By Associated Press
12:19 PM EST, November 21, 2008
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) _ The World Health Organization said Friday that 294
people have died from a cholera outbreak exacerbated by the country's
collapsing health care system.
WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said that a total 6,072 cases had been reported
between the start of August and Nov. 18, with an upsurge in cases in the
past two weeks.
A lack of clean water and poorly maintained sewage systems have allowed the
waterborne intestinal disease to thrive. Zimbabwe's deepening political and
economic crisis has crippled the country's health system.
The U.N health body warned that with the start of the rainy season, the
outbreak was likely to continue as the water and sanitation situation is
worsening. Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders, has warned
that 1.4 million people are at risk.
Doctors in Zimbabwe earlier demonstrated against the country's collapsing
health care system and blamed the government for the disease's spread. The
cholera outbreak has caused a crisis in hospitals in Zimbabwe's capital,
Harare, and also has reached over the border into neighboring South Africa.
A WHO statement issued in Geneva, Switzerland, said it was working with the
government and other international aid groups to try to control the
An army helicopter shot and killed at least 12 impoverished Zimbabweans as
they scrabbled in the earth looking for diamonds.
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
Last Updated: 6:41PM GMT 21 Nov 2008
The group were gunned down as they dug for stones in the ground in the
latest brutal attack under Robert Mugabe's regime.
The security force raid was backed up by an armed support unit and mounted
police in a bloody night battle in which dogs were also speared to death and
a horse died from its injuries.
One man escaped after falling into a cave as army sharp shooters sprayed the
diggers with automatic fire in an alluvial diamond field, in a tribal area,
about 20 miles north east of Mutare, near the Mozambique border.
The 38-year-old from Harare, who used to work in the plastic industry in
Harare until 10 weeks ago, quit his job because the central bank limited
daily cash withdrawals which meant he could not buy enough food to feed his
Like many thousands before him in the last 18 months, he headed to
Zimbabwe's south east and made what he considered a small fortune digging
"The lights were on us which made it difficult to hide," the diamond digger
said. "The dogs were let loose on the people and when police realised people
were killing the dogs with mugwara (iron bars used for diamond digging) then
the police began firing live ammunition.
"People started running, some climbed in trees, and army guys in the
helicopter started shooting at the people below.
"Some fell from the trees. The people then started killing the dogs and a
horse was also killed and several policemen were injured.
"There were bodies scattered all over the place, some were injured and some
were dead with their intestines hanging out.
"I ran over the dead bodies, that's when I fell into a cave and I remained
there for eight to ten hours."
He said he thought 16 were killed that night, another digger from Harare who
was also there said 14 died.
An estimated 10,000 people were there at the start of the raid before
fleeing, police went through the pockets of both the injured and the dead -
taking their stones and money.
He said after the heat of the raid passed, he had been able to escape to
Harare in a small bus but that many others had no money and had to walk to
He said he worked in syndicate, which he named, but cannot be released as it
is known to the police.
His job in the syndicate was to dig an ever deeper pit of about three yards
square, put the earth into sacks and carry them back to the campsite, buy
water from villagers to wash the earth to identify the stones.
A middle man then transported the stones illegally across the South African
border where they were sold to undercover agents.
Since he started digging for diamonds his fortunes have changed and he told
of how he had bought more food, including meat in the 10 weeks than in the
last year. He had also been able to afford a television, a DVD player, a
late model mobile phone a two plate stove with an oven, clothes for the
children and beer.
He lives in a medium density working class suburb east of Harare.
The Marange diamond field belongs to a British company, African Consolidated
Resources plc, which was forced off the land last year by the Zimbabwean
African Consolidated Resources has taken the government to court for
confiscating the diamond field which it acquired from ministry of mines
after De Beers plc failed to renew its lease on the claim.
Since the company was evicted by the police in late 2007 there have been
many raids on illegal diamond diggers but the company has expressed "horror"
at the recent raid, and said many "tragedies" had taken place on its diamond
claim, which it had no way of preventing as staff members are denied entry
by the police.
Assistant Police Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said yesterday he had "heard
nothing" about the raid.
November 21, 2008
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - A bomb blast, the second this week, has hit Harare central police
station, shattering windows and damaging halls.
There were no casualties reported as a result of the blast which occurred
some minutes before 8 pm on Thursday.
It is the second bomb explosion to hit a Harare police station in less than
Highly placed sources have revealed Thursday's bomb blast occurred on the
third floor of the central police station block which houses the
On Monday evening, a similar blast hit the police CID headquarters at Morris
Depot and damaged a toilet while shattering windows in the eastern wing that
houses the CID Scenes of Crime section.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed that
However, efforts to reach him for details of Thursday's incident were
But a senior police officer who cannot be named as he is not authorized to
talk to the press told The Zimbabwe Times Friday morning that police were
still trying to figure out the motive behind both the bomb blasts.
"It seems it was a very powerful bomb," he said of Thursday's explosion.
"Walls were damaged and some bricks fell off as a result of the blast.
"It is difficult at the moment to find out the motive of the explosions but
we do not rule out the fact that some powerful individuals in society could
It is the second time in three months that a bomb has hit Harare Central
In August this year, a bomb damaged the CID building at Harare Central
Police while two other unexploded bombs were discovered on the first floor
of the building.
There were no casualties and no one arrested as a result of the incident.
Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri said then some disgruntled
police officers could have been involved. He said discontented police
officers should learn to channel their grievances through the normal police
communication channels as opposed to registering their displeasure through
But it would be a breach of the police disciplinary code for police officers
to raise any complaints about low salaries let alone protest the lack of
professionalism in which the police force is now being run.
Former soccer star Masimba Dinyero, a regular in the police, was detained
for three weeks at Chikurubi three months ago as a disciplinary measure for
criticizing President Robert Mugabe. Dinyero said the government was
responsible for the misery that has befallen police officers.
However there are fears the freak bomb explosions could be orchestrated by
State security agents out to build a case against the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) which the government alleges is planning acts of
banditry in the country.
Outgoing Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa has repeatedly told the press
that the MDC is training its militia in neighbouring Botswana with the
support of the Ian Khama government to be deployed in Zimbabwe to dethrone
Government is yet to substantiate its claims.
Nov 21, 2008, 13:09 GMT
Harare - Zimbabwe's cholera outbreak has rapidly spread to nearly all of the
country's 10 provinces, a government minister said Friday.
Health minister David Parirenyatwa was quoted in the state-run daily Herald
as saying that nine provinces had reported the presence of the deadly and
highly infectious diarrheal disease. The crowded township of Budiriro in
Harare, the capital, was established as the epicentre of the epidemic.
The government has given scant details of fatalities, but United States
ambassador James McGee said that 294 people had died since the outbreak
began in early October, a figure confirmed by an official from an
independent medical research organisation who requested anonymity.
The official also said that 6,000 cases had been recorded across the
The disease has spilled over into neighbouring South Africa, where desperate
Zimbabweans have flocked for treatment. Three people have died in the border
town of Musina and another 18 are receiving treatment in the town's
'The ministry is battling to control unprecedented cholera outbreaks
affecting the country,' Parirenyatwa said.
On Friday, state radio reported that the western city of Bulawayo, the
country's second largest urban area, had reported its first cases, with two
Zimbabwe's health, sanitation and water supply systems have all but
collapsed as a severe economic crisis, blamed on the populist policies of
President Robert Mugabe's government, is shutting systems down.
In the first official admission of the severity of the health crisis,
Parirenyatwa said: 'I want to admit that the situation in government
hospitals is bad.'
At a hospital in the north-eastern town of Mutoko, where cholera had claimed
three lives while 59 were being treated, the minister said officials were
considering closing the facility 'owing to critical food shortages.'
America.gov (Washington, DC)
20 November 2008
Posted to the web 21 November 2008
Zimbabwe is facing a man-made food and health emergency that is being
exacerbated by the actions of its government and the government's failure to
implement a power-sharing agreement with its political opposition, the U.S.
ambassador to Zimbabwe says.
"We're seeing the humanitarian situation here in Zimbabwe really go down the
tubes," Ambassador James McGee told reporters at the State Department in a
November 20 videoconference.
According to estimates from the United Nations community, he said, "1.5
million Zimbabweans are at risk of food insecurity right now, and by the end
of this crop season, that number could jump up to over 5 million people."
Sanitation is also a serious challenge, especially in areas near the South
African border, where many Zimbabweans are trying to flee the country.
"There are now 294 confirmed deaths from cholera here in Zimbabwe," McGee
said, along with more than 1,200 confirmed cases and another 2,500
unconfirmed cases of the disease.
Compounding matters, Zimbabwe's health system "has totally collapsed," and
medical professionals are not being paid. "The three major hospitals here in
Harare have closed," he said. Clinics in the countryside reportedly are
unable to operate and are turning patients away. "In some places, police
have been stationed outside of clinics to ensure that no one can enter the
premises," McGee said.
The ambassador said the overall heath and food situation is "frankly,
intolerable," and is concurrent with the political impasse between President
Robert Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front
(ZANU-PF) and the opposition led by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
"I don't see anything that's going to alleviate these problems until the
government of Robert Mugabe starts to act in good faith and deal with Morgan
Tsvangirai's MDC faction in a true manner," McGee said.
Mugabe's grip over the country has become stronger during the past year,
thanks to continued political payoffs to subordinates and the
self-interested loyalty of security force leaders whose "hands are
absolutely as bloody as his," McGee said.
RESTRICTIONS ON HUMANITARIAN AID EASED ONLY RECENTLY
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) seeking to combat the heath and food
emergency have faced government barriers inhibiting their ability to extend
aid efforts to the countryside.
"The government put a ban on the ability of NGOs to distribute food back in
June, but we've worked with the government and that ban was finally lifted
about two weeks ago," McGee said. "What this means is that we're very, very
far behind in our annual food distribution cycle. So we are working
desperately now as hard as we can to try to catch up."
In addition, the ZANU-PF government also has finally allowed NGOs to fund
their operations through foreign currency rather than with Zimbabwe's
collapsing notes. McGee said annual inflation is currently at more than 210
million percent. The use of foreign funding also should help international
aid agencies get food out to the countryside, according to the ambassador.
"We'll be able to rent the trucks that we need to deliver the food. We'll be
able to pay the salaries of the additional people that we need to deliver
the food," he said.
The total U.S. food and health assistance package for Zimbabwe has risen to
$218 million for 2008, the ambassador said, and additional U.S. humanitarian
funding is coming to Zimbabwe through international aid institutions such as
the Global Fund.
To help address the cholera epidemic, the Bush administration is working
with NGOs and local communities in Zimbabwe to provide clean water, water
tablets and saline tablets.
Zimbabwe's education system also has "totally fallen apart" at the primary,
secondary and university levels. McGee said Zimbabwe once had a higher
literacy rate than the United States and spent 25 percent of its budget on
education in the 1980s and early 1990s. "Today that figure is 18 cents per
student per year."
Many schools have closed, university students are not in class, and there is
"no hope that they're going to get back ... anytime soon," McGee said. He
also related that his driver had been asked to pay an additional $700 fee to
cover the costs of his children's public school. "That's just well beyond
the ability of normal Zimbabweans to pay," he added.
With a government that is committed to taking care of its people and
improving agricultural methods, Zimbabwe can quickly improve its
humanitarian situation and return to its former status as the "breadbasket
of Southern and Central Africa," he said. It will take longer to rid the
country of endemic corruption and return to a market-driven economy.
"But again, if there is good will on the part of government, we in the
international community are willing to step forward and help them as much as
possible to achieve the results that they need," McGee said.
The United States will continue to put pressure on the Mugabe regime through
targeted sanctions that he said are having an effect against ZANU-PF
officials, whose foreign assets have been seized and who have been forced to
take their children out of foreign schools.
McGee added that "unless something does happen in the very, very near
future, we have no choice but to become more difficult, tougher, on our
The Bush administration also will continue to work with the Southern African
Development Community (SADC), the African Union and the United Nations to
encourage them to "spin up" their actions against the Mugabe regime.
SADC's negotiations that led to the September 15 power-sharing agreement
between ZANU-PF and the MDC were "a watershed moment" for the group, but
SADC needs to continue its pressure against the government to "ensure that
the will of the people of Zimbabwe is met" and "that the agreement or unity
government is established," he said.
He added that SADC "should not recognize Robert Mugabe as the legitimate
president of Zimbabwe unless this agreement is implemented."
However, the Zimbabwean people also need to encourage change to help relieve
their suffering, he said.
"As we can help them with the humanitarian assistance, and as much as we try
to assist them with our political stance against this country, if there's
going to be meaningful change in Zimbabwe, it's going to occur because of
peaceful, democratic change here within the country," McGee said.
Zimbabwe Medical Aid
November 20, 2008
The Zimbabwe Medical Aid Association is gravely concerned about the deterioration of the standards of healthcare in Zimbabwe. Despite a nominal increase in the budget, over the years we have witnessed a serious decline in per capita expenditure on health in real terms. This has been compounded by a serious brain drain at all levels of health professionals that is still continuing. Shortage of critical equipment, basic and essential drugs, consumables and sundries have become the order of the day at most public institutions. A number of institutions have become dysfunctional with some as good as closed. Our health delivery system, previously the envy of many developing countries is now tinkering on the verge of virtual collapse. The training of health workers has also been severely compromised.
The cholera outbreak and attendant fatalities reported from the capital city and other centers around the country are symptomatic of poor basic water and sanitation facilities and a failing health delivery system. We believe that the outbreak and hence the fatalities were foreseeable and thus avoidable.
We are aware that our country is going through a very difficulty patch but as ZiMA, we believe that health should be given an even greater priority by the government and responsible authorities. A bigger chunk of the scarce resources should be channeled towards the provision of quality health promotion and care services. Motivation and retention of the remaining health workers should be given top priority. Government should declare the cholera outbreak a national disaster so as to galvanize all the resources necessary to get the outbreak under control. We urge ZINWA to ensure the speedy restoration of efficient sewer management system and provision of adequate and safe drinking water in urban centers. We urge the public to remain vigilant and exercise the highest standards of hygiene at all times and particularly in the face of the cholera outbreak.
As ZiMA we remain committed to playing our part in the common goal of building a healthier Zimbabwe for all.
AP Reeler, Idasa
November 20, 2008
When two thirds of the SADC Presidents, sending their proxies instead, fail to turn up for a Summit that includes both the endless Zimbabwe crisis and the re-emergence of a war in the DRC, how should we understand this? And when the diluted Summit then allows Robert Mugabe to remain in the meeting while a decision on how the Zimbabwe crisis should be resolved is taken, and yet excludes the leader of the majority party in the putative new government, should Zimbabweans take SADC seriously any longer? After all this same august body, the body that endorsed the win by MDC in the March election and invalidated the June re-election of Robert Mugabe, still has the temerity by implication to castigate the opposition, shows deep misunderstanding of the agreement that they brokered, and apparently fails to appreciate the perilous situation in which Zimbabwe finds itself. This appalling lack of consistency in dealing with Zimbabwe must lead many to doubt the continued value of SADC driving any process concerning Zimbabwe.
This is the Alice in Wonderland of African politics, and the defaulting two-thirds, that were not present in Sandton, stand condemned with the colleagues they allowed to conduct this charade of political concern. This is not some back-country dispute of rural people, but a serious political crisis in the twenty-first century, and a crisis in which SADC, as a whole, have demanded that they alone, as Africans, be allowed to solve. This is not politics, but high farce of the kind that drags all of Africa, and not only SADC, into disrepute and ridicule. More seriously, it raises a question about the value of the whole SADC economic community concept and, raises a question for the Zimbabwean people about whether a future democratic Zimbabwe wishes to have anything to do with SADC.
But whether or not a future democratic Zimbabwe will value membership of SADC, there are now exceptionally serious questions about whether SADC is an institution with the gravitas to resolve the crisis, or is merely a club for all the old ‘Liberation boys’, who value each other over more than they value their respective peoples. For it is clear that this most recent decision of SADC has continued the old game of placing leaders above people.
Consider the following. SADC validates in sequence of the most disreputable African elections seen in recent decades, those in 2000 and 2001. Both were widely condemned as violent and rigged in favour of ZANU PF and Robert Mugabe, and resulted in international opprobrium: it was elections (and the obviously blunt violence that even SADC experienced at first hand) as well as the destruction of property rights that led to Zimbabwe’s isolation, not merely land as ZANU PF endlessly asserts. In neither election could SADC easily call the results free and fair, instead, they resorted to the use of such damning terms as “a legitimate expression of the people’s will,” but it was entirely clear which people’s will was being expressed and validated.
By Tichaona Sibanda
21 November 2008
At least 70 residents of Mutare's Dangamvura suburb were left injured, 40 of
them seriously, after soldiers went on a rampage Thursday night, leaving
many people traumatized.
Many of those admitted to a private hospital in the city sustained broken
limbs, while a boy is reported to have lost an eye. A one and half year old
baby was also left with facial injuries. A report was made at Dangamvura
police post, but no action was taken against the perpetrators.
MDC MP for Makoni South, Pishai Muchauraya, said two truckloads of soldiers
armed with assault rifles descended on Dangamvura's area 3 around 7pm,
looking for the city's MDC deputy mayor, Admire Mukorera. The MDC official
was not home, but instead of leaving peacefully, the soldiers beat up his
family who all sustained injuries.
'They did not say why they wanted to see Mukorera, but what they did
thereafter has left the whole community in shock. They viciously went around
the suburb beating up people indiscriminately and bundling them into their
trucks,' Muchauraya said.
The soldiers also went to a nearby nightclub and beat up patrons there,
leaving a trail of broken limbs and furniture. After an hour long orgy of
violence the soldiers retreated to their 3 brigade barracks.
Muchauraya could not say what the motivation for the attack was; 'But what I
can tell you is the attack was sanctioned right from the top. They wouldn't
have the audacity to carry out a barbaric attack on civilians without the
express authority of their superiors'.
Commenting on the victims, the MDC MP said they were targeted
indiscriminately. The victims varied in age and gender, with the youngest
being one and half and oldest being a male in his late 60's.
'I've seen victims with multiple hand and leg fractures. The scenes in the
hospital are shocking, to say the least when the country is moving towards a
unity accord,' said Muchauraya.
By KITSEPILE NYATHI NATION Correspondent Posted Friday, November 21 2008 at
Another African attempt at finding a solution to an African problem, another
When former South African President Thabo Mbeki brokered the historic power
sharing deal between Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe and the Opposition,
there was guarded optimism that African diplomacy had come of age.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the AU, who are
guarantors of the September 15 power sharing deal, touted it as the solution
to Zimbabwe's decade old economic "of dictators" tag.
With a new breed of leaders in Botswana's Ian Khama, Tanzania's Jakaya
Kikwete, Zambia's Levy Mwanawasa --- he has since died - and South Africa's
Africa Thabo Mbeki - he would resign a week later - met, the continent had
every reason to believe that SADC would bring the hard-nosed Mugabe into
Despite tough talk by South Africa and Botswana that the Zimbabwean crisis
had dragged on for too long, those well schooled in African politics did not
order the champagne.
They knew that when faced with a choice between morality and expediency,
African leaders choose expediency. The AU and SADC observers were
unequivocal that President Mugabe had stolen the June election.
Yet it was only Botswana, Nigeria, Kenya and Liberia that rejected the old
Zimbabwean dictator's posturing and refused to accept him as a legitimate
Head of State.
Expectations were that the Opposition would reject the AU position but it
confounded its critics by agreeing to discuss a unity government with the
election loser; there was so much optimism that SADC would score a first by
finding an African solution to an African problem.
But the SADC initiative hit a brick wall a fortnight ago when an
extra-ordinary summit tried to impose an unworkable solution to the impasse
over the sharing of cabinet portfolios between Mr Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF
and the opposition MDC.
The five out of 15 Heads of State who bothered to attend the summit in
Johannesburg were outfoxed by the wily Mugabe.
He managed to have adopted, the unworkable position that the feuding parties
co-share the Interior Ministry.
Analysts say the failure of SADC in Zimbabwe can be traced to its
unwillingness to tackle regional crises that first emerged in the DRC in
1998. Similar half hearted attempts have been seen in SADC interventions in
Lesotho and Swaziland where dictatorships have been legitimised.
Professor Andre du Pisani, a former Dean of Economics at the University of
Namibia and consultant to SADC believes the regional body's failure in
Zimbabwe can be traced to Mr Mugabe's consistent exploitation of the
politics of the liberation movements.
Mr Mugabe continues to hide behind claims that his political opponents are
agents of imperialism. As a result, the ruling ANC in South Africa, FRELIMO
in Mozambique, Namibia's SWAPO and MPLA in Angola continue to support Mr
Mugabe, making it difficult for the regional leaders to censure the
Even if Botswana, Zambia and to a lesser extent Tanzania have been vocal in
rejecting Mr Mugabe's dictatorship, countries led by the liberation
movements have managed to drown their voices.
To demonstrate that the Harare regime believes its politics of scare
mongering work, it is now bogged down in a diplomatic row with Botswana
after it made outrageous but familiar accusations that Gaborone was training
opposition linked bandits.
Botswana has dismissed the charges as outrageous and has asked SADC to
undertake a fact-finding mission to probe the allegations.
Perhaps even President Seretse Ian Khama, who himself presides over a
government that can hardly pass for a democracy is more interested in seeing
a stop to refugees flocking into his country. Botswana last week complained
its resources were overstretched by 1,000 refugees.
But more perplexing has been South Africa's reluctance to act on Zimbabwe.
Mr Mbeki's loyalty to Mr Mugabe was legendary. In a recent letter to Mr
Jacob Zuma, the new leader of ANC, Mr Mbeki mentions Mr Mugabe as one of the
liberation war heroes who inspire him.
Naturally, Zimbabweans were hopeful South Africa's caretaker President
Kgalema Motlanthe would take a firmer stance. But the new leader only
proffered a feeble attempt at tackling the crisis next door. South Africa's
handling of the Zimbabwean problem has drawn sharp criticism from many
quarters and its gentle treatment of Mr Mugabe has infuriated many.
South Africa has always been reluctant to claim the moral leadership it so
richly deserves and instead chose to support dictators such as Mr Mugabe,
Libya's Col Muamar Gaddafi and Cuba's Fidel Castro.
Critics argue this is largely due out of gratitude for the help it received
during the struggle against apartheid.
Yet Zimbabwe was never one of the best supporters of the ANC and even threw
Mr Mbeki into prison after arms believed to be of Umkhonto Wesizwe, a
military wing of the liberation movement, were discovered in Zimbabwe.
Instead Mr Mugabe has always been an ally of the Pan Africanist Congress,
which was smaller than the ANC.
So what is preventing an ANC government from stopping the rot in Harare?
Zimbabweans desperate for change have all sorts of answers.
"South Africa is desperate for human resources ahead of the 2010 Soccer
World Cup and they will not be happy to see the Zimbabwean crisis being
resolved," said Mr Munyaradzi Mudzengi, a mechanic in Harare.
Others are of the view that South Africa wants to cement its status as an
economic superpower by ensuring that its only threat - Zimbabwe - does not
recover from its self-created problems.
By Lance Guma
21 November 2008
The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) has challenged all Zimbabweans to
join its street protests every Tuesday, until a resolution to the political
crisis is found and implemented. NCA leader Dr Lovemore Madhuku was last
week placed under 'preventive detention' as police hoped to derail the group's
countrywide protests. The protesters however went ahead and were joined by
students from the Zimbabwe National Students Union. Police beat up and
arrested several activists, some of whom are still in custody.
In a show of defiance Madhuku released a statement saying, 'this Tuesday, as
with next Tuesday and the next we, the NCA, will keep organizing and
mobilizing until our country is governed in accordance with the will of the
people. We call on all Zimbabweans, wherever you might be, to support the
protests by doing all you can, peacefully, to register the need to be
governed by a government of your choice, under a democratic constitution.'
The NCA is demanding a transitional authority to oversee the implementation
of a new people driven constitution, under which fresh elections would elect
a new leadership.
Spokesman Madock Chivasa told Newsreel the behaviour and intransigence
displayed by ZANU PF was a reflection of the lack of pressure coming from
ordinary people on the ground. The group want this passive approach to the
country's problems to end. 'The tragedies that we are facing as a people
have reached disaster proportions, threatening to submerge the entire
nation. We all share in common shame, the unfortunate story of our country's
regress from being a jewel, born filled with promise, to what it has become
now: a sad spectacle,' an NCA statement read.
The NCA say the current power sharing deal attempts to 'sanitize' ZANU PF
while diminishing the role of the MDC, the party that won the elections in
March. Madhuku argues that Mugabe will still retain executive authority.
'Tsvangirai will only chair the Council of Ministers, a structure that does
not have executive authority. Major appointments are still the preserve of
Mugabe, who only needs to 'consult' with the Prime Minister. Nothing compels
Mugabe to take the advice of the Prime Minister after consultations. The
list of what is bad about the deal is as long as the deal itself,' he said.
In a rallying call Madhuku said, 'As a nation, we have to come to terms with
the fact that no amount of international support to our struggle will come
to bear without local pressure. As citizens we must take back what we have
resignedly outsourced: the right to save our country from the jaws of the
brutal regime that has dominated us for far too long. This is something we
should do with pride, knowing that we are doing that which is just, that
which history and generations will remember as a leap that made us citizens,
and not prisoners in our land.'
November 21, 2008
By Mxolisi Ncube
JOHANNESBURG - The South African Government has lambasted Zimbabwean
political leaders for their continued failure to implement a government of
national unity, whose agreement was signed two months ago.
Government spokesman, Themba Maseko, on Thursday said that the cholera
outbreak, which is wreaking havoc in Zimbabwe and is fast spreading into
other countries, was "a clear indication that ordinary Zimbabweans are the
true victims of their leaders' lack of political will".
Maseko also condemned as "unacceptable" the fact that people's lives were
being put at risk while Zimbabwean political parties fight over positions in
cabinet, and has announced immediate steps to try and curb the cholera
outbreak that has crossed the border and is now putting Limpopo's health
services under strain.
"Government is disappointed to note that political interests have taken
priority at the expense of the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans," said Maseko.
Maseko said this as the total number of Zimbabweans that have been treated
with cholera on South African soil rose to 88 since Saturday, while
continuing to swell.
Maseko added that his country was talking to the Southern Development
Community (SADC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to find suitable
measures to deal with the outbreak, while a task team had been set up to
deal with the situation in Limpopo.
He said South Africa supported the SADC proposal that Zimbabwe's Zanu-PF and
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) share the Home Affairs ministry.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change has refused to be part of the
unity government under that SADC arrangement, which will see Mugabe maintain
his 28-year stranglehold on power, as his Zanu-PF party will also control
the army and the justice system.
South Africa's promised R300 million in agricultural aid for the stricken
country would, meanwhile, be withheld until a representative government was
Maseko denied this was a form of sanctions against Zimbabwe and said it was
a precautionary measure to ensure the money - earmarked for grain,
pesticides and diesel - was used properly.
"We want to make sure that the leaders are putting their people first, and
not concentrating on their own personal ambitions while the nation is
suffering," said Maseko.
COUNTERFEIT bills in foreign currency are in circulation in Bulawayo,
exposing people and businesses without fake note detector machines to
losses, Business Chronicle has learnt.
Although Bulawayo Police spokesperson, Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo said he
was not aware of fake notes in circulation, investigations by this paper,
revealed that some unscrupulous people were passing around fake high
denomination notes especially the US dollar, South African rand and Botswana
A fake US$100 note shown to Business Chronicle resembles a genuine one. It
is difficult for an ordinary person to detect that it is counterfeit. The
note has most of the security features on the real note.
Most people buying fake notes only realise this after trying to change it,
in the case of US dollars, or buy goods in neighbouring countries.
Police sources in Francistown said so serious was the issue of fake
counterfeit notes from Zimbabwe that they were dealing with about five cases
However, most of the people were being let go without charges being laid as
they would have innocently bought the money on the parallel market.
Business Chronicle also established that most people, including those
working in shops selling in foreign currency, were not aware of the security
features on foreign notes.
Mrs Bekezela Sibanda from Luveve said: "I don't even have a clue how a fake
US dollar looks like, it's foreign money and no one has ever taught us how
to tell the difference."
Most outlets dealing in foreign currency do not have equipment to detect
counterfeit notes, leaving them susceptible to fake notes.
Tellers manning tills at the shops said they did not know how to tell the
difference between a genuine note and a counterfeit.
"Besides feeling the quality of the paper, I really don't know how to tell
the difference let alone what the security features are," said a till
operator at one foreign currency licensed shop.
But paper quality alone is not enough knowledge for those who handle large
sums of foreign currency as sophisticated technology in use by
counterfeiters makes differences in the paper subtle and undetectable.
The United States dollar makes use of embedded distinct security features
onto the paper itself as opposed to printing onto the surface of the paper.
A manager at a wholesale outlet said the central bank should embark on a
massive awareness campaign on security features of most currencies used in
"What we need is information on these currencies that we are now trading
with, so that we can protect our businesses from unscrupulous people," he
A source at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said they had resources in place to
detect fake American notes and they encouraged the use of either UV light or
a pen detector to check for the authenticity of notes.
"All you need is to use a special pen detector which makes a golden mark on
bills, if the bill turns black then it's a counterfeit," she said.
"You can further use UV light and shine the money over them, each note gives
out a different colour."
By Alex Bell
21 November 2008
Two people have died in Zimbabwe's second largest city as the country's
devastating cholera epidemic continues to spread across the country.
Bulawayo is the latest city to be affected by the disease that has
unofficially left nearly three hundred people dead. According to media
reports on Friday two deaths have been recorded and another nine people have
been diagnosed with the disease in Bulawayo.
Resident Minister for Bulawayo Province Cain Mathema told journalists on
Thursday that two men died after travelling to the southern Zimbabwe border
city of Beitbridge where the disease has claimed at least 44 lives in the
past week alone.
Mathema said; "One died on Wednesday after a visit to Beitbridge. The other,
a truck driver, died on Saturday at Mpilo Central Hospital after he also
arrived from Beitbridge."
The other nine people suspected of having cholera in Bulawayo include four
men, two women and a 10-year-old child. They have been admitted at
Thorngrove Isolation Centre.
With Bulawayo left with less than a month's supply of water purification
chemicals, Mathema urged stakeholders to assist in the restocking of the
city's water treatment chemicals.
The disease, which is said to be claiming at least ten lives daily in
Budiriro, has also spread across the border to the South Africa border town,
Musina, where three people are confirmed to have died this week. South
African health officials have said they are monitoring at least 70
individuals who have the disease - all but two of them are Zimbabwean.
21 November 2008
The residents in the suburb of Glen Norah reported a disquieting spread of cholera in the area this week, with more than 4 people dying in Glen Norah B, as at yesterday (20 November 2008). The state-run Herald newspaper, yesterday (20 November 2008) featured an article which alleged that “Cholera is under control” while people continue to lack clean tap water and to die from cholera, a bacterial disease. It is paradoxical that this mishap comes at a time when the state is desperately propagating untrue information in a bid to cover up the statistics and magnitude of the Cholera pandemic.
The pandemic whose nucleus in Harare is Budiriro suburb is distressingly spreading to other neighboring residential suburbs and is also wreaking havoc across the country, thus exposing the de facto government’s disaster management and preparedness incapacity and the need for help; suffice to say; the cholera pandemic must be declared; A National Disaster . ZINWA, the “government” parastatal responsible for water provision and sewer management has, despite the resources it received from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), failed to meet the residents` tap (clean) water demands. The “government” has also failed to timeously act on the ZINWA failure i.e. reverse the disastrous decision of the water and sewer takeover and return the management of these to the local authority. These failures, coupled with the collapse of the country’s public health sector have resulted in the massive infections and deaths from cholera.
The Combined Harare Residents Association demand that the “government” acts responsibly; i.e. relieve ZINWA of the sewer and water management duties and return them to the City of Harare Local Authority. The residents cannot bear another day of ZINWA failure, “government laxity and the Cholera pandemic. CHRA will continue to rally the residents around demanding, quality service delivery and a responsible leadership/government. We stand by the Cholera victims and hold ZINWA and the “government” liable! The residents shall continue seek recourse for their violated rights.
Chief Executive Officer
Exploration House, Third Floor
Landline: 00263- 4- 705114
By Violet Gonda
21 November 2008
Zimbabweans have been given a brief glimpse of hope with the anticipated
visit by the three members of the group of Elders. Unfortunately it remains
to be seen if the influential global leaders will be allowed into the
country, as state media reported on Thursday that the Mugabe regime had
advised the delegation, led by former UN Secretary General Koffi Annan, to
delay their visit. One of the more extraordinary reasons given for the
postponement of the visit by the regime, was the fact that everyone was busy
with the cropping season.
But a spokesperson for the group said on Thursday that there had been no
change of plans and the Elders will be in Zimbabwe on Saturday and Sunday,
to assess the humanitarian crisis. The spokesperson said although they had
written to Robert Mugabe seeking a meeting in Harare, they had received no
Annan is expected to travel to Zimbabwe with rights activist Graca Machel
and former US President Jimmy Carter.
It's not known if the regime will attempt to stop them entering Zimbabwe, as
their visit has been described as a "partisan mission by a group with
partisan interests." The state controlled Herald newspaper cited a
government source accusing the Elders of working on a rescue package for the
It's reported the MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has been touring parts
of Europe and Africa, would meet the delegation in South Africa on the eve
of their visit to Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile the outspoken US ambassador to Zimbabwe, James McGee, has warned
that Mugabe's grip on power is stronger than it was last year. Speaking at a
special briefing on Zimbabwe by videoconference with US journalists in
Washington, the Ambassador said: "Mugabe continues to hang on to power
through the political patronage system. There's still a lot of money that
flows through the formal, and even more money that flows through the
informal economies in this country. The president uses a lot of political
patronage, political payoffs to ensure loyalty. He does have the absolute
loyalty of the security - the heads of the security forces. Once we get down
to little - to lower levels in the security forces, probably at the major or
colonel level, and then in the enlisted ranks, that loyalty isn't nearly as
great. But those people who control those services are absolutely loyal to
President Mugabe because, number one, they continue to receive funding from
him, and number two, their hands are absolutely as bloody as his."
"And as far as that goes, last year, there was a power play to strip Mugabe
of power. One of the factions within his own ruling party, ZANU-PF, did make
a power play. They lost. Frankly, they lost. Mugabe stood up to them. They
backed down. And I believe that he is as strong today as he was a year ago
and maybe even in the last five years."
November 21 2008 at 07:26AM
By Gaye Davis
The South African Government has condemned as "unacceptable" the fact
that people's lives are being put at risk while Zimbabwean political parties
fight over positions in cabinet, and has announced immediate steps to try
and curb the cholera outbreak that has crossed the border and is now putting
Limpopo's health services under strain.
Government spokesperson Themba Maseko said on Thursday the cholera
outbreak was "a clear indication that ordinary Zimbabweans are the true
victims of their leaders' lack of political will".
"Government is disappointed to note that political interests have
taken priority at the expense of the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans," Maseko
Maseko said South Africa was talking to the Southern Development
Community (SADC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) about measures to
deal with the outbreak, while a task team had been set up to deal with the
situation in Limpopo.
He said South Africa supported the SADC proposal that Zimbabwe's
Zanu-PF and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) share the home affairs
The ministry controls the police, and sharing it has proved a major
South Africa's promised R300 million in agricultural aid for the
stricken country would, meanwhile, be withheld until a representative
government was in place.
Maseko denied this was a form of sanctions against Zimbabwe and said
it was a precautionary measure to ensure the money - earmarked for grain,
pesticides and diesel - was used properly.
This article was originally published on page 2 of Pretoria News on
November 21, 2008
ANYONE who is still quibbling about the correctness of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC)'s stance on the apportionment of key government
ministerial portfolios should listen to the utterances of Information and
Publicity Minister, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, as reported in the November 16 to 20
issue of the Sunday paper, The Standard .
Speaking from Bulawayo, Ndlovu is reported to have asserted that the
rejection by the MDC of the outrageous Southern African Development
Community (SADC) resolution ordering the opposition party and ZANU-PF to
share the Ministry of Home Affairs was an offence for which MDC president
Morgan Tsvangirai and other officials should have been arrested. Ndlovu said
this disproportionate step should have been taken because President Robert
Mugabe was frustrated by delays in setting up a unity government and it was
necessary to compel Tsvangirai to come on board.
"The government has been lenient and patient with Tsvangirai and this
leniency is not a sign of weakness," Ndlovu said sanctimoniously. "We could
have invoked serious harsh measures and arrested the MDC leadership long ago
and went ahead to form a government in reaction to this interference from
So there it is fellow Zimba-bweans, we are dealing with a government that is
not ashamed to regard a difference of opinion on an issue on which it should
not be imposing its will as a criminal offence punishable by law. Ndlovu did
not bother to explain under what law the MDC leaders would have been
arrested and what their crime would have been called. But the fact that this
call was made by the man who is supposed to be the human face of the
government should give the world an idea of what sort of system Zimbabweans
are routinely up against. The Minister of Information and Publicity should
be taking the lead in building bridges and promoting healing and
reconciliation within the nation but he is doing the exact opposite. He and
the public media have continued to subject opposition politicians who are
supposed to be participants in a unity government to venomous attacks
usually predicated on unfounded allegations. And now to cap it all, Ndlovu
is not only calling for the arbitrary arrest of opposition figures for
holding a view that is at variance with ZANU-PF's but is also giving this
human rights abuse an extra-territorial dimension by virtue of the SADC
aspect. Mediation, by definition is supposed to be a process of "intervening
between parties in a dispute to bring about agreement." At no time have
either the African Union or SADC at whose behest on-going efforts to get the
MDC and ZANU-PF to agree on the formation of a unity government were
initiated, indicated that common ground must be found under threat of
It is clear from Ndlovu's arrogant outburst that authorities in Zimbabwe now
wholeheartedly believe their own propaganda through which they have cast
Tsvangirai as the villain in negotiations for a government of national
unity. What government propagandists and spin doctors choose to overlook is
that the MDC leader is the repository of the will and aspirations of the
people of Zimbabwe and he insists on fair and just dispensations on their
The people rejected ZANU-PF at the polls because of its repressive
governance and ruinous policies that have brought the country to its knees
economically and in other respects. This misrule has been buttressed mainly
through the abuse of the Ministry of Home Affairs to persecute, harass and
arbitrarily arrest innocent citizens and level trumped up charges against
critics without any regard to due process which places limits on how
governmental power may be exercised. Ndlovu must not forget that these
policies have impacted negatively on millions of Zimbabweans who have a
stake in the forging of a genuine power sharing deal rather than a forced
one designed only to rescue ZANU-PF.
The electorate voted for change in March in order to reassert the moral
primacy of the people over the government. Ndlovu's outbursts prove that the
people were right to reject the old order and Tsvangirai is justified to
insist ZANU-PF should not be allowed to cling to key ministerial portfolios
so as to continue abusing power and instilling fear in the electorate.
Threatening to arrest the MDC leader and other opposition officials for
rejecting the perpetuation of tyranny is no different from the retributive
violence visited upon the populace following the March 29 elections. ZANU-PF
knew it could never win free and fair elections hence the resort to violence
and coercion. Likewise, ZANU-PF knows that on the basis of its well
documented track record of abuse, there is no earthly reason why it should
retain ministerial portfolios it is abusing even within the framework of the
power-sharing talks to crush dissent.
And if SADC and the African Union were not the toothless bulldogs they have
turned out to be, they should lean on the party that has been abusing power
to demonstrate convincingly that it has changed its spots. Under fair
mediation, which, sadly, Thabo Mbeki and SADC have failed to provide,
ZANU-PF and the MDC cannot be painted with the same brush.
NANGO Welcomes the Crucial Visit by the Elders Graca Machel, Kofi Annan,
22 - 23 November 2008
Visit comes amidst Zimbabwe's worst ever Humanitarian Catastrophe
NANGO to present a dossier detailing the dimensions of the negative
operating environment for Humanitarian Organisation [attached]
The National Association of Non Governmental Organisations representing NGOs
operating in Zimbabwe, welcomes the planned visit by members of the group of
Elders - international advocate for women and children's rights - and wife
of Nelson Mandela - Graca Machel, former United Nationals Secretary-General
Kofi Annan and former United States President Jimmy Carter to Zimbabwe.
NANGO understands that the visit is in order to give the Elders an
opportunity to make a first hand assessment of the humanitarian situation
and how to more effectively respond to current humanitarian needs. Zimbabwe
needs as much help as it can get in order to effectively meet the
overwhelming levels of need throughout the country, as such NANGO roundly
applauds the Elders expressed commitment to urge "the International
community to support a Zimbabwe-led process of recovery and provide
sufficient funding for its implementation
The Elders visit to Zimbabwe coincides with what is widely regarded as
Zimbabwe's worst ever humanitarian crisis in post-independent history,
whereby more than half of the population has been rendered food insecure and
therefore in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. The daily struggle of
the ordinary Zimbabwean for survival has become unbearable. The lives of
millions of Zimbabweans are under realistic threat facing serious food and
water shortages, a breakdown in the health delivery system - proven by the
close down of hospitals - and a spreading Cholera outbreak.
NANGO is deeply concerned about information protracted by the state-run
newspaper The Herald stating that the Government advised the Elders to
postpone their visit. Allegedly the Government argues that it is currently
too occupied with the ongoing Inter-Party Talks and preparations for the
cropping season. In light of this, NANGO hereby urges the relevant
authorities to render the appropriate assistance and information as would
enable the Elders to carry out their mission of rallying international
support to support a Zimbabwe led process of recovery.
NANGO believes that an imminent visit by the group of Elders is crucial: The
high profile visit of the Elders would ensure that the world is reminded of
the plight of the vast majority of Zimbabweans. The country would receive
decisive assistance in solving the humanitarian crisis.
Further underscoring the importance of the Elders visit is the reality of
dwindling levels of humanitarian assistance amidst a huge sea of need - A
condition which the Elders is well positioned to reverse. The World Food
Programme realistically estimates that 5 million Zimbabweans will need
emergency food aid by early next year. But since global attention to the
escalating Zimbabwean crisis has slipped away the WFP is struggling to
receive enough funding to assist Zimbabweans in their survival-struggle. An
imminent Elders visit will ensure that the international spotlight is
switched on again on Zimbabwe. Therefore NANGO is convinced that the Elders
visit is in the interest of the people of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwean leaders
should not only ensure that the Elders are welcome this weekend but that
they are also assisted in every way in making their crucial first-hand
assessment. NANGO will likewise contribute to this assessment by presenting
a Dossier detailing the dimensions of the currently negative operating
environment for humanitarian organisations.
Human Rights Watch
Our hands are tied. We cannot do anything where ZANU-PF is involved. However, if your case was not political, we could have helped you - all political violence matters are off limits for the police. — A Police officer in Chegutu, Mashonaland West province, declining to investigate a political violence complaint, June 2008.
Over the last decade, Zimbabwe’s ruling party, the Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU - PF), has progressively and systematically compromised the independence and impartiality of Zimbabwe’s judiciary and public prosecutors, and instilled one-sided partisanship into the police. Since 2000 it has purged the judiciary, packed the courts with ZANU - PF supporters and handed out “gifts” of land and goods to ensure the judges’ loyalty. It has provided instructions to prosecutors to keep opposition members in jail for as long as possible. It has transformed Zimbabwe’s police force into an openly partisan and unaccountable arm of ZANU - PF.
The power-sharing agreement between ZANU - PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), signed on September 15, 2008, provided an opportunity to begin fundamental changes within the judiciary and police. However, in failing to recognize the collapse of respect for fundamental rights and the rule of law in Zimbabwe, the agreement sidesteps the urgent need for reforms. As this report demonstrates, ZANU - PF lacks the necessary commitment to end its improper and unlawful involvement in the justice system, let alone to be entrusted with instituting the necessary reforms.
Police partisanship has contributed heavily to Zimbabwe’s disastrous human rights situation. Serving police officers told Human Rights Watch that between April and July 2008, police across Zimbabwe were issued with specific instructions not to investigate or arrest ZANU - PF supporters and their allies implicated in political violence. Human Rights Watch also found that of at least 163 politically motivated extrajudicial killings - almost entirely of MDC supporters - since the March 29, 2008 general elections, police have only made two arrests, neither of which led to prosecutions.
Members of the ZANU - PF militia who killed six people in Chaona on May 5 continue to walk free. The ZANU-PF supporters who killed MDC councilor, Gibbs Chironga, and three others in Chiweshe on June 20 have not been investigated. The murder of Joshua Bakacheza, an MDC driver, on June 24 has not resulted in any arrests. The police refuse to investigate the abduction and beating by ZANU - PF youth of Kadombo Chitokwa and thousands of others.
Police have arbitrarily arrested and detained hundreds of M DC leaders and activists. MDC leaders subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention include Tendai Biti - arrested at the airport on June 12 - Ian Kay and Eric Matinenga. Human Rights Watch also documented cases of police officers openly engaging in partisan politics in contravention of the Police Act. In several provinces where armed ZANU - PF members have unlawfully taken policing duties upon themselves - carrying out arrests, investigations and meting out punishment - government authorities have refused to intervene.
The power-sharing agreement has not ended the violence. Human Rights Watch found that police continue to routinely and arbitrarily arrest and detain opposition activists, using harassment and detention without charge as a form of persecution. On October 16 police in Bulawayo assaulted, arrested and detained several members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA). All the women were later released without charge except for their two leaders - Jenni Williams and Magondonga Mahlangu - who have been denied bail and who at this writing remain in jail. Police detain accused persons beyond the 48-hour statutory limit, show contempt for court rulings and frequently deny detainees access to legal representation or relatives.
On September 18 police arrested the president of the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), Takavafira Zhou. He was held without charge in solitary confinement for four days without access to water, a toilet or blankets, before being released on September 22. Several former detainees have reported that police officers frequently beat or otherwise mistreat those in custody.
This report finds that legal accountability and the rule of law in Zimbabwe have been seriously eroded under the ZANU - PF government through its interference in the criminal justice system. It shows that victims of human rights abuses - mainly MDC supporters - continue to be denied their right to justice and an effective remedy. At the same time, perpetrators of human rights ab uses enjoy de facto immunity from prosecution by virtue of their association with ZANU - PF.
At the time of writing, over a month after the power-sharing agreement was signed, there has been no substantive movement towards implementation nor towards forming a new government. The two main parties have sharp differences over the allocation of new cabinet positions. On October 11 ZANU - PF, without the agreement of the MDC and contrary to the power-sharing agreement, published a list of new cabinet positions. President Robert Mugabe allocated all senior ministries - including Home Affairs and Justice, as well as Defence, Foreign Affairs and Finance - to ZANU - PF members.
The ZANU - PF list was rejected by the MDC, which released its own alternative list. Human Rights Watch is concerned that any settlement of the current political crisis must address the need for reforms in the criminal justice system and the pervasive climate of impunity, and that this cannot be achieved so long as ZANU - PF controls the Home Affairs and Justice Ministries.
As the people of Zimbabwe confront an ever more rapidly deteriorating economic situation, with more than five million facing severe food shortages and inflation, at the time of writing, running at 2.79 quintillion, 1 expressing serious concern over the erosion of key justice institutions might seem a step away from the lives and concerns of the public at large. However, the fact is that despite the rearguard ethical action of some of those within them, these institutions have been transformed by ZANU - PF into critical agents of repression. Their reform is fundamental to the restoration of normality and respect for human rights, not just in Zimbabwean political affairs, but also in the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.
Human Rights Watch calls upon any new government in Zimbabwe to undertake an independently managed program of reform of the judiciary and police with clear timelines. Priorities should include independent and impartial investigations into past human rights abuses and the problem of impunity, a review of police organizational structure and practices, and revisions of criminal justice legislation to ensure compliance with international legal standards. Human Rights Watch urges donor states and institutions to support genuine reform efforts, but also to maintain existing sanctions until reforms are implemented.
By Lance Guma
21 November 2008
An attempt by the Zimbabwe government to complete the takeover of
businessman Mutumwa Mawere's companies collapsed this Thursday, after a UK
court ruled in his favour. The government had effectively sought to wrestle
control of his UK registered companies, by claiming their purchase was
funded exclusively by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. Using AMG Global
Nominees (Private) Limited as a front, the case was brought to the UK courts
as a final assault on Mawere, whose Zimbabwe registered companies they had
In July 2004 Mawere was listed as a 'specified' person and under newly
created laws lost control of his Shabani Mashaba Mines, among other assets
controlled by Africa Resources Limited, his holding company. Mawere's SMM
Holdings and THZ Holdings are all registered in the UK and this meant any
complete legal takeover had to involve courts in the UK. Mawere, now a South
African citizen, accused the Zimbabwean government of using it's state
machinery to expropriate his companies.
Thursday's court ruling appeared a solid vindication of his argument. He
told journalists, 'Our challenge has paid off. This is a significant day for
all Zimbabweans who are interested in knowing the true nature of how their
government is now operating. I never thought that after 28 years of
independence I would look to England for justice against a government that
purports to stand for empowerment. After four years of going through this
ordeal, the government has now been told by the English court that they need
my consent to legalize what they have already done.'
Friday, 21 November 2008 09:05 Peter Nyoni
The pathological denialism by the masquerading Zanu pf government is
legendary, especially in the face of the pillaging man made catastrophe. The
painful loss of lives to cholera and starvation does mean anything. To them
the death of one of us is nothing but a mere reduction of opposing voices.
Today Zimbabwe stands out as the worst country one can ever live. Today it
is a lawless nation as we waved good-bye to rule of law and the sacredness
of humanity long ago. Today the once beautiful nation is in ruins. The
country that used to be the torchbearer is all but gone, a victim of men
made catastrophe, the face of a man- made catastrophe. A catastrophe that
is threatening to devour humanity.
Zimbabwe today has no:
Electricity, it has nothing. The ruling junta has one big story to write
about the pauperisation of all its citizens save for their acolytes and
family members. Surely, Zimbabwe bears the ugly face of a man made
The country that used to be an envy of many is now an example of everything
that can go wrong on earth. It is in ashes, a ramshackle fit only for
jackals to live, there is nothing left to envy anymore.
The exuberant, warm, hardworking and loving people are now a sulking and
desperate lot. Their long and cheeky faces are devoid of hope and enthusiasm
for the future. They have all but been reduced to stone age scavenging in a
land of plenty. The emaciated sickly bodies bear hallmarks of acute food
The mass deaths, cholera epidemic speak volumes about the dire situation
obtaining. The denial by the masquerading government is all but legendary in
the face of the marauding catastrophe. To them the death of one of us is
nothing but a mere reduction to opposing forces; simply good riddance of bad
The intransigence of the former ruling party in the face of electoral loss,
deepening crisis and mounting international pressures, condemnation and
threat of sanctions has baffled many alike but has been ghastly for
Zimbabweans as it cost their lives, future, hope and ambitions.
Horrifically, the behaviour of ZANU PF since March 29 has been more like
that of the proverbial bull chameleon who in a bid to save himself from the
sure death by a veld fire imitated the infernos colour.
After wriggling through the treacherous valley of electoral defeat to snatch
an invaluable and iniquitous "bloody victory" in June, Zanu pf unfortunately
found themselves in a precarious predicament. Being the cunning devils they
are, they tried various outdated tricks to avoid drowning in the swirling
waters of international condemnation and isolation. They wittingly started
hyping loud about the need for a political deal ad nauseum, ad infinitum.
This deal was not about the people. Neither was it about power sharing,
unity nor recognition of the MDC. It was far from that. The deal was a rich
promissory note ready to be encashed on demand at the royal bank of
democracy, legitimacy and credibility but with the invaluable signatures of
the MDC and the masses. The 'deal' was a daylight royal robbery slyly
blanketed by cheap unity mantra that was saleable to the desperate masses. A
deal that was to bring respect, legitimacy and credibility to their crippled
and soiled images.
The obnoxious and despicable thing was done in a huff and in such a way
that deceived even the most suspicious person. In most cases very important
things were done nocturnally, nicodemously and in telling secrecy. However,
some people remained cynical and wary of the whole contemptible and
adulterous union by the two antagonistic parties. History and past
experiences have shown that you can only trust a devil like Zanu pf at your
The passing regime today denies that our children are dying of cholera. They
deny vehemently that it's not our normal life to fight with wild animals for
wild fruits. The tired regime that bear the face of a man made catastrophe
denies that it is not normal for a country to have all its major hospitals
closed. They also deny that there is nothing wrong with queuing up for
worthless money. They deny frighteningly that they lost the only credible
elections in March. They deny and deny and deny yet its there for everyone
the blind and the dead to see.
Using the deal, they denied us a new government. Through the deal and talks
they denied us our future. By way of the horrible creature, they have all
but denied our children sound education. Zanu pf has denied us everything
that is righteously ours. Surely they are the true face of a man made
Surely the results of Zanu pf misdeeds, policies and mistakes are there
clear for us to see. They were able to turn the country into a dying nation.
It did not take them time to bring hunger into every household. Their
policies have been centred on nationalising everything, poverty, diseases
and death! Today Zimbabwe is a sick nation, a country whose citizens are ill
or just not feeling well. Truly Zimbabwe is the face of a man made
The world should know that while they enjoy comfort and luxuries in their
countries Zimbabwean are crying out silently for help. Everyone out there
should know that while they wait and see what will happen, children are
starving to death. The Christians out there should bear in mind that while
they pray to be blessed a child in Zimbabwe is praying to have at least a
Surely the world should be reminded that while others are saying goodnight
to their young a Zimbabwean mother would be saying rest in peace. It must be
kept in mind that while the world is watching us from a distance, the man
made catastrophe is wrecking havoc among us killing almost everyone. To the
world we say surely Zimbabwe presents the ugly face of a man-made
May God remember the world when they judge Zimbabweans.
Gibson Nyambayo can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Shervorn Monaghan/IRIN
defence against cholera spread
"It's difficult to say the situation is under control, as it is difficult to trace the patients once they are released; we don't know where they go, we don't know whether they take risks," John Shiburi, a South African Red Cross Society official in Musina, told IRIN.
According to health workers, nine people are still in hospital in Musina, being treated for cholera-like symptoms. Earlier this week the figure was 14, with the patients apparently all from Zimbabwe, where an epidemic is raging.
The South African government announced on 20 November that it was ready to help Zimbabwe "address the cholera outbreak", and that discussions were underway with the UN World Health Organisation and the regional Southern African Development Community.
The collapse of water and sewerage services in Zimbabwe, worsened by uncollected refuse and the start of the rainy season, have helped the spread of the waterborne disease. Humanitarian officials reported a total of 2,893 people were infected with cholera between the beginning of August and mid-November, with at least 115 deaths.
A hard-hitting South Africa cabinet statement linked Zimbabwe's cholera crisis to the stalled formation of a government of national unity between President Robert Mugabe and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, saying the deadlock was exacerbating the country's humanitarian and economic crisis.
"The reported outbreak of cholera in parts of that country is a clear indication that ordinary Zimbabweans are the true victims of their leaders' lack of political will and failure to demonstrate seriousness to resolve the political impasse," the statement noted.
Shiburi said that until the emergency in Zimbabwe was resolved, where people were suffering an inflation rate of 231 million percent and shortages of almost every basic item, the flow of Zimbabwean migrants into South Africa would not halt.
An estimated three million Zimbabweans, in a population of less than 12 million, have left the country, many crossing the border into South Africa, the regional economic powerhouse.
"We've got two challenges: the outbreak of cholera, and the issue of immigration. That in itself [migration] is a challenge, but the cholera outbreak has worsened the problem. We have [migrants here] who don't have shelter, who don't have accommodation," Shiburi noted.
He added that some Zimbabweans arriving without documentation were avoiding Musina and the authorities and "going straight to Jo'burg", South Africa's economic hub, to look for work.
Day full of drama at the shopping centre today after a group of soldiers
were beaten and chased away from Intermarket bank by the military police
earlier on. The selfish sods get their salaries all at once in hard cash
back at their barracks, and they still want to jump the queues.
Then there was an accident on Enterprise road outside our office. An elderly
woman was bumped by a blue Mercedes Benz whilst trying to cross the ever
busy road. The loud screech of braking tyres and a thud drew people from
their offices. The police were there in a blitz because Morris Depot is just
round the corner. You'd think that with so many sophisticated looking people
plus the Merc owner and the police gathered around, something would be done
for the poor woman expeditiously. Although she showed no visible signs of
hurt, she was clearly in shock and kept rubbing the side of her belly. She
must have been hurt internally and from what I understand most accident
victims die from the shock than the wounds.
The two policeman on the scene promptly got to work, one taking down a
statement from the Merc owner, the other vacillating between alerting and
diverting traffic and making some markings around the Merc. He had no chalk
and ended up using pieces of red brick to do the job. Clearly no easy task.
Meanwhile the elderly woman sat quietly, only her eyes betrayed the pain she
felt. If I didn't know better I'd say she felt more uncomfortable from all
the attention than from the pain she felt. More onlookers gathered around
her, someone asked the others if she was all right, what happened and was
the Merc driver speeding? Why did the foolish woman not cross the road at
the traffic lights? She ought to thank her lucky stars a Merc hit her. There
was an unspoken consensus that the woman was to blame. Accusatory eyes
pierced at her all round.
There was also a mysterious lack of a sense of emergency; nobody bothered to
ask why the woman wasn't being rushed to hospital and when I did, I got the
kind of astonished, irritated stares only a loud fart would elicit. There
was lots of silence, eyes shifted momentarily to the Merc owner, and then
everyone refocused their attention on the poor woman. Time was being wasted
on trivialities; the one policeman continued with his show of taking a long
statement while the Merc owner fidgeted with his cell phone. Dark sweat
rings grew under his armpits. The people made him nervous so did the police.
This was an emergency and all he needed to do was get the woman into his car
and drive to the nearest hospital. But no, protocol and bureaucracy required
that statements be taken, marks be established around the vehicle and papers
be signed before any help could be afforded the ailing woman. Whoever said
there is no rush in Africa has never been more precise.
This is exactly how it feels to be Zimbabwean of late. Africans stood by and
waited for the 'authorities' to deliberate over the impasse in Zimbabwe. A
lot of statements were issued while the rest of the world gawked as Zimbabwe
burned. Did they perceive Zimbabwe was all right because she remained quiet?
They assumed everything would be sorted in talks because the revered SADC
was there. Whenever Khama or the late Mwanawasa - bless his soul - pointed
out the emergency of the situation, they were hushed by silent stares. It
was almost as if they were disturbing the silence in a movie theatre
populated by voyeurs.
Shall it not baffle our children when they reflect on history, that SADC was
there, so were the UN and the AU but Zimbabwe died while they all watched?
This entry was posted on November 21st, 2008 at 11:53 am by Natasha Msonza
In the US of A where I hail from, seeing a pick up truck on the road
generates several stereotypical thoughts about the people in the truck.
Likely they're from a small town, perhaps farmers. Or they might be
contractors or construction workers, and sometimes they're put in the
category of beer drinking rednecks. If a woman is driving and she's not the
truck owner's wife, then there's a good chance she's a lesbian. People are
quick to put the stereotypes aside when moving residences because in that
situation anyone with a pick up truck is your new best friend.
In Zimbabwe, or rather I should say in the urban hub Harare, pick up trucks
are more common than any urban hub in the US. Of late, I've been looking
carefully at the people in pick up trucks in Harare. And in nearly all
cases, the sights pain me. The intersection of Sam Nujoma and Herbert
Chitepo is full of pick up trucks with people spilling out of the back side.
The passengers have sad faces. Likely the professionally dressed men and
women are thinking: What happened? I used to drive my own car to/from
work. Now everyday I stand with 1000s of other people at this intersection
and hope a kind pick up truck driver will stop right at the spot I'm
standing so that I can beat the crowd and jump in. If the driver stops 10
meters either side of where I'm standing I will miss my chance; therefore, I
will curse that truck and pray to God the next driver receives my telepathic
message to stop in my spot.
Most NGOs, UN agencies, etc. have the grand daddy of all pick up trucks.
The vehicles are big, bold and a truck, jeep, 4X4 statement of patronage and
wealth all rolled into one. I can't see the faces of the passengers because
the windows are usually tinted. These trucks never stop for passengers.
And they always have the 4X4 features fully operating because Harare is full
of bush and dirt roads. I guess that's why the drivers travel with machetes
to clear a path if need be. Yes. It makes sense to spend the extra money
on the additional fuel needed to operate these gas guzzlers. Logical so
that it's easier to navigate the rugged terrain of Harare's roads and robots
during the daily routine of being driven from one meeting to another.
There are plenty of pick up trucks packed to the gills with people of all
ages singing and cheering. These are the shiny new silver trucks.
Inscribed on both doors in big black letters is ZANU PF. Other words
appear, but no need to read because the six letters are enough to
understand. The drivers swerve a lot, make sharp turns, and ignore the
robots as they gallivant around town spreading their message of 100%
empowerment. They zip around so quickly it's hard to get a good look at the
people making all the noise. Often the rhetoricians are standing in the
back of the cab. Sometimes, given the reckless driving, the cheerleaders
verge on falling out. I suspect a good many of these brainwashed souls
would like to fall out.
But where would they fall?
This entry was posted on November 21st, 2008 at 12:08 pm by Susan Pietrzyk
November 21, 2008
BY NOW even the moles deep in their underground burrows have certainly heard
that the so-called government of national unity deal, signed eight weeks
ago, is not working. To me, it looks like the other half of the deal, Morgan
Tsvangirai, has fled Zimbabwe.
I have never made secret my firmly held opinion that without discussion of
principles the so called 'deal' was meaningless and directionless. Like
other Zimbabweans I have always hoped that maybe a miracle would happen and
the deal would work. By now it should be clear to everyone that such a
miracle is as eminent as Jesus' second coming; always promised to be around
the corner yet always receding like a mirage in a shimmering desert heat.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me make my position very clear again. Let us
forget about who should run Zimbabwe, let us focus on HOW we want Zimbabwe
to be run. To paraphrase a late prominent politician, even if we were to ask
a baboon to run Zimbabwe it should know how WE want Zimbabwe to be run.
This business of concentrating on the allocation of posts is taking us
nowhere. Nobody is ever going to turn down a powerful post. And nobody is
going to walk away from a powerful post without a lot of dithering,
hesitancy and procrastination. Even if you were to ask me whether I want to
become executive prime minister the answer would be a definite yes, even
though I have absolutely no idea how an executive prime minister is supposed
to function alongside an equally executive president.
My chief consideration in accepting the post would be the knowledge that it
would guarantee me a fleet of Mercedes Benz cars at my disposal. That is not
to mention the free suits, the round-the-year luxury accommodation and the
other perks that come with the position. I have no reason to believe that
the leaders of Zimbabwe's political organisations would have different
priorities to the ones I have outlined here.
I will not tire of contrasting the 1979 talks to the current talks. In 1979
nobody was guaranteed posts. The focus was solely on how the country should
be run. The principles of democracy where not qualified by considerations of
the political history of individual leaders. There were no sacred cows at
all and the then incumbent Prime Minister, Abel Muzorewa, started his
journey to political oblivion as a result.
In 1979 the pertinent issue on the table was the bringing of an end to
racial discrimination. At the end of the talks we all knew that there was
going to be universal suffrage based on the equality of all people.
In 2008 the pertinent issue has to be the bringing of an end to economic
mismanagement in the country. Yet eight weeks after the supposed agreement,
we do not even know whether debilitating price controls are going to come to
an end. We do not even know whether misdirected subsidies, which have only
managed to enrich government bigwigs, are going to be shelved in favour of
more sustainable policies. We do not know whether excessive government
expenditure is going to be curtailed. Judging by the size of the agreed
cabinet, it looks like we are going to continue with the same big spending,
huge, central government, with only difference being that we now expect
foreign taxpayers to fund our excesses.
All we know is that we are supposed to have two bulls in the kraal, an
executive Prime Minister and an executive President. Those of us who are
very, very experienced as cattle herd boys, also know very well that when
you put two bulls in the same kraal, all you get is a lot of broken fence
poles. In fact you never yoke two bulls to pull the same plough.
The best way to proceed at the moment is through the holding of a national
convention. A no-holds-barred, all-doors-open convention where ordinary
Zimbabweans like me should get a chance to tell their leaders what they
want. The idea of holding secretive talks among a very few individuals has
proved to be unworkable.
We need to rescue the people of Zimbabwe; full stop.
MUTAMBARA USURPING THE WILL OF THE 'WE'
Mutambara is clearly out of touch with the movement for democracy that is
being authored by the Zimbabwe people. I respect his views and as a fellow
Zimbabwean Mutambara is entitled to form and express his opinions the
unfortunate thing is he happens to be in a position of leadership (despite
having no mandate) where he has an influential voice that can propel or harm
our quest for democracy. Lately His political voice has been louder than
most drowning other voices. I see something very clever that we should
analyse. Mutambara calls for strategy but the question is what strategy, for
what purpose and for whom? Yes my fellow Zimbabweans are dying and as a
patriot my heart bleeds. However whilst I agree with Mutambara on the need
for strategic thinking what he misses are the strategic objectives we are
trying to meet as strategy is formulated as well as the tactics applied to
meet the overall strategy. Yes we need food, Yes we need education, Yes we
need Health care, Yes we need justice, opportunity and Yes we need
sovereignty as a people, but before we can achieve all this we need
FREEDOM!! FREEDOM!! FREEDOM!! FREEDOM!! At this juncture our freedom reigns
from the deepest of valleys and our strategic objective is to get to the
mountain top. Our strategic objective is to establish a DEMOCRACY!!! For in
a democracy we have freedom of expression, we have the right to vote and
elect our desired leaders (Intellectuals or fools), that's our choice to
make not Mugabe's or Mutambara's neither is it Tsvangiri's. In a democracy
there is freedom of enterprise, provision of health care, access to
education, justice and opportunity. These are the aspirations of the
Zimbabwe people, the 'we'. The 'we' is made up of the 'He' and the 'SHE'and
these it is them that have given Tsvangirai the mandate as expressed on the
result of the 29th of March 2008 election. Mutambara's name was not even on
the presidential ballot for reasons best known to him at a time when he
should have stepped up and use his voice was this yet another of Mutambara
strategy or a tactic to duck the judgement I will not continue to speculate.
A course has been charted but the ideals of democracy that underwrites our
freedom have not been established and thus it is utter mischief for anyone
to mislead or misdirect the 'we'. I therefore argue that Tsvangirai is more
in touch with the needs of the 'we' as described above. I for one do not
agree with Tsvangirai on everything but one thing I understand is his
ideology. He is a democrat yes he has many weaknesses so does Mutambara and
Mugabe It is therefore imperative that Tsvangirai never looses focus and
never keeps his eye off the ball, in the words of Mutambara Tsvangirai
should "not miss the forest for the trees". It will therefore be short
sighted for the MDC to be part of the unity government without real
influence or power that is critical in order to meet our strategic
objective. The unity government is only but a vehicle but it needs to have
wills to take us to the mountain top. Thus joining the unity government is
only but a tactical move on the part of MDC well as it is a tactical move on
Zanu's part the question therefore is Who has the right set of values and
objectives as described above. Failure to meet the strategic objective will
take us back to where we are today, thus more hunger, more repression, more
deaths and more Killings. I say NO THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE.MDC will be judged
harshly by the 'we' if they fail to deliver on the core business, the core
objective. A case in example is the contentious Home Affairs, which is
essential for economic recovery that can only be attained if there is
restoration of the rule of law. If I recall very well Mutambara was rejected
by the people of Chitungwiza who are part of the 'we'. Mutambara is one heck
of an intelligent guy no one can take that away from him, he has acquired
great knowledge weather that amounts to good political judgement nor wisdom
I leave that to the 'we' to decide. I urge Professor Mutambara to step back
and critically evaluate his personal interests against the Zimbabwean
interests. Above all as a people we should continue to place our burdens,
prayers and desires before our Almighty creator the King of Kings our Lord
and Saviour.Mr Tsvangirai, Mr Mugabe and Professor Mutambara are all Humans
who have limitations. The struggle continues but ultimately the 'we', the
Zimbabweans should decide and shape the Zimbabwean future.