Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:42pm GMT
By Nelson Banya
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF asked President Robert Mugabe
on Wednesday to form a new government with immediate effect, a fresh sign
that a power-sharing agreement with political rivals is collapsing.
Zimbabweans, faced with the world's worst inflation and acute food
shortages, hoped that a September 15 deal would end the southern African
country's ruinous political and economic crisis.
"The ZANU-PF politburo unanimously resolved that President Mugabe should,
with immediate effect, proceed to form an inclusive government in compliance
with resolutions of the SADC summit," senior party official and Information
Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu told reporters.
The September 15 deal envisages power-sharing with the opposition MDC of
Morgan Tsvangirai but it has run into stalemate amid MDC charges that
ZANU-PF is trying to seize most of the main ministries.
A summit of regional leaders said on Sunday that Zimbabwe should form a
joint government immediately and the main rivals should share control of the
disputed home affairs ministry to try to end the impasse.
Tsvangirai rejected the 15-nation Southern African Development Community
(SADC) proposal, saying Mugabe's "utter contempt" for the MDC meant it was
certain to fail.
MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa on Wednesday declined to comment on ZANU-PF's
move, saying his party would decide on whether to continue power-sharing
talks and its participation in a unity government after a leadership meeting
Mugabe will invite the MDC to submit nominations for a power-sharing
cabinet, another ZANU-PF official said.
"It is premature to say they (the MDC) have rejected when they have not
formally rejected," ZANU-PF deputy information and publicity secretary
Ephraim Masawi said.
Asked when Mugabe will name the new cabinet, Ndlovu said: "Anytime from now,
the president is going to implement the SADC resolution."
Tsvangirai, who would become prime minister under the power-sharing deal,
has accused ZANU-PF of seeking to relegate the MDC to the role of junior
Zimbabwe's economic crisis has forced millions of its citizens to flee the
country, many of them moving to neighbouring South Africa, Africa's biggest
South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Wednesday that
the European Union and United States should help Zimbabwe develop its
agriculture and attract investment rather than impose sanctions that have
Washington and Brussels have imposed visa bans and asset freezes on Mugabe
and other senior Zimbabwean officials. U.S. sanctions also bar Americans
from engaging in any transactions or dealings with them.
"They (the sanctions) hurt the ordinary people ... if you have sanctions
against the government then obviously investors will not want to deal with
that government, tourists get frightened," Dlamini-Zuma told Reuters in
Brussels. (Additional reporting by Ingrid Melander in Brussels; Writing by
Marius Bosch; Editing by Richard Balmforth)
HARARE, ZIMBABWE Nov 12 2008 16:46
Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said on Wednesday it would
not join a new government with President Robert Mugabe until unresolved
power-sharing issues were ironed out.
"There are outstanding issues such as the issue of governors, equity and
allocation of key ministries that have to be addressed," MDC spokesperson
Nelson Chamisa said.
"Unless those issues are resolved, we cannot be invited to be passengers and
be bystanders in a government [in which] we are supposed to be partners. No
amount of propaganda against us would force to jump into this government,"
But the Zanu-PF said a new government could not be held to ransom by MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai after the latest failed regional mediation effort.
"If they are not interested, I do not see why there cannot be a government.
They will never hold this country to ransom," Deputy Information Minister
Bright Matonga was quoted as saying in the government mouthpiece, the
Herald, on Wednesday.
Mugabe has said a new government would be put in place "as soon as
possible", while his lead negotiator, Patrick Chinamasa, said Tsvangirai had
been asked to submit names for ministers.
Their comments came after Tsvangirai rejected a proposal by regional leaders
at the weekend to immediately form a unity government and share the disputed
Home Affairs Ministry with Mugabe, dashing hopes of a breakthrough.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai agreed to share power in September but have failed to
break a deadlock on key Cabinet posts, which has sent Zimbabwe into further
economic freefall and stopped foreign donors from stepping in.
The political feuding has dashed hopes of ordinary Zimbabweans that their
daily struggle for survival could ease.
With inflation running at more than 231-million percent, half of the
population requires emergency food aid while a breakdown in basic services
has led to deadly outbreaks of cholera in Harare.
Western nations have said they are ready to release hundreds of millions of
dollars in aid, but not while Mugabe retains his grip on power.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwean police on Tuesday broke up an anti-government protest
with tear gas and batons and detained the leader of the group behind the
demonstration, the group said.
The police crackdown on protesters was the first such action in several
The National Constitutional Assembly pressure group said its chairperson,
Lovemore Madhuku, had been detained ahead of the protests to demand
political reform from Mugabe.
There was no immediate comment from police or government officials.
Riot police later fired tear gas and used batons to break up a protest by
about 40 activists from Madhuku's group in Harare. Pursuing the protesters,
police dispersed queues of Zimbabweans waiting to withdraw money from banks,
witnesses said. -- Sapa-AFP, Reuters
afrol News, 12 November - Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and
opposition media are expressing their "shock at SADC's impotence in handling
Mugabe's intransigence." They warn that the regional body is sowing seeds
for a greater conflict, with heightening tensions between Botswana and
President Mugabe's Zimbabwe.
Editor Wilf Mbanga of the UK-based weekly 'The Zimbabwean' - which is widely
distributed in Zimbabwe - in a passionate editorial holds that the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) "fails us yet again." He writes: "SADC
is not serious and does not give a damn about the suffering of millions of
Zimbabweans. Shame on them. Only six out of the 15 regional presidents
attended Sunday's summit," which was to find a solution to the stranded
efforts to implement a power-sharing agreement.
The agreement stranded as President Robert Mugabe unilaterally decided which
ministries were to be controlled by his ruling ZANU-PF and which should go
to Mr Tsvangirai's MDC party. The repartition would give ZANU-PF total
control over both the military forces and police. SADC leaders tried to
convince the parties sharing control over the Home Affairs Ministry, but
effectively leaving Mr Mugabe in control of police, which was rejected by
the MDC leader.
Mr Tsvangirai said the issue of sharing the ministry would not work and
expressed shock at SADC's "impotence" in handling the crisis. He said his
dispute with Mr Mugabe was not only about the Ministry of Home Affairs, but
striking a fair balance of power of all ministries in the unity government
and sharing diplomatic appointments and assigning key government posts.
Editor Mbanga said SADC leaders had failed to understand the issue. "The
position taken by the new South African president, Kgalema Motlanthe, is
particularly disappointing," he writes. "The people of Zimbabwe were
prepared to give him a chance. But we should have seen the writing on the
wall when we realised that he was the same guy who, back in 2002, headed the
South African observer mission that pronounced that year's flagrantly flawed
elections 'free and fair'."
According to 'The Zimbabwean', SADC is now sowing seeds of a regional
conflict. Botswana, which has emerged one of the MDC's strongest supporters
in the SADC negotiations, is increasingly being threatened by the Mugabe
regime as the Zimbabwean leader gains the upper hand among SADC
counterparts. "The situation is rapidly becoming explosive, with Mugabe
accusing Botswana's President Ian Khama of training MDC militias to attack
Zimbabwe. He has provided no shred of evidence that Botswana is doing this,"
the newspaper writes.
The paper adds that President Mugabe has made sure to arm the hunger-struck
country to face - or at least scare - a potential external enemy. During the
last years, Zimbabwe has bought large amounts of weapons from China. This
included anti-tank bombs and other massive firepower "that is not required
for crowd control but for full scale war," the opposition newspaper noted.
By KITSEPILE NYATHI, NATION CorrespondentPosted Wednesday, November 12 2008
Tension is rising in Zimbabwe following the break down of power sharing
talks between President Robert Mugabe and the opposition amid a new wave of
Police riot squads on Wednesday remained on the streets in major urban
centres a day after they brutally put down protest marches calling for the
speedy resolution of the country's political and economic crisis.
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is threatening to
pull out of the September 15 power sharing deal with the ruling Zanu PF
after regional leaders failed to resolve a dispute over the sharing of
cabinet posts among the parties.
About 100 people were arrested throughout the country after running battles
with police on the streets on Tuesday.
The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), which organised the protests
said the inter party dialogue had failed and now wants fresh elections to
tackle the crisis.
"We want to have a new order where we actually have leaders that are
accountable and leaders who actually come from elections not from
negotiations," Mr Murdock Chivasa, the group's spokesman said.
"Our strategy now is to mobilise people, because we can't sit back and
continue to pretend that the situation is normal when people are dying."
The renewed clampdown on dissent comes as a group of lawyers issued a report
saying state sponsored violence is on the increase in Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said more than 1 300 cases of
political violence were recorded in September alone, an increase of 39
percent from August.
The MDC says the ruling Zanu PF has also intensified a crackdown on its
supporters following the collapse of the power sharing agreement.
"The country is sliding further into an orgy of violence," said MDC
spokesman, Mr Nelson Chamisa.
"This demonstrates that Mugabe lacks sincerity and has no faith in the whole
Hardliners in the ruling party are fuelling the hostilities with fresh
violence erupting in poor townships, the MDC said.
Mr Mugabe is also accusing his rivals of planning to launch an insurgency
from Botswana to topple his government, an accusation that has been
dismissed by both the neighbouring country and the opposition as "false,
baseless and completely unfounded."
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's parliament has adjourned for the second time inside a
month following a brief sitting after the government failed to raise enough
money to fund the assembly's sittings.
The capital Harare, which is battling a cholera pandemic, has also run out
of drinking water, making parliamentary sittings a health hazard, the
Zimbabweans were expecting that parliament, in limbo since the March 29
elections will begin debate on legislation that will bring into effect the
troubled power sharing arrangement.
The opposition MDC said the parliamentary break highlighted a crisis brought
about by the failure of the two parties to form a unity government.
November 12, 2008 08:53 AMBy Sandra Nyaira
The World Food Programme (WFP) distributed 29,000 tonnes of food to around
two million vulnerable people across Zimbabwe in October but it warns food
aid to four-million people in the country will run out by January unless it
receives new funding.
The UN food agency says in a statement it has had no response from
international donors to an emergency appeal and has this month started
rationing cereals and beans.
Some major donor countries have been reluctant to donate money to Zimbabwe,
which has a severe maize deficit, until a new power-sharing government is in
With the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) refusing to accept an unfair
power-sharing deal with Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF following a Sadc summit at
the weekend, it remains unclear whether donors will pour in funds to help
Mugabe if he goes ahead to form a government on his own.
The UN food aid agency's efforts will be severely hampered due to lack of
funds resulting in many hungry people having to go without assistance or
receiving smaller hampers.
The WFP launched an emergency appeal last month to raise $215-million but
there's been little response.
Richard Lee, the aid agency's spokesperson says he is not sure why the
response has been poor.
"Some people say that it is the financial crisis, clearly that has been top
of the agenda of many of our major donors. Other people say that countries
are waiting for the power-sharing negotiations to conclude, and then yet
again others say there are crisis all over the place, that governments are
trying to fund and help support."
He continues; "So it is very difficult but we really need donations now,
because we don't have any food at the moment for January and February when
this crisis in Zimbabwe will really hit its peak. So we really need
donations now so that we can buy food here in South Africa, ship it quickly
into Zimbabwe and get it out to the rural areas that need it most."
The WFP currently has no food in the pipeline for distribution in January
and February - just when the crisis is reaching its peak - and when the WFP
was aiming to feed over four million people each month.
The agency still requires US$140 million to fund its operations in Zimbabwe
until the end of March 2009 - with a shortfall of approximately 145,000 tons
of food, including 110,000 mt of cereals and 35,000 mt of other food
It takes between 6-8 weeks to transform a cash contribution into food on a
beneficiary's table, says the WFP.
"Faced with such a serious shortfall, WFP has been forced to cut rations in
November in order to provide some assistance to all of its targeted
beneficiaries," a statement released by the aid agency said.
The cereal ration has been cut from 12kg to 10kg per person per month and
the pulse ration from 1.8kg to 1kg per person per month for all vulnerable
beneficiaries and for people receiving take-home rations under the safety
These cuts will allow WFP to stretch its available resources as far as
possible but they will leave greater numbers more malnourished and more
susceptible to disease, especially at a time when family can hardly afford
one meal per day. Cases of malnutrition are on the rise in the country with
Zimbabweans in the rural communities being forced to eat wild fruits, seeds
and poisonous tree roots to survive.
Hungry families are being forced to exchange their precious livestock for
buckets of maize, which are now being sold at extortionist prices in hard
currency, either the US dollar, the South African Rand or Botswana Pula.
This month the WFP aims to distribute around 46,000 tons of food to more
than 3.3 million people under vulnerable group programme and around 600,000
under the safety net one.
At least 5.1 million - or 45 percent of the population - will need food aid
at the peak of the crisis early next year.
Zimbabwe said to be facing another poor grain harvest next year because of
severe shortages of seed and fertiliser.
By Jabu Shoko in Harare (ZCR No. 167, 12-Nov-08)
It rained in most parts of Zimbabwe last week, signalling the official start
of the planting season in this troubled country.
Most farmers here start putting the maize seed in the ground during the
first week of November to take advantage of the start of the rains. But
agricultural experts told IWPR the lashing downpours, which came after a
serious heat wave, would count for nothing, as the Harare government was
ill-prepared for taking advantage of it.
"The country does not have foreign currency to procure fertiliser, seed,
fuel, farming implements and spare parts for tractors and other farming
implements," said Renson Gasela, an agricultural expert who is also the
agriculture spokesman for the small, breakaway faction of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change, MDC.
"If the truth be told, nothing is happening on the farms. Some of those
black farmers given land by Mugabe are content with hunting the few wildlife
left on the properties instead of tilling land to feed hungry Zimbabweans.
The country is starting another disastrous agriculture season."
Nelson Chamisa, the spokesman for the main MDC faction headed by Morgan
Tsvangirai, concurred, noting that the little fertiliser, seed and fuel that
trickle in from China, Mugabe's all-weather friend, was quickly being
diverted to the farms given to big-wigs in his ZANU-PF party.
"This country needs change now if we are to avert hunger every year," said
Chamisa. "The government does not have money to procure agricultural inputs.
There's also chaos in the farming sector as ZANU-PF functionaries continue
invading farms instead of letting those who know the business of farming go
ahead with the job."
The commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Force, General Constantine Chiwenga,
assisted by senior military officials, has been tasked with identifying the
beneficiaries of agricultural inputs. When the maize seed and fertiliser
arrive from China, they are doled out at ZANU-PF rallies to party members
and senior government officials; perceived opposition supporters go
The United Nations estimates between 5 and 5.5 million Zimbabweans, or
nearly half the population, will need emergency food rations next year. Last
year's harvests failed because of fertiliser and fuel shortages. Currently,
about 5.1 million people are reportedly receiving food handouts from local
and international food relief agencies.
The respected Famine Early Warning Unit last week issued a warning that
Zimbabwe would be facing another inadequate grain harvest next year because
of severe shortages of seed and fertiliser.
The Washington-based Famine Early Warning Systems Network said the southern
African nation had only 19 per cent of the maize seed it needed to meet its
planting plans, and even if it was able to import more, the country was
unlikely to be able to get it in the ground in time.
Zimbabwe was also facing a fertiliser shortage, with current stocks standing
at a mere one per cent of requirements.
"Given the critical shortages of seed and fertiliser, 2008-2009 prospects
are poor unless resources can quickly be mobilised to address these
shortages," said a spokesperson for the organisation, who added that "given
current economic turmoil, political instability, and the necessity to direct
resources to import and distribute food, improving access to inputs remains
The continuing ejection of white farmers from their land has not helped
matters. A few weeks ago, the prime farmland of the chairman of the
Commercial Farmers Union was invaded by marauding ZANU-PF militia who gave
him only a few hours to vacate the farm. Elsewhere, beneficiaries of Mugabe's
land reform suspected of voting for Tsvangirai are being pushed out of
properties at a time they are supposed to be readying the land for the start
of the planting season.
At the same time, a substantial bailout promised by the South African
government to bankroll Zimbabwe's agricultural season - specifically the
procurement of maize seed, fertiliser and farming implements - has not
materialised because it is subject to the fulfilment of a precarious
power-sharing agreement between Mugabe and Tsvangirai. Trevor Manuel, South
Africa's finance minister, told his country's parliament in October that the
aid package for Zimbabwe would be provided only once a government had been
formed and humanitarian relief agencies were free to deliver aid.
Manuel said the money was "subject to acceptance of an appropriate role for
food relief agencies by a recognised multiparty government".
Aid agencies claim that the government is continuing to hinder their efforts
to deliver food to starving Zimbabweans, some reportedly surviving by
scavenging for wild fruits and edible roots.
The multi-party government the South Africans are waiting for does not seem
likely to be formed anytime soon. Mugabe and Tsvangirai are at loggerheads
over the allocation of ministries in an all-inclusive government. A full
SADC summit in South Africa on November 9 failed to break the impasse.
Mugabe has insisted on holding on to the entire security apparatus, while
Tsvangirai has offered a compromise: ZANU-PF can take charge of the military
while the MDC controls the police. Regional leaders directed that Mugabe and
Tsvangirai share the interior ministry, a proposal flatly rejected by the
Jabu Shoko is the pseudonym of an IWPR-trained journalist in Zimbabwe.
By Tichaona Sibanda
12 November 2008
Five National Constitutional Assembly activists, picked up by the police in
Harare on Tuesday during anti-government protests, have been released on
bail. The five are part of eight activists arrested on the streets of the
A statement from the NCA said three individuals remain in police custody in
Harare. In all, 22 members of the NCA will appear in court this week
following their arrests during the peaceful protest actions throughout.
The NCA said it condemned the continued detention of the three individuals
on baseless charges and called for their immediate release. One of those
arrested in Harare sustained a serious head injury at the hands of the
police and was denied medical treatment.
The injured man was one of the five who were forced to pay a fine and then
released. Food brought to the detainees on Tuesday at Harare Central police
station was confiscated and eaten by police officers.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights is pursuing the case. By late
Wednesday their lawyer had still not made contact with the detainees. In
Bulawayo, five individuals will on Thursday appear in court on unspecified
charges. Our Bulawayo correspondent Lionel Saungweme told us the five were
the ZINASU treasurer general Sheunesu Nyoni, radical student leader
Archiford Mudzengi, Samson Nxumalo, Melusi Hlabano and Brian Mtisi
Seven NCA arrested in Gweru will also be brought to court on Thursday, on
charges brought under the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).† NCA staff
who attempted to deliver food to the detainees were themselves detained for
an hour on Wednesday. In Mutare, nine individuals are being held in police
custody. The NCA said it is not yet clear what charges are being brought or
when the detainees will appear in court. The NCA said it was shocked by the
violence unleashed upon its members by state security agents.
'The beating and arrest of scores of peaceful protesters is a clear
departure from the police force's mandate to protect the Zimbabwean public.
Moreover, the NCA is outraged by the illegitimate detention of its members.
The charges being brought against these individuals are entirely without
merit.† These detainees must be immediately released and all charges
dropped,' a statement from the NCA said.
12 November 2008
A showdown is looming between ZANU PF and the Tsvangirai MDC, as Robert
Mugabe is threatening to go ahead and form a government. But Morgan
Tsvangirai is adamant that the issue of the allocation of ministerial posts
has to be resolved first.
A marathon SADC Extraordinary Summit held in Sandton, South Africa on Sunday
recommended the immediate formation of an inclusive government and,
controversially, the co-sharing of the disputed Ministry of Home Affairs.
Mugabe immediately embraced the outcome of the summit and announced he will
form a government either this week or next week and would invite the MDC to
Tsvangirai said in a statement that SADC missed a great opportunity to bring
an end to the Zimbabwean Crisis and said SADC approached the summit 'without
any concrete strategy and did not have the courage and the decency of
looking Mr. Mugabe in the eyes and telling him that his position was wrong.'
The MDC leader said while his party remains committed to the power sharing
agreement signed on 15th September, they will not accept any arrangement
that does not allow the MDC to effectively contribute to ending the crisis
in the country.
In a statement issued the day after the SADC Summit Tsvangirai said: "For
the record, in today's meeting it had been agreed that all the Zimbabwean
principals would recuse themselves to allow an open and unfettered dialogue
to take place amongst the SADC leaders. However, Mr Mugabe refused and the
Chairman of SADC did not tell him to leave. Thus, Mr Mugabe became a judge
in his own case."
†"I would like to put out that the failure to consummate and implement the
Global Political Agreement means that there is no legitimacy on any
government or any person purporting to be Head of State. In short, Mr Mugabe
is not the President of Zimbabwe without this agreement."
"Given this dangerous and precarious situation and the suffering of the
people of Zimbabwe, we hope and pray that the guarantors of the agreement,
in particular progressive members of SADC and the African Union, will now
move very quickly to try and salvage this agreement."
MDC-T spokesperson Nelson Chamisa told us that no names had been submitted
to Robert Mugabe for inclusion in the government, and said the party was
busy planning and preparing for this week's meeting with the National
Executive Council, to deliberate on the outcome of the SADC summit.
By Alex Bell
12 November 2008
Fears of social unrest in Zimbabwe are growing, as swelling numbers of
Zimbabweans become daily victims of the crash of the local currency.
The Zimbabwe dollar hit an all time low this week, plummeting to a trading
value of an average Z$28,4 quadrillion to the U.S. dollar - triggering
another round of massive price increases. Analysts have said the latest
collapse of the currency was being driven by the Southern African
Development Community's (SADC) weekend ruling on the political impasse
between ZANU PF and the MDC - with the regional body overtly siding with
As the countries politicians have continued to wage a war of words in the
form of negotiations over a unity government, Zimbabweans have been fighting
daily battles triggered by the devastating economic crisis. The dollar has
become valueless, in a country where hard currency is now the only
acceptable form of payment. The Reserve Bank's decision to suspend the
online RTGS payment system has seen many businesses struggle to stay afloat,
while at the same time Zimbabweans spend days in bank queues to try to
withdraw enough money to pay their bills in cash. Cheques are not accepted
because of the daily changing rate of the Zimbabwe dollar, leaving people
with money in the bank, but unable to buy food or pay their bills.
The withdrawal limits themselves have twice been raised by the central bank,
and every increase has seen immediate price increases across the country. At
the same time, most shops have stopped accepting the local dollar, and empty
shelves are testimony to a collapsed economy. The South African rand and the
US dollar are now the most common forms of currency, but for those who are
unable to access forex, this means they will be unable to survive.
Independent economic analyst John Robertson agreed on Wednesday that the
"imminent crash of the dollar has clearly already happened." He explained
that the levels of malnutrition and illness are daily growing "because
people are unable to buy the goods they need to stay healthy," and people
are losing patience with the powers that be.
Robertson said the Zimbabwe dollar is "no longer in any way useful" and
explained that the only vaguely successful businesses are those trading in
forex. He added that the atmosphere on the streets is tense "as people are
waiting for everything else to come crashing down."
"People are angry that the government has let the economy get to this
†point," Robertson explained. "We are on the verge of total social unrest."
By Violet Gonda
12 November 2008
We are increasingly receiving disturbing reports from across the country
that more and more people are succumbing to cholera, as every aspect of
Zimbabwean society collapses. Even the state controlled Herald newspaper
reports seeing two trucks ferrying dead bodies from Budiriro, to an
infectious disease mortuary on Tuesday.
A reports from the north east border town of Nyamapanda says that bodies are
being buried in very shallow (1 meter) graves, in council land adjacent to
the mortuary in the town.
An eye witness who had just travelled from Nyamapanda said: "Flea market
operators who go and set up stalls from Harare are sharing accommodation
with unburied corpses." A commentator added that it seems as if 'Robert
Mugabe is quite content to turn the country into a giant death camp.'
The former chairperson of the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
Mike Davies, speaking in his private capacity, said people would not be
dying from cholera if there were adequate resources, but the continuing
deaths are a symptom of the failure of the regime to address the basic
social needs of the citizens.
Prevention of the disease is relatively easy with adequate water supplies
and proper sanitation practices, but Zimbabwe has now become a breeding
ground for this infectious disease. There is no clean water in most parts of
the country, resulting in many desperate people scrounging for water from
unprotected wells and streams, in spite of the cholera outbreak.
With the collapse of the health industry and most hospitals now being shut,
many people are just dying at home, making it very difficult to come up with
statistics. The government has also been downplaying the extent of the
crisis. Furthermore the fact that there is still no government in place in
Zimbabwe makes the situation even more abnormal.
On Wednesday the Herald newspaper could not hide the extent of the crisis.
The paper wrote: "The Harare City Council yesterday remained mum as cholera
continued to take its toll. Yesterday afternoon The Herald witnessed two
trucks ferrying bodies of cholera victims from Budiriro Polyclinic to
Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital mortuary."
A number of areas in the capital have been without water for several weeks
and yet residents are still being forced to pay their rates. Some areas like
Mabvuku and Tafara have gone for half a year without water.
Meanwhile a CHRA statement accuses the Zimbabwe National Water Authority
(ZINWA) of gross incompetence, which has resulted in the cholera scourge
that has claimed lives in Budiriro, Glenview, Glen Norah Dzivarasekwa and
"In the traditional fashion of the arm-twisting of state institutions for
partisan and self gratification, the ZANU PF Government defied all reason
and went ahead with the ZINWA takeover of water and sewer management from
the local authorities in 2006. The decision has resulted in untold water
inadequacies and subsequent disease outbreaks and deaths from cholera and
other related diseases, in the light of the collapsed health sector," said
However ZINWA blames the crisis on a lack of spare parts and foreign
currency to buy chemicals needed to purify the water.
Davies says that until there is a legitimate government in the country,
elected by the people, there will be no change in the situation. He also
noted the failure of leadership in the opposition, to galvanise the anger
from people who have now been reduced to an animal existence.
Davies said: "This is an indictment of civil society. I think that we haven't
constructed possibilities that people can believe in, that we can deliver a
change to the situation."
From Mail & Guardian (SA), 11 November
Michael Georgy - Southern African leaders are highly unlikely to ever force
Zimbabwe's rival parties to implement a power-sharing deal, and their lack
of resolve will continue playing into the hands of President Robert Mugabe.
An emergency weekend summit of the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) failed to break the deadlock in talks on Cabinet posts, which
threatens a September 15 power-sharing deal seen as the best chance to
rescue Zimbabwe from economic collapse. SADC was more assertive than usual,
saying Mugabe and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan
Tsvangirai should share control of the powerful Home Affairs Ministry and
quickly form a unity government. But Tsvangirai rejected the idea and Mugabe
quickly capitalised on that, apparently seeking to portray the MDC leader as
a spoiler and vowing to form a unity government "as soon as possible."
Aware that SADC is divided and lacks the will to force the sides into a
deal, Mugabe knows he has time to wait. "They [SADC] would love to have this
go away and have it swept under the carpet. It's difficult for them to come
out and impose anything on Mugabe's regime," said Mark Schroeder, director
of risk analysis for sub-Saharan Africa at Stratfor. Mugabe has held power
since 1980 with what critics say is patience, cunning and ruthlessness. He
has already survived international isolation and sanctions imposed by
Western foes. Although neighbouring countries are struggling with millions
of refugees fleeing Zimbabwe and fear a total meltdown there, they have few
practical steps to take even if they could agree on the need to take
stronger action. While Botswana and Zambia have taken a tough line on
Mugabe, others still respect him as a former African liberation hero. "You
have this mythological figure. Robert Mugabe is like George Washington, he
can't be touched," said one Western diplomat.
Influential regional politicians who have made the strongest calls for an
agreement in Zimbabwe also have more pressing issues to worry about. Jacob
Zuma, leader of the ruling African National Congress in regional powerhouse
South Africa, has said Zimbabwe's parties must be forced into a deal. But he
is distracted on the home front after senior ANC members defected to form a
breakaway group in the biggest political upheaval since the end of apartheid
in 1994. Analysts believe South Africa's caretaker president, Kgalema
Motlanthe, cannot make a difference before South Africa's election next
year, which is expected to put Zuma in power. Zambian President Rupiah Banda
is fighting opposition accusations he rigged last month's presidential
election - which might make it harder for him to champion Tsvangirai's
assertion that Mugabe cheated him of election victory. Zimbabwe's economic
decline, once seen by the opposition as the only factor that could weaken
Mugabe, has been worsening while he digs in for a prolonged power struggle
that now centres on the Home Affairs Ministry - seen as crucial to the
veteran leader's survival because it controls the police.
But Mugabe knows the economy cannot get much worse. Inflation is officially
231-million percent. Even under government price controls, the cost of bread
is doubling every week and all food is in short supply. Zimbabwe is
dependent on handouts and malnutrition is on the rise. With Mugabe keeping a
strong hold, the chances of badly needed aid and investment from Western
countries are nil. "Mugabe will not listen to anybody at this stage because
he is resigned to fate. He knows nothing will change about the economy, even
if he continues to hang on to power, because it has already gone down," said
prominent Lusaka economist and political analyst Chibamba Kanyama. "There
was so much hope that there would be change in Zimbabwe and donors had begun
to reposition themselves to bail out the country, but now Mugabe realises
that the bail-out will not come quickly because of the global financial
crisis and as such he will hang on to power."
Zimbabweans can expect more of the same - talk of a unity government, new
accusations and counter-accusations, calls for SADC intervention - while
Mugabe keeps the upper hand. Western countries, pre-occupied by their own
worries, are unlikely to do much more and had in any case always emphasised
that it was the region that needed to play the main role. An exasperated
Tsvangirai complained at the weekend summit that SADC leaders told
opposition parties to leave their meeting while they formulated a resolution
but allowed Mugabe to stay on as what he called a judge of his own case.
"SADC is made up of a group of leaders that are friends of President Mugabe.
Many of them have been in power for a long time and do not respect
democratic decisions," said Fernando Macedo, political analyst and professor
at Luanda's Lusiada University.
By Tichaona Sibanda
12 November 2008
The precarious water situation in Harare, which is also under a serious
threat of a cholera epidemic, forced the adjournment of Parliament on
Tuesday to the 16th December.
Parliamentary business came to a halt a few hours after the legislators had
resumed sitting. The House of Assembly had originally been forced to adjourn
on the 23rd of October to 11th November because of lack of funds from
government, after reports claimed that MPs based outside Harare were being
turned away from hotels in the capital as there was no money to pay their
MDC MP for Mbare, Piniel Denga, said there was very little business in
parliament on Tuesday, except debate on the presidential speech. There were
no new motions introduced. The impasse over the formation of an inclusive
government has also delayed the introduction of constitutional amendment
The constitutional amendment - which has yet to be formally put on the
agenda - is supposed to be rushed through to create the post of Prime
Minister that Morgan Tsvangirai has been allocated under the power sharing
deal, along with other posts and changes.
'At the end of business it was decided to adjourn parliament to next month
because of the bad conditions of toilets in the building. We are sitting on
a time bomb if we don't act quick enough to avert the spread of the deadly
cholera disease,' Denga said.
Bad governance, plus chronic economic mismanagement and corruption, has
meant that government has done nothing to maintain the water system.
Water has become the most sought-after natural resource in the country and
chronic shortages affects over 60 percent of the country's population.
Millions of people do not have access to clean drinking water or adequate
sanitation facilities and open sewers are a fact of life in most high
Nov 12, 2008, 16:26 GMT
Harare - Hearings at the High Court in Zimbabwe's capital Harare have been
brought to a halt as the building falls victim to the breakdown in water
supplies affecting much of the country, a court official said Wednesday.
Speaking on condition of anonymity a junior official told Deutsche
Presse-Agentur dpa: 'On Tuesday mid-morning, we were asked to close shop as
there was no water. Today (Wednesday) it is the same story. There is no
A visit to the court Wednesday confirmed there was little activity at the
court, where many courtrooms were were closed.
Harare has not had adequate supplies of clean water for months, forcing
people to seek out shallow wells and rivers for water to drink, wash and
The situation has prompted an outbreak of cholera that has claimed over 100
lives since September, according to a doctors' group.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) non-governmental organization
condemned the de facto closure of the High Court.
'That such a court as a vehicle for protecting human rights should be closed
due to lack of water is a serious undermining of equal protection of the law
to litigants, detainees, and even convicted prisoners whose matters are on
appeal from lower courts,' the organization said.
Zimbabwe's once robust economy is racing towards collapse. Inflation is
officially put at 231 million per cent (but estimated at several times that)
and close to 4 million people require food aid.
The collapse is widely blamed on the populist policies of 84-year-old
President Robert Mugabe, who has used state force to remain in power this
year, despite two election setbacks.
Very rarely do people demonstrate against the MDC in South Africa, home to
almost three million of their supporters. So when protesters in ZANU PF
regalia thronged the venue of the SADC Summit in Sandton, singing and
dancing in support of Robert Mugabe, there was disbelief. It turns out the
protestors were students from Zimbabwe on government scholarships, the
majority of them children and relatives of ZANU PF ministers.
From The Financial Gazette, 11 November
Shame Makoshori, Senior Reporter
Air Zimbabwe (Airzim), which currently operates four flights into the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has secured rights to run internal
flights in the mineral-rich country, an official with the national airline
said this week. Kingstone Mbape, a senior official with the passenger
career, told a meeting of the Harare Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday that the
DRC government had given Airzim rights to operate flights linking the
southern cities of Mbuji-Mayi, Lubumbashi and Kinshasa, the capital. "We
have been given the rights by the government of the DRC to operate those
(internal) flights. It is very difficult if you are a foreign company to
operate, say the Harare-Bulawayo (route), but we have got (to do it now that
we have) all the rights," Mbape said. "We are in a position to say in
southern Africa we are penetrating into each city," he added.
Mbape was addressing a business delegation preparing to tour the vast
African state on November 24. The delegation is expected to meet the
governor of the Katanga Province and representatives from the Federation of
Industries and the Lubumbashi Investment Agency, among other key figures.
The visit will run concurrently with an exhibition by Zimbabwean companies
targeting the DRC market. Airzim's presence in the DRC is expected to
improve the parastatal's foreign currency generating capacity and make up
for the subdued business back home. Since 2006, the airline industry has
experienced a decline in traffic to the major tourist resorts in the country
such as the Victoria Falls owing to the high fares triggered by the rising
international prices of oil and the general impact of the hyperinflationary
environment. Statistics indicate that in 2006, Airzim, which commands a 13
percent share of the local market, suffered a huge decline in tourist
passengers from 1,231,370 the previous year to 274 888. South African
Airways still dominates Airzim's turf with a market share of 39 percent.
Airzim is hoping to reduce its exposure at home by taking advantage of the
massive size of the DRC economy and the fact that businesspeople find road
transport in the conflict-ridden country severely laborious. Previous
attempts by Zimbabwean companies to penetrate the DRC market have, however,
largely not been successful. The Rainbow Tourism Group, FBC Bank and the
Agricultural and Rural Development Authority, were some of the local
companies that invested in the DRC with minimal success. Mbape was upbeat
this week about business prospects in the DRC saying Airzim had built
confidence in the market and was beginning to experience brisk business. "We
feel that the potential is there in the DRC. We are the ones who made the
DRC what it is today and we must take advantage of that. We are hoping to
increase the frequency (on the Mbuji-Mayi-Kinshasa route) be-cause the
traffic is there," he said.
From The Chronicle, 12 November
Air Zimbabwe is reportedly demanding payment of fares in foreign currency,
making it potentially difficult for locals without access to hard currency
to travel on the national airline. A Bulawayo man who phoned Business
Chronicle on Monday said he might be forced to cancel a trip to Johannesburg
after Air Zimbabwe advised him that it was no longer accepting local
currency for travel outside the country. Only local routes are still payable
in local currency. He said on Friday he made an inquiry about travelling to
South Africa and he was told he could make the payment by cheque. "I
inquired on Friday and they said I could pay by cheque. However, when I went
to pay today (Monday) they said the policy had changed and they no longer
accepted cheques and wanted US dollars," said the man who asked not to be
named. Buying a ticket by cheque would have cost him $12 quadrillion, he
claimed. He said he had more than $14 quadrillion locked up in his bank
account which he could not withdraw because of limits set by the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe.
Under the limits, individuals can withdraw a maximum of $500 000 and
companies $1 million per day. According to information on the Air Zimbabwe
website, a return flight to Johannesburg from Bulawayo, Harare or Victoria
Falls costs US180 while a one way ticket is US$99. A return ticket to China,
one of the airline's most popular destinations with locals seeking goods for
resale, costs US$880 while flying to Dubai, another popular destination
costs US$550. Although no comment could be immediately obtained from Air
Zimbabwe, the airline has made representations to charge fares on regional
and international routes in foreign currency to enable it to service
external debts and buy spare parts. Ninety percent of the company's costs
have to be met in foreign currency. A number of local companies now charge
for services in foreign currency after being given the go ahead by the
TANONOKA JOSEPH WHANDE
12 November, 2008
After the shameful display of political inadequacy and collective
irresponsibility by SADC's Heads of State in South Africa a few days ago, I
was converted to the simple fact that the rest of Africa is fatalistically
jealous of the nation of Zimbabwe.
I reached this conclusion after trying and failing to understand how SADC
leaders could seriously reach a decision that literally confirmed Mugabe as
leader at the expense of the one who won the elections.
And SADC leaders knew that without the much touted agreement with the
Movement for Democratic change, Mugabe is not a head of state.
Mugabe is refusing to respect the very document that gives him legitimacy
and SADC gave Mugabe legitimacy.
Mugabe was not even supposed to be at the SADC summit.
His presence there was like a murderer entering court to pass judgment on
In spite of Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe is a beautiful country with beautiful
Everything about Zimbabwe is hardly comparable to other African countries.
If the truth be told, Zimbabwe and its people are the best on the continent.
Economically, we used to go toe to toe with South Africa as evidenced by the
number of businesses that set up shop in Rhodesia and, later, in Zimbabwe.
All you need to do is look back and see how many international
organizations, businesses and non-governmental organizations headquartered
themselves in Zimbabwe.
I have seen ambassadors weeping when their tour of duty in Zimbabwe ended.
Even at the height of our misery and during Mugabe's irresponsible and
murderous rule, Interpol, the International Police, was busy building their
regional headquarters in Zimbabwe.
I shake my head in dismay when I look at video footage of ZANU-PF thugs
chasing MDC supporters with machetes, logs and axes as Mugabe broke up an
MDC rally during the elections early this year. What amuses me is the fact
that on that news footage, you can see MDC supporters in flight from machete
wielding ZANU-PF militias, dashing past the Interpol Regional Headquarters
whose construction is almost complete.
The pariah state of Rhodesia managed to manufacture and export goods to
South Africa, Europe, America and South America, not to mention Australia
while it was under real economic sanctions.
It is a tribute to Zimbabweans that Smith could achieve such a feat.
Today, with our currency virtually non-existent, we provide booming business
to Botswana, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and even Namibia,
Angola and DR Congo.
Underpaid, abused and taken advantage of wherever they are, Zimbabweans
Because of lack of proper immigration documents, our qualified teachers are
tending cattle in Botswana, our nurses are maids in South Africa, our
engineers are messengers and our pharmacists are cleaners in many countries.
Robert Mugabe, the horrid man who caused this sad state of affairs and brain
drain, loves to insult our desperate professionals by saying that they left
Zimbabwe to go and wipe white people's behinds in the nursing homes of
Britain and Australia.
Of course, they did not but even if they did, there is nothing wrong with
that. A properly paid maid in Botswana can pay Mugabe's salary in Zimbabwe
So I sat there listening to Tomaz Augusto Salom„o, SADC's Executive
Secretary, spouting nonsense as if he had spent so much as an hour figuring
out how Zimbabweans have to be saved from Robert Mugabe's clutches.
I watched the embryonic president Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa
surrendering without even throwing a punch.
I ogled at veteran Rupia Banda, a firebrand during his time, as he suddenly
could not find a big enough space to hide from Robert Mugabe.
Over the years, Mugabe has been abusing us.
Since independence, Mugabe has been killing our citizens.
We have known no other leader apart from this cruel and heartless man whose
recliner sofa is waiting for him in hell, for he surely can't go the other
side. That's where his victims are.
As SADC was meeting, Zimbabweans were being beaten and chased from their
homes by Mugabe's thugs again. But SADC chose to turn a blind eye.
In spite of the much referred to technicality of a presidential candidate
getting 50% plus 1 vote, the heart of the matter is that Zimbabweans voted
Mugabe out. Period.
And instead of helping the people of Zimbabwe to regain their moral high
ground and political imperative, SADC leaders are now ganging up against us.
Africa is a disgrace and SADC is worse.
As is being confirmed by Somalia, Darfur, Zimbabwe and DR Congo, there are
no African solutions to African problems.
If there were, these long running problems would have been dealt with a long
DR Congo even has the luxury to present Africa with an encore of the
mindless violence against itself with the help of other neighbouring
countries, not to mention Zimbabwe and Angola who are already in the DR
How could SADC collectively stand with Mugabe at the expense of the long
abused people of Zimbabwe?
Why do African leaders love violence, chaos and abuse of citizens?
Oh, COSATU, please, where are you?
How can COSATU just keep quiet?
COSATU knows where it derives its strength from.
Its strength comes from the people, from the workers.
And people and workers are the same everywhere.
It is my hope that COSATU will stamp its authority and prod their government
to take a sterner attitude towards renegade Mugabe who is destroying the
region and soiling SADC.
I don't read much into, nor do I care much about this Kgalema Motlanthe guy
as president of South Africa; he's got his own frustrations and he is trying
to walk a fine line.
He is human and he has ambitions. Like everybody else, he is up to
He is not leaving State House nor is he going to give Jacob Zuma the
presidency on a platter.
Motlanthe has his own supporters too and they are taunting him on why he
should later step down and settle for Number Three, Four, Five or Six when
he is Number One right now - something Jacob Zuma never achieved.
So, regrettably, Motlanthe has already started campaigning as the once
mighty African National Congress is wobbling and tearing itself apart as
some of its highly ambitious sons are deserting it to form splinter groups
much like we witnessed with the once mighty ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe.
I look around the countries surrounding Zimbabwe and ask myself which of
their citizens would do what Zimbabweans are doing were similar
circumstances to befall them?
None. Absolutely none!
Zimbabweans are resilient, hard working and are not afraid of challenges or
difficulties; they appear at their best when cornered.
No one can say for sure how people in Zimbabwe survive on a day to day
basis. I do not think that even they themselves can explain it.
So I look around the region, and indeed around Africa.
Mozambique is picking up some economic steam because Zimbabwe, thanks to
Mugabe, is lying dormant.
South Africa, whose citizens flooded our towns and whose businessmen owned
almost half of the "international companies" appears to be successful
because Zimbabwe is not there to challenge it like it did before.
What is Namibia, Malawi or Zambia compared to Zimbabwe?
Zimbabwe can hardly breathe, having been run into the ground by Mugabe and
yet the same citizens who afforded Ian Smith to produce export quality
products for Europe and the Americas while under international economic
sanctions are making it possible for this much abused nation to stand on its
toes and taunt the big regional powers.
However, unlike other SADC countries, Botswana has never pretended to be
what it is not. It has always given credit where it is due.
Botswana has never been jealous of Zimbabwe.
Batswana still talk fondly of the days when they used to travel to Zimbabwe
for shopping. In spite of the strains caused by Mugabe, Batswana have been
very understanding and accommodating of Zimbabweans.
We have, however, overstayed our welcome and all because of the cowards at
Zimbabwe's biggest product is its people, whose resilience has yet to be
matched by any other nation.
Zimbabwe has a good educated population that spends well when times are
right and Zimbabwe has one of the most literate labour forces in the world
and, certainly, the most literate in Africa.
That alone is an investor's dream.
And that is why many countries are standing by to invest or re-invest in
Zimbabwe when we get our house in order. They'd rather wait than to invest
elsewhere and that cannot be pleasing to some African countries, can it?
Before the SADC Summit over the weekend, we heard from Jacob Zuma who
declared that the Zimbabweans would not leave before reaching an agreement.
Motlanthe's spokesperson also weighed in and stated that South Africa would
be taking a tough stand against Mugabe at that summit.
That was hogwash, of course.
The result of all the tough talk was that SADC gave Mugabe the thumbs up and
energized his intransigency.
SADC conveniently forgot that Zimbabweans went to the polls and voted Mugabe
Kofi Annan's poisonous political concoction in Kenya is not only retarding
but is destroying democracy in Africa.
The heart of the matter is that we are our own liberators and should not
bother counting on other countries, especially African countries.
Having given Mugabe all the necessary time, he has shown nothing but
contempt; no contrition, regret or apology for destroying our country. He
wants to continue raping the country and killing the citizens.
He refuses to listen to reason. He has gone rabid.
ZANU-PF has to be stopped now.
It is time to employ other means; heavy duty and industrial strength type of
I am Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my fellow Zimbabweans, is the way it
is today, Thursday November 13, 2008.
†††† November 12 2008 at 12:35PM
Johannesburg - The government has launched a fresh attempt to clear
then-president Thabo Mbeki of unconstitutionally failing to protect a South
African farmer during Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's land grab.
But its attempt to use a secret report to exonerate Mbeki hit a snag on
Tuesday when the Constitutional Court ordered it to apply for the document
to be admitted into evidence.
The government is challenging the Pretoria High Court's finding that Mbeki's
failure to deal with farmer Crawford von Abo's application for diplomatic
protection from the Zimbabwean government, "despite diligent and continued
requests", was unconstitutional.
In handing down his findings, high court Judge Bill Prinsloo said: "No
explanation whatsoever has been forthcoming for this tardy and lacklustre
If the High Court ruling is confirmed by the Constitutional Court, the
government could end up facing more than R5-billion in claims by South
Africans who have lost land and other property in Zimbabwe in the past eight
Delivering his ruling on Von Abo's application against Mbeki and his
government, Prinsloo slammed what he said was the South African government's
dereliction of duty in failing to provide proper diplomatic protection to
the farmer, who lost 14 farms in Zimbabwe in Mugabe's land resettlement
The farms, worth a combined R60-million, were occupied by war veterans and
others in 2002.
When Von Abo refused to leave his farm Fauna, he and farm manager Willem
Klopper were arrested by militiamen.
Von Abo was granted bail and for 30 months had to appear in court every two
weeks, until his case was withdrawn.
He said he had not been given any assistance and his letter to South African
government departments remained unanswered.
The government tried yesterday to submit a confidential 60 page report -
containing correspondence between the South African and Zimbabwean
governments - to the Constitutional Court.
Told to apply for it to be admitted into evidence, Patric Mtshaulana, SC,
for the government, sought a postponement.
Von Abo's counsel, Peter Hodes, SC, opposed this, saying the farmer had been
fighting for six years for diplomatic protection. He said the report
contained "irrelevant" information.
Constitutional Court Judge President Pius Langa expressed extreme
displeasure at the way the government had conducted its case, but postponed
the matter to February 26. He told the government to pay Von Abo's costs.
This article was originally published on page 4 of Cape Times on November
Can the situation in Zimbabwe be
resolved by the West?†† Not unless someone wants to get his hands dirty.
Can Zimbabwe survive any longer?† Not as we know it but will any-one admit
Zimbabwe has finally collapsed.† Lets look at a couple of issues and see if
there is a way out.
From a financial point all we hear or read about is how the economy has
almost collapsed.† ALMOST!!† Who believes that?† The economy HAS collapsed.
When people have resorted to bartering product for product without using
money, there is no economy. When no electronic equipment can handle the
number of zeroes in a transaction there is no economy.† When the reserve
bank prints money as and when it feels like it there is no economy.† When a
loaf of bread (if you can find one) costs more than the daily withdrawal
rate (which has a ridiculous number of zeroes) at the banks (which often run
out of money) there is no economy.† When no-one honestly knows how much
anything costs (if you can find it) so they attach arbitrary numbers which
change with every transaction there is no economy.† I could go on but you
get the point.† Ludicrous statements such as “Inflation is the worst in
history for a country not at war” really warm the heart.† My goodness who
believes that nonsense?† Inflation cannot practically be measured anymore,
even by Professor Hankey (no disrespect Sir) because you need operating
income and expenditure figures to calculate it.† How do you calculate
inflation on exchanging 3 potatoes for 5 tomatoes?† Even officialdom are
resorting to the barter system, the banks are exchanging fuel coupons for
cheque books.† There is no economy.† Please name the country that had a
worse inflation rate?† Even post world war 2 Germany wasn’t that bad.† The
US dollar was worth one million Reich marks in 1945† which is still worth a
hell of a lot more than 28.4 quadrillion Zimbabwe dollars to one US dollar,
(quoted by swradioafrica.com yesterday) and that’s after a whole bunch of
zero’s have been removed by Gideon Gono.† THERE IS NO ECONOMY. But no-one
LAW AND ORDER
What can be said about this?† Actually nothing, there isn’t any.† Thugs roam
free to do as and what they please without any form of reprisal from any
form of officialdom, as long as they are doing it in the name of ZANU PF.
Even the state police get in on the act assisting rapists, looters and
murders carry out their dastardly deeds.† When productive farms are seized
it’s often the police who are the first on the scene to evict the occupants,
and when the farmer is beaten within an inch of his life they turn a blind
eye.† When was the last time anyone heard of the police responding
positively to a call for assistance?† The silence is deafening.† I think the
whole world knows the tragedy of a lawless country, is Zim really any
different to the warlord run Somalia?† Once again as recently as 17th
October this year heavy fighting broke out across the city of Mogadishu, how
long before this starts happening in Zimbabwe?† Without a representative
government to control an impartial police force and judiciary system, local
power will resort to those who can keep it the longest, welcome the
warlords.† The end result people suffer and die.† But no-one does anything.
The saddest of all Zimbabwe’s woes.† There is not a functioning hospital in
the entire country, even the private clinics and nursing homes have ceased
to effectively function and people die daily from a lack of even the most
basic medical assistance.† The children are the ones that suffer the most.
A disturbing quote “In hospital we cannot feed them (starving children), at
least at home they can scrounge for things. We only keep those that we can
see won’t make it at home. We have lost the battle before we have fought it.
. . “(Mutare hospital staff member.)† The doctors and medical staff who for
so long have battled bureaucracy, poor funding, no pay, power and water
interruptions, no functioning sewerage systems, the list goes on, all
deserve sainthood.† Is it any surprise they leave in their droves?† The
streets are filled with uncollected rubbish, the sewerage systems have
broken down a long time ago and people literally live within spitting
distance of raw sewerage that has spilled onto the streets.† The fresh water
supplies are no longer working at anything near capacity and are often
contaminated due to the failed sewerage system.† Cholera has already claimed
numerous lives, how long before it reaches epidemic proportions?† And who
will deal with it when it does?† The medical fraternity within the country
cannot for obvious reasons, and the international community cannot because
the “government” won’t let them.† The end result, people die.† But no-one
We all know what happened here.† A country that could feed itself and half
the rest of sub Saharan Africa not so long ago has almost half the
population requiring urgent food aid and for a sizeable chunk of that
population it may be too late already.† Once productive commercial farms lie
fallow having produced nothing for some time.† The rains have come but who’s
planting?† Most of the best farms are in the hands of government officials
and if it can be believed some foreign hands also.† The Chinese are reputed
to have been given farm land in exchange for goods which never see the light
of day for the public, and it is even rumored Mbeki has a farm in Zim.
Could this be why he is reluctant to condemn Mugabe?† That is all
speculation but what is fact is that Zimbabwe cannot feed itself, and
although I am not totally apposed to a well managed and controlled land
reform process I am totally apposed to the wholesale removal of farmers from
productive commercial farms because they happen to be white.† The end
result, the nation starves and people die.† But no-one does anything.
Zimbabwe without question had the best education system in Africa and one of
the best in the world.† People educated in Zimbabwe have gone on to attain
greatness in industry, medicine, finance, education, politics the list goes
on.† Students educated in Zimbabwe have been admitted to some of the most
prominent tertiary institutions in the world based on their education in
Zimbabwe..† Today it is all gone.† Schools have closed, teachers have left
in search of greener pastures, those that have remained are hamstrung by a
failed system, students living too far away to walk cannot attend classes
because they cannot afford the transport, and the cost of education has
exceeded the income of many households so they stopped sending their
children to school in favor of saving the few dollars they do have to buy
food.† ‘O’ and ‘A’ level examinations, once the envy of many an education
system are on the brink of collapse as a teachers strike has threatened to
scotch the 2008 examination process.† The teachers are striking over poor
wages and conditions.† In some areas, chiefs and headmen and even the
military have been called in to invigilate the examinations after repeated
calls by the teachers union to postpone the examinations fell on deaf ears.
The integrity of the exams are now seriously in doubt.† Education is the
backbone of any nation and all that is happening in Zimbabwe provides a very
dim view of the future of the country.†† And no-one does anything.
Ah the government, the best for last.† Zimbabwe has been without a
representative government for 8 months, and without a rational, sensible,
for the people type of government for years.† At the height of the current
crisis (Mbeki probably still denies there is a crisis) Mugabe would have us
believe it is nothing more that propaganda perpetrated by the British and
Americans to discredit him.† Perhaps Mbeki is right there is no crisis in
Zimbabwe that is if you are a member of Mugabe’s inner circle.† If Mugabe
wants a piece of prime rump steak with all the trimmings for dinner, washed
down with expensive wine, he gets it.† If Mugabe wants to jet off to the new
Zambian president’s inauguration he goes.† There’s always enough fuel.† You
never hear of any politburo member standing in long queues at the bank or
waiting hours and sometimes days at filling stations for fuel.† The air
force did a fly by to celebrate Mugabe’s “victory” in the laughable election
re-run.† How much desperately needed medicine could the cost of that little
indulgence have bought.† Most of the politburo drive flashy imported SUV’s
that most people in the real world cannot afford.† The nation starves and
the government trades ivory for guns. It’s true it is an unconfirmed
allegation but under the current circumstances totally believable.† How
about the ZANY PF (Not a spelling error) planning a massive feast for their
annual congress.† How many starving people could you feed with 1000 cattle,
500 goats, 500 sheep and 5000 chickens?
For all his failings, Ian Smith was driven around in the same car for almost
20 years, what did that save the taxpayer?† Maybe not a great deal in real
terms but it said something about the man.† Mugabe despises the West but he’s
happy to be driven around in the latest Mercedes Benz limousine costing many
thousands of scarce foreign dollars.† He has replaced his vehicle at least a
dozen times in 28 years.† Ineptitude, mismanagement, corruption, murder,
rape, pillaging, and assault it’s all in a days work for the government.† At
this they are masters, under the tutelage of the grand master himself, the
President.† They have run a dynamic, prosperous God given country into total
ruin at the expense of the people, a people with no future and even less
hope.† And no-one does anything
This is the government which Morgan Tsvangerai was hoping to do business
with, the poor man.† You have to admire his determination and courage to
persevere under the most extreme political prejudice imaginable.† Will he
succeed, I doubt it even the circus called the SADC could not help him.† The
African union is equally powerless and the rest of the world sit insulated
in their warm safe havens and condemn “in the strongest possible terms”
Mugabe and his cronies.† And what has that achieved?† Absolutely nothing.
Impose a travel ban on Mugabe and several of his senior hit men that will
fix them.† You have to laugh, they still seem to be able to travel freely to
wherever they please.† Mugabe has attended how many summits, conferences and
debates in countries he is supposed to be banned from visiting.† He traveled
to Lisbon for the EU and African leaders’ summit in November 2007 despite an
EU travel ban.† Very effective that ban was!† In June he flew to Italy for
the food crisis summit despite the ban.† Oh no but it was organized by the
UN so he was allowed to go.† Maybe I’m a bit stupid but I thought a ban was
a ban.† All this foreign travel has cost the foreign currency beleaguered
nation how much?† I’ll leave it to the experts to calculate but suffice it
to say I’m willing to bet it was money meant for something else, like
medicine or some such other insignificant trifle.† And no-one does anything.
Lets look at the current state of affairs surrounding the supposed power
sharing deal.† This deal was doomed to failure before it ever got off the
ground and poor Mr. Tsvangerai has been on a hiding to nothing from the
start.† Did anyone including Mr. Tsvangerai really believe Mugabe was ready
to back off and accept the sharing of power?† My God the reaction to the
March elections should have started ringing bells somewhere that this man
was apposed to any kind of defeat.† This is Robert Mugabe we are talking
about here.† As long as he draws breath he will never relinquish his grip on
power and the sooner the rest of the world realizes this the sooner
something can be done about it.† Mugabe is destined to die in office because
he believes he is the president for life, and that to him means for life.
So what now?† I believe we can do something, Indulge me if you will.† Leave
him alone and let him self destruct.† This will happen, it is just a
question of time, but as long as the rest of the world and especially Africa
pander to this maniac the longer this is going to take.† America, Britain
and the European Union must back off and leave this mess to sort itself out.
It’s useless saying “but the people are suffering”.† Yes they are suffering.
Unimaginable hardship, but have any of the useless bans and sanctions and
condemnations eased their suffering?† I think we can all agree the answer is
a resounding NO.† Unless the West has the balls to militarily invade
Zimbabwe aka Afghanistan and Iraq (there’s no oil in Zimbabwe so the
Americans will definitely not invade) then stop the words and leave them
alone.† Every time Brown or Bush has anything to say Mugabe says “I told you
so, this is all their fault.” The AU and SADC have proved beyond any
question of a doubt they lack the fortitude to force Mugabe’s hand and as
Tsvangerai put it “look Mugabe in the eye and tell him he’s wrong..”† For
goodness sake the man refused to leave the room so the SADC could discuss
the talks and make a decision and they backed down and let him stay!† How
bizarre is that?† All the words of the rest of the world are doing nothing
to help the people of Zimbabwe, and if these same people of Zimbabwe who
have suffered beyond measure cannot stand up and fend for themselves what
will your words do anyway?
We know the situation in Zimbabwe is totally unacceptable to any rational
human being, which is why it does not worry Mugabe, he ceased to be human a
long time ago, so unless the nations of the world who have the means to
physically remove Mugabe from power will not do that keep quiet and let him
self destruct.† Withhold any aid; be it financial, food, medicine,
agricultural or whatever until Mugabe is gone.† If you want to ban him from
traveling then BAN HIM!† That means NO traveling and NO exceptions.† Expel
all his diplomats and send them home.† He is like a cancer feeding on all
the attention.† Take away his food source and he will shrivel and die.† The
country has already collapsed so let it finish as it started from inside
Zimbabwe.† If the AU and SADC are happy to leave him in power then let them
provide the aid for his ZANU PF machine.
I don’t see millions of tons of food crossing the borders from Zambia, South
Africa, Mozambique or Botswana to alleviate the plight of the people.† I don’t
see truck loads of medicines, spare parts and sewerage pumps poring in from
those same countries.† He looked East fore assistance, but I don’t see
Chinese aid poring into the country, unless you call guns aid.† I do see
refugees being deported back to Zimbabwe, I do see refugees being harassed
and in some cases brutalized at the hands of the citizens in the countries
where they have sought refuge, I do see the African power base pandering to
a demonic despot, I do see a lunatic thumbing his nose at the rest of the
world and getting away with it.† Again I say back off and leave him to his
own devices unless you are prepared to physically remove him, which would
probably make him a martyr.† If the poor suffering people are not prepared
to stand up and be counted what chance have your words.
A final word.† Mugabe said only God can remove him from power, so be it.
Photo: Foto Mapfumu/IRIN
Uncollected garbage in
"Samson had just graduated with a degree in community medicine from the University of Zimbabwe. I remember the days when he would come back from university and we would discuss a host of disease outbreaks that we faced in this country. He always warned me that our suburb was sitting on a cholera time bomb.
"My son was in the process of obtaining his work permit, after being promised a job in Namibia. A day before he was taken ill, he told me that the job was well-paying and he promised that he would look after the whole family.
"I put the blame for his death squarely on the city officials and the government. They have turned a blind eye to the health hazards in our area for too long, despite repeated pleas from residents.
"For the past six months we have had no running water, the health department is not repairing broken sewer pipes, and every time we approach them for help they tell us they are on their way, or simply inform us that they do not have the vehicles or fuel.
"Samson was correct when he said we were sitting on a time bomb. We are now accustomed to sewage flowing on the doorsteps and sometimes inside the houses.
"Children play in the sewage, and ponds of the contaminated water are attracting armies of flies. Without regular supplies of clean water, it means the food we eat is unhygienic, and most of it is sold in the open.
"In order to beat the water problem, most of us here have dug wells, but that will not solve our problem because raw sewage from underground burst pipes seeps into the wells from which we draw water for cooking, washing and drinking.
"My son would still be alive if the health system was still functioning normally. When he developed severe diarrhoea, we rushed him to a government hospital but we were told that they could not help us because nurses and doctors were on strike.
"Private hospitals now demand foreign currency upfront and by the time we managed to raise it, Samson's condition could not be salvaged.
"Besides losing him, I am now also deep in debt. Because mortuary staff were also on strike, it took me three days to be able to claim his body for burial, and that was after bribing one of them. Municipal cemetery attendants also demanded a bribe in order to allocate me a grave number, and to dig the grave.
"My woes did not end there, because city health officials came to the funeral and instructed me to delay the burial because the body had to be wrapped in special plastic paper that we could not readily get, while a quarrel between them and my relatives erupted when body viewing was limited to the immediate family.
"If water is not restored and nothing is done to fix the sewage problem, Harare will definitely run out of burial space, because the cholera outbreak is spreading too fast."
11 November 2008
The Combined Harare Residents Association
(CHRA) is disillusioned by the continuous reluctance that is being displayed by
the defacto ZANU PF government in
solving the water crisis in
The cholera incidence has been rife in Budiriro (that has gone for weeks without water supplies), claiming more than twenty lives in the past two weeks. The government claims to have, through the RBZ, availed large sums of money, fuel and vehicles to ZINWA so as to alleviate the water situation but nothing has been seen on the ground and residents face the risk of† an increase in the cholera incidence.
The defacto government has failed to formulate sustainable development and poverty alleviation policies which benefit the masses but have concentrated on selfish ends which have seen the September 15 Global Political Agreement implementation heavily compromised. In the traditional fashion of the arm-twisting of state institutions for partisan and self gratification, the ZANU PF Government defied all reason and went ahead with the ZINWA takeover of water and sewer management from the local authorities in 2006. The decision has resulted in untold water inadequacies and subsequent disease outbreaks and deaths from cholera and other related diseases, in the light of the collapsed health sector.
The government has continued to cry foul,
citing sanctions and other limitations while skirting the obvious strategic and
disastrous blunder they made when they took water and sewer management away from
the local authorities. The water crisis in the city cannot be solved by the
current defacto government; this
government has a legacy of porous systems which will see the money disbursed by
the RBZ finding its way to
CHRA cannot brook piecemeal solutions and will continue to call for the democratization and constitutionalisation of local government which would allow the residents effective participation in local governance, semi-autonomy of local governance guard against the heavy interference of central government in local government. The Association will continue to coordinate residents’ efforts in advocating and demanding accountability, transparency, professionalism and non-partisanship in local governance and quality municipal service delivery.† †
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
145 Robert Mugabe Way
Exploration House, Third Floor
†Landline: 00263- 4- 705114
12th November 2008
†For IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Zimbabwean musicians Oliver Mtukudzi and Alick Macheso perform live for two joint shows in the UK this month.
Oliver Mtukudzi has had a very successful year of international touring in Canada, the USA, Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. His unique brand of Tuku Music-which is a combination of Mbaqana, guitar and traditional instruments and Oliver's deep soulful vocals- has been gaining mass appeal globally making him Zimbabwe's truly international superstar. Mtukudzi has released a staggering 55 albums in over thirty years and is due to release his 56th 'Dairai' soon. See www.tukumusic.com
†Alick Macheso known to his legions of fans as 'Cheso Power' is an immensely talented musician. Parallels can be drawn here with Oliver Mtukudzi. He sings, plays guitar, dances and has also just completed a busy itinerary of international touring. Macheso has been hailed as the King of Sungura Music-a very popular, heavily guitar-based genre of Zimbabwean music. He has been recording and performing for nearly a decade and has released several albums with his group Orchestra Mberikwazvo. He is responsible for the popular 'Razor Wire', a dance craze that has swept the streets of Harare. See www.chesopower.co.zw
†Joab Mugugu from Phab Entertainment says: "We are very thrilled to bring together Zimbabwe's biggest artistes together performing on the same stage to the UK audience. The last time that Oliver Mtukudzi and Alick Macheso shared the stage here was both electrifying and an instant sell-out and so we are looking for these two shows to be even bigger and better. It will be the biggest end of year party."
Concert information as follows:
Date:†††† Friday 21st November 2008
Time:†† 8pm till late
†Tickets: £25 Advance (contact 07799 066 075 for ticket††information)
†Media Contact: Sylvester Mutsigwa at: firstname.lastname@example.org† or Ph 07958591338.