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Zim unemployment at 70%

By Eric Chiriga
Saturday, 16 April 2011 13:50

HARARE - Zimbabwe's unemployment rate remains very high at 70 percent, with
only 850 000 people formally employed out of a 12 million population, a
leading economic researcher has said.

Economic analyst John Robertson said the number of formally employed
Zimbabweans is equal to that of 1970.

“Since 1970 Zimbabwe’s population has more than doubled which means the
working populace should have more or less doubled. The country’s economy
remains distressed,” Robertson said.

Robertson said had economic activity and capacity utilisation significantly
improved, the formally employed should have been around 1, 4 million.

“Formally employed people used to be way more than 2 million when Zimbabwe’s
economy operated at optimum capacity.”

According to United Nations office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs (OCHA) Zimbabwe’s formally employed stood at 3, 6 million in 2003.

Robertson said one third of the 850 000 formally employed were civil
servants, indicating that industry, particularly manufacturers, and
corporates had no capacity yet.

Zimbabwe’s economy remains fragile, with business and industry capacity
utilisation depressed due to liquidity crisis and poor foreign direct
investment flow.

In recently published financial results, corporates raised red flag over
soaring staff costs against thin business volumes with most resorting to
retrenchments, effectively increasing the unemployment rate.

Financial institution FBC Holdings Limited retrenched at a cost of US$3, 5
million while
Barclays Zimbabwe – among Zimbabwe’s top four banks – also shed 206 of its

ZB Financial Holdings also retrenched at a cost of US$425 000.

President Robert Mugabe government’s indigenisation policy – demanding 51
percent shareholding in all foreign-owned firms worth at least US$500 000 –
has dampened foreign investor confidence in the country.

“Government needs to formulate policies that promote investment thereby
creating employment,” Robertson said, adding that the greater the number of
employed populace the more tax revenue government collects.

Last year Zimbabwe's unemployment rate was estimated at 94 percent, meaning
that fewer than half a million people in the country were formally employed.

OCHA said at close of 2008 – at the height of Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown –
only 6 percent of the population was formally employed, down from 30 percent
in 2003.

OCHA said out of the country's 12 million people, only 480 000 had formal
jobs in 2008.

Zimbabwe's once-dynamic economy shrunk by more than 50 percent between 2004
and 2009, leaving more than half of its employable urban population relying
on remittances from friends and family overseas.

An estimated three million Zimbabweans fled the country's economic and
political instability, to support their families from overseas and
neighbouring countries.
More than half of Zimbabweans remain in the diaspora as jobs prospects
remain limited in the country.

Recently South Africa gazetted that Zimbabweans working in the country, at
least two million, should apply for work permits.

This came after reports that SA nationals were complaining that Zimbabweans
were taking most of the jobs.

An International Labour Organisation (ILO) report on global employment
trends released in January this year said more than 1, 5 billion people –
half the global working population – were in vulnerable or insecure jobs.

The report said despite a relatively robust pick-up in growth during 2010,
economic recovery made virtually no dent in the unemployment caused by the
worst recession in the global economy since world war two.

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Grace Mugabe studying at Chinese university

By Staff Writer
Saturday, 16 April 2011 13:41

HARARE - First Lady Grace Mugabe is reportedly studying for an undisclosed
degree in China, 13 years after her disastrous flirtation with London
University where she was de-registered after some shockingly poor results.

The Daily News has it on good authority that Grace has been studying at a
Chinese university for some time now while at the same time receiving
treatment on her hip which has been giving her problems arising from
complications during the birth of her youngest child, Chatunga 14 years ago.

Last month, Grace was spotted at the National Heroes Acre during the burial
of Zanu PF official David Karimanzira and the Daily News captured her on
camera holding one of her hips with the face showing that she was in pain.

Through the studies in China, Grace is probably looking at sorting sort out
her future, as it becomes increasingly clear President Robert Mugabe is
slowly losing his grip on power due to advanced age.

. Grace is said to have travelled to China a few days after she was spotted
in public at Karimanzira’s funeral.

A highly placed government source confirmed the developments yesterday.

“Grace is in China where she has been studying for a long time now. Nobody
knows what course she is staking but she is definitely in China. Her
daughter Bona is also in that region and they are probably staying together.
Grace did not travel to Singapore with Mugabe as being portrayed.

“She is also receiving treatment there but the reason she is in China are
the studies,” the source.

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State media reluctant to carry anti-corruption adverts

Written by Munyaradzi Dube
Friday, 15 April 2011 11:27

HARARE  - Transparency International Zimbabwe has raised grave concerns over
the state media’s reluctance to carry anti-corruption adverts designed to
encourage Zimbabweans to shun corruption.
Through its Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC), TIZ has been
campaigning against corruption.
And while the private media has been at the forefront of carrying
anti-corruption messages, the monopolistic broadcasting media has refused to
carry the adverts.
TZI said the state media, usually in overdrive exalting Zanu (PF), has
resisted the anti-corruption campaigns.
“On two different occasions, ALAC adverts urging people to reject and report
corruption were unceremoniously pulled from ZTV, Spot FM, Power FM and from
the Herald. No explanation was given,” said TIZ.
It was especially worrying that the public media, which should play the
public informative role, had chosen not to so - and rather pursued political
agendas, said TIZ.
“The public media is expected to be at the forefront in exposing corruption.
But on the contrary, the public media has been used to pursue a political
agenda in the process loosing objectivity and transparency.”
Launched in 2009, ALAC seeks to address the need to assist victims and
witnesses of corruption across the Zimbabwe socio-political and economic
According to ALAC the private media has scaled up coverage of corruption and
in the process helped the public by offering a platform to report

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Zanu (PF) steals farm, land and future

Written by Tony Saxon
Friday, 15 April 2011 11:13

Named & Shamed
Five Zanu (PF) ministers among the senior party officials to join the
looting spree at Kondizi Farm: Didymus Mutasa, Joseph Made, Christopher
Mushohwe, Munacho Mutezo and Mike Nyambuya.

Stolen equipment
48 tractors
4 Scania trucks
5 UD trucks
26 motorbikes
several T35 trucks

MUTARE - Where 5000 Zimbabwean employees once made a good living off the
productive land, there is now severe hunger. Where healthy crops once
sprouted, there are now nothing but weeds.
This is the sad story of Kondozi Farm, formerly one of Zimbabwe’s biggest
horticultural products exporters, before it was ruined by Zanu (PF) after
its often bloody land seizures under President Robert Mugabe.
Good Friday 2004 was not so good for Edwin Moyo - the rightful owner of the
farm located in Odzi, about 40km west of Mutare, and his 5000 workers.
Dozens of armed police arrived with water cannons, submachine guns and
ordered everyone to vacate the property.
The partisan police and overzealous war veterans blocked off the road
leading to the farm, looted the offices and beat anyone who sought to resist
their orders.
Five Zanu (PF) ministers, namely Didymus Mutasa, Joseph Made, Christopher
Mushohwe, Munacho Mutezo and Mike Nyambuya, were among the senior party
officials to join the looting spree.
Zimbabwe’s Attorney General gave the cabinet ministers a couple of months to
return equipment looted from key horticultural farms or face arrest. But the
order fell on deaf ears as the ministers defied the call.
The stolen equipment included 48 tractors, four Scania trucks, five UD
trucks, several T35 trucks and 26 motorbikes. Several tonnes of fertilisers
and chemicals were also lost.
The High Court in May 2004 granted Barclays an order to repossess all
movable farming equipment at Kondozi Farm.
Movable assets listed in the court order included an ERF 30-tonne truck,
two-tonne forklifts, 30 motorised knapsacks, 10 Jialings, 15 Same tractors,
six Nissan Diesel UD 90 chassis & cab trucks, three Nissan Cabstar 4-tonne
trucks, two Nissan 2,7 S/cab trucks and two Nissan 2,7 Hardbody D/cabs.
Barclays-Fincor, Zimbank-Syfrets and the African Banking Corporation were
the chief sponsors of Kondozi, which had established lucrative export
markets in South Africa and Europe.
But unlike earlier farm seizures, the takeover of Kondozi prompted
questions. Many Zimbabweans were puzzled at how the Zanu (PF) government
could take a business which was owned by a black man, employed so many
people and generated so much precious foreign currency.
In defending the takeover, Zanu (PF) officials pointed out that although
Moyo was majority owner of the business, a white family – the De Klerks –
still owned the land.
Yet even within Mugabe's party, the seizure provoked outrage so intense it
caused a rare public fracture.
The late Vice President Joseph Msika, who oversaw land redistribution for
Mugabe, in vain tried to block the takeover.
Vice President Joice Mujuru, who chaired the National Economic Recovery
Council, also unsuccessfully tried to push for the revival of Kondozi as one
of the major objectives of the National Economic Development Programme.
Shocked workers and nearby villagers – many of whom relied cheap produce
from the land - were left with nothing as they pondered their future.
Moyo owned 52 per cent of Kondozi, running a horticultural company that
stocked vegetable bins throughout Britain and brought in $15 million a year
to Zimbabwe.

Life was good at Kondozi

A former supervisor at the farm, who is now living in poverty, said: “Life
was good at Kondozi. We were paid handsomely and everything flowed smoothly.
We never complained of anything. But when the farm was invaded we were left
jobless. Since that time I am still jobless.”
A former accounts department employee, who now survives on cross-border
trading, said: “I will never forgive them (Zanu PF) for invading the farm.
We were living a comfortable life. The administration of the farm was good,”
he added.
“It was a very big company as there were three buses that carried the
workers from Mutare daily to and from work. It was a prestigious company to
work for and everyone cherished it.”
Jeffrey Marange, a former senior employee, said Kondozi was history which
left behind permanent scars of sad memories.
“Look at Kondozi today, it is like a desert. We used to live a good life but
since Zanu (PF) took away the farm the workers were left suffering and up to
now some are still leaving in abject poverty.”
Marange said some workers, many of them general hands, remain unemployed and
have accused Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) of being insensitive to their plight.
But the Kondozi debacle has returned to haunt Zanu (PF). Kondozi farm lies
in Mutare West constituency which used to be a stronghold of Zanu (PF) where
Manicaland illegal governor Chris Mushowe dominated.
At the 2008 harmonized election the people in Mutare West, still suffering
the pain of the closure of Kondozi Farm, voted for change.
Shaur Mudiwa of PM Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC pipped Mushowe, a shock result
which further suggested Zanu (PF) support was fading in the province.
“People are angry with what Mushowe and other Zanu (PF) did by closing and
invading Kondozi Farm,” said a traditional leader, who requested anonymity
for fear of severe reprisals.
“Zanu (PF) will never win an election here again. Most villagers who used to
work at the farm are still angry. Since 2006 some of our children have not
been going to school, as the former Kondozi workers did not have any income
at all. This is a very grave mistake that Zanu (PF) made.”
Another former worker said: “As workers we can easily identify the ministers
who had disposed the company’s assets in underhand dealings. A lot of spare
parts were sold and machinery and other vehicles were looted and we ended up
recovering scrap metal for our day-today operations.”
Twenty-two farmers, most of whom are black and who sold beans, corn, melons
and other crops under contract to Kondozi, also lost their livelihoods.
Hundreds more workers were employed by these smaller farms, many of which
have stopped producing and are now living in poverty.
A visit to Kondozi Farm today shows that on Kondozi's 550 acres, only a few
fields still had crops, and these are stunted and immature grown by war
veterans who do not have technical farming expertise.
In April 2004, the same month Kondozi was seized, the United Nations World
Food Programme reported feeding 4.5 million Zimbabweans.
The closure of Kondozi Farm brought more suffering to the community as
school going children dropped out of school. Girls have been married off to
better-off families in exchange of food.
Prostitution and illegal mining has become rife since the collapse of the
The disheartened workers have called for the farm to be returned to previous
owner, Moyo.
One worker said: “We were better off when we were under Moyo. We enjoyed
everything and we led a normal life. We could afford to live a life with all
the basics, but now we have been made to suffer by few corrupt individuals
and crooks who want to reap where they did not sow.”
The suffering former workers said they have sold property, clothes and
everything they had accumulated in the previous years to buy food.
Former employee Aleck Jangano said: “Our girl children have ventured into
prostitution. There have been family breakdowns, as some wives have deserted
their homes and have been married by illegal diamond dealers at nearby
Chiadzwa diamond field.”
The present state of the farm, previously the cash-cow for most residents of
the city Mutare and Odzi villagers, has left the community hopeless and
pondering a future which appears bleak.

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Catholic priest faces porn charges

16/04/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

A CATHOLIC priest arrested for allegedly holding a mass for victims of the
1980s Gukurahundi massacres will also be charged with possession of
pornographic material, his lawyer said.

Father Marko Mabutho Mnkandla was arrested last Wednesday for holding the
mass at his parish which was attended by National Healing and Reconciliation
Minister Moses Mzila-Ndlovu. Mzila-Ndlovu, who has also been arrested.

Father Mkandla is expected to appear at Lupane Magistrate’s Court on

His lawyer, Nikiwe Ncube, told a local daily that the priest will face four
charges that include holding a meeting without police clearance as well as
claims that he published a false statement against the state.

“The third charge is that he contravened Section 42 (2) of the Criminal Code
of publicising hate speech against a people of a certain group, which is the
Shona people because he is alleged to have said Shona people are occupying
all offices in Lupane,” the lawyer said.

“The fourth charge is possessing pornographic material.”

She added that police had refused to release the priest into her custody,
effectively depriving him an opportunity to conduct another mass on Sunday
as he was likely to spend the weekend in cells.

During mass Mnkandla reportedly preached about the need for national healing
and called for accountability over the 1980s Gukurahundi killings in the
Midlands and Matebeleland regions.

“We want the truth of what happened to be acknowledged and accepted by the
whole nation,” he was quoted as saying.

“We want the nation to admit that they know what happened at Silozwi
(village) and to acknowledge it so that we heal. We want to be allowed to
talk about our pain. That is freedom.”

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Address real issues, GALZ tells Mugabe

Written by Vusimuzi Bhebhe
Friday, 15 April 2011 13:38

HARARE – Gay rights activists have hit back at the ranting by President
Robert Mugabe that their “unnatural activities” would never be allowed in
the southern African country, accusing the ageing Zimbabwean strongman of
failing to provide leadership to tackle more pressing challenges bedevilling
Mugabe last week repeated his attack on gays and lesbians, describing
homosexuality as an immoral practice of the “filthy West” that should never
be legalised in Zimbabwe. Speaking during the burial of late Central
Intelligence Organisation
deputy head Menard Muzariri in Harare last Thursday, Mugabe blasted the
United Kingdom and her Western allies for lecturing Zimbabwe on morality and
good governance while they allow their people to go “against nature”. “We
will not allow that in Zimbabwe because it is not part of our culture. Keep
your filth,” Mugabe said.
But the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) said Mugabe’s attacks were
nothing new and “only serve to reinforce our call for constitutional
protection of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Intersex people that
has been met with state sponsored homophobia of alarming levels”. “It is
time for the Zimbabwean government to reflect seriously on its
thinking around human rights including those of its lesbian and gay citizens
and government should be implementing measures which proactively encourage a
culture of meaningful human rights protection in this country,” said GALZ in
a statement.
It said Mugabe’s ranting was a contradiction of article VII of the Global
Political Agreement in which the President pledges to promote equality,
national healing, cohesion and unity. “The President needs to provide
leadership in overcoming Zimbabwe’s challenges in areas such as violence,
unemployment, education and health rather than fostering antipathy and
intolerance,” the group said.
Mugabe is known for his dislike for gay and lesbian people who he has
described as “worse than dogs and pigs”. The president’s supporters and
government agencies have fought to keep the country's small homosexual
community away from the public view, most notably by barring them from
advertising their way of life at public gatherings such as the annual
Zimbabwe International Book Fair.
There has been heated debate on whether gay and lesbian rights should be
included in an exercise underway to write a new Constitution for Zimbabwe.

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Soldiers in Chitungwiza

April 16th, 2011

On a lazy Saturday in the sprawling town of Chitungwiza, one would expect
everything but the unnerving sight of soldiers in full military gear
brandishing assault rifles.

And some weeks ago residents of Chitungwiza were subjected to the start of
such a trend.

Since the threat of a mass action by citizens arose, the increasingly
paranoid leader of Zimbabwe dispatched soldiers to all police camps in the
city of Harare and Chitungwiza.

The soldiers are still camped at the police stations and many just wonder
what they are doing, interfering with civilians.

When they make their routine rounds the dreaded soldiers do not say a word,
but their sheer presence conveys a message that none would dare oppose.

History is replete with cases when soldiers beat up people for no good

“I am afraid of the soldiers and would rather have my beer at home than at
the bottle stores. Soldiers may come back and take people,” said one

The soldiers travels in their hordes and the sight of armoured vehicles is a
poignant sign of terror.

Bottle stores and beer halls are quieter in the ghetto as people draw a
line, well aware of the presence of menacing soldiers in their midst.

This entry was posted by Simon Moyo on Saturday, April 16th, 2011 at 9:08 am

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ZLHR Mourns 82 Year-Old Hero Nyakauru Who Succumbed To Death After Abduction And Assault

Press Statement

16 April 2011




Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) is deeply saddened to learn about the unfortunate and painful death of Mr Rwisai Nyakauru, the 82 year old village kraal head, who was a victim of abduction and assault by some war veterans and ZANU PF supporters.

Mr Nyakauru passed on around 1:00am on Saturday 16 April 2011 at his son’s residence in the Waterfalls suburb of Harare.

Mr Nyakauru, a kraal head for Nyakauru village in Nyanga North constituency, was abducted from his home by some war veterans and ZANU PF supporters on Monday 14 February 2011. They detained and assaulted him at Taziwa Shopping Centre in Nyanga before handing him over to police at Nyamaropa Police Station, who charged him with contravening section 36 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Mr Nyakauru was assaulted all over his body by a group of people led by war veteran Wilfred Pokoto with sticks and a cattle prod during his detention. His assailants, who accused him of leading MDC-T supporters to destroy some shops belonging to ZANU PF supporters in the area, ordered him to lie on his stomach before brutally assaulting him. They also took away his spectacles.

His condition was aggravated when he was detained for three weeks at Mutare Remand Prison together with 23 other individuals including Nyanga North Member of Parliament and Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) co-chairperson Hon. Douglas Mwonzora after prosecutor Tirivanhu Mutyasiri vetoed a bail order which had been granted to Nyakauru and 23 other detainees by Nyanga Magistrate, Ignatio Mhene. The bail order was later reaffirmed by the High Court.

As a result of the malevolent and unjustified actions of the State, Nyakauru languished in remand where his condition deteriorated. At one time he collapsed while in his prison cell but prison authorities refused to provide him with treatment at Mutare Provincial Hospital.

A medical report prepared on 10 March 2011 by prison doctors at Mutare Remand Prison show that Nyakauru suffered from chest pains, severe bronchospasm and respiratory infection during his detention in prison.

Those implicated in, and responsible for, his abduction, assault and detention, as well as the police who denied him medical attention when he was incarcerated in police cells, and the prison authorities who failed to afford him medical treatment while at Mutare Remand prison are complicit in, and contributed to, his sad death. These known architects of Mr Nyakauru’s death must be held accountable for the loss of such a precious life, and we call for an immediate investigation into his death and swift action against the perpetrators by the prosecutorial authorities.

It is cruel, unwarranted and unfair that such a well-lived life has ended in this needless manner. Only bringing the perpetrators to account will assist in ending this unacceptable culture of impunity.

It is ZLHR’s firm belief that bad things that happen to good people serve a greater good, and Rwisai’s death should teach us all something about standing up for what is right if we only let ourselves be taught.

There are no words to describe the despondency that we feel, and we cannot possibly imagine the shock and sorrow that has been thrust on Mr Nyakauru’s family and relatives.

To the Nyakauru family, we are grieving with you at this sad moment as you traverse this difficult time in life.

May God give Rwisai eternal rest and may his soul rest in peace.



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Huddersfield businessman Alan Fish returns to Zimbabwe to help anti-Mugabe forces

    by Barry Gibson, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
    Apr 16 2011

A HUDDERSFIELD businessman is returning to Zimbabwe to support the
opposition to the country’s veteran leader Robert Mugabe.

Alan Fish, who lives at High Flatts near Birdsedge, will travel to the
southern African country to support the Movement for Democratic Change

The 57-year-old, who is managing director of water cooler installation firm
Cool Water Direct, visited Zimbabwe in April, 2008.

Mr Fish organised a rally attended by 50 MDC supporters at Smith Farm in
High Flatts after returning from Africa.

And now he plans to go back to Zimbabwe.

Mr Fish said: “I’m going on April 25 to the MDC congress which they hold
every five years. I’ll be there for just over a week.

“I’m hoping to get involved with the politics of the MDC a bit closer.”

The congress will be held in the Zimbabwean city of Bulawayo from April 30
to May 1.

The last time Mr Fish visited the country, the MDC were trying to win
presidential and parliamentary elections.

But the party is now in an uneasy coalition with Mr Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party.

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Women take centre stage in politics, peace-building, business

Written by Ngoni Chanakira
Friday, 15 April 2011 15:05

More than 100 female business and political executives gathered in Harare to
discuss Women's Economic and Political Empowerment. NGONI CHANAKIRA attended
the three-day event and this is his report.

HARARE - More than 100 female business and political leaders gathered in
Harare for a three-day international conference on "Women's Economic and
Political Empowerment and Peace Building".
The event was held at the five-star Harare International Conference Centre
(HICC), currently undergoing a major million-dollar spruce-up.
Delegates came from major organisations such as the International Labour
Organisation (ILO) and the World Bank, and included the Minister of Gender
in Rwanda, African Union (AU) Gender Ministers, YWCA in Geneva, United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Women (UNW), and
theYoung Women African Leaders Movement.
Speakers included Vice President Joyce Mujuru, Deputy Prime Minister, Thoko
Khupe, Sekai Holland, Minister of State Organ on National Healing,
Reconciliation and Integration, Jessie Majome, Deputy Minister of Women
Affairs, Gender and Community Development, controversial Theresa Makone from
the MDC-T and joint Home Affairs Minister, Rutendo Mudzamiri from YWALM,
Emelia Muchawa from the Zimbabwe Women's Lawyers Association (ZWLA), and
Olivia Muchena, Minister for Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development
in Zimbabwe.
The conference was organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and
Community Development in collaboration with the Organ for National Healing,
Reconciliation and Integration and the Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe.
A spokesperson for the conference said in an interview that this first
female only international business conference in focused on women’s
involvement in peace building and healing processes.
She said it also gave an overview of constitutional guarantees such as
quotas, electoral laws and systems, intra-party democracy processes to level
the playing field for women's political empowerment.
On Thursday, the women made field visits to successful projects around
Harare, managed or started, by Zimbabwean women.

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New female CZI boss for Matabeleland

Written by Business reporter
Friday, 15 April 2011 14:47

HARARE - Matebeleland has elected Dr Ruth Labode as President of its
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI). This makes her the first female
to have achieved this feat in Zimbabwe.
Labode is a top business woman in her own right.
"I will work hard not only for the region, but for women. As you know we are
marginalised and work hard to be recognised but we can do it," she said in
an exclusive interview.
Labode beat four male candidates to scoop the top post, the second most
prestigious after the Mashonaland CZI group.
She said the CZI currently had a membership of 261 companies in Zimbabwe.
"Only seven of those are run and owned by women," she said.
"So you can see that this is a huge challenge for me."
The CZI is Zimbabwe's most influential and powerful business grouping. Its
bosses are mainly Chief Executives (CEOs) of firms listed on the Zimbabwe
Stock Exchange (ZSE).
The current CZI President is businessman, Joseph Kanyekanye, who is based in

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300 women get mining rights

Written by Staff Reporter
Friday, 15 April 2011 15:04

HARARE - Three hundred mining claim rights have been issued to women miners
from Guruve for gold claims with a total of 2 000 hectares, The Zimbabwean
can now exclusively reveal.
The Guruve women are from a holding company known as Ruvheneko Mineral
Resources (Private) Limited which was established in 2006.
"We began as Harare Women Miners Association under the then Ministry of
Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, targeting women at
grassroots level," a spokeswoman for the company said in an interview on the
sidelines of the three-day business and political conference.
"It has now spread its membership to almost all provinces of Zimbabwe. We
could be more than 3 000 members right now."
She said her company was set up to help women "become empowered through
mining activities".
"We also have fully established mines beginning with Guruve," she said. "Our
mission is to instil a business mind in women and to agitate for women's
mining rights."
The move comes at a time when Zimbabwe's mining industry is still trying to
regain its international status after most mines were closed last year for
various reasons including lack of finance, dilapidated equipment and low
international prices.
The controversial Indigenisation Act passed last year by government has,
however, dampened the hopes of mainly international investors in mining.
The investors are afraid that the cash-strapped government will grab their
mines as happened with more than 4 500 white commercial farmers had their
properties "grabbed" during the 2000 "land grab period".
"We want to be bigger than Rio Tinto," the enthusiastic female mining boss
said in the interview at her stand outside the conference proceedings.
Rio Zimbabwe Limited (Rio) is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE)
and has a market capitalisation of $53 923 626.00. Its share price currently
stands at $2,518.
"We, however, are facing numerous challenges such as lack of mining
equipment, including compressor sets because as we only have two at the
moment. We need an investor for this project.  We also need ballmills,
excavators, water pumps, and generators. We employ local people both men and
women peg and register claims for local women in Guruve. We intend to
improve roads, schools, clinics, sponsor soccer teams in the area, as well
as provide entertainment as part of our social responsibility projects."
She said minerals mined included chrome, gold, platinum, copper, silver and
"Women can increase Zimbabwe's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) because minerals
are a direct foreign currency earner. Mining can also help us reduce poverty
among women and children, the whole family and the entire nation,” she
"The miners are situated on the horseshoe Great Dyke area rich in several
minerals, but gold is the only one being mined at the moment."
The women acquired mining rights in the form of gold claims with a total of
about 3 000 hectares today.
The project was inspired by scientist Olivia Muchena, the Minister of Women
Affairs, Gender and Employment Development.
Muchena has a mine on her farm secured under President Robert Mugabe's
"controversial" Land Acquisition Programme begun in 2000.

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Harare’s Poet of Hope

Written by Stephen Tsoroti
Friday, 15 April 2011 13:11

HARARE - Take a charming black prince, add decadence and straight face, and
you have an unforgettable time and twisted stories of a country. Mbizo
Chirasha is an iconic performance poet who has earned himself the title ‘The
Black Poet’.

Born in 1978 in Zvishavane District in Zimbabwe, Mbizo was inspired by his
social surroundings at a young age. As a young man, Mbizo quickly gained
prominence as a performing poet and writer both in Zimbabwe and

The themes of his poetry include children's rights, politics, social lives,
gender issues, praise and protest, culture and African pride. Mbizo's poems
can be read in print, but are even more powerful when performed by the
dynamic poet himself. With a vision of using his poetry to promote peace,
healing, stability, and cultural freedom, Mbizo is a poet with commitment,
talent, and a desire to perform whenever and wherever he can.
On March 22, 2011 The United States Embassy hosted Mbizo Chirasha for a
discussion of the ‘metaphor of voices and rhythm of words’ featuring a
scintillating recital of his works to mark World Poetry Day.
“The Embassy is pleased to mark this important day. Poetry calls forth those
voices in society that would otherwise go unheard and gives them a powerful
tool for expressing their deepest feelings, thoughts and beliefs. Poets have
the power to influence hearts and change minds,” said Michael Brooke, Public
Diplomacy Officer at the US Embassy in Harare.
In typical poetic form, Chirasha told his audience, which included students
from Westridge High School in Harare, that, ‘metaphors are the lotion drying
political syphilis from the manhood of the state, my pen is a broom sweeping
vendetta pebbles from talk tables, and my ink is a detergent cleansing
political stains from parliament overalls.’
Chirasha, whose work is featured in over 40 journals and anthologies around
the world, says the common theme in most of his poems has been respect for
women and recognizing their suffering and endurance.
Chirasha read some of his published works, including ‘Identity Apples’,
‘Anthem of the Black Poet’, ‘Decade of Bullets’, ‘Haiti My Generation’, and
the popular ‘African Names’.
Asked why he preferred publishing outside the country, Chirasha bemoaned the
lack of structures to support writers in Zimbabwe, saying, ‘We lack that
administrative connection in terms of writing. We lack consensus as writers,
and publishing houses are closing shop.’ Contributing to the discussion,
another poet, Thando Sibanda, said the study of literature should be made
compulsory at all levels of education in Zimbabwe so as to promote an
environment that supports writers and poets.

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Zim stone sculptors “best in the world”

Written by Chris Ncube
Friday, 15 April 2011 10:39

JOHANNESBURG - Stone Angels, an exclusive exhibition of Zimbabwean
sculptures, ended here at the weekend with the organizer of the show hailing
Zimbabwean sculptors as the best in the world.

For almost a month, 75 sculptures by 40 Zimbabwean artists were on show at
the Rwavhi Fine Art Gallery, in Greenside.

Former British Broadcasting Corporation World Service journalist Carolyn
Dempster, owns the place and organized the exhibition where the works were
on show in an indigenous garden and private home setting.

“There is simply nothing like it anywhere else in the world,” she said about
the sculptures on show.

With works inspired by contemporary life as well as traditional and
spiritual beliefs, Stone Angels showcased a number of Zimbabwe’s most
acclaimed sculptors, including Godfrey Matangira (from whose featured work
the exhibition takes its name), Author Manyengedzo, Walter Mariga, Endy
Madhevere and Peter Makuwise.

Zimbabwe has a long and illustrious history of stonemasonry, with its
tradition of stone carving dating back to the 13th century. Every year,
Dempster travels to the Nyanga Mountains in Manicaland and the rural areas
of Mashonaland to seek out talented artists and to personally select the
sculptures that Rwavhi imports to South Africa for exhibition, sale and art

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Africa’s worst dictator on way out


Now that the South African political leadership has — after years of
shameful silence and even complicity — declined to continue its open-ended
indulgence of Robert Mugabe, it becomes possible to envisage a time when
Zimbabwe will be free of the hideous regime of one man and one-party rule.
Other contributing factors, such as Mugabe’s age and the inspiring influence
of events at the other end of Africa, can be listed. But the democratic
opposition in Zimbabwe predates the “Arab spring” by several years and must
now count in its own right as one of the world’s most stubborn and brave

Peter Godwin’s most recent book, The Fear, updates the continuing story of
popular resistance. It conveys the awful immediate reality of a state where
official lawlessness and cruelty are the norm. It also maps the symptoms of
regime decay: If only for nakedly opportunist reasons, there are increasing
numbers of people among Mugabe’s own clientele who are looking to a future
when the near-nonagenarian (he is 87) will no longer be with us.

How did things descend to this nightmare level? Robert Mugabe did not come
to power through a coup. He emerged as the leader of a serious guerrilla
army, who then fought and won a British-supervised election. For his first
several years in office, he practiced a policy of reconciliation (at least
with the white population, if not with his tribal rivals in the Matabeleland

During the years of the revolution, I met Mugabe several times and am still
ashamed of how generally favorably I wrote him up. But he was impressive
then, both as soldier and politician and survivor of long-term political
imprisonment, and when I noticed the cold and ruthless side of his
personality I suppose I tended to write it down as a function of his arduous
formation. Also, in those days the reactionary white settlers would console
themselves with a culture of ugly rumors (such as Mugabe’s supposed syphilis
and mental degeneration), which I was determined not to gratify.

The syphilis story can’t have been true or Mugabe would not be the
annoyingly long-lived man he has become. But something did go horribly
wrong, and among those who remember those years there is an unending parlor
game about exactly what that something was.

Mugabe, some people say, was never the same after the death of his charming
Ghanaian-born wife, Sally. Not only that, but the second wife was the sort
who likes shopping sprees and private jets and different palaces for summer
and winter. (Thank goodness for this class of women, by the way: They have
helped discredit many a dictator.)

Another early bad symptom was Mugabe’s morbid fascination with, and hatred
of, homosexuality. He suddenly decided that Zimbabwe was being honeycombed
with sodomy and began to display symptoms of acute paranoia.

Macabre as this was, it hardly explains his subsequent decision to destroy
his country’s agricultural infrastructure by turning it into a spoils system
for party loyalists, or his decision to send Zimbabwean troops on looting
expeditions into Congo.

Writing on all this some years ago, Peter Godwin opted for the view that
Mugabe had had the heart and soul of a tyrant all along and simply waited
until he could give the tendency an unfettered expression.

Even though I have a quasi-psychological theory of my own — that Mugabe
became corroded by jealousy of the adulation heaped on Nelson Mandela — I
now think that this is almost certainly right. In the Sino-Soviet split that
divided African nationalists in the 1960s and 1970s (with the ANC of South
Africa, for example, clearly favoring the Soviet Union) Mugabe was not just
pro-Chinese. He was pro-North Korean. He enlisted Kim Il Sung to train his
notorious Praetorian Guard, the so-called “Fifth Brigade,” and to design the
gruesome monument to those who fell in the war of liberation.

Some of his white-liberal apologists used to argue that Mugabe couldn’t
really be a believing Stalinist because he was such a devoted Roman
Catholic. But this consideration — while it might help explain his obsession
with sexual deviance — might weigh on the opposite scale as well. Catholics
can be extremely authoritarian, and Mugabe has, in addition, done very well
from his Vatican connection. He broke the ban on his traveling to Europe by
visiting the pope as an honored guest.

The church unfrocked Pius Ncube, the outspokenly anti-Mugabe bishop of
Bulawayo, for apparently having an affair with his (female) secretary.
Festooned with far graver sins, Mugabe remains a Roman Catholic in good
standing, and it’s impossible to imagine what he would now have to do to
earn himself excommunication.

If you want a catalog of those sins, turn to Godwin’s books. But don’t read
them just for outrage at the terrible offense to humanity. They also
describe a new sort of Zimbabwean, emancipated from racial and tribal
feeling by a long common struggle against a man who doesn’t scruple to
employ racial and tribal demagoguery. In those old days of arguing with the
white settlers, one became used to their endless jeering refrain: “Majority
rule will mean one man, one vote—one time!”

They couldn’t have been more wrong. Since gaining independence three decades
ago, the Zimbabwean people have braved every kind of intimidation and
repression to go on registering their votes. They have made dogged use of
the courts and the press, which continue to function in a partial way, to
uphold pluralism and dissent. Mugabe has lost important votes in Parliament
and — last time — his electoral majority in the country at large.

Only the undisguised use of force and the wholesale use of corruption have
kept his party in office. One day, the civic resistance to this, which was
often looked down upon by people considering themselves revolutionary, will
earn the esteem and recognition it deserves.

New York Times Syndicate

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Shooting stars and satellites)

Dear Family and Friends,

As Zimbabwe arrives at its 31st anniversary of Independence, the first
pre-winter cold snap descended on many parts of the country. It came
with thick grey clouds, an icy wind and slanting rain. In my home
town, day time temperatures dropped from 25 to 14 degrees Centigrade
in a visible plunge of the thermometer. Out came jerseys, socks and
extra blankets and the knowledge that winter is drawing closer.

I would love to be able to write that 31 years of Independence have
bought tranquillity and bountiful prosperity to Zimbabwe but sadly
that is very far from the reality on the ground. But instead of doom
and gloom, I paint you a simple picture of our beautiful country in
the 31st year of Independence from Britain.

Zimbabwe’s Independence heralds the time of year when the rain
stops, the clouds disappear and we are left with big, bright blue
skies stretching to all horizons. It’s the time of year when green,
lush grass is replaced with golden fields and the views across open
bush are of spectacular savannas and shimmering plains. In amongst the
bronze grasses are startling patches of purple and red – the
flowering seed heads of Natal grass. The roadside Cosmos flowers which
have given us a gorgeous three month extravaganza of pink and white,
are coming to an end, their seeds now being feasted on by birds
fattening up for winter. Big, gaudy, blue headed lizards are back;
scuttling up and down tree trunks in search of food and mates. The
first of the termite trails of red soil have started rising up the
tree trunks, a sure sign that the dry season has arrived.

Mid April is the time of thick, tall lengths of purple sugar cane for
sale on the roadsides and enormous watermelons with dripping red flesh
and a million shiny black seeds. It’s the time of year when the
maize crop is drying and roadside plots are full of people gathering
cobs or putting plants into triangular stooks for the final drying
before harvesting begins.

Independence time is the season when the days are getting shorter, the
sunsets are bright orange and shiny copper and the night skies are a
wondrous spectacle. It’s the perfect time of year for watching for
shooting stars and for satellites tracing across the darkness. It’s
also the time of year when the mosquitoes finally start to die down
and let us sleep in peace.

This 31st anniversary of Independence a Spotted Eagle Owl has taken to
sitting on top of a street light outside my house in the evenings. Not
long after the sun slips into the horizon, the owl arrives, gliding on
silent wings to its perch overlooking the neighbourhood. The street
light hasn’t worked for at least six years now, perhaps if it did I
wouldn’t have the delight of owl spotting! The owl is a very
handsome creature, sitting completely still as the last caramel glow
of sunset fades from the sky and the bird becomes a silhouette in the
twilight. A pair of nightjars with their new young fledgling, swirl
and circle, snatching up the last of the day’s insects and the Owl
sits unmoving, regal, watching over the countryside.

I end with a message of support for Father Mkandla, the head of the
Roman Catholic Diocese in Hwange. The co-minister of National Healing
and Reconciliation said that Father Mkandla was arrested on Wednesday
evening at his home soon after a meeting at which he had delivered a
powerful sermon on violence. This is the face of Zimbabwe, 31 years
after Independence. Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy 16
April 2011.

Copyright � Cathy Buckle.

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Bill Watch - Parliamentary Committees Series [No Meetings Until 9 May]



No Parliamentary Committees until 9th May

For the next three weeks House of Assembly portfolio committees and Senate thematic committees will not be meeting.  Meetings will resume in the week commencing Monday 9th May.

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

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