Talks between the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change are facing collapse.
By Peta Thornycroft and Sebastien Berger in Johannesburg
Last Updated: 10:46PM BST 28 Jul 2008
Representatives of Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party disclosed that they were
mandated only to offer the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai a
vice-presidency, with no executive power.
The offer came despite Mr Tsvangirai decisively beating Mr Mugabe in the
first round of the presidential poll in March, and Zanu-PF losing its
The MDC pulled out of the presidential run-off last month in the face of a
campaign of violence against its supporters, more than 100 of whom were
killed, some in appalling brutal ways.
The MDC insists it is the rightful winner of the elections and is adamant
that it will only accept a transitional authority, with Mr Tsvangirai in
control, leading to fresh elections in about two years.
"I guess we knew Zanu-PF was not serious and we have never expected anything
from [South African President Thabo] Mbeki," said an MDC source in Harare.
Mr Mbeki, who is mediating the negotiations, wanted to see a government of
national unity emerge from the process.
Two officials said that the Zanu-PF negotiators, the justice minister,
Patrick Chinamasa and the social welfare minister, Nicholas Goche, were
flying back to Harare from Pretoria, where the negotiations were being held,
while MDC officials said Mr Tsvangirai had flown to South Africa from
Perhaps the only surprise is that the talks, which were scheduled to last
for two weeks, got into difficulties so soon after they started last
The agreement last week on a memorandum of understanding about the process
triggered a wave of optimism in some quarters.
Despite the applause for the deal over talks and the praise from President
Nicholas Sarkozy of France for Mr Mbeki's efforts, analysts had said that
the key question was whether Zanu-PF was prepared to cede a meaningful
measure of genuine authority to the MDC.
Mr Mugabe has been in power for 28 years and has shown no sign of being
willing to give it up, while Zanu-PF is in full control of the country and
faces little practical pressure, particularly after Russia and China vetoed
a UN Security Council resolution that would have imposed sanctions on the
The MDC had expected the talks to break down quickly, as its chief
negotiator, the secretary-general Tendai Biti, and most of the party's
hierarchy believed Mr Mugabe when he repeatedly said that Mr Tsvangirai
would "never, ever rule" Zimbabwe.
But there is fury in some opposition circles about Mr Mbeki's role, as they
believe he must have known all along that Mr Mugabe had no intention of
negotiating his way out of power. "Why did some of us believe Mbeki? He will
protect Mugabe to the end," said another MDC source.
Zimbabwe already has two vice-presidents, both appointed by Mr Mugabe - one
reserved for a senior Zanu-PF figure and the second for a member of the
former opposition, the Zimbabwe African People's Union (Zapu) that was
consumed by Zanu in the Unity Accord of 1987, after as many as 20,000 of the
party's members were massacred by Mr Mugabe's troops.
By Blessing Zulu
28 July 2008
Negotiators for Zimbabwe's ruling party and opposition were reported late
Monday to have broken off power-sharing talks after reaching an impasse over
the position opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai would hold within a
national unity or transitional government.
News reports and sources close to the talks said the two sides deadlocked
after the ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe proposed
Tsvangirai, founder of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change and the
front-runner in the country's March 29 first-round presidential election,
should accept the post of third vice president.
MDC negotiators insisted he should be prime minister with executive powers.
Reports said Tsvangirai was heading to Pretoria from Harare late Monday to
consult with his negotiators, Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma, secretary
general and deputy treasurer of his MDC formation respectively, while
ZANU-PF chief negotiators Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche, respectively
ministers of justice and labor, were on their way to Harare for
consultations with Mr. Mugabe and the ZANU-PF leadership.
ZANU-PF's politiburo last week said Mr. Mugabe must head any new government
emerging from the talks, declaring that this was a non-negotiable point.
But sources close to the talks say the demand that Tsvangirai be given an
inferior position is being pushed by senior military and police officials
who worry that a major change in leadership might expose them to dismissal
The military is alleged to have engineered the murders of more than 150
opposition officials and members in political violence after the March 29
elections. Observers said the violence was intended to punish segments of
the electorate for supporting the opposition, and to reduce the MDC before
the presidential run-off June 27 which Mr. Mugabe won uncontested.
Sources added that despite the breakdown, some headway had been made in the
talks including on constitutional amendments that would accommodate rival
MDC formation leader Arthur Mutambara and other politicians lacking a seat
in either the house or the senate.
Meanwhile, the recent expansion of European and U.S. lists of sanctioned
government officials and related persons and enterprises is said to have
irked the ruling party.
Former ZANU-PF chief parliamentary whip Joram Gumbo told reporter Blessing
Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that such sanctions are
Political analyst Hermann Hanekom of Cape Town, South Africa, said ZANU-PF
understands that insisting Mr. Mugabe head the next government could derail
negotiations but that the so-called "securocrats" are resisting changes that
would jeopardize their position.
††††††by Jameson Mombe and Norest Muzvaba Tuesday 29 July 2008
JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday
arrived in South Africa, the venue of power-sharing talks between his
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party and President Robert Mugabe's
ruling ZANU PF party.
Tsvangirai's spokesman George Sibotshiwe confirmed the visit but sought to
distance the opposition chief's presence in South Africa from the
negotiations for a government of national unity that is seen as the best way
to end Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis.
"We are here for private business," Sibotshiwe told the media, when asked
about the purpose of Tsvangirai's visit.
South African President Thabo Mbeki is chief mediator of the talks between
Zimbabwe's feuding political parties that began last week and are expected
to agree on a structure for a government of national unity and to set out
the objectives and priorities for the new government.
Negotiators will also tackle the issue of a new constitution for Zimbabwe,
restoration of economic stability and growth, land reform and Western
sanctions imposed on Mugabe and his top officials.
However, political analysts say the biggest obstacle in the way of the talks
remains the issue of what roles Mugabe and Tsvangirai will play in the
national unity government.
ZANU PF insists that Mugabe should remain as executive president, while
Tsvangirai becomes prime minister or a vice-president, while on the other
hand the MDC says its leader should become executive prime minister of the
unity government with Mugabe serving as a titular president.
The parties also differ sharply over land reform, Western sanctions imposed
on Mugabe's government and the thorny question of what to do with ZANU PF
hardliners and military commanders accused of committing political violence
and killing at least 120 MDC supporters and displacing 200 000 others since
However, Mbeki told the South African Broadcasting Corporation on Monday
that ZANU PF and MDC were both fully committed to resolving differences
between themselves in order to work a political settlement to rescue their
country from crisis.
The South African leader, who won had been criticised for his handling of
the Zimbabwe crisis but has in recent weeks won praises after getting Mugabe
and Tsvangirai to sign an agreement to talk, said the Zimbabwean parties
were looking to finishing negotiations as "speedily as possible".
Mbeki said: "In our own view, they (Zimbabwean parties) are demonstrating
the will to complete this process as speedily as possible and that every
body recognises the importance of moving the process forward very quickly."
He said the Zimbabwean parties were working "quite hard" to conclude talks -
that began last Thursday - within the two-week deadline. - ZimOnline
July 28, 2008 Edition 2
Mercury Foreign Service
President Thabo Mbeki told the cabinet yesterday that talks were continuing
between Zimbabwe's main political parties in Pretoria yesterday as a South
African government source said any "parallel talks" in Harare would be an
adjunct to the main dialogue in Pretoria.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that Robert Mugabe told his presidential opponent,
Morgan Tsvangirai, when they met last week for brunch that he had been
unaware that Movement for Democratic Change supporters were being killed by
A source claimed that Tsvangirai had then given him a lengthy report on the
Three people are known to have been killed in the first five days following
the signing of the memorandum of understanding between Mugabe and Tsvangirai
in Harare on July 21.
South African deputy minister of foreign affairs, Aziz Pahad, told a
briefing yesterday that he was not aware of any parallel talks in Harare
conducted between direct representatives of Tsvangirai and Mugabe.
By Jonga Kandemiiri
28 July 2008
At least 16,400 incidents of politically motivated violence occurred in
Zimbabwe in in the first six months of this year, the Zimbabwe Peace Project
said but the organization added that it may have missed incidents when its
monitors were themselves displaced by violence.
This raised questions about an apparent significant decline in political
violence in June.
The cumulative report for January-June noted an "exponential increase in
human rights violations," in May in particular with 6,288 documented
incidents. Through June some 77 murders were reported across the country.
Peace Project National Director Jestina Mukoko told reporter Jonga
Kandemiiri that violence may well have continued at high levels in June, but
went unrecorded as the project's own monitors, like many other citizens,
were obliged to flee the most violent areas.
Meanwhile, opposition political sources said a driver abducted by armed
soldiers in Buhera South last Thursday had been released by police Friday
Movement for Democratic Change driver Witness Maambire said that after he
was abducted, the soldiers interrogated him then handed him over to officers
at Muzokomba police station where he underwent further questioning before
being released the following day.
Maambire was abducted in Buhera South where he had gone to pick up victims
of violence who had not been able to obtain medical care, and transport them
He said the soldiers never tortured him, but demanded to know why he was in
the area, to which he responded that he was looking to purchase livestock
MDC officials in Manicaland province said said Buhera remains a no-go area
for opposition members despite calls from some ruling party officials for an
end to violence.
By Alex Bell
28 July 2008
The number of Zimbabweans seeking shelter in neighbouring countries is
reaching unmanageable proportions, with the Botswana government appealing
for international help with the influx of Zimbabweans - who it says are
draining Botswana's resources.
Foreign Minister Phandu Sekelemani told South Africa's SAfm radio station on
Sunday that the influx of Zimbabweans into Botswana "is an issue to be dealt
with" and he called on the international community "to help us because it is
a drain on our resources". Sekelemani said the number of refugees keeps
growing and that the government "cannot turn them back once they qualify for
refugee status". According to government sources late last year, Botswana
was playing host to an estimated 250 000 Zimbabweans - a number that was
growing as conditions under Robert Mugabe's regime went from bad to worse.
Meanwhile, many Zimbabweans who fled to South Africa are facing deportation
after failing to apply for temporary South African ID cards. The group is
among about 700 hundred foreign nationals that were forcibly removed from a
refugee centre in Johannesburg last week - where they were taking shelter
following the xenophobic attacks in South Africa earlier this year. They
have since been removed to a repatriation centre where they face
deportation, but South African media reported that many have taken to the
streets in an effort to prevent being sent back home.
Daniel Molokele from the Global Zimbabwe forum told Newsreel on Monday that
the situation in Botswana is indicative of what he called an "international
humanitarian crisis". He said it was "very important that the UN get
involved" to aid country's hosting Zimbabwean refugees as well as the
He said pressure needs to be put on SADC leaders to "accept that there is a
need for Africans to take responsibility for the crisis, because it is the
direct result of the failure of Africa, in particular SADC, to intervene in
the worsening Zimbabwean situation".
Molokele added that he respects South Africa's changing policy on refugees
but emphasised that "any form of deportations is an affront to the situation
in Zimbabwe". He said there should a complete stop to all Zimbabwean
deportations "until further notice or at all" and that governments should
invest in a "repatriation process" of all Zimbabweans seeking shelter from
the violence in their home country.
Botswana earlier this month urged other nations in southern Africa not to
recognise Mugabe's re-election in last month's one-man poll. Sekelemani
reiterated calls for Zimbabwe to be suspended from the Southern Africa
Development Community (SADC). He said that Botswana "as a country that
practices democracy and the rule of law" does not "recognise the outcome of
the presidential run-off election, and would expect other SADC member states
to do the same".
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
††††July 28 2008 at 09:55AM
By Peta Thornycroft and Hans Pienaar
President Thabo Mbeki told the Cabinet on Sunday that talks were
continuing between Zimbabwe's main political parties in Pretoria.
And Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad has denied any
knowledge of "parallel talks" said to be taking place in Harare.
Another government source said that if there were any such talks they
would be an adjunct to the main dialogue in Pretoria.
Meanwhile, people injured during the run up to the second round of the
presidential poll, in which Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, was the only
candidate, are still emerging from quasi-military bases controlled by
Human rights workers say there are 25 full bases still operating in
the Buhera area, Manicaland province.
In the remote Gokwe district in central Zimbabwe, the Independent
Foreign Service saw last week that, although the bases in that region appear
to have been dismantled, Zanu-PF militia who manned them were all still
around and people were being prevented from returning to their burnt-out
In London, Amnesty International said it was worried that the climate
of impunity would continue should a deal be reached and amnesty be given, in
the process sweeping the deaths of as many as 150 people and dispersion of
thousands under the carpet.
Amnesty said: "Any future deal between the parties should not include
amnesties, pardons or any other measures that would prevent the emergence of
the truth, a final judicial determination of guilt or non-guilt, and full
reparations to victims and their families."
Amnesty International remained concerned that "Zimbabwe was still
blanketed in a climate of fear.
"The government must put an immediate end to all acts of intimidation,
arbitrary arrest and torture perpetrated state and non-state actors against
human rights defenders and political activists, particularly in rural areas.
"All bases from which torture and ill-treatment are being carried out
must be closed immediately and alleged perpetrators of human rights
violations must be brought to justice," Amnesty said.
This article was originally published on page 2 of Cape Times on July
28th Jul 2008 08:37 GMT
By a Correspondent
THE government of President Robert Mugabe says new US sanctions against
Zimbabwe are designed to hold back the pace of economic reform.
Secretary for Information and Spokesperson for President Robert Mugabe,
George Charamba, said on Sunday that the fresh round of sanctions are
intended to prevent Zimbabwean businesses from finding trading partners in
countries such as Iran and China.
"The companies slapped with sanctions are those companies that are trying to
validate the 'Look East' policy by entering into partnership with
non-traditional investors," Charamba said.
"Western interests are now threatened by these non-traditional investors
from China, Iran and other Asian countries," he added.
The United States last week broadened sanctions on Mugabe's government and
his closest aides, by singling out banks and mining companies which provide
Zimbabwe with its main source of income.
The unilateral measures come after a sanctions vote in the United Nations
Security Council earlier this month was vetoed by China and Russia.
Once the breadbasket of sub-Saharan Africa, Zimbabwe's flourishing economy
rapidly shrank as a consequence of policies imposed by the IMF and World
Bank in return for loans.
28th Jul 2008 08:31 GMT
By a Correspondent
PRETORIA - The South African government Sunday raised objections to new
sanctions on Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and his cronies while
negotiations are continuing to try to end the country's crisis.
Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad suggested that sanctions were akin to
"For us, it is difficult to understand the objectives of new sanctions,"
said Pahad, two days after the US government broadened its sanctions by
adding the names of several dozen individuals as well as 17 companies and
parastatals linked to the Mugabe regime.
Earlier in the week, the European Union widened its list of individuals
targeted by the sanctions, which include freezimg assets and visa bans.
"The Zimbabweans are meeting, let them sort out what they want for their
future. We should not allow outside interference," Pahad told a news
President Thabo Mbeki earlier told reporters that his government wants
Zimbabwe's political rivals to speedily reach an agreement on a negotiated
settlement to the country's crisis.
Mbeki as chief mediator said the talks which opened on Thursday are ongoing
and the South African cabinet meeting last week expressed hopes that the
participants would work fast towards a conclusive deal.
"Negotiations are continuing," said Mbeki, without giving details of the
talks being held under a media blackout and at an upmarket lodge on the
outskirts of the capital.
"The cabinet expressed hope that the Zimbabwean parties will act with
urgency to ensure that a settlement is reached sooner," he added.
Zimbabwe's political crisis deepened last month after Mugabe defied
international and regional calls to forge ahead with a one-man, second round
presidential election from which opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai had
pulled out over violence against his supporters.
Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF party has said its leader's re-election in the June
27 run-off must be recognised for the talks, established by an agreement
signed with Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Tsvangirai on
Monday, to succeed. - AFP
By Patience Rusere
28 July 2008
Zimbabwean bankers, businesses, economists and consumers Monday awaited
further details from the central bank on how it will address cash shortages,
following a statement by its chief to state media that he will remove "more
zeros" from bank notes to simplify transactions.
Such a redenomination of bank notes would be a repeat of an operation the
central bank carried out in August 2006, causing massive economic disruption
as obsolescent notes were called in by the central bank, their holders
obliged to explain how they came by them.
The anticipated central bank move follows lobbying by businesses whose cash
registers, calculators, and other devices are now unable to handle long
strings of zeros - as many as 21 as transactions mount into the trillions,
quadrillions, quintillions and even sextillions.
The most likely move would be to remove nine zeros from the currency, such
that a Z$10 billion note would become a Z$10 note.
Sources in Zimbabwe said Monday that the battered Zimbabwean dollar was
trading between Z$500 billion and Z$800 billion to the U.S. dollar. But some
parallel market were quoting U.S. dollar exchange rates in the trillions,
perhaps reflecting a rush by participants holding large amounts of
Zimbabwean dollars to dump them in advance of central bank controls.
The state-run Sunday Mail said on the weekend that the central bank is also
planning to raise its limit on cash withdrawals from banks to relieve tackle
cash shortages. Currently, individual account holders can only withdraw
Z$100 billion a day from their bank - barely enough to cover the cost of
commuting to and from work in a common conveyance.
Economist and businessman Luxon Zembe, a former president of the National
Chamber of Commerce, told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for
Zimbabwe that had become almost impossible for businesses to deal with so
many zeros, adding the caveat that aside from simplifying transactions,
redenomination would hold few economic benefits.
The Monitor (Kampala)
29 July 2008
Posted to the web 28 July 2008
Thousands of Zimbabweans displaced by politically-motivated violence are
still stranded, amid fears of a humanitarian crisis a month after President
Robert Mugabe won the one candidate presidential run -off election.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in
Zimbabwe estimates that the number of displaced people is 36,000 with 16,844
Aid agencies, banned from carrying out field operations in the run-up to the
elections on accusations that they were campaigning for the opposition, have
appealed for an immediate lifting of the ban so that they could offer
support to the victims and the more than three million Zimbabweans facing
Thousands of people were forced to abandon their homes after President
Robert Mugabe's militant supporters unleashed a reign of terror in an effort
to reverse the veteran leader's first round defeat to his arch-rival, Mr
Morgan Tsvangirai of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
Mr Tsvangirai pulled out of the June 27 run-off citing the death of more
than 100 of his supporters and the displacement of thousands others.
Organisations taking care of the victims, who are mostly supporters of the
MDC, said although they had assisted several hundreds of people to return to
their homes, some were still unprepared to face their tormentors.
28th Jul 2008 22:19 GMT
By Chenjerai Chitsaru
IT is time for the African Union to investigate the causes of the continent's
failure to achieve the dream which began in 1957. Why have only a few
countries realised their political and economic potential since then?
The continent is now fully independent. Yet, with only a few exceptions, the
dream of full nationhood and the economic benefits that flow from it is
Many analysts have probably investigated the problem, but have so far not
published their findings. This is either because they are ashamed - as proud
Africans would be - to disclose the naked truth that the fault lies, not
with some mythical Western plot, but with us.
Or it could be that these analysts themselves showed their work to one or
two politicians for approval and were told to destroy it or risk a fate
worse than death.
Or it could be - and this is a very long shot - that the analysts were
relatives of leading politicians and shelved publication because the report
could end their relatives' careers, which would throw them into the
poorhouse, as they too benefited from their relatives'positions.
This is Africa and nothing is as incredible as it may seem. One leader told
a public rally that if anyone opposed his party he would have them bashed.
The next day, the same man was proclaiming his country was a full-fledged
democracy, always holding free and fair elections.
Theories abound as to what has stymied our attempts to bring to the people
the benefits of the blood and sweat they shed during the struggle against
colonialism. One overwhelming theory is greed - for power and wealth.
This by no means is to suggest that no other continent is blighted by these
two curses except Africa. Indeed, every continent on earth is plagued by
these maladies. The focus today is on Africa primarily because since 1957,
the continent has made painfully slow steps towards achieving for its people
the political and economic development that other continents have made.
What the AU ought to do is to appoint a high-powered commission of
investigators to look at the causes of our political and economic
backwardness since Ghana 's independence.
Two Nigerians ought to be on the commission: Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka,
who have both commented, in literature, on the plight of their country since
independence in 1960.† A Kenyan, N'gugi wa Thiongo ought to be included too,
as should a number of South Africans, among them Lewis Nkosi, Nadine Godimer
and Frene Ginwala.
Zimbabwe could be represented by Chenjerai Hove, now living in exile.
I mention Nigerians and South Africans as those two countries are the
biggest economies on the continent and have set terrible examples on both
the political and economic front as far as advancement is concerned.
Nigeria 's middle name is Corruption. South Africa's is Crime. Both
countries could blame their predicaments on colonialism and apartheid. But
here is a crunch: they both waged a war against white domination and
triumphed. Nothing, on the surface, could prevent them from triumphing over
Corruption and Crime - except the twin curses of Corruption and Crime.
In Nigeria, a former president is openly accused of having corruptly
acquired wealth. In South Africa, a judge is accused of suspicious dealings
in a case involving the president of the ruling ANC.
In both countries, poverty levels are staggeringly high, in relation to the
two nations' gross domestic product. In South Africa, the first president
after the end of apartheid, Nelson Mandela, said there were many wealthy
people in the country who would not share their riches with the poor.
No prominent politician or dignitary has been heard to pronounce the same
sentiment in Nigeria, although you can be sure that they feel exactly the
same way, except that to say so publicly might land them in trouble with
their relatives and their wives.
Now, we all know that the AU, like its predecessor, the OAU, is acutely
aware of its toothless-ness.
Examples of how its battered gums have failed to bite the bullet in many
crisis situations abound. In the DRC, only the help of foreign countries
ensured the blood-letting among the Congolese was finally ended or curbed.
In the Sudan, the bloodshed in the Darfur region continues, even as an
arrest warrant has been issued for Sudanese president, Omar el Bashir. On
television recently, the president was shown brazenly reassuring the people
of Darfur that he had their interests at heart and would protect them.
On his orders, it is alleged, millions have been killed in Darfur .
Who can remember Jaafar El Nimeiri?
Sudan is a microcosm of an African country which fought gallantly against
the British to achieve its independence. Once that dream was achieved, it
has known little peace. John Garang, the leader of the† southern part of the
country, died in a plane as he tried to end another bloody conflict.
Death continues to stalk that vast land, which gained independence in 1956.
The problem with entrusting the onerous task of probing the causes of Africa
's failure to bring prosperity to its people to the AU is obvious: that
organisation is part of the problem, and cannot conceivably be seen as part
of the solution.
I say that even while admitting that, in efforts to solve the crisis in
Zimbabwe, the organisation appears to have played a crucial role. Some might
consider this an example of optimism based on something as ephemeral as† dew
in the morning. Others might deride that statement as being so much wishful
Hopes have been raised in the past, only to be dashed, even as people
prepared to pop the corks of the bottles of whatever drinks can still be
bought in the streets of the cities today.
In case there are people who see Zimbabwe with rose-tinted glasses, it is
important to point out that this country, born with so much promise in 1980,
is an example of how Africans have messed up their dreams of prosperity.
Most of the population of our country is below 30 years of age. So, it
stands to reason that most have only a faint idea of what the potentialfor
development was in 1980.
Any conversation with the young - or the so-called Born Free - is invariably
punctuated with the question: What went wrong?
Those who had matured by 1980 know what went wrong: we put too much trust in
people who had joined the struggle, not out of any overwhelming desire to
improve the economic and political welfare of ordinary people, but out of
their own selfish desire to replace the colonialists in every respect.
In other countries where such people have duped their compatriots into
accepting their looting of the country's wealth as a legitimate reward for
their role in the struggle, their fate has been messy, to say the least.
This bloody syndrome might end once the AU discovers the seed of the
discontent which has cursed African development for more than 50 years.
††††††by Own Correspondent Tuesday 29 July 2008
JOHANNESBURG - A Nigerian government official on Monday said Zimbabwean
farmers have found a new home in the west African country to continue
farming on the African continent.
"Our state alone has 15 Zimbabwean farmers who have relocated," deputy
governor of Nigeria's Nasarawa state John Michael Abul told the South
Africa-Nigeria Business Forum in Johannesburg.
Thousands of white Zimbabwean farmers have lost their land following
President Robert Mugabe's haphazard land reform programme that started in
2002 and has led to the destruction of the country's once vibrant farming
Often violent and chaotic, Mugabe's land seizure replaced productive white
farmers with black farmers who are either incompetent or poorly funded and
this has resulted in the former breadbasket of southern Africa facing acute
Last week a regional Tribunal found Zimbabwe's government guilty of
violating an order not to harass a group of white farmers or seize their
land and said Harare must explain its actions to a summit of southern
African leaders in South Africa next month.
The South African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal had in an earlier
ruling temporarily barred Harare from seizing land belonging to 78 white
farmers pending the hearing of an application by the farmers challenging the
legality of Mugabe's programme to confiscate white-owned land for
redistribution to landless blacks.
The white farmers want the Tribunal to declare Mugabe's controversial land
reform programme racist and illegal under the SADC Treaty. Such a ruling
would have far reaching consequences for Mugabe's government, opening the
floodgates to thousands of claims of damages by dispossessed white farmers.
Abdul said the Nigerian state of Nasarawa, located in the middle belt zone
of the country, had vast arable land for commercial farming, fishery
development, wildlife and forestry conservation, and added that agriculture
was the mainstay of the state's people - with more than 70 percent of the
population involved in subsistence farming.
Areas for investment in the agricultural sector included sugar cane
plantations, sugar refineries, flour-mills and rice processing. The state
was also rich in minerals and had bright tourism prospects.
Zimbabwe is in the grip of a severe political and economic crisis that the
World Bank has described as the worst in the world outside a war zone and is
seen in the world's highest inflation rate of more than two million percent,
severe shortages of food and every basic survival commodity. - ZimOnline
28th Jul 2008 22:07 GMT
By Ian Nhuka
BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe's biggest mining fair, MineEntra ended here Saturday
with only one foreign company exhibiting as well as a string of small mining
concerns and parastatals.
Organised by the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Company, MineEntra is
staged annually at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre here.
Held between Wednesday and Saturday last week, its primary focus is to
showcase the mining sector in the country although the transport and
engineering sectors are also incorporated.
MineEntra is a specialised fair open to business people only with the three
specific focus sectors and is the ZITF Company's second biggest fair after
the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, which is a general exposition.
But, in tune with the obtaining economic meltdown and the refusal of the
West to conduct business with Zimbabwe because of political differences over
President Robert Mugabe's rule, the business content of basically all shows
is plummeting every year.
During a press conference on Monday, ZITF Company general manager, Daniel
Chigaru admitted that the show was a disaster.He said a week before the
start of the show total of 80 organisations had confirmed their
participation, but eight did not turn up without an explanation.
The number of exhibitors who showcased their products this year is far lower
than the 150 who participated last year.Usually, the company and the
government tend to paint a glossy picture of its shows, but perhaps this
time it was impossible to do so because of the glaring absence of major
mining firms, the massive presence of small and medium scale mining
companies and the little space they booked.
Giving the official opinion of the conduct of the show, Chigaru blamed the
hostile economic conditions for the poor show. Nevertheless, he claimed the
few exhibitors who attended managed to discuss business deals.
He said: "We are happy with this year's MineEntra and we must note that it
was held under very difficult economic conditions and this somehow had an
effect on the exhibition. On the first day activity was good although
visitors who came in were fewer compared to last year."
The 72 exhibiting organisations took up only 1 350 square metres of space in
Hall 3. This means that the hall was basically empty as it offers 3 600
square metres of space.The only foreign company that attended MineEntra was
only identified as CBC.
Two officials representing the company, Sanjay Tyagi and Kiyuyeb Vladimir
only visited a small-scale gold mining enterprise that is run by the Deputy
Minister of Environment and Tourism, Andrew Langa in Filabusi on Thursday
Visiting Zimbabwe some two years after the government was embarrassed after
hosting a Russian delegation representing a non existent company, the Tyagi
and Vladimir proclaimed that Russian businesses were keen to invest in
Zimbabwe's coal and chrome mines.
During the press conference, Chigaru said speakers at a two-day conference
held during the first two days highlighted the factors that are affecting
the mining, engineering and transport industries.
"The speakers managed to touch on the pertinent issues that are affecting
the sectors and we are very grateful to those who attended and those who
presented papers during the conference," Chigaru said.
He criticised the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe for failing to provide
subsidised diesel to exhibitors although the oil utility supplied 15 000
litres of petrol."We did not get diesel, something that also affected the
By Mellisa Dube-Koketso ⋅ © zimbabwemetro.com ⋅ July 28, 2008 ⋅
Following the revelation that Robert Mugabe’s leading surrogate is hiding
inside Botswana working as a lecturer at one of the colleges,some citizens
have called for him to be deported from Botswana.
The Botswana Standard reported on Sunday that Caeser Zvayi who was until
recently the editor of the government propaganda mouthpiece The Herald is in
Metro has established that he is lecturing at LimKokWing University in
Gaborone. He teaches among other the courses Writing for Print and News
Writing and Reporting 1 in the university’s Faculty of Communications and
Some students said they were not aware that Zvayi was a key Mugabe supporter
and called for him to be kicked out of the country and the school should
find a replacement.
‘If he supports Mugabe he must go back,he can be easily replaced by another
lecturer from Zimbabwe with morals,how can anyone support Mugabe when people
are suffering, afterall why is he in Botswana if he thinks Mugabe is doing
the right thing’, said Kagiso Seloma a student at the university.
Seloma’s sentiments were echoed by Gaborone resident Mary Kokorwe who said
Zimbabweans should stage a demonstration at the university,’He be should
arrested for promoting hate and Zimbabweans should demonstrate at the
university campus,because that should send a message to those who are
violating other people’s rights in Zimbabwe right now that they will not get
away with it.’
Other students and locals expressed similar sentiments. Anti-Mugabe
sentiments are particularly strong among Botswana citizens and the Botswana
government has taken a particular hardline stance against Mugabe.
Zvayi has in the past openly called for the alienation of the opposition and
celebrated the violent crackdown on the opposition in that country, he is
well know for bastardizing the MDC acronym to mean Movement for the
Destruction of our Country, sometimes with the ascetic ‘movement’ for
‘morons’. Last year he used a racial slur against the US Ambassador calling
him a ” house Ni***r“.
He became the first journalist to be added to the European Union travel
restrictions on Zimbabwe.
He is accused of propagating hate speech in an updated list of 37
individuals and 4 ‘entities’ under a visa ban and assets freeze. They are
accused of whipping up support during a state sponsored terror campaign
during and after the June 29 controversial run off election.
By Joanna Codd
A GROUP of Zimbabwean exiles staged a rally in Bournemouth town centre to
highlight their country's worsening plight under the rule of President
Despite losing a general election this year, the elderly dictator and his
Zanu-PF party have managed to cling on to power through violence and
bullying while the country continues to spiral into economic chaos.
Desmond Tinarwo, a Movement for Democratic Change opposition party supporter
who lives in Bournemouth after fleeing his homeland five years ago, said:
"We're just trying to rally support. People think we're just coming here for
a good life, that we're probably economic immigrants.
"As everyone should know by now, Mugabe has become a law unto himself. If
you are even caught criticising him, let alone trying to get rid of him, you
know what's going to happen to you. He has been getting rid of his opponents
since the 1980s.
"A few of us who are here and able to work do the best we can to support
those left at home. We want British people to know all the reasons that make
us decide to leave our homes. No-one wants to live in exile. We came to this
country to protect our lives."
Dadirai Matambanadzo, who travelled from Slough to take part in the march,
came to Britain as an asylum seeker in September 2001 and has not been
allowed to work. "My life was in danger. My husband used to work for a
British company and those were targeted. Zanu-PF came looking for him. He
wasn't around, so I was beaten up.
"I used to own two hairdressing salons and would like to continue with that.
Life is miserable. I want to work and I definitely want to go back to my
Stella Gideon, now living in Poole, said she had been jailed for four months
after working here illegally as a care assistant for four years. "I used a
Malawi passport to come here four years ago because of the fear of violence.
They kidnapped my husband, who was an active member of the MDC, and they
wanted to kill me. Right now I don't know where my husband is.
"I was arrested in February because I was using false documents. I don't
have anything to allow me to work in this country, but I want to work to
support my family, who are suffering in Zimbabwe. My four children are not
going to school and it's difficult to keep in touch because I don't want to
put my mother in danger."
Protest organiser Musekiwa Herbert Mumbamarwo, said: "Things have got worse
since I left Zimbabwe six years ago. My life would be in danger if I went
There has been a lot of jubilation and misguided excitement about the recent
Zimbabwean negotiations, what with the European Union praising Mbeki's
mediation effort and the brokering of a memorandum of understanding.
Surprisingly this song and dance has not been witnessed by the protagonists
(Zanu-PF and MDC) themselves. Clearly this should be a sign that our
jubilation is a result of sheer excitement without analysis.
The recent handshake by Mugabe and Tsvangirai has been wrongly read to mean
a possibility for peace and democratic change. This cannot be further from
the truth. It is not the first time that Mugabe shakes the hand of his
opponents. He did with Nkomo, but continued the massacre at Matabeleland,
killing thousands of Zimbabweans. If handshakes and hugs could solve
conflicts life would much better in Africa. Unfortunately, it's not the
For negotiations to achieve anything, at least one, if not both, of the
parties to the conflict should be willing to compromise and meet the other
halfway. In Zimbabwe, this is not the case. Both Zanu-PF and the MDC have
entered negotiations with diametrically opposed interests. Zanu-PF demands
acceptance for the sham June election, while MDC expects recognition of the
March election results.
Most importantly, this includes a defence for the land reform process, which
particularly benefited Zanu-PF leaders.
This clearly shows a gulf in expectations; hence it is impossible to
reconcile these diametric interests. There is no way that Zanu-PF is going
to make any compromises that would accede political power to MDC, even if
that would include a power-sharing compromise.
The reason for this is that, unlike in South Africa, Zimbabwean black
capital exists directly through the Zimbabwean state. It is not a case of
indirect relations that lead to crony capitalism, such as we have in South
Africa, where black capital is indirectly connected to the state and the
ANC. The land reform process is an example where economic reform directly
benefits members of the state machinery from ministers to army generals and
not their wives or cousins.
This creates a situation where loss of state power would result in a direct
loss of economic power or accumulation. This is why Zanu-PF has clung on to
power despite a collapse in legitimacy. In South Africa, what made the
transition easier was that you could give away political power, but could
retain economic dominance - hence the white elite acceded when resistance
was no longer possible.
In fact, Zanu-PF has already shown signs of unwillingness to compromise. It
has not yet released MDC political prisoners. It continues to batter MDC
supporters in the rural areas. It continues to deny access to food supplies
to all those it suspects of supporting the MDC, even while the negotiations
are under way.
Zanu-PF will not compromise, but it it expects that the MDC should. But the
MDC did not enter negotiations out of its will, but through pressure by
Mbeki and other political actors and is therefore less likely to give
anything. To it these negotiations are just another mechanism to prove how
unreasonable and selfish Zanu-PF really is. But if it gives power to
Zanu-PF, it would have totally sold out and surrendered the fate of
Zimbabweans to dictatorship in the same way Zapu did when it merged with
When I say the MDC cannot compromise I do not mean they may not agree to
power-sharing. I do not mean that they may not allow Mugabe to remain state
president, or guarantee him immunity to prosecution. Those are peripheral
matters and can be agreed to without an impasse. What will be most important
is who will be dominant or in charge of the compromise government or
government of national unity (GNU).
Government dominance is what both actors are actually looking to acquire out
of the negotiations. Government dominance is what will guarantee who will be
in charge at the end of this power-sharing period. It will also determine
who will dictate terms on economic policy and direction. So if the MDC would
compromise on this, it would have not only sold out, but would have joined
the hall of fame reserved for opportunists and selfish morons who would do
anything to secure a better salary and life regardless of the penury
suffered by the majority. Surely Tsvangirai knows better than this.
†This entry was posted on Monday, July 28th, 2008 at 9:17 am
By Violet Gonda
28 July 2008
Last Friday the United States broadened sanctions against members of the
Mugabe regime and its supporters. 17 entities, several Zimbabwean
parastatals and one individual were designated by the U.S. Department of the
Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control for contributing to the
"undermining of democratic processes and institutions in Zimbabwe." The US
said these entities, mainly from the banking and mining industries, have
been used to illegally siphon revenue and foreign exchange from the
The US joined the European Union, who broadened smart sanctions against 37
more individuals and, for the first time, four companies linked to the
regime. Also, for the first time, two Zimpapers journalists, Caesar Zvayi
and Munyaradzi Huni, were included on the list.
The US targeted sanctions freezes the assets of the named individuals and
entities, and US nationals are prohibited from conducting financial and
foreign transactions with them.
However the South African government condemned the measures describing them
as "interference" in Zimbabwe's affairs. Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad
told a news conference that it was difficult to understand the objectives of
the new sanctions at a time when the political parties are negotiating a way
forward. South Africam, which is facilitating the talks between ZANU PF and
the two MDC formations, is viewed as a long-time ally of the Mugabe regime.
But US President George Bush said the smart sanctions were there to put
pressure on the ZANU PF elite, which continues with a violent campaign
against opponents and has not lifted the ban on humanitarian aid.
Bush has authorised an additional US$2.5million in aid to assist refugees
and asylum seekers displaced by the political violence. He said; "We will
also continue our efforts to provide food and health assistance as part of
our commitment to help the people of Zimbabwe in their time of greatest
Below is the list of the new companies and entities added to the sanctions
list by the US Treasury Department:
The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ), the sole marketing
and export agent for all minerals, except gold and silver, mined in
The Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), involved in investment
in the mining industry in Zimbabwe, and in planning, coordinating and
implementing mining projects on behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe;
The Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO), Zimbabwe's largest steel works;
The Agricultural Development Bank of Zimbabwe (Agribank), a commercial bank
owned by the Government of Zimbabwe;
The Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe Ltd, a state-owned
enterprise that owns a large number of companies operating in the industrial
sector, including the chemical, clothing and textiles, mineral processing,
and motor and transport sectors;
The Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, a financing entity;
Zimre Holdings Limited, an investment and reinsurance entity;
ZB Financial Holdings Limited, a holding company for a group of companies
involved in commercial and merchant banking;
And 4 major subsidiaries of ZB Financial Holdings Limited: ZB Bank Limited
(Zimbank), ZB Holdings Limited, Intermarket Holdings Limited, and Scotfin
OFAC also designated Thamer Bin Saeed Ahmed Al-Shanfari, an Omani national
with close ties to the Mugabe regime, together with his company, Oryx
The US statement said Al-Shanfari uses his company to enable Mugabe and his
senior officials to maintain access to, and derive personal benefit from,
various mining ventures in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
A commercial arm of the Zimbabwean army, OSLEG ( Operation Sovereign
Legitimacy), with interests in the DRC was also added to the sanctions list.
It's reported that activities of OSLEG and Al-Shanfari's Oryx Natural
Resources Robert Mugabe and his senior officials.
Companies owned by senior ZANU PF cronies already on the sanctions list were
designated. These include:
Divine Homes, a property company owned by David Chapfika, the Deputy
Minister of Agriculture;
COMOIL (Pvt) Ltd., a petroleum importing company, owned by Saviour
Kasukuwere, Deputy Minister of Youth Development and Employment Creation;
Famba Safaris, a registered Zimbabwean safari operator, whose Director and
major shareholder is Webster Shamu, the Minister of State for Policy
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
GLOBAL ZIMBABWE FORUM
"The Voice of the Zimbabwean Diaspora"
At its General Council meeting held on 27th July 2008, the GZF discussed the
issue of the on-going mediation efforts to broker a negotiated settlement
between the political parties in Zimbabwe and resolved to issue the
The Global Zimbabwe Forum (GZF) welcomes the signing of the Memorandum of
Understanding on 21st July 2008.
The GZF calls upon the mediation process to be broadened to include all key
stakeholders in and outside the country especially the Civil Society
Organizations and the Diaspora Community
The GZF is specifically concerned that the talks will result in the
unilateral amendments of some key provisions of the national Constitution
without adequate consultation with the various stakeholders.
The GZF insists that any new national constitution must fully address the
concerns of the Diaspora community over such critical issues as dual
citizenship and electoral enfranchisement of the Diaspora, among others.
Any amendments to the national Constitution must not be fast-tracked through
Parliament without a public debate process since the Constitution is not a
preserve of the political party elite but belongs to all of us Zimbabweans
whether at home or in the Diaspora.
The GZF commits to work in partnership with the rest of the key stakeholders
of the Zimbabwean community especially the CSOs movement in promoting an all
inclusive mediation process.
The GZF also strongly recommends that if the negotiations agree to a
settlement then an all-inclusive national conference be held in Zimbabwe
that will allow for a public discussion and endorsement process of all the
concerned stakeholders from all the various community sectors in Zimbabwe.
Issued in Geneva on Monday 28th July 2008 by
Mr. Daniel Molokele
Telephone: +41 78 906 3896
Ms. Grace Kwinjeh
Mr. Mandla-akhe Dube
Mr. Canaan Mhlanga
North America Region
Mr. Simbarashe Chirimubwe
Rest of Africa Region
Mr. Promise Mkwananzi
Mr. Luke Zunga
South Africa Region
Prof. Stan Mukasa
North America Region
Telephone: +724 467 0001
Mr. Sox Chikohwero
South Africa Region
Telephone: +2772 238 9192
Mr. Daniel Molokele
Luanda, 07/28 - The Committee of ambassadors of the Non-aligned Movement
meeting since Sunday in Tehran, Iran, on Monday passed unanimously Angola`s
proposal meant to solve the political crisis in Zimbabwe.
By passing the proposal, now named "Declaration on Zimbabwe'', the committee
expresses an unequivocal aid to the negotiations between the political
actors of this African country, under mediation of South Africa`s President,
The attending delegations praised the Republic of Angola for this successful
diplomatic initiative that was qualified as a great gesture of
encouragement, meant to seek a negotiated and lasting solution for the
present crisis in Zimbabwe.
The Angolan team to that meeting is being led by the director for
International Organisations of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, VirgŪlio Faria,
and comprises the country`s representative to the African Union, Manuel
Augusto, and the ambassador to Egypt and Iran, Hendrick Vaal Neto.
Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister, Marcos Barrica, is expected on Tuesday
in the Iranian capital city, on behalf of Foreign Minister, Jo„o Bernardo de