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Speculation as Mugabe travels to Singapore for treatment

http://www.africareview.com

By KITSEPILE NYATHIPosted Saturday, October 1 2011 at 20:10

Zimbabwe's president flew to Singapore last week, raising further
speculation about his health.

Country's Information Minister, Webster Shamu confirmed that President
Robert Mugabe had gone to the Asian country to seek treatment, saying it was
for a review on the cataract operation the president had earlier this year.

The leader was expected back in Harare on Sunday.

Mugabe’s health remains a closely guarded secret, although there is
speculation that he suffers from prostate cancer.
As speculation on Mugabe’s health mounts, leaked US embassy cables revealed
that in 2008 Mugabe’s confidante and central bank governor, Gideon Gono told
American envoys that the president had cancer and would die in three to five
years.

Mugabe’s trips to Asia have increased in frequency in recent months and by
March he had exhausted most of his budget allocation for trips. Each of his
trips to Asia gobbles about $3 million.

Recent figures about how much he has used for foreign travel are, however,
not available.
Early this year he made about five trips to Singapore where he was said to
be receiving treatment.

He dismissed the reports saying he had only gone for an operation to remove
the cataract in one of his eyes.

Mugabe has also been pushing for an early election with analysts saying he
fears a delay would complicate his campaign.

He says he now wants the elections to be held early next year after the
re-writing of a new constitution.


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Constitution goes to the drafters

http://www.newzimbabwe.com/

01/10/2011 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE’S long-delayed constitution goes to the drafters on Monday, but
officials warn the referendum remains in doubt because of lack of funds.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says it needs US$88 million for the
constitutional referendum.

Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, chairman of the Parliamentary Constitutional
Commission (COPAC), confirmed Friday that reports from the nationwide
canvassing had been consolidated and a team of three specialist lawyers
would begin work on a draft shortly.
The first draft, he said, would be reviewed by an “all stakeholders’
conference” where amendments could be suggested.

President Robert Mugabe has said the constitution must be finalised by
Christmas to allow for general elections early next year.

A new constitution is a central plank of reforms agreed between Zimbabwe’s
three main parties when they signed a power sharing agreement in September
2008.
The troubled coalition is limping towards new elections, although disputes
remain over the timing.


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Census to cost $16 million

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

The National Statistic Office needs $16 million in order to conduct the next
census as required under the country’s laws.
01.10.1102:33pm
by Fungi Kwaramba

The figure according to newly appointed ZIMSTAT Director General,
Dzinotyiyei Mutasa, could increase as the census could stretch for more than
two weeks.

“We need $16.5 million for the full census programme which runs until 2015,
but it is not only the numerical phase that we need so we may have an indaba
with donor partners to ask for help in carrying out the census, it is a two
pronged approach,” said Mutasa.

The organisation is currently carrying out a mapping exercise across the
country. This will be followed by the enumeration phase and then collating,
where statisticians will be employed.

The last census was in 2002. There are inconclusive estimates that the
country now has a 14 million population, but some think this number is
inflated.

Last week USAID pledged to support the census and handed over seven vehicles
valued at $26 000 each to be used by ZIMSTAT.


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Sticker Shock as Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Pitches US$88M Referendum

http://www.voanews.com

30 September 2011

Electoral Commission Chairwoman Joyce Kazembe said this week that her
organization needs some $US30 million to build capacity and $US88 million to
run the referendum some say could be held in November

Tatenda Gumbo | Washington

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission says it will need nearly $US120 million to
bolster its operational capacity and conduct the referendum on the new
constitution which some say could be held as early as November of this
year - though a draft is not yet ready.

Electoral Commission Chairwoman Joyce Kazembe said this week that her
organization needs some $US30 million to build capacity and $US88 million to
run the referendum.

She made the comments during a ceremony accepting vehicles, computers and
other equipment provided by the United Nations Development Program.

ZEC officials say the government has not adequately funded the commission,
and that if it plans to schedule a referendum or elections it will have to
come up with funding.

But Finance Minister Tendai Biti told VOA on Friday that the government does
not have that kind of funding, adding that the electoral commission has
presented his ministry with cost figures that are too high. Biti told VOA
reporter Blessing Zulu that ZEC presented his ministry with a budget of
US400 million dollars to conduct the next elections

The finance minister said that that the 2012 budget he will present in
mid-November will allocate only $US30 million for presidential and general
elections.

Zimbabwe Election Support Network Director Rindai Chipfunde-Vava said the
Electoral Commission must strike a balance on costs.

She told VOA reporter Tatenda Gumbo that donors will provide funds to help
the agency build capacity, but the government must cover referendum and
election costs.


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Tsvangirai Moots Inter-Ministerial Session on Indigenization

http://www.voanews.com/

30 September 2011

Mr. Tsvangirai told business and labor leaders at an economic stakeholders
meeting on the 2012 budget that the lack of a clear, consensus policy on
indigenization is causing anxiety among international investors

Gibbs Dube | Washington

Finance Minister Tendai Biti told journalists this week that friction in the
national unity government is hampering the fragile economic recovery

Expressing concerns about the economic impact of Zimbabwe's indigenization
program, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Friday he will convene
inter-ministerial talks on the controversial initiative which he says is
discouraging foreign investment.

Mr. Tsvangirai told business and labor leaders at an economic stakeholders
meeting on the 2012 budget that the lack of a clear, consensus policy on
indigenization is causing anxiety among international investors whose
capital Zimbabwe desperately needs.

His call for talks on indigenization among ministers with economic
portfolios potentially sets up a clash with Indigenization Minister Savious
Kasukuwere who has announced the distribution this month of a 10 percent
stake in platinum miner Zimplats though there is no formal agreement in
place between the government and its South African parent.

Kasukewere characterized as "cowards" critics of his moves to oblige foreign
companies to put a 51 percent stake in their Zimbabwean operations in black
hands, declaring that there have been no challenges so far in the Cabinet or
in Parliament.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti, meanwhile, has started gathering views from a
broad spectrum of stakeholders on the 2012 budget to be presented in
November.

The finance minister told journalists in a briefing this week that friction
in the national unity government is hampering the fragile economic recovery.

He said ministries must live within their means due to limited financial
resources. The finance minister added that the 2012 budget will prioritize
education

Preaching austerity, Biti said there is no money for new vehicles for 290
lawmakers now demanding them, even in the proposed form of a vehicle loan of
up to US$30,000.

Economic commentator Masimba Kuchera said Biti’s belt-tightening message is
welcome as most Zimbabweans oppose the purchase of new vehicles for
parliamentarians.


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Chiroto denies looting

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

The deputy mayor Emmanuel Chiroto has defended his construction of a
24-roomed mansion in Mt Pleasant.
01.10.1102:42pm
by Chief Reporter

Architects told The Zimbabwean that they expect the opulent structure, whose
interior furnishings are mostly imported, to cost more than $1million on
completion.

The structure is going up at a time when residents of Hatcliffe, where
Chiroto is councillor, are furious that they have gone for months without
clean running water.

The deputy mayor, whose wife was murdered by Zanu (PF) militia in 2008, says
all the councillors received the stands and there was nothing amiss.

"Check with the Housing Director, everything is above board," he said.

Chiroto denies allegations by the Harare Residents Trust that he looted
public funds to finance his new-found lavish lifestyle. But Trust
coordinator, Precious Shumba, wants an official probe.

“Our challenge is that when Mr Chiroto got into office he did not have
anything. He was staying in Hatcliffe, but now he is living beyond his means
since councillors’ salaries do not exceed $200,” he said.

Under the GNU-led anti-corruption drive, several MDC party officials have
been arrested on graft charges, but the party has been quick to dismiss the
allegations as "trumped-up". There is growing concern that the MDC officials
have used their two and half years in the GNU to feather their nests.


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Ministers not living in luxury: Tsvangirai

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has rejected suggestions that he has lost
the political will to fight the extravagance rearing its ugly head among MDC
members in the GNU.
01.10.1102:15pm
by Chief Reporter

"There is a wrong perception in this country that ministers, especially
those from the MDC, are now living in luxury," Tsvangirai said. "Do you want
ministers to go around doing government business on bicycles?

"I think we need to be fair in our criticism on excesses or indulgence of
that nature. If we were to compare with other governments, you would see
that our own ministers do not have welfare facilities like education for
their families, which they are entitled to."

These were his first comments since fresh allegations were made about the
scale of extravagance by the GNU, which claims it has blown a modest
$1.5million on luxury vehicles for ministers and other top government
officials. Critics say the expenditure is closer to $20million.

Lobbyists and observers have criticised the government for its "extravagant"
spending on the luxury cars, when millions in the country need food aid.

Every minister has a spanking new Land Rover Discovery 4.

Critics say Tsvangirai's arrogant support for conspicuous consumption makes
a mockery of poverty alleviation efforts, besides creating resentment in
society.

"I think that it is misplaced and arrogant for the PM to make such a
statement," said university student leader Collen Chibango.

"Everyone knows ministers are MPs, and already have two official cars – one
ministerial and one as an MP. Why would they need more? Especially in the
prevailing economic environment. No one is saying they should ride bicycles
to work. This is just a case of misplaced priorities and defending
unnecessary spending at the expense of the public."

The Coalition for the People's Charter said it was outraged by Tsvangirai's
support for wasteful expenditure. They say there is a very thin line between
wasteful expenditure and grand corruption and because of this senior MDC
officials were now being perceived as corrupt.

Civil society has advised that Zimbabwe should copy the example of Rwanda,
which has severely restricted the use of luxury cars by public officials.

Tsvangirai campaigned on a promise to stamp out the corruption and
extravagance that had become the hallmark of Zanu (PF) rule. But critics say
his deputies are now scoffing in the feeding trough with their Zanu (PF)
colleagues.

Political analyst Blessing Vava said there was no disputing that ministers
were entitled to vehicles, but there was no reason for one minister to get
four official vehicles.

"Its very disappointing that the Prime Minister would utter such a
statement, no one said they should not drive cars," Vava said. "To my
understanding, legislators and senators were beneficiaries of the Mazda BT50
vehicles scheme. They also benefitted from Isuzu vehicles from Gideon Gono.
Ministers also got a Mercedes Benz each - so in total they have four cars,
plus the luxurious (Land Rover) Discovery.”


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ZANU-PF to block changes to POSA again

http://www.financialgazette.co.zw

Friday, 30 September 2011 09:35

Staff Reporter

ZANU-PF will once again shoot down the Public Order and Security Act (POSA)
Amendment Bill following a new notice to reintroduce it in the current
Parliamentary session.
In the previous legislative session, which ended last month, Justice and
Legal Affairs Minister, Patrick Chinamasa blocked a bid by Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC-T) chief whip, Innocent Gonese to steer the proposed
legislation before the Senate on grounds that the matter was before the
Global Political Agreement (GPA) negotiators.
But Gonese has since given notice to resuscitate the Bill after President
Robert Mugabe igno-red the subject when he officially opened the Fourth
Session of Parliament early this month.
In his address, the President did not mention the Bill among items on the
legislative agenda of the current Parliamentary session.
The Bill, proposed by the MDC-T Mutare Central Member of Parliament, seeks
to whittle-down police powers by, among other things, compelling law
enforcers to identify its officers and the nature of force they would have
used whenever deaths, injuries, loss or damage of property arises as a
result of the use of force.
The Bill had previously been passed by the House of Assembly, which is
dominated by the MDC formations but suffered a setback in the Senate, where
it was shot down.
Chinamasa this week said Gonese's latest bid would still suffer the same
fate.
But in the event that the Senate declines to pass the Bill, Parliamentary
rules allow the House of Assembly could pass it to President Robert Mugabe
for assent.
Chinamasa declined to comment on whether or not the President would assent
or turn down a law that would have been shot down by the Senate.
Asked whether the GPA negotiators had met over the Bill, Chinamasa said no
such meeting had taken place as the MDC-T was still to bring the issue up
for discussion.
The Justice Minister, who is ZANU-PF's chief negotiator, added that there
was no meeting of negotiators on the table as of now because they had
finished their work.
"There is no meeting of the negotiators. The senate will shoot down Gonese
again. What Gonese does not understand is that what was agreed by the
negotiators cannot be undone unilaterally," he said.
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga was, however, singing from a different song
sheet.
The MDC chief negotiator said they had agreed that all the parties in the
GPA would come up with proposals on the way forward.
"We have not come up with a date to meet as negotiators, but we will meet to
attend to unfinished business," she said.


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Rhino dehorning conflict rages

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

The government’s planned rhino dehorning exercise has been castigated by
some stakeholders as having negative repercussions for the animals.
01.10.1102:36pm
by Michelle Chifamba

"Dehorning the rhino is similar to removing a bulldog's teeth or the balls
of the bull,” said one environmentalist at the recent Rhino Celebrations
day.

"Considering that the horns are the pride of any animal, removing them will
simply make the rhino less proud amongst its own kin," said Prosper Mapuza.

According to experts the black rhino uses its horn to pull foliage when
browsing and the female rhino uses it to help a newborn calf to its feet.

According to Dr William Fowlds, a wildlife expert, the animals also use
their horns to defend themselves from predators like lions.

The government has imposed lengthy jail terms for convicted poachers, but
continued international demand for the horns has meant that poaching is on
the increase.


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Tsvangirai defends book decision

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

01/10/2011 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has defended his decision to publish his
memoirs, insisting he wanted to correct historical “distortions” by his
critics.
‘Morgan Tsvangirai: In at the Deep End’, was published by Penguin Books on
Saturday.

“So much has been written from other people’s perspective and not from my
perspective," Tsvangirai said.

"There has been so much distortion, so much undermining of my character,
even misrepresentation of certain events over the last 20 or so years, so I
am just putting the record straight.”

Political memoirs are typically published at the end of one’s politically
career, and Tsvangirai has found his motives and timing being questioned by
many.
The book was ghost-written by his former spokesman, the journalist William
Tagwirei Bango.

Bango told the Voice of America’s Violet Gonda on Friday: “All I did was to
take his views which he had put on paper, and to talk to him for long
periods [200 hours] and then I summarised his thoughts and gave it back to
him to approve, which he duly did.”

Bango said the book showed Tsvangirai “swimming against a very harsh tide
which was determined to stop any movement towards the democratisation of
this country”.

He added: “I gathered from the material and from his story that he is a
person who lived an extraordinary life as a human being, starting off as a
first child of peasant parents in an arid rural area like Buhera, working
through his education under very difficult circumstances during the colonial
era and finding his first job in a textile factory as a weaver and finally
rising to a position of becoming a Prime Minister of a nation.”

In the book, Tsvangirai deals with the 2005 split in his Movement for
Democratic Change party which he blames partly on former South African
President Thabo Mbeki.

Tsvangirai charges that the MDC’s founding secretary general Welshman Ncube,
now leader of a rival MDC faction, held secret meetings with a faction of
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF aligned to Defence Minister Emmerson
Mnangagwa in the run-up to the split.

Tsvangirai also speaks of his “shock” when former British Prime Minister
Tony Blair told the House of Commons that he was working closely with the
MDC for regime change in Zimbabwe, which severely undermined him in the eyes
of African leaders.

Excerpts from the book are set to be serialised by at least 11 South African
newspapers and The Daily News in Zimbabwe.


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Kasukuwere misled the nation: MDC youths

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/

The MDC-T Youth Assembly has denied claims by Zanu (PF)’s empowerment point
man, Savior Kasukuwere, that it had asked to be included in the looting of
foreign companies under the guise of indigenisation.
01.10.1102:40pm
by Fungi Kwaramba

In an exclusive interview with The Zimbabwean, Secretary General Promise
Mkwananzi and President Solomon Madzore said it was impossible to have an
empowered society in an environment where the people were still suffering
from political violence.

They dismissed as “a blatant lie” Kasukuwere’s statement to the press that
they had sought to be involved in the empowerment crusade, where Zanu (PF)
is stripping investors of 51 percent of their shareholding.

“First we need political stability before we empower people. Currently
people are suffering, so how do you empower them?” asked Mkwananzi.

On Thursday Kasukuwere told the media: “I asked them, (the youths) what
their problem was with indigenisation and they told me that they support it
and suggested that the indigenous cake be shared equally among the coalition
government partners.”

Mkwananzi confirmed that the assembly met Kasukuwere, but said the MDC
youths did not want shares for themselves but for the people of Zimbabwe who
have not benefited from previous government policies such as the land reform
programme, and who are not currently benefiting from government loans.

“We want all people to benefit from empowerment and not just a few,” said
Mwananzi.


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Zimbabwe Railway Strike Sign of Urgent Need for Restructuring - Minister

http://www.voanews.com/

30 September 2011

National Railways of Zimbabwe workers are demanding payment of salaries and
allowances going back to 2009 - the case of some workers amounting to as
much as US$9,000, a small fortune in Zimbabwe

Gibbs Dube | Washington

The lowest paid lecturers at teachers colleges earn US$220 a month while
their counterparts at universities are paid more than US$1,000

Zimbabwean State Enterprises Minister Gorden Moyo said an ongoing strike by
workers of the National Railways of Zimbabwe signals the urgent need for
restructuring, adding that he has sent a proposal for reorganization to the
Ministry of Transport.

NRZ workers are demanding payment of salaries and allowances going back to
2009 - the case of some workers amounting to as much as US$9,000.

The state enterprises minister said the government must act now to save the
NRZ. "We have already sent a comprehensive proposal to the transport
ministry detailing ways in which the NRZ can be restructured," Moyo said.

Meanwhile, lecturers at public teachers colleges and polytechnical
institutes have also gone on strike, demanding significantly higher
salaries. Sources said lecturers boycotted classes Friday and vowed to stay
out until their demands are met.

The lowest paid lecturers in such institutions earn US$220 a month while
their counterparts at universities are paid more than US$1,000.

One college lecturer speaking to VOA on condition of anonymity said
instructors are demanding at least 70 percent of what the university
lecturers are being paid.


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Mine grab will only benefit clever ones: Supa

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

Ordinary Zimbabweans will not benefit from the forced indigenisation of
foreign-owned mines because they are not clever enough, says Supa
Mandiwanzira, president of the Affirmative Action Group.
01.10.1102:46pm
by Radio VOP

Delivering a lecture at Midlands State University titled "Demystifying
Indigenisation", the former broadcaster, who has become fabulously wealthy
on the indigenisation ticket, said: “We shall not lie to people that
everyone will benefit from the 51% policy.”

He said it was “only the clever ones that are near the opportunities and
have the knowledge of the companies that will benefit".

Mandiwanzira took an uncharacteristic swipe at his Zanu (PF) masters, who
are fighting for shares in the lucrative Zimplats platinum mine.

He said the AAG, founded by President Mugabe’s nephew Phillip Chiyangwa, was
against those “stepping on each others toes in a bid to get a controlling
stake of the company”.

"We ask these people that we have been reading about to back off. Zimplats
is a big company that cannot be taken by an individual. We are saying every
Zimbabwean should benefit from such big profit-making companies. Therefore
everyone should get the shares instead of one person."

But he quickly added that it would not be possible for everyone to benefit
from the policy, whereby 51% of all foreign-owned companies must be ceded to
local shareholders.

"There is no democracy in business, to be able to get into business, you
need to be clever and wise, possess the ability to work very hard, to be
strong such that you are able to rise again if you fall. It’s highly
competitive and individualistic in nature,” he said.

Despite, incontrovertible evidence that the Indigenisation Act has scared
off international investors, Mandiwanzira insisted it had now.

"Those who claim the act is scaring investors away are lying,” he said. “How
can they be scared aware by a law? They want platinum, gold and other things
that we have so they will still come to invest because we have what they
want. Bill Gates, who is said to be the richest person, only owns 12% of
Microsoft. Yet our law offers the foreigners 49%.”

He added that Zimbabwe’s indigenisation laws could not be compared to other
countries, saying “other countries do not need it because they do not have
the natural resources that foreigners badly need to exploit”.

Without providing any statistics to back up his claims, he insisted: "If you
go to the Ministry of Mines you will find long queues of foreigners who want
to invest in mining so it means investors are coming."

Mandiwanzira claimed that with the exception of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, all other coalition partners acknowledge that the Indigenisation
Act was a good policy.

“The Prime Minister is the only one who is not educated. He belongs to the
minority and if he continues to oppose indigenisation, he will lose his
supporters,” Mandiwanzira told journalists.

“Criticism of Zanu (PF) fat cats without including MDC fat cats smacks of
sinister hidden agendas really,” he said.


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Anglican hymn becomes global prayer

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/

The Anglican Church, under siege from renegade bishop Nolbert Kunonga, has
adopted the song “Namata Urinde” (Watch and Pray) as a prayer and a
watchword as it faces persecution.
01.10.1102:35pm
by Fungi Kwaramba

The Shona and English versions of the hymn have been posted on several
websites so that Anglicans throughout the world can join in this prayer with
Anglicans in Zimbabwe.

The words of the hymn are as follows: Mukristu usanete, Christian, do not
tire, Inzwa Ngerosi yako, Listen to your angel, Uri mukati memhandu;You are
amid enemies; "Namata urinde." "Watch and pray." Hondo dzese dzedima,The
armies of darkness, Dzisingamboonekwi, That are invisible, Dzinoda kukubata;
Want to seize you; "Namata urinde." "Watch and pray."

Tora mapfumo ako Take up your spears, Abate misi yese, Hold them on all
days, Satan anorindira; Satan is watching for them; "Namata urinde." "Watch
and pray." Inzwa vakakurira Hear those who overcame, Vari kukuringisa, They
are conquering, Ivo vese vachiti, All of them saying, "Namata urinde."
"Watch and pray."

Shona text is from Ndwiyo Dzomuchechi [Hymns of the Church], rev. ed.
(London: S.P.C.K., 1966). It was itself a translation of an English hymn,
"Christian, seek not yet repose," Hymn 308 in Hymns Ancient and Modern, but
the now immensely popular Shona version is a condensed version.


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The whole story



Dear Family and Friends,
Taking a friend home to his rural village this week, my eyes were wide
open to absorb sights that we once took for granted in Zimbabwe,
before farming districts became ‘no-go areas.’ How sad it is that
eleven years after they were violently taken over, our commercial
farming areas have become largely wasteland. Lonely, derelict,
desolate places where the overpowering image is mile after mile of
nothing-ness. No fences, no farming activity, no production, and in
most places, very few livestock and even fewer people.

Sitting on a small anthill, surrounded by blackened, burnt landscape
was a young man with a whip in his hand. Four black and brown cattle
were snuffling in the dust and ash nearby, searching for green shoots
of grass. It was a very hot day, windless and bone dry with hazy
mirages shimmering in the distance. The look on the face of the young
man was that of utter boredom. Every now and again his hand came up
and flicked at a fly on his face or he lazily swished the whip in the
direction of the four cattle. Too old to be at school and one of the
approximately 80 percent of people unemployed in Zimbabwe, the young
man had become the cattle minder. He would only have been a little
boy, perhaps nine years old, when this place was turned upside down. I
wondered if he could remember the time when this farm had been
bustling with life and productivity and employed scores of people. The
irony of the young man and his four cattle in this particular location
weighed heavy on my mind.

The anthill that the young man was lolling against is on land which
used to be a prime dairy farm. Just a decade ago there were sturdy
fences and lush green pastures where the young man was sitting. A few
hundred fat, shiny black and white Holstein cows used to graze here,
so heavy with milk that their udders nearly touched the ground. Every
two or three days the milk tankers came, all year round, winter or
summer, rain or shine. The fresh milk from this dairy farm was much
sought after by everyone in the area, as was the thick, sweet cream it
gave and the glossy yellow butter it made. The commonest sight in the
early mornings and late afternoons was of people walking to the farm
carrying containers, going to buy fresh milk, straight from the cow.

All that came to a stop when the Zimbabwean Ambassador to an eastern
European country decided he was going to have that dairy farm. We
could never understand why an Ambassador based in another country
should be given a seized farm, or how he could be classed as a ‘land
hungry peasant’ but common sense made no difference in the greedy
political land grab.

My friend’s words interrupted my thoughts as we passed the now
deserted dairy farm. “There is nowhere to get milk here anymore,”
he said, commenting that he had two large packets of milk powder in
his bag. Around the corner, on another seized commercial farm, the
fences were all gone and a donkey cart lay abandoned in the dirt with
a broken axle and only one wheel. The driveway leading to the farm
house which had once been a wide clear road, was so under utilized
that it was overgrown with grass and tree saplings and had become
little more than a footpath.

Arriving at my friend’s village the contrast to the desolate
overgrown farms was dramatic; everywhere people were visible and busy.
They were re-thatching roofs before the rain, stacking bricks that had
been made and fired during the winter, carrying piles of dark black
manure from their cattle pens to the fields. Women were carrying water
to their beds of tomatoes and cabbages and everyone was busy getting
ready for rain and the new season.

Later that day I sat reading a book I had bought recently, called
“If Something is Wrong.” Published by the Agricultural Workers
Union (GAPWUZ), the book presents eye witness accounts of Zimbabwe’s
farm seizures as told by the farm workers. It is a seldom heard side
to the land reform story which makes for compelling, painful reading.
First hand accounts from men and women who had no voice during the
land seizures. Men and women who met every criteria for receiving the
land that was being seized. But they did not; instead their lives,
homes and families were utterly ravaged by greedy, violent thugs doing
the bidding of their political masters. Perhaps one day the young man
leaning on an anthill watching four cows will hear the whole story.

Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy. Copyright � Cathy
Buckle.1st October 2011.
www.cathybuckle.com


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Zanu PF to blame

http://www.cathybuckle.com/

October 1, 2011, 5:17 am

A report by the International Bar Association has put the blame squarely on
Zanu PF for the failure to implement reforms in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe, says the
IBA report, is still in crisis three years after the signing of the grandly
named Global Political Agreement, “…political environment gravely polarized
by resurgence of violence, arrests, intimidation and hate speech…”

Zanu PF, of course, responded the just way we have come to expect. Rugare
Gumbo condemns the IBA as an organization that is “in business to criticise
Zanu PF.”

If this short extract is anything to go by, the IBA report is relatively
mild, compared to what is really happening in Zimbabwe. A worrying
development recently is the increasing use of so-called ‘youth’ in carrying
out violence and disruption. I’m not exactly sure what age one has to be to
qualify as a ‘youth’ but last weekend it was reported that ‘Zanu PF youths’
had seriously disrupted a ZCTU meeting being held in Bulawayo. The meeting
was being addressed by top Union officials when this rowdy group of ‘youths’
disrupted the gathering. For once, the police actually did what they are
supposed to and ordered the youths to leave but they would not budge. It was
only the intervention of a senior Zanu PF official that finally persuaded
them: Zanu PF’s law had prevailed!

The news that the activities of the Chipangano gang has the support of
senior Zanu PF leaders came as no surprise and this week the MDC called on
Mugabe to stop the gang’s violence. Needless to say, Mugabe has done and
the gang continues to wreak havoc in Harare. ‘Zanu PF youths’ were busy this
week taking over the carparks in a Harare suburb. They say it is part of the
‘indigenisation’ programme, empowering the people! To demonstrate their
loyalty to Mugabe and the former ruling party, the youths hoisted the Zanu
PF flag at ‘their’ carparks. At the same time as this patently illegal
activity was going on, a group of MDC youth were denied permission for a
march. All marches are banned, the police announced, except for those
organised by government ministries or departments.

The combined motives of violence for political ends and personal greed make
for a toxic mix that has poisoned all aspects of life in Zimbabwe. Zanu PF
thugs have banned the Seventh Day Adventist Church from holding their
services in a local school because some of the church members are also
members of the MDC. ‘Bishop’ Kunonga continues to evict bona fide Anglican
priests from their homes. This week he was in Chegutu where his thugs were
accompanied by a court messenger to give a veneer of legality to their
illegal activities. Apparently, the thugs are masquerading as priests while
they beat and threaten both laity and clergy. In the rural areas too, some
traditional chiefs appear to be in thrall to Kunonga as one chief orders
Anglican parishioners in Chikwaka to pay allegiance to Kunonga – ‘pay’ being
the operative word.

A statistic from the IBA report shows that politically motivated arrests
have increased from 300 people for the whole of 2010 to 800 in the first six
months of 2011. The continuing harassment and arrests of the Woza women is
clearly political and the charge of ‘kidnapping and theft’ against the
leaders, Mahlangu and Williams is simply nonsensical. These brave women have
been remanded in custody until October 6th despite calls from all quarters
for their release.

Reports speak of 5000 Mapostoris invading sugar estates in the lowveld where
sugar production has been reduced by 70%; I seem to recall another such
invasion some years back. It is, as a good friend of mine always says, “Same
old, same old” in Zimbabwe. As the net tightens, Zanu PF they descend to
crude threats against their enemies, real or imagined. This week it was
Emerson Mnangagwa telling those countries that want to invade Zimbabwe (!)
that the ‘ZNA will crush them.’ No comment needed, I think.

Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH.


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Bill Watch - Parliamentary Committees Series - 30th September 2011 [Meetings Open to Public 3 - 6 October]

BILL WATCH

PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES SERIES

[30th September 2011]

Committee Meetings Open to the Public: 3rd to 6th October

The committee meetings listed below will be open to members of the public, but as observers only, not as participants, i.e. members of the public can listen but not speak. All meetings will be held at Parliament in Harare, entrance on Kwame Nkrumah Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Streets.

Note: This bulletin is based on information released by Parliament this afternoon. But, as there are sometimes last-minute changes to the meetings schedule, persons wishing to attend a meeting should avoid possible disappointment by checking with the relevant committee clerk that the meeting is still on and still open to the public. Parliament’s telephone numbers are Harare 700181 and 252936. If attending, please use the Kwame Nkrumah Ave entrance to Parliament. IDs must be produced.

Monday 3rd October at 10 am

No open meetings

Monday 3rd October at 2 pm

Portfolio Committee: Public Works and National Housing

Oral evidence from the Ministry of Public Works on its construction projects

Committee Room No. 311

Chairperson: Hon Mupukuta Clerk: Mr Mazani

Tuesday 4th October at 10 am

No open meetings

Wednesday 5th October at 10 am

Portfolio Committee: Agriculture, Water, Lands and Resettlement

Oral evidence from the Minister of Agriculture on the operations of ARDA and its partners, and other issues

Committee Room No. 4

Chairperson: Hon Chinamona Clerk: Mrs Mataruka-Mudavanhu

Thursday 6th October

No open meetings

What Other Committees Will be Doing

All other committees are also due to meet but in closed session, to complete work plans for the session, consider draft reports, prepare questions for future meetings to hear oral evidence and conduct field visits. For instance:

The Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment will prepare questions to be put to representatives of the Chamber of Mines at a future meeting

The Thematic Committee on Human Rights will discuss its visit to prisons

The Public Accounts Committee will deliberate on evidence received from CMED on the management of Government vehicles

The Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs will consider its itinerary for public hearings on the Electoral Amendment Bill

The Portfolio Committee on Education, Sport and Culture will deliberate on the Asiagate soccer match-fixing scandal

The Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce will consider its draft report on four international agreements for which the Minister of Industry and Commerce is seeking Parliamentary approval: International Coffee Agreement; Kuwait/Zimbabwe Trade Agreement; 2nd Revised Cotonou Agreement of 2010 between EU and ACP states; Economic Partnership Agreement of 2009 between the EU and Eastern and Southern African states

The Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technology will pay field visits to ZIMPOST Offices in Harare

Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied

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