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Zanu-PF voting irregularities at district council elections cause internal conflict

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/news/analysis/58223/zanu-pf-voting-irregularities-at.html

As the national Zimbabwean elections creep closer, incidents of election irregularity cause dissent within communities on a grassroots level.

In this clip, a local district council election turns tense as the voting official announce that there are not enough ballot forms for the election but insist on proceeding with the process regardless thus excluding many of the voters in attendance. The crowd gets angry as they are robbed of their choice to choose their district councillor and argue with the official from the ruling party who insist on them voting anyway as their “duty” to the party.

A level of internal dissent in the community shows itself in this incident and raises questions of how effectively, and fairly, the national election will be run when even a small community struggle to cast their votes due alleged bad planning on the part of government officials.


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In The Absence of National Healing, Zimbabwe Remains Prone to Violence

http://www.voanews.com

14 May 2012

Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington DC

National healing remains a mirage in Zimbabwe and simmering wounds from the
2008 presidential run-off will easily open-up and lead to more political
violence in the next election cycle, Reconciliation Minister Moses Mzila
Ndlovu has warned.

Mzila says lack of common ground in the uneasy unity government on the
handling of the sensitive subject, makes it difficult for his ministry to
forge a unified approach.

The National Healing and Reconciliation ministry was founded three years ago
at the inception of the inclusive government to start a healing process for
a nation torn apart by the 2008 violence blamed primarily on President
Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF.

The Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai was also responsible, though to a lesser extent, often to defend
itself against marauding Zanu PF activists.

Mzila's warning came ahead of a National Day of Prayer by church groups May
25 to call for political tolerance, peace and national prosperity among
other things.

"There has been very little, if anything we've accomplished as the organ of
national healing," Mzila told VOA. "We must therefore, gear ourselves for
hell breaking loose if elections are called without reconciling political
opponents."

The minister, a member of the MDC wing led by Welshman Ncube sharing
responsibility with two other co-ministers from the Tsvangirai MDC and Zanu
PF, has himself been arrested while conducting national healing meetings.

He was charged with undermining the office of the president, and his fate
will be decided on Tuesday by a Hwange magistrate following a two-week
trial.

The healing ministry has proposed a code of conduct for political parties
and a peace commission to deal with violence.

Civil society groups and observers agree with Mzila, adding reconciliation
should also address the killing of civilians in Midlands and Matabeleland
regions by Mr. Mugabe’s fifth brigade in the 1980s. Zanu PF is, however,
opposed to the idea.

Independent political analyst George Mkhwanazi commented that given the
dysfunctional nature of the unity government, national healing will not be
easy to achieve.


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ZESA warns of nine-hour power cuts as winter sets in

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

13/05/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter/AP

THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) says it is implementing
power cuts of at least nine hours a day as the winter season begins.

ZESA says the outages, known as load shedding, will affect homes, businesses
and industries across the nation. Only major hospitals and strategic
facilities will be excluded.

In a statement Sunday, the company said during colder months it can only
supply half the national demand for power. Demand peaks in winter.
It blamed breakdowns, aging equipment and financial problems that prevent
the company from importing power from the region.

In years of economic meltdown, Zimbabwe suffered regular poorly managed
power outages of up to 20 hours a day while some areas escaped cuts because
of inefficiency.
The state weather office has forecast near freezing lows in coming weeks.

Meanwhile, a court has ruled that workers cannot expect to be paid for hours
during which there was no productivity owing to power outages.

Labour Court president Loice Matanda-Moyo said paying workers for mere
availability for work without production was not sustainable.

Her ruling followed an application by Maxwell Nyakudarikwa, an employee of
Harare company, Adhesive Tapes, who was contesting the deduction on his
salary for the hours he had not worked due to power cuts.

Matanda-Moyo said: “This court takes judicial notice of the hard times that
the industry is facing currently. It is true that load-shedding by ZESA has
been crippling the industry.

“In such situations, the courts should not fold their hands and issue orders
which have the effect of closing down a company. Courts should look at all
prevailing circumstances and come up with a judgment which ensures that
whilst the employee is compensated, the firm or company should also continue
so that lives of many other employees are not prejudiced.”


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New US Ambassador For Harare

http://www.radiovop.com/

Harare, May 14, 2012 - The United States President Barack Obama has
nominated David Bruce Wharton as the next ambassador to Zimbabwe, to replace
Charles Ray whose tour of duty ends at the end of 2012.

President Obama nomination is contained in a US cabled dated 11 May, 2012.

Wharton is a career diplomat whose has served in Harare. A career member of
the Senior Foreign Service and Class of Minister-Counsellor, Wharton is
currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy in the Bureau
of African Affairs at the Department of State.

He joined the Bureau of African Affairs in 2009 as Director of the Office of
Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, after a two-year assignment as Deputy
Coordinator of the Department of State’s Bureau of International Information
Programmes.

From 2006 to 2007, he served in the Department’s Bureau of Human Resources
and from 2003 to 2006; he was Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in
Guatemala. A member of the Foreign Service since 1985, Mr. Wharton’s
additional overseas assignments include posts in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia,
South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

He received a B.A. from the University of Texas in Austin.


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Pillay to conduct first ever visit by a UN Human Rights chief to Zimbabwe, 20-25 May

http://africanbrains.net/

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will on 20 May begin
the first ever mission by a UN Human Rights chief to Zimbabwe, at the
invitation of the Government.

During the five-day mission, Pillay is due to meet President Robert Mugabe,
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice
and Legal Affairs and other ministers, as well as the Chief Justice, the
President and Speaker of Parliament, and the Thematic Committee on Human
Rights. Pillay will also meet with the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and
members of civil society in the country.

Pillay is considering a number of field visits within and outside Harare,
where she will meet local communities and civil society members in the areas
to listen to their experiences and views.

“I am very much looking forward to engaging with the Government, civil
society and other stakeholders in Zimbabwe to better understand the human
rights situation on the ground and to work with all relevant actors towards
full enjoyment of human rights for all,” Pillay said.

At the end of her visit, on Friday, 25 May at 10:30am, the High Commissioner
will hold a press conference at the conference room of the UN premises in
Arundel Office Park Block 11.

Source: United Nations – Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
(OHCHR) - Press Release – 12 May 2012


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Deputy Justice Minister Sues State Weekly

http://www.radiovop.com

Harare - The Deputy Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Obert Gutu is
suing the state owned Sunday Mail newspaper of $ 1 250 000 for reporting
that he was being paid $200 by the United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP) to write newspaper articles casting the constitution making process
in a positive light.

The article entitled “UNDP in new Copac Scandal” appeared in the 6-12 May
2012 edition of the paper.

“In this article you published false, defamatory and slanderous statements
aimed at our client,” a letter dated 9 May 2012, written to the Sunday Mail
by Gutu’s lawyers stated.

The article insinuated that Gutu was commissioned by the UNDP, to write an
article or articles in defence of the COPAC draft constitution at a US$ 200
fee for every article that he writes in defence of the said COPAC draft
constitution.

“Our client is of the firm and considered view that the article you
published was false, defamatory and slanderous,” the letter stated.

“At no point was our client commissioned by UNDP to write any article for
any publication, nor has our client received any sort of remuneration and/or
consideration for any articles or opinion pieces that he has written about
the current constitution-making process.”

The letter further stated that “the contents of the article are not only
false, wrongful, malicious and defamatory but have severely tarnished our
client’s reputation as a senior and respected lawyer and politician.”

Apart from the $ 1,250,000 damages Gutu is also demanding a retraction and a
front page apology.


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Zimbabwe Tells Green Fuel to Export Millions of Stuck Ethanol

http://www.voanews.com

14 May 2012

Gibbs Dube | Washington

A cabinet minister says Green Fuel (Pvt) Limited, stuck with 10 million
liters of ethanol, should consider exporting its product as Zimbabwe is not
yet ready to pass a law compelling motorists to use fuel blended with the
locally produced ethanol.

Energy Minister Elton Mangoma told VOA Monday that Green Fuel has not
responded to some issues like pricing raised by an inter-ministerial task
force charged with finding a solution to the disposal of the ethanol which
fetches $1.10 in Zimbabwe compared to international prices ranging from 72
cents to 75 cents.

Mangoma said the government was worried that Green Fuel has not made any
commitments in terms of converting vehicles to be compatible with the E-10
blended fuel introduced in the local market last year.

He said the local ethanol producer which recently sent home more than 4,500
workers should start selling its ethanol to international buyers.

“Green Fuel still needs to respond to a lot of issues before we think about
introducing any regulations dealing with the blending of fuel with ethanol,”
Mangoma said.

Green Fuel general manager Graeme Smith said they were co-operating with the
inter-ministerial tasks, adding his company will soon start exporting the
ethanol if government does not pass a law making it compulsory for motorists
to use blended fuel.

“We had not pursued the export option because when the project was approved
by government we were given the assurance that the mandatory blending will
be put in place to ensure that it will succeed,” said Smith.


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Farmers blast Made, Biti

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

14/05/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

FARMERS have accused Agriculture Minister Joseph Made and his finance
counterpart Tendai Biti of making false promises to save their jobs,
claiming they have yet to receive a cent of the US$20 million funding the
ministers promised.

The farmers spoke as the May 15 deadline for planting wheat approached with
most large scale growers still to plant since the government is yet to
release the funds under an inputs scheme announced by Made and Biti last
month.

“We used to get support on time but even our long-serving Agriculture
Minister is now letting the country down. Minister Made and Biti have let
down the country. It’s high time President Robert Mugabe takes action before
it is too late,” Beatrice farmer’s representative, Edson Makina, told state
radio Monday.

Another farmers’ representative and war veteran Andy Mhlanga added: “Made
and Biti should come out clear to the farmers as we now feel that they are
lying to the President, pretending to be supporting agriculture to save
their jobs.
“Farmers have lost faith in the two ministers, and it is high time action be
taken to save the nation.”

Speaking at a media briefing last month, Biti and Made said the input
support scheme would help double the country’s wheat production to 75,000
tonnes this year.

"We are proposing that we target 26,280 hectares for winter wheat. This
targeted hectarage should give us 75,000 tonnes," Made said then.
"This might sound little, but considering the 41,000 tonnes we got last
year, this will be some improvement."

Zimbabwe requires 400,000 tonnes of wheat annually and will have to meet the
shortfall with costly imports from countries such as South Africa and
Zambia.


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Sikhala blames CIO plot for rape charges

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

Job Sikhala doesn't trust the CIO

By Lance Guma
14 May 2012

The leader of the breakaway MDC-99 political party, Job Sikhala, has dismissed as ‘preposterous’ charges that he raped Sharon Theresa Bester, a South African national who was working as his personal assistant.

It’s claimed the former St Mary’s MP not only got the woman pregnant (although she miscarried) but that he also stole a suitcase from her containing clothes worth about R22,000. Sikhala was brought to court on Friday, granted US$100 bail and told to report every Monday at the Harare Central Police station.

Speaking on SW Radio Africa’s Behind the Headlines programme Sikhala blamed his former party spokesman Aaron Muzungu, and police Detective Inspector Henry Sostain Dhowa, saying the two men were working with the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) to ‘vilify and defile’ his name.

Only a few weeks ago Sikhala was acquitted over charges that he helped Bester evade immigration officials and come into the country illegally. Bester was however convicted over the matter in January. In the three court appearances that she made, Sikhala said Bester never once mentioned that he had raped her.

The rape is alleged to have taken place in July last year and Sikhala questioned why it would take the woman so many months to file the charges.

“When this woman was convicted in January she served her sentence up to the 14th February of which the following week she was supposed to have been deported back to South Africa. They took her into a safe house in a mansion in Avondale,” where Sikhala believes the CIO coached her into framing the rape charges.

The case gets even murkier with Sikhala alleging that Bester is in fact a girlfriend to his long time friend and South Africa based fundraiser, Okkie Volschenk. He alleged that Volschenk, who is married, wanted Bester to be stationed in Zimbabwe so that when he visits (once a month) he gets to have ‘a good time.’

Sikhala alleged that once Bester got to Zimbabwe she starting having an affair with MDC-99 spokesman Aaron Muzungu. He blamed Muzungu for collaborating with Detective Inspector Henry Sostain Dhowa, to frame him. Dhowa was one of the policemen who tortured Sikhala when he was arrested in January 2003 for his work in the opposition.

Dhowa has been implicated in several incidents of torture in the past and his deployment as part of a UN peace-keeping force in Kosovo several years ago sparked outrage and a petition to the International Criminal Court by human rights activists, who included Sikhala.

According to Sikhala, Dhowa was forced to withdraw early from the mission and is now retaliating, using the rape case to embarrass Sikhala.

Sikhala said they had advance information on the rape charges and this is why his party were able to issue a statement on the plot even before he had been arrested. “I have been arrested over 60 times in my political career, but this is one of the craziest cases I have ever been involved in, “Sikhala told SW Radio Africa.

You can listen to the full interview with Job Sikhala: Click here


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31 graduate from ‘Mugabe’ spy college

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Lance Guma
14 May 2012

A total of 31 students graduated from the Robert Gabriel Mugabe School of
Intelligence in Harare on Friday.

The college, launched by Mugabe in October 2007, is primarily meant to churn
out graduates who will work for the notorious Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO), an agency behind most abductions and many murders.

Speaking at the ceremony, State Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi claimed
the security and intelligence services were ready to defend the country from
external aggression.

Friday’s ceremony saw the first three intakes of students at the institute
walking away with diplomas in Intelligence and Security Studies. The school
is an associate of Bindura University of Science Education and reportedly
targets “practitioners in the defence, security and intelligence sector.”

A report in the ZANU PF controlled Herald newspaper also claimed it “has
attracted a lot of interest in the region, with students from various
countries applying.”

But far from the ZANU PF propaganda of defending the country from ‘western
aggression’ the CIO has primarily been turned into an appendage of Mugabe’s
party. Most abductions, torture and murders of opposition supporters and
officials have been and are conducted with impunity by members of the CIO.

Last year in June SW Radio Africa published a leaked 2001 list of over 480
CIO operatives working in and outside the country. Serialised over 6 weeks
the list blew open the identities of many of the agents who had been
involved in some of the worst human rights abuses in the country.

The series also showed how those involved in brutal crimes against
opposition supporters were promoted within the organisation. Instead of
focusing on national security the CIO, along with the military and the
police, have been used by Mugabe and ZANU PF to hold on to power, using
brute force and intimidation.


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Zimbabwe capable of having 68 radio stations

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tichaona Sibanda
14 May 2012

Zimbabwe has the capacity to licence 68 national radio stations, amid
reports the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) is unwilling to do so,
the Chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information
and Communication Technology said on Monday.

Settlement Chikwinya, the MDC-T MP for Mbizvo in Kwekwe, said the decision
by BAZ not to increase the number of organisations operating radio stations
was political.

The legislator told SW Radio Africa that the country’s signal carrier,
Transmedia, had the capacity to run 68 national radio and 51 television
stations. The MP said he wonders why BAZ decided to issue only two
commercial radio licenses, and both of those to groups aligned with the ZANU
PF party of Robert Mugabe.

BAZ last year awarded broadcasting licences to Zimpapers’ Talk Radio and
Supa Mandiwanzira’s AB Communications ahead of other contenders, including
Kiss FM and Vox Media productions.

‘I’m not saying BAZ should cancel Talk Radio or AB Communications licences.
All I’m saying is groups like Kiss FM and Vox Media productions should be
allowed to operate radio stations as there is space for them and many others
who want to join the fray.

‘It’s a fact that while we still broadcast on analogue, Transmedia has the
capacity to add as many players and even more when we migrate to digital,
which will improve the quality of radio and television services,’ Chikwinya
said.

There are fears Zimbabwe will likely miss SADC’s 2013 deadline to digitise
its radio and television services because of lack of government funding for
the project. At least US$15 million is required for the full switch over
from analogue to digital services.

‘If BAZ had licenced more players, this shouldn’t have been a problem. I can
tell you from papers I’ve seen that some of the groups denied licences were
actually in a position to fund part of that project.

‘By getting more players onboard means cash will be generated from
transmission fees to pay for the digitalization project. As a parliamentary
committee, we are very soon going to meet BAZ and the Minister Webster Shamu
and put across our concerns that their refusal to issue more licences has
stifled media plurality in Zimbabwe,’ explained Chikwinya.

Meanwhile, Vox Media Productions, who operate the independent staion Radio
VOP, are still waiting for a response from the administrative court after it
lodged an application in December for BAZ to reveal how they arrived at a
decision to grant two FM licences to Talk Radio and AB Communications.

John Masuku, head of RadioVOP, told us they haven’t heard anything after
their application for an urgent hearing was turned down. Masuku dismissed a
report in a daily newspaper on Monday which said they had launched a High
Court application to force BAZ chairman Tafataona Mahoso to submit
transcripts of interviews the board had had with all the applicants.

‘It’s not correct that we’ve approached the High court because the matter
hasn’t been dealt with by the administrative court. Legally, we cannot
approach the High court for such matters, as the Broadcasting Act stipulates
that any disputes arising from cases under BAZ’s jurisdiction will be dealt
with by an administrative court first.

‘This is the route we’ve taken and we are still waiting for the case to be
heard,’ Masuku said.


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Tonderai Ndira’s ‘killers known and walking scot free’

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tichaona Sibanda
14 May 2012

Fiery MDC-T Youth Assembly secretary-general, Promise Mkwananzi, has
disclosed that people who killed Tonderai Ndira are known and bragging about
the heinous crime.

Speaking on Sunday at the memorial service of the former MDC-T Youth
Assembly secretary for security, Mkwananzi said some members in his party
are quite aware of the identities of the perpetrators who killed Ndira.

Ndira was abducted from his home in Mabvuku by ten armed men early in the
morning of 13th May 2008. His body was found a month later with reports
saying he had been shot in the heart, had multiple stab wounds, his eyes
gouged out, his tongue cut off and his neck, skull, jaw and knuckles broken.

‘Tonderai Ndira symbolizes all the victims maimed or murdered for political
reason by ZANU PF. What pains us is that his killers are moving around
threatening some of our members that they can still do the same to them.

‘We have among us people who know his killers, murderers who are actually
bragging about what they did. But as the MDC youth assembly, we have
resolved not to rest until his killers are brought to book ,’ Mkwananzi
said.

The outspoken youth leader said they want a Truth and Justice Commission to
be created in Zimbabwe to deal with such matters. He added they don’t want
to see a scenario like what happened in South Africa where perpetrators of
violence during the apartheid era were able to walk free from justice.

‘We need to heal wounds and that can only happen if people who caused mayhem
are brought to justice. ZANU PF has done a lot of damage to Zimbabwe and we
want to see those behind the evil deeds pay the price,’ Mkwananzi said.

Before his death Tonderai had been arrested and brought to court more than
35 times. However, he was acquitted in all these cases. After his abduction
MDC officials and the Ndira family moved around many police stations in
search of him.

Following a tip-off, his heavily mutilated and decomposing body was found at
Parirenyatwa Hospital’s mortuary in Harare. He was 32. He was buried at the
Warren Hills cemetery in Harare.

The MDC said Ndira is one of at least 500 MDC members who were murdered by
ZANU PF supporters, aided by State security agents and bankrolled by the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

Tens of thousands of other MDC members were maimed and tortured as ZANU PF
and the state militia unleashed a campaign of violence after Robert Mugabe
was defeated by MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai in the first 2008 poll.


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Four Diamond Traders Arrested in Zimbabwe

http://www.israelidiamond.co.il/

14.05.12, 12:38 / World

Four diamond traders have been arrested in Zimbabwe on suspicion of engaging
in illegal diamond trade. The four are accused of trading diamonds that are
not certified by the Kimberly Process. The value of the diamonds, 272 in
total, was said to be tens of thousands of dollars, the Times of India
reported.

Zimbabwe government forces captured the four diamond traders on May 5 and
charged them with possessing diamonds without proper permits. Three of the
men hail from the Gujarat region of India and the fourth man is from the
Democratic Republic of Congo. The four men should be released today on
$1,000 bail.

The arrests have created a great stir in diamond dealers circles in India,
as one of the three Indian men is rumored to be a member of a family that
operates a sightholder diamond trading company in Surat, according to the
Times of India. In order to become a DTC sightholder, one must pass a
year-long acceptance process.


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EU's first Economic Partnership Agreement with an African region goes live

http://europa.eu/
Reference: IP/12/475 Date: 14/05/2012

European Commission - Press release

EU's first Economic Partnership Agreement with an African region goes live

Brussels, 14 May 2012 – The trade and development agreement concluded by the EU and four Eastern and Southern African states Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe will take effect today.

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said: "Today, our first interim Economic Partnership Agreement with an African region is applied. This is excellent news and I salute the hard work of negotiators and colleagues on all sides. With this trade deal we hope to accompany the development of our partners in Eastern and Southern Africa and open up better and lasting business opportunities."

The interim Economic Partnership Agreement provides duty and quota free access to the EU market for exports from Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe. These countries will gradually open their markets to European exports over the course of 15 years, with exceptions for certain products the countries consider sensitive. Furthermore, the Agreement covers provisions on rules of origin, development cooperation, fisheries, trade defence instruments and dispute settlement. It is therefore an improvement for Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe on the unilateral duty and quota free regime they enjoyed so far because it encourages regional integration and strengthens a partnership approach with the EU. Regional integration brings economic and political benefits that individual countries cannot achieve alone.

At the end of 2007, Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zambia and Zimbabwe concluded an interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU. Four countries (Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe) went ahead and signed it in August 2009 in Mauritius. These four countries have now taken and completed steps towards ratification or notified application, so that the agreement can be applied as of today. Once all parties ratify, including all EU Member States, the Agreement will officially enter into force.

Background

In 2000, under the Cotonou Agreement, African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the EU opted for a more ambitious trade and development relationship covering not just trade in goods, but also services, trade-related rules and development co-operation. Strengthening regional integration and creating more efficient regional markets with predictable and stable rules are cornerstones of this approach. These new agreements would be underpinned by EU development co-operation to reinforce ACP institutional and productive capacities and support necessary adjustment processes.

Negotiations for such comprehensive trade and development agreements as set out in the Cotonou Agreement started in 2002; however, it became clear towards the end of 2007 that it would not be possible in all ACP regions to finalise negotiations before the end of Cotonou trade regime on 31 December 2007.

A series of Interim Agreements were therefore concluded to minimise any possible trade disruption for ACP partners arising from the expiry of the Cotonou trade regime while maintaining progress towards comprehensive regional EPAs. While the interim Agreement went through the domestic approval process, the countries retained duty and quota free access to the EU.

Hence, the interim Economic Partnership Agreement Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe has to be seen as a stepping stone to a wider and more comprehensive deal currently under negotiation between the EU and the whole Eastern and Southern African region. Negotiations for a comprehensive EPA resumed at the beginning of 2008 with all countries of Eastern and Southern Africa, including those which did not join the interim EPA (Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Malawi, Sudan and Zambia). The shared objective in these negotiations is to conclude an agreement at regional level, which supports sustainable development and fosters regional integration. The areas potentially covered by the full EPA go beyond trade in goods to include services and investment, and trade-related areas such as sustainable development, competition and trade facilitation.

Trade figures

In 2011, total EU imports from the four Eastern and Southern African (ESA) countries amounted to about 2 billion. The main imports were processed tuna, coffee, cane sugar, textiles, tobacco, cut flowers and metals. In the same year, EU exports to the four ESA countries amounted to 1.7 billion and comprised mainly machinery, vehicles, pharmaceutical products and chemicals.

EPA negotiations with other ACP regions

EPA negotiations with other African regions have intensified over the last year. Recently, progress has been made at technical level with the East African Community and West Africa. If sufficient political will and commitment can be mustered, there are real prospects for concluding the deals during 2012 in many African regions. In the Caribbean and the Pacific regions, the EU and its partners in the Cariforum and Papua New Guinea are focusing on the implementation of their existing agreements that are provisionally applied since 29 December 2008 and 20 December 2009 respectively.

For further information:

EU Trade relations with Eastern and Southern Africa

Factsheet on interim EPA with Eastern and Southern Africa:

http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2012/march/tradoc_149213.pdf

Link to the text of the interim EPA:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/JOHtml.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:111:SOM:EN:HTML


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EU interim trade agreement with southern African states enters into force

http://www.neurope.eu

Article | May 14, 2012 - 4:33pm
Money in Zimbabwe does not worth much

The EU continued with its policy of awarding dictatorships with trade
benefits and development deals. The trade and development agreement between
the EU and Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe, which is by all
merits a dictatorship, took effect on 14 May.

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht welcomed the agreement as the first
interim Economic Partnership Agreement with an African region. “With this
trade deal we hope to accompany the development of our partners in Eastern
and Southern Africa and open up better and lasting business opportunities,"
he said.

The Agreement provides duty and quota free access to the EU market for
exports from the four countries, which will in turn gradually open their
markets to European exports over the course of 15 years, with exceptions for
certain products the countries consider sensitive. It would further
encourage Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe to exploit
potentials for regional integration, fostering economic and political
development the countries cannot achieve alone.

In 2007, Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zambia and Zimbabwe
concluded an interim Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU. Madagascar,
Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe signed it in August 2009 and have now
completed ratification, so that the agreement can be applied. The Agreement
will officially enter into force only when all the parties, including EU
member states, ratify it.


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Zanu PF to defend national sovereignty in COPAC - Sekeramayi


http://www.thezimbabwemail.com/

By Staff Reporter 22 hours 23 minutes ago

MARONDERA - Robert Mugabe's State Security Minister, Politburo Member Sydney
Sekeramayi says his party’s representatives in COPAC will defend the country’s
sovereignty and territorial integrity in the on-going constitution making
process.

Addressing party supporters in Marondera, Sekeramayi said the
representatives will preserve the revolutionary aspirations of the living
and fallen heroes of the liberation struggle.

"Our party has come a long way and those of us in COPAC are intelligent
people who are able scrutinise what is included in the supreme law to make
sure that the views in the constitution are indeed people centred and in
line with the party's principles," said Sekeramayi.

Another Politburo Member, who is also a member of COPAC, Dr Olivia Muchena
briefed the gathering on the progress made so far in the constitution making
process.

"Please do not listen to all the speculations about what is in the draft
constitution until we as COPAC finalise the draft," she said.

The meeting was attended by senior party officials who include the ailing
Herbert Murerwa, the provincial party leadership, members of the national
consultative assembly as well as senators and members of parliament from
Mashonaland East Province.

MDC-T Bulawayo Spokesperson, Mandla Sibanda, accused smaller faction of MDC,
ZAPU, Zanu-PF and Mavambo of splitting the votes in Bulawayo in the coming
elections.

In an interview with Radio VOP after the rally, Sibanda urged their
supporters across the country to unite for a purpose in order to vote wisely
and boot out Zanu-PF that is already behaving like an opposition party in
the Inclusive Government.

“Basically there are these three parties based in Bulawayo, they are solely
based in Bulawayo, they assist Zanu-PF in dividing votes in Bulawayo, they
claim to exist to deal with Matabeleland issues.

“We need unity of purpose ahead of elections. It’s not proper to term what
happened during and after congress as violence in my opinion it was an issue
of difference in term s of opinions and it is the reason why we chose
leadership that will represent the party in the next five years,” said
Sibanda.

Prior to 2011 MDC-T national congress in Bulawayo, during and after the
congress, cases of violence in MDC-T were noted around the country and
Sibanda denied that there was violence but said that it was an issue of
different views by the party members.

“Such incidences do happen when there is change of power and what happened
during our congress is normal in a democratic country. We are now
concentrating on elections and mobilising our members to go and vote for us
so that we remove Mugabe from power.

“This is time to unite against Zanu-PF and other political parties in the
country for it do not help the party to have a number of councilors, Members
of Parliament and senators when our president is not in control. He must win
the next election with a big margin,” said Sibanda.

He said the split within Zanu-PF will assist his party to garner more votes
and having President Robert Mugabe as a Zanu-PF candidate was a bonus for
his party because he cannot outwit Tsvangirai in the next election if it is
a free and fair election.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Thokozani Khuphe was scheduled to address the
rally in her constituency but she boycotted and went to campaign in Siganda
were it is alleged that she wants to stand and contest as an MP against
Clifford Sibanda of Zanu-PF.


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Zim group threatens SA crimes unit with international legal action

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Alex Bell
14 May 2012

A Zimbabwean human rights group has threatened South Africa’s chief crime
fighting unit with international legal action, over on ongoing probe into
the illegal renditions of Zimbabwean citizens from South Africa.

Several senior officials in the Hawks criminal unit and the South African
police were last year accused of conducting the renditions, in partnership
with Zimbabwean police. This has reportedly led to a number of Zimbabwean
‘suspects’ being arrested in South Africa and then sent across the border
illegally, and killed.

These allegations were made by South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper, which
reported that South Africa’s Police Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, is sitting on
explosive reports listing at least three deaths of Zimbabwean nationals. The
deaths were allegedly as a result of a ‘renditions’ operation led by police
and Hawks officers.

A Hawks source has recently been quoted by South African media as saying
that the practice is still ongoing with at least eight of the unit’s members
being accused.

“They are above the law. Completely untouchable. For their work several have
been promoted to senior ranks. They have links right to the top, including
politicians and senior officers,” the source was quoted as telling the Times
newspaper.

“Several, who are from the Hawks Tactical Operational Management Services,
are known to be linked to the murders of at least six Zimbabweans abducted
from across Gauteng, and others have been linked to the murders of South
Africans, including fellow police officers,” the source said.

Mthethwa has now said a preliminary investigation into the allegations is
almost completed. But according to the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF) this is
the first time any form of a probe has been mentioned. ZEF Director Gabriel
Shumba said he fears the allegations will be covered up.

“These renditions are crimes against humanity that include brutal assaults
on people. Yet nothing has been done to prevent this from continuing,”
Shumba said.

The ZEF head also threatened to refer the Hawks members involved to the
International Criminal Court (ICC) if they are not brought to justice,
explaining that a thorough, credible investigation needs to done.

Shumba meanwhile explained that there has been a noticeable increase in
reports of intimidation of Zimbabwean nationals in South Africa, allegedly
by Zim police agents operating there. He said this has led to many Zim
nationals trying to flee South Africa for other countries.

The Sunday Times reported that it has evidence that Zimbabwean, Witness
Ndeya, who was suspected of shooting a policeman in his country, was
“renditioned” by the Hawks and then murdered, apparently by Zimbabwean
police. Ndeya was arrested, along with his nephew and two friends, for being
“illegal immigrants” in 2010. In a sworn statement by one of the four,
Shepard Tshuma, they were all taken to the Beitbridge border by South
African police and handed over to Zimbabwean officials who “told us that we
are under arrest for the murder of police officers.”

Tshuma and Ndeya were detained at a Bulawayo police station before the
former was released a week later. Tshuma said that a few days later the
Zimbabwean police told the family “that Witness Ndeya was killed by other
police officers.” Ndeya’s death certificate reportedly confirmed he died at
Hippo Valley Farm in Bulawayo, with the cause of death listed as “multiple
gunshot wounds.”

Tshuma, along with the other two surviving “renditioned” suspects, are now
hiding in South Africa, after allegedly being threatened. The Sunday Times
said that it had met the three at a secret location and they all feared
being “deported and murdered.”


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The MDC Today Issue No. 354

http://www.mdc.co.zw

Monday, 14 May 2012

Hon. Eliah Jembere, the MP for Epworth was last week removed from remand on
false charges of insulting and undermining the authority of Robert Mugabe at
the Bindura Magistrates’ Court.

The MP has been under prosecution since his arrest in June 2010 and charged
with contravening Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform)
Act.

The State was alleging that Hon. Jembere insulted Mugabe when he addressed
hundreds of MDC supporters at a Constitution –making awareness programme in
Shamva in 2010 by saying; “Mugabe mudenga, Zanu PF mudenga, vabatanidzei,
roverai pasi”.

However, the case crumbled when the trial was postponed several times after
State witnesses failed to show up.

Hon. Jembere was arrested with Gilbert Kagodora, the MDC Mashonaland Central
provincial member. Kagodora was later removed from remand after his lawyers
successfully filed an application for refusal of further remand in 2010.

The Bindura Magistrates’ Court has the highest number of accused people in
the country who are facing charges of insulting and undermining the
authority of Mugabe.

The people’s struggle for real change – Let’s finish!!!

Follow us on!!


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Making Progress



I once described to the Canadian Ambassador the situation in Zimbabwean
politics as being like a battle scene 1000 AD in Europe. The two adversaries
gather on opposing hillsides and the struggle is joined. For the first few
hours all that is visible from the heights is dust and smoke and the clash
of steel. Then gradually a pattern emerges and eventually victory for one
side or the other and finally both sides, victor and vanquished, pick
through the debris of the battle to recover bodies and the wounded.
The struggle in Zimbabwe is somewhere in the middle – tending towards the
end, clearly the democratic forces here are slowly forcing their opponents
back and gaining ascendency. The non-democrats are fighting amongst
themselves and forcing rearguard actions in a desperate attempt to rescue
something from the fight.
The context for this battle goes back to December 2006. Zanu PF was holding
their annual conference. Mugabe made a statement that they were going to
harmonize elections and postpone them from March 2008 to June 2010. This
brought South Africa into the situation; Mbeki met Mugabe urgently and said
that this was unacceptable. The result was the GPA process.
Talks started with the MDC culminating in the Kariba Agreement in September
2007. This led to electoral reforms and the March 2008 elections when Zanu
PF was defeated. Tsvangirai won that election hands down – he got 54 per
cent of the vote, Mugabe 27 and Makone 18. Mbeki then made a serious error
of judgment – he allowed the Zimbabweans to falsify the results and forced a
run off.
Mugabe managed the run off so violently and with such blatant rigging on a
massive scale, that no one – not even the AU and the SADC would accept his
election – Zanu PF was forced back into negotiations. These led to the GPA
in September 2008 and finally the GNU in February 2009. During this final
phase, Mbeki was removed from office and eventually replaced by Zuma.
In the Zuma phase of the struggle, he first had to settle in, during this
period he realised how serious the conflicts were in Zimbabwe and took the
decision to treat the Zimbabwean crisis as a domestic issue for South
Africa, rather than a foreign policy issue. Under this mantle he stripped
the GPA of its non electoral aspects and constructed a regional and
continental consensus around the revised package. In 2011 this emerged in a
series of summits – Livingstone in May, Mid Rand in July and finally in the
Luanda SADC summit and the AU summit in February 2012. In all these
diplomatic arenas he was able to hold the 54 countries of Africa together in
support of the GPA process and the need for reforms in Zimbabwe before any
further elections.
While this was going on Zanu PF was fighting back. Mbeki had conducted the
2007 and 2008 round of negotiations in conditions of complete secrecy – the
first time anyone outside the process saw the GPA was when it was signed in
Harare in September 2008. Zanu immediately appreciated that if this
agreement was fully implemented, they were finished, metaphorically and
politically.
The result was form of guerilla war. They procrastinated, forced delays and
fought back against Zuma in the region and the continent. Diplomats were
instructed to try and negate Zuma’s efforts. Zuma quietly constructed an
intelligence network inside and outside Zimbabwe that fed him timely and
accurate information of what was happening. In a sense these were the
preliminary skirmishes prior to the battle that is now raging in Harare.
Knowing full well that if the battle was joined on the ground that was
available and no help was forthcoming from allies on the heights above the
battle ground, they faced defeat, Zanu has used every ploy in the book. They
funded the opposition in Zambia leading to the victory for Sarte; they
funded the opposition in Botswana in an effort to unseat their opponents
there with less success. They funded their allies in Malawi only to have
their gains pulled out from under their feet by the death of the President.
They funded Zuma opponents in South Africa.
Well funded in the battle in Harare by diamond money, they simply had no
defense against the numbers of their opponents; they were out manned and
isolated. Their friends and allies in the region stood aloof, dismayed by
the behavior of the Zanu leadership and no longer convinced that entry to
the battle on the side of the losers was in their interest.
More serious was the fact that on the battle field they were no longer a
united force. Moderates called for a resumption of talks to ensure that they
could leave the battlefield with their dignity and forces intact and prepare
to fight again at a later stage. Hardliners called for a suicidal frontal
attack that would involve the use of unacceptable means to ensure victory –
accepting that this would give them a chance to stay in power and protect
their privilege but at the cost of recognition and acceptance by the region
and the global community.
In the mean time the forces on the heights above the battle, led by South
Africa who is watching closely at events in the valley below, are adamant
that they will not allow any changes to the rules for the struggle from
those agreed and signed in the GPA. Today, the Zanu forces in the battle
appreciate that this is a struggle they cannot win like this. They will have
to appeal to those on the heights above the battle to call a halt and reopen
the negotiations.
Zuma, having spent three years getting the ingredients together has put them
all in a pot and turned on the heat. He is now waiting for the mix to cook
and when it’s done will take it out of the pot and serve up to the players.
Like the Kariba Agreement in 2007 and the GPA in 2008, the players and
observers will have little choice but to eat what it is that South Africa
finally dishes up.
Almost certainly it will be another GNU – but this time led by Tsvangirai as
State President and the leader of a defeated Zanu PF as first Vice
President. Tsvangirai will inherit the powers of President Mugabe, modified
by the new Constitution and will appoint and control the Executive. The
remnants of Zanu PF will sit in the House of Assembly and the Senate and try
to rebuild what is left of their Party to try and face an election in five
years time.
The observers on the hills overlooking the battle will approve and return
home, glad to see sanity and common sense prevail in what was otherwise a
totally unacceptable situation.
Eddie Cross
Harare, 12th May 2012


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Bill Watch 19/2012 of 14th May [Both Houses to Sit this Week]

BILL WATCH 19/2012

[14th May 2012]

Both the House of Assembly and the Senate will resume on Tuesday 15th May

This resumption of sittings by both Houses of Parliament comes after a lengthy break that began at the end of March when the Houses adjourned for the Easter school holiday recess.

According to the House of Assembly and Senate sitting calendars the only sittings this month will be those scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week, after which there will be adjournments until 5th June for the House of Assembly and 12th June for the Senate. For June the sitting calendars envisage 9 sitting days for the House and 6 for the Senate, which are scheduled to be the last sittings of the current Parliamentary session. The opening of the next session, the fifth and last of the present Parliament, is scheduled for 17th July. [For calendars for the rest of 2012 see Bill Watch 18/2012 of 12th May.]

It will be interesting to see how much of their workload – some of it long outstanding – the Houses complete. They can of course opt to sit more days than those scheduled on the sitting calendars.

House of Assembly Order Paper

Bills

Awaiting start of Committee Stage

Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill This Bill had its Second Reading on 27th March after full debate. The Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, as the responsible Minister, has tabled amendments he intends to propose for adoption during the Committee Stage; these include changes to meet objections from the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] [for details see Bill Watch 14/2012 of 28th March].

Undergoing Second Reading debate

Urban Councils Amendment Bill This is a Private Member’s Bill introduced by Hon Matimba of MDC-T. It seeks to make major cuts in the powers given to the Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development by the Urban Councils Act. Hon Matimba has made his Second Reading speech and further debate is awaited, but progress may be delayed while Parliament takes stock of the impact of a court application lodged by Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Ignatius Chombo for an interdict prohibiting Parliament from considering the Bill

Awaiting start of Second Reading stage after non-adverse report from PLC

National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill This is waiting for the introductory speech from the Minister of Industry and Commerce Welshman Ncube. The Bill was introduced during the last Parliamentary session, which ended in September 2011. This Bill has been on the Order Paper for many months without any move from the Minister.

Awaiting consideration of Adverse Report from PLC

Electoral Amendment Bill The PLC’s adverse report on this Bill, announced by the Speaker on 27th March, means that the House cannot proceed to the next stage [Second Reading] of the Bill until it has considered the adverse report and decided whether or not to adopt it. If the House adopts the adverse report, any clause found to be inconsistent with the Constitution will have to be dropped from the Bill or amended so as to remove the inconsistency. [Note: Official text of the PLC report not available until PLC chairman has presented it to the House.]

Awaiting PLC report

Older Persons Bill This Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare Bill was read the first time on 20th March and referred to the PLC for its report, which is expected to be announced this week.

Proposed Private Member’s Bill to repeal section 121(3) of Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act

The House is part of the way through its debate on Mr Gonese’s motion requesting its permission to introduce this Bill. Mr Gonese has spoken, and several MPs have had their say, both for and against the motion. A contribution from the responsible Minister – the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs – is expected. [For a discussion of State misuse of section 121(3) see Court Watch 8/2012 of 25th April] Minister Chombo’s court application to stop the Urban Councils Amendment Bill could impact on this Bill’s progress.

Motions

If the Government fails to press on with the urgent Government Bills on the Order Paper [Human Rights Commission and Electoral Amendment Bill], there are motions to keep MPs busy, including: the long-running motion of thanks for the President’s speech opening the current Session; several take note motions on Portfolio Committee reports; and Hon Musundire’s motion for the withdrawal of the Indigenisation Regulations.

Senate Order Paper

Bills

POSA Amendment Bill The Senate still has to complete debate on Mr Gonese’s motion for his Private Member’s Bill to be restored to the Senate Order Paper [it lapsed at the end of the previous Parliamentary Session in September 2011]. The Senate awaits a contribution to the debate from the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Senator Chinamasa.

Other Bills may need the Senate’s attention this week – but only if the House of Assembly gets round to passing one or more of the Bills on its own Order Paper.

Motions There are motions for continuation of debates previously commenced: take note motions on Thematic Committee reports on prisons, on education MDGs; on the ARV therapy roll-out programme; and Senator Mohadi’s motion for assistance to farmers in agricultural region 5.

Government Gazette from 28th April to 11th May

Acts and Bills None

Statutory Instruments [electronic copies NOT available from Veritas]

Collective bargaining agreements Wages and allowances for the printing, packaging and newspaper industry [SI 81/2012] and the textile industry [33/2012]; General conditions of service for the security industry, including wages and allowances [SI 76/2012]

Environment – plastic packaging and bottles SI 84/2012 of 11th May contains amendments to “the principal regulations” unfortunately without specifying their year and SI number [presumably SI 98/2010]. The amendments re-state the obligations of importers and manufacturers of plastic packaging and bottles, the recycling obligations of users of polystyrene, and specify registration and quarterly fees for manufacturers.

Local authority rents and charges by-laws Gokwe Town Council [SI 74/2012]; Karoi Town Council [SI 75/2012]; Mutare [SI 82/2012]; Plumtree Town Council [SI 79/2012]

Other local authority by-laws Plumtree [cemeteries charges – SI 80/2012]; Rusape [clamping and tow away – 78/2012]

Road tolls – Kariba Dam Wall SI 72/2012 lists new fees for four classes of vehicles

Road traffic Axle-loading permit fees [SI 85/2012]

Shop licence fees Gokwe Town Council [SI 73/2012]; Mutare City Council [SI 83/2012]

General Notices

Income tax The Minister of Finance has exempted the Securities Commission from income tax [GN 163/2012].

Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied

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