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Mugabe dismisses health speculation

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

02/10/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has brushed aside rumours of ill-health as he
returned home on Sunday from yet another trip to the Far East, his sixth
this year alone.

Mugabe left the country for Singapore last week prompting renewed
speculation over his health.

The weekly Standard newspaper quoted Information and Publicity Minister
Webster Shamu sa saying the veteran leader had travelled to attend a
scheduled review for an eye cataract surgery he had earlier this year.

''He went for a review following an eye operation he had earlier on. He will
be back tomorrow (Sunday),'' the newspaper quoted Shamu as saying without
giving details.

However, on Sunday the state broadcaster, ZBC reported that a jovial Mugabe
had dismissed the speculation saying he had, in fact, spent time with his
daughter, Bona, who is believed to be studying in Hong Kong.

Mugabe – who turned 87 this year -- has repeatedly laughed off suggestions
of ill health and reports that he was dying of cancer.

According to a US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, Mugabe has
prostate cancer that has spread to other organs and was urged by his
physician to step down in 2008.

In the cable dated June 2008 and written by James D McGee, the former US
ambassador in Harare, Zimbabwe's Central Bank governor Gideon Gono was cited
as saying the cancer could lead to Mugabe's death in three to five years.

Although there have been reports over the years that Mugabe's health is
failing, he and his officials have never confirmed that he has any serious
ailment.
He is set to represent Zanu PF in the next presidential elections which he
insists must be held by March next year.

Analysts claim Mugabe and his inner circle want an early election, fearing
he may not be able to cope with the demands of campaigning in two years'
time when he will be 89.


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Mr Land Grab at it again in Zimbabwe

http://www.timeslive.co.za

JAMA MAJOLA | 02 October, 2011 00:57

Zimbabwe's Minister of Home Affairs, Kembo Mohadi, who already owns vast
tracts of farmland, has been accused of gross nepotism after grabbing more
land from neighbouring resettled farmers to give to his son and nephew.

The minister, a major actor in the land-invasions drama that started in
2000, has been named in various reports as one of the high-profile multiple
farm owners in Zimbabwe.

Last year, he was accused by the Commercial Farmers' Union of being behind
an invasion of a lodge on Benlynian Game Ranch, 46km from the South African
border.

President Robert Mugabe and most senior Zanu-PF officials have seized
numerous farms, making them Zimbabwe's new land barons. The farms were
grabbed from white commercial farmers hounded out without compensation or
forced to work on smaller pieces of land.

In the latest dispute, Mohadi is accused of using a gun to threaten local
resettled farmers and villagers.

One of the dispossessed farmers told the Sunday Times Mohadi had seized
plots bordering Zvovhe Dam, leaving them landless and without means of
survival. "Mohadi threatened my mother with a gun. He has visited our land
many times and even shot a dog, saying he was untouchable. He will kill
people on the farm and nothing will happen to him," he said.

Mohadi refused to comment, and police said they did not know anything about
it .

Resettled farmers in Beit Bridge, some of them war veterans and
conservationists, say they have been trying for a long time to ward off the
minister, but are losing the fight because they lack political connections.

The minister's wife, Tambudzani, was also involved in a series of clashes
with them, and the farmers had to seek a court order against her.

The farmers have written to the Matabeleland South war veterans' chapter,
seeking help and saying Mohadi wants to parcel out their land to his son,
Campbell, and his nephew, Danisa Muleya.

They also say Mohadi, who occupies a huge farm which he grabbed from a white
farmer, has been pushing for the seizure of their plots since 2009.

This led to the redrawing of the boundaries of the adjacent land where the
farmers have been displaced. "We know he is going to give that land to his
son and nephew," said a farmer.


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Diamond boycott threat

http://www.timeslive.co.za

ZOLI MANGENA | 02 October, 2011 00:58

In a move which shows Zimbabwe's controversial diamond mining continues to
divide and poison the international diamond market, civil society members of
the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) say they will boycott the
next month's critical plenary session of the organisation.

This is bound to fuel controversy after Zimbabwe tried to sell its
accumulated consignments of the tainted Marange diamonds in June, when it
was cleared to do so amid divisions and dispute within the KPCS.

Although the country was partially given the green light to sell in June,
some powerful KPCS members including the US, Canada and the European Union
(EU), strongly objected, citing continued human rights abuses and
corruption.

The KPCS, created by the United Nations in 2003 to prevent "blood diamonds"
from financing conflict, has warned consumers that purchasing such gems was
tantamount to financing strife and human rights abuses. The June decision to
allow Zimbabwe to resume sales was broadly supported by African countries.

There are 49 participants in the KPCS representing 75 countries, with the EU
counting as a single member. The participants include all major rough
diamond-producing, exporting and importing countries.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) currently chairs the KPCS. There is
no consensus on who will chair it in 2012.

This week civil society groups on the KPCS said they would boycott the next
plenary session because violence and smuggling were continuing in Zimbabwe,
which was suspended from international trade in 2009 over human rights
concerns. But the KPCS has not fully resolved the issues being raised.
Instead the group, now led by the DRC's Mathieu Yamba, has been trying to
bring Zimbabwe back into the international trade market, despite lingering
concerns.

The KPCS's civil society wing, which includes Partnership Africa Canada
(Pac) and Global Witness, has now resolved to stay away from the next
plenary session. In a note emailed last week to Yamba and the KPCS's other
members, the coalition said the decision to boycott the meeting was based on
several factors.

"We have grave concerns about the ability of the Kimberley Process to
respond effectively to situations where diamonds are fuelling armed violence
and gross human rights violations," Pac's Alan Martin wrote.

"We remain particularly concerned that this plenary will likely end all
meaningful oversight of (Chiadzwa) Marange, despite ongoing and credible
concerns about its compliance and cooperation with the KP in meeting minimum
standards."

In June the groups walked out of a meeting on Zimbabwe's trade future, which
ended in dispute.

Martin said he hoped their boycott of the "sham" plenary would force KPCS
members to re-examine their role and position on Zimbabwe.

"The entire diamond supply chain is infected by stones from Chiadzwa. But
the KP has displayed an inability to deal with this effectively," he said.
"We don't want to be part of a plenary where these issues are thrown aside
as part of some expedient attempt to ignore the issues and make face-saving
attempts to get Zimbabwe back into the market."

The decision came as another death was reported at the diamond fields.
Tsorosai Kusena, 39, reportedly died last week after being assaulted by
police. Kusena, of Betera village, died in police custody. His two brothers
are reportedly still in hospital recovering from severe injuries.

"Despite our absence from this KP plenary, the coalition remains committed
to supporting a diverse range of initiatives, both inside and outside of the
KP process, that aim to improve the lives of people in diamond-mining
communities," Martin said.


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WikiLeaks strengthened Mugabe's hand: Moyo

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

02/10/2011 00:00:00
    by Nqaba Matshazi I The Standard

FORMER Information minister Jonathan Moyo has dismissed President Robert
Mugabe’s potential successors in Zanu PF, saying they had so far not shown
vision or policy to take the country forward.

“We know who they are, but we do not know what they stand for, their policy
or ideology,” he said in a SAPES Trust lecture on Thursday.

Moyo’s statements would be seen as a thinly-veiled attack on Vice President
Joice Mujuru and Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who are reportedly
leading opposing factions within Zanu PF and are positioning themselves to
succeed Mugabe.

“Mugabe remains the only person who talks to the people and who talks the
indigenous talk, we are better off with him than the others,” Moyo, a Zanu
PF politburo member, said.

The Tsholotsho North  legislator said the succession issue would be resolved
through a framework within Zanu PF where the person to succeed Mugabe would
be faithful to the founding values, policy and retaining the legacy of the
party.

He said the problem was that Zimbabweans tended to focus on individuals and
lost sight of the bigger picture, a problem he blamed on the media.

Moyo said contrary to popular perception, there was robust debate within
Zanu PF on the succession issue, but the consensus was that Mugabe was the
rightful leader.

The former university lecturer claimed the media’s handling of the Zanu PF
succession issue had been immature, creating controversy where there was
none.

Moyo is no stranger to the Zanu PF succession debate and is widely regarded
as one of the key architects of the Tsholotsho Declaration, which was meant
to torpedo Mujuru’s ascendancy to the vice-president’s post.

He was expelled from Zanu PF after deciding to stand as an independent
candidate, only to make a return to the party in 2009, four years after his
expulsion.

Turning to the leaked US cables, Moyo said these had strengthened Mugabe’s
hand and predicted that those named would fall over themselves trying to
please the president in an effort to make amends for perceived
transgressions.

Whistleblower website, WikiLeaks released secret US embassy cables, where
Zanu PF members, including Moyo were reported to have confided in American
envoys.

A constant theme in the released Zimbabwe cables was the succession issue,
as Zanu PF members expressed frustration at Mugabe’s grip on power.

“We will see those named doing everything possible to support Mugabe,” he
said. “It will take a courageous politician in Zanu PF to act as if nothing
happened.”

It was widely expected that Mugabe, who reportedly does not take kindly to
disloyalty, was going to wield the axe and take punitive measures on those
named in the cables, but the expected backlash is yet to happen.

Moyo said it was inconceivable that people would lose their political
careers over the leaked cables, although he said this opened the door for
others to rise within the party’s structures.

He conceded that Zimbabwe was a closed society, saying had it been open the
upheaval over the leaked cables would not be happening.


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Two leaders of Women of Zimbabwe Arise still in prison – Action Alert

http://www.sokwanele.com/thisiszimbabwe/archives/7041
 

October 2nd, 2011

Two leaders of Women of Zimbabwe Arise, Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu have now spent nine days at Mlondolozi Prison near Bulawayo after their arrest on September 21.  On September 23 they were remanded in custody until October 6, on charges of kidnap and theft, and the following day an urgent application for bail was lodged with the High Court.  A week later the Court is yet to set down a date for the bail hearing, in spite of the fact that bail applications are normally treated with urgency.

The two have denied the charges, which allege that they held another woman for 6 hours and stole a torch. They state that the woman willingly accompanied them to assist in retrieving property stolen from WOZA, and the torch in question was voluntarily handed to them. Further they argue that even if they were to be convicted on such incredible allegations, the sentence might well consist of community service or even a suspended sentence, rather than a custodial one.

The state is opposing bail on the grounds that the two have been avoiding arrest and hiding from the police, in spite of the fact that they have been living openly in Bulawayo.  Surprisingly, the affidavit supporting the state’s position is signed by none other than Detective Sergeant Ngwenya of the Law and Order Department, who states that he had been attempting to arrest the two on these charges for some time. It is surely an anomaly that such an apparently common criminal matter should be handled by Law and Order instead of CID, as would be expected -  a fact which leads us to believe that these are not ordinary charges, but intended to harass the WOZA leadership and frustrate the activities of a movement which is peacefully promoting democracy and social justice.

Another ground given for opposing bail is that the two have pending charges relating to unlawful demonstrations, blocking the pavement and failing to inform the regulating authority.  These charges have however been made irrelevant by a ruling obtained by WOZA from the Supreme Court in 2010 allowing that WOZA’s peaceful demonstrations are indeed lawful. We find the delay in setting down a date for a bail hearing a denial of justice under the circumstances, and hope that this will be remedied very soon.

Meanwhile, we would like to inform sympathisers and supporters that their words and acts in solidarity are greatly appreciated and help to keep up the morale of the two prisoners. We urge them to continue to communicate with Mlondolozi Prison to request the authorities not to abuse the rights of the two.


Action Alert

Amnesty International has urged members of the public to petition the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa and Attorney General, Johannes Toman. You can help by supporting this urgent action now!


Other useful numbers are:
Regional Prisons Headquarters (Bulawayo): +263 9 71458/71468
Mlondolozi Prison: +263 9 64228

Other News Links:
http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/human-rights/53311/human-rights-amnesty-petitions-govt.html
http://www.swradioafrica.com/news290911/mdcwoman290911.htm

Ends

For more information, please phone Nolwandle on +263 772 898 110 or email info@wozazimbabwe.org. More information can also be found on our website at www.wozazimbabwe.org


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Majority of Zimbabweans shun state TV broadcasts

http://www.rapidtvnews.com/

Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 02-10-2011

State controlled Zimbabwe Television Corporation (ZBC) is being shunned by
over 60% of the television owning public in the troubled southern African
nation, who are instead predominantly watching free to air regional and
international channels via satellite.

New research from the Zimbabwe All Media Products Survey (ZAMPS) published
in The Zimbabwean found that locals have increasingly bought small satellite
dishes from South Africa and Botswana in reaction to intensified propaganda
by Zanu (PF) over the past five years.

Ellington Kamba, managing director of Research Board International, told
ZAMPS that Zimbabwe now has over three million satellite dishes.

The decoders receive free to air channels such as South Africa's SABC 1, 2
and 3; Botswana TV; France24 and a multitude of other TV and radio stations.

"We discovered that indeed there is a proliferation of satellite dishes in
the country, maybe owing to the fact that the free to air services are
cheaper to maintain," Kamba is quoted as saying in the Zimbabwean.

The ZAMPS's findings demonstrate that ZBC continues to misinform
Zimbabweans, according to Nhalanhla Ngwenya, chapter director, Media
Institute of Southern Africa. He told The Zimbabwean: "The findings by ZAMPS
should not shock anyone who has been following the Zimbabwean story,
particularly those who have been analysing the country's media landscape."


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Sleeping in queues for water

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

Residents here have resorted to sleeping in queues in order to access water
from boreholes as the water crisis in the town deepens.
30.09.1109:53am
by Fungi Kwaramba

Residents of Unit O, N, P, L and M have been the worst affected by the water
unavailability and are relying on boreholes that were drilled by UNICEF at
the height of the cholera outbreak in 2008/9.

“I have to be at the borehole just before midnight otherwise I will not have
the chance to get water,” said Barbara Mupindu of Unit M.

Hundreds of residents compete for the scarce commodity at a UNICEF drilled
borehole at St Edens Primary school and in order to get water, they must
sleep in the queue.

Chitungwiza Residents and Ratepayers Association chairman, Arthur Taderera,
said that the water situation in Chitungwiza was a cause for concern.

“Because of water shortages a health time bomb is slowly ticking. We may
have the situation that we had in 2008 if the situation does not improve.
There is need for new water sources and for the town council to be more
responsive when it is not available,” said Taderera.

Chitungwiza was the epicenter of the 2008 cholera outbreak that killed at
least 4 000 people in 2008.


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Zimbabwe threatens to close under resourced universities

http://www.theafricareport.com

Monday, 26 September 2011 13:56

The Zimbabwean government has threatened to shut down under-resourced
universities saying the institutions are compromising education standards.

Zimbabwe has nine state run universities and four church administered
institutions.′′

Permanent secretary in the ministry of Higher Education and Tertiary,
Washington Mbizvo said institutions with critical shortage of lecturers
would be closed.′′

Mbizvo said there was no reason for universities with no adequate human
recourses to continue operating as “they will not produce quality
 graduates.”

Although most state universities are under-funded, government has in the
past said it plans to establish more universities.

′′Recently, Mbizvo’s ministry suspended PHD programmes at the National
Science and Technology and veterinary studies offered by the oldest higher
leaning institute, the University of Zimbabwe (UZ).′

The decade long economic crisis in Zimbabwe resulted in a massive brain
drain that affected the main universities with some having less than half of
its required staff′′.

Because of the shortage of lecturers, universities are forced to enroll
fewer students or close faculties. ′′

Faculties that are most affected by the shortage of lecturers included
metallurgical engineering, mining engineering, biochemistry and
pharmaceutical technology.

′′UZ Vice-chancellor Levy Nyagura recently told a parliamentary committee on
education that the institution was resorting to hiring expatriate lecturers
and former staff members who have joined other sectors to work part-time.′′

Many professionals have left the country to seek better-paying jobs in
neighbouring South Africa and overseas because of the economic problems.′′

Those left behind often resort to part-time jobs to supplement their
salaries.


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Zim must pay up: IMF

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

Zimbabwe must pay $55 million to the International Monetary Fund this year
to enhance its chances of winning back crucial economic aid from the Bretton
Woods institution.
30.09.1105:20pm
by Chief Reporter

However, analysts say the beleaguered Harare administration could again
struggle to clear the arrears due to a crushing foreign currency crisis.

The government, which has constantly defaulted on its commitments to the IMF
and other multilateral financial institutions, has forked out $140 million
from its Special Drawing Rights to meet scheduled financial obligations. If
Zimbabwe clears its arrears, it will be eligible for desperately needed
economic aid.

The GNU says it needs at least $10 billion to tackle economic ruin and put
the country on a firm path to recovery and reconstruction. The latest
information from the IMF shows that the southern African country's arrears
to the Bretton Woods institution now stands at US$55 million.

The IMF urged Harare to clear the arrears. Clearing the debt also gives
Zimbabwe access to $102 million that was placed in escrow until Zimbabwe
clears its debt. The latest payment by Finance minister Tendai Biti was
taken from IMF special drawing rights to Zimbabwe under a $250 billion
global agreement to bolster the reserves of the IMF's 186 member countries
in the wake of the worldwide financial crisis. Zimbabwe has made payment
under the IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust.

Analysts this week said the cash-strapped government, battling severe
foreign currency problems, would most likely continue to default on its
commitment to the IMF and further alienate the country from the
international community.

IMF said: "Co-operation on payments remained poor, cooperation on policies
improved in 2010 before policy setbacks in 2011 cast significant
uncertainties on economic prospects".

University of Zimbabwe business lecturer, Anthony Hawkins, said the
government might decide not to honour its remaining obligations to the Fund,
preferring to meet pressing requirements and other essential imports this
year.

"I don't think there is any intention of paying the outstanding amount,"
Hawkins told The Zimbabwean.

Consultant economist, John Robertson, said: "The government has a very
difficult task of meeting all its commitments to the international
community. We have been alienated from the rest of the world."

Biti said Zimbabwe was on a cash budget, "so this means we are not going to
pay off arrears or carry out some of the capital expenditure projects lined
up for the year".

He said government was collecting 35 percent below targeted revenue, and
there was no money to clear off the arrears.


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Disgraceful Zimbabwean asked for £25 000 to expose illegals in UK

http://www.zimdiaspora.com

Sunday, 02 October 2011 09:04

By Admore Tshuma in Oxford

A NOTORIOUS and disgraceful Zimbabwean approached British authorities and
asked for £25 000 as proposed payment for identifying and exposing failed
asylum seekers including those without a legal status in the United Kingdom,
The ZimDiaspora can sensationally reveal.

This was revealed by British Labour party officials to an MDC-T MP Thabitha
Khumalo last week. According to MP Khumalo, British authorities were shocked
to receive a £25 000 project proposal from a Zimbabwean offering to hunt
down failed asylum seekers for deportation.

The name of this evil Zimbabwean based in the UK has not been revealed yet,
but we, as The ZimDiaspora.com promise to find out who he exactly he is, as
already there are reports that up to 70 Zimbabweans were being clandestinely
deported every month from Britain.

Therefore, we have mandated ourselves to snif this monster out and, name and
shame the shameless culprit.

Conspicuously missing from the high profile meeting was the MDC-UK chairman
Tonderai Samanyanga, his Secretary Owen Muganda and Organising Secretary
Jeff Sango, a development that raised many questions within the meeting.

Khumalo who is the Bulawayo east MP, made public the £25 000 controversial
project proposal in Britain’s Oxford city when she addressed more than 100
members of the Movement for Democratic Change led by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai.

Khumalo was told this when she participated in just-ended Labour party
annual conference in Liverpool. She said she was disappointed by that
Zimbabweans were enemies of their own as far as deportation in the UK were
concerned.

“I now have credible information from the horse’s mouth that you are selling
out yourselves,” she said.

“Labour officials told me that a certain Zimbabwean living in Britain has
written a £25 000 project proposal to help British immigration identify
Zimbabweans without a stay here including failed asylum,” said Khumalo.

She said her Labour party colleagues were unequivocally disappointed by this
“satanic” project proposal - now gathering dusty in the authorities’
offices.

“I am shocked and I must tell you even authorities in this country are
disappointed in you. Almost in every deportation there is a Zimbabwean who
is involved in selling out a fellow Zimbabwean. My problem is, having
assisted in deportation of your fellow Zimbabwean, what does your conscience
tell you?”

“We are also having the same problem with Zimbabweans in South Africa. It is
official that there are 3 million Zimbabweans in South Africa many of whom
were victims of Gukurahundi who left the country in the 1980s running away
from persecution,” she said.

“We also get loads of stories of Zimbabweans in South Africa selling out
each others from authorities there, while I insist that Zimbabweans need to
regularise their stays in any foreign country where they are, it is
unacceptable for another Zimbabwean to sell out another Zimbabwean that way.
It is a shame, because the situation in Zimbabwe is no good,”

“As I speak now ZANU-PF has set up 67 militia camps around the country.
These are young innocent men and women being taught violence and torture
against anyone opposed to Robert Mugabe. So why will you diasporas conspire
to deport each other at such an incredible level?” she asked.

MP Khumalo appealed to Zimbabweans in the UK to unite and refrain from
illicit activities.

She said British officials were themselves unimpressed by those Zimbabweans
who were reporting other Zimbabweans.

“When a report has been made, they are compelled by the law to take action
and what do you benefit from that? Even if it happens that you disagree with
someone, punishing someone through deportation to Zimbabwe is like murdering
that individual, “she said.


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All our politicians need is love: Biti

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

28/09/2011 00:00:00
    by Peta Thornycroft

WHEN Tendai Biti quips that he is a finance minister without any “finance”,
his audience in a church hall in Harare nodded and smiled. They knew that
when Biti went into the treasury for the first time as finance minister in
2009 he found his Zanu PF predecessor had left him little more than petty
cash to run the country and about R50 billion in foreign debt.

Labourers, clerks, domestic workers, vendors, activists, artisans, a handful
of mostly middle-aged, shabby whites and many unemployed people understood
Biti’s joke because they too were demolished by hyperinflation, the lynch
pin of Zanu PF’s decade long tsunami - they too have no ‘finance.’
Biti was reporting back to his constituency last week after months of
failing to get police permission to hold the meeting.

So he went ahead anyway, but without advance publicity the audience was
small, more intimate town-hall conversation than grandstand report back.

He explained for the first time some of the hazards of being in government
with Zanu PF, why he and cabinet colleagues found it so difficult to get the
country moving again.

Biti told the meeting his party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T)
‘saved’ Zimbabwe by going into the inclusive government with Zanu PF which
it defeated in elections a year earlier.

He told constituents that during negotiations he had opposed MDC joining an
inclusive government but that he can say now, 31 months later, it was the
right decision because it gave Zimbabweans “time out, time out (to recover
from Zanu PF violence) as we were being scorched.”

As dusk became night around Northside Community Church in upmarket
Borrowdale, someone lugged a generator to light up the hall and it
tut-tut-tutted into action as an accompaniment to Biti’s heartfelt
accounting to his supporters of life in government with Zanu PF.
Biti said the MDC now understood “the levers of power in government. And now
we know the myths too.”

The levers of power, Biti says, are not vested in policy makers such as he
but in the bureaucrats. It’s public information these days that Zanu PF
ministers who nod off during Tuesday morning’s cabinet meetings spend only a
few hours per week attending to ministry business. They are either working
for Zanu PF or attending to the farms they have been given since 2000.

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The permanent secretaries in jobs-for-life run their ministries and are as
important to Zanu PF’s political survival as the security forces.

“The bureaucrat who is unelected but who is so powerful that if you are not
clever he keeps you busy without being busy,” Biti said.

Many insiders in government say that Biti’s permanent secretary is
particularly obstructive.  Mugabe ignores much in the three-year-old multi
party political agreement he signed under mediation by former South African
President Thabo Mbeki and unilaterally appointed most top civil servants. He
is supposed to consult MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai before making any
senior appointments.

Biti was speaking to his audience in Shona and English and sometimes
interweaving the two and surprised some when he said that that it no longer
mattered to him that Zanu PF controlled the security ministries.

He said: “I learned that the secret of good governance is not constitutions,
it's not about the army or the police, it is about love and caring. It is
better to run the social ministries.
“It is better to be in charge of health and education than the police.

“We had a vision to democratise our country when the MDC was formed in 1999.
We wanted to put an end to 20 years of cruelty, 20 years of theft, of fear,
and this has been a long and tortuous road.”

And it is not over yet and the struggle goes on each day often within the
ministries. David Coltart, the Education Minister from the other MDC
faction, is regularly obstructed by his permanent secretary.

Biti, somehow more physically frail as minister than he was as activist,
said: “I turned 45 three or so weeks ago but I feel I am 87 years of age.”
And there was muted amusement among the crowd because everyone in the hall
knew that President Robert Mugabe is 87.

“My life and yours has been compressed with pain and suffering. So even
though you may be young in age you are old because of the experiences, the
exposures that all of us have gone through at the hands of Robert Gabriel
Mugabe and his acolytes in Zanu PF,” said Biti, a lawyer by training.

“We have been beaten up, we have been tortured, we have been raped, we have
been killed they have called us names -- dogs, puppets of the west, you name
it. I think the only thing we have not yet been accused of is incest.

“Each one of us knows someone killed by Zanu PF. We are not normal. You, we,
are candidates for psychiatric treatment. Because we have been traumatised
by Zanu PF and Robert Mugabe. We pretend to be normal but this is a society
that functions on the culture of impunity.
“If you look in the eyes of Zanu PF, and I sit with Mugabe often, they have
the glassy eyes of a dead person.

“We grew up in a nice Christian background, we are very spiritual, so we don’t
need the Bible to tell us it is wrong to kill or rape. We are an
unbelievable society for the kinds of things we tolerate.
“All my life I have known only one leader, Mugabe. It’s been a long road and
people are tired now.”

An evicted white farmer among the audience asked Biti what he would do about
compensation. “We did a rough estimate and your properties should be worth
about US$3bn (R21 billion), but we can’t pay that although there must be
compensation.”

He said the debt to white farmers for their homes, businesses, equipment
etc. would best be solved by becoming part of sovereign debt to be settled
one day and he jeered at continuing land invasions 11 years after they began
and references made by Zanu PF to “new” famers so long after they took the
land.

“So,” Biti said with his land-mark giggle, or perhaps it was a snigger, “we
have ‘new’ farmers who are 87-years-old” alluding to a clutch of at least
four prime farms 60km north west of Harare which Mugabe helped himself to
and which were, for years, secretly funded by taxpayers’ money.

He said that the journey to democracy in Zimbabwe was not over. “We are down
to the last two stages of the struggle: to ensure power transfer (after the
next elections) and to protect the vote.”

Days before Biti’s marathon report back to his supporters in a corner of
Harare, Industry Minister Welshman Ncube drove to Bulawayo to address a
meeting designed to boost the city’s collapsed productive sectors.

Even mega rich and controversial Mines Minister Obert Mpofu, who addressed
the meeting, saying nothing much, failed to attract punters. So the meeting
was cancelled after lunch while Ncube was en route from Harare. Bankrupt Air
Zimbabwe was grounded.

Ncube, the MDC’s founding secretary-general and a top lawyer before politics
overtook his career, at the bar spoke about the largest single foreign
investment into Zimbabwe since independence 31 years ago.
He persuaded Mugabe, the “glassy-eyed” final arbiter to accept an Indian bid
above a Chinese offer for Ziscosteel.

Ncube, who says elections can only be held in 2013 if Zimbabwe stays within
the SADC time lines for reform, came under enormous scrutiny setting up the
deal. His landlines and mobile phones were bugged, so was his Harare home
and for months he was impossible to find as be worked through the mechanics
to get the Essar/ZISCO deal on the road.
“Mugabe preferred the Chinese. That’s his policy. Eventually he met with
Essar executives privately and then said ok.”

Without Biti, Energy Minister Elton Mangoma or the MDC’s Health and
Education ministers, Ncube and perhaps one or two Zanu PF ministers who want
to rebuild the country they wrecked, Zimbabwe would have disintegrated even
further.


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Wikileaks Bring Winds of Change, even to Rural Zimbabwe

http://www.sokwanele.com/thisiszimbabwe/archives/6999

October 2nd, 2011

I visited my rural home to spend the weekend with my folks and while
drinking the home brewed beer, appeasing our spirits, one old man shocked me
when he asked about the Wikileaks which have hit our local news headlines.

“Young man from the city tells us more about these Wikileaks that we hear
about every day on radio and read from the newspapers that you brought us”.

I had not realised that the cables had made such an impact on our society.
And this got us talking about these cables, the main question is who is the
biggest winner?

What is astonishing about the number of the cables on Zimbabwe is the fact
that they outnumber those from Afghanistan and Pakistan which are at the
centre of the fundamental war on terror. This shows that something big has
been going on in ZANU (PF) and all but a few want Mugabe to go, and agree he
should have already done so by now, but he has been saved by cowardice
within the party ranks.

The comment from my elder at my homestead was that the lesson from this is
that the ZANU (PF) apologists’ public lies and grandstanding on praising
Mugabe, are just public garbage that should be thrown away as we do with any
other garbage.

We talked about what could be going on in Mugabe’s mind at the moment now
that his own people have been running to His enemies? I was able to give as
much detail as I know to my homesteaders, revealing the shocking details
within the party and how party members had clandestinely met with
antagonist.

While I and many in my home have not supported Mugabe since independence, I
can tell you now that, the biggest winner from the cables is none other than
the octogenarian dictator himself. His prize is the truth. Finally he is
being hand the truth, it is now clear to him that all his so called trusted
lieutenants want him to go and have only been siding with him in public to
protect themselves.

As the winds of change can be felt let’s not forget how we survived violence
and intimidation, braved the brutality of an entrenched dictatorship and
kept our faith in democracy and non-violence, we braved brutal killings,
arrests and torture and kept our eyes focused on the object of our mission
of change and it’s time to say

“Sokwanele, Zvakwana, Enough is enough – Mugabe must go NOW.

This entry was posted by Bob Gondo on Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 at 4:04 pm


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World ignores Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 1st October 2011

The Zimbabwean diaspora in the UK is growing increasingly anxious at signs that the Home Office is stepping up efforts to deport Zimbabweans on the grounds that conditions at home have improved. It was suggested some time ago that the UK government was ending its moratorium on sending home failed asylum seekers. But the Vigil has seen little hard evidence of this. Our sources say that action so far is being targeted at people who arrived with dodgy papers.

 

One of the Vigil’s regular supporters Shamiso Kofi has been detained and told a ticket to Nairobi has been booked for her on Kenyan Airways on 4th October. We are puzzled that she has no onward ticket to Zimbabwe.

 

At the Vigil today, we ran the following petition to the UK Border Agency, part of the Home Office: “We, the undersigned, are worried about the proposed deportation of one of our regular supporters, Shamiso Kofi (also known as Caroline Shamiso Tagarira). She is one of our most passionate dancers and singers and is very noticeable at the Vigil because of this.  There are many photos of the Vigil on the internet and in some of them Shamiso features prominently. We think there are serious concerns about her safety if she is returned to Zimbabwe because it is very likely she could be recognized and brutally treated. We appeal to the UKBA / Home Office to halt this deportation on the grounds that Shamiso’s safety is not certain if she is returned to Zimbabwe.”

 

The petition was being handed to Shamiso’s lawyer and faxed to the UK Border Agency. For action you can take, please check: http://shamiso.notlong.com  and http://www.freemovement.org.uk/Media7-2011/ShamisoKofi.html,

 

Shamiso told us over the phone that there are at least four other Zimbabweans being held at the same Immigration Removal Centre (Yarl’s Wood). We are reliably informed that one Zimbabwean has already been forcibly removed to Zimbabwe and attempts have been made recently to deport others.

 

Ironically, the new threat to send back Zimbabweans comes as the International Bar Association has issued a report speaking of a resurgence of violence in Zimbabwe (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/sep30_2011.html#Z16 –  International Bar Association Says ZANU-PF Blocking Reform in Zimbabwe). The accuracy of this report was confirmed by a senior Zimbabwean NGO official at a meeting in London with Vigil management team members. ‘Don’t let people tell you that things are alright’, he said.

 

A harrowing picture of the Zanu-PF mentality (and what helped cause it – UDI etc) was given in a new play produced in London by Chickenshed Theatre and attended by a Vigil group including Ephraim Tapa who was especially invited because of his leadership of the new Zimbabwe We Can movement. The play ‘The Rain that Washes’ was based on the experiences of Christopher Maphosa (who has attended the Vigil) and we were glad to have the opportunity to discuss the powerful piece with him and his co-writer Dave Carey and the others responsible, including the star Ashley Maynard whose one-man performance was a tour de force. We were surprised to hear that Ashley was born and bred in Tottenham, London. His performance led us to believe he was southern African. Chickenshed said they had hopes of taking the production on tour with – who knows – perhaps a trip to the Grahamstown Festival or even Zimbabwe itself. They were very appreciative of our attendance.

 

Other points

·         Even though it is now well into autumn in the UK we were knocked out by the unseasonal heat with the temperature reaching a record 29.9 degrees centigrade – the highest ever recorded in London in October.

·         The true intentions behind the indigenisation programme were exposed in a report on SW Radio Africa that Saviour Kasukuwere and some other ministers were to be given shares in Zimplats (Mining firms ordered to transfer shares next month – http://www.swradioafrica.com/news300911/miningfirms300911.htm).

·         Vigil supporters are planning to attend ‘Catastrophe - what went wrong in Zimbabwe?’ a book launch with author Richard Bourne at the London University Senate House on Thursday 6 October at 5.30. Among those taking part will be  Professor Jocelyn Alexander from Oxford, who has studied land in Zimbabwe and Patrick Smith, editor of Africa Confidential. See ‘Events and Notices’ for more details.

·         With Kunonga accusing the Archbishop of Canterbury of going to Zimbabwe to lobby for homosexuality and same-sex marriages, we wonder whether Dr Williams will agree to an African solution to an African problem with regard to the division in the Anglican church: surely the rival Anglican bishops in Zimbabwe should bury their differences and get into bed together . . . like the Reverend Canaan Banana and Robert Mugabe (see: Rowan Williams is 'lobbying for homosexuality', claims Mugabe-backed bishop - http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/oct1_2011.html#Z9)

·         NEXT WEEK (SATURDAY, 8TH OCTOBER) WE ARE MARKING OUR NINTH ANNIVERSARY.  COME AND JOIN US. WE HAVE A LITTLE SURPRISE PLANNED.

·         It was good to have back with us Puck De Raadt who works tirelessly for asylum seekers. Vigil regular Sharon Pikirai entertained us with her energetic and humorous dancing and singing.

 

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: 72 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. Remaining performances: Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th October at 7.30 pm, Saturday 8th October at 6 pm. Venue: Studio Theatre, Chickenshed Theatre, Chase Side, Southgate, London N14 4PE. Tickets £8 (£6). To book, call 020 8292 9222, email bookings@chickenshed.org.uk or book online at www.chickenshed.org.uk. Chickenshed is between Oakwood and Cockfosters tube stations, and on bus routes 298, 299, 307 and N91. Free parking is also available.

· Catastrophe - what went wrong in Zimbabwe? book launch with Richard Bourne. Thursday 6th October at 5 .30 pm. Venue: University of London, Torrington Room, Senate House, Malet Street, WC1 (between Malet Street and Russell Square. Nearest Tubes: Russell Square or Goodge Street). There will be a drinks reception from 7pm.

·         ROHR Manchester Meetings. Saturday 8th October (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:  12th November, 10th December. Same times / venue.

·         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.

·         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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