
will be sent to you every week. Below is the first issue of the 'Harare Last
Week; 13-19 July 2008'.
Most residential suburbs spent the whole of last week without running water
in their homes. Residents in Highfields, Glen View, Budiriro, Glen Norah,
Ruwa, Hatfield, Masasa Park, Highlands and Gun hill spent this week with
erratic water supply. Meanwhile residents in Mabvuku and Tafara entered
their 8th week without running water. Attempts to get comments from ZINWA
were fruitless. There is growing rumor that ZINWA is running out of
treatment chemicals. The Association is investing these reports with a view
to establishing their impact on the health of residents and the water
situation. CHRA urges the new city council to intensify efforts to reclaim
the management of sewer and water services.
CHRA reminds the Government that the unilateral decision to give ZINWA the
mandate to manage water supply in Harare continues to put the lives of the
residents in danger. ZINWA lacks enough technical capacity to manage the
water supply, hence the deepening of the water crisis in Harare as well as
in other towns and cities across the nation. CHRA therefore urges the
relevant authorities to return the mandate to manage water supply to the
city council. We remind the council to step up its efforts to regain the
water supply management, and save lives.
Electricity supply this week was very erratic in most residential suburbs.
Most suburbs were at the mercy of load shedding, getting electricity for not
more than 3 hours per day. Please note that the length of the day for
electricity usage is calculated from 0700hrs to 2000hrs. Areas hard hit
include Highfields, Warren Park, Dzivarasekwa, Glen View, Glen Norah and
Hatfield. Residents at Shingai court in the Avenues area went through their
3rd week without electricity.
Residents around Westgate, Bluffhill, Dzivarasekwa, Avonlea, Nyabira,
Belvedere and Tynwald spent the greater part of last week without
electricity due to a major fault at the Stampford 132/32kv transformer. CHRA
urges ZESA to put to urgently address this problem and also put in place
strategies that improve electricity supply or at least stick to their load
Sewer and Waste Management
Sewage spillages characterize the face of most residential areas; especially
the High density suburbs of Highfields, Mufakose, Warren Park, Glen Norah,
Mabvuku, Tafara and Dzivarasekwa. In Mufakose and Mabvuku, raw sewage is
filling up the road pot holes, while some residents have temporarily fled
their homes, which have since been invaded by raw sewage! Refuse remains
uncollected and pilling up in most of the suburbs that include Warren Park,
Mbare, Mufakose, Mabvuku and Tafara. CHRA urges the council to urgently
address this problem as it is a health risk. The Association runs a waste
management program that help address this problem, but this program is on
hold owing to the blanket ban on all NGOs and civic society field work.
Most city roads have deep potholes. Such potholes are giving commuter
operators and motorists a nightmare on the roads. Roads like this are common
mostly in the high density suburbs such as Highfields (Canaan Engineering),
Mufakose, Kambuzuma and Mabvuku. This situation is set to deteriorate
further given the fact that the rainy season is approaching. CHRA urges the
council to prioritize road maintenance before the rainy season destroys
those roads completely. Before the blanket ban on all civic society and NGO
field operations, CHRA members used to carry out voluntary popular action
campaigns, some of which would see residents in different wards teaming up
to repair their own roads
The bread basket
Cost of living for most residents in Harare, and indeed others across the
nation continues to shoot up unabated. Prices of basic goods are increasing
every day by an approximate percentage of 500%, while commuter fares are
also increasing by 166% on a weekly basis. Last week, commuter omnibuses
were charging ZW$15 billion on Sarturday 13 July 2008, but this shot up to
ZW$50 billion by Friday 18 July 2008.
The following table shows the cost of living for the past week; for an
average family of six, living in Harare.
10 kg Mealie meal
750ml Cooking oil
6 kgs Economy Beef @ 500 billion/kg
Transport per week @ $ 40 billion per trip (where 1 person works in
town, and 3 children commute to school, 5 days a week)
1, 680 trillion
4 loaves of bread @ $100 billion per loaf x 7 days
2, 800 trillion
2 kg sugar
30g Tea bags
6 litres of drink @$100 billion per 2litres
The minimum wage currently stands at zw$100 billion per month. Given that,
an average family of six people needed at least ZW$9,630 trillion for their
basic survival in the past week, it means that most residents cannot afford
the cost of living as it stands now. In that regard, most residents have
resorted to walking to and from work in an effort to beat transport costs.
Children are also walking to school with most of them withdrawing, while
others have been transferred to local sub standard schools. Residents are
walking distances averaging 15 to 20 km from their homes to work and or
schools. In an effort to beat the spiraling cost of food, an average of 4
per every 5 families are now living on a single substandard meal composed of
very little sadza and boiled vegetables, prepared without cooking oil or any
soup. At least 3 in every 4 School children interviewed this week spent the
whole day on an empty stomach, and got a single meal of sadza and boiled
vegetables in the evening.
Meanwhile food aid by most NGOs remains suspended, while the little aid that
comes from the state is accessible by ZANU PF supporters only. Residents who
are opposition supporters or civic society activists are not given any aid
from the state. A CHRA official attended a recent state food aid meeting
held in Mufakose on Friday 18th of July, where residents were being forced
to chant ZANU PF slogans as well as those that denounce the Movement for
Democratic Change, at each 15 minute interval during the meeting.
The political atmosphere
Harare's political environment, just like in most parts of the country
remains very tense. Intimidation of opposition (or suspected opposition) and
civic society activists continues unabated. NGO and civic society
organizations (CSOs) field work remains banned in Harare as well as the rest
of the country. However the state claims that NGOs whose focus is on
nutritional supplementary and HIV/AIDS treatment are allowed to carry on
with their field work. CHRA recorded four cases of death threats by ZANU PF
militia upon residents suspected to be civic actors, this week alone. ZANU
PF militia bases remain intact in areas like Kambuzuma, Sunningdale,
Dzivarasekwa and Mabvuku. The militia vow that their primary business is to
make sure that there is no 'any opposition parties activities that take
place, as well as permanently dismantle the few remaining opposition parties
structures in the wards'.
The militia is also raiding vendors of their food items, claiming that 'it
is the duty of the masses to feed the revolutionaries'. In some cases,
vendors at such market places like Mbare are forced to pay food stuffs to
the militia as 'tribute' or else they loose their market stalks. CHRA
recorded seven such incidences this week in Mbare. However, while opposition
parties and civic society gatherings remain banned, ZANU PF continues with
its public meetings and what they call victory celebrations. Residents
report that they are being forced to attend these gatherings. Information
leaking from ZANU PF indicates that the state intends to maintain this
suppressive and oppressive political environment as it considers the
possibility of ordering fresh elections that will enable ZANU PF regain
control of the Parliament; which is currently dominated by the opposition.
The social service delivery system has collapsed in Harare and surely in
most parts of Harare. CHRA hopes that the newly elected council will work
towards improving some of the maladies noted above. Most residents expressed
their disappointment with the socio-political crisis that continues in the
country. Their view is that ZANU PF is sacrificing their lives in its effort
to cling onto power without the mandate of the people. Meanwhile CHRA
continues to monitor and report on the situation on the ground, as one of
our strategies of dealing with this crisis. CHRA warns the state that, while
the residents have all along soldiered on to survive, the 'temperatures' are
getting high, and their patience is running out.
CHRA welcomes the desire expressed by
Harare City Council Mayor Mr. Muchadei Masunda, that the decision to give ZINWA
the mandate to manage water supply for the city must be reversed. Mayor Masunda
was quoted in the Herald of Tuesday 15 July 2008. The same view has been
expressed by his Chitungwiza counterpart Mr. Israel Marange, who said ‘Council
is ready to take back water and sewer management because ZINWA must be
responsible for bulk water’. CHRA firmly stands in solidarity with the Mayor’s
view. Since the ZINWA take over of the water supply for the cities and towns,
the water crisis has been worsening and spreading across the country. ZINWA
lacks adequate technical capacity to ensure that the City of
Besides lacking technical capacity, ZINWA is not responsible to the residents, but rather reports to the state appointed ZINWA Board. In that regard, where ZINWA blunders like it is doing, it is the council, which is blamed by its constituency. CHRA notes that ZINWA officials dodge meetings where they are called by residents to discuss the water crisis. They can get away with this unacceptable kind of behavior since the residents are not their masters. Thus the residents are finding it difficult to get ZINWA account to them for the water crisis. It is only fair for the council, which is responsible to the residents to manage the water supply.
CHRA once again calls for the immediate return of the water supplies management to the council, in the interests of saving lives and addressing the agony residents experience as a result of the unavailability of running water. ZINWA must instead revert to bulk water supply only and leave the administration to City Council whose mandate is service provision. It is our right to have clean and adequate water, and certainly we cannot continue to pay ZINWA for a service that it is failing to provide.
Chief Executive Officer
Exploration House, Third Floor
Landline: 00263- 4- 705114
23 July 2008
South African company charged with illegal importation of broadcasting
SOURCE: Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), Windhoek
(MISA/IFEX) - A South African company, Globecast Satellite, which saw two of
its employees acquitted of practicing journalism without accreditation in
April 2008 by a Harare magistrate, is now being charged with illegal
importation of broadcasting equipment in violation of the Broadcasting
Services Act (BSA).
At the commencement of the trial on 15 July 2008, Globecast Satellite, which
is being represented by Thabani Mpofu, pleaded not guilty to charges of
contravening Section 7 (1) as read with Section 7 (4) and 7 (5) of the BSA,
which outlaws the provision of broadcasting services or operating a signal
carrier without a licence.
Magistrate Archie Wochiunga first heard evidence from Cloud Nyamundanda, the
acting Chief Executive Officer of Transmedia Corporation. Nyamundanda told
the court that the Corporation invited Globecast to provide a satellite
uplink during the 29 March 2008 elections. The contract signed between
Transmedia and Globecast, which was tendered in court as the first exhibit,
ran from 25 March to 6 April 2008.
Nyamundanda also said that Transmedia would apply for the operating licence
from the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ).
He told the court that Transmedia had liaised with its parent Ministry of
Information and Publicity, which had approved Globecast's invitation,
resulting in the Ministry issuing a letter of invitation to Globecast that
was produced in court as the second exhibit.
Nyamundanda said that in preparation for the arrival of Globecast, he had
telephoned BAZ requesting an invoice for a licence for the satellite uplink
for two days, from 28 to 29 March 2008. He told the court that he received
the invoice late on 27 March 2008 with a request for payment of US$3,200.
Nyamundanda testified that two Globecast engineers arrived in Harare on 27
March 2008 and subsequently interviewed the Minister of Information and
Publicity Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, which was also broadcast by CNN, without the
corporation's knowledge, in violation of the terms of the contract.
Cross-examined by defence lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa on 16 July 2008,
Nyamundanda insisted that Globecast was in breach of the contract as they
proceeded to provide the satellite uplink in the absence of an engineer from
Transmedia, a matter which Mtetwa insisted was not in the contract.
Mtetwa took issue with the unilateral variation of the terms of the contract
by Transmedia, which applied for a two-day licence despite having invited
Globecast for the period of 25 March to 6 April 2008. She argued that the
variation was not communicated to Globecast and that, in any event, it did
not make any business sense for Globecast to have invested so heavily for a
two-day business venture.
On further grilling by Mtetwa, Nyamundanda failed to explain how Globecast
would have known that they were not supposed to commence transmission
services before 28 March 2008 when that had not been communicated to them.
The state also heard evidence from Obert Muganyura, Chief Executive Officer
of the BAZ, who testified that it was their duty as the regulatory authority
to issue licences to service providers.
Muganyura told the court that it was Transmedia and not Globecast that
should have applied for the licence from BAZ.
The trial was expected to continue on 22 July when more witnesses, including
Minister of Information and Publicity Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, were expected to
Updates the Globecast Satellite case:
For further information, contact Kaitira Kandjii, Regional Director,
Rashweat Mukundu, Programme Specialist, or Chilombo Katukula, Media Freedom
Monitoring and Research Officer, MISA, Private Bag 13386, Windhoek, Namibia,
tel: +264 61 232 975, fax: +264 61 248 016, e-mail:
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
The information contained in this update is the sole responsibility of MISA.
In citing this material for broadcast or publication, please credit MISA.
African Press Organization
Zimbabwe / European Council / Conclusions on Zimbabwe / 2886th External
Relations Council meeting
BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, July 23, 2008/African Press Organization
(APO)/ - The Council adopted the following conclusions:
1. The Council regrets that the Zimbabwean people were unable to vote freely
in the election on
27 June, the result of which the EU regards as illegitimate. The Council
notes that the election
observation missions of the Pan-African Parliament, the African Union and
concluded that the elections had not complied with AU standards and had not
will of the Zimbabwean people.
2. Recalling the warning given by the European Council on 19 June, the
Council has decided to
penalise those responsible for the campaign of violence which has marked
these elections, by
amending Common Position 2004/161/CFSP to extend restrictive measures (a
visa ban and
the freezing of funds) to individuals who do not yet appear on the list
annexed to that
Common Position, and by adding bodies linked to them. The Council has also
reinforce the travel bans against the individuals appearing on the sanctions
list. In the coming
weeks, the relevant Council bodies will examine the measures which might be
others responsible for violence, and other bodies linked to them.
3. The Council also encourages the African Union's efforts and calls for a
rapid and tangible
implementation of its resolution of 1 July. It repeats that in no way is it
able to accept as a fait
accompli the status quo currently prevailing in Zimbabwe. The Council also
efforts, and stresses the importance of pursuing active engagement by the AU
SADC's efforts. It notes the signing in Harare on 21 July of a memorandum of
between the Zimbabwean parties under the aegis of SADC and with the
contribution of the
AU and the United Nations. The EU will continue to raise this situation in
contacts with the SADC countries and other African countries, in particular
at the next
summit with South Africa on 25 July 2008.
By Bronwen Dachs
Catholic News Service
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CNS) -- Church leaders expressed cautious hope over
a deal signed by Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai that lays the framework for negotiations aimed at forming
a power-sharing government.
"The immediate expectation is that it will bring an end to the violence,"
said Father Frederick Chiromba, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Catholic
Bishops' Conference, in a July 22 telephone interview from the capital,
"Once peace has been established, meaningful dialogue can take place,"
Father Chiromba told Catholic News Service, noting that the "parties need to
enter into dialogue in good faith."
"There should be no plans to revert to violence if things don't go their
way," he said.
Human rights groups said opposition supporters have been the targets of
brutal state-sponsored violence since March, leaving more than 80 dead and
Negotiations between the ruling party and opposition "may allow us to move
beyond this crisis," Father Chiromba said.
The preliminary agreement, mediated by South African President Thabo Mbeki,
was signed July 21 in a Harare hotel. It sets a two-week deadline for the
government and two factions of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
to discuss issues, including a unity government and how to hold new
"The deal signed after two weeks needs to be long-term, durable and
people-driven," Father Chiromba said. He expressed hope that it will bring
democracy to Zimbabwe, which has "been a long time coming."
But many people are "cautious and skeptical" about the agreement and "fear
that the opposition will be swallowed by the ruling party," he said.
Mugabe, 84, who has ruled Zimbabwe for 28 years, was sworn in for a sixth
term after a June 27 run-off election in which he was the only candidate.
Tsvangirai, who won the first round of the presidential poll in March,
boycotted the runoff, citing violence against his supporters.
Talks between Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party and the Movement for Democratic
Change have been taking place since March 2007 when the Southern African
Development Community, known as SADC, appointed Mbeki to act as mediator in
the hope that the South African president could help pressure Mugabe to
enact democratic reforms.
"But things could move forward now with the involvement of the SADC, African
Union and even the United Nations," Father Chiromba said, noting that "it
feels like the whole world is praying for us."
"What is needed now is the political will for change," Father Chiromba said.
Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg, South Africa, said the framework
agreement "offers much hope for Zimbabwe's future" but the country's future
"depends on how the deal is worked out." He noted that the two-week deadline
"reflects the urgency of finding a solution to the crisis."
Bishop Dowling called the agreement "a notable achievement" but said "there
is a great deal of work to be done."
The signing "follows pressure from all quarters," he told CNS in a July 22
telephone interview from Rustenburg. "Much depends on what happens in the
next two weeks, and the outcome must give hope to the people of Zimbabwe,
who have clearly indicated their desire for change."
"I hope the agreement on power-sharing will do justice to the will of the
people that was expressed in their voting in March," when the opposition won
the majority of seats in parliament, Bishop Dowling said.
"The months of brutality against people, who have been tortured, killed and
displaced, cannot be swept under the carpet," he said.
The ruling party "cannot be allowed to continue to wield political and
military power," Bishop Dowling said, noting that the "appalling violence is
an attempt to subvert the will of the people."
Meanwhile, Anglican Bishop Sebastian Bakare of Harare warned the opposition
to be wary of Mugabe's intentions for the power-sharing agreement, reported
Ecumenical News International.
Speaking to journalists at the 2008 Lambeth Conference near Canterbury,
England, Bishop Bakare recalled an agreement signed in 1987 between Mugabe
and the then-opposition leader, Joshua Nkomo of the Zimbabwe African
"It ended up with Mugabe's party swallowing the other party, and Mugabe is
in power still today," said Bishop Bakare. "I want to believe that they on
the opposition side are aware of that pact and aware that Mugabe is not
there just to hand in power."
On Monday, Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), committing them to ” dialogue with each other with a view to creating a genuine, viable, permanent and sustainable solution to the Zimbabwean situation and, in particular, to implement this Memorandum of Understanding.”
The MoU is vague about what this “sustainable solution” might look like. So it’s not clear from the document kind of power sharing, or transitional authority, or government of national unity (or “national healing”) the different parties have in mind. Doubtless this is some of what is going to be thrashed out in the coming talks. If the parties adhere to their schedule, they have an ambitious agenda to cover - including the objectives and priorities of a new government, the framework for a new government, and the implementation mechanisms for their agreement - all within the next two weeks.
To find out more about what people thought of this, we sent this text message to our SMS subscribers yesterday:
Kubatana! ZPF and both MDCs agree to talk to resolve crisis. Send yr thoughts on this & give us yr postal or email addr if u want a copy of their agreement.
We received over 300 requests for the document to be posted to people, and over 200 requests that it be emailed. This is a small indication of just how starved most Zimbabweans are for news about our own country.
In April, we asked our subscribers what they thought of the Government of National Unity idea, which was then being batted about. At that time, our subscribers were adamantly opposed to the idea of a GNU - with the anti’s outweighing the pro’s by about ten to one.
But interestingly, yesterday’s initial responses to the idea of Zanu PF and the MDC entering a dialogue to resolve Zimbabwe’s crisis were more tempered. A few subscribers were still firmly against any kind of dialogue with “thieves,” as they called Zanu PF. And there is certainly suspicion that Zanu PF might swallow the MDC, as they did PF Zapu in 1987. But by and large, people texting us were supportive of the idea of dialogue as a way to resolve Zimbabwe’s crisis.
Here are some of their responses:
The talks is good but MDC must be very clever - Zanu PF wants to swallow the MDC
Yes it’s a brilliant idea which shall help end crisis, poverty and all tribulations in Zimbabwe united we stand divided we fall Tsvangirai showed qualities of being a leader by agreeing to talk.
In this country at the moment, literature that isn’t ironical simply can’t compete with life. When Mugabe makes the slightest concession, however insincere, everybody loves him!
Free and fair elections tomorrow with international observers!
Step 1 MDC still to talk as one: to be clear on the main objective . . . the transitional arrangement and nothing less. The leopard never ceases to pounce on weak victims
It is long over due but we want justice.
May be worth the effort but MDC must keep their eyes open. You can’t trust these guys. I agree with Tsvangirai that people have suffered enough.
I think its a good idea but not giving Tsvangirai Vice President post but Prime Minister. That’s where power sharing starts.
I believe it’s a good idea if they can reason together in order to solve this crisis. But they must recognise the results of the election done on 29 March
We don’t need masters, colonial or nationalist. We want public servants. So respect our votes of March 29. You asked for them.
It was overdue but the solution reached must reflect the will of the pple. We need a better zim.
That’s better because we are suffering. We are stuck and something must be done to save the lives of Zimbabweans.
Transitional gvt is rather better than gvt of national unity G.N.U.
The talks are okay but mugabe must not lead the government & must step down.
It better be real coz thz guys are tricky. They may use submarine approach n swallow MDC. Caution coz MT has 2 be very decisive. He has e lives of e pple in his hands.
It’s gd 4 them 2 resolve crisis we a facing on dy 2 dy bt l wl urge M T 2 b careful
For as long as it is something that will result in the fulfilment of our wishes and solve our problems no hard feelings
I think it is a very bad idea for ZPF and MDCs to talk coz they are like water and oil as far as policies are concerned. What happened to ZAPU when it merged with ZPF? I dnt approve of the talks unless they start on the March 29 election which means MDC T would be the winner.
Its quite a wise move we need leaders with people at heart, we have suffered enough. But they have to use March results.
No problem as long as the talks result in the formation of transitional authority & fresh, free & fair run-off being conducted thereafter.
For the MDC to go for talks is not so bad but what is important is not to be colonised their brains by the ZPF. Their talks must consider or must start on 29 March election not from 27 June if not so all the elections need to be restarted but in the presence of U.N.
The talks are very important but MDC must not at all accept a gvt of national unity. They must go 4 a transitional gvt and pave way 4 fresh elections. Zanu PF plans 2 destroy MDC just as they did to ZAPU
MDC must pin ZPF for a new constitution first before any other issues thats the only starting point coz the current one was drafted with a dictator with all powers centred on him.
I think 2 solve crisis they must let the MDC 2 lead or Mugabe being a president & Tsvangi a prime minister but equal powers in parliament.
I think if their agreement is based on with people at heart i guess its a welcome development but at the same time no-one was supposed to die or be displaced for supporting a certain political party so i think their agreement came a little late.
Wednesday, 23 July 2008 14:05
The MDC's external structure, based in South Africa is organising a
massive demonstration over the weekend in protest against the SADC
initiative for a government of National Unity.
We call upon SADC to stop pressurising MDC into accepting a government
on National Unity. We need a Transitional authority, with the mandate to
conduct news elections.
We will deliver a petition at the Zambian Embassy in Pretoria on
Saturday at 11 a.m. The High Commisioner of Zambia has agreed to accept our
petition on behalf of the SADC chairman, Levy Mwanawasa.
MDC SA CHAIRMAN
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
By Denford Madenyika
Zimbabweans experienced another sad day on July 21 2008 as the major
political parties expressed commitment to dialogue through the signing of
the "Memorandum of Understanding in Harare".
While it is hard to stand up and oppose a "negotiated settlement", Morgan
Tsvangirayi, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader should not be a
facilitator or enabler of the torture, beatings, gruesome deaths endured by
the opposition supporters in the hands of Mugabe's regime.
It is common knowledge that you do not reason with "mad" people. Mugabe is a
malicious murderer who is clearly clinging onto power despite being defeated
in the March 2008 general elections. The whole world knows this "negotiated
settlement" gambit is a FARCE. So why enable it? By signing the MOU, the
opposition fell straight into Mugabe's trap; this is what he wanted all
along and now he will find a perfect way and time to snooker Morgan
Tsvangirai. The settlement will be dictated to Morgan for him to sign and
sooner after, he will find himself in the dustbins of political history.
Mugabe, not MDC has full control over the option of a "negotiated
MDC must insist on an option ZANU (PF) cannot control and that option is the
Sovereign National Conference (SNC). At that conference, besides MDC and
ZANU (PF), there will be church leaders; there will be Women of Zimbabwe
Arise (WOZA); there will be representatives of the Teachers Union, Student
Union, Civil Service Union, and other professional bodies, as well as civic
group leaders -- in short, civil society. Their voices too need to be heard
because the collapse of Zimbabwe's economy affects them too. The Sovereign
National Conference broadens the scope of participation. It is no longer
between MDC and ZANU (PF). ZANU (PF) has been primed or tuned to "deal with"
MDC. Now, it has to deal with a much LARGER grouping. Moreover, the SNC
takes the burden of resolution off the shoulders of Morgan or Mugabe. If I
were Morgan, this is the strategy I would pursue.
Denford Madenyika is a columnist of www.AfricanLiberty.org and is the
director of Dzidzai Foundation, a Zimbabwean think-tank.
The Citizen, SA
JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe Refugees Forum (ZRF) has censured the South African
government over its treatment of xenophobic attack victims.
To make matters worse, ZRF says the government's "excuse" that the victims
refused to register for six-month refugee status "stinks".
But a spokesman for foreign affairs, Cleo Mosana, lambasted ZRF's claims.
She said: "The exemption was done to protect the victims from being
deported. The department has communicated with the victims and they had to
comply with the rules or they would be deported."
Mosana said the closing date for refugee status application for xenophobic
attack victims was December 31.
ZRF spokesman Tawanda Mswazie yesterday expressed disgust: "The treatment of
victims of xenophobic attacks by the SA government is very unfair. ZRF is
saddened by the arbitrary deportation of its members to Zimbabwe. In all
fairness, how can any government run by people with brains in their skulls
deport anybody to Zimbabwe at the moment?"
ZRF has also condemned the rounding up of its members this week at Rifle
ZRC appealed to Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to immediately
halt the deportation of Zimbabweans and other victims of xenophobic attacks.
"The government of South Africa is not helping the tension in any way, but
is instead directly encouraging the attacks," Mswazie said.
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to email@example.com with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.
POEM FOR THE DAY
MEMORANDUM of UNDERSTANDING 21/07/08
And so there's been a signing of a memorandum and handshakes for all to see,
The bully and the victim, kiss and makeup, you just see...
And who' all was behind it, and was it good to see...
We heard it first as rumour, and later we could see...
Were hands clenched truly, or is there still time to disagree?
Do we trust this process; was it truly fair and free?
Or are there men behind the scenes, who'd rather not be there...
The "ruling" and the "winning", left to stand and stare!!!
This project has been crooked brokered,
Pushed from the one side... was this ever levered evenly?
Or did the violence ratchet pressure and its threats force engagement, remorse undeclared...
I fear the intent of the small moustache is not clear or to be trusted...
His track record is his legacy... lie, destroy, maim and blame.
Our weapon only name and shame...
But there are those who shuffle the cards of this engagement and as they deal,
Can one be sure how they play their hand, wild cards hidden and others never played...
Deliberately, half truths enabled, the truth disabled...
Sector allegiance stemming from the shared cause, brings undeclared interest to the mediator's lopsided vision...protecting the gains!!!
Justice damaged by perfidy and too long an alliance forged in shared roots of revolution...
Renaissance squandered for connivance with despots...
Well, I don't buy this dummy, and for sure, I doubt the referee has unbiased record of play...
Too slow to blow the whistle on past bad behaviour....
Blind to the fouls notched over 28 years of unfair game...
Deaf to the voices of the millions un-housed, displaced, disenfranchised and made destitute...
Too easily impressed by flushed boxes,
Shared ambitions and undisclosed agendas...
Now too much in hast to quash a fair result from this forced match...
A false embrace witnessed by a fatigued family...
More than equal rights for the abusive and the too easily conned...
Will ever the rightful leader get at long last his fair share?
We've been here before...
Back in 2002 I heard the tale of Lazarus... he was sick and ailing...
His sisters called the Master but He dithered on the way...
Too late His arrival, his friend had slipped away...
The sisters remonstrated... "If only you'd been here!"
"Our brother's dead now, it simply isn't fair!!"
"But the Father has His own times, surely you know that, but show me where you've laid him, quickly take me there!"
"What, you can't really mean it, the body‘s rotting now and corruption fills the air!"
"Roll away the stone! Lazarus come out here!"
"Unbind him! Feed him, let him be!"
And now I muse, Thy will be done, the time is near, the signs the smells they're everywhere...
Famine and corruption...twins born of the affairs of our sad state...
But God is near and our prayers He does hear!!!
Be brave Zimbabwe, be brave, we shall yet get there...
1. Tsvangirai's open letter on the memorandum of understanding Morgan Tsvangirai
22 July 2008
As issued by the Movement for Democratic Change President July 22 2008
Open Letter from the President of the Movement for Democratic Change, Mr.
Morgan Tsvangirai, on the Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, July 22
My fellow Zimbabweans,
Yesterday I signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mr. Robert Mugabe and Prof. Arthur Mutambara. This document commits our three parties to a framework of negotiations that will take place over the next two weeks.
I know that in signing this Memorandum of Understanding, I represent the hopes and aspirations of millions of Zimbabweans to end this crisis as soon as possible. Honest, hardworking Zimbabweans who want nothing more than a life that offers peace, security, economic opportunity, democracy and social and personal development. This is a responsibility that the Movement for Democratic Change and I take with the utmost seriousness.
This Memorandum offers the most tangible opportunity in the past ten years to improve the lives of our fellow citizens. But, our signatures alone do not guarantee that we will be able to make the most of this opportunity. Our signatures on this document must be accompanied by acknowledging some very basic truths:
We are Zimbabweans who want only what is best for our country and our citizens. Our shared goal is best achieved in a climate of tolerance and stability, not divisiveness and anger. We believe that wanting a more democratic future or expressing an alternate political opinion should be viewed as a right and not as a declaration of war. No one has a monopoly on patriotism.
We believe that the will of the people is the fundamental basis on which to ground our negotiations.
We acknowledge that these negotiations can only proceed and succeed if the rule of law is restored, if people are able to go about their business in safety, if the public media refrain from using hate speech to polarize the community, if the persecution of MDC MPs, members and supporters ceases, and if humanitarian organizations are allowed once again to provide aid to the millions of Zimbabweans in need of assistance.
For my part, I call on all Zimbabweans who believe in the ideals of democracy as espoused by the MDC, to continue to abide by the rule of law, to live in a spirit of tolerance and inclusiveness in the knowledge that if we work together in this spirit, a better future lies ahead and justice will prevail.
Yesterday, we committed ourselves to a process that presents the framework in which we can strive to find a solution to the Zimbabwe crisis. This is just the first step on a journey whose duration and success is dependent on the sincerity and good faith of all parties involved.
In the spirit of a shared vision to heal our nation, I call upon my fellow signatories to join me in putting aside our differences and acknowledging that we have a responsibility to the people of Zimbabwe to show true leadership and to find agreement that will bring an end to the violence, polarisation, poverty and fear in which we have all been living for too long. Our fellow countrymen and women look to us to find common ground that will allow us, as a nation, to chart a democratic path forward.
We must acknowledge that the outcome of these negotiations will not be acceptable until it has been endorsed by Zimbabwean civil society, the trade unions and the people themselves. We are not here to form an elitist pact, but rather to represent the hopes and aspirations of each citizen and every stakeholder. This is my commitment to our partners who have struggled with us for a more democratic form of government.
To the people of Zimbabwe I say, have courage, be strong, better days lie ahead.
The heart of the entire world is broken by what has happened in our country, and your bravery is praised among all peoples everywhere. The world stands ready to join us in rebuilding our nation and restoring what has been lost, once our peace and freedom are re-established.
May God bless Zimbabwe.
All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice for Agriculture.