The Associated Press
November 27, 2008 at 8:35 AM EST
HARARE - Labour leaders called on Zimbabweans Thursday to demand more money
for food and medication than they are allowed to take out of their bank
accounts because of tight daily withdrawal limits.
The cost of basic medications amid a cholera outbreak that has claimed
hundreds of lives in Zimbabwe has required the sick or their relatives to
stand in line for several days to draw enough cash.
The labour leaders' protest call also comes as the United Nations warns that
more than five million people in the country face imminent starvation.
"Hundreds, if not thousands, of us have died not because of anything other
than the imposed cash withdrawal limits," said Lovemore Matombo, head of The
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, the country's main labour federation.
Zimbabwe, engulfed in an economic and political collapse, has by far the
world's highest official inflation of 231 million percent.
The daily withdrawal limit of 500,000 Zimbabwe dollars (about $0.30) at the
dominant black-market exchange rate) does not buy a quarter of a scarce loaf
of bread, according to the country's main labour federation.
A two-kilogram pack of sugar purchased in local money required four days in
line at a bank or automated teller machine.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions is calling on Zimbabweans to try and
withdraw more than the 500,000 Zimbabwe dollar limit next Wednesday.
Mr. Matombo said the planned bank protests were not illegal under sweeping
security laws that prohibit demonstrations without police clearance because
"you don't need permission to claim your own money."
Under hyperinflation, most businesses and shops refused to accept checks
from workers whose wages were paid directly into bank accounts, Mr. Matombo
"Workers now have to beg for their money to buy medication, for transport
and to pay rents" that often also exceeded their monthly earnings, he said.
In August, the central bank slashed 10 zeros from the local currency, but a
newspaper that cost 10 Zimbabwe dollars in the new denominations in August
cost 700,000 Zimbabwe dollars (45 cents; .35 euro) this week.
The state Herald newspaper acknowledged that the zeros were back by
publishing a guide to large electronic and written transactions involving
quadrillions of Zimbabwe dollars showing 15 zeros, quintillions with 18
zeros and even decillions with 33 zeros used in massive deals on the Harare
President Robert Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980,
blames Western sanctions for the economic collapse. Critics point, however,
to his 2000 order that commercial farms be seized from whites. The often
violent seizures disrupted the country's agriculture-based economy.
Western sanctions targeting individuals and companies supporting Mr.
Mugabe's regime were tightened after disputed elections in March and June
that led to a power-sharing deal between Mr. Mugabe and his opponents signed
His ZANU-PF party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change have so
far failed to agree on the composition of a unity cabinet.
On Wednesday, Mr. Mugabe left Harare to attend a United Nations conference
in Doha, Qatar, on "Financing for Development," state media reported
Earlier this week, he reappointed central bank governor Gideon Gono for
another five-year term at the Reserve Bank.
In an acceptance statement available Thursday, Mr. Gono vowed to rein in the
bank's "quasi-fiscal operations," its term for printing extra money and
subsidizing state enterprises, measures seen as having fuelled inflation and
crashed the local currency.
APA-Johannesburg (South Africa) Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai said on Thursday that there was no progress in power-sharing
talks with the ruling ZANU PF party, in a statement that appears to signal
the collapse of the latest effort to save Zimbabwe\'s fragile power-sharing
Tsvangirai blamed lack of progress on intransigence by ZANU PF and on the
incompetence of mediator and former South African President Thabo Mbeki who
he said should recuse himself from the process because he did \"not appear
to understand how desperate the problem in Zimbabwe is\".
The opposition chief said his MDC party signed the power-sharing agreement
with ZANU PF two months ago in the hope that President Robert Mugabe\'s
party was ready to cooperate to end Zimbabwe\'s multi-faceted crisis.
\"Sadly, their (ZANU PF) intransigence to date is making that appear
increasingly unlikely,\" said Tsvangirai.
The MDC leader said the party was not withdrawing from negotiations but
added that in the \"in the absence of any progress in the talks,\" the
opposition would rather refocus attention to tackling Zimbabwe\'s worsening
ZANU PF chief negotiator Patrick Chinamasa and Mbeki\'s spokesman Mukoni
Ratshitanga were not immediately available for a response to Tsvangirai\'s
By Tichaona Sibanda
27 November 2008
There was drama in Johannesburg on Wednesday night when South African
authorities blocked MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai from leaving that country,
after he had signaled that talks between his party and ZANU PF were now
A highly placed source in the MDC told us Tsvangirai was scheduled to leave
Johannesburg for Morocco on Wednesday night but was astonished when
immigration officials at the airport denied him the right to exit the
country. The MDC leader was headed for Morocco to receive an award for his
fight for democracy. Several heads of state and other luminaries are
expected to be at the ceremony.
The MDC leadership is believed to have been shocked by this decision from
the South African authorities and was still trying to understand why they
blocked Tsvangirai from leaving. He frequently uses Johannesburg as a
springboard for flights to regional, continental and other world
destinations, because there are no direct flights to most of these areas
The party leadership in Johannesburg is of the view that authorities there
had wanted to confine him to that country in an attempt to force him to sign
the power-sharing deal.
'There is no other explanation. It raises suspicions that the moment he
signaled that talks had collapsed, the authorities try to block him from
leaving,' said an MDC insider.
It has emerged however that Tsvangirai is no longer in South Africa, after
he quietly sneaked out and is on his way to Morocco.
Tsvangirai has indicated that talks have stalled and the MDC want Mbeki
removed as the mediator, following a spat of acrimonious correspondence
between the two men.
The latest round of talks collapsed before they even started on Tuesday,
when Mbeki was pushing the MDC to agree to the power share deal, even though
it contained changes that were fraudulently by ZANU PF, without consultation
with the MDC. Changes that clearly help maintain power in Mugabe's hands.
When the MDC raised this issue with Mbeki last month, he promised them he
would take the necessary steps to ensure that Constitutional Amendment no 19
included the provisions contained in the agreement signed privately, on 11
September. But on Tuesday, Mbeki was singing a different tune, in an
apparent bid to let the ZANU PF altered text stand.
The MDC has been irked by Mbeki's refusal to accept responsibility, as the
mediator, for failing to ensure there was no alteration to the document.
MDC's chief negotiator at the talks, Tendai Biti, believes Mbeki doesn't
treat the issue of the fraudulent alteration of the document seriously.
Our source said the MDC will not sign the altered document and the situation
has been exacerbated by Mbeki's refusal to change the document to reflect
what was signed on 11th September.
'Whilst the mediator is not serious on this issue, the MDC will not move an
inch because it goes to the heart of whether there is sincerity on the part
of ZANU PF and whether Mbeki himself can be trusted as a mediator,' our
He added; 'For us this shows that ZANU PF can't be trusted and are not
sincere, and as for Mbeki, he is clearly biased towards ZANU PF and his
father Mugabe, that is why we are saying he must recuse himself, we have
endured a lot of abuse and disrespect from him.'
The MDC is also furious with Mbeki after he insulted Tsvangirai and Biti in
the letter that has sparked the latest controversy. Biti took special
exception to the insults that Mbeki threw at Tsvangirai, insults that are
the same as what ZANU PF says of the MDC leader and his party.
'Mbeki calls our President an idiot, unAfrican and a puppet and we can't
take that lightly, and this angered Biti.' our source added.
By Violet Gonda
26 November 2008
Retribution against political opponents is continuing in spite of the on
going negotiations to form a power sharing government between ZANU PF and
the two MDC parties.
The Tsvangirai MDC claim two more activists were abducted from their homes
on Tuesday night, while the 14 activists and a two year old baby are still
MDC MP and policy coordinator Eddie Cross said: "Last night (Tuesday) around
midnight one of the MDC's main security men was abducted from his home and
his whereabouts is unknown. It is reported that there was another MDC victim
was abducted last night but the identity has yet to be established."
Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa said that Chris Dlamini the MDC
Director for Security was abducted from his Harare home and is nowhere to be
found. It is reported that Dlamini is a former police officer who has been
working with MDC in various security portfolios, until early this year when
he was elevated to Director.
Muchemwa said the second abduction was in Norton, west of Harare. The name
of the victim has only been provided as Baba VaSarudzai.
Meanwhile, the police still have not produced the other 15 activists to
court despite High Court orders. They were abducted three weeks ago under a
ZANU PF code name Operation Ngatipedzenavo (Lets finish them off).
The Mugabe regime is accusing Botswana of harbouring MDC activists who are
planning resistance operation, accusations that have been strongly denied by
Botswana Foreign Minister Phandu Skelemani.
Responding to the allegations of harbouring MDC militia camps, Skelemani in
a recent BBC interview said: "It's a lie in fact and we have invited them to
come and they came last week - the Zimbabweans - to the Troika which was
meeting in Gaborone, and we said where is the evidence? You know what they
said? They said no, we have no evidence here let's go to Harare. The
evidence is the people who are incarcerated in Harare. Those are the people
who will tell the Troika where the training camps are. Our attitude? No, No,
no, show us the camps in Botswana, you can't show us the camps in Harare. We
want a physical pointing out. That's where they are, they have no evidence."
MDC officials believe the false accusations could be linked to the
By Lance Guma
27 November 2008
A day after Deputy Health Minister Edwin Muguti claimed the cholera epidemic
was under control, he made an apparent u-turn in telling journalists on
Thursday that the outbreak will worsen, 'with the onset of the rainy season.'
On Wednesday government refused to declare the outbreak a national disaster
despite independent reports putting the death toll at over 3000. With a
tight lid on the actual number of people affected the regime has only
confirmed the number dead at over 380 with around 9000 cases having been
treated. Water shortages and the unavailability of water treatment chemicals
have ensured the disease spreads rapidly.
Our correspondent Simon Muchemwa says the country has already experienced
significant rainfall in November and because of open sewage in the different
suburbs, cholera gems were spreading easily. Muchemwa spoke to a doctor
working for the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) who
confirmed that a few weeks ago they had already recorded more than 880
deaths from the epidemic countrywide. Muchemwa also told Newsreel that
government was determined not to face the humiliation of admitting they were
failing to deal with the crisis.
The disease meanwhile is also beginning to affect neighbouring South Africa.
On Thursday Durban's RK Khan Hospital confirmed it admitted two Zimbabwean
brothers last Sunday. They are currently conducting tests to detect the
disease. The two have been living and working in Durban but had visited
Zimbabwe from the 7th to the 21st of November. Many Zimbabweans have also
been traveling to South Africa seeking treatment for the disease. Several
border towns in South Africa have reported a total of 187 cholera cases and
3 deaths. Even truck drivers from Zambia and Mozambique have been affected.
Other South African provinces affected include Gauteng, Kwa Zulu Natal,
Mpumalanga and Western Cape.
While the Zimbabwean government plays politics over the cholera deaths,
Beitbridge Hospital alone reported 63 cholera deaths and is admitting an
alarming 200 patients per day. So bad is the situation South African health
officials have deployed their National Outbreak Response Team across the
border in Musina to deal with the influx of infected people. Health Minister
Barbara Hogan told journalists in Pretoria, additional doctors, nurses,
epidemiologists and medical supplies have been sent to the area and three
treatment tents were erected to deal with the outbreak at Musina Hospital.
Although South African officials say the outbreak is under control World
Health Organization representatives warned the disease could spread rapidly.
Thu Nov 27, 11:04 am ET
ABUJA (AFP) - Africa will not give up on Zimbabwe until its economic,
political and humanitarian crisis is peacefully resolved, Nigerian President
Umaru Yar'Adua vowed on Thursday.
"I assure you that the African Union will not relent until we see the end to
this crisis in Zimbabwe," Yar'Adua told reporters after talks with Zambia's
new President Rupiah Banda, who is on his first foreign visit since his
election last month.
"We discussed the crisis there (in Zimbabwe), especially the worsening
humanitarian crisis and seeming breakdown of negotiations in terms of
implementation of the (power-sharing) agreement signed," Yar'Adua added.
He said their talks focused on "ways in which both Nigeria and Zambia... can
play a role, to try to bring the implementation of the agreement signed to
fruition and how we can deal, within the context of the AU, with the
worsening humanitarian crisis."
A cholera outbreak has exploded across the country, killing almost 400
people at the last count.
Zimbabwe's shattered economy is struggling with the world's highest rate of
inflation, last estimated at 231 million percent in July.
Banda's predecessor, the late Levy Mwanawasa, once likened the state of
neighbouring Zimbabwe's economy to the "sinking Titanic."
News - Africa news
Abuja, Nigeria - Nigeria and Zambia have called for the implementation of
the power-sharing deal signed 15 September 2008 by Zimbabwe's political
parties, while expressing concern at the worsening humanitarian situation in
Nigeria's President Umaru Yar'Adua and his Zambian counterpart, Mr Rupiah
Bandah, made the call Thursday, after bilateral talks held in the capital
city of Abuja.
President Banda, making his first trip abroad since his election, arrived in
Nigeria earlier in the day on a one-day official visit and was received by
host President Yar'Adua at the foyer of his office at the Presidential
"We discussed ways that Nigeria and Zambia, especially Zambia being the
neighbour of Zimbabwe, can play a role to bring the implementation of the
agreement signed to fruition and how we can deal, within the context of the
African Union, with the worsening humanitarian crisis," President Yar'Adua
On the relationship between Nigeria and Zambia, President Banda called for
Nigeria's assistance in growing his economy, citing "what is happening in
Europe" as the reason for his country to look inwards within the African
President Bandah mentioned Nigeria as ''one of the few countries that have
invested in Zambia and shown keen interest to improve these investments.''
''We have for the first time a truly an African bank from Nigeria. And two
more banks will be coming to our country from Nigeria. We are also happy
that we have agreed on a major investment in the cement industry from a
Nigerian group," he said, calling on Nigerian businesses to come to Zambia
and take advantage of the facilities and the opportunities that exist in the
industrial, manufacturing and financial sector of the country.
Both leaders also discussed the need to convoke a bilateral commission and
to sign the various agreements that will enhance their relations.
On why he chose to make his first visit to Nigeria, President Banda said
"Nigeria and Zambia have always been very close friends.
''Although Nigeria is so far away from our region, Nigeria was one of the
few countries in Africa to become a frontline State. In other words, you
have a lot to do with the liberation of our continent, especially the hard
core southern part of the continent.
''Also, we are fortunate to have you as brothers and partners in development
because we have seen that your financial sector has established itself as
one of the best financial sectors in Africa. And your banks are recognised
worldwide as one of those properly regulated and with the capacity to grow
not only among themselves but our industries and economies.
''So, we choose deliberately to come here, as the first destination, because
we believe we are truly brothers and sisters. And we can do a lot together,"
The Zambian leader has since returned to his country.
Abuja - 27/11/2008
Zimbabwe has appealed for aid to fight its cholera epidemic, as the official
toll approached 400 and officials blamed the West for the spread of the
By Sebastien Berger Southern Africa Correspondent
Last Updated: 3:11PM GMT 27 Nov 2008
A day after he claimed that the situation was under control, Edwin Muguti,
the deputy health minister, said that the onset of the wet season could
accelerate the spread of the disease.
"With the coming of the rainy season, the situation could get worse," he
said. "Our problems are quite simple. We need to be assisted." He blamed
supposed Western sanctions on Zimbabwe for the outbreak.
"It's very regrettable that people are dying of cholera," he said on state
television. "Maybe the ones who created this situation have decided to kill
In fact, the EU has no economic sanctions against Zimbabwe, only measures
targeted at members and supporters of the regime.
Instead, years of chronic underinvestment and lack of maintenance in the
water systems by President Robert Mugabe's government, as its policies
destroyed the economy, have seen the infrastructure collapse.
In much of the country, drinking water is not treated, with sewage flowing
in the streets in places, creating the conditions for the epidemic.
So far 9,363 cases have been reported, Mr Muguti said, with 386 deaths.
China, one of Mr Mugabe's longest-standing allies, said it would donate
$500,000 (£333,000)-worth of vaccines to Zimbabwe.
Mr Mugabe himself, though, left the country to attend an international
development conference in Qatar.
The rapid spread of the waterborne disease is attributed to a confluence of events that have created the perfect storm, in which a disease described by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as "easily treatable", is thriving.
The collapse of municipal services, such as potable water, refuse collection and sanitation in the past few years, a health service hamstrung by an annual inflation rate that the government has estimated at 231 million percent, and the onset of the rainy season, have all conspired to officially kill about 300 people and infect thousands more.
The eastern province of Manicaland is so far the only place not to have recorded any official cholera deaths. "The cholera outbreak has taken a national dimension. Newer outbreaks are reported from all the provinces," said a situational report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
"The spatial distribution of outbreaks will most likely continue to expand, as well as the number of people infected as the water and sanitation [services] worsen, with severe water shortages, sewage and waste disposal problems reported in most densely populated areas. The starting of the rains further raises alarm levels," the report said.
Warnings by the UN and other relief agencies that Zimbabwe was facing a humanitarian crisis, on top of acute food shortages - expected to peak in the first quarter of 2009, when nearly half the country's 12 million population will require emergency food aid - were dismissed by President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF government.
"The situation is under control," Deputy Health Minister Edwin Muguti told an international news agency on 27 November, although the government was reportedly appealing to regional governments for body bags.
Efforts to contain the spread of the disease across international borders have failed, with victims seeking assistance from neighbouring countries, particularly the continent's economic powerhouse, South Africa.
Neighbouring countries feel the effects
About 1,000 victims have received rehydration treatment at the South African border post of Beitbridge in recent weeks, according to local reports.
Barbara Hogan, South Africa's health minister, told local media on 26 November that an emergency medical response team, including nurses, epidemiologists and medical supplies, had been sent to the Zimbabwe border.
Given the scale of the
outbreak, the weakened health system in Zimbabwe and the extent of cross-border
movement of people ... all aspects of our interventions need to be scaled up,
and a renewed sense of urgency [is required] to deal with this outbreak
She dismissed claims by Zimbabwean authorities that the cholera situation was under control, as there was "no recognised government".
Zambian authorities have put medical services in Southern Province, which borders Zimbabwe, on high alert, health ministry spokesman Canicius Banda told IRIN, although there have been no recorded incidents of cholera in the province.
"We are not leaving anything to chance. We are screening all Zimbabwean nationals crossing into Zambia and, should anyone be found with cholera, our health workers will treat them," Banda said.
"We have health workers at all the three border posts [with Zimbabwe] ... our health workers are very much alert in case of any possible [cholera] outbreak," he said. "All the  districts in the province have epidemic preparedness committees which run all year round; these have also been put on alert."
Zambia shares three border posts with its southern neighbour at Chirundu, Kariba and Kazungula, in the country's tourism capital, Livingstone.
"We are also carrying out random inspections of all foodstuffs, such as meat at the market places, to ensure that the products sold are of high standards," Banda said.
Since the onset of the rainy season, Zambia has recorded about 1,000 cholera cases in its northern regions and the capital, Lusaka; there have been nine confirmed fatalities.
The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR), which advocates the right to care and protection from abuse, told media organisations on 26 November that the country's cholera death toll was probably much greater as a consequence of the collapse of health services, because many hundreds of deaths were not recorded when people died in their homes.
One in ten fatality rate
ZADHR Chairman Dr Douglas Gwadziro said figures "are pointing towards a 10 percent death rate of those that have been affected by cholera", although the waterborne intestinal infection causing acute diarrhoea and vomiting, which can cause death from dehydration within 24 hours, could be easily treated with dehydration salts.
Figures are pointing towards a
10 percent death rate of those that have been affected by cholera
However, when the vaccines arrive, distribution and administration may be complicated by industrial action in the health services. Health workers have defied a government order to return to work, and said they would only comply with government demands in 2009 if concerns about their remuneration were addressed.
Nurses are demanding better salaries to cope with hyperinflation estimated by independent economists to be billions of percent annually, and exemption from the Z$500,000 (US$0.25) daily maximum cash withdrawal from banks because they are "essential" personnel.
The average one-way commuter fare in the capital, Harare, is about Z$1 million (US$0.50), if there is cash available.
Doctors working in the public health services are also refusing to return to work unless the government pegs their salary to a monthly equivalent of US$2,500.
Lovemore Matombo, president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), the country's largest union federation, said the growing trend of government to sanction the use of foreign currency by retail outlets prejudiced both government employees and other workers, although less than 20 percent of people were employed in the formal economy.
"It does not make sense for the government to say traders can sell commodities in foreign currency, while it pays its workers in local currency which they cannot get from the bank," Matombo told IRIN.
"Calls by workers that they should be paid in foreign currency are legitimate because almost all outlets are providing services using the US dollar denomination," he said.
"If the government acknowledges that its currency is useless by allowing traders to sell in US dollars, why does it want the workers to receive the useless and worthless local currency?"
|Thursday, 27 November 2008|
Only God can save them… Cholera patients admitted at a Health center with dilapidated furniture, without enough medical staff and medication
MBARE - David Samukange, the Chairperson of the MRT says the impact of the cholera outbreak that has hit Harare, including Mbare calls for coherent responses by all concerned, including the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, NGOs and policymakers. .
“What is most shocking during these trying times is the lack of information reaching the residents. People fall sick, and eventually die but they are unsure of the cause of death except to be told that it is cholera. Residents lack the information to detect the symptoms.
“The residents are frightened. The water ZINWA continues to supply is smelly, and has a greenish colour that makes it unfriendly to drink. ZINWA does not properly communicate its water demand management programmes, inconveniencing business, industry and domestic users.
This is a national disaster and must be given a priority response.”
Analysis of the cholera outbreak and its impact on Residents:
While the City Health Department, the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Unicef and other organisations have united in response to this outbreak, they have left out a key partner- the resident. This shortcoming is inherent in all policy issues relating to citizens’ health and welfare. The residents bodies have constantly pointed out the shortcomings of ZINWA in dealing with water management and sewer reticulation systems but all these issues have been disregarded.
As the MRT, our concern is that the old saying that ‘prevention is better than cure’ is being completely ignored by the policy makers at local and national level. We believe that the important intervention strategy that would safeguard the interests of the residents in Harare is a paradigm shift in policy interventions. Residents are a major stakeholder in all this. The policy makers- the Members of Parliament, Councillors and service providers should realize that they cannot achieve much on their own without facilitating the greater involvement of the residents, business and industry. Our advocacy remains on the side of the residents. ‘If we can’t serve the residents then we can’t serve the MPs and councillors’.
Citizenship participation in governance:
The MRT urges the MPs and Councillors to demonstrate their capacity to mobilize the masses at grassroots level and inspire them to confront evil through democratic means. It is time to engage the citizens at all levels without hiding behind the impossibility of the situation as represented by the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).
Our legitimate representatives should be on the side of the marginalized communities now than ever. The crisis list is long with health, corruption, economy and political liberties as key priorities. They have to devise methods of collective strategic responses without further delay. We the electorate will judge them harshly if they fail to realize our significance in this situation. The vendors, widows, business and industry look up to them for guidance.
Available options include mobilizing resources like wheelbarrows, spades, brooms and gloves for widespread weekly clean-ups to ensure a clean health environment in densely populated suburbs.
For comments contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0912 751 228.
Thursday, 27 November 2008
A 28-year-old Zimbabwean medical student speaks to the BBC about the cholera outbreak that has killed more than 360 people in the country since August
He describes his visit to two areas in and around the capital, Harare, that have been worst affected by the crisis.
I just came back from Budiriro suburb and the city of Chitungwiza near Harare, and the situation there is really desperate and critical.
At a clinic in Budiriro they were trying to treat hundreds of people.
There were so many that they had to lie them down outside.
While I was there perhaps 150 more people arrived looking for treatment.
The people arriving look extremely weak and dehydrated.
They could barely stand, and many came being wheeled in wheelbarrows.
They had to string up washing lines outside the clinic to hang the packets of intravenous fluid.
They lay on the floor while the tubes were inserted into their arms.
But these people were lucky.
Health workers at the clinic told me that until the day before they had no intravenous fluid.
The clinic had a delivery from an aid agency that day.
I don't know how long their supplies will last.
'Held to ransom'
In Chitungwiza we saw that sewer pipes had burst, releasing sewage into the street.
It was like a river flowing through the town, it just went on and on.
The stink was like a disgusting toilet.
I worry especially for the children, they're most at risk because they play in the street with all the sewage, and don't know how bad it is for them.
The cause of these bursting pipes is the lack of maintenance and repairs.
As time has gone on the people who were meant to be doing this have not been paid, or have deserted their jobs to do other work that can get them foreign currency.
And so the sanitation system has broken down.
In Harare itself people have avoided the disease, so far.
In other part of Harare the sanitation systems are still working, for the time being, but it's a very communicable disease and it is spreading quickly.
Doctors and nurses I speak to say they feel like they are being held to ransom by the government.
They're not being paid, they must work voluntarily to deal with this disease.
They are really very disgruntled.
They say they are just a few people holding back a tide of disease.
If we don't get some help soon it's going to be very tough.
By Violet Gonda
The crisis in Zimbabwe's educational sector continues and students continue
to be at the receiving end of ZANU PF led incompetence. Most lecturers and
teachers have not been going to schools and universities because of poor
salaries and work conditions, but students have had no choice but to pay
school fees and write end of year exams.
This is in spite of the fact that the authorities have not been able to run
smooth examinations. Our correspondent Lionel Saungweme said this has
resulted in some institutions like the Bulawayo Polytechnic College
cancelling some exams.
He reports that on Wednesday students at the College were unable to write
their first exams, after their exams had been suspended. Ironically, the
first subjects that the students were sitting for were the controversial
National Strategic Studies and the Entrepreneurial Skills Development
These subjects were made compulsory by the Mugabe regime in 2002 and have
become part of the curriculum for all teachers and technical colleges and
foistered on students. However the National Strategic Studies in particular
has become very unpopular, because of the content of the subject.
Saungweme said in Bulawayo lecturers he spoke to complain about this course,
which is completely biased towards ZANU PF.
He said: "The content only includes the mention of Nyadzonya and Chimoio in
the battles that were fought by ZANLA. No mention is made of Freedom Camp
and the other camps in Zambia. Nothing is mentioned of Angola where ZIPRA
and ZAPU were kept under the refuge of Agostinho Neto the former President
of Angola. And no mention is also made of the massacres of ZIPRA cadres in
Tanzania, where ZANLA and Chinese instructors actually combined to shoot
ZIPRA cadres in the trenches. So people complain bitterly about this."
Saungweme added: "In previous exams students were also being asked who is
selling out to the British? And students were being conditioned to say that
the enemy is Morgan Tsvangirai."
It is understood that the suspension of the exams is also compounded by the
lack of preparedness by the educational authorities and it is not known if
this will affect other exams that are supposed to continue this week.
27th Nov 2008 16:43 GMT
By a Correspondent
BULAWAYO - The Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has said the
chaos in the running of this year's public examinations has vindicated its
call, made last month, for the government to postpone the final tests.
Raymond Majongwe, PTUZ secretary general said because of the chaotic
situation, his organisation has written a letter to the Ministry of
Education, Sport and Culture suggesting that all pupils who are writing
public examinations now, repeat their classes next year.
"The government must learn to listen and respect stakeholders," he said.
"It does not help for them to hide their heads in the sand when it was clear
in the first place that the system was not ready to hold credible final
examinations. It is chaos all over the country because we have reports which
show that there is a widespread shortage of examination papers. We have
information that because of the shortage, some pupils are having to share
examination papers, while in some cases, those who write examinations in the
morning are detained and only released after the second groups have started
He added that some schools have to photocopy question papers to ensure that
every examination-writing pupil gets one. In other cases, he said,
examinations are being postponed because of the absence of question papers.
"How can that be said to be a reputable exam process? That puts a big dent
on our education system."
Two months ago the PTUZ asked the government to postpone the writing of
final examinations saying the nationwide shortage of teachers, lack of
preparedness on the part of the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council
(ZIMSEC), which runs the examinations, made it impossible for the country to
manage a credible exam process.
Indeed on the eve of the start of examinations mid last month, the
government made an unprecedented public announcement ordering all junior and
middle level civil servants to surrender their official vehicles to enable
ZIMSEC to transport exam materials to schools.
Because of delays in transporting materials such as scanner sheets and
candidate numbers, pupils never had enough time to learn to fill in answers
(on scanner sheets) for multiple choice questions as is the norm.
To add to the chaos, most teachers who are invigilating the exam-writing
process are demanding payment from students sometimes in foreign currency
after the government failed to pay them.
Teachers at Eveline Girls High School in Bulawayo, for instance, recently
confiscated shoes from some Form Four pupils who were writing an English
Language examination because they had failed to pay $300 000 each in
Zimbabwe's education was once the envy of the world but the prevailing
economic crisis has left schools without teachers and the most basic
learning and teaching materials like chalk, furniture and bond paper.
Because of the absence of teachers, some schools have completely closed.
"I know that our parents love their children and value their education,"
said Majongwe. "So I call upon them to make sure that their children who are
writing examinations this year must repeat the classes they are in this
year. We have also communicated that to the government after our management
committee unanimously agreed that the examination process this year was a
Thursday, 27 November 2008
The number of children going to school regularly in Zimbabwe has fallen dramatically from 90% to 20%, a senior UN relief official says.
Catherine Bragg said many teachers were not being paid and could not afford to travel to work.
She warned Zimbabwe's humanitarian crisis would worsen.
Meanwhile, it is reported that power-sharing talks have stalled because of insults traded between the opposition and mediator Thabo Mbeki.
Representatives of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change and President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF had resumed talks in South Africa earlier in the week.
At a news conference in New York, Ms Bragg called for "massive" international assistance for Zimbabwe.
In addition to the cholera outbreak, which has killed more than 360 people since August, she said there has also been a breakdown in both the health and education sectors.
“For a country that used to have over 90% school attendance, now we're seeing less than 20%,” she said.
As well as teachers not being able to afford to work, students were required to make payments in kind, including food, which they did not have, she said.
Zimbabwe used to have one of the best education systems in Africa.
Earlier, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said the cholera outbreak was "the greatest threat ever to face" the country.
Mr Tsvangirai is in South Africa to attend the talks, which are reported to be making little progress.
A letter from South Africa's former leader Mr Mbeki, who negotiated September's deal between the MDC and Zanu-PF, has been leaked to the press.
In a 10-page response dated 22 November to the MDC questioning his impartiality, he accused the opposition of not respecting Africa leaders and paying too much heed to the West, South Africa's Business Day newspaper reports.
"It may be that, for whatever reason, you consider our region and continent as being of little consequence to the future of Zimbabwe, believing that others further away, in western Europe and North America, are of greater importance," Mr Mbeki wrote in the letter also quoted on the ZimOnline news agency website.
He said the MDC had denounced regional leaders as "cowards".
"Such manner of proceeding might earn you prominent media headlines. However, I assure you that it will do nothing to solve the problems of Zimbabwe," Mr Mbeki said.
On Wednesday, Mr Tsvangirai repeated calls for Mr Mbeki to go as mediator.
"He does not appear to understand how desperate the problem in Zimbabwe is, and the solutions he proposes are too small," Mr Tsvangirai said in a statement, AFP news agency reports.
"He is not serving to bring the parties together because he does not understand what needs to be done."
November 27, 2008
By Our Correspondent
BULAWAYO - In a bid to preempt the revival of PF-Zapu, President Robert
Mugabe, the leader of Zanu-PF is expected in Bulawayo on Sunday for a
crucial meeting with executive committee members of Zanu-PF Bulawayo
Province who are believed to be behind the revival of the former
Zanu-PF and PF-Zapu leaders signed a unity agreement in 1987 after Mugabe
unleashed Korean trained 5 Brigade troops who went on the rampage under the
Gukurahundi operation, killing thousands of innocent civilians in the
Matabeleland region. They accused them of supporting anti-government
However, there has been conflict over the past two months in the Zanu-PF
Bulawayo province as the provincial leaders who are former PF-Zapu members
have accused Mugabe and his Zanu-PF of side-lining the Matabeleland region
and resolved to break away from the party.
Former fighters of ZIPRA the armed wing of PF-Zapu during Zimbabwe's war of
liberation, also announced in August that they had broken away from the
mainstream Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) to
form the ZIPRA Veterans Association led by Retired Colonel Ray Ncube.
In October the ex-combatants convened a meeting in White City Stadium in
Bulawayo. They invited Vice President Joseph Msika to address them. Msika
turned down the invitation at the last minute after some senior Zanu-PF
officials informed him that the meeting was a platform for the revival of
PF- Zapu, the late Dr Joshua Nkomo's former opposition party.
Msika was the vice president of PF-Zapu.
However a top Zanu-PF official in Bulawayo, who spoke on condition
anonymity, told The Zimbabwe Times yesterday that at a politburo meeting on
Tuesday it had been decided that Mugabe travel to Bulawayo this weekend to
seek an audience with the PF-Zapu leadership in a bid to resolve problems
with potential to split Zanu-PF weeks ahead of its annual conference
scheduled to be held in Bindura in August.
"We have sought the interference of President Mugabe in Bulawayo because the
centre can no longer hold. Things have fallen apart. The politburo on
Tuesday came up with the recommendation that the president face his people
and solve the problem," said the Zanu-PF official.
The source said Mugabe would meet party members especially the "rebels" said
to be seeking to revive PF-Zapu.
"The President is expected to meet the people in the provincial executive
committee who are behind the revival of Zapu," he said.
Sikhanyiso Ndlovu a Zanu-PF politburo member and Mugabe loyalist who is
also the party's Information and Publicity Minister confirmed that Mugabe,
who is currently in Doha, Qatar for the United Nations Conference on
Finance, will be in Bulawayo on Sunday to meet the party's provincial
leadership but he refused to give any details about the agenda of the
"What I can only say at the moment is that the President will be in Bulawayo
this weekend probably on Sunday for a meeting with party leaders in the
province," said Ndlovu.
Senior members of Zanu-PF Bulawayo Province who are believed to be behind
revival of PF-Zapu are the chairman Mcleod Tshawe, Effort Nkomo (secretary
for information and publicity) and Tryphine Nhliziyo (secretary for
HARARE, NOVEMBER 27 - Seven prisoners have succumbed to Cholera at the
congested Harare Remand Prison, according to sources at the prison.
Speaking strictly on condition they are not named for fear of
victimisation by the prison authorities, the officials said the situation
was precarious at the crowded and tick-infested prisons with more than 100
inmates showing symptoms of the water-borne disease independent health
authorities claim has killed more than 3 000 people since it was first
detected in September.
"In the past two days we have recorded seven deaths due to cholera at
Harare Remand Prison," said the senior official.
"More deaths will certainly occur because we have about 100 inmates
diagnosed with the disease. They are in critical condition, as the prison
hospital has no resources and drugs to treat them. A few have been taken to
Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital," he said.
The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, in a statement, also confirmed that
it has received a report about the death of seven prisoners at Harare Remand
David Parirenyatwa, the minister of health and Child Welfare, however,
expressed ignorance about the deaths at the prison but said the government
was working around the clock to contain the Cholera epidemic.
"We are doing everything in our power to avert further deaths," said
Parirenyatwa. "Our teams are on the ground to mitigate the situation," he
The government says about 300 people have died as a result of the
cholera outbreak blamed on poor sanitation and water reticulation system.
Most suburbs in Zimbabwe have gone for more than six months without
water while in others sewerage flows through the streets, which have
attracted large swarms of green flies, worms and maggots.
Meanwhile, the cholera outbreak has spread to the city of Gweru where,
according to sources, nine lives have been lost since Monday in Mkoba
In Masvingo 47 deaths have been recorded as a result of the cholera
and hunger outbreak in the province, it has been learnt.
According to reports collected from the seven districts of the
province, Cholera alone has killed 22 people while hunger related illnesses
have also claimed 25 lives.
Cholera has seriously affected Chivi and Mwenezi districts. Officials
from the Provincial Medical Director (PMD) office who declined to be named
said five people died at Mhandamahwe, four died at Ngundu, two in Manyuchi
area in Mwenezi, two at Mushandike, two at Mashava, another two died at
Lundi, three died at Machawira in Gutu while one died at Nemanwa Growth
It is however believed figures revealed by officials at PMD's office
might be half of the actual number. More than 500 people were treated for
Cholera at several health centers in the province.
While villagers are struggling to survive Cholera's hard blow, people
are continuing to die due to lack of food and other hunger related diseases
such as Kwashiorkor. The most affected district is Gutu.
Speaking to The Voice of People this week, Member of Parliament (MP)
for Gutu North Mr Edmore Maramwidze Hamandishe said people in his
constituency were in dire need of food aid.
"It is disheartening to wake up and here that two or three more people
died due to lack of food. People are dying. The situation is very bad and as
I am speaking I am going to attend a funeral service, a man called Takaidzwa
Mapondera died of hunger in ward 8.
"There are several casualties in my area. As leaders we are very
worried because we are not aware of when the people would receive food aid,"
said Mr Hamandishe.
An average of two people are said to be dying in each district on
weekly basis. Masvingo has seven official districts. All MDC-T MPs in
Masvingo confirmed the issue while Zanu PF MPs said they were still
verifying with local authorities.
HARARE, November 27 2008 - President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday left
Zimbabwe to attend the United Nations International Conference on Financing
for Development to review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus to
be held in Doha, Qatar, as the country battles a decade long economic
recession amid withdrawal of donor funding and other lines of credit.
The state controlled Herald on Thursday revealed that Mugabe was
accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Industry and
International Trade Minister Obert Mpofu and other senior Government
"The Doha conference, which will be officially opened by UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday, is a follow-up to the one held in
Monterrey, Mexico, in March 2002. The conference drew over 50 Heads of State
and Government and over 200 ministers of finance, foreign affairs,
development and trade along with the heads of the UN, the International
Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation and prominent
business leaders, among other stakeholders.
Big powers made aid commitments at the last conference along with
agreements on debt relief, fighting corruption and policy coherence.
The outcome of the 2002 conference, commonly known as the Monterrey
Consensus, has become the reference point for international development
"The Consensus encompasses six areas of financing for development,
namely: Mobilising domestic financial resources for development; mobilising
international resources for development, foreign direct investment and other
private flows; international trade as an engine for development; increasing
international financial and technical co-operation for development; external
debt; and addressing systemic issues, enhancing the coherence and
consistency of the international monetary, financial and trading systems in
support of development,' reported the Herald.
Economic analysts have indicated that aid is vital to the recovery of
Zimbabwe's once vibrant economy, but will only come if a new inclusive
government speedily adopts "comprehensive and workable frameworks" to
address the dire economic straits prevailing.
Zimbabwe's main political rivals - President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF
party and the two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), led
by Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutumbara - signed a power-sharing deal on
15 September that, which is hoped, will turn around the economic and
political misfortunes that have plagued the country for nearly a decade.
The collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar has seen government sanction the
use of foreign currency as legal tender; shortages of basic foods, fuel and
electricity are commonplace, unemployment is above 80 percent, and the UN
estimates that 5.1 million people, nearly half the population, will require
food assistance in the first quarter of 2009.
The European Union, the US and Australia have adopted a wait-and-see
approach to the deal before agreeing to lift "smart sanctions" targeting
Mugabe and more than 100 other associates, or releasing a rescue package
said to be valued at more than US$1 billion.
The political settlement calls for the signatories to "work together
to secure international support and finance for the land reform programme",
and to "work together for the restoration of full productivity on all
The African Development Bank and the World Bank have indicated that
that they are prepared to provide assistance after assesing the direction on
the new government, which however seems unlikely to be in place anytime soon
as the stalemate between the rival parties continues.
APA-Maputo (Mozambique) Mozambique on Thursday arrested two Pakistan
nationals trying to smuggle US$225 million in cash into Zimbabwe at
Machipanda border post in central Manica Province, Radio Mozambique reported
Quoting police officials, the state-controlled broadcaster said the money
was starched in an old sack in the boot of a light vehicle when police and
customs officials pounced on the vehicle while conducting routine checks.
The two Pakistanis did not reveal the purpose of the money but said they
were going to Zimbabwe to update their residence permits in Mozambique since
their diplomatic representation is based there.
Police spokesman in Manica Province, Pedro Jamusse, told the broadcaster
that this is the first ever apprehension of such large sums of money after
Machipanda boarder became notorious for illegal foreign currency transits.
\"This is a huge apprehension, it's a lot of money and we are still
investing where it (the money) is coming from and its final destination. So
far we have beefed up joint security operation to protect the money now in
the hands of the customs department and the ministry of finance," Jamusse
Mozambique only allows a maximum of US$5000 to go through its boarders,
ports and airports and undeclared money reverts to state coffers upon
Television footages showed the US$100 packs of notes starched into an old
sack in the boot of a light five-seat vehicle.
Machipanda boarder post has in the recent past became the hive of
foreign-currency business trading centre as thousands of desperate
Zimbabweans flock to Manica and Chimoio to buy groceries, which are far
cheaper than those found across in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabweans have swamped shops in Manica and Chimoio where basic
commodities, including fuel, are loaded onto trucks.
The Presidency of the Council of the European Union deeply regrets that Kofi
Annan, Jimmy Carter and Graça Machel, who had planned to conduct a
humanitarian mission to assess the situation in Zimbabwe last weekend, were
unable to travel there. The information that this mission could have
provided to the international community, on behalf of the Elders, founded by
Nelson Mandela, would have been particularly useful at a time when the
humanitarian situation is deteriorating at an alarming rate.
Over half of Zimbabwe's population is today dependent on food aid, 80% of
the population lives precariously, one child in four has lost one or both
parents to AIDS, and the deterioration of infrastructure, particularly
medical, has led to the outbreak of cholera, resulting in almost 300 deaths
thus far. Given this context, an assessment of the humanitarian situation
was not only necessary but also critical.
The Presidency of the Council of the European Union is worried by the
standoff that has been affecting negotiations for over two months now. It
supports the mediation of the SADC and hopes that it will enable the
formation of a government reflecting the popular vote as democratically
expressed during the 29 March elections. It encourages the African Union and
the UN as members of the reference group to pursue their mission to promote
a credible solution to this crisis.
The European Union has repeatedly reaffirmed its commitment to the people of
Zimbabwe and its willingness, once it has guarantees on the restoration of
the rule of law and the respect for human rights, to adopt together
important measures that should result in the consolidation of democracy and
ensure the country's economic and social recovery.
This has a private source that I cannot disclose, but the person who has
done this research has professional intelligence training and lives in the
region with excelent contacts throughout. I can confirm other deals such as
the BBR and the New Limpopo Bridge Company as well as contracts invoving oil
trade that have directly benefitted both ruling Parties and individuals in
leadership in regional States, these are not covered in the analysis below
and could be included.
As part of an effort by the MDC to disrupt the flow of cash to Mr. Mugabe's
regime I have been researching some of the financial interests of Zanu (PF)
and its top leadership.
Those interests seem to network strongly with senior politicians in The
Congo, Angola, Namibia, Malawi and South Africa. All of these countries
support Mugabe and are vocal in Africa opposing any deal that might
compromise Mugabe. Mugabe's right hand man in The Congo, Billy Rautenbach
stands accused of bribing South Africa's Police Commissioner. Interestingly
Mbeki has done all he can to stop the investigation, including sacking the
Director of The National Prosecution Authority, arresting the man
investigating Selebi and disbanding the elite anti corruption squad; The
Below I list a summary of my research. Unfortunately I have to start with a
brief summary of The Congo wars to understand the current military and
financial forces in Southern Africa at present.
Let's start the story in August 1998.
Laurent Kabila (Senior), the newly installed leader of The Democratic
Republic of The Congo is in big trouble . The D.R.C. was previously called
Zaire under Mobutu's reign. Kabila had only overthrown Mobutu a year before
and had only managed that with the help of Rwanda's disciplined RPF forces
and the Ugandan military. Rwanda had invaded Zaire/The Congo to pursue the
genocidal Hutu Interhamwe militias who were continuing their genocide
against Tutsis in the Congolese areas surrounding Rwanda. But the Rwandan
forces did not stop there and in association with Kabila conquered the rest
of The Congo, including the mineral rich Katanga Province.
Kabila was initially hailed as a savior in The Congo having finally rid the
Congolese of Mobutu's tyrannical regime which had plundered the country for
decades. It soon became apparent however that Kabila was every bit as bad
and corrupt as Mobutu. He was also having problems with internal rebellions
and the fact that the Ugandan and Rwandan forces were showing no signs of
leaving The Congo. Far from leaving they were consolidating their control of
the vital mineral rich Katanga province. In August 1998 he ordered that the
Ugandan and Rwandan forces leave The Congo along with all ethnically Tutsi
The Rwandans and Ugandans replied by sending more troops to overthrow
Kabila. This started the Second Congo war in which 5.4 million people died
making it the deadliest war since the Second World War. The Ugandan and
Rwandan backed rebels had quick and dramatic victories over Kabila's forces
and within two weeks it seemed he would be ousted imminently.
On April 19, Kabila flew to Harare and met Mugabe who at that time was
heading SADC's Organ on Politics and Defence. Three Three SADC countries;
Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia came to his immediate rescue. They were later
joined by Sudan and Libya. It is alleged that Kabila signed $200 million
worth of deals with Mugabe.
Once the Katanga province had been secured by Mugabe and Kabila's forces,
Mugabe and Mnangagwa insisted that Billy Rautenbach lead Gecamines, Congo's
state's mining company. Through Operation Sovereign Legitimacy (OSLEG) the
Zimbabwean military involved itself in all sorts of mining deals. These are
well documented in a UN report.
Namibian President Sam Nujoma also secured many contracts for his own
businesses and those of his family. They remain heavily involved in The
Congo's mining activity. Namibians worth investigating include The Permanent
Secretary for Defence, Erastus Negona, T . Lamec, David Shimuuino, Army
Chief Major General Shalli, Deputy Police Commissioner Fritz Nghiishililiwa
and Police Inspector General Raonga Andima.
The Angolans grabbed the opportunity to invade their enemy UNITA's bases
within the Congo. Until then UNITA had been involved in an illegal diamond
scheme estimated to be worth about $500 million a year by De Beers. This
then came under the possession on senior Angolan generals and politicians.
The Angolans are listed second only to Zimbabwe in corruption lists of
Southern Africa. In 2004 Human Rights Watch said that $4 billion was missing
from the government's finances. "Angolagate" is shocking because it involved
senior French Government officials, not least of whom was incumbent
President Mitterrand's son, Jean Charles Mitterand. Jacques Jacques Chirac's
knowledge of the deal is implicated too. Mitterand, Minister Pasqua and
others were convicted in 2004 of tax evasion. In 2007 an investigative
magistrate recently been indicted 42 people including Mitterand and Minister
On the issue of presidents sons, I have been unable to link Simon Mann and
Mark Thatcher's attempted coup to any particular African politician. The
fact that they landed in Harare for their arms makes it extremely likely
that some Zanu politicians were involved before the deal turned sour. Both
Thatcher and Rautenbach, and Rautenbach's son, are rally drivers.
So much for Zimbabwe, The DRC, Angola and Namibia. The story now jumps to
May 2007 and to Pretoria, South Africa.
South Africa had an elite anti corruption investigative unit called The
Scorpions. The Scorpions consisted of 2000 of the best police, financial,
forensic and intelligence experts in South Africa. They came into being
after the passing of The National Prosecuting Authority Act, 32 of 1998.
This was one of Mandela's last projects before he stepped down in 1999. The
Scorpions answered to the Head of The National Prosecuting Authority, not to
The Commissioner of Police.
When Mandela took over in South Africa he appointed a professional
Policeman, George Fivaz, as his Commissioner of Police. Mbeki replaced him
Jackie Selebi who had no police experience whatsoever but was a trusted ANC
man. He has been described as "the gatekeeper" of the ANC ; privy to all
it's financial dealings. It appears that in 1999, as Mandela stepped down,
South Africa involved itself in a controversial arms deal totaling $US4.8
billion. It appears over $200 million was paid in bribes. The Scorpions were
investigating increasingly more senior members of The ANC about the deal.
Names included Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma, Zuma's financial adviser Schabir
Shaik, his brother Chippy Shaik and Joe Modise, founder of the ANC's
military wing and then minister of defence.
The Scorpions brought a successful prosecution against Schabir Shaik, Zuma's
financial adviser. Shaik was given two 15 year imprisonment sentences. The
Scorpions then turned their attention to Jacob Zuma, then Deputy President.
Zuma's house was raided repeatedly. On 28 December 2007 The Scorpions served
Zuma an indictment to stand trial in The High Court on counts of
racketeering, money laundering, corruption and fraud.
During 2007 the Scorpions started to become concerned about Jackie Selebi,
Mbeki's Commissioner of Police.
Selebi, it turns out, had been up to all sorts of unsavory business. His
personal friend Glenn Angliotti turned out to be a mafia kingpin and drug
dealer. Selebi claims they never discussed Agliotti's criminal activities
but does admit to warning him of a British Intelligence request for
information about him. Agliotti funded Selebi to the tune of about $170 000.
Part of this funding was used to successfully lobby for Selebi's appointment
as head of Interpol. Interestingly Zimbabwe's Police Commissioner Augustine
Chihuri has also had senior positions in Interpol. The senior Interpol
positions are said to be useful in covering international money laundering
and corruption tracks.
Among many other charges of corruption it is alleged that Selebi, in full
police uniform, met Billy Rautenbach's lawyer and accepted US$ 40 000 to
have the corruption charges against Billy Rautenbach dropped. Besides being
Mnangagwa's right hand man, it turns out that Billy Rautenbach had many
other financial projects. One of them was a transport company called "Wheels
of Africa" which dominated SADC transport, especially up to The Congo.
Through this he also had the exclusive deal for Sub Saharan Africa for Volvo
and Saab. But it wasn't for his Volvo and Saab trucks that he got into
trouble but rather his part in the sale of 35 BAe Saab/Volvo Gripen fighter
planes which he allegedly sold to The South African government at the hugely
inflated price of $65 million per plane (their real value was probably about
Rautenbach's company Camtec acquired the Bougai and Kironde platinum
concessions in Zimbabwe in April this year with an alleged payment of $100
million to a Zanu chef.
Mbeki's response to the charges laid out in front of him in May 2007 by the
National Prosecuting Authority boss Vusi Pikoli against Police Commissioner
Selebi was astonishing.
Instead of doing anything about Selebi, Mbeki in fact sacked the National
Prosecuting Authority boss Vusi Pikoli, saying that there had been an
irretrievable breakdown in the professional relationship of Vusi Pikoli and
the Minister for Justice. The Scorpion Policeman investigating Commissioner
Selebi, Gerric Nel, then found himself arrested on charges of "perverting
the course of Justice."
The National Prosecuting Authority is still trying to pursue the case but
fears the case will fall apart as The South African Police Service refuses
to hand over vital documents on "security grounds". These include the
details of Rautenbach's deal. Mbeki caused a stir last week by extending
Jacki Selebi's contract.
Mbeki has since had the Scorpions disbanded.
The most damning evidence though comes from The ANC's own Andrew Feinstein.
Feinstein was head of The ANC's Parliamentary Public Accounts watchdog
SCOPA. He was shocked when he tried to launch an investigation into the
affair and was told that there was a financier, close to Mbeki and Zuma, who
was off limits to his investigation. Feinstein resigned in disgust and wrote
a book " After The Party" which has scandalized South African and
international political commentators.
In view of these allegations listed above I believe the world should be very
circumspect of any deals Mbeki negotiates. especially in mineral rich areas
such as Darfur.
The story now moves to Blantyre, Malawi where President Mutharika astounded
Malawian journalists last week when he told them to stop the negative
reporting about Mugabe and Zimbabwe. He has since said he recognizes Mugabe
as Zimbabwe's legitimate President. His brother and Vice President Peter
Mutharika attended Mugabe's inauguration ceremony. Mutharika has many
suspect ties with Mugabe's regime. He has diverted huge amounts (300 000
tonnes) of maize to Zanu PF, most recently during the just passed Zimbabwean
election. There has been no entry in Malawian National Food Reserves
Agency's regarding these deals. Similarly he has supplied Mugabe with fuel
and also tear gas which killed 11 Zimbabweans in a single incident in 2005.
Interestingly Mutharika has a farm in Zimbabwe, which is guarded by Mugabe's
Mutharika's past also merits some investigation. He was sacked when he was
Secretary General of COMESA in 1995 for stealing money and diverting it to
his Zimbabwean farm. He came to power in Malawi as The UDF's presidential
candidate after the incumbent, Muluzi, had served the specified maximum
number of terms. Soon after he came to power he began upsetting senior UDF
and government people. His response was depressingly familiar. He undermined
the Anti Corruption Bureau and then replaced the heads of the offices of The
Director of Public Prosecutions and The Police Commissioner with trusted
political associates. He had Muluzi arrested and Muluzi is currently being
tried. Muluzi has dismissed the documents the state has offered to make its
case as "laughable and fake." Their blatant forgery is reminiscent of many
trials in Zimbabwe, such as that of Tendai Biti. The Zimbabwean CIO are said
to be increasingly active in Malawi.
November 27, 2008
By Tendai Dumbutshena
TWO big nails were hammered this week into the coffin of Zimbabwe's doomed
September 15 power-sharing agreement.
As Zanu-PF and MDC officials met in Pretoria last Tuesday to salvage the
agreement Robert Mugabe and Thabo Mbeki all but killed any prospects of
Mugabe unilaterally announced the extension for a full five-year term of
Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono's contract which expires on November 30.
At the same time newspapers in South Africa published parts of a letter
Mbeki wrote to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai which accuse him of being a
puppet of the West. Any pretence of impartiality was discarded by Mbeki who
confirmed in that letter suspicions that he saw himself as Mugabe's ally in
a fight against Western imperialism.
The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the three parties to the Agreement
clearly states that all senior appointments must be agreed upon by all
signatories. In today's Zimbabwe the Reserve Bank Governor is de facto the
most powerful man in the country after Mugabe. Since his appointment in 2003
Gono has been allowed to amass powers not possessed by any central bank
governor anywhere in the history of the office. He is now the focal point of
government with tentacles that extend to every aspect of national life.
Government ministries no longer look to Parliament for funding. They go to
Gono cap in hand to get in front of the queue. He dispenses money and goods
to the favoured few whose well-being is critical to the survival of the
regime. Money, cars, farming equipment and inputs, and even television sets
and dishes are given to defence force chiefs, judges and the top brass of
Zanu-PF. Gono has an open licence to print money which is used to fund
government and Zanu-PF programmes. The money is also given to an army of
black market foreign currency dealers to change into hard currency.
The Reserve Bank has become a cesspool of corruption with Gono only
answerable to Mugabe. Even that is to a limited extent given Mugabe's scant
knowledge of the arcane world of finance. Gono has abysmally failed to carry
out the core functions of a central bank governor - to protect the value of
the currency and control inflation. The Zimbabwe dollar is now so valueless
that it is only legal tender in name. The United States dollar and South
African rand are now the two currencies people trade in even for the most
mundane transactions. Not even Gono knows what the rate of inflation is.
Does it matter anyway whether it is 500 million or a trillion? All that
matters to the pompous governor is to print money and line the pockets of
those critical to the survival of the regime..
The Reserve Bank is now at the core of the rot in Zimbabwe.
To clean the system the first point of call for a new government is the
Reserve Bank. Mugabe cynically allocated the ministry of finance to the MDC
so that he could keep all security portfolios so central to his rule. In yet
more evidence of his disdain for the agreement and the MDC he unilaterally
took a decision to extend Gono's contract. He fully knows that the MDC wants
Gono out. Mugabe is telling the MDC that even if the inclusive government
comes into being they will not be part of the decision-making process. They
will be frozen out. They will only be in government to give his presidency
legitimacy and solicit funds from the West.
Their minister of finance will be as invisible and irrelevant as the current
one and his two predecessors. Gono will continue to be the main man only
answerable to the president.
The MDC has raised the issue of Mbeki's lack of impartiality as mediator.
But it was not raised consistently and firmly enough. As a result Mbeki
continued to abuse his position as mediator to push Mugabe's agenda. It went
well beyond bias. He was actually scheming and strategizing with Mugabe.
Furthermore Mbeki used his clout as South Africa's president to steer SADC
in the direction of supporting Mugabe by mischaracterizing the nature of the
crisis. He only desired one outcome - the continued rule of a fellow
liberation movement. The MDC did not seem to realize how critical it was to
remove Mbeki as mediator. They failed to stand up to SADC on this matter.
Mbeki was angered by a letter written to him by the MDC critical of the
stand taken by a SADC summit three weeks ago. Ironically in his angry
response he confirmed the validity of allegations of bias levelled against
him. The letter made it clear that he shares the Zanu-PF view that MDC are
lackeys of the West. Tsvangirai was correct in the aftermath of the
publication of the letter's contents to call for Mbeki's removal. He did
this in a letter written to current SADC chairman South Africa's President
He must not do what his party has done in the past - backtrack on the issue
when met with SADC resistance. They must unequivocally and firmly state that
they will not participate in further talks under Mbeki's mediation. Evidence
of Mbeki's antipathy towards the MDC over the past eight years is
They must present it to SADC and insist that another mediator be appointed.
Mbeki's outburst and the unilateral extension of Gono's contract have
extinguished the slim hope of saving the agreement. This is not a bad thing
since its main purpose was to confer legitimacy on Mugabe. Botswana is quite
correct to point out the failure of SADC initiatives on Zimbabwe. It is
futile to travel along the path set by the 15 September agreement which even
Mugabe detests. International efforts must be focused on putting real
pressure on Mugabe to allow the people of Zimbabwe to have a final say on
who governs them.
The current agreement negates the will of the people and rewards violence.
TANONOKA JOSEPH WHANDE
27 November, 2008
It is abhorrent that Zimbabweans are made to be hopeful about deliverance at
the turn of every month.
Many times before, we have been made to believe that since so and so said
such and such, things might be getting worse for Robert Mugabe and better
for the masses.
The whole exercise of these talks is a misdirected effort because the world
is trying to force Zimbabweans into accepting Mugabe's loss as a win.
Mediators are trying to accommodate a loser without the voters' permission;
they are trying to force Zimbabweans to forgo their democratic right and
partake of the kind of political chicanery that pervades Africa.
Less than a year ago, the African Union sent Kofi Annan into Kenya to broker
a deal along the same lines as the ones now refusing to take hold in
A few days ago, Kenyan Prime minister Raila Odinga, strongly suggested that
the African Union should send a peace-keeping force into Zimbabwe "to keep
Mugabe in line".
Obviously, Odinga should rightly feel short-changed by the African Union.
He won the December 2007 elections against Mwai Kibaki but Kibaki refused to
accept defeat, setting off a bloody internal power struggle.
Because of the ensuing violence and killings, Odinga accepted Annan's
"solution" of having the position of Prime Minister created for him and
leave the loser, Kibaki, as president.
Decidedly, Odinga accepted this arrangement with an unmistakable desire to
make it work; to save people's lives and to save Kenya whose reputation had
taken a bad knock.
Even though Kenya has not fully recovered from Annan's bad political
prescription, it has become obvious to all and sundry that efforts from the
opposing camps are trying to make it work.
Annan's forcing a winner in democratic elections to accept a lesser position
than one to which the people had voted him into and rewarding the loser with
keeping a presidency that the voters had demanded back from him was a bad
precedent indeed, whether or not the Kenyan experiment succeeds in the
As I was saying, Odinga has every right to voice his outrage at SADC, the AU
and the world at large for such double standards being applied on Zimbabwe.
He was forced to accept what he should not have and did it in good faith.
Hardly four months after the Kenyan electoral fiasco, the cowardly and
unoriginal SADC, through its thoroughly unable 'mediator', Thabo Mbeki,
arm-twisted Zimbabwe opposition into signing an agreement to power-sharing.
Mugabe, having re-enacted Kibaki's moves, including withholding of election
results and a hasty swearing in ceremony, stalled and slyly waited for the
AU to prescribe the same 'settlement' as they did to Kenya.
The AU, useless and offering uninspiring leadership like SADC, had set a
precedent to say an African leader who loses an election need not leave
And, predictably, the disgraceful African 'mediators' took the bait and
issued the very same prescription for Zimbabwe.
The problem, however, is that, unlike the Kenyans, there was neither honesty
involved nor was there any intention on the part of the loser to act in good
Now we have a problem bigger than we had before the elections.
Before the elections, we knew Mugabe was president, through whatever means
he got there, and that Morgan Tsvangirai was the leader of the opposition.
After the elections and SADC/AU intervention, the loser, Mugabe, who had
turned into the leader of the opposition, remained the leader of the
opposition party but one that still remained as the governing party.
Now Zimbabwe is governed by an opposition party while the 'ruling' party
remains as the opposition party.
The opposition party won the elections and turned itself into the ruling
party. But, funny enough, the ruling party, the former opposition party,
still remains the opposition party.
So much for African solutions to African problems!
Months after an agreement was signed, Robert Mugabe, the leader of the
opposition, who is still president of the country, refused to accept the
terms of the very document that gave him legitimacy and one which he himself
signed, even though his functionary, a non-descript former struggling lawyer
called Patrick Chinamasa, Mugabe's 'Justice minister' had made changes to
the original document without the knowledge of other participants.
Under the right circumstances, Chinamasa, the lawyer, would call it forgery
but these people are fighting for survival and laws be damned!
It, therefore, discourages me a great deal that the same people who
participated and scuttled the previous agreement on which the nation had
laid so much hope, should be the very same ones involved at these talks.
Why is the forging of that document not any issue and why is it being
down-played? Why has nothing been done about the violation that was
But the African Union, SADC and South Africa still continue to debate with
people who have shown bad faith and even doctored important documents.
Some African leaders now find it better and more effective to work "outside"
the AU and SADC.
Botswana and Zambia have lost patience, not only with Mugabe but with SADC
and the AU.
Meanwhile, South Africa appears to be slowly moving in that direction.
It is inspiring to see an African leader, like Botswana's Ian Khama, taking
such an initiative to right the situation in the region.
South Africa, through the lackadaisical pro-Mugabe Thabo Mbeki, ignored the
Zimbabwean issue for years at the same time that Botswana's Festus Mogae
Now they do not have to contend with the murderous Zimbabwean dictator only;
now our neighbours have to contend with such manageable issues as a cholera
While South Africa has started to treat Zimbabwean cholera sufferers just
across the border from Zimbabwe at Beit Bridge and Messina, Botswana has
reported a cholera incident in east central Botswana.
Mugabe is not going to infect the whole region with bad politics and
economics but with diseases as well.
South Africa should shoulder the blame because they took care of Mugabe when
the whole world was screaming for action. South Africa should not complain
and I honestly hope that the cholera outbreak does not hit their nation.
But if it does, one Thabo Mbeki, should be brought to account for his
mindless attitude towards the starving of people in a country that did not
have enough food or medicines.
When human rights abuses are being chronicled and when the culprits are
being called and lined up to answer for their actions, Thabo Mbeki's name
must, of necessity, come immediately after Mugabe's name.
This man Mbeki did, and continues to do, more damage to Zimbabwe and the
region than some people would care to admit.
Even now, marooned in a political wilderness, he pathetically clings to the
discredited man who has killed so many and, to this day, continues to do so.
With this cholera outbreak, Mugabe is about to open his other chapter on
Is there an African president on this continent who can recognize the
suffering of children, women and the defenseless elderly?
Is there an African leader out there who cares about the starvation of a
Find us an African president out there who cares enough about malaria,
tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS not one who steals from our desperate afflicted?
The heart of the matter is that it is time to get rid of Mugabe and his
government.by any means necessary.
It is both distressing and surprising to me that Africa, with 54 countries
and an equal number of heads of state, Botswana's Ian Khama appears to be
the only one of this elite group to see that Mugabe must be removed now
because Zimbabweans have suffered enough and need to be assisted; that the
region has suffered long enough to the detriment and impoverishment of SADC
Surely, African leaders will not allow Mugabe to breed cholera for Africa.
Africa must recognize when a liberator has turned into a genocidal maniac.
Mugabe, a perceived hero to some Africans across the continent, went into
Ian Smith's jails and came out with a degree or two. He brags about degrees
he acquired by correspondence while in Smith's jails.
Would he have achieved that if he were suffering or had he been abused by
But, conversely, those detained by Mugabe for absolutely no reason at all
came out with nothing, and without their health. Most of them die a couple
of months after release. Thanks to Ian Smith, Mugabe is in his 85th year
Now imagine what Zimbabweans would be going through if Mugabe had suffered
under Ian Smith!
Mugabe lost the elections and should be treated as such by the AU and SADC.
There should not be any accommodating of this man. Diplomacy should be
reserved for those who respect humanity.
I am Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my fellow Zimbabweans, is the way it
is today, November 27, 2008.
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Last week, the inept regime in Zimbabwe barred The Elders from
visiting the country in one of its most shameful and barbaric acts in this
historic year in which the heroic people of Zimbabwe spoke loudly against
tyranny in a free and fair election.
The starving people of Zimbabwe will remember this regime as a
parasitic and kleptocratic elite that turned down global assistance at a
time when the people of this country needed it most.
The wild berry-eating people of Zimbabwe will forever remember one
George Charamba, Robert Mugabe's wordsmith, who insulted the venerable
Elders when he thought he was "talking tough" while every rational person
was hiding their faces in shame.
The epitaph on the grave of Zanu PF will read: Here lie the hard
working men and women who toiled hard to destroy their own country.
May they forever rest in peace."
Any reasonable man or woman will know that Koffi Annan, Jimmy Carter
and Graca Machel pose no threat to Zimbabwe. The real Elders who are a
threat to this country are the geriatrics at Munhumutapa; the old guard in
Zanu PF that has run out of ideas; the old men and women who have lost the
compass in the high seas of politics and are allowing the winds of fate to
drift this our ship to whatever hidden water choral.
Any reasonable man or woman will know that it is not everyone who ekes
a life out of patronage. We are all not perennial beneficiaries at the
feeding trough of corruption and patronage. Not every one of us can
commandeer maize meal from the nearest Grain Marketing Board depot to avert
starvation as these Zanu PF fat cats regularly do. Not all of us are safely
ensconced on the lap of patronage and can afford RBZ-funded poultry projects
at our homes and in our villages, like George Charamba has done in his
village in ward 4 in Buhera West. We are all not beneficiaries of the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's illegal quasi-fiscal activities!
The rest of us in Zimbabwe are mere mortals who are surviving from
food handouts; the rest of us stood to benefit more if the Elders had been
allowed into the country to see for themselves the real magnitude of our
starvation so that they could globally mobilize for more food aid.
The tragedy is that we sought to bar the wrong set of "Elders." As a
nation, we correctly barred our own Elders from governing us when we loudly
and clearly voted out Zanu PF and its old guard on 29 March.
Zimbabwe has since made a loud statement against its own Elders when
we said No to geriatrics on that historic day in March. We barred these
Elders and denied them political visas to govern our affairs!
I posit that Annan and his colleagues should have tried to force their
way into the country and see for themselves our sorry and pathetic
After all, even after we denied them "visas", our own "Elders"
gate-crashed into our lives without the necessary political visas and
imposed themselves on us on June 27!
Some of us believe that we must continue to fight these Elders whose
failure is evident from the visible signs of collapse around us. For some of
us, it is back to the trenches to fight these Elders who illegitimately
continue to govern us while firmly standing on the doorway of a negotiated
political settlement, blighting our vision of national rebirth, freedom and
prosperity. After all, the trenches are our home from where we have fought a
peaceful, constitutional and democratic struggle against tyranny for the
past ten years.
Saving Zimbabwe is our generational mandate!
If God be with us, who can be against us?
Luke Tamborinyoka is the Director of Information and Publicity in the
MDC formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai. He is a former secretary-general of
the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists and a former news editor of the banned
Daily News. He can be contacted on email@example.com.