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Report: Zimbabweans 'sent to die'

http://mg.co.za

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Oct 23 2011 07:46

Senior officials of the Hawks and the SA Police Services are conducting an
illegal "rendition" with their Zimbabwean counterparts, the Sunday Times has
reported.

The newspaper reported that the government agencies arrest "suspects" and
illegally send them across the Beit Bridge border to be murdered.

Hawks boss Anwa Dramat confirmed that at least three individual identified
by the Sunday Times were in fact taken across the border by the police.

He said they were properly deported, but was unable to provide the newspaper
with proof.

Rendition is the illegal kidnapping and transfer of prisoner from one
country to another.

The paper described the case of Zimbabwean, Witness Ndeya, 26. He was
suspected of shooting a police officer and was reportedly renditioned by the
Hawks and then murdered, apparently by Zimbabwean police. This after he was
arrested as an illegal immigrant, but instead of being detained, was driven
to the Beit Bridge border by police. A few days later the Zimbabwean police
told the family "that Witness Ndeya was killed by other police officers",
according to another man who was arrested with him and later released.

Ndeya's death certificate confirmed he died at "Hippo Valley Farm" in
Bulawayo on November 20, with the cause of death listed as "multiple gunshot
wounds".

Dramat confirmed that Ndeya and his companions were "all arrested as illegal
immigrants" and were "deported ".

But he denied these were illegal renditions, saying everyone "followed
protocol", whereby deported individuals must be handed over to an
immigration official from Zimbabwe.

His spokesperson, McIntosh Polela, said: "At no point did we simply hand
over people to authorities without [an immigration official present],
because that would constitute rendition."

The alleged incident is a contravention of the Immigration Act. It also runs
contrary to a "special dispensation" by the government at the time that
prevented Zimbabweans from being deported from South Africa.

Dramat said: "We are not aware of what happened to them in Zimbabwe. It is
not our mandate to do follow-ups on deported [people]."

Zimbabwean police spokesperson Oliver Mandipaka said he "can't confirm or
deny that Ndeya was arrested or killed".

The Sunday Times said it was aware of several other individuals who have
also been renditioned to Zimbabwe. -- Sapa and staff reporters


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Tsvangirai Matabeleland North Rallies Disrupted

http://www.radiovop.com

Harare, October 22, 2011 --- Police on Saturday disrupted Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai’s star rally in Nkayi South constituency in violation of a
High Court order.

Officials who attended the rally organised to drum up support for Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC-T) deputy organising secretary Abedinico Bhebhe
said police arrived in three vehicles in the middle of Tsvangarai’s address
at Nesigwe.

The police officers including some in plain clothes reportedly demanded that
the crowd must immediately disperse and ignored Tsvangirai when he tried to
intervene.

The Prime Minister who is supposed to have the same powers as President
Robert Mugabe then left the venue in frustration.

MDC-T lawyers had on Friday successfully challenged the ban by Matabeleland
North police on Tsvangirai’s rallies scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

The PM is drumming up support for Bhebhe who joined the MDC-T party together
with two other former MPs after they were expelled by the Welshman Ncube led
MDC.

The three recently won a High Court imploring Mugabe to call for by
elections in their constituencies.

High Court judge Nicholas Ndou ruled in favour of Nkayi South legislator
Bhebhe, Njabuliso Mguni (Lupane East) and Norman Mpofu, the former Bulilima
North MP.

Tsvangirai was scheduled to address rallies in Nkayi South and North on
Saturday and Sunday.

Nkayi North is currently held by Zanu-PF’s Sithembiso Nyoni and the MDC-T is
already campaigning heavily in the constituency.

MDC-T said Tsvangirai’s address will “touch on various issues including the
life and health of the MDC, the inclusive government and challenges faced.”

Analysts have predicted that the next elections that President Mugabe wants
held next year will be won or lost in Matabeleland.
The weekend rallies will be the first meetings in rural areas to be
addressed by Tsvangirai since he embarked on a nationwide tour to celebrate
MDC’s 12th anniversary.

MDC led by Ncube have also been quietly campaigning in Matabeleland where
they hold rallies every weekend.


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Zimbabwe Needs To Engage Tribal Differences : Ndlovu

http://www.radiovop.com

Johannesburg, October 23, 2011- Leading Zimbabwe playwright and
Witwatersrand University’s Drama For Life project leader, Bhekilizwe Ndlovu,
called on Zimbabwe government together with its citizens to open public
discussions on tribalism.

Ndlovu was addressing a crowd of activist, students and political party
leaders attending a three day workshop in Johannesburg, Saturday.

One of Zimbabwe’s accomplished actors urged fellow countrymen to be tribal
conscious when discussing Zimbabwean political and social life.

“Tribalism affects all people on different levels and Zimbabwe needs an all
inclusive and holistic approach on addressing this plague that threatens to
divide the country into two”, said Ndlovu.

“Due to atrocities committed in the first decade of Zimbabwe’s independence
most people coming from the Shona tribe feel a collective responsibility
while people from Matabeleland feel collective victim hood”, lamented
Ndlovu.

Bongani Nyathi, an educator and activist from Zimbabwe in support of Ndlovu
added that “tribalism in Zimbabwe has been institutionalised and this can be
seen in every sector of which some are education, health and business”.

The meeting was also addressed by prominent human rights lawyer Nqobizitha
Mlilo who urged Zimbabweans to confront Harare dictatorship head-on as it
was not going to be easy to force the Mugabe regime to collapse through
elections and legal instruments.

Mlilo who confessed of not being tolerant to violence said there was need
for Zimbabweans to device political strategies as the end of Mugabe’s thirty
year autocratic rule would be lost or won in that terrain.

The Zimbabwe Exiles Forum took a swipe on political party leaders who
segregate citizens on the basis of sexual orientation saying “what two
consenting adults do in closed bedrooms has nothing to do with the state
from a human rights perspective”.

ZEF added that there was a need for more participation from women in
political processes contrary to the current dispensation where they feature
prominently as victims of rape and abuse by section of some political
parties.

The National Constitutional Assembly regional coordinator Munjodzi Mutandiri
called on the government of Zimbabwe to grant the diaspora community a right
to vote regardless of perceived political affiliations.

The facilitator of the workshop Betsie Pendry of the Living Together
Institute urged Zimbabweans to continue engaging in their country’s
political discourse and also draw lessons from countries who were under
similar conditions before.

The workshop entitled Challenges, Conflicts and Opportunities attracted
close to 70 participants from political formations, civic society and
students. Among other organizations who attended the workshop were Movement
for Democratic Change, Creative Writers and Arts Workshop, Crisis in
Zimbabwe Coalition and Democracy Begins In Conversation.


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Mugabe wanted Tsvangirai to rule

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

By Thelma Chikwanha, Community Affairs Editor
Sunday, 23 October 2011 11:33

HARARE - Former State Security Minister Nicholas Goche reportedly conceded
that President Robert Mugabe lost the 2008 presidential elections to Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, according to the MDC leader’s recent memoirs.

The Transport Minister’s alleged statement is the first high-profile
admission that Zanu PF bigwigs were reaching out to the then opposition
leader after years of speculation and political insinuations.

The startling revelations are carried in Tsvangirai’s book, At the Deep End.
In the elections, Tsvangirai polled 47,8 percent trouncing Mugabe who
received 43,3 percent.

After a month of confusion waiting for results, the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission (Zec) commission confirmed that Tsvangirai had beaten Mugabe but
the percentage was not enough for him to take over presidency.

A run-off was, therefore, to be held but Tsvangirai refused to participate
due to extreme violence which left more than 200 of his supporters dead.

Mugabe went on to participate in a one-man election which was dismissed by
the entire world as a sham. Sadc was forced to intervene and forced Mugabe
and Tsvangirai into a power-sharing arrangement in 2009.

The revelations in Tsvangirai’s book appear to suggest that in the first few
weeks after the elections, Mugabe had already conceded defeat and was
working on power transfer when hardliners in Zanu PF realised that there was
a clause which called for a run-off in the case of a winner failing to get
50 percent plus one vote.

According to the book, Goche reportedly called a senior member of the MDC to
negotiate transitional mechanism since Tsvangirai had won the elections.

The book, which is being serialised by South African newspapers, suggests
that the 87-year-old Mugabe — in power since the country attained
independence in 1980 — had agreed to vacate Munhumutapa and State House
after losing to Tsvangirai.

According to the book, Zanu PF members sought to forge strategic alliances
with Tsvangirai and to persuade him to accommodate those in the former
ruling party who had won Parliamentary seats.

“According to Goche, Mugabe had agreed to step down to ensure proper
transfer of power, there was need for us to take some of their Zanu PF
winners into the coalition administration,” page 484 of the book reads.

Writing in the Daily News yesterday, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke
Tamborinyoka said: “The big news here is that if the Minister of State
Security conceded to defeat as alleged, there is no doubt therefore that
Zanu PF and its candidate were defeated outright and the run-off was
contrived.”

While the results took a month to be announced, what surprised Zimbabweans
the most was former South African President Thabo Mbeki’s announcement that
there would be a presidential run-off before the results were released.

The Daily News on Sunday has been told that several top Zanu PF officials
including ministers were lining up at Tsvangirai’s office to seek favours
and immunity as they expected him to take over.

An MDC official yesterday said: “What is clear is that Mugabe was defeated
but they (Zec) took a month to announce results and this is when the results
were being cooked up.

“Actually, we are aware that Tsvangirai won by more than 50 percent but it
was rigged to ensure that there was a run-off which they (Zanu PF)
deliberately sabotaged.”

Zanu PF recently suffered another blow with whistle-blower website WikiLeaks
revealing that senior party officials like Vice Presidents Joice Mujuru and
John Nkomo went behind Mugabe’s back and met with US officials seeking his
ouster.

The US diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks also revealed serial political
flip-flopper Jonathan Moyo, currently a Mugabe praise-singer, even
approached British billionaire Sir Richard Branson to finance a
lucrative exit package for the octogenarian leader.

Some party heavyweights have been baying for the blood of the “sell-outs”
but Mugabe has not yet acted although Zanu PF has said it will investigate
the matter.


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Zim professionals living in poverty

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

By Everson Mushava, Staff Writer
Sunday, 23 October 2011 05:27

HARARE - As Zimbabwe joined the rest of the world to commemorate
International Day of Eradicating Poverty, I met a Zimbabwean teacher who
felt his life had over the years deteriorated to alarming proportions.

Paurai Mavhiki (not his real name), 59 has worked in Masvingo as a school
teacher since 1978.

He expects to be retired in the next six years.

When the Daily News caught up with Mavhiki, he was resting in the Africa
Unity Square gardens, in Harare and struggling to read a newspaper due to
challenged sight.

The civil servant cannot afford to seek eye medical attention.

Although he is a trained and qualified school teacher, it is evident that he
has been hit by hard times.

A high-flier as a public school teacher in the 1980s, Mavhiki is suffering
and the old man could not hide his anger and frustration at how Zimbabwe’s
fortunes have turned upside down and transformed his potentially prosperous
life into despair.

Mavhiki said he built a 10-roomed house in his rural Bikita in the early
1980s, but today, he recounts desperately how his house had become
dilapidated as his financial capacity could no longer allow him to refurbish
the house he managed to build with ease 30 years ago.

His children who are still attending university have wiped out his cattle
head.

“My two daughters at university are giving me financial headaches. My salary
is not enough to send them through university. I have to sell two beasts
each time a new semester opens,” said Mavhiki.

He was at pains to explain how easy, life was towards and during the 1980s
when his salary as a teacher was enough to send children to boarding school
and still remain financially sound.

But 31 years since independence, he seems doomed and shudders to think about
the economic ills that had befallen his beloved country.

Mavhiki blames President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party for the economic
meltdown and says poverty was now rampant than it was in the past.

“Zanu PF does not want to swallow its pride and learn from their mistakes.
Since the late 1990s, it was mistake after mistake. “It all started with the
intervention in the DRC war, then the war veterans compensation, the chaotic
land reform in 2000 and finally the equally chaotic indigenisation programme
to put the final nail on the
country’s economic coffin,” said Mavhiki.

Like many Zimbabweans, Mavhiki said there was nothing to celebrate about
this week’s International Day of Eradicating Poverty.

“For the past decade, we have been living like scavengers. We lost all what
we worked for our entire lives during the Zimbabwean dollar era. I had
insurance cover enough to build a house in the low density and earn a decent
living after retirement, but all to nothing,” Mavhiki said, almost in tears.

Joy Mabhenge, Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd)
chairperson said Zimbabwe had nothing to celebrate on the poverty
eradication day as the majority of the people were still living on less than
$1 per day.

“The reduction of poverty is a direct product of the political processes of
the day,” said Mabhenge adding that Zanu PF’s empowerment programmes had not
benefited the entire nation, but was selfishly driven.

To Mavhiki, the pain of being Zimbabwean is insurmountable, a county rich in
mineral resources but not being enjoyed by everyone.

“You have to be either a war veteran or an active member of Zanu PF for you
to enjoy the fruits of this country,” he lamented.


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Over 60 % Secondary Girl Children Drop From School: Report

http://www.radiovop.com/

Harare, October 23, 2011-At least 67% of Zimbabwe’s secondary school going
girl children, and 33% of those attending primary school are dropping out
from education owing to different forms of child abuse Plan international
Zimbabwe has revealed, with a Zanu-PF senior cabinet Minister blaming
sanctions over the shocking number of girls dropping out of school.

“The girls’ study confirmed that community attitudes towards gender roles
influence girls’ attitudes towards education especially as they become
adolescents with 19 % of respondents having dropped out of school with a
massive 67% dropout at secondary level.

“Sexual harassment and abuse by even school teachers and parents , cultural
issues, lack of school fees, early marriage, parental commitments and early
pregnancies are some of the contributing factors of these drop out by the
girl child which we found out in the research, “read part of the report
titled “Because I am a Girl, so what about the boy?” Which Plan
International has just launched.

The research was done in all the country’s 10 provinces.

Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Minister, a Zanu-PF senior
official Dr Olivia Muchena who was the guest at the event Friday in Harare,
criticised the report saying, “there is no mention of the achievements of
the government which has surpassed the targets set by the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs).

“It does a disservice to the nation because its findings are not a
reflection of the situation in the country and if Plan International had
included in their report a contextual background of the performance of the
education sector the report would have been good”.

In addition the report said long distances that children travel to and from
school coupled with the pressures that come with child-headed families were
also among some of the barriers that negatively impacted against access to
education by the girl-child.

Plan International Zimbabwe’s Communication manager Gladman Njanji told
Radio VOP in an interview that they have already approached other
development partners dealing with children’s issues so that corrective
measures are taken.

“We have engaged organisations like UNICEF who are in agreement with the
report findings and we also going to engage government and parliamentarians
over this sad development so that together as a nation something is done to
address this problem”, he said.

Plan International Zimbabwe, is pushing for the recognition of September 22
as the International Day of the Girl Child as a way of eliminating problems
faced by the girl child.


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Govt, private sector lacks financial resources

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

By Diana Chisvo, Staff Writer
Sunday, 23 October 2011 05:18

HARARE - The government and private sector lack the required financial
resources to bankroll this year’s agriculture planting season.

The Commercial Farmers’ Union, (CFU) said the upcoming agricultural season
was the worst since 2000, in terms of preparedness.

Charles Taffs, CFU president said while the sector currently needed $300
million to push product to 30 percent of peak production, government and the
private sector lacked the much required financial resources.

“The last time the country was able to feed itself was in 2000 when we
produced 2 million tonnes of maize. The figures have dropped significantly
and this year we are estimating to produce 900 000 tonnes and 781000 tonnes
next season.

“As you can see, the figures keep dropping because the situation keeps
getting worse,” Taffs said.

The CFU president said local farmers were under threat from regional imports
which were selling at 30 percent less than the local maize after factoring
in transport and import tariffs.

Foreign maize producers use cheap production techniques which include
genetically modified technology, while Zimbabwe maintains its ban on
genetically modified organisms.

“The current pricing policy where the maize floor prices of $285 per tonne
remain above regional parity prices of $220 per tonne is resulting in grain
stocks accumulating without any outflows, the Grain Marketing Board’s prices
are even higher than of other local producers,” said Taffs.

Local farmers are also having trouble getting funding for the coming season
because 83 percent of the agrarian loans and advances from 2010 are yet to
be serviced, as a result of a failure by the country’s major buyer, GMB, to
pay its suppliers.

According to Taffs, the country is likely to experience early rains and will
not be ideal for late farmers who start their farming in late November as
the rains would not be available in January and February.

Zimbabwe’s meteorological department confirmed the forecasts, saying the
country was expected to have normal rains during the first half of the
season with rain becoming scarce in the second half.

The department said there would be cloud seeding in some areas that receive
little rains.

Region One which comprises of Harare, Matabeleland North and the North
Eastern parts of Manicaland is expected to receive normal rains but there is
no guarantee that there would be good rains.

This comes after seed producers announced that they have by far exceeded
local demand, prompting government to lift a ban on seed exports.

The country’s agricultural sector has succumbed to a decade long economic
stagnation and lack of funding.


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Govt frustrating investors

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

By Taurai Mangudhla, Business Writer
Sunday, 23 October 2011 16:00

HARARE - Zimbabwe poor ratings — with regards to ease of doing business in
the country — in the latest World Bank and International Finance Corporation’s
Doing Business 2012 report retards potential foreign investment, analysts
say.

The country ranked an overall 171 out of 183 countries and 36 out of 46
African countries, 12 places away from the least competitive business
destination, Chad.

Brains Muchemwa, an economist, said the country is set to continue facing
challenges in attracting foreign capital, moreso, at a time the global
capital flows are tight on the back of the sovereign debt crises in the
United States and Europe.

He said policy and governance inconsistency resulted in the negative
ratings, which would reduce capital and credit inflow into the country.

“The discord in the inclusive government remains the major problem for
Zimbabwe on the international scene as policy makers are always competing to
say conflicting policy statements on the same issues such as, for example,
the indigenisation laws,” he said.

“This has portrayed Zimbabwe as a people at war against each other and
indeed it would be very difficult for foreign investors to cast Zimbabwe in
good light as a proper investment ground,” Muchemwa added.

Analyst John Robertson agreed with Muchemwa’s assertion that problems in
government were killing investor confidence, adding that it was the zanu PF’s
part of government that is deliberately stalling economic
progress so that the MDC is not seen to have turned around the country.

“Government is far from making efforts to resuscitate the economy and
encourage investment. Infact they are making frantic efforts to frustrate
business by imposing indigenisation and investors do not like it at all,” he
said.

“I think you need to look at this as Zanu PF’s intention to retard economic
recovery and not as a side effect of policy,” he added.

Robertson also argued that the appalling status was likely to see Zimbabwe
miss its economic growth targets of 9,3 percent in 2011 and 9 percent in
2012.

“The economic growth projections can’t be anything close to expectation
under such circumstances. There is a serious shortage of money and companies
like Air Zimbabwe, National Railways of Zimbabwe and other parastatals are
suffering from this scourge.”

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industry (CZI) chief economist Lorraine Chikanya
said the country’s continued deteriorating international
performance-especially on protecting investors’ assets where Zimbabwe ranked
122 out of 183 countries — dealt a huge blow to protracted efforts by the
industry to secure foreign investment.

The industry’s efforts to secure foreign investment and at a time Zimbabwe
is faced with liquidity challenges two years after dollarisation, at
inception of the inclusive government in march 2009, remains businesses’
only hope of recovery and growth.

“Obviously, the poor rating is a threat to foreign investment because they
basically look at all these indicators before they commit their resources
and if these indices continue to drop then it’s not a good thing for
Zimbabwe,” said the CZI economist.

“I must say though that the cost and time of starting a business in Zimbabwe
has improved. It is indeed evident of government’s effort to turn around the
economy, but unfortunately the rankings are compared to what other countries
are doing so I guess other countries have developed at a better pace than us
in some of these cases.”

The survey placed Zimbabwe on position 122 in terms of protecting investors
compared to 120 in 2010.

Zimbabwe was overall ranked 171 in terms of the ease of doing business
compared to 168 last year.

The country was also rated 144 on the ease of establishing a company from
142 last year.

In terms of dealing with construction permits, which considers records of
all procedures required for a business in the construction industry to build
a standardised warehouse for example obtaining connections for water,
sewerage and a fixed telephone line, the country ranked 166 from 163 prior
year.

Access to electricity remained unchanged at 167 while getting credit slid 10
places to, 126 compared to 116 in the previous period.

Govt frustrating investorsLOOKING AHEAD: Finance Minister Tendai Biti, left,
has projected a 9,3 percent economic growth for this year, while Joseph
Kanyekanye, CZI president has said the manufacturing sector requires more
than $2 billion to fully recover.


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I did not help found the MDC - Nyoni

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

Sthembiso Nyoni, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister, had
denied allegations that an aid agency she founded was involved in the
formation of the MDC.
23.10.1112:16pm
by The Zimbabwean Harare

The claim is in MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai's tell-all memoirs At The
Deep End published by Penguin.

Reviewing the book last week, Zanu (PF) Politburo member Prof Jonathan Moyo
said the revelation thaty ORAP was instrumental in the formation of the MDC
was a "useful disclosure."

"Tsvangirai confirms in his memoirs the widely known fact that the reason
the MDC succeeded in Matabeleland is that it rode on the back of the
Organisation of Rural Associations for Progress (ORAP)," Moyo wrote in an
article that appeared in the Sunday Mail last week.

On Page 297 of his memoirs Tsvangirai says that "I was particularly keen to
observe the impact of the changing times in Bulawayo, Matabeleland and the
Midlands. The MDC had the unique advantage of having worked with ORAP in its
formative stages".

Building on the same theme on Page 420, Tsvangirai declares that "We sought
to overcome the hiatus of ideas, the negation of cruel abandonment of the
views of the poor. The MDC had been founded in 1999 at a convention which
weighed up the raw date and ZCTU/ORAP Consultative Report that came out of
our survey of the national mood".

Moyo said ORAP was thus part of the MDC deal despite "unhelpful denials"
from its founders. Nyoni, who was ORAP’s founding president, strenously
denied Moyo's claims in a press statement.

"I wish to state that once I was elected MP for Zanu PF in 1994, and
subsequently as Deputy Minister of National Housing and Public Construction,
I stepped down from the day-to-day management of ORAP as founding Executive
Coordinator.

Cornelia Nkomo, a founder staff member, was recalled from studies in the USA
to come and lead the management and coordination of the Organisation’s work
under the direction of the Board of Advisors," Nyoni's statement says.

"It was during her leadership that a joint survey was conducted with the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) which covered parts of Matabeleland
where ORAP has membership and rural projects. I was not involved with or
consulted on this project, and was not aware of it until now."

Nyoni said there there was no ORAP political involvement with the founding
of the MDC, and no ORAP support or encouragement of the MDC. "It is amazing,
and quite clearly disappointing, that my colleague in the Politburo
Professor Jonathan Moyo should, from the foregoing, jump to the conclusion
that ‘ORAP was thus part of the MDC deal despite unhelpful denial from its
founders’," Nyoni said.

"Indeed, we find his hostility to ORAP amazing, and quite buffling, as this
is not the first time he has made unfounded allegations against ORAP."

Nyoni said Moyo's views about ORAP betray a deep ignorance about how ORAP is
structured and how it makes its decisions.

"It would be more helpful if he were honest about his hostile agenda towards
ORAP or its founder," Nyoni said.


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Gaddafi gone – next Mugabe: Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 22nd October 2011

Gaddafi gone – next Mugabe: Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 22nd October 2011

The Vigil was cheered by two developments – the death of Gaddafi and the failure of a second attempt to deport our supporter Shamiso Kofi.

We were not ashamed to celebrate the end of the deranged farting psychopath who has cast his evil spell for decades. Unfortunately, we are not referring to Mugabe here – though his exit cannot long be delayed.

Zimbabwe joined a brotherhood of repugnant regimes mourning Gaddafi. Mugabe’s friend Hugo Chavez of Venezuela said, ‘They assassinated him. It is another outrage. We shall remember Gaddafi our whole lives as a great fighter, a revolutionary and a martyr’. Indeed another Mugabe!

On a matter closer to us, the latest failure in the attempt to deport Shamiso raises serious questions about the UK Border Agency. We believe they are a disgrace and call on Parliament to review its activities. For one thing, it will bankrupt the country by its incompetence.

In brief, Shamiso’s new lawyer, Mark Taylor of the Taylor Partnership, succeeded in stopping the second attempt to deport Shamiso and is working on securing her release from Yarl’s Wood detention centre.

Mr Taylor criticizes the ‘culture’ in the UKBA and says ‘I was instructed very late in the day and called to introduce myself. The officer wanted to speak with a colleague and asked to put me on hold. She forgot to press the mute button and I heard her say that my client had “instructed yet another dodgy representative”. This is without even seeing the nature of the evidence I had to produce. It was clear that whatever I was to produce was not going to receive a fair hearing.’ You can see his full account on: http://forcibleremovals-vigil.notlong.com.

The Vigil agrees with Mr Taylor that the Border Agency’s job is a tough one and that ‘it is only right that those people who should not be in the UK, and can safely return to their home country, should do so’. But in the case of Shamiso our argument is that she could be in danger if returned to Zimbabwe. And anyway there must be a better way of handling enforced removals.

We are now at liberty to give details of what happened during the first attempt to deport Shamiso on Tuesday 4th October. She was put in handcuffs and put on the plane by four security guards working for the UKBA – including a man from the DRC and a woman from Jamaica. At one stage security guards were half sitting on her to try to keep her still. She demanded to go to the toilet on the plane where she stripped to try to prevent her departure. The security guards wrapped her in airline blankets and the DRC man put his hands around her neck to stop her struggles. He asked her why she was saying bad things about Mugabe because he was a good man who had sent soldiers to the DRC. The pilot eventually ordered her to be removed from the plane. She was taken back to Yarl’s Wood badly bruised and in pain and was only seen by a doctor two days afterwards.

Cathy Buckle has some interesting observations about the UK immigration in her latest newsletter (see: http://www.cathybuckle.com/index.php?id=57).

Disturbing information about a Zimbabwean recently deported from the UK has been given to the Vigil. We were told that Agnes Nyamakonde who arrived in this country on a Malawian passport was forcibly removed to Malawi on Kenyan Airways on Tuesday 18th October. She is now in a Malawian prison on charges of falsely using a Malawian passport.

Other points

We hear Tsvangirai has been in the UK on a clandestine visit. Why so secretive? One report says he encouraged MDC UK leaders to return to Zimbabwe and little enthusiasm was shown. It is not surprising that people aren’t keen to go home since Zimbabwe was ranked 51st out of 53 African countries in a comprehensive assessment of governance performance in Africa. The annual Ibrahim Index of African Governance ranked Zimbabwe's business environment with a particularly low score of 9 out of a possible 100. The Index can be found on: http://www.moibrahimfoundation.org/en/media/get/20111009_2011-Southern-Africa.pdf.

The Vigil was pleased to be given prominent billing at a Black History Celebration at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, City and Islington College, Finsbury Park. Vigil supporter David Kadzutu (who is also the International Relations Secretary of the Zimbabwe We Can Movement) spoke of his human rights activism on behalf of Zimbabwe. He said that, after colonization, Africans were now fighting oppression by their own people. A troupe from the Vigil danced, sang and drummed. Vigil co-ordinator Dumi Tutani led the Vigil group consisting of Mercy Muranganwa, Louisa Musaerenge, Mary Muteyerwa and Maxmore Mukwasi. Their performance was much appreciated by the students at the college. There was lively interaction between us and other dance groups from Eritrea and the DRC.

The Zimbabwe theatre production ‘The Rain that Washes’ is being performed in Luton on Thursday and Friday. A Vigil group attended a performance in London and we thoroughly recommend it. For details see ‘Events and Notices’.

Supporters have drawn our attention to a planned march in Perth, Australia, to draw attention to the situation in Zimbabwe at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. The march is at 10 am on Friday 28th October starting at Forrest Place. Our Australian readers can get more information by contacting: Paul Kaplan, Convenor, Zimbabwe Information Centre (Western Australian Branch), 0438949898.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.

FOR THE RECORD: 92 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

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

ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.

The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://ourvigil.notlong.com. To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: http://Shungurudza.notlong.com and http://blooddiamonds.notlong.com.

‘The Rain That Washes’ – Zimbabwean theatre production by Dave Carey with Christopher Maphosa. Thursday 27th and Friday 28th October at 7.30 pm. Venue: The Hat Factory, Bute Street, Luton LU1 2EY. Winner of the 2011 off West End Theatre Award. Age recommendation: 12+. Tickets: 9 / 7 concs / 2 a ticket for group bookings of 10+. Running time: 1hr. To book call 01582 878100 or book online at www.thehatfactory.org.

Zimbabwe We Can Movement Public Meeting. Saturday 29th October from 11 am – 6 pm. Venue: Owen House, Heathside Crescent, Woking, GU22 7AG. All Zimbabweans welcome.

ROHR Manchester Vigil. Saturday 29th October from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Cathedral Gardens, Manchester City Centre (subject to change to Piccadilly Gardens). Contact; Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353. Future demonstrations: 26th November, 31st December. Same time and venue.

Zimbabwe We Can Movement Public Meeting. Saturday 5th November in Wolverhampton (time and venue to be advised).

ROHR Manchester Meetings. Saturday 12th November (committee meeting from 11 am – 1 pm, general meeting from 2 – 5 pm). Venue: The Salvation Army Citadel, 71 Grosvenor Road,Manchester M13 9UB. Contact; Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353. Future meetings: 10th December. Same times / venue.

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

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

‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe. To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to ngwenyasr@yahoo.co.uk and send a cheque for 10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe.

Vigil co-ordinators

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

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