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Operation Hapana Anotaura

Written by Fungi Kwaramba
Friday, 16 April 2010 11:19

HARARE - As the Constitution drafting process draws nearer, Zanu (PF) has
yet again coined a new operation - 'Operation Hapana Anotaura', to stop
people in remote parts of the country from participating in the decision

According to the Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ), Zanu
(PF) plans to make sure that citizens of Zimbabwe do not take part in the
constitution making process.
"CCDZ has it on good authority that Zanu (PF) has launched "Operation Hapana
Anotaura" to stop grassroots people from freely airing their views during
the constitution outreach programme to be done by the Parliamentary Select
Committee,"  reads a statement from the organization.
There has been a rise in cases of intimidation and violence since late last
year, with the former ruling party supporters on the rampage. The intention
being to make people endorse the Kariba Draft constitution that the party
leader, President Robert Mugabe, favours.
CCDZ reacted angrily to statements by the Co-Minister of National Healing
and to Integration, Sekai Holland that there is no violence in the
countryside and that Zanu (PF) has not set up or reactivated 'bases' to beat
up civil society and political activities.
"CCDZ is working in deeply polarised communities where Zimbabweans live in
fear and violence and intimidation is a living reality that haunts them on a
daily bases," reads the statement.

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Exclusive photos show life in Zimbabwe after 30 years of independence
Around 2.17 million people are in need of food aid, mainly in poor
 rural communities

Around 2.17 million people are in need of food aid, mainly in poor rural communities

© Amnesty International

Water supplies in townships remain erratic

Water supplies in townships remain erratic

© Amnesty International

A man outside his home in a settlement near the affluent suburb of
 Gunhill in Harare

A man outside his home in a settlement near the affluent suburb of Gunhill in Harare

© Amnesty International

Children play at Hopley Farm, an informal settlement on the 
outskirts of Harare

Children play at Hopley Farm, an informal settlement on the outskirts of Harare

© Amnesty International

16 April 2010

On Sunday, Zimbabwe commemorates 30 years since the end of colonial rule.

However, the celebration of Zimbabwe's independence is marred by the plight of hundreds of thousands of victims of human rights violations for whom freedom and dignity remain out of reach.

To mark the 30-year anniversary, Amnesty International has released a series of exclusively commissioned photographs showing the effects on those who were evicted en masse in 2005 under Operation Murambatsvina.

The photographs provide a glimpse into the lives of ordinary people living in informal settlements, set up on the outskirts of Harare after the forced evictions.

The images show their daily struggle to cope under a government that seems unwilling to address past human rights violations and their effects.

The victims of Operation Murambatsvina are not the only ones who continue to be denied justice. Thousands of victims of state-sponsored human rights violations, from the 1980s in Matabeleland to the 2008 state-sponsored election violence, are still waiting, 30 years after independence.

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Church with answers to Zimbabwe's problems completed

Sun Apr 18 2010 09:35:49 GMT+1000.

Construction of a multi-million dollar church which has the answers to
Zimbabwe's political and economic problems has been completed and it was
used for the first time at Easter.

The Mbungo Church and Conference Centre which cost an estimated US$2 million
was built by the Zion Christian Church led by Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi. It is
about 60 km East of Masvingo town and will officially be opened later this

The church has a capacity of 15 000 making it one of the biggest in Africa.
Construction started in October 2005. Initial projections were that the
church would be completed within a year but the project has taken nearly
five years.

The project was funded entirely by contributions from church members. The
Zion Christian Church was founded in the 1920s by Engenas Lekganyane of
South Africa and Samuel Mutendi of Zimbabwe. It is now being run separately
with Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi, son of Samuel Mutendi, heading the Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwe chapter now has congregations in Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique,
Namibia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States and Zambia.

The church believes strongly in prophecy. Before constuction started it was
prophecised that when the project is completed a cure for AIDS wil be found
and the country will once again prosper.

The Zimbabwe dollar, which is now out of circulation, will regain its value
and compete with major currencies in the region, the South African rand and
the Botswana pula.

The prophecy has been widely publicised in the country's biggest daily, The
Herald, over the past three years when church followers make their annual
pilgrimage to the holy shrine at Defe, in Gokwe in the Midlands Province.

Defe was the resting place of Samuel Mutendi who died on 20 July 1976.
Church members make an annual pilgrimage to Defe on or close to that day
every year.

The project was entirely being funded by church members because Bishop
Mutendi said he wanted them to prosper while here on earth and go to heaven
when they die.

Bishop Mutendi said Zimbabwe today is like Israel during the reign of Saul.
The Israelites were so poor that they had to go to the Philistines to
sharpen their ploughshares, mattocks, axes and sickles.

Zimbabweans have flocked out of the country into the diaspora to seek jobs
so that they can feed their families and relatives at home.

After King Solomon built the Lord his temple, the Israelites were blessed.
Today Jews and Israelis are among the wealthiest people on earth. Bishop
Mutendi said the same would happen to Zimbabwe once the church was

Every member of the church who contributed to the construction of the
building, the bishop said, would proposer as stated in 1 Kings 4:25, with
"every man under his vine and under his figtree".

The Bishop told his followers that he had decided to embark on this highly
ambitious project when things were at their worst in Zimbabwe because he
wanted to demonstrate power of God.

Though the church is small by comparison to the conventional churches such
as the Roman Catholic, the Anglican or Methodist churches, it has a strong
influence because most if its prophecies have been fulfilled.

The construction of the Mbungo church was also a clear demonstration that
Zimbabweans can develop their own country with their own resources. All that
was needed was hard work and determination. The country did not have to rely
on donors or foreign investors.

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North Korea face hostile reception in Matabeleland

Saturday, 17 April 2010 19:27

TOURISM Minister Walter Mzembi has begged for peace from activists in
Matabeleland in the wake of planned protests against the government's
invitation of the North Korean soccer team to camp in the country ahead of
the June soccer World Cup in South Africa.

The team is expected in Zimbabwe on May 25.

But activists from Midlands and Matabeleland provinces feel the presence of
the North Koreans in Zimbabwe would be a "symbolic insult" and are already
planning massive protests against the team.

The activists some of them based in the Diaspora said wounds of the
Gukurahundi atrocities inflicted by the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade
which killed an estimated 20 000 civilians were still fresh.

They have threatened a series of protests at the team's camp, their hotel
and matches in South Africa.

Zapu spokesperson, Methuseli Moyo, yesterday said the invitation of the
North Koreans was "very provocative and insensitive".

The Gukurahundi massacres targeted Zapu supporters after President Robert
Mugabe deployed the army to fight "dissidents".

"We are totally against bringing the team to Zimbabwe, the reason being the
fact that they trained the Fifth Brigade which went on to kill tens of
thousands of our supporters. Having a team flying the North Korean flag is
very provocative," Moyo said.

In an interview yesterday, Mzembi appealed to his "uncles" from Matabeleland
not to mix sport with politics, and allow national healing to take place.

He added that there were vast economic benefits associated with the visit by
the Koreans.

"As Minister of Tourism, my brief is to invite teams to come to the country,
and only one team (North Korea) responded," said Mzembi.

"The basis of my invitation which we extended even to England and the United
States was that sport must remain the bridge for people-to-people contact,
probably the only bridge that has remained standing even when nation states
are in a state of fallout.

"I wouldn't want to make this a political issue; it is purely a sports

But Moyo said if that was the idea, then North Korea was a wrong choice.

"North Koreans are not known to be tourists, I don't think bringing them
will attract anyone to visit Zimbabwe.

"It is basically a continuation of the friendship between Zanu PF and North
Korea," argued Moyo.

"It is actually insensitive for the inclusive government at the time of
national healing to bring a team that is known to Zimbabweans more for its
evil association with Gukurahundi exercise than for its footballing and
tourism reputation.

"If they come to Bulawayo, we will do all in our powers to make them aware
we are not happy."
Mzembi however said the invitation was within the spirit of national

"What has happened to madzisekuru angu (my uncles) to always put themselves
in a position of the vanquished? It is not good to relive acrimony.

"The language these days is on national healing, we have to find each other
as a people.

Mzembi said as the government they had not determined whether or not the
North Koreans would go to Bulawayo during their visit.

Contributing to an online forum, exiled former student leader Nkululeko
Sibanda said there was need to "to defend our dead and our blood".

"The relationship between Zimbabwe and North Korean was cemented by the
blood of our kin," said Sibanda, urging activists to "mobilise in any way
possible" against the North Koreans.

UK based Zimbabwean academic and activist Brilliant Mhlanga said the North
Koreans should not be allowed "to train and merry-make in our environment
when the scar caused by the genocide continues to bleed to this day".


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Indigenisation deadline deferred indefinitely

Saturday, 17 April 2010 19:25

CABINET on Tuesday postponed indefinitely an April 15 deadline for foreign
companies to submit plans to cede 51% of their shareholding to locals
pending consultations on 10 key principles that will see an overhaul of the
controversial empowerment regulations. Sources revealed last week that
despite political posturing by President Robert Mugabe and Indigenisation
Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, cabinet was unanimous that the regulations that
seek to operationalise the 2007 Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act
cannot be passed in the form proposed by Zanu PF.

"The cabinet position is that the deadline of 45 days from March 1 for
companies to provide their indigenisation plans has been set aside pending
finalisation of consultations around 10 principles that are central to the
empowerment exercise," said Gorden Moyo, the Minister of State in the Prime
Minister's Office.

The Standard understands some of the principles that are being reviewed
include the hotly contested requirement that companies must cede 51% of
their shareholding to locals.

The new proposals would see companies selling shares at market value and the
prescribed asset value of US$500 000 would include both liabilities and

Companies listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and new investors may also
be exempted from the regulations.

Instead of being forced to comply with the law within five years, companies
may be given up to 15 years, the new proposals have shown.

Government will also no longer impose a blanket threshold on the number of
shares to be ceded as each sector would be allowed to come up with its own

An indigenisation compliance board will also be set up to assess and approve
localisation plans by companies to allay fears that the empowerment process
would be abused by the responsible minister to benefit cronies.

Sectoral boards for each sector such as mining, industry and retail would be
set to deal with issues at micro level.

Firms that have also invested heavily on community development projects may
also be excluded from the process.

"We have all accepted that there should be indigenisation but it must be
broad based," Moyo said. "The only objections were that the regulations
should not be implemented in the formula they were proposed."

In public, Mugabe and Kasukuwere have maintained that there is no going back
on the regulations.

However, the law has scared investors and dampened interest in the ZSE.


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‘I am claiming what’s mine,’ says Mliswa

Saturday, 17 April 2010 19:05

“FIRST people were calling me a land grabber, now they are labelling me a
company grabber. What have I done to deserve this?” Temba Mliswa, a sports
fitness trainer and businessman with strong Zanu PF links does not
understand why controversy always follows him.

From his days as a rugby player, moving to farming and now the corporate
ladder, Mliswa has seldom attracted complementary headlines.

Not even the announcement that he would be joining the board of one of
Zimbabwe’s most diversified companies, Meikles Limited last month could
silence his critics.

Last week he was back in the spotlight after reports that he was detained
for 24 hours for allegedly trying to grab a motor vehicle accessories
company in Msasa from its white owner.

Mliswa, a member of the militant Affirmative Action Group (AAG) allegedly
tried to take advantage of the now suspended empowerment regulations
directing foreign-owned firms to 51% shareholding to take over Noshio Motors
trading as Benbar.

But he has come out guns blazing, accusing a senior police officer of
pursuing a personal vendetta by ordering his arrest.

He says his reputation as a businessman with interests stretching into the
region has been tarnished by the publicity that followed the arrest.

“I have businesses in South Africa and they have been affected, one of my
companies is on the stock exchange and it has suffered because of those
allegations,” Mliswa said.

Mliswa was arrested on accusations that he threatened Paul Westwood, a part
owner and operations director of Noshio Motors, an allegation he vehemently

In a letter written to police deputy commissioner general responsible for
crime, Babra Mandizha, Mliswa tried to explain his situation regarding the
latest controversy.

“The key background to this ominous and disturbing case is that my company
Casital Investments took 51% share in Noshio in December 2009 belonging to
Hammerskjold Banda, which he had pledged as security for a US$100 000 loan
given to him months earlier and had fallen due,” read the letter.

He also showed The Standard a copy of a share certificate, which he said
proves that he is now the owner of the 51% stake previously held by Banda.

Some of the correspondence he provided also shows that Westwood is
challenging the share takeover.
Mliswa maintains the company is not affected by the Indigenisation and
Empowerment Act because it does not make the US$500 000 income annually as
specified in the law.

“Westwood has seen it in his favour to not only to trash our efforts but
project an image that we are trying furtively to dispossess him of his
business,” Mliswa says in the letter, also copied to other service chiefs.

“May I also take this opportunity to inform you that Westwood has sought to
misrepresent or twist our march to fully assert our rights in Noshio, as an
illegal and arm-twisting tactic motivated by the new empowerment laws.”

Mliswa said after joining the company he uncovered “a number of financial
and operational irregularities which were brought to Westwood’s attention.

He said Westwood whom he describes as a British national connived with a
senior police officer (name given) to frame him.

In another letter to Mandizha addressed March 24, Mliswa accuses Westwood of
defrauding the company of US$20 000, swindling the police of US$5 000 and
forging documents to retain a company-owned Toyota Virgo vehicle.

But Westwood through his lawyer Victor Zvobgo of Mhiribidi, Ngarava and Moyo
Legal Practitioners said Mliswa did not own 51% of Noshio Holdings.

“According to Westwood’s instructions, as far as he is concerned the only
person he knows as the shareholder of the company is Banda,” he said.

“Whatever agreement that transpired between Banda and Mliswa he is not privy
to it and there is nothing that has changed according to the Companies Act.”

Zvobgo refused to comment on the fraud allegations saying the matter was
likely to spill to the courts.

The Noshio fiasco is not likely to be Mliswa’s last dance with controversy.
His involvement in agriculture has left a trail of confusion.

The Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial secretary for lands is on a crusade
to “expose” senior party officials who allegedly own more than one farm

Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo and Webster Shamu were his first

He also allegedly ordered war veterans and party militia to resist the
government land audit in the province until sanctions imposed by the West on
top Zanu PF officials were lifted.

His entry into Premier Bank Finance Group where he bought an 8% stake late
last year also raised a lot of dust.

Mliswa also owns Saltlakes Holdings. He is chairman of Afriven, a South
African-based firm with interests in African Beef Corporation, Sachi and
Sachi, Mediterranean Shipping Company and Tristar Group Holdings Limited.

In addition, Mliswa is also chairman of Hurungwe Development Association and
a member of the Crocodile Farmers’ Association.

He blamed the media for always reporting “lies” about him and believes he is
a successful businessman in his own right.

“People once said I beat up my father,” Mliswa said. “That’s how bad it is.”


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Jewel destroyed in ‘acts of madness’

Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:56

WHEN President Robert Mugabe described the killings of the Gukurahundi era
by his government as an “act of madness”, it was widely believed that it had
dawned on the ageing leader that the sanctity of human life must be
respected. His flip-flopping social, political and economic policies of the
past 30 years — characterised by disease, hunger, intimidation, rape and
murder — have equally been a series of “acts of madness”.

Analysts say Mugabe has made Zimbabwe a worse-off country than it was at
independence in 1980.

University of Zimbabwe lecturer John Makumbe says the country is now

“In terms of democracy and civil liberties we have moved a step or two
backwards,” said Makumbe.
“It is as good as we are 70 years backwards in history.

“It is really unfortunate that at a time when it wassupposed to be
celebrating 30 years of independence, our enjoyment of civil liberties is
now worse than we were before independence.

Mugabe embodied a lot of hope when he came into office in 1980 as the first
Prime Minister of an independent Zimbabwe.

The late President of Mozambique Samora Machel and President Julius Nyerere
of Tanzania told Mugabe: “You have the jewel of Africa in your hands, now
look after it.”

With vast natural resources and relatively good infrastructure, this seemed
an easy task.

In the first years of Mugabe’s rule, the country’s economy — driven by a
sound manufacturing, mining and agricultural production base — showed
positive growth.

But the “acts of madness” began.

Mugabe grabbed the opportunity to settle scores against his own countrymen
and unleashed the North-Korean-trained Fifth Brigade in Matabeleland and
Midlands provinces to quell dissidents activities in that region.

An estimated 20 000 civilians  were butchered during one of the darkest
periods in Zimbabwe’s history.

Gukurahundi ended in 1987 with Zanu PF signing a Unity Accord with the then
opposition party, PF Zapu.

Mugabe never really apologised for the killings. Repeated calls by rights
activists for Mugabe to, at least, compensate victims of Gukurahundi, have
fallen on deaf ears.

Close to two decades later, at a memorial service for former Vice-President
Joshua Nkomo in Bulawayo in 1999, Mugabe said Gukurahundi was an “act of
madness” that should not be repeated.

There were many dramatic turns along the way.
In a bid to contain simmering corruption among party officials, Zanu PF in
1984, introduced a leadership code that limited the number of properties
government officials could own.

Mugabe was among the first to breach the code, which was largely ignored,
until it was forgotten.
Things went out of control when a number of senior officials were named in
what got to be known as the Willowgate Scandal.

“That was the beginning of our journey backwards,” said Makumbe.

In a bid to regain fading popularity in the light of a strong challenge from
civil society which culminated in the formation of the MDC, Mugabe in 1997
awarded war veterans with gratuities of Z$50 000.

This, and the deployment of soldiers into the DRC war, chewed all that
remained of the country’s economic stability.

Economists have traced the genesis of the country’s debilitating economic
crisis to November 14 1997 now known as “Black Friday” when the Zimbabwe
dollar lost 71,5% of its value against the US$ on the back of concerns about
the direction government was taking with the DRC war and the unbudgeted war
veterans payouts.

Faced with the prospect of losing an election as discontent grew, in 2000
Mugabe unleashed war veterans to violently grab land from white farmers
after losing a referendum on a new constitution.

Analysts say this was yet another “act of madness”.

Zimbabwe immediately fell from being the breadbasket of southern Africa to a
basket case. Since then, Mugabe and his cronies have employed violence in an
attempt to reclaim lost glory.

This heightened after the defeat of the government sponsored draft
constitution in 2000, and the near-defeat of Zanu PF in the 2000
parliamentary elections.

The violence was even more pronounced in 2002 when Mugabe faced a stern
challenge from MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

In 2005, the government was to embark on another “act of madness” in the
form of Operation Murambatsvina, which the United Nations says displaced
over 700 000 people.

After losing the March 2008 elections, Mugabe started a campaign of violence
in the run-up to run-off elections that the MDC says left hundreds of its
supporters dead.

But all this did not work for Mugabe as services and infrastructure
continued to collapse.

What used to be the best education system in Africa is currently in
doldrums. Some of the world’s best trained professionals have settled for
menial jobs in neighbouring countries and overseas.

Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) spokesperson Wisdom Mgagara aptly
summed Mugabe’s legacy saying: “Today, 30 years into independence, the
liberator has turned into the oppressor employing the same tactics used
during the colonial period.”

The MDC-T says independence has “been bastardised”.

“Are we really free as a nation to subscribe to the economic, social and
political pursuits of our choice?” said the party in a statement.

“Does our situation justify the blood of our gallant sons and daughters who
lost life and limb so that future generations could walk again?”

For the ordinary Zimbabwean, the negatives of the last few years overshadow
the successes since independence.

“Life has not been that good,” said Loveness Mutyavaviri, who lives in
Whitecliffe on the outskirts of Harare.

“We never thought that 30 years after independence we would still be
sleeping in shacks like this, our children going to a makeshift school
(called Herbert Chitepo), under a tree.”

The only way out of the current situation, she noted, would be the holding
of fresh elections under a new constitution, with international supervision.

But with all the tussling around the implementation of the Global Political
Agreement, it is not yet clear whether these elections will ever be held.


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Students bemoan swift arrests

Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:50

THEY are facing problems which are threatening their future but no one is
paying attention. They then resort to confrontation and aggression and earn
themselves nights in the country's filthy cells.

Students across the country are saddened by the continued deterioration in
the education standards as this is a threat to their long cherished dreams
and aspirations.

"What worsens our situation is that we do not know who to turn to," a
student at the University of Zimbabwe said last week.

"There was a time when we believed that authorities were unwilling to listen
to us and thought we would directly make our concerns known to President
Robert Mugabe through demonstrations which will be publicised in the media
but state security agents have been planted in the institutions and all our
attempts are quickly curtailed."

Student representatives and organisations with an interest in education last
week condemned widespread arrests of students at tertiary institutions
saying involving the police in student issues was a way of curtailing
academic freedoms.

"We are very worried about police's interference in issues of academic
freedom," Student Solidarity Trust (SST) social safety net officer
Darlington Madzonga said.

"We believe that security guards and college authorities have enough
capacity to solve conflicts with students internally."

Madzonga said his organisation expected incidents of students
 "victimisation" to end following the formation of the unity government.

"But in April 2009, we realised that the numbers of students arrested for
instance at Great Zimbabwe University in Masvingo and the National
University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo were even higher than in
the same period the previous year," he said.

"What especially worries us is that in some cases, students are forced to
pay admission of guilty fines and once a student does that, they are usually
susceptible to expulsion on allegations of putting the institution's name
into disrepute."

Madzonga said his institution had recorded 38 cases of arrests since January
this year, with the bulk of students having been arrested at Bindura
University of Science Education in January following a demonstration over
tuition fees.

Students protested against a directive that those who had not paid full
tuition fees were not eligible to sit for end of term examinations.

The students had a short break for the December holiday, with some forgoing
visiting their respective homes waiting for the examinations which were
deferred to January.

Students have also been arrested following protests over the poor state of
accommodation facilities at institutions.

Some said they have been arrested for requesting to see the vice chancellors
while others claimed they had been arrested for wearing t-shirts deemed to
be politically incorrect, especially those to do with opposition to the
ongoing parliament-led constitutional reform exercise.

Others said they have been arrested for expressing disgruntlement over the
poor state of ablution facilities and also agitating for provision of clean
water at institutions of higher learning.

While the Joshua Chi-nyere-led faction of the Zimbabwe National Students
Union (Zinasu) said it recorded 37 arrests countrywide on March 29 alone,
the Tafadzwa Mugwadi led faction said it has recorded eight arrests since
the beginning of the year.

The Chinyere faction's spokesperson Wisdom Mugagara said in their case,
arrests followed a demonstration in which students were agitating for the
full implementation of the Global Political Agreement as failure to do so
was negatively impacting on the education sector.

"Police had given us clearance to stage the demo in Masvingo and Bulawayo
but prohibited us in Harare but the arrests were countrywide," Mugagara

"What saddened us was that we informed Home Affairs co-minister Giles
Mutsekwa about students' arrests but he did not assist in any way leading to
our colleagues spending three nights in police cells.

"All we wanted was to petition government through parliament and provincial
governors, to look into our plight.

"With almost 30% of students dropping their studies due to failure to pay
fees, 50% only were able to pay at least half the fees and the remaining 20%
deferring studies to look for money with a hope, just a hope, of proceeding
the following year, we certainly have enough reason to get worried and
agitate for our rights."

Kudakwashe Chakabva spokesperson of the Mugwadi faction said in their case,
their leaders were arrested after distributing their magazine at Harare
Polytechnic College.

Many students across the country only go to campus once or twice per week to
attend tutorials due to lack of money for transport, they said.

They added that students were also saddened by the fact that authorities did
not recognise their unions whom they accuse of being extensions of political
parties; especially the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai led MDC.

Failure by authorities to recognise students' unions made it impossible to
interface on an internal level, opening space for the interference of
external forces including the police.

The quality of education has also sunk to the lowest levels, with most
institutions failing to provide practicals, something which makes life
difficult for students going for industrial attachments and even those who
get jobs on completion of their studies, they said.

They accused the parent ministry of pre-occupying itself with fundraising,
saying most institutions were currently enrolling more students than they
can handle.

They also said there was a critical shortage of education material, with
most faculties using outdated syllabi.

The Mugwadi faction claimed it had tried to engage Higher and Tertiary
Education Minister Stan Mudenge on several occasions but were always
dismissed without any getting help.

They have also tried the parliamentary committee on higher education without

Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena said the police only arrested people,
be they students or not, only when there has been a commission of a crime
and said the police will be happier should authorities and students solve
their differences internally without being violent and causing threat to
people and property.

Higher and Tertiary Education permanent secretary Washington Mbizvo said it
is only when authorities feel that the offence committed is beyond the
institution's powers that they call in the police.

"Usually, the student would have committed a crime that is in conflict with
the country's civil laws and they cannot expect to be exempted from that
type of disciplinary action simply because they are students," Mbizvo said.

"But as a ministry, we will also be happy if conflicts can be solved
internally following procedures laid down in the ordinances but that
entirely depend on the situation as such things as possessing marijuana and
theft for example is clear police cases."

He said students should also approach the ministry's director of student
affairs' office which is tasked with looking into matters from students,
university councils and vice chancellors.

He also urged students to always prioritise dialogue over demonstrations as
the latter did was not usually associated with intellectuals.

The problems continue - many students are currently failing to access their
results at polytechnic colleges due to failure to pay at least US$750
tuition fees while lecturers at NUST are reported to be on a go slow.

At Harare Polytechnic, the Library Science class was recently dissolved as
students failed to return to college due to lack of money for fees.

The Harare Institute of Technology has since told students it will soon
revert to boreholes as council water bills are beyond its reach.


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From landlord to shack dweller

Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:48

TEARS roll down her cheeks whenever Sipiwe Chigwada (35) passes through
Mbare's Matapi Hostels, once her home for 17 years until she was forcibly
evicted two years ago. The mother of five now lives in a plastic shack with
her children less than three kilometres from her home.

"It hurts to know that I am the rightful owner but someone is living in
there and I am in a shack," she said.

Chigwada is one of the estimated 150 families that lost their houses or
flats to Zanu PF activists in Mbare in the run-up to the violent June 27
2008 presidential run-off poll.

Most of the beneficiaries are members of Zanu PF's vigilante group - the
notorious Chipangano gang - that allegedly killed and tortured members of
the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) with impunity.

Chigwada, former MDC chairwoman for ward 11 in Mbare, said she was thrown
out of her home on the day of the poll by Chipangano who accused her of
supporting an opposition party.

They force-marched her and her two daughters to their "base" near Bata Shoe
shop where they were tortured.

Five of the Chipangano militia, said the widow, urinated in a tin before
forcing her to do the unthinkable.
"They assaulted us all over the body before forcing us to drink their
 urine," said Chigwada. "After drinking the urine, they forced us to clean a
blocked toilet using MDC T-shirts."

After the ordeal, her property was thrown out of the hostel.

Blankets and other property were burnt to ashes.

Since then Chigwada has never set foot in her flat.

Zanu PF youth leader Nathan Mapuranga, whom Chigwada said is a member of
Chipangano now lives in her home.

Mapuranga could not be reached for comment last week.

MDC activist Gibson Matimbe (45) is another victim of Zanu PF's farm-style
"home invasion".

He claimed that he had inherited a house in the Majubeki area but was
evicted by Zanu PF youth chairperson for Mbare, Forbes Chihambakwe.

Chihambakwe paid a fine for assaulting Matimbe while forcing him out of the

A medical report by Dr G Mtize shows that Matimbe suffered "scalp bruises,
soft tissue injuries to face, back and chest."

"I have since sent my relative's children to the rural areas because of
that," said Matimbe, who is now a lodger at Matererini Flats.

But Chihambakwe, who denied being a member of Chipangano, said he was
allocated the house by the Harare City Council through formal channels.

"It was discovered that the house was being rented to someone else following
the death of the original owner, which is not legal," said Chihambakwe.

"So, being a person who was on the (housing) waiting list I was allocated
that house by council and it was regularised."

MDC councillor for Ward Three in Mbare Paul Gorekore estimated that 150
houses and flats were forcibly taken from his party supporters by Zanu PF
activists in June 2008.

He said council last year passed a resolution that instructed the Chamber
Secretary to liaise with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Local Government
to assist the evicted get their flats back but that has not been applied.

"We are fighting hard so that council repossesses those houses from
Chipangano members but we are facing resistance  from politicians who feel
their support base would be eroded if we reversed what they did," said

He accused Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development
Ignatious Chombo of failing to act against the home invaders.

In August last year Chombo ordered the illegal occupants to immediately
vacate the houses but they ignored him.

"If Chombo was serious those people would have been evicted a long time ago.
He is protecting them because they are Zanu PF," said Gorekore.

Chombo could not be reached for comment last week.

But Harare City Council spokesperson Leslie Gwindi claimed the house
ownership wrangle in Mbare was addressed a long time ago.

"As far as we concerned that issue was resolved a long time ago.

"Those who had taken over were evicted. Bring the list you have and we can
start from there," said Gwindi.

An inquiry by The Standard last week established that Chipangano, formed by
the late Ali Khani Manjengwa in 2001 to bolster his election campaign, is
still active in Mbare.

Manjengwa wanted to contest council elections in 2002.

Zanu PF politicians later adopted the group and used it to terrorise all
those supporting the then opposition MDC.

Those familiar with the shadowy but militant group said it was formed at a
"community kitchen" at Block 13 at Nenyere Flats near Siya-so Market.

The majority of its members are not formally employed and they own stalls at
Mupedzanhamo, Siya-so or at Mbare Musika.

At least 30% of the Mbare population is comprised of unemployed youth.

Seventy percent of the unemployed adult population have been absorbed into
vending, carpentry at Siya-so, Mbare and Mupedzanhamo markets.

Chipangano has since "colonised" market stalls and bus ranks and charges
protection fees to the vendors of the market.

For years, their criminal activities have been sanctioned by Zanu PF
politicians and were used for the party's membership recruitment.

It is believed that some of them are members of the police neighbourhood
watch committees at Matapi, Mbare and Stodart Police Station.

Their Zanu PF bases at Siya-so and Bata have become torture chambers for
those opposed to Zanu PF.

"They behave as if they are the gods," said Chigwada. "And in a way, they
are because they do what they want with impunity."


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So rich yet so poor: the sad reality of communities with mineral resources

Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:44

THEIR area is endowed with one of the most valuable minerals in the world
and many of their visitors in the last few years have left the place awash
with cash. But many inhabitants of Chiadzwa in the Manicaland province
remain trapped in the vicious circle of poverty.

This is the sad reality of many rural communities living in otherwise rich
areas endowed with natural resources such as diamonds, wildlife and black
granite in Zimbabwe.

These are some of the injustices that the Zimbabwe Environmental Law
Association (Zela) is seeking to address by empowering rural communities to
derive benefits from resources within their areas.

Formed in 2000, Zela aims to promote environmental justice and sustainable
use of natural resources.

Recently the association launched a project that is set to help
community-based organisations to build their capacity to promote and protect
the rights and interests of communities over their natural resources.

Speaking at the launch of the project, Chiadzwa Community Development Trust,
deputy secretary Lovemore Mukwada, said although the village boasts of large
deposits of the precious stones it remained one of the poorest in the

"The illegal mining of diamonds was allowed to go on for a long time because
there were hidden hands benefiting. . . in the process our community lost
valuable resources," Mukwada said.

"Now that there appears to be some control on the mineral our organisation
will be consulting at various levels to ensure that as people of Chiadzwa we
have some sort of stake in the mining of diamonds in our area so that we can
develop our communities."

Mukwada said as a result of illegal and unsupervised mining the area now had
to contend with the dangers of siltation, which has seen water sources
drying up.

ZELA is also working with Mutoko community based organisations where foreign
and local companies have been mining black granite since the 1960s.

Mutoko North MP Mabel Chinomona said it was disturbing to note that her
constituency remains underdeveloped although it has made many quarry mining
companies rich.

"We have towns such as Zvishavane developing into big mining towns but
Mutoko has not seen any growth at all," Chinomona said.

"Some of these mining companies have been there for many years but they have
done nothing for our community but of course you will see companies such as
Natural Stone that are doing the little.we should commend them for that but
more needs to be done," said Chinomona.

He said most of the companies were only interested in making profit and did
not invest anything in things like decent accommodation for their workers
and in infrastructure.

Chief Enock Chapoto said although his people were benefiting from the
natural resources in their area through Communal Areas Management Programme
for Indigenous Resources very little had been spent on infrastructure.

"Our roads are poor, we do not have that many clinics and schools, we have
no bridges and these are the many issues that concern us a people and yet
our area is rich in wildlife," he said.

ZELA director Mutuso Dhliwayo said he believed the solution lies in making
sure that views of people in the affected communities are heard in the
ongoing constitution making process.

"The on going constitutional reform provides a window of opportunities for
the concerns of communities in areas like Mutoko, Chiadzwa and Guruve," said

"Environmental, economic, social and cultural rights should be enshrined in
the constitution under the Bill of Rights section.

"These communities will have a basis (rights) to benefit from these

"We are working to empower community based organisations on issues like


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Malema: South Africa’s own Chinotimba?

Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:08

JULIUS Malema, South Africa’s African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL)
president, is young, famous, rich and very presentable.
In appearance and stature, Malema definitely cannot be likened to Zimbabwe’s
scruffy war veterans’ leader Joseph Chinotimba, the self-styled leader of
violent land invasions in the country that resulted in the current economic

But in deed the two have many things in common.

They both are rabble-rousers with very limited formal education.

Like Chinotimba, Malema also advocates for destructive populist economic
policies and hides behind imperialist and racial rhetoric to push for
political gains of his masters regardless of the consequences.
Malema’s recent utterances before and after his visit to Zimbabwe clearly
showed that South African president Jacob Zuma might — by design or
coincidence — be creating “a Chinotimba” in his country if he does not reign
in the youth leader now.

Malema’s travel bill was footed by Zanu PF which wanted to use him in its
drive to pacify the highly controversial land reform programme and economic
empowerment policy requiring foreign firms to cede 51% of their
shareholdings to indigenous black entrepreneurs.

And he did just that. He even falsely claimed South Africa would soon take
the same route.
The 29-year-old politician, known for his controversial and inflammatory
statements, commended Zimbabwe for embarking on the violent land reform
programme that resulted in the collapse of the economy as well as the murder
of scores of white commercial farmers.

Addressing a press conference in South Africa after the visit, Malema hailed
Zimbabwe’s land reform policy as “courageous and militant”.

“Land reform in Zimbabwe has been very successful,” he said, adding that the
controversial programme was a “very correct method”.

Sounding like Chinotimba, Malema said he would do the same in South Africa.

“We hear you are going straight to the mines. That is what we are going to
start doing in South Africa,” said Malema. “We want the mines. They have
exploited our minerals for a long time, now it is our turn to also enjoy
from these minerals.”

Political analysts fear that Malema’s inflammatory statements could spark
invasions of farms and mines by poor landless black South Africans who feel
they have not benefited since independence in 1994.

Japhet Ncube, the news editor of City Press, said after his meeting with
Mugabe, Malema appeared even more unstoppable and determined to push for the
indigenisation of South African farms and mines.
Some analysts strongly believe that his Shoot the Boer song was directly
linked to the murder of
Eugene Terre’Blanche, a top member of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging

His murder allegedly by his employees over a salary dispute has created
racial tension between whites and black.

Zuma has appealed for calm amid growing racial tensions in the country.

Just like Chinotimba who supports President Robert Mugabe, Malema
practically worships Zuma, former President Nelson Mandela, his former wife
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and ANC hero Oliver Tambo.
He has openly expressed his hatred for former President Thabo Mbeki. During
his visit to Zimbabwe, Malema did not mention Mbeki in any of his slogans.

Educationally both Malema and Chinotimba did not go far. Chinotimba, a
Harare City Council security guard who rose to prominence through Zanu PF’s
partisan politics, does not have even an “O” level certificate.

According to the reports, Malema also has very little formal education.
During his early years in school, he was once expelled after vandalising the
school, destroying some colouring books.

It appears like Chinotimba, Malema will never be called to account or take
responsibility for his inflammatory speeches and actions.


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High maternity fees raise mortality

Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:03

FOR many women in progressive countries, pregnancy is usually an exciting
But for many Zimbabwean women it is nine months of anxiety and endless
The expectant mothers, more often than not, have to contend with the high
costs of maternity care and the poor state of the country's public health
delivery system.

Mercy Mbwanda* (29) from Kambuzuma's high density suburb is expecting her
second child and is certainly not one of the happiest mothers.

Mbwanda is unemployed while her husband works at the nearby food processing
industries. The family has to get by with US$120 a month that he brings

In the past five months Mbwanda and her husband have been putting US$10
aside to raise the US$50 required at the local clinic.

"I know the nurses are going to be very angry with me for coming to register
late (five months into pregnancy) but I had no choice.I will have to explain
that to them," Mbwanda says.

"I am just hoping that my delivery goes on well and that I deliver at the
clinic because if I were to be transferred anywhere else we might just have
to sell some of the property in our home to raise extra money."

Like Mbwanda the majority of expecting mothers who cannot afford private
medical care begin their journey to childbirth at local council clinics.

The US$50 paid by expecting mothers covers the cost of their delivery and
monthly antenatal checkups.
Should they develop complications such as high blood pressure or prolonged
labour, they are referred to either Harare Hospital or Parirenyatwa
Hospital, which are more expensive.

At Parirenyatwa the cost of a normal delivery is US$150 while a caesarian
section costs as much as US$450.

This is over and above other costs such as clothing for the baby and
consultation fees for other medical conditions related to pregnancy.

That is why for most women like Mbwanda it is more about cost cutting than
consideration of their health and that of their unborn child.

"Often when we tell a woman in labour that the clinic has to refer her to
another hospital for whatever reason, they plead with us to stop that from
happening," said one nurse at Mufakose clinic speaking on condition of

"The first thing they say is 'mbuya (a term used to refer to most midwives)
where will I get the money to pay the ambulance and then the cost of
delivery' wherever we have referred them to.
"If you insist they must be referred they actually hate you for that, they
think you are being mean to them.

"They don't realise that by referring them, I am actually trying to save
their lives and that of their unborn child because at a small clinic like
this we are limited in terms of what we can do for them."
Some expecting mothers in urban areas travel many kilometres to rural
mission hospitals seeking cheaper maternity care.

They travel to places such as Howard Mission in Chiweshe and All Souls
Mission in Mutoko.

Others choose to deliver through traditional midwives who are well-known in
some urban settings.
While for rural women maternal deaths can be largely attributed to delays in
seeking medical care because of the long distances to hospitals, the high
costs of maternity care in urban areas has resulted in a number of deaths.

Recent statistics from a Multiple Indicator Monitoring Survey conducted by
Central Statistics Office (CSO) together with the United Nations Children's
Fund (Unicef) showed that at least 50% of women are giving birth outside a
health institution.

Unicef country representative, Peter Salama said the high costs had become a
major barrier to access to critical services.

"Recognising that user fees are not the only barrier to accessing care,
Unicef supports the call for full implementation of the current government
policy that all basic health services for pregnant women and children under
five be provided free at the point of delivery," he said.

According to the United Nations Population Fund, at least eight women die
everyday while giving birth.
This translates to a maternal mortality ratio of 725 deaths per 100 000 live
births, according to the Zimbabwe Maternal and Perinatal Mortality Study
published recently.

Zimbabwe has the highest mortality rates in the region.
"No woman who needs maternal health services should fail to get those
services at public health facilities because they cannot afford the costs,"
said Hillary Chigavaure, the UNFPA deputy country representative.

"For those public institutions charging user fees for maternal care, as a
necessary requirement for service provision, the fees should be affordable,
the costing model should be not-for profit and cost recovery threshholds
clearly set.

"There is strong evidence that charging maternal health services does not
generate meaningful revenue to sustain service provision but simply and
significantly creates a strong barrier to accessing services for our women.

"Lives are being lost for lack of $50 and at times for less than that.the
result is that four women are dying today from pregnancy and delivery where
one woman was dying 10 years ago.
"And the trend is worsening."

*Not her real name.


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Zimbabwe drifts from MDGs on health

Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:03

ZIMBABWE continues to drift away from targets set to achieve the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) in the health sector a year after the formation of
the inclusive government.
In its 2009 annual report released last week, the Community Working Group on
Health (CWGH) attributed the deterioration in the health service provision
to escalating social, economic and political instability in the country.

"The nation also continues to drift away from the targets for achieving the
Millennium Development Goals," says the report. "Much of this deterioration
can be traced to the escalating social, economic and political instability,
dithering in meeting the GPA (Global Political Agreement), increasing
poverty, HIV and Aids, ill-health and inequalities."

Under the MDGs, Zimbabwe pledged to have halted, and begun to reverse the
spread of HIV and Aids by 2015.

It also pledged to reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio as
well as to cut by two thirds, during the same period, the under-five
mortality rate.

The country had also pledged to halve the proportion of people without
sustainable access to safe drinking water and as well as the number of
people who suffer from hunger during the same period.
Zimbabwe's life expectancy remains the lowest in the world at around 37 for
males and 34 for females, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Inequalities between the rich and poor continue to widen with unemployment
topping 80% while poor planning, persistent droughts and harsh weather
patterns have seriously affected agriculture.
As a result, the number of people requiring food aid this year is expected
to be almost half of the country's population of 13,5 million people.

CWGH executive chairman, John Ngirazi, said the right to health has been
greatly compromised because most Zimbabweans can no longer access medical

Following the dollarisation of the economy last year, communities in the
rural areas resorted to barter trade as they could not easily access foreign

This made it difficult for people to pay for social services including

"This gloomy picture continues, in-spite of the government having, on
several forums, committed itself to tackling the above challenges," said

In a foreword to the report, health promoter Itai Rusike said the impact of
HIV and Aids, the cholera outbreak and reduction in the health budget as
well as household incomes had reversed gains made in the health sector.

"The quality of health care has deteriorated while health workers and their
clients have become demoralised," he said.

Ngirazi said the right to health - regardless of race, gender, economic,
social and political status - must be clearly spelt out in the new
constitution, which the country is currently drafting.

"It will be a right that we will fight to include and that we will ensure is
not left on paper, but protected and promoted, through social action," he

Rusike, who is also CWGH executive director, said there was need to empower
communities to enable them to protect themselves from ill-health and plan
for their future.

"But when empowered, through health literacy, better education and health
care, the benefits are immediate: families are healthier, and so is the
nation," said Rusike.


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HIV+ women come together to drive own agenda

Saturday, 17 April 2010 17:58

A GROUP of women living with HIV last week launched the Zimbabwe chapter of
the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW).
The ICW is the only international network led and made up of HIV+ women that
was founded in response to the lack of support, information and services
available to women.

It encourages the participation of HIV+ women in the formulation of public
policies and in forums where decisions that influence the lives of thousands
of people infected by the virus are made.
The ICW was founded by women from different countries that met at the 8th
International Conference of AIDS in Amsterdam in 1992.

Members of the Zimbabwean chapter are drawn from all the country's 10
Martha Tholanah, an Aids and HIV activist said the launch of the chapter was
a positive development for Zimbabwean women affected by the pandemic.

"ICW Global and ICW Regions, including ICW Southern Africa, have been going
through a massive restructuring exercise since the last 18 months," she said
at the launch.

"This has been happening in line with the changing trends in the epidemic.

"When ICW was formed in 1992, members were joining individually through the
international support office that was based in London.

"As trends in the epidemic changed and the ability to disclose increased,
there is now a large number of ICW members in Zimbabwe."

But Tholanah said there was no formal structure to support the membership
The chairperson of the chapter, Vimbayi Zisengwe, said they would work hard
to ensure that it was as inclusive of all HIV+ women as possible.

"We appeal for support from all stakeholders. Our motto as ICW-Zimbabwe is
in line with ICW Southern Africa and ICW Global - "Nothing About Us Without
Us"," she said.

Sharon Evelyn Mashamba, another Aids activist said the establishment of the
network in Zimbabwe was an opportunity for HIV+ women to share information,
confront challenges and tackle plans for the future.

She said the three-day workshop that coincided with the launch of the
network had shown that there were many issues affecting women living with
the disease that needed to be addressed.


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Biti moves to rescue RBZ assets

Saturday, 17 April 2010 17:16

THE Ministry of Finance will move in to deal with the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) debt and protect the apex bank from writs of execution, a
development that might stop the stripping of its assets by creditors. Over
the past two months, RBZ assets have been auctioned to offset debts incurred
during the 2008 farm mechanisation programme.

Finance minister Tendai Biti said reforms at the central bank will start
with the appointment of a new board to formulate policies and deal with the

"We have to protect the bank from writs of execution. The problem with a
writ and the problem of forced sales is that you don't get value.

"Cars and assets are going for a song and we can't allow that situation so
we have to move in to correct that," Biti told journalists on Thursday in
his update on the state of the economy.

Biti's announcement came as relief to the central bank that has been crying
for funding to run its operations.

This year, RBZ was allocated US$10 million for all its operations, including
the sustenance of the electronic payment system and subscriptions to SWIFT
service providers, an amount monetary authorities say is inadequate.

RBZ is now focusing on its core business and can no longer print money like
it used to do during the quasi-fiscal era.

Such is the sorry state of affairs at the central bank that it cannot
perform its lender-of-last-resort function.

As a result, the central bank will be a spectator in the event that a bank
faces problems. Biti turned up the volume on banks saying their deposits
rates were discouraging deposits and worked against moves to encourage a
savings culture.

"If we are to build the savings stock of 30% of GDP that we want and if we
want to encourage Zimbabwe to be a savings nation then there must be real
positive rates on deposits in banks," he said.

"Equally, if we are going to be a low cost producing country the cost of
money cannot be high on Zimbabwe and therefore we cannot accept a situation
where lending rates are as high as 70%."

Biti warned that if banks do not self-correct, there could be a statutory

"We have spent the whole of 2009 trying to use moral persuasion to persuade
our banks to play by the rules, we have been in discussions with them and we
hope that we will not be persuaded to intervene statutorily in order to
ensure that this unacceptable situation does not continue to reproduce
itself," he warned.

Biti attacked businesses for speculative behaviour that has driven inflation

But business believes Biti was barking up the wrong tree and his allegations
were unfounded.

"They are completely unfounded in the sense that business reacts to the
environment created by politicians," said Kumbirai Katsande, Confederation
of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president.

Katsande said more energy has been devoted to politics leaving the economy
as a hostage to the pace of political reforms.

Katsande said the economy needs bold decisions and action to move forward.
Asked whether business is not afraid of price controls, Katsande said: "I
don't think the government would be unwise even to think about price

Katsande said power cuts and high interest rates had affected production
meaning that capacity utilisation would remain low.


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Potential Danish investors hesitant

Saturday, 17 April 2010 17:13

THE Industrialisation Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), a Danish
development financel institution, is prepared to invest in Zimbabwe's
tourism secto amongst others but is holding out until there is political and
economic certainty.
IFU's Kim Gredsted who heads the southern African regional office and senior
investment manager Hans Jørgen Nyegaard were in the country last week to
attend a board meeting and an AGM for household and commercial refrigeration
manufacturer, Metafolds.

IFU has a 24% stake in Metafolds.

The duo also touched base with pork processor, Colcom, where IFU has a 1%
In an interview with Standardbusiness, the duo said IFU would want to invest
in Zimbabwe but they wanted to understand the business environment in the
country so that they can advise Danish companies.

"The Danes would very much want to do investments here but want stability
and less commercial and political uncertainty," Gredsted said.

"If you play a game of soccer, if you don't know what the rules are, then it
is difficult to play the game. We would like to know the rules of the game
throughout the match."

Nyegaard chipped in: ". it's necessary that we know the rules so we can tell
Danish investors those are the rules in Zimbabwe, if they like them then
that's fine, if they don't like them then don't invest."
IFU invests in conjunction with Danish firms.

Investors' fears have been heightening following the promulgation of the
Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment regulations in January dictating
that foreign owned companies with a value of US$500 000 should dispose 51%
shareholding to locals after five years.

The move unnerved investors with Norwegian development fund, Norfund,
calling off its proposed US$1, 5 million investments into an agricultural
financing company in Zimbabwe.

Nyegaard said investments into the hospitality sector could be directed
towards the refurbishment of existing hotels with a Danish company as

The tourism sector has been crying out for long term funding to revive the
tourism product.
Asked whether IFU would capitalise on the under-funding of the hospitality
industry, Nyegaard said: "Any industry in Zimbabwe is lacking capital.

"Those are areas that you have a competitive advantage, you have the climate
for tourism, you have tourism attractions, if could also be a business

IFU investments are driven by the interest from Danish companies, the two
officials said, but added that the interest on Zimbabwe was limited.

On empowerment regulations, the officials said, "We will dig into that if we
have somebody coming to us and asking if we will invest together with them
in Zimbabwe then we will update ourselves (about the regulations)".

Eligible host countries of IFU investments must be on the Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance
Committee's list of development aid recipients, and 2008 GNI (gross national
income) per capita income must not exceed USD 3,084.

A general exception for the limit is given for Botswana, Namibia and South
Africa, IFU said on its website.
Azerbaijan, El Salvador, Angola, Armenia, Jordan and Cape Verde now have a
GNI per capita income above the limit, but are still eligible for IFU
investments in 2010, it said.


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Zim debt: parties find common ground

Saturday, 17 April 2010 16:38

AFTER nearly a year of wrangling over strategies to clear the US$5,7 billion
national debt, parties to the inclusive government have finally found common
ground and will adopt a hybrid model that uses traditional methods and
resources pledging.
Clearing the debt had split cabinet along political lines with MDC-T
advocating for Zimbabwe to be declared a Highly Indebted Poor Country

Zanu PF on the other hand argued the country "is too rich to be poor" and
could pledge its vast mineral resources to clear the debt.

Finance minister Tendai Biti told journalists on Thursday that Zimbabwe will
work on a document, Zimbabwe Accelerated Arrears Debt and Development
Strategy to deal with "the nuts and bolts" of the debt clearance.

The model has already sailed through cabinet.
Biti said a debt strategy has to work after the key issues - inflation and
unsustainable wage levels - were addressed.

"There is no point of rushing into dealing with debt particularly if you are
going to use the traditional methods without dealing with key policy issues
that stand in the way of debt strategy. . . unsustainable wage levels,
inflation are the things that stand in the way of debt strategy," he said.
"There has to be a track record of good macroeconomic performance."

According to a report seen by Standardbusiness the debt clearance strategy
model was recommended by a cabinet committee on debt chaired by Deputy Prime
Minister Arthur Mutambara.

"While the efficacy of traditional methods such as HIPC should be seriously
considered, the country should not be straight-jacketed," Mutambara's report

"In addition to clarity about both the benefits and constraints of such
methods, room should be created for the use of hybrid approaches that
combine HIPC-type techniques with the creative use of natural resources for

The report recommended that the debt problem should be addressed
concurrently with the push for the removal of sanctions.

"The country cannot effectively resolve the challenges presented by the
US$5,7 billion debt without simultaneously dealing with the scourge of
illegal economic sanctions," it said.

"This means that, in Zimbabwe, a holistic and sustainable debt strategy must
involve three inextricably linked pillars: traditional debt resolution
methods (such as HIPC), creative use of natural resources for development,
and unequivocal efforts to remove sanctions against the country."

The report said that all key stakeholders interested or involved in
addressing the debt crisis in Zimbabwe, in particular the IFIs
(international financial institutions, World Bank, International Monetary
Fund and African Development Bank) and western countries "must overtly
acknowledge that Zimbabwe is operating under economic sanctions".

"The work of the Cabinet Re-engagement Committee responsible for crafting a
National Sanctions Removal Strategy must be directly linked to that of the
Inter-Ministerial Committee on Debt.

"In fact, addressing the debt crisis should be understood as a sanctions
removal mechanism," the report said.

The cabinet re-engagement committee will travel to Brussels on Wednesday for
a meeting with EU officials on sanctions.

Mutambara's committee also has Biti, Stan Mudenge (Higher and Tertiary
Education); Herbert Murerwa (Lands and Rural Resettlement), Olivia Muchena
(Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development) and Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga (Regional Integration and Economic Cooperation).

Zimbabwe's debt is unsustainable.

According to the Debt Sustainability Analysis exercise done last year, the
country's debt would be highly unsustainable until 2029.

Since 2005, government has been sued by a number of creditors including KFW
(Germany), Daro Film Distributors (Switzerland), UBS AG (Switzerland), SACE
(Italy), ING (Netherlands), Exim Bank (USA), West Merchant Bank and Lloyds
Bank (UK).

Some of the creditors have won court cases against the government.

In the case of Exim Bank, government ended up paying an amount of US$42,2
million in 2007 towards its arrears.


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Zesa under fire for estimated bills

Saturday, 17 April 2010 16:34

IMAGINE you have not had electricity at your house since February last year
but every month you receive bills based on estimated meter readings. Some of
the bills could be as high as US$640, yet you do not even earn half that
In any other country, such bills would be unimaginable but welcome to the
world where the power utility, Zesa, rules.
Since the use of multiple currencies started last year, customers and the
utility have been at loggerheads over the high bills being charged by the
Customers contend that the huge bills are based on estimates when actual
meter readings would have solved the problem.
The dispute spilled into a stakeholders meeting held recently where
customers ripped the power utility apart for what they viewed as "daylight
The meeting was organised by the Competition and Tariff Commission after it
had received an avalanche of complaints from residents over the power
utility's abuse of its monopoly.
Another meeting was held at the Large City Hall to get feedback from
Bulawayo residents.
The Combined Harare Residents Association (Chra) opened the floodgates
accusing the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company
(Zetdc) of shortchanging residents "by inflating estimate meter readings
which are always far off from the actual readings".
Zetdc is a transmission and distribution arm of Zesa.
To Chra, the power utility is extorting poor residents to sustain itself.
It's a strong accusation but the body has case studies.
"Residents in the following streets: Nyangombe, Makwiro, Mwenezi, Tugwe and
Shamba last had electricity on 4 July 2009 because their transformer was
burnt out and Zesa can acknowledge that but consumers have been receiving
shocking bills amounting between US$120 to US$150 based on estimates even
though the service is non-existent," the group said.
"In Zororo area (Dzivarasekwa 3) a transformer was burnt out on 15 September
2009 and replaced on 21 January but Zesa has been charging these residents
for electricity consumption for that period despite the fact that they did
not receive electricity."
Chra said it had resolved that there would be no payments where there is no
exchange of value.
"Residents should not pay for non-existent services," it said.
Residents are not lying low and have already built a buffer in the event of
litigation by the power utility.
They are even planning to go for the jugular: conduct peaceful protests at
Zesa offices and campaign for total electricity payments boycott in Harare
and neighbouring towns.
On Zesa's charge sheet is the unprofessional manner in which it engages
Ollis Munetsi, representing the Bindura Residents' Association, said the
power utility's employees have become "war-like" breaking into secured meter
boxes with bolt cutters in a bid to switch off residents.
He said they had written a letter to the power utility identifying
individuals whose properties had been vandalised "and hope that the powers
that be take us seriously for once".
The Commercial Farmers' Union said it had been inundated with calls from
members complaining against the high bills ranging from US$11 000 to US$44
000 per month.
It said it advised members to stop paying the bills. When they confronted
the power utility, the bills were significantly reviewed.
The Zimbabwe Farmers' Union (ZFU) said the power utility was switching off
farmers without even giving a notice.
ZFU second vice-president Berean Mukwende warned that power cuts would
affect winter wheat production this season.
Enerst Muchayi, Zetdc managing director said the billing system crashed last
year and they engaged a company to work on the system.
Work on the system commenced in August and by November it was running.
He said the major challenge was on meter readings and the company had now
resorted to using estimates to calculate bills.
"Those estimates to tell you the truth, we haven't explained it ourselves,
we just haven't," he confessed.
He pleaded with residents to pay whatever amount they have in the meantime
until the actual meter readings were carried out.
"I can actually say to you pay me what you want today. . . pay me whatever
six months down the line I can read the meter and if you have used more we
can reconcile," he said.
Muchayi said Zetdc was owed US$347 million in unpaid bills and some of the
consumers had not paid a dime since last year.
According to Muchayi 73 000 customers in Harare (about 35%) have never paid
for electricity consumed since February last year.
In Bulawayo 28 000 of the 127 000 had not paid the power utility.
He said Zetdc has been struggling to pay its suppliers which include the
Zimbabwe Power Company (Zpc) and regional utilities.
It owes Zpc US$156 million and US$100 million to the regional utilities.
Muchayi told stakeholders the company required US$383 million to operate
efficiently "then we can talk of adequate and reliable power supply" but
said Zetdc cannot approach regional utilities because of the debts.
"How can I go to Cahora Bassa (of Mozambique) when I owe them US$70
 million," he questioned.
Does he believe that the power utility should charge for a service not
"Why should I charge you something you have not consumed, it can't be fair?"


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Editor's Desk: Following in the footsteps of Nkrumah?

Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:32

After re-reading President Robert Mugabe's speech on the eve of Independence
in April 1980 (reproduced on page 21 of the print version) I and many other
people have been asking: "What then went so completely wrong?" I thought of
Ghana's independence ruler, who also just happens to be Mugabe's role model,
Kwame Nkrumah. Mugabe was last week calling for the preservation of Nkrumah's

Rashid Suleiman, who is one of the many of his biographers, had this to say:
"Though Nkrumah is hailed in many quarters as a genuine African hero because
of his rabid anti-imperialist stand and overzealous pursuit of Pan-African
ideals, a look at his record reveals he was one of the worst dictators on
the continent. Even his supposedly hallowed reputation as a Pan-Africanist
par excellence is marred by his thinly veiled ambition to dominate the

"In 1963, Nkrumah's suggestion to form a union government of Africa was
rejected after he was accused of harbouring ambitions to rule the entire
continent. Many fellow African heads of state were always wary of him
because his overzealous pursuit of Pan-African unity betrayed a grand plan
to dominate the continent.

"On the domestic front, a liberal mixture of extreme paranoia, a verbose
sense of grandeur, a misguided notion of messianic calling and know-it-all
attitude turned Nkrumah into the worst dictator Ghana has ever seen.

"Because he guided Ghana to become the first black African country to gain
independence in 1957, it may be safe to say that later dictators on the
continent learnt from his book of political tyranny. He set the stage and
record for one-party dictatorship, personality cult, ruthless suppression of
political opponents, detention without trial, paranoia, grandiose projects,
economic mismanagement and election rigging.

"Africa has produced many crazy dictators but none of them ever dreamt of
turning into a one-man electoral commission like Nkrumah. In a
yet-to-be-broken record in the continent, the late Ghanaian leader 'elected'
an entire parliament of 198 MPs single-handedly within minutes.

"The moment of history was June 1965, when a Nkrumah-weary Ghana was poised
for elections. On the morning of polling day, the Osagyefo ("Redeemer") as
Nkrumah was fondly known, entered the national radio station to announce
there would be no election. He proceeded to read the names of those he had
selected to become MPs and the areas they represented.

"It was a fait accompli - the actions of a man who loved and worked to
obtain absolute power. The move was inspired by Nkrumah's deep fear that his
enemies would win the elections, though Ghana was a one-party state at his
beck and call.

"Ironically, Nkrumah performed the civilian coup despite the fact that he
was in firm control and could easily decide who goes to parliament from
behind the scenes. He did not need to be this crude and rash.

"Right from Ghana's independence on March 5 1957, Nkrumah made it clear he
wanted to be an unchallenged dictator. He wasted no time in introducing
measures meant to concentrate absolute power in his hands.

"In the year of independence, he masterminded the enactment of the
Deportation Act, which empowered him to kick-out anybody whose presence in
Ghana he considered detrimental. A year later, the Preventive Detention Act
followed to check the growing strength of the opposition alliance. The Act
allowed Nkrumah to detain without trial anybody suspected of engaging in
"anti-state activities" for five years or longer.

"By the time he was kicked out of power in 1966, it is estimated that at
least 1 000 Ghanaians had been detained under the Act. The detainees
included one of Nkrumah's most prominent opponents, Joseph Danquah. The
lawyer politician who came second to Nkrumah in Ghana's presidential
election in 1960 died in detention in 1965.

"When Ghana became a republic in 1960, the hitherto Prime Minister Nkrumah
became President with unbridled power. He made sure the constitution gave
him the mandate to rule by decree. He formed an intricate network of spies
to keep tabs on his real or imagined enemies.

"In January 1964, Nkrumah contrived a special plebiscite to consign his
opponents to the political wilderness. The referendum was to decide two
major issues. The first was whether the country should become a one-party
state under Nkrumah's ruling Convention Peoples Party. The second was to
grant or deny Nkrumah powers to sack judges. After massive rigging and
manipulation, the "Yes" vote narrowly carried the day.

"Fresh from the stolen victory, Nkrumah flexed his muscles by sacking the
Chief Justice who had acquitted his opponents in a treason trial. He then
made himself life president though he was by then presiding over a tottering
economy and a country where human rights abuses were rife.

"After entrenching himself in power in the 1960s, Nkrumah seemed to have
lost touch with the realities in Ghana. He preferred to pursue grand
Pan-African schemes and paid little attention to the deep discontent in
Ghana. Some of his close advisers even said he did not care about Ghanaians'

"By this time, he had cemented his position and felt safe in power.

"It was virtually impossible to remove Nkrumah from power by any means, as
he had blocked all avenues.

"However, he opened a weak chink in his armour when he ordered the military
to undertake regular exercises in preparation for a war against the then
white-ruled Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

"On the morning of February 24, the soldiers seized Accra and prepared
themselves to fight a civil war if Nkrumah loyalists in the military
resisted the coup. The resistance never came as jubilant Ghanaians
celebrated the fall of a ruthless dictator who had traumatised them for nine

"Despite his high intellect, Nkrumah's major weaknesses were paranoia and
his love for flattery and quislings. This made it easy for him to be misled
by court poets, sycophants, wheeler-dealers and influence peddlers. That is
why he hand-picked socialist acolytes to top positions in the private and
public sector.

The appointees, most of them with shady backgrounds viewed their positions
as a licence to loot and proceeded accordingly. Some of his loyalists used
the detention law to arrest innocent people so they could inherit their
business, wealth or positions.

"He embarked on lavish spending on parlous and grandiose ventures that
bankrupted Ghana, one of the richest African countries at independence. He
nationalised most commercial, agricultural, mining and industrial activities
in Ghana.

"At independence, Ghana was one of the wealthiest and economically advanced
colonies in Africa. But Nkrumah's penchant for grandiose projects,
corruption, mismanagement and desire for rapid industrialisation brought
economic ruin to the country."

Adding anything to this would be totally superfluous.


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Sunday Opinion: Muzo: Cheated out of history

Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:30

ABEL TENDEKAYI Muzorewa, retired Methodist Bishop walked away from history
32 years ago when he signed the Salisbury Accord. This ill-advised step
consigned him to the dustbin of history. So when he passed away last
Thursday, April 8 at 85, not a few might have asked, Muzo who?

Yet he had played important roles in the struggle against white minority
rule in Zimbabwe (then called Rhodesia). At a point in the liberation
struggle when the nationalists were mainly in jail, underground or in exile,
Muzorewa, rose to mobilise the populace and give them hope.

From the pulpit, he encouraged them not to despair, not to accept their
situation and that apathy was no option. He told the African majority: "Don't
sit down and cry, but cry while you're running".

To the Ian Smith white minority regime, the church was essentially a
political organisation, and Muzorewa its political leader who was organising
resistance and sabotage from the sanctuary of the church. But Muzorewa
argued that the duty of religious leaders is to serve the people even if the
law forbids it.

He told religious leaders that it is part of their Christian duty to oppose
unjust laws. He declared: "If religion just means to go to church and pray,
then it is a scandal".

Born on April 14 1925, he was ordained in August 1953 and consecrated Bishop
of Rhodesia in the United Methodist Church at Masera, Botswana in 1968.

Two years later, he was banned from entering the tribal trust lands in the
country where 75% of his flock lived.

In the early 1970s, Muzorewa and Reverend Canaan Banana established the
United African National Council (UANC). He did not see himself as a
politician, rather, he believed that racism was ungodly and that it could be
brought down by passive resistance.

Many blacks joined his UANC and his national stature grew. His fall began
with the breakdown of the negotiations in Geneva between the minority regime
that had declared a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from
motherland England, and the local and exiled nationalists.

Fearing a bloody end to minority rule, and perhaps acting on the advice of
Britain, the Smith regime decided to accede to the primary demand of
majority rule based on "One Man, One Vote".

Muzorewa, took this on the surface. Another leader who accepted this was
Ndabanigi Sithole, the veteran guerrilla leader who had returned from exile.

Smith was quite optimistic and said: "Our assessment is that once the
agreement is made there will be gradual winding down (of the war) and that
in time terrorism will wither away".

Muzorewa could not see that the agreement and the follow up actions were
bound to fail because the two main exile-based nationalist movements, Zanu
and Zapu, and the supportive African countries were not party.

Secondly, there was no real transfer of power as the whites remained in
effective control of the armed forces, police, politics and the economy. In
some cases, envoys sent out by Muzorewa and other internal leaders to parts
of the country to explain the agreements and appeal for ceasefire, were
seized and executed as traitors.

When the elections were held, Muzorewa had 67% of the votes, winning 51 of
the 72 black seats, Sithole won 14 per cent and 12 seats, Kayisa Ndiweni
from Ndebele won 11% and nine seats while Chirau won no seats.

The British Conservative Party led by Margaret Thatcher said the elections
were democratic and acceptable. The United States Senate by a vote of 75-19
declared the elections free and fair, and the dawn of majority rule. But the
Jimmy Carter administration, Africa and the rest of the world rejected the
elections and Muzorewa's government was not recognised internationally.

An all inclusive Lancaster House Agreement followed, and in the
internationally supervised elections that brought true independence to
Zimbabwe (on April 18 1980) Mugabe won 63%, including 57 of the 80 black
seats in parliament, Nkomo 23% and 20 seats, and Muzorewa, the British and
white favourite, won eight percent and three seats.

With this, Muzorewa whose initial struggles can be likened to the heroic
roles played in neighbouring South Africa by Bishop Desmond Tutu and the
unforgettable Reverend Allan Boesak, faded away. His star dimmed, and the
former nationalist hero went down in history mainly as a collaborator of the
white minority regime.

In 1985 and 1996 he lost parliamentary elections. He was a simplistic and
naive politician who could not decipher when he was being used by the
minority white regime. That cost him his place in history. - Vanguard

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Standardcomment: Undo culture of violence

Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:28

Recent calls by Zanu PF's national political commissar Webster Shamu for
members of his party to shun violence as they mobilise new and old members
must be praised provided he means what he says.

In the past his calls to the same effect have been disingenuous. They have
been a matter of saying one thing during the day and doing quite another
under the cover of darkness.

In January 2005 Shamu urged his supporters to welcome members defecting from
opposition parties, especially the MDC, and implored them to avoid violence
in the run-up to the March parliamentary elections.

He was speaking at the launch of his campaign to retain the Chegutu seat in
parliamentary elections of that year. He urged his supporters to bury past
differences and concentrate on strengthening the party.
But what happened after these calls are a matter of public record.

Chegutu is on record as the area most affected by political violence even
during non-election periods. It is about the only area where farm invasions
have continued unabated in spite of the clauses in the GPA that urge an end
to farm invasions.

Chegutu town is the only place where independent newspaper vendors find
resistance. Recently there have been reports that Shamu's supporters were
pulling down posters advertising newspapers such as The Zimbabwe Independent
and The Standard.

In the past few weeks Shamu has been spreading the same message of peace,
this time on a larger scale as he attempts to stamp his authority as his
party's new chief recruitment officer.

There is a resurgence of violence in some parts of the country which flies
in the face of the global political agreement and the efficacy of the organ
on national healing and reconciliation.

Disturbing reports are flowing in from many areas, particularly Muzarabani
where Zanu PF supporters have allegedly gone on the rampage destroying
property - including churches - that belongs to members of rival political

Zimbabwe cannot be allowed to suffer again the violence that gripped the
nation in the run-up to the presidential election run-off of June 2008.

The inclusive government brought with it a lull in the violence but there
are so many impediments to peace, not least of which is intra-party violence
in Zanu PF itself. Not to say this is a new phenomenon.

There has been infighting in the party for as long as we can remember but
this is usually put on the backburner as soon as a common enemy emerges.

Indicators of oncoming violence include the infighting among the so-called
war veterans and also among party provincial executives as the party
prepares for the election that may come as early as next year.

It was reported last week that a fistfight broke out in Chinhoyi that pitted
senior members of Zanu PF against each other as the factions grapple for
control of Mashonaland West province. One of the victims, former provincial
chairman John Mafa, said he was violently removed from the venue of the
meeting by people he deemed to be "thugs" hired by senior party members.

What was interesting in all this was that it was done while senior members
of the party including stalwarts of the politburo watched.

This shows that the culture of violence has been irrevocably entrenched in
the Zanu PF psyche. No political office, according to the party's thinking,
can be obtained - and maintained - without violence.

The war veterans and the youth militia have come in handy to put this
thinking into effect. Although these two pieces of the party's hardware seem
to be lying dormant for the time being it is a known fact they live at the
beck and call of their seniors in the party who are fighting amongst
themselves now.

It is now common cause that the violence begins in the party itself before
it spirals out to consume members of the public.

Instead of paying mere lip-service against political violence Shamu should
put in place a well-thought-out programme to destroy this archaic culture.
This is not going to be easy since his party cadres have seen that political
office comes with handsome perquisites well worth fighting - and even
killing - for.

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Sundayview: Malema is just a messenger

Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:25

I will continue to urge people to read Malema not for his illiteracy but for
what lies below those outbursts.

He might not be able to express himself in a less brutal manner or in a
candy-coated manner but what he seeks to say is what a conscious black South
African youth would say albeit in a different manner.

Behind what could be perceived as shallowness by the majority of the media
and our intelligent white brothers is a quest to express a deep-seated
distortion in the South African society.

Instead of shooting the messenger, my white brothers should take hint of
what may become of them if they do not help find an amicable solution to

This happened in Zimbabwe, my white brothers failed to read the trends when
the  Chenjerai Hunzvi- led war veterans invaded farm lands as far back as
1990; they were silenced by police, they were silenced by the courts and
they were even silenced by Zanu PF. But what eventually happened?

It exploded in a manner that could have been avoidable had there been better
and holistic engagement between the two races and classes.

What the BBC reporter Jonah Fisher and many other people fail to appreciate
is that it doesn't necessarily need a pauper to represent a pauper.

The fact that Malema is staying in Sandton doesn't necessarily make him out
of touch with the people nor does it make him oblivious of the suffering in

There are many examples; Morgan Tsvangirai stays in Strathaven but still
effectively represents the people of Domborembavha in the communal lands of
Gutu. Even the greatest revolutionaries of our time were from the middle
class yet represented the interests of the poor peasant effectively - Lenin,
Mao, Nyerere etc.

If Malema is stupid as many people - black and white - would want us to
believe let it be known that the matters that he treads on recklessly are
the same matters that most of them would choose to ignore not because these
matters are not important but because of their sheer cowardice.

Now this fear is allowing the "stupid" to show their courage whilst the
"intelligent" wallow in veiled anxiety.

My hope is that South Africans will not allow their struggle to be skewed by
the media which finds it a thrill when something happens to a white
supremacist or when a certain Malema speaks broken English while the same
media continuously avoids reporting the disparities that exist at the core
of South Africa's booming economy.

Sooner or later the same white supremacists are going to be the champions of
human rights when everything they own is taken away. We have had those cases
in Zimbabwe; today we have more white people as champions of human rights
even if some of their hands are dripping with blood of black people killed
before 1980. Some were in the notorious BSAP.

The same might happen in South Africa when those with the blood of Chris
Hani, Hector Pietersen, Steve Biko would erupt from their cocoons as
champions of emancipation of black people in a veiled attempt to derail the
ideological morale of those who genuinely believe in equality and unity.
South Africa's heroes will become enemies whilst yesteryear's enemies become

So, to my South African brothers (white and black) I say: postpone dealing
with your sensitive issues at your own peril. Sooner or later you will have
to wake up to the realities of procrastination when some opportunists will
take it upon themselves to be champions of your struggle all in the quest of
power. Mark my words.

With brotherly love from Zimbabwe.


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