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Zimbabwe Army Chief: No Talks With Prime Minister

http://abcnews.go.com/

By ANGUS SHAW Associated Press
HARARE, Zimbabwe May 5, 2013 (AP)

Zimbabwe's army commander said he would not speak to the nation's prime
minister, describing him as a "sellout" and a "psychiatric patient,"
reported a state-controlled Sunday newspaper.

Gen. Constantine Chiwenga dismissed calls for him and other top security
officials to meet with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to discuss demands
for reforms in the armed forces ahead of crucial elections this year,
reported the Sunday Mail, , which is a mouthpiece of President Robert
Mugabe's party.

Chiwenga denied claims by Tsvangirai's party, which is in a shaky coalition
with Mugabe, that military chiefs have welcomed approaches on reforms. He
called the claims "hallucinations" and said the military chiefs will not
meet with politicians who did not fight in the guerrilla war that ended
colonial rule in 1980.

"We have no time to meet sellouts. Clearly Tsvangirai is a psychiatric
patient who needs a competent psychiatrist . he seems to be suffering from
hallucinations," said Chiwenga. "We are different. Just like oil and water,
we cannot mix."

Zimbabwe's police and military are accused of state-orchestrated violence
surrounding the last disputed polls in 2008.

Similar remarks against Tsvangirai were made by Mugabe's loyalist police
commissioner general on April 27.

The army commander was "fired up" when speaking Saturday after the funeral
of his brother outside Harare, said The Sunday Mail.

"Who the hell does Tsvangirai think he is? No-one can make us turn our back
on the liberation struggle. It is unimaginable for us to spit on the
struggle by meeting sellouts," Chiwenga said, the according to the paper.

Tsvangirai, 60, was a trade union leader when the independence war ended
with a British-negotiated truce in 1979, leading to the first democratic
elections that swept Mugabe to power.

Several service commanders have refused to salute Tsvangirai at state
ceremonial events.

Tsvangirai's party insists it wants to meet with powerful pro-Mugabe
generals to discuss their future role after new elections expected later
this year, possibly in September. Tsvangirai's supporters have demanded that
the security chiefs be fired, charging that in their loyalty to Mugabe the
military heads have been partisan and unprofessional.

The two similar statements by Mugabe's two top security chiefs within a week
of each other signal a hardening of their stance and point to continuing
bias of the police and military against Tsvangirai's party ahead of upcoming
polls, say analysts.

The coalition agreement brokered by regional leaders that made Tsvangirai
the Zimbabwe prime minister in 2009 demands significant democratic and
security reforms, the scrapping of sweeping media curbs and an end to hate
speech dominating the state media controlled by Mugabe loyalists before new
elections.

The international media freedom group Reporters Without Borders on Friday
described Mugabe, 89, as "a predator of freedom of information."

Mugabe remained inflexible, refused to cooperate with the former opposition
in the power-sharing government and blocked media reforms necessary for a
free and fair election, said the group in a statement marking World Press
Freedom Day.

Mugabe and his senior officers and officials still exercised strict control
over the state media and curtailed the activities of independent media
organizations through threats and surveillance, said the press watchdog.

That included an oppressive George Orwell-style "Big Brother is Watching
You" law that lets Zimbabwe security authorities intercept communications
without asking the courts, said Reporters Without Borders.


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Mugabe threatens to dump new constitution

http://www.africareview.com/

By KITSEPILE NYATHI in Harare | Sunday, May 5 2013 at 14:33

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has warned that the country’s draft
constitution will be discarded if it is rejected by Parliament this week.

The new constitution, which took more than four years to craft, was approved
at a referendum in March and would be taken to parliament this week.

President Mugabe must append his signature to the document before it becomes
law.

He told a meeting of his Zanu-PF party’s central committee at the weekend
that the country would be forced to revert to the old constitution if the
legislators take their time to approve the new draft.

“We hope parliament will pass it,” the veteran ruler said. “It is not yet a
constitution, but a political draft.

“If people dilly-daily on it, then we go back to the old constitution.

“Some people might want to pick their preferred clauses from the draft.

“However, nothing of that sort is acceptable. We are not bothered; we will
go back to the old constitution.”

President Mugabe is pushing for elections by June 29 when the life of the
current Parliament expires but his opponents and regional leaders are
pushing for electoral and security sector reforms before any polls.

But the 89 year-old leader who wants to run for another term in office said
he would not succumb to international pressure to delay the polls.

“The clock is ticking,” he said. “This is May. In June, whether anyone likes
it or not, it will be election time.

“You do not run to countries even in Europe to prevent the sun from setting
on June 29.”
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who has been in a power sharing government
with his former rival last week met leaders of South Africa, Tanzania,
Gabon, Nigeria, Botswana and Mozambique to lobby them to lean on President
Mugabe to implement reforms before the polls.

South African President Jacob Zuma is the mediator in talks between Zimbabwe’s
three governing political parties to create a conducive environment ahead of
the elections.
His team was in Harare last week to assess progress on the reforms.

Tsvangirai woes

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s army commander has vowed not to meet Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangiriai over proposed security sector reforms, describing him as
a ‘psychiatric patient.’

General Constantine Chiwenga, the commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces,
a staunch ally of President Robert Mugabe said meeting the former opposition
leader would be a betrayal of the country’s liberation struggle.

A fortnight ago, officials from the Mr Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), said the party had met several security chiefs to discuss the
reforms backed by the Southern African Development Community.

“We have no time to meet a sell out,” Gen Chiwenga told the state owned
Sunday Mail.

“Clearly (Mr) Tsvangirai is a psychiatric patient who needs a competent
psychiatrist.”

Zimbabwe’s army generals who openly support President Mugabe’s Zanu PF party
have in the past vowed not to salute Mr Tsvangirai if he wins an election.

The MDC leader has indicated that despite the opposition by the security
chiefs, his party was prepared to work with them in a post President Mugabe
era.
“It’s a figment of his imagination that he met us,” Gen Chiwenga said
referring to Mr Tsvangirai.

“I think he was dreaming and that dream should remain a dream and never be a
reality because we have better things to do than to meet with sell-outs.

“It’s just not possible for me to entertain the MDC leader, we are
different.

“Just like oil and water, we cannot mix. As the defence forces we will not
respect or entertain people who do not value the ideals of the liberation
struggle.”

The security forces were accused of orchestrating political violence in 2008
after President Mugabe lost the first round of the presidential elections to
Mr Tsvangirai.


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Mugabe's do or die date

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

By Chengetayi Zvauya, Parliamentary Editor
Sunday, 05 May 2013 14:03

HARARE - PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has insisted that the country will hold
harmonised elections by June 29 when the life of the Seventh Parliament
comes to an end.

Addressing members of the Zanu PF central committee at his party
headquarters in Harare yesterday, Mugabe said the mandate of the inclusive
government and Global Political Agreement (GPA) will expire together with
Parliament’s term.

“This two or three-headed creature called the GPA is coming to an end, the
clock is ticking. This is May and at the end of June, whether anyone likes
it or not nguva inenge yakwana, the sun will set.”

And in pointed remarks apparently aimed at Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s
ongoing regional diplomatic offensive to drum up support for his party’s
position, Mugabe said no amount of lobbying will scuttle his June poll date.

“And for the holding of the poll, you can go to any African country or
Europe to prevent the day but the sun is setting on June 29,” Mugabe vowed.

“You can go and say please America the day is coming but it is unstoppable.
The creature that has helped others is going to die that day. It is a
natural death and it is ending. We are not going to negotiate on that
matter,” Mugabe said to rapturous applause from the gallery.

Mugabe spoke as Tsvangirai had just met Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan
in Abuja in the latest leg of his diplomatic offensive to Central and West
Africa to drum up support for his party’s position.

Tsvangirai on Thursday met Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba in Libreville
and later met with Jonathan in Abuja to press for Africa’s support for free
and fair elections in Zimbabwe.

Earlier, he had held talks with Tanzanian President and Southern African
Development Community (Sadc) Troika chairperson Jakaya Kikwete whom he told
Mugabe was hoodwinking the regional bloc and surreptitiously planning a
peaceful but rigged election.

He also had had a brief stopover in the Angolan capital Luanda where he met
with the Foreign minister, Georges Chicoti.

Last Sunday evening, Tsvangirai met South African leader and Sadc
facilitator in the Zimbabwe dialogue Jacob Zuma in Pretoria and emphasised
the need for a mini-regional summit to speed up reforms ahead of the crunch
poll.

While Tsvangirai was calling for the alignment of laws to the new
constitution passed on March 16, Mugabe also urged his Zanu PF legislators
to pass the Constitutional Bill when it is introduced in Parliament on
Tuesday.

He said if the Bill fails to sail through the house, Zimbabwe will revert to
the 19-times amended Lancaster House Constitution. He rallied party members
to mobilise support and get ready for the elections.

“If the Constitutional Bill does not pass on Tuesday when it will be
introduced in Parliament, we will go to elections and if people dilly-dally
with it and fail to pass it, we shall continue to use the old Lancaster
Constitution,” Mugabe said.

“We have had it for 33 years and it is good enough. Some will want to delay
it hoping to stop the elections.

“We are going to be leaving everything in the hands of (Justice and Legal
Affairs minister Patrick) Chinamasa, our lawyer and we hope kuti vanorovera
bhora mugedhi.”

The central committee meeting yesterday following a marathon Zanu PF
politburo meeting that started at 3pm on Friday and ended on Saturday
morning discussing the party’s state of preparedness ahead of the key
polls.

Mugabe informed the central committee that his party had agreed on the need
to go ahead with the process of selecting candidates, and the warring
factions in Manicaland Province had agreed to bury the hatchet and work
together.

The rules for aspiring party candidates for Zanu PF is that one should have
been a party member for more than five years and should have held a post in
the party structures.

There will be exemptions for those who have worked in the diplomatic sector
or in government.


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Zanu PF 'using food aid to build support ahead of Zimbabwe elections'

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF has been accused of using food aid to build
political support ahead of general elections in Zimbabwe later this year.

By Aislinn Laing, Johannesburg2:54PM BST 05 May 2013

Officials in the south are said to be circumventing local, multiparty
councillors who previously distributed food aid, instead giving grain and
rice donated by the president only to Zanu PF loyalists to distribute.
They in turn have allegedly been demanding to see Zanu PF membership cards
before they hand over food parcels.

An estimated 1.6 million Zimbabweans are dependent on food aid because of
severe dry spells and hailstorms which wiped up to 80 per cent of crops in
some areas.

There are fears that with a new harvest approaching and forecasts of erratic
rainfall, more could soon be affected.

Analysts say that with international pressure on Zimbabwe's politicians to
avoid the bloodshed of previous elections, coercion tactics such as the
partisan distribution of food will increasingly be deployed.

"If they are trying to avoid outright violence in the next elections, the
manipulation of food supplies becomes part of an array of tactics that can
be used instead," said Piers Pigou, from International Crisis Group

Several reports have surfaced about such practices in Masvingo and
Matabeleland South, two of the worst-affected provinces.

In Matobo, south of Bulawayo and hit by cattle deaths and crop failures, it
was reported that only wards represented by Zanu PF councillors were being
given food.

Sithembile Mlotshwa, an MDC senator, told Newsday that supporters were
turned away from a village school last month where wheat was being
distributed.

"I was told that supporters of the MDC-T were told to move away as the wheat
was meant for card-carrying Zanu PF members only," he said. "Some of the
wheat was distributed at a shop belonging to a known Zanu PF activist in a
move to frustrate the MDC-T supporters."

Andrew Langa, the Zanu PF Matabeleland South chairman, denied the claims,
saying it was not his party's policy to discriminate on the basis of
political allegiance.

"I am not aware of that and I doubt that anyone could consider party
affiliation when distributing food meant for Zimbabweans," he said.

Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T's national spokesman, said he was concerned that
such activities were increasing.

"Zanu PF is using food as a political weapon," he told The Daily Telegraph.
"The drought has made people more and more dependent on food handouts and
more likely to act in Zanu PF's favour in order to be fed."
He said that the MDC-T's ministers, who sit in a fractious coalition
government with Zanu PF, had sought a resolution in cabinet condemning the
activity.

"Although the MDC is represented at ministerial level, the government
bureaucrats are still Zanu PF, and determine the manpower that does the
distribution."


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Zimbabwe Lawmakers to Debate Constitution Bill

http://www.voazimbabwe.com/

Jonga Kandemiiri
05.05.2013

WASHINGTON DC — Lawmakers in Zimbabwe are on Tuesday expected to table a
constitutional bill which will become the country’s supreme law if it gets
majority approval in the house of assembly and the Senate.

According to Parliamentary and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric
Matinenga, all lawmakers are supposed to attend the important parliamentary
sessions as both houses resume sitting Tuesday.

Matinenga said the bill contains provisions of the country’s parliamentary
constitution committee’s draft constitution which was overwhelmingly adopted
by Zimbabweans in a referendum a month ago.

Zimbabwe is expected to hold a general election under a new constitution
sometime this year.


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Biti rubbishes opinion polls

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

Sunday, 05 May 2013 14:03

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party has denied that its
popularity ratings have plunged, disputing an opinion poll which revealed
that it suffered a slide.

The MDC is facing a rough ride in the GNU, and its leader Tsvangirai seem to
have been outwitted by his foe, President Robert Mugabe, a cunning political
veteran who has used a mix of intimidation, obstinacy and charm to stymie
reforms.

With a call for a national elections on the cards as soon as June,
Tsvangirai and his MDC also face a tough election battle against Zanu PF.

The latest poll by the Mass Public Opinion Institute, a Zimbabwean
organisation that conducted the fieldwork for the poll commissioned by
Freedom House, a US-based group, showed the resurgent Zanu PF on 31 percent
from 17 percent with support for the MDC dropping dramatically from 38
percent to 20 percent.

The survey of about 1 200 Zimbabweans, conducted in 2012, 47 percent refused
to express a party preference.

The collapse is the most dramatic of the MDC in its 13 years in existence.

MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti yesterday rubbished the opinion poll,
claiming his party will garner 75 percent of the votes.

Biti said what has indeed gone down is the confidence and security of the
people. He said looking at the huge figure of people who did not want to
express themselves freely in the opinion poll, the MDC was actually
concluding that the voting bloc were MDC supporters who would vote against
Zanu PF.

Tsvangirai, hailed as a steady hand on the economic tiller in his four years
as prime minister, has failed to assert his authority over the crucial
security and media sectors and his party’s political impotence in the
political realm has pulled down his reputation for economic competence.

But Biti said the findings could not be relied on because they were carried
out in a climate of fear.

“The only opinion poll which matters will be the election,” Biti said
addressing a gathering in Kuwadzana, Harare.

Zimbabwe is set to hold fresh elections later this year to end the uneasy
coalition between Mugabe and Tsvangirai which was formed after an
inconclusive election in 2009.

“Some polls have credited 30 percent to MDC while giving Zanu PF 35 percent
and saying about 40 percent could not share their political opinions. That
40 percent represent MDC people who because of fear of intimidation could
not reveal their party choice,” said Biti.

Biti stressed to his party members that there was no other party leader
other than Tsvangirai, and urged MDC supporters to desist from factionalism.

The Finance minister was accompanied by parliamentarians including, Obert
Gutu, Paurina Mpariwa, Paul Madzore, Jessie Majome and Amos Chibaya and some
MDC representatives from the United Kingdom.

Biti said they were confident of also getting the alien vote saying Mugabe
had lost it when he called them “vanhu vasina mitupo”, (people without
origin), thus “humiliating people he was supposed to be leading.” - Bridget
Mananavire and John Kachembere


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Harare Council faces cash crunch

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

Sunday, 05 May 2013 13:37
HARARE - The Harare City Council account continues to dry up, with mounting
debt revenue from water dropping from $6 million to $4 million in the first
quarter.

“The drop has been gradual since the beginning of the year,” said town clerk
Tendai Mahachi without specifying the reasons for the slide.

The local authority is currently struggling to provide water to its
ratepayers.

According to Mahachi, the development has affected other maintenance
projects that the city has been doing.

“The low revenue inflows have forced Harare water to scale down projects
being funded from revenue. These include Firle sewage works rehabilitation,
Dzivaresekwa pump station as well as water and sewerage pipe replacement
projects,” said Mahachi.

Only last week the city plunged into darkness when national energy supplier
the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) cut off supplies over an
estimated $774 million bill.

Two other council facilities, Cleveland House and Remembrance Drive, have
reportedly gone without electricity for at least five days.

Cleveland House is where the urban planning services and the engineering
departments are based, while Remembrance Drive is home to the housing
department and its divisions.

Harare water also owes Zesa $45 million, accumulated over 45 months, with
monthly power consumption at $1 million a month at its water treatment
plants, according to media reports.

Though the authority has been criticised following the disconnection, it
claims the issue has been resolved amicably.

Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda recently disclosed that the council requires $20
million on a monthly basis for its operations.

Council is owed about $300 million in unpaid bills by government
departments, the corporate sector and residents.

Sources within council say, outside high defaulters, corruption has also
significantly led to the drop. - Wendy Muperi


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Politics stalling Chisumbanje project

http://www.financialgazette.co.zw/

Thursday, 02 May 2013 17:37

Staff Reporter
MUTARE — Lack of political will among the country’s governing political
parties has been the major stumbling block stalling the reopening of the
multi-million dollar Chisumbanje ethanol project, Basil Nyabadza, the
chairperson of the Agricultural Rural Development Authority (ARDA) has
said.
The US$600 million project, which commenced in 2008, has become a victim of
conflicting partisan politics following the formation of the inclusive
government in February 2009.
ARDA partnered with Rating, owned by businessman Billy Rautenbach, and
Macdom Investments to form Green Fuels, which owns the embattled Chisumbanje
plant.
The project falls under three different ministries, which are all aligned to
three different parties.
It falls under the Ministry of Agriculture and Mechanisation controlled by
ZANU-PF, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce under the smaller formation
of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and the Ministry of Energy and
Power Development headed by a minister from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s
MDC-T.
Its parentage has become a problem for Green Fuels since cabinet is
presently constructed on political accommodation between the three parties
which are pulling in different directions.
Nyabadza, a former ZANU-PF provincial chairman accused the two MDC
formations of throwing spanners into the licencing of the project.
“The constituency it is under (Chisumbanje) is now in the hands of the
MDC-T. The project has got the capacity to influence how people will vote in
the next election. Ownership of the project became an issue. Agriculture is
very much vested in ZANU-PF but the Energy (Ministry) is in the hands of the
MDC-T, responsible of issuing a license.
“My portfolio as the ARDA chairman is under ZANU-PF and if I go to MDC-T for
energy regulatory requirement, there is already a political discord. If I go
to the Industry (Ministry), the issue is the same,” lamented Nyabadza.
Green Fuels is yet to receive a licence from the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory
Authority under the Ministry of Energy which says it must first comply with
all the necessary regulatory requirements.
Nyabadza believes it would have been a different scenario if the ministry
was under a ZANU-PF official.


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Harare transport system’s villains

http://www.financialgazette.co.zw/

Thursday, 02 May 2013 17:06

Tinashe Madava, Senior Reporter
AT the corner of Chinhoyi Street and Kwame Nkrumah Avenue look-outs hang
around lazily but alert for any signs of trouble. An equal number of
sentries with a similar mission stand guard at another intersection, Park
Street and Kwame Nkrumah.
They are all looking out for Harare City Council and Zimbabwe Republic
Police (ZRP) details that are on assignment to rid the central business
district (CBD) of touts and commuter minibuses from undesignated loading
zones.
As soon as a group of police officers is seen meandering towards the illegal
loading zone, whistles alert the minibuses loading commuters to Borrowdale
and Hatcliffe.
With engines always on the ready, raving continuously as touts shout to
attract the attention of commuters to different vehicles, the whistles are
met by load bangs on loading minibuses whose drivers suddenly speed off
mindless of oncoming traffic. Even pedestrians have to jump out of the way
when the fleeing starts.
Sometimes police details are able to sneak on the minibus crews in unmarked
vehicles. When this happens, the unfazed minibus drivers attempt to escape.
That is when all hell breaks loose.
The uniformed truncheon-wielding ZRP officers jump out of the way and in the
process deliver window-shattering blows to the windscreen of the offending
vehicle, oblivious of the fact that there are passengers onboard.
On their part, the drivers even speed off recklessly, weaving in and out of
traffic. On occasions, undercover officers pretend to be commuters and board
the minibuses, only to announce upon departure that the vehicles are being
impounded.
Eddie Banda (not his real name), a minibus driver who uses the illegal
loading zone said he will continue the cat and mouse game with law
enforcement agents.
“I get good profits here. It does not make sense for me to go to Fourth
Street where there are too many Kombis plying my route so if I come here, I
load quickly and the money is good. Business is brisk. If my windscreen is
smashed, I will not replace it right away as we simply pay off the police at
roadblocks,” said Banda.
Like many of his colleagues who refused to be interviewed, he blamed police
and the city council for the commotion in the city centre’s roads.
Law enforcement agencies started cracking the whip last year in efforts to
bring sanity in the city following an outcry that members of the infamous
Chipangano group allegedly aligned to ZANU-PF were extorting money from
minibus drivers as protection and loading fees across the city’s termini.
At the time, various reports suggested that the Chipangano members were
collecting tens of thousands of dollars per day which they shared with top
ZANU-PF officials at the party offices in the city at the close of business
every day.
Then, the Harare City Council said it would move in to replace Chipangano
members since it was the responsibility of council to run the city termini.
But nothing of the sort happened.
Instead, council and national police have intensified crackdown on illegal
loading zones saying they are acting to root out lawlessness in the city
centre. Yet the clampdown has not only resulted in property damage but
death.
In the past month, two people were reportedly killed at a commuter rank in
the city due to lawlessness prevailing at these loading zones.
In fact, the Copacabana rank between Jason Moyo and Speke avenues along
Chinhoyi Street has become an eyesore during peak hours as minibuses
literally choke the road, bringing traffic to a halt.
Drivers blame it on poor planning by council officials while council says
they must follow the law. On their part, commuters continue to wait for
transport at illegal loading zones.
Analyst, Trevor Maisiri, says there are three issues at play. Firstly, there
is the perpetuation of the 2005 Murambatsvina mindset where the city council
is trying to bring order into the traffic jungle threatening Harare’s CBD
but at the same time there is no think through about a commuter-friendly
alternative.
Secondly, there is a political game at play here, where some of the pressure
on commuter omnibuses could be a pay-back for the attacks on policemen and
other security agents that took place in 2012 and even before.
Thirdly, the Chipangano phenomena where commuter omnibus ranks had become a
good pick for financial extortion cannot be ruled out as well.
“So all these three issues are at play at the same time and it therefore
makes it difficult to find sustainable resolution. Politicians are also not
eager to address this issue given the sensitivity it brings just before
elections. As much as they don’t want to be seen to be promoting traffic
disorder they also don’t want to be seen to be crossing the paths of
commuters. For some they also don’t want to disturb their political
constituency which is making a killing from extortion,” said Maisiri.
But Rejoice Ngwenya, another analyst, begs to differ.
“I’m not sure there is a ‘political swing’ to this saga. You need to look at
the anarchy side of registration of Kombis, and the desire of council to
respond to ratepayers’ demands for an organised transport system. A
stakeholders’ meeting and a commitment from Kombi operators to adhere to
by-laws would help,” said Ngwenya.
He said eradicating the “Kombi” menace has two political faces: “One:
ZANU-PF operatives surviving from illegal routes, payout etc. Two: MDC-T
does not want to ‘lose credibility’ by outright aggression towards Kombi
owners and ‘inconveniencing’ commuters. But my point is that if we had
professional — a euphemism for mature — councillors, they would re-define
routes, laws and enforcement without political considerations — the way they
would deal with you, say, if you built a shack next to the City Museum”.
Maisiri says a sustainable solution can only come with the re-designing of a
CBD transport system that is sensitive to commuters' needs as well as
keeping traffic order.
But in the meantime, the chaos in Harare’s CBD continues unchecked with all
players from drivers, the police, council and the commuters accusing each
other of being the pantomime villains in the transport woes.


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ZSE soars as foreign investors return

http://www.newzimbabwe.com/

05/05/2013 00:00:00
by Reuters

AFTER shunning Zimbabwe during its years of hyperinflation and political
strife, foreign investors are finding the country increasingly attractive.

Zimbabwe's adoption of the US dollar, a new constitution that curbs
presidential powers after 33 years of President Robert Mugabe's rule, and
cheap valuations are luring some foreign investors to its stock market.

The main index, up more than 25 percent this year, hit a record high of
191.16 on Friday and offshore investors have been strong buyers.

But nagging concerns about elections due this year and the government's
policy of forcing firms to cede majority stakes to black citizens are
deterring larger portfolio inflows and the foreign direct investment that
Zimbabwe needs, investors say.

"Zimbabwe used to be the breadbasket of Africa so the potential to restore
its lost glory is still there," said Funmi Akinluyi, Silk Invest's
sub-Saharan Africa investment director, adding that the firm has no
investments in Zimbabwe but is looking at it closely.

"It just needs fundamental changes, starting with politics."
Zimbabweans in March approved a new constitution limiting presidential
powers, removing the main barrier to an election in the second half of this
year after a disputed 2008 poll.

Those investing in Zimbabwe, including Renaissance Asset Managers, Investec
and Stanlib, say they are cautious but believe it has already seen the
bottom.

They also say companies are cheap compared to regional peers, while tough
conditions have produced strong managers.
"The management is brilliant," said Sven Richter of Renaissance, citing one
firm that adopts two business plans each year for high and low inflation.
"When the environment is particularly harsh you find the best management
teams come to the fore."

Mobile phone operator Econet is trading at a forward price to earnings ratio
of about 6 times, a steal compared with 16 times for its Kenyan peer
Safaricom or about 13 times for South Africa's Vodacom.

Thabo Ncalo, who co-manages Stanlib's Africa equity funds, with around $200
million in assets under management, is avoiding mining and banking stocks
because of the risks of the local ownership drive and an increase in minimum
capital requirements for lenders. The funds' exposure to Zimbabwe is some 12
percent.

Ncalo favours consumer names such as Econet, fast food group Innscor Africa
and Delta Corporation, Zimbabwe's largest brewer.
They are among the top traders by value on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, with
a market capitalisation is $4.9 billion.
In the first three months of 2013, foreigners were net buyers of $11 million
worth of shares a month on average, more than double the monthly average in
2012, according to data from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

But some investors are waiting until after the elections, hoping for more
clarity on the new government's policies.
"If this is a real turning point for the economy then we're going to want to
be invested for years, not months," said Andrew Brudenell, manager of HSBC's
$250 million frontier equity strategy, which invests in Nigeria and Kenya.


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Williams success levels series

http://www.cricket365.com/

Sunday 05-May-2013 07:41

A brisk half-century from batsman Sean Williams powered ZImbabwe to a
comfortable six-wicket triumph over Bangladesh in Sunday's second ODI at the
Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.

Williams' Man of the Match performance of 78 not out afforded the hosts a
healthy turnaround in the wake of Friday's 121-run defeat, leaving next
week's third and final ODI fitting poised as the series decider.

Zimbabwe were set a target of 253 after Bangladesh amassed 252 for nine from
their 50 overs, with Abdur Razzak the only man to pass the half-ton mark
with 53 not out.

Seamer Elton Chigumbura was the pick of the bowlers after he claimed figures
of three for 39 from his allotted 10 overs, the best of the day.

Hamilton Masakadza (15) fell cheaply in the home side' reply to set nerves
jangling. However, Vusi Sibanda (49) and Williams led the way for Zimbabwe
as they passed the target with six wickets and 13 balls to spare.

It was a much-improved performance by the home side, who suffered an
embarrassing collapse in the opening match to be all out for just 148 in
32.1 overs.

The series decider takes place on Wednesday, also in Bulawayo, before a
two-match Twenty20 International series next weekend.


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Time for the stick – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 4th May 2013

The scale of the challenge facing the MDC is becoming ever clearer as Zanu PF puts into action its well-practiced plan to rig the vote with the arrogant confidence bred of three decades of stealing elections.

A corrupt voters’ roll and insuperable obstacles to voter registration, together with harassment of voter education, are merely the beginning (see: http://www.mdc.co.zw/index.php/news/42-rokstories/2348-zanu-pf-trying-to-rig-the-elections-through-the-voters-roll.html - Zanu PF trying to rig the elections through the voters roll).

We are now told by Mugabe’s handlers (straight from Orwell’s 1984) that security sector reforms were never on the agenda despite Article 13 (1) of the Global Political Agreement which reads ‘State organs and institutions do not belong to any political party and should be impartial in the discharge of their duties’.

With the unreformed hate-spewing Zanu PF media sinking from propaganda to outright lies, the Vigil this week was asked by a Malawian journalist for a comment on visiting President Joyce Banda’s alleged call for the lifting of ‘illegal’ sanctions on Zimbabwe. Here is what we said: ‘The Herald is a Zanu PF propaganda sheet and cannot be relied on to report anything honestly. But if President Banda did call for the lifting of ‘illegal’ sanctions she was just parroting Mugabe’s electioneering line that seeks to blame the West for Zimbabwe’s catastrophic economic decline. The sanctions are not illegal and were targeted at people involved in human rights abuses and their companies. Trade has continued and, anyway, most sanctions have now been suspended.’ We have since learnt Malawi has denied remarks in the Herald attributed to President Banda.

More serious than the propaganda onslaught, we believe, is Zanu PF’s total non-co-operation with the South African mediation effort (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/may2_2013.html#Z1SA facilitation team faces another ZANU PF snub). We believe the recidivist thugs fighting for control of Zanu PF must be brought to heel by President Zuma. We certainly don’t agree with the disparaging remarks about South Africans made by the Zambian Vice President Guy Scott.

But our confidence is somewhat shaken by a statement by the convenor of the South African facilitation team, Charles Nqakula, after Zanu PF negotiators again failed to turn up for a meeting. ‘Representatives of the two MDC parties attended the meeting but Zanu PF representatives stayed away’, he said. ‘We did not hear from Zanu PF. Our effort at raising ministers Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche failed. The MDC parties we met yesterday (Tuesday) conveyed to us what they believe are the real reasons why Zanu PF did not attend the meeting of the negotiators,’ Nqakula said. ‘On our part we believe Zanu PF representatives must have had a plausible reason for staying away. We don’t believe their action was in any way an act of bad faith.’ (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/may3_2013.html#Z5Zanu PF plans to rig polls: Tsvangirai).

The Vigil hopes Mr Nqakula was just being diplomatic and that the South Africans are working out ways of forcing Zanu PF to honour the GPA. There is no shortage of options. They’ve tried the carrot – now it’s time for the stick.

Eddie Cross, the MDC-T MP, says in his latest overview of the situation that he expects a landslide victory in the elections (see: http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/comment/blogs/eddie-cross/65452/time-speeds-by.html - Time Speeds By). We are far away and less informed but the Vigil can’t imagine an MDC victory with:

A rigged voters’ roll

Obstacles to voter registration (except for Zanu PF and the military)

Intimidation of MDC voters

Corrupt electoral commission

Clampdown on civil society organisations

Politicised security forces

Biased judges

Unreformed media

Refusal to allow UN scrutiny

Limits on election observers

Total non-co-operation with SADC

Other points

More than 30 went on from the Vigil to the fortnightly meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum, which groups a variety of organisations including the Vigil, ROHR, Zimbabwe We Can, Zapu, MDC and on this occasion a representative of Simba Makoni’s party (Mavambo Kusile Dawn). Many people believed the elections had already been sewn up by Zanu PF. Frank Mamvura of Zimbabwe We Can said he had been on the Facebook page of the former US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, who had told him that change in Zimbabwe could only be brought about by those in the diaspora and it was necessary for them to organize. Peter Sidindi, also of Zimbabwe We Can, said the Vigil was the only Zimbabwean organization that had not lost its way over the years. Rashiwe Bayipayi from Brighton encouraged us by saying great numbers were not essential for effective action. Two people had climbed up a tree in Brighton when it was threatened with removal and the tree was still there. It was agreed we should set up a Facebook page for the Zimbabwe Action Forum and with great efficiency Thandiwe Gwarumba set it up on her ipad during the meeting. Fungayi Mabhunu and Michelle Dube volunteered to be the administrators of the page. Michelle also agreed to minute the meeting. Several people (Tawanda Dzimba, Wellington Mukucha, Epiphania Phiri and Frank Mamvura) volunteered for a strategy team which would identify areas the Forum should be tackling, most notably fundraising.

Thanks to David Takundwa who was there at the start of the Vigil. He rigged up the tarpaulin between our maple trees during a sudden hail storm on an otherwise lovely spring day.

The Vigil was sorry to hear that supporter Iline Manhunzi was in hospital – people remember her for the tasty sadza she sold at the Vigil to fundraise for ROHR. We wish her a speedy recovery.

Activist Martin Chinyanga borrowed our Mugabe mask to stage an anti-Mugabe scenario which was filmed. See our photos.

The Vigil was interested to see Jan Raath’s criticism of the recent controversial book ‘Zimbabwe takes back its Land’. Raath, a seasoned Zimbabwean journalist, said the book was ‘jaw-droppingly wide of the truth’ (http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71619?oid=373778&sn=Detail&pid=71619Max du Preez wrong about ‘Zimbabwe's flourishing farms’).

FOR THE RECORD: 69 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

ROHR Birmingham Branch meeting. Saturday 11th May from 12.30 – 3.30 pm. Venue: All Saints Centre, Vicarage Road, Kings Heath B14 7RA. For more information, contact: Zenzile Chabuka 07951418577, Anne Chikumba 07857528546, Petronella Mapara 07903644612, Jane Mary Mapfumo 07412310429, Pedzisai James 07428180518 and Tecla Bandawe 07450507650.

ROHR Southampton Branch meeting. Saturday 11th May from 12.30 – 4 pm. Venue: Swaythling Neighbourhood Centre off Broadlands Rd, Southampton SO16 3AY. For more information contact: Wellington Mukucha 07450264733, Sally Mutseyami 07969029752, Manfred Mambo 07774538359 and Taylor Madondo.

ROHR Central London Branch meeting. Saturday 18th May from 12 – 1.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. Contact Fungayi Mabhunu 07746552597. For full directions check entry for Zimbabwe Action Forum.

Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 18th May from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

ROHR Reading Relaunch. Saturday 25th May from 11 am – 5 pm. For more information please contact: Tawanda Dzimba 07880524278, Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386789.

Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2012 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/467-vigil-highlights-2012. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2012 Highlights page.

The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.

Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.

Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil...

Useful websites: www.zanupfcrime.com which reports on Zanu PF abuses and www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.

Vigil co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.


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