Fri 9 Nov 2007, 12:23 GMT
HARARE, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe police on Friday brought in for
questioning an editor and two executives from two leading independent media
houses, newspaper officials and a police spokesman said.
Hama Saburi, editor of financial weekly The Financial Gazette, said he and
the newspaper's chief executive were on their way to a police station for
apparently violating government price controls.
"The police came in and said they need to talk to us about our business, so
we are now on our way to the police station. I understand it is all about
the newspaper price," Saburi told Reuters by telephone.
Staff at the privately owned weekly, The Zimbabwe Independent, said its
chief executive had also been taken in.
"They came in during our diary meeting and took the chief executive officer.
Our editor was in that meeting, but he wasn't picked up. Only the CEO went,"
said one of the newspaper's employees, who asked not to be named.
Publishers of the two weeklies this week increased their newspaper prices
from 250,000 to 600,000 Zimbabwean dollars ($2 at the official rate but 50
cents on the black market).
The prices had been frozen at 55,000 Zimbabwean dollars since June when
President Robert Mugabe's government announced price controls to try to tame
A National Prices and Incomes Commission was established to approve price
increases for all goods and services.
Analysts say the price controls backfired by deepening shortages of basic
foodstuffs, while long queues for newspapers formed as media houses reduced
the number of copies printed to avoid losses.
A police spokesman said the newspaper executives were not arrested and he
would not say if they would be questioned about price controls. "But there
are issues that we want them to clarify," he said.
Mugabe's government has been accused of stifling media freedom after the
country's largest private newspaper, the Daily News, was forced to close in
2003 for failing to register with a state media commission.
Critics blame Mugabe's policies -- such as the seizure of white-owned farms
to resettle blacks with little farming experience -- for an economic crisis
that has seen Zimbabwe's inflation reach 7,900 percent, the highest in the
Mugabe, 83 and in power since independence from Britain in 1980, denies
mismanaging the economy and accusations of human rights abuses. (Reporting
by Nelson Banya; Editing by Michael Georgy and Mary Gabriel)
by Lizwe Sebata Saturday 10 November 2007
BULAWAYO - Most Zimbabwean bakers have stopped making bread switching
over to producing buns, candies and other confectionery in a bid to beat
tough price restrictions imposed by the government last June, industry
officials said Friday.
The recommended price for a loaf of bread currently stands at Z$100
000 but bakers have argued that the government should allow them to sell a
loaf of bread at prices ranging between Z$500 000 to $600 000.
President Robert Mugabe's government has since last June imposed
sweeping price controls on basic commodities that saw products such as bread
disappearing from shop shelves as bakers refused to sell at a loss.
Industry players who spoke to ZimOnline yesterday said they were now
only baking mostly buns and rolls in an effort to beat the price controls.
Buns and rolls, which costs about Z$650 000 for a packet of six, are
not subject to price controls as they are not regarded as essential
"We stopped producing bread and have resorted to producing
confectionaries to make profit as the controlled price of bread is not
"That is also the only way we can make profits as confectionaries also
require a small quantity of flour than bread," said an official at Bakers
Inn, one of the biggest bakers in the second city of Bulawayo.
Bread virtually disappeared from shop shelves last June after the
government ordered shops to slash prices by half and roll back prices to
mid-June levels in a controversial exercise code-named Operation Dzikisa
Mutengo (Reduce Prices).
Mugabe accused business of hiking prices in an effort to foment
rebellion against his government that is fighting its biggest economic
crisis that has manifested itself in the world's highest inflation rate of
nearly 8 000 percent.
National Bakers' Association (NBA) chairman Vincent Mangoma said the
government should allow bakers to hike the price of bread if they are to
"The government should review the price of bread to viable level and
ease shortages. Most bakeries have stopped baking bread to concentrate on
confectionaries since the prices are not controlled."
Several bakers across the country have suspended or scaled down
production due to a critical shortage of flour as well as the government's
directives to slash prices.
Zimbabwe has faced perennial wheat shortages over the past seven years
after the government seized white farms for redistribution to landless
blacks. - ZimOnline
by Own Correspondent Saturday 10 November 2007
JOHANNESBURG - There is need for a symbol similar to the Red Cross to mark
schools as places of sanctuary and save them from politically motivated
violence, the author of a United Nations agency education report has said.
The report entitled "Education under Attack" and published by the United
Nations Educational Council (UNESCO) earlier this year says there has been a
dramatic increase in attacks on teachers, students and education facilities
in the past three years.
Among the worst affected areas were Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia, Nepal,
Thailand, Zimbabwe and the Palestinian territories, according to the report.
For example in Zimbabwe, teachers are often targeted for beatings,
harassment and torture by ruling ZANU PF party militia and war veterans who
accuse teachers of campaigning for the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party.
Dozens of schools have since the emergence of the MDC in 1999 as a potent
rival to ZANU PF been forced to close and send children home every election
time after teachers were beaten up and forcibly expelled from classrooms by
ruling party militants.
Brendan O'Malley, who authored the UNESCO report, this week told journalists
that international human rights institutions and laws to protect schools and
education facilities from political motivated violence were already in
existence but these were often not being utilised.
"If every time there is an attack there is no investigation, nobody is
arrested and no one charged, people will give up hope that the violence will
ever end," O'Malley said.
O'Malley said just as churches and other religious buildings have been seen
as places of sanctuary, schools could be internationally recognised as safe
"One suggestion has been that we create a symbol rather like the Red Cross
to denote recognition of this status," he said. - ZimOnline
by Ntando Ncube Friday 09 November 2007
JOHANNESBURG - The United Nations (UN) should play a larger role in
providing for the growing number of Zimbabwean refugees in southern Africa,
an international refugee rights watchdog said on Thursday.
The United States-based Refugees International said most Zimbabwean
immigrants were undocumented and constituted an invisible population in the
host countries with no access to adequate shelter or other basic facilities
sometimes even in cases were host governments were willing to provide these.
"The United Nations should play a larger role in responding to the needs of
displaced Zimbabweans in southern Africa," Refugees International said in a
report released Thursday.
It said because displaced Zimbabweans were spread across the region the UN,
working with international relief agencies, was the best-placed group to
offer a coherent response to the growing humanitarian needs of the refugees.
"It (UN) should also assign an agency to co-ordinate the efforts of its
various branches and those of international service agencies and civil
society organisations," said the international refugees body that also urged
the UN to revise its contingent plan for Zimbabwe.
The refugee rights organisation said information gleaned from UN officials
indicated the world body's contingent plan was based on a scenario involving
"massive influx" of Zimbabweans into neighbouring countries over a short
period of time which would require the setting up of camps to shelter
However, the UN should base its contingency planning on the continued,
steady flow of Zimbabweans out of their home country, which according to
Refugees International is already happening at present.
The refugee body urged governments in South Africa, Zambia and Botswana to
stop deporting Zimbabweans flocking to their countries and to instead
develop new legal framework, in consultation with civil society
organisations and the UN in order to be able to provide solutions to the
The group said while a political solution was necessary for the long-term
stability of Zimbabwe, it was however unlikely that ongoing negotiations
between President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party and the opposition
would reverse the current migratory trends.
"Regional governments must begin to de-link a political solution inside
Zimbabwe from the need to address the domestic consequences of Zimbabwean
migration, including strains on social services, xenophobia, and the growth
of an undocumented underclass that is in need of humanitarian assistance,"
The group said over 150 000 Zimbabwean immigrants have been forcibly removed
from South Africa in the first nine months of this year, while 60 000 were
deported from Botswana since last December.
An estimated three million Zimbabweans or about a quarter of the country's
12 million people live outside the country after fleeing worsening economic
hardship and political violence.
Zimbabwe is in the grip of a debilitating economic crisis that is
highlighted by the world's highest inflation rate of nearly 8 000 percent, a
rapidly contracting GDP, the fastest for a country not at war according to
the World Bank and shortages of foreign currency, food and fuel.
The South African-facilitated talks between ZANU PF and the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change party are widely seen as the last chance to
pluck Zimbabwe out of its long running political and economic
By Carole Gombakomba
09 November 2007
Can Zimbabwe really organize critical national elections by March 2008? The
question is on the minds of many these days as crisis resolution talks
continue under South African mediation with discussions turning to
conditions for free and fair ballots.
The government insists that parliamentary and presidential elections will go
ahead as proposed in March (with local elections in January). But
independent observers say that it is unrealistic to expect conditions to be
in place for fair elections by then.
Critics say the national voters roll is a "shambles," even before officials
try to delimit 90 new constituencies and educate voters in the new
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is moving to recruit 59 district election
officers, brushing off arguments from the opposition that accords reached in
the Pretoria talks call for a new and truly independent commission to be set
up to replace it.
Meanwhile, a second round of mobile registration is under way through Nov.
15, but the Zimbabwe Election Support Network on Friday handed a report to
the commission citing what it described as "flaws" in the exercise.
For perspective on such issues and the level of preparedness for next year's
elections, reporter Carole Gombakomba turned to National Director Rindai
Chipfunde-Vava of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network and Alois Chaumba,
national director of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, another
By Patience Rusere
09 November 2007
Zimbabwe's Women in Politics Support Unit has issued a highly critical
report on the congress held Oct. 27 in Bulawayo by the Movement for
Democratic Change faction of Morgan Tsvangirai to elect a new chairwoman of
the its women's assembly.
The report said the election by that congress of Theresa Makone, wife of
Tsvangirai faction elections director Ian Makone, to take the place of
former chairwoman Lucia Matibenga, ousted earlier in October, was seriously
flawed and undemocratic.
The Women in Politics Support Unit based its report on first-hand
observations of the proceedings of the congress, which according to the
report was held in a Bulawayo restaurant operated by Thokozani Khupe, from
which observers were barred.
The report accused Makone supporters of intimidation, vote-buying and other
serious electoral irregularities. It charged that senior party officials
including Khupe and acting chairman Lovemore Moyo exerted their influence to
ensure Makone's election.
The women's group said information on the congress venue was withheld from
Matibenga and her supporters. The report said voting was by acclamation with
no paper ballots that could be verified, while the gathering was not
Director Rutendo Hadebe of the Women in Politics Support Unit told reporter
Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the Bulawayo meeting did
not rise to the level of a congress befitting a party that considers itself
a government in waiting.
By Lance Guma
09 November 2007
Trouble is brewing for MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai after the party's
Youth Assembly called an emergency meeting of its National Council to
discuss the controversial dissolution of the Women's Assembly. Although
press reports suggest Tsvangirai is trying to appease ousted women's
chairperson Lucia Matibenga with a post as Deputy National Chairperson,
Matibenga is not interested and the youths in the party are backing her to
the hilt. A Youth National Council member who spoke to Newsreel on Friday
ahead of the Saturday meeting said the Youth Assembly did not recognise
Theresa Makone as chairperson and will use the platform to make their
position clear to Tsvangirai.
The party's own legal committee chaired by Mutare lawyer and legislator,
Innocent Gonese is alleged to have met and produced a damning report
condemning what they called the unprocedural removal of Matibenga. Six of
its members who comprise lawyers Jessie Majome, Douglas Mwonzora and Gonese
have recommended the ouster of Matibenga be revoked and Makone's election be
nullified. Tsvangirai is however said to be in defiant mood and just this
week told the Financial Gazette he would not allow the 'Matibenga sideshow'
to distract him from the goal of unseating Mugabe in next years elections.
He told the paper, 'The problem is that, suddenly, so many people have
become MDC constitutional experts. The majority of them have never read the
MDC constitution. You see, if the national council, through the national
standing committee had, as suggested, blatantly violated the constitution in
the dissolution of the assembly, then the High Court would obviously have
set aside the decision and interdicted the congress. But it didn't. The fact
of the matter is that the national council resolved that at the conclusion
of the inquiry (into the affairs of the women's wing), the leadership must
make a decision.'
He maintained his support for Makone saying, 'We do not manage the party
with the objective of either pleasing or hurting individuals, but in the
best interests of the party as a whole. The party is bigger than any
individual, and that includes myself. It is about the performance of an
organ of a party or its officers as we prepare for the 2008 elections,
subject of course to a free and fair environment. Matibenga is a respected
member of the party, and she will remain so.' The problem for Tsvangirai
however remains that many of his top lieutenants disagree with him. The
position of the Youth Assembly particularly could create serious problems
for him given they form the backbone of the party.
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
By Henry Makiwa
9 November 2007
The government's plans to bond newly qualified teachers from seeking
employment outside the country have been dismissed by teachers and their
unions as "unjust".
Education minister Aeneas Chigwedere, told parliament on Thursday that
teachers coming out of colleges will no longer be allowed to work outside
the country. Chigwedere also said the government would require neighbouring
countries to approach it before employing Zimbabwean teachers as part of
measures to mitigate the brain drain in the education sector.
Teachers are some of the least paid workers in the civil service and went on
a month long strike at the beginning of the third schools term in September.
Thousands of them have been leaving for greener pastures across the borders
to neighbouring countries, particularly South Africa, Botswana and Namibia,
in search of better salaries.
The Progressive Teachers Union Of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), on Friday dismissed the
government's latest approach to curb the exodus as "ineffective".
PTUZ spokesman, Harrison Mudzuri said: "The government is once again
attempting to cure the symptoms of a crisis and not the root cause of the
problem. Bonding the teachers won't solve issues. Giving them a better pay,
better working and living conditions will.
"We have become the laughing stock of the country because we earn peanuts,
and yet we educate the nation to become what it is. It's really sad, and
government should shoulder the blame."
At Thursday's parliamentary discussion, Chigwedere was quizzed about the
country's examination marking progress. It is understood soldiers have taken
over marking as teachers have refused the task due to poor allowances.
The education minister once again made the uncanny pronouncement that
"teachers are replaceable by the military."
Chigwedere said: "There are teachers amongst the armed forces and the police
and should it be necessary to recruit them into our marking services, we
recruit them not as soldiers or police officers, but as teachers."
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
Daily Mail, UK
Last updated at 17:05pm on 9th November 2007
The President of Liberia has urged Gordon Brown to drop his threat to
boycott next month's Europe-Africa summit - even if Zimbabwe President
Robert Mugabe attends.
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Africa's only elected female head of state,
added her voice to the growing number of African and European leaders
calling on the British Prime Minister to attend the summit in Lisbon, which
she said was likely to focus on trade relations.
Johnson-Sirleaf said: "We hope that (Brown) will change his position and we
hope that he will be there. He's a strong supporter and partner to many
African countries, including Liberia.
"He has supported Liberia very well in our debt relief efforts and we think
he will be a positive participant in the meeting.
"We do not think he should take the position of trying to promote the
exclusion of any African leader."
There has been no EU-Africa summit for seven years because former colonial
power Britain and other European Union members refused to attend if Mugabe
did, citing human rights abuses by his government.
However, African leaders have said they would not go if he was barred.
European countries have been pressing African nations to sign new Economic
Partnership Agreements (EPAs) by the end of this year to replace trade pacts
deemed illegal by the World Trade Organisation.
Fair trade campaigners have said the EPAs threaten to flood the world's
poorest continent with European goods and undermine African agriculture and
industry, while others say failure to sign risks a block on African exports
"One issue that may well come out will deal with trade policy: how we can
make sure African commodities penetrate European markets?
"Africa's position is that we want more trade and less aid," said
EU nations, which attempt to promote human rights and good governance in
Africa using the incentive of trade and development spending, find they are
losing ground on the continent to emerging economic powers such as India and
Beijing has been criticised for ignoring ethical considerations when
clinching deals for African raw materials to feed its resource-hungry
The 27-member EU is Africa's largest trading partner, with trade totalling
more than £140 billion last year.
China leapt into third place with trade worth 43 billion euros and has
stepped up its aid and investments.
By Scott Bobb
09 November 2007
In Zimbabwe, the government has indicated that it intends to move ahead with
national elections early next year. But civic groups and some political
activists say there is not enough time, and they should be postponed.
Correspondent Scott Bobb reports from our Southern Africa Bureau in
Voter education groups in Zimbabwe say presidential and parliamentary
elections due in March should be delayed, because there is not enough time
to organize a proper vote.
The director of the Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust, David Chimhini, notes
that the ruling ZANU-PF party and two factions of the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change are still negotiating legal and political reforms
aimed at ensuring a free and fair vote.
"The negotiations that are going on, mediated by South Africa, we still need
to get that information relayed out to the electorate and we don't see
sufficient time at the moment to do that," he said.
President Robert Mugabe's term expires in March, and he has said he will
stand for re-election. Although the eighty-three-year-old Mugabe will face a
weak and divided opposition, critics say the country's severe economic
crisis poses a major threat to his rule. Zimbabwe has the highest inflation
rate in the world, above 7,900 percent as well as food, fuel and foreign
Nevertheless, a senior government official this past week repeated that
elections will be held as scheduled.
The head of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said his group would begin
delineating voting districts this month.
Mugabe signed into law constitutional changes allowing Zimbabwe to hold
presidential and parliamentary elections at the same time. They have
previously been held separately.
Voter education groups say the combined elections will involve several paper
ballots that will confuse voters if they are not properly educated
The constitutional amendment emerged from negotiations, mediated by South
African President Thabo Mbeki, which began earlier this year at the urging
of southern African heads of state.
Various parties to the ongoing negotiations have privately said the talks
are progressing well, but they note that many points are still being
These include proposed changes to laws governing political activity and the
news media and measures to ensure what is termed a proper environment for a
free and fair vote.
Chimhini says the current political environment is too tense to hold free
and fair elections. "We still need to get assurances that the government and
the ruling party will desist from any politically motivated violence," he
An international delegation of lawyers that visited Zimbabwe has reported
that disrespect by security forces for the law and judicial system poses a
serious threat to a free and fair vote.
The lawyers said that without impartial policing and human rights
protections, it would be difficult for the citizens of Zimbabwe to
participate freely in any democratic process.
Fri 9 Nov 2007, 9:10 GMT
HARARE (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe's government will ask
neighbouring countries to stop "poaching" Zimbabwean teachers, it said on
Thousands of skilled workers -- including doctors, nurses, engineers and
teachers -- have been forced abroad by an acute economic crisis which many
blame on Mugabe.
Zimbabwe has seen inflation rise over 7,900 percent, and it suffers chronic
shortages of foreign currency, food and fuel that has left many workers
unable to feed their families.
The state-owned Herald newspaper quoted Education, Sport and Culture
Minister Aeneas Chigwedere on Friday as saying the government would approach
its southern African neighbours to ask them to stop taking Zimbabwe's
"What we need is to sit down with the neighbouring countries and make sure
that they apply to government for teachers, instead of poaching the
teachers," he said.
Chigwedere added Zimbabwe would also try improve wages and conditions, and
offer contracts to new graduate teachers to ensure they stay in their jobs.
Teachers went on strike last month to press demands for huge pay increases,
but returned to work after government increased salaries and promised to
regularly review pay, allowances and working conditions.
Teachers currently earn Z$17 million (US$567 at the official rate and US$17
at the black market rate) a month, and are, along other government workers,
demanding another wage rise.
Magistrates, prosecutors and court clerks have been on strike since last
week for higher wages to cope with hardships in a country which the World
Bank says has the fastest shrinking economy in the world outside a war zone.
Mugabe, 83, has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980. He
says the economy has been sabotaged by Western powers opposed to his
seizures of white-owned farms for redistribution to blacks.
Friday, 09 November 2007 10:36
Zimbabwe displays an "authoritarianism" which "frequently assumes a
self-destructive, internal logic that is largely resistant to external
influence," and is prone to "elite intervention" that prohibits sustainable
investment, according to Control Risks, a political risk consultancy in
As for the rest of the continent, Africa in 2007 "confounded the
expectations of many pessimists except of course for Zimbabwe, regional
tensions in the Horn of Africa and fragility in the Sahel "continue to
Control Risks conducted an extensive study of political and security
risk around the world for investors, published in a report, Risk Map 2008.
The report found that on the whole the continent is seeing a divergence
between "those countries that are stable and developing, and those that are
politically and socially volatile, and economically stagnating."
The report says that while other southern African countries are
progressing satisfactorily, the "precarious economic situation in
neighbouring Zimbabwe will continue to fuel concerns over a regional
spillover effect, migration and rising crime levels."
Control Risks claims that despite an endorsement of President Robert
Mugabe by his party, the Zanu-PF, as its presidential candidate, there are
signs, the report claims that his departure from office "have increased."
This assumption is based on a bill passed by parliament in September
that could enable Zanu-PF to endorse an anointed candidate through a
parliamentary vote. The report says, "even if Mugabe manages to secure
another victory at the polls, he will come under redoubled pressure from all
sides to retire within one year of the election."
The report endorses President Thabo Mbeki's 'quiet diplomacy' as
having the effect of ensuring the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) "remains engaged in mediation, which will represent a formidable test
for the body."
Control Risk Africa analysts claim "it is obvious that a broader
political deal - potentially including a colation incorporating the
opposition - will be needed to ensure any orderly transition of power."
It is acknowledged that the political and economic situation has
"deepened" the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe including the potential for
political unrest although, the report says, Zimbabwean security forces "will
be employed to prevent an outright uprising".
Control Risks cautions investors over Mugabe's recently introduced
bill setting 'indigenisation' requirements, which the report explains means
'nationalisation and expropriation, as it will highlight investor concerns
over the "capriciousness and hostility of government dealings with
The report further warns that "inflation is likely to render business
finance tricky and the utility-supply situation is set to worsen." It
anticipates a worsening of law-and-order and further political repression,
increased crime levels.
In its final analysis, the report says: "Even if a political solution
can eventually be found, Zimbabwe's road to recovery is likely to be
arduous, and a volatile mixture of vested political interests, politicised
security force and extreme popular hardship will require careful political
November 09, 2007 01:36 PM
By Washington Katema
IT WILL be analytically complicated to divorce the myriad of problems
engulfing the education sector from the general decay of the
politico-economic infrastructure of Zimbabwe.
The unthinkable economic conditions and dark sky of full-blown dictatorship
prevailing in our country has immensely affected and heavily compromised the
education system in Zimbabwe. Annual Inflation rate is currently pegged at
over 7900% and is rising.
The overt democratic deficit in the country has greatly affected the
university governance systems and mechanisms. Tragically, most institutions
of higher learning are now more of party-state political indoctrination
chambers than epicentres of academic discourses. Furthermore, the funding of
the education sector has been unrealistic and scandalous.
Education is no longer an integral component of the overall national
development plan. Key policy analysis concepts and tools such as quality
assurance, research infrastructure, support of employability and
supranational policies have been deliberately and consistently ignored in
the education milieu of Zimbabwe.
The obtaining man- made politico-economic crisis has negatively affected the
Educational Infrastructure in Zimbabwe. Both Medical Schools at the
University of Zimbabwe and National University of Science and Technology
(NUST) are facing an unimaginable plethora of challenges.
The critical shortage of qualified lecturers, basic learning equipment, text
books and infrastructure has rendered many sleepless nights to college
authorities. As a result NUST is contemplating closing down its
MedicalSchool. This will negatively affect the Health delivery system in
Zimbabwe as there is a symbiotic relation between the MedicalSchools and the
Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.
The shortage of lecturers, books and infrastructure is not only confined to
the medical schools but across the whole education sector in Zimbabwe. Harsh
economic conditions and a turbulent political climate have catalysed brain
drain in Zimbabwe. At least one third of Zimbabweans are now living outside
the country and most of them are professionals.
The final collapse of student support system on 10 February 2006 resulted in
exorbitant fee increment, a factor which forced 31.5% of students to drop
out of college. Student admission mechanism is now predicated on
affordability rather than on meritocracy. Again, the prioritisation of
state-sponsored Zanu PF-National Youth Service graduates as a selection
criterion has tainted the education system in Zimbabwe.
The exiguous budgetary allocations on education have made campus life, not
only unsustainable but apparently impossible, illegal and even immoral. We
have seen the reincarnation of these unfortunate occurrences in the lower
levels of our education system, exacerbated by the continued and uncontained
power and water cuts . UNESCO's stipulation that 26% of the national budget
must be allocated to education has been ignored. Perhaps, it is because most
children of senior ranking government officials do not study in Zimbabwe, in
but South Africa, Europe, Australia and in the United States.
There must be clear systems to ensure quality assurance in the education
packages. There is also need for consistent and systematic quality auditing.
The quality must be of the international standards. All Universities need to
set up Quality Circles to ensure maintance of standards. Students must be
represented in these vital committees. Further, they must adopt learning and
teaching methods that are relevant to the modern times, that will produce a
graduate, who has not only crammed volumes of literature from various
disciplines but one who is dynamic and agreeable to the changing times and
There is no concrete research quality framework on the panorama of the
education sector in Zimbabwe. Lack of sound research infrastructure and
funding have turned research institutes into white elephants. The Institute
of Development Studies at the University of Zimbabwe is in the intensive
care unit. There is no strategic innovativeness in many research-oriented
departments such as the agriculture department, engineering departments and
the school of medicine.
The student-computer ratio is among the highest in the region. Further,
almost two thirds of the colleges in Zimbabwe are operating without Internet
facilities. In this information age one would expect more from the Zimbabwe
education system. The government must come up with a systemic infrastructure
initiative to provide funding to upgrade the systemic infrastructure of
universities and colleges to meet the regional and international standards.
Funding must be provided for innovative approaches to expand access to
shared facilities such as libraries, information and communications
technologies, specialised equipment, technical and administrative
Intensified party-state interference in the day to day running of
universities and colleges in Zimbabwe has largely eroded their autonomy.
This resulted in the late Professor Walter Kamba resigning from being the
Vice Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe. The University Act
reconfigured the centres of power in the running of universities in
Zimbabwe. The university council which now runs the University is hand
picked by Mr. Robert Mugabe, the chancellor of all state universities in
Zimbabwe. High on their Key Performance Areas are student suspensions and
Corruption is rife and rampant in most colleges and Universities in
Zimbabwe. Last year, the Vice Chancellor of the state-owned Chinhoyi
University of Technology, Professor Charles Nherera was jailed for
corruption charges. The Student Union Presidents who are supposed to provide
the checks and balance in the University Council are suspended on the day
they get into office. Since 2004, most of University of Zimbabwe Student
Union Presidents have failed to complete their studies at the institution.
The list is a follows, Sendisa Ndlovu, Hentchel Winterhold Mavuma, Tineyi
Mukwewa and the current President Lovemore Chinoputsa and many others. There
are not sustainable and enduring internal governance systems and standard
internal management control mechanism in these institutions, the bedrock of
all vibrant Universities globally. The continued militarization of
institutions of higher learning must be condemned by all and sundry.
The systemic and systematic victimisation has reached unprecedented
proportions. Student suspensions, expulsions and arrests are now weekly
events. The recent, unfortunate arrest and illegal detention of Edison
Hlatswayo for almost a month was as shocking as it was total madness. The
follow up arrests of Brenda Mupfurutsa and five others showed the levels of
desperation in the minds of our rulers. These detentions and harassments
have been completely unnecessary and a smart government could have simply
allowed them to pass without any incidences.
Student's harassment is on the spiral and perennial. NationalUniversity of
Science and Technology (NUST) student's leaders are all just fresh from an
illegal detention. Student Leaders in Mutare, including Ms Brilliant Dube,
the SRC President at MutarePolytechnicCollege were recently denied
accommodation on the basis that they are aligned to ZINASU. Mehluli Dube
(NUST), a mere student leader`s treason charges, perhaps more than all
exemplifies how much this once noble revolution has begun to consume its own
Lovemore Chinoputsa and Fortune Chamba, both from the University of Zimbabwe
(UZ) were recently brutally tortured for simply enquiring when students
would be returned to their halls of residence, from which they were abruptly
evicted early this year. Again no explanation was offered. Professor Levy
Nyagura, who will go down as the most cruel Vice Chancellor since the
inception of the university can still afford a descent sleep without knowing
where the children from the institution over which he presides lay their
heads in these cold and rainy nights, where crime is ever on the increase
because of the intensification of unmitigated hunger and poverty, arising
out of high unemployment and spiralling inflation.
On 9 July 2007, the University evicted all the resident students from campus
accommodation. Tragically, 3 students have been murdered because they are
now made to walk long distance from their new homes to the college. The
recent victim, who was reported in the state-owned Herald of 2 November
2007, is Sydney Tapfumaneyi, a final year at the University of Zimbabwe, who
was living in Waterfalls. Sydney was murdered in cold blood and his body was
only discovered after several days. Tafirenyika Magwidi was the first victim
in August 2007 when he was murdered along the Air-port road near One
The effects of removing students from their Halls of Residence have been
overstated since the eviction psychosis started; however, for the purposes
of emphatic repetition it is prudent to restate them. Campus life is an
essential part of University's ideology, the world over. Therefore,
universities oblige students to live on Campus during the course of their
studies. All students live on campus and form a community that is not
limited to the classroom. Campus life is an essential part of University's
Students come from varied backgrounds, and living together provides unique
opportunities for them to learn from each other's experiences. Through a
wide range of on-campus organizations, special interest committees and
contests, students are encouraged to actively participate in campus life
thereby developing them not only into academic experts but also into
individuals that can function and find themselves in a community of other
individuals and be able to stand on their two feet.
Not to mention the convenience of having to avoid transport blues and the
hustles of seeking descent accommodation and other numerous benefits that
have always been the foundation of campus life in universities the world
over. The government need to be reminded on The African Chapter on Human and
Peoples' Rights article 17 (1) which states that everyone has a right to
Washington Katema is the National Coordinator of Zimbabwe National Students'
Union. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org and www.zinasu.org
Friday, 09 November 2007 05:34
A cash crisis has emerged in the country, amidst
reports that the bulk of bearer cheques currently in
use have been sucked into the informal markets inside
and outside the country.
The Zimbabwean has established that the failure by
depositors to access money through banks is a result
of reduced supplies of cash by the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe. Kingdom Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, CABS,
POSB and Stanbic Bank have been failing to provide
depositors with sufficient cash over the past week.
"We are not getting enough supplies from the RBZ," a
manager at Kiingdom Bank in central Harare said. "This
has been going on for over two weeks now and we are
not in the picture of what exactly is happening."
An official at the RBZ who declined to be named
confirmed the situation but wouldn't divulge more
details. "There is a shortage of cash but nothing much
is being said by the managers here," he said.
Depositors who spoke to The Zimbabwean raised concern
over their failure to access cash especially as the
festive season approaches.
From The Cape Times (SA), 9 November
In a moving tribute to a refugee believed to have died of hunger last week,
about 100 fellow Zimbabweans prayed and placed half loaves of bread in his
memory at a Foreshore traffic island where he collapsed. It is still
uncertain whether the body of Adonis Musati, 24, will be repatriated to
Zimbabwe to be buried. The People Against Suffering, Suppression, Oppression
and Poverty (Passop), a refugee advocacy group which organised the memorial
service, faxed the notification to claim and remove Musati's body by
November 18 to the Zimbabwean consulate. They are planning to raise money
for a funeral while waiting for a reply. Musati lived in a cardboard box
next to the Foreshore Home Affairs refugee office for over a month and
queued daily for asylum papers, without success, said Passop spokesperson
John Ntumba, who knew him well. He collapsed seconds after wolfing down a
half loaf of bread - his first food in two weeks, said Ntumba. "His blanket
is still in the box. He came here to save his life, and instead he died
Braam Hanekom, chairperson of Passop, laid a formal complaint with the SA
Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) against Yoliswa Mzamande, a manager of the
refugee centre, for "denying (Musati and others) the right to food, water,
applications for asylum and ultimately life". Addressing the mourners in
Shona and English, Hanekom, who was raised in Zimbabwe, said: "It is a dying
shame that Adonis had to pass away in this rich country. I'm with you every
step of the way." Judith Cohen, head of the SAHRC's parliamentary programme,
said she and her colleagues were "shocked" by Musati's death and would
formally investigate "on the highest level" whether his human rights had
been violated. A report would be submitted to Parliament's home affairs
portfolio committee, she said. Cohen said this incident tied in with concern
expressed by the United Nations committee on elimination of racial
discrimination about the treatment of asylum seekers in South Africa.
Compliance with the constitution and international law had to be
Many desperate refugees gave up their places in the tightly packed crowd at
the centre's entrance, where names are called out by officials, to
congregate on the traffic island where Musati died. Many complained that
their names would not make it on to "the list" if they did not pay R1 000
bribes. Michael Chitewe, a Zimbabwean with an advanced marketing diploma,
said: "The issue today is not about giving us food. Don't give me a fish,
because I will be hungry again tomorrow. Give me a hook, then I can fish
myself. Many of us have families to feed." Chitewe said he thought it was
"evil" of corrupt officials to demand of poor and destitute refugees to fork
out thousands for bribes, while asylum was supposed to be free. Mzamane
yesterday afternoon said she was not aware of the complaint against her.
Robb Ellis - 11/7/2007
Heavy gold tunic, long trousers, long sleeved jacket, green shirts with a
blue tie, dress shoes and a regimental leather belt, all crowned with a
standard ZRP Police cap - all presented in pristine condition, of course -
because none other than Robert Mugabe was gracing us with his presence. I
had grown a bok baard - a goatie beard - and now was having to get rid of it
again. Mind you, I come from a very hirsute family and knew that it wouldn't
take long to grow another one. (Nowadays, I sport a full beard, and if, for
one reason or another, I need to take it off, I know I can grow a full beard
in seven days!)
The day arrived. Mugabe was visiting Plumtree to turn on a new microwave
link for the local Posts & Telecommunications Corporation - which just means
he was turning on fancy new gear to make our telephone system work better.
And he was obviously intent on using it as a political opportunity. Pressure
was being applied from all over Matabeleland about the dissidents - and even
the newspapers were starting to report the problems.
My job would be crowd control. Mugabe was due to address his 'loving
subjects' and I had little option but to do my job - in the brilliant
Being the only white Police officer in a huge crowd of black people, I must
have stuck out like the proverbial dog's ball.
Mugabe addressed the people, and anyone else that could hear. There were
television crews and reporters and dignitaries from all over the place. Most
of them looked about as unhappy as I was, looking all pretty in their Sunday
best in the Matabele heat - while he turned on the verbal. And Mugabe can
talk. And talk. And talk.
I remember thinking to myself that he can say what he wants, however he
wants, just as long as he gets it over and done with so I can get something
to drink and get out of this heavy uniform.
At last Mugabe sat down to a round of applause - more probably for the fact
that he had sat down, than to the content of his speech that I had
thankfully blanked out.
A few minutes later the ceremonies were over and people began to disperse,
the dignitaries to a sit-down lunch, the povo back to whatever they were
doing before Mugabe rudely interrupted them.
I was in the process of bringing my team of constables together to allow
them to knock off, when Superintendent Sibanda came up to me.
"You are needed at the luncheon," he said. He wasn't very happy at having to
call a lowly Patrol Officer to do something, but whoever had sent him
obviously carried rank.
"Oh dear," I thought. "Who've I pissed off now?"
Making my way to the area behind the Plumtree Post Office where a large
marquee had been erected, I was met by Chembe of the CIO.
"Great. This is all I need." Now I was a little ticked off, because I wanted
to get out of this BLOODY uniform. "A fat bastard with attitude."
"The chef - boss - wants to see you." With that he turned and walked towards
where Robert Mugabe was sitting. The inner sanctum. Suddenly it all made
sense. I had stuck out in the crowd and Mugabe wanted to see me, maybe
because he was wondering if his eyes were playing tricks on him.
He stood as I approached and stuck out his right hand. "Thank you for
coming!" he gushed. "I don't see too many white policemen anymore. Please..
Not only was I a little awestruck, but I was a little taken aback at the
pretence Mugabe made at friendship of the lonely white policeman. I quickly
worked out that I was the odd one out and that Mugabe was trying to pick up
some kudos for chatting to the white man. I did notice, however, the speed
at which his security moved to wave away a photographer. I was not about to
be taken for a ride - I hoped. Mugabe obviously drew the line at being
photographed with a lowly copper, be he black or white.
It was almost surreal.
I sat and immediately there was a place set before me. I wasn't hungry - but
I was tired, but a pillow right now would have been the wrong thing to ask
And I certainly didn't want to eat and drink with Robert Mugabe. something
about "supping with the Devil" rang loudly in my throbbing head. I politely
picked at food and listened while Mugabe gave me a lecture all about how he
wanted the blacks and whites, regardless of which side of the Rhodesian war
they were on or represented, to be friends. It sounded suspiciously like his
"hand of reconciliation' speech not long after Independence. (yawn).
Much of what he had to say was political rhetoric and made little or no
sense to me. I worked out very quickly that if Mugabe asked me if I agree or
not, that if he was smiling, I should agree, otherwise, just keep quiet.
Exactly what question he asked, didn't register or just plain didn't make
sense - especially to an apolitical white Zimbabwe Republic Policeman!
The one question I do remember him asking was how I viewed the new Zimbabwe
in comparison with the old Rhodesia. What kind of question was that to ask?
I put a pickled onion in my mouth to chew on to give myself a few seconds to
think. Do I give him an honest answer and tell him it was crap? Or do I tell
him it's all love and roses?
"It's not much different, sir." I said. "The police still get shot at and we
still have to put the bad guys away." I settled on that and was surprised
when Mugabe's face broke into a big smile.
"Well, just remember to do the right thing, young man," he said, "because I
am the one that pays your salary!" All said with a huge, cheery smile, but I
sensed that he would have loved to have uttered the same to me behind
clenched teeth. I thought I caught a second meaning in his comment, and as
the years have gone by, I have become more convinced of it.
He also asked me where I had schooled and told me that he had visited the
school, not very many months before! He was excited! I wasn't.
He asked me about my family which I managed to dodge answering fully,
grudgingly offering the small bit of information that my father worked for
the government - but was in medicine. He immediately asked if I was going to
follow my father in medicine. For a split second I was sorry that I hadn't -
then I would not have been sitting in a marquee with the Prime Minister of
Zimbabwe, trying to escape his inane conversation!
This false 'friendship', obviously enacted for his followers' benefit had
angered me somewhat. The lies he chose to repeat, whilst I had seen first
hand what his Fifth Brigade had been doing to the innocent Ndebele people,
were a simple political divide which he chose to play out, in the name of
'peace' - I don't think so!
I was, however, acutely aware that Mugabe came over as a very well educated,
It was then that I realised, even though I was only 20 years of age, that
intelligence does not necessarily bequeath wisdom.
I waited whilst Mugabe delivered what he thought were his pearls of wisdom,
but were nothing more than excuses for the war, and his policies, and then
finally Mugabe must have realised that I was either going to collapse or be
sick or something, because with just a flick of his wrist I was dismissed -
thankfully. Whilst he was deep in conversation with one of his advisors, or
whatever he was, seated tightly next to his beloved leader, I slipped away
and went home to change and rest.
Now I did not only feel hot and bothered, but slightly dirtied by the
It did cross my mind not very many days later, that if I had been armed, I
could have saved us all a lot of heartache.
Superintendent Sibanda decided that my being called to the table of the
Zimbabwean leader was not something he could hold against me, but rather
became impressed that one of his officers had been deigned interesting
enough to be summoned.
After my brief interview and conversation with Mugabe, all of my dreams and
aspirations, now even further far-fetched than normal - my mind out of
kilter, my heart broken - seemed out of this world.
I felt convinced that I had conversed with a madman...
Robb Ellis is the author of the book Without Honor which describes his
experiences in the Zimbabwean law enforcement as the country transformed
from White-run Rhodesia to Black-run Zimbabwe.
09 November 2007,
The Association continued to receive reports on the
continued downward trend in the quality of services offered by the Commission
running the City of
This week CHRA continued to receive reports
on the deepening water crisis. Reports from Mabvuku indicate that the water
situation has worsened. Residents continue to collect water from streams around
the area. Residents in parts surrounding Avondale, Belvedere, and Glen View had
acute water cuts ranging from days to weeks. In Hatcliffe residents buy water
from a local school (Hatcliffe primary school). They have not seen tape water
for ages and now rely from borehole supplies from Hatcliffe primary school. In
CHRA received news of the takeover of sewer
and water services by ZINWA from
The Commission running the City of
Executive mayors face the axe
The Minister of Local Government, Public
works and urban development Dr I Chombo has announced governments’ plans to
amend the Urban Councils Act (UCA) Chapter 29:15 and remove the post of
Executive Mayor. The plan has also been endorsed by the Zanu Pf central
committee held in
The removal of mayoral posts will not
improve service delivery in
This week CHRA has collected the stories
(headlines) below for your consumption. These stories serve to reflect the local
governance challenges faced by the residents in
ZINWA backs down on Khami water
government is backtracking on its decision to draw water for
Google News Alert for:
Commission continues to loot from
SW Radio Africa -
The Commission running the City of
See all stories on this topic
Google News Alert for:
The Commission running the affairs of the City of
See all stories on this topic
Google News Alert for: combined
An anonymous Combined Harare Residents Association official criticized the water crisis saying that the Mugabe regime has virtually turned all urban ...
Google News Alert for:
Zimbabwe: Thirsty Bulawayo
Struggles With Diarrhoea
See all stories on this topic
Google News Alert for:
Zimbabwe: Nations Urged to
Promote Waste Management Projects
AllAfrica.com - Washington,USA
Giving an overview on refuse collection, the City of Harare waste management operations manager Mr Emmanuel Muza said the council was doing its best to ...
See all stories on this topic
For more information
contact the Combined
Chief Executive Officer
Exploration House, Third Floor
Landline: 00263- 4- 705114
Steven Price in Harare
November 9, 2007
Zimbabwe Cricket has stripped several former players and administrators of
their honorary life president and vice-president status as part of a
continuing cleansing of anyone opposed to the Peter Chingoka-led regime.
Those concerned had been honoured over the years for their massive
contribution to expanding cricket in the country and for helping Zimbabwe to
become a Test-playing country in 1992. They include Dave Ellman-Brown,
Chingoka's predecessor as board chairman and David Lewis, a former captain
and president of the ZCU.
Traditionally, anyone appointed in a position for life retains that post
regardless of political machinations. But ZC appears not only to have
casually brushed aside tradition but also failed to let any of those
The situation came to light when Ellman-Brown called ZC to ask why he had
not been sent notice of the AGM, which he is entitled to attend as a life
president. After being passed through several departments he was told by
Wilfred Mukondiwa, the board's general manager, that his status had "fallen
away" with the replacement of the old constitution in 2006.
Ellman Brown told Cricinfo that he found the decision "high handed" and
added that in his eyes a life appointment was just that, regardless of who
made the appointment. Ironically, most of those stripped of the status were
actually honoured while Chingoka was chairman of the board and were also his
Those affected are:
Life Presidents: Alwyn Pichanick, Dave Ellman-Brown.
Life Vice Presidents: David Lewis, Don Arnott, Bryan Thorne.
"Pichanick and I were appointed honorary life members of MCC for our
contribution to cricket in Zimbabwe," reflected Ellman-Brown. "I am sure
they will honour our appointment whoever the government of the day is."
a.. Cricinfo was unable to get any comment from ZC. Its officials refuse to
speak to us as they object to our coverage of the game inside the country.
Steven Price is a freelance journalist based in Harare
Steven Price in Harare
November 9, 2007
Zimbabwe Cricket will hold its first AGM for more than two years this
weekend. That might come as a surprise to many stakeholders as no notice has
been sent out and were it not for enquiries from former officials on an
unconnected matter, the meeting might well have happened without anyone
Stakeholders and players have been left bemused after it was revealed that
nobody will be allowed to attend the AGM unless they have been invited. The
only people at the meeting will be those appointed to by ZC to run its
newly-created provinces. No minutes of previous meetings or accounts have
"It's fairly obvious that the ZC board do not want anybody at the AGM who
will be asking questions," a former senior board official told Cricinfo.
Furthermore, life presidents and life vice-presidents, who are automatically
entitled to attend AGMs, were this week informed that they had been stripped
of their status and so were not invited.
When we spoke to someone familiar with the ZC constitution, he explained
that the meeting was unconstitutional on several counts. The necessary 21
days notice had not been given, the AGM had to be held "not later than
September 15", and, according to him, "none of the provincial associations
have paid or have any idea how much their affiliation fees are for the last
two years". He said that section 47 contained a clause stipulating that only
paid-up provinces could attend AGMs.
"It's been well documented that Peter Chingoka [the ZC chairman] has flouted
the constitution or used it to suit his needs, but he has hit an all time
low," the former official said. "It's amazing that honest Test-playing
nations can even sit at the same table as this man, let alone play cricket
against his side. Can nobody can see past this charade of accountability?"
Another source, still involved in the administration, told Cricinfo: "We
expect nothing to come out of it [the AGM] except for removing a few spent
forces and replacing with with fresh, more usable cronies. There is
discontent in the board over the last AGM, and they fear it might be
revisited if vocal people are allowed in."
The board's website contains no mention of the AGM.
.. Cricinfo was unable to get any comment from ZC. Its officials refuse to
speak to us as they object to our coverage of the game inside the country.
Steven Price is a freelance journalist based in Harare