Thu 17 Apr 2008, 7:07 GMT
By Cris Chinaka
HARARE, April 17 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's government on Thursday accused
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of treason and of working with former
colonial power Britain to topple President Robert Mugabe in recent
Responding to a chorus of international criticism of Zimbabwe's long delay
in issuing results of the March 29 vote, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa
accused Tsvangirai -- who says he defeated Mugabe in the election -- of
being a British puppet.
At a summit of the United Nations and African Union on Wednesday, British
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: "No one thinks, having seen the results of
polling stations, that President Mugabe has won."
Chinamasa responded: "It is clear from the correspondence that Tsvangirai
along with Brown are seeking regime change in Zimbabwe, and on the part of
Tsvangirai, this is treasonous."
He added in a statement in state media: "There is no doubting the
consequences for acting in a treasonous manner."
Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) accuses Mugabe of
organising a violent militia crackdown to help him steal the March 29
elections, in which his ZANU-PF party lost control of parliament for the
first time in his 28-year rule.
No official results have been released from the presidential vote which has
been embroiled in a series of legal cases.
The Group of Eight advanced nations were the latest to join the
international criticism on Thursday, expressing "deep concern" about rising
tension in Zimbabwe.
G8 foreign ministers urged a "speedy, credible and genuinely democratic
resolution" to the situation and a swift release of the results, according
to a statement released by this year's group host, Japan.
"They stress that violence and intimidation must have no place in this
process," a statement added.
Brown was speaking at a summit in New York where Western states and the
United Nations urged action to ensure a fair outcome from the Zimbabwe
But African countries avoided the issue and Security Council president South
Africa opposed discussion of Zimbabwe. President Thabo Mbeki is under
increasing criticism at home for insisting on a softly softly approach of
quiet diplomacy in Zimbabwe.
Chinamasa accused Brown of taking a hard line to promote British interests,
undermine Zimbabwe's electoral processes and mislead the international
"We tell him (Brown) clearly and without ambiguity that we are not a colony
of the British," said Chinamasa, repeating a frequent line by Mugabe who
paints London, not Tsvangirai as his real opponent.
Zimbabwe's economy is in ruins, with 80 percent unemployment, chronic food
shortages and the world's worst inflation rate of almost 165,000 percent.
Mugabe is widely blamed for the collapse and critics say the country's
misery will only end when he is replaced.
Trying to counter accusations at home that he is taking too soft a line on
Zimbabwe, Mbeki told reporters after the summit the only way for mediators
to resolve the impasse was to keep talking with both Mugabe's government and
A defensive Mbeki conceded at a news conference in New York there were
"things that have gone wrong" in Zimbabwe and said opposition parties must
be able to participate in verifying the election results.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon indicated to the gathering he was not
satisfied with a soft approach.
"The Zimbabwean authorities and the countries of the region have insisted
that these matters are for the region to resolve but the international
community continues to watch and wait for decisive action," Ban said.
"A stolen election would not be a democratic election at all," Brown told
the summit. "Let a single clear message go out from here in New York that we
... stand solidly behind democracy and human rights for Zimbabwe." (Writing
by Michael Georgy; Editing by Barry Moody; Additional reporting by Louis
Charbonneau and Patrick Worsnip at the United Nations)
Africa News, Netherlands
1.. Posted on Thursday 17 April 2008 - 10:23
Lawyers representing freelance journalist Frank Chikowore have filed an
urgent High Court application for doctors to be allowed access to him and to
have him brought to court today.
Harrison Nkomo said: “We have filed an urgent application to have him
taken to hospital immediately or a doctor be allowed access to him because
he is unwell. He is suffering from abdominal pains and chest pains. The
cells are filthy.”
Nkomo is also seeking the court to force the police to take Chikowore to
be taken to court immediately.
“At the time I filed the chamber application the police had not charged
him despite having him in custody for more than 26 hours so we are saying
that they should charge him and take to a court of law by 1100hrs because
that it the time the 48hr period will expire,” said Nkomo.
Zimbabwe is widely regarded as one of the most difficult countries in the
world for journalists to work in.
In addition to laws requiring journalists to seek accreditation in order
to work in the country, newspapers are also required to register with the
state media commission, with those failing to do so facing closure and
seizure of their property by the police.
Another law, the Public Order and Security Act, imposes up to two years in
jail on journalists convicted of publishing falsehoods that may cause public
alarm and despondency, while the Criminal Codification Act imposes up to
20-year jail terms on journalists convicted of denigrating President Robert
Mugabe in their articles.
Repression against the independent media usually peaks during elections.
2008-04-17 11:02:30 -
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Zimbabwe's government warned Thursday that it will
pull the licenses of any transport workers who heed an opposition call to
strike for the release of long-delayed presidential results.
The government has been trying to squash political dissent after a March 29
vote that longtime President Robert Mugabe is widely believed to
With Zimbabwe's economy devastated by soaring inflation and 80 percent
unemployment, the opposition has had difficulty getting the few Zimbabweans
with jobs to join the nationwide strike.
But the state-run Herald newspaper said some public buses had stopped
The buses «have been deliberately withdrawing their services since Monday,»
Transport Minister Chris Mushohwe told the paper. Mushohwe said these
workers were violating the terms of their licenses, which require them to
provide public transportation.
He said that any licenses that were withdrawn would not be renewed.
Zimbabweans have been waiting for results of the presidential vote for
nearly three weeks, and reports have increased in recent days about
opposition supporters being arrested or attacked.
The international community has criticized the delay in releasing poll
In Zimbabwe, meanwhile, riot police and soldiers have fanned out across the
country in a show of force.
Zimbabwe's electoral commission says it is verifying votes and investigating
anomalies, but the opposition says President Robert Mugabe is using the
delay to secure his 28-year grip on power.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says he won the March 29 election
outright. Independent tallies show Tsvangirai won, but not by enough to
prevent a runoff.
Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change has failed in a series of
attempts to force the release of results through the courts or appeals to
regional leaders. The party has been reluctant to agree to a runoff, arguing
that a second round would be rigged by Mugabe's cronies.
The government appeared to be readying for a runoff vote Thursday.
«The unofficial results collated point to a run-off between President Mugabe
and Tsvangirai,» Former Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told the Herald.
Chinamasa dismissed British declarations that Mugabe lost and international
appeals for the speedy release of results as insulting attempts to reassert
Mugabe's administration has repeatedly blamed the country's economic
meltdown _ sparked by a land reform program in which farms seized from a
white elite were handed out to Mugabe's cronies _ on the devastation wrought
The Herald (Harare) Published by the government of Zimbabwe
17 April 2008
Posted to the web 17 April 2008
Passport fees went up with effect from Monday this week, an increase the
Registrar-General's Office says is meant to cushion it against rising
According to a notice at the RG's Office at Makombe Building in Harare, the
increases will see the cost of an ordinary adult passport rising to $500
million, up from $5 million while an ordinary passport for a child went up
to $300 million from $2,5 million.
Fees for travel documents were last reviewed in December last year. An adult
executive passport processed within 24 hours now costs $1 billion, up from
$20 million while a similar one for a child under the age of 12 now costs
$800 million, up from $10 million. The RG's Office also increased the
application fees for an urgent adult passport processed within three working
days to $800 million while that of a child below the age of 12 now costs
$500 million. Before the latest increase, adults applying for the same
document were paying $16 million and children $8 million. An adult passport
issued within seven working days now costs $700 million, up from $14 million
while that of a child now costs $500 million, up from $7 million.
Application fees for an adult passport processed within 14 working days now
costs $600 million from $10 million and $400 million for a child under the
age of 12 years, up from $5 million. Urgent passport fees for applications
issued after hours now cost $2 billion, up from $25 million while the cost
of replacing a lost passport is now $2,5 billion. Failure to declare a lost
passport now attracts a penalty of $3 billion, up from $12 million while the
cost of replacing a defaced passport is now $1,5 billion, up from $8
Adding a child to an existing passport now costs $100 million. Those
applying for emergency travel documents will have to pay $200 million and
$500 million after working hours. Application forms for all travel documents
now cost $10 million, up from $1 million.
April 17, 2008 Edition 2
Graeme Hosken and Sapa
Scores of Zimbabweans marched on the high commission in Pretoria yesterday
to "install a new high commissioner".
The march in Arcadia came as a Chinese vessel carrying a large consignment
of small arms prepared to dock in the Durban harbour.
The ship, the An Yue Jiang, is carrying a consignment of arms headed for
Leading the protest, Zimbabwe Diaspora Forum chairman Sox Chikohwero said
they were calling on President Robert Mugabe to step down.
"The people of Zimbabwe have spoken. They want a new government. The people
must be heard. Mugabe must go.
"We are here to claim what is rightfully ours; and that is our home,
Zimbabwe. We are tired of dictators.
"We want the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in power. They are
democratically elected and must represent us," he said.
Introducing the "newly appointed high commissioner", Joyce Dube, Chikohwero
said she was the person the people of Zimbabwe wanted to represent them.
"This is our chosen voice. She has our interests at heart," he said.
Dube said she wanted to ensure that Zimbabweans were looked after and that
they enjoyed the same rights they enjoyed at home.
"I will not allow our people to be abused and misused. The people here are
only concerned about themselves," she said.
Zimbabwe Revolutionary Youth Movement secretary-general John Chikwari said
they were there to reclaim what was theirs.
"We want our embassy back. The ambassador here is no longer our ambassador
as Mugabe is no longer our president."
He said if necessary they would take up arms against the current government.
"If they do not listen to us we will fight them."
MDC chairman in South Africa Malcolm Mutandiro called on President Thabo
Mbeki to stop supporting dictators, and to stop acting like one himself.
"Is he blind? How can he not see the crisis in Zimbabwe? Mbeki needs a
reality check. He needs to realise what is happening on his own doorstep."
The Times, SA
Sapa Published:Apr 17, 2008
Cabinet has called for the urgent release of Zimbabwe’s March 29 election
results and pledged impartiality in helping bring this about.
"South Africa, like the rest of the world, is concerned about the delay in
the release of the results and the anxiety that this is generating,"
government communications head Themba Maseko told a media briefing today
following yesterday’s Cabinet meeting.
"We are keen to see a speedy release of the election results as soon as
possible," he said.
To that end, Cabinet had endorsed the Southern African Development Community’s
(SADC) call for the verification and release of all the results as soon as
In line with the mandate accorded by SADC to President Thabo Mbeki,
government would do all it could to interact impartially with all the
relevant players in Zimbabwe to ensure that the election process was
concluded speedily and in a manner enjoying the confidence and reflecting
the will of Zimbabwe’s people.
"This will set the stage for political stability and economic recovery that
Zimbabweans and, indeed, their neighbours yearn for," Maseko said.
April 17 2008 at 08:37AM
A Chinese ship, whose cargo is believed to include arms for Zimbabwe,
had been cleared to dock and offload its cargo at Durban's port, Transnet
Transnet spokesperson John Dludlu said in a statement: "As for vessel
An Yue Jiang, we wish to confirm that this vessel with its cargo destined
for Zimbabwe is at anchorage outside the Port of Durban.
"As is procedure with all vessels, the vessel and its cargo have been
cleared by the relevant authorities."
However, Dludlu did not say what the ship was carrying, although
according to Noseweek editor Martin Welz, its cargo includes a shipment of
The ship's master, who identified himself as captain Sunaijun, said
by radio phone that there was "no dangerous cargo" on board.
Asked if there was cargo destined for Zimbabwe, he said that there
was. However, it was not possible to get clarity on the contents of the
cargo owing to the poor quality of the radio signal.
Earlier Inspector Nicholas Gunther, of the police explosives unit in
Durban, said the An Yue Juang was carrying weapons.
"There are arms on the vessel and the ship is on the outer anchorage
of the port and it's been docked here since April 14. We have not allowed it
in because they have no clearance.
"There was a problem with documents they submitted and we have
directed the matter to the chief inspector of explosives in Pretoria... and
it may take days for them to get clearance."
Leonard Hadebe, the head of customs in Durban, said: "We have
confirmed that the shipment was headed for Zimbabwe.
"Right now, the ship is awaiting clearance. If they are carrying any
prohibited or illegal goods, they will be detained by customs," he said.
Durban port captain Ricky Bhikraj confirmed that the An Yue Jiang was
scheduled to dock on Thursday.
"Allegations are being handled by various national security
authorities," he said.
Noseweek editor Welz said earlier: "The cargo ship was openly
delivering a containment of arms for Zimbabwe."
Asked where he had obtained the information from, Welz said it was his
Bhikraj, when asked whether there were arms on the ship, said that he
could not comment on that.
National police spokesperson Dennis Adriao said he would comment on
the matter once he had more details.
DA spokesperson Rafeek Shah said: "Due to the gravity of the
situation, the government needs to clarify exactly what the status and
nature of the shipment is without delay.
"There are conflicting reports about whether the weapons are still on
board the ship concerned or whether they, in fact, are on the road to
Zimbabwe. Either way, it is imperative that action is taken to ensure that
these weapons are not allowed to destabilise what is already a precarious
situation in Zimbabwe."
However, political analyst Protas Madlala said he did not believe that
the ship was carrying weapons destined for Zimbabwe.
"In every war, the first casualty is the truth. There is propaganda on
both sides in Zimbabwe at the moment, therefore, I do not believe that there
are weapons on board that ship.
"I do not think Mugabe would be so foolish as to blatantly import
weapons, when he can so easily be caught out. If he wanted to stockpile, he
would have done it before the elections," he said. - Sapa
This article was originally published on page 1 of The Mercury on
April 17, 2008
The Herald (Harare) Published by the government of Zimbabwe
17 April 2008
Posted to the web 17 April 2008
The potential uptake of a significant stake in the Zimbabwe Infrastructural
Development Bank by a Chinese investor is still in the offing with a
delegation having been in the country recently to assess the investment.
Herald Business broke the story in January this year, but since then the
negotiations have been shrouded in secrecy. IDBZ is reluctant to divulge who
the suitor is but indications still point to China Development Bank, which
has made a major investment drive on the African continent.
IDBZ chief executive Mr Charles Chikaura this week revealed that a Chinese
contingent was in the country in March and is still keen to invest. "The
Chinese investors were in Zimbabwe last month. Negotiations have now started
in earnest and initial indications are that the investors are happy with
what they have seen and are keen to invest," he said. The negotiations are
set to be concluded by June this year. The institution's shareholding
structure as at December 31 2007, shows that the Government, with 77,99
percent is the most likely to cede a portion of its stake. The Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe controls 16,75 percent and Staff Share Trust has 3,67 percent.
Private sector institutions control less than one percent each with Zimre
Holdings Limited at 0,44 percent of ordinary shares and Fidelity Life
Assurance Company holding 0,29 percent. Offshore stakeholders include
Finnish Fund for the Industrial Co-operation Limited with 0,25 percent,
African Development Bank 0,19 percent, German Investments and Development
Company 0,14 percent, Netherlands Development Finance Company 0,14 percent
and European Investment Bank 0,05 percent. An expert tracking Chinese
investment in Africa says China is moving away from stocks and wants to pin
investments on real assets, indicating that "real assets in Africa are
under-priced, hence the great Asian appetite for African mineral resources
and economic partnerships.
"Having a sound financial services sector on the continent that underlies
the rich natural resources is a key starting point," the expert told Herald
Africa News, Netherlands
Posted on Thursday 17 April 2008 - 09:41
Zimbabwe's military has taken over the running of the country as Mugabe
have failed to stand the heat of the current political stand off facing the
country, it has been learnt.
Some military forces were deployed throughout the country to solve the
impasse between the opposition and ruling Zanu PF. Army personnel were also
deployed to the electoral commission, to deal with the situation. ZEC has
not released the results since the polls on March 29. Some privy to the army
said the army would also manage the run off which the President Mugabe has
vowed to participate, a sign that President Mugabe lost the elections.
The Joint of Operations Command (JOC) which consists of army leaders is
said to be at the helm of the decision making process. JOC is made up of
air force, police, intelligence agency and prison service.
A reliable source said the sudden takeover by the military junta is
temporary because once he wins a runoff vote, as the army expects him to,
he will be back in charge just for a few months before he hands over to
someone in his cabinet.
The entire SADC region is not doing enough to resolve the Zimbabwean
crisis. Some analysts said criticized President Mbeki for failing dismally
to mediate the Zimbabwean crisis. Some have a feeling that any ex-President
like Fredrick Chiluba or Sam Nujoma should took over the mediation crisis so
that Mugabe knows that there is life after being President.
Te military secretly availed a ruin off plan in a meeting and agreed that
in the run off the conditions will favor Zanu PF as they control polling
stations and central counting centers.
The MDC Tsvangirai claimed that they have won both parliamentary and
presidential polls by 50,3 percent but the ruling Zanu PF have argued that
they did not lost and accused MDC for allegedly rigging elections through a
fake document they are possessing.
Radio New Zealand
Posted at 7:04pm on 17 Apr 2008
New Zealand MPs at an Interparliamentary Union meeting in South Africa have
managed to put the recent elections in Zimbabwe onto the agenda.
The National MP, John Carter, the Labour MP, Dover Samuels, and the Green
Party MP, Nandor Tanzcos, are attending the meeting.
Mr Carter says the group wanted to make sure the topic would be discussed.
He says it is a coup for New Zealand, and it means South African and other
countries will now take the matter seriously at the conference.
Mr Carter says a drafting committee is being put together to consider a
draft resolution, and a statement to be adopted by the Assembly.
Thu, 17 Apr 2008
There was a time when I would gladly have worn a t-shirt with the face of
the Zimbabwean president emblazoned upon it.
Yes, I used to be an unabashed admirer of Robert Mugabe MBE. Before his
lapse into the tyranny of senility, Mugabe struck a debonair figure, an
African Guevara, militant Mandela, the aura of the freedom fighter both
compelling and coruscating. There is something immensely gratifying in his
terse middle-finger sallies at the West. As the foremost anti-imperialist
soldier and pariah he has won the scorn and accolades of countless global
citizens, especially in Africa where Zimbabwe is seen as the darkest shade
His land reform programme, as unfortunately administered as it was and is,
remains ideologically watertight. Possessing both intellectual and spiritual
dimensions, his stand against globalisation is his secular version of the
mythology engineered by other noteworthy dictators. Why is it so easy to
sympathise with a few evicted white farmers, and ignore the silent millions
of landless slaves? Right versus white, but a starving nation cannot afford
to aspire to any lofty ideals.
So to the ingenuously-rigged elections, and the tussle between Mugabe and
well, Not-Mugabe. With charisma and nationalist credentials in spades, it is
difficult to argue against the stirring emotive argument that the incumbent
brings to the table. Is it any wonder that Mugabe is feted by many African
leaders, including Mbeki? Tsvangirai, Makoni et al haven’t a hope of
standing toe-to-toe with the last 'big man' on the continent. Power is an
addiction, and his long tenure isn’t about to end with a tearful farewell
and gala dinner. Africa in 2008 with all its growing complexities is still
wary of the foreign devil, 'better a tyrant of our own than an outsider.'
What would the repercussions of Mugabe stepping down be? What there is left
of an economy will certainly be resurrected by the influx of foreign aid and
goodwill. And all will be hunky dory as the euphoria of liberation blunts
the pangs of hardship. Until an electorate with a notoriously short memory
begins to long for an era free of the technocrat and bureaucracy that is.
It astounds me to hear black South Africans talk wistfully about the
Apartheid era like they had forgotten what a dompas was. This phenomenon is
spreading here, with inflation nearing double-digits and the ANC devolving
into a local branch of the Zanu-PF. A testament to the pitfalls of democracy
in an Africa where voters remain divided by ethnicity, tribalism,
sectarianism, poverty and bled by neo-colonialism.
Perhaps a Zimbabwean can best sum up the torturous wait for change in
Harare. Writer Petina Gappah pays tribute to the resilience of her
compatriots in 'The Zimbabwean'.
"Ian Smith thought his Rhodesia would last 1000 years: it lasted less than
15. This too shall pass and when it does, women and men and children will
again leap to embrace a dream called Zimbabwe."
Dream on Zimbabwe, dream of peace and prosperity, dream the dream of
millions of impoverished Africans still reeling from oppression decades
after the lowering of the last colonial flag.
Ebrahim Moolla is iafrica.com's Business Editor and part-time freedom
fighter, mail him your thoughts here.
The Herald (Harare) Published by the government of Zimbabwe
17 April 2008
Posted to the web 17 April 2008
Rotina Mavhunga, a self-styled spirit medium, yesterday admitted to
misrepresenting to the nation and Government that diesel was oozing out of a
rock at the summit of the Maningwa Hills in Chinhoyi.
She said she was aware that by lying about the diesel, she had effectively
gone against the spirits and started to pour diesel in a pipe placed atop
the hill to substantiate her claims.
The dreadlocked Mavhunga left the court in stitches when she said she no
longer wanted to be a spirit medium and that she wanted to immediately
convert to Christianity.
"I have been a spirit medium since I was 13, but I don't want that anymore.
I would rather be a Christian. I wish Government officials would stop
bothering me about wanting to consult Sekuru Dombo," she said.
Mavhunga interjected when her lawyer, Mr Chandavengerwa Chopamba of Mushonga
and Associates, was about to present the defence outline and told the court
that she was forced by her lawyers to deny the charges.
"I was afraid to admit the charges because the lawyer, Mr Chopamba, said the
magistrate and prosecutor already had a verdict and I would get up to 30
years in jail. So I was just waiting for my fate. I do not trust the lawyer
because I am not the one who engaged him, given that information from him I
decided to wait for the judgment day," she said.
She told the court that her lawyer advised her against switching to another
lawyer, Mr Fortune Murisi of Muchineripi and Associates, because he was "too
young" to deal with a matter before a regional magistrate which was
equivalent to the High Court.
Mavhunga early this year ditched her lawyer opting for Mr Murisi saying she
did not know who had engaged him and did not trust him. However, presiding
magistrate Mr Ignatius Mugova entered a not guilty plea after hearing her
explanation, which he deemed to contain certain elements that are attributed
to the spirit medium and constituted denial of the charges.
Mr Chopamba had initially said Mavhunga could not plead guilty while making
reference to her two accomplices Martin Mazvazvido (38) and Lyton Munodawafa
"Your Worship, the first accused (Mavhunga) admitted in the State outline
and I feel the information is prejudicial to accused two and three. We take
note that you have entered a plea of not guilty and we believe that is not
sufficient to the prejudice being suffered by the two other accused," he
said. They are facing charges of defrauding the State of about $5 billion
and misrepresenting facts about the diesel to public officials.
In admitting the charge, Mavhunga told the court that she went against the
spirit of Sekuru Dombo when she decided to "play games" and started pouring
diesel into a pipe that had been mounted on the rock. She said the spirit
had initially showed her where the diesel was coming from but she connived
with some of her followers to "play games" and brought the fuel from truck
drivers and a Government official.
"All in all, we used about 400 litres made up of five by 25 litres,"she
said. She said she went into hiding after being advised by a senior
Government official to lie low as someone was after her head.
Mavhunga told the court that her name was Nomatter Tagarira adding that
Mavhunga was the name of a spirit that possessed her before the spirit of
Changamire Dombo. She said she never solicited for anything from Government
claiming that she only got gifts from a Government official and food to feed
people when they gathered at the mountain for rituals.