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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrives in Zimbabwe to meet new friend Robert Mugabe

Visit of Iranian leader 'sends wrong message about company we keep', argues Morgan Tsvangirai, leading MDC boycott

Robert Mugabe welcomes Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Harare airport.

Robert Mugabe welcomes Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Harare airport. Photograph: Desmond Kwande/AFP/Getty Images

For some the scene would have called to mind Henry Kissinger's remark about the Iran-Iraq war: too bad both can't lose.

Two arch-nemeses of the west, Robert Mugabe and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, came face to face in Harare today despite criticism of Zimbabwe's president for inviting his Iranian counterpart.

The state visit has driven a wedge between Mugabe and the prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, whose party condemned it as "a colossal political scandal" and "an insult to the peace-loving people of Zimbabwe and Iran".

Mugabe greeted Ahmadinejad at Harare airport thisafternoon and was due to host a state dinner for him . Tsvangirai and leading ministers from his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) are to boycott the entire trip.

Iran is the biggest exhibitor at an international trade show that Ahmadinejad is due to open in Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo tomorrow. He is the first leader from outside Africa to open the show since Zimbabwe became independent 30 years ago.

The MDC, partner of Mugabe's Zanu-PF in a unity government, criticised the "unilateral" decision to invite Ahmadinejad, whose uranium enrichment programme and human rights abuses have made him a bogeyman in the west.

The MDC said: "His visit will definitely send a wrong message about the kind of company that we keep at a time when the people of Africa and the rest of the world have begun to see us as a nation working hard to restore democracy and good governance." The party, which observers agree was robbed of election victory in 2008 by a campaign of violence and intimidation, drew parallels between Mugabe and Ahmadinejad's strong-arm tactics.

The MDC said while the teetotal Ahmadinejad would be "wining and dining" in Zimbabwe, nine opposition activists in Iran faced death sentences for contesting the outcome of last year's presidential election.

The party added: "Choice of friends defines character and inviting the Iranian strongman to an investment forum is like inviting a mosquito to cure malaria.

"Hobnobbing with dubious political leaders confirms stereotypes that we are a banana republic."

If a man is to be judged by his friends, Mugabe has some image problems to repair. His visit to North Korea in the early 1980s to seek help from dictator Kim Il-sung is widely blamed for leading to the Gukurahundi massacre, in which more than 20,000 Zimbabweans died.

Mugabe is also said to have been close to Nicolae Ceaucescu and to have considered his Romania a model socialist state. Rumour has it that he was so inconsolable on learning of Ceaucescu's execution that he did not eat for three days.

Zanu-PF has always enjoyed ties with China, which is flooding Zimbabwe with cheap products. Earlier this year, Mugabe attended an 86th birthday party held in his honour at the Chinese embassy in Harare - the first time he had visited a foreign embassy in the country during his three decades in power.

But on a different note, guests at Mugabe's 1996 wedding to Grace Marufu included the then South African president, Nelson Mandela, while Joaquim Chissano, the impeccably democratic president of Mozambique, was best man.

Zimbabwe's Herald newspaper, a mouthpiece of Zanu-PF, said Ahmadinejad's visit came after the west had declared Iran "an axis of evil" and Zimbabwe a pariah state.

It accused the west of wanting to bully both countries using "the might of its weapons of mass destruction".

"The west's neocolonial agenda should only make us stronger," it said in an editorial.

But the diplomatic embrace of Ahmadinejad was criticised by human rights groups.

McDonald Lewanika, co-ordinator of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said: "Clearly his track record shows he is not the best kind of person to associate with. They have a lot in common. They are both experts are repressing their people, both experts at killing their electorates. This visit is an unfortunate and unhelpful thing for Zimbabwe."

Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, the foreign minister and a Mugabe ally, said Zimbabwe would benefit from the trip by signing several trade and co-operation agreements with the oil-rich country.

After Zimbabwe, Ahmadinejad is due to visit Uganda, where oil has recently been discovered.

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Tsvangirai's party slams "scandalous" Ahmadinejad invitation

Apr 22, 2010, 16:24 GMT

Harare - Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party on Thursday
slammed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to the southern
African country as a 'colossal political scandal,' and an 'insult to the
peace-loving people of Zimbabwe and Iran.'

On Thursday, Ahmadinejad began a two-day visit to Zimbabwe to discuss trade
and open a trade fair, at the invitation of President Robert Mugabe.

'The MDC condemns the scandalous invitation of Ahmadinejad,' Tsvangirai's
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said in a statement.

Ahmadinejad had made his reputation as 'a war monger, a trampler of human
rights, an executioner of those with dissenting voices and a leader of
questionable legitimacy' following his disputed victory in last year's
presidential elections, the party said.

'His visit will definitely send a wrong message about the kind of company
that we keep at a time when the people of Africa and the rest of the world
have begun to see us as a nation working hard to restore democracy and good
governance,' the former opposition party, which is in a power-sharing
government with Mugabe's Zanu-PF, said.

Ahmadinejad's reelection to a second term in June was clouded in
controversy. Security forces shot dead several people in a violent response
to massive demonstrations over the alleged rigging of the result in his

Some MDC members say the election mirrored what the MDC suffered in a
presidential run-off election in 2008 when scores of its supporters were
killed by Mugabe party loyalists.

Accusing Mugabe and Ahmadinejad of having 'shared values' the MDC called
upon the Zimbabwe government 'to desist from associating our peace-loving
country with despots.'

Mugabe's invitation to Ahmadinejad to open the Zimbabwe International Trade
Fair in the southern city of Bulawayo Friday was 'like inviting a mosquito
to cure malaria,' the MDC said, expressing fears that his visit would deter
investment in Zimbabwe.

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Iran begins war games in Persian Gulf oil route

Associated Press

By NASSER KARIMI and LEE KEATH (AP) - 1 hour ago

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard held war games Thursday in
the strategic Persian Gulf oil route, the Hormuz Strait, a show of its
military strength at a time when the country's leaders are depicting
President Barack Obama's new nuclear policy as a threat.

Ahead of the military maneuvers, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
accused Washington of trying to dominate the world through its nuclear
arsenal and vowed that Iran would not bend before what he called "implicit
atomic threats."

Khamenei was referring to Obama's announcement earlier this month of a new
nuclear strategy that focuses less on Cold War threats and more on
preventing the spread of weapons. As part of the new guidelines, Washington
vowed not to use its arsenal against nations that don't have their own
nuclear weapons, with the exception of countries that are not abiding by
international non-proliferation rules - a caveat the administration said
meant Iran and North Korea.

Khamenei's rhetoric, depicting Washington as seeking to dominate Iran,
appeared aimed at keeping up support at home as Iran tried to fend off a new
U.S. attempt to win a fourth round of United Nations sanctions over Iran's
nuclear program.

The Obama administration is lobbying hard at the U.N. Security Council for
tougher punishment of Iran over its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, a
process that can produce either a warhead or fuel for a nuclear reactor. The
U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of seeking to build a weapon, a claim Tehran

Tehran launched its own push Thursday to try to weaken the U.S. sanctions
campaign as Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki headed to Austria, the first
of several Security Council members he plans to tour in coming days. Mottaki
has said he wants to talk with council members about possibilities for a
nuclear fuel deal that was originally touted as a possible way to ease the
international standoff over Iran's nuclear program but has since hit a dead

Iran has been holding military maneuvers, dubbed as The Great Prophet, in
the strategic waters of the Persian Gulf annually since 2006 to show off its
military capabilities - and serve as an implicit warning of the consequences
if the United States or Israel attack Iran's nuclear facilities.

Iran's leaders have said in the past that if attacked, the country would
respond by shutting off the Strait of Hormuz, the mouth of the Gulf through
which around 40 percent of the world's oil and gas supplies pass, as well as
by attacking American bases in the Gulf.

The three-day war games brought in naval, air and ground units from the
Revolutionary Guard, state television reported. In the past four years, the
maneuvers were held in the summer, and there was no official explanation why
they were brought forward this year. But it came after repeated
denunciations by Iran's top leaders over the past week of the new U.S.
nuclear policy.

On Thursday, the military unveiled a new attack speedboat, describing it as
an "ultra-speed and smart" vessel called "Ya Mahdi." Iran also said 313
smaller speedboats with the capability of firing rockets and missiles would

State television later showed video footage of a Ya Mahdi vessel firing
rockets at a still target in the sea, while dozens of the small speedboats
launched rocket-propelled grenades at an abandoned ship and troops boarded
it in a simulated attack on an enemy warship.

On Wednesday, Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said "new weapons" would be
test-fired in the war games, but did not give details. Iran has declared
many advances in its military industries and sciences to demonstrate
self-sufficiency despite sanctions and attempts by the U.S. and its allies
to isolate the country.

The annual maneuvers are also a testimony to the growing power in Iran of
the Revolutionary Guard, the elite force tasked with protecting the rule of
Islamic clerics. The 120,000-member force is separate from the regular
military, with its own naval, air and ground forces, and has grown to take a
hand in every critical area including missile development, oil resources,
dam building, road construction, telecommunications and nuclear technology.
It also has taken the lead in cracking down on Iran's domestic opposition
amid the turmoil since last year's disputed presidential election.

U.S. officials played down the significance of the war games.

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said "they don't seem out of the
ordinary" from what Iran's military has done in the past. He also said
Tehran often makes exaggerated claims about its weapons testing.

The U.S. Navy said its expected "no significant impacts" to its operations
in the area, where it has a number of ships, including the aircraft carrier
USS Eisenhower.

On Wednesday, ahead of the exercises, Khamenei spoke to a conference of
nurses and denounced Obama's new nuclear guidelines. U.S. officials have
said the changes aim to push Iran into cooperating with the U.N. on its
nuclear program, but the supreme leader depicted them as dangling the threat
of nuclear attack over his country.

"Implicit atomic threats against Iran will have no effect," he said. "The
Iranian people will not submit to such threats and will bring those who make
them to their knees." He repeated that Iran is not seeking to build a
nuclear weapon.

"The nuclear powers, particularly the United States, are using their nuclear
might to try to impose their authority over the world," he said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, meanwhile, flew to Zimbabwe on
Thursday where he was welcomed by President Robert Mugabe - a meeting of two
leaders united in fierce opposition to the West

Iran is the biggest exhibitor at a trade exposition Ahmadinejad is scheduled
to open in Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo on Friday.

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Iceland volcano ash forces cancellation of EU-Zimbabwe talks

By Tichaona Sibanda
22 April 2010

Fresh talks on mending relations between the inclusive government and the
European Union have been postponed to a later date, owing to the closure of
air space in most European countries.

The six-day airspace shutdown forced the Zimbabwe delegation, which was due
in Brussels on Tuesday, to seek alternatives dates. The objective of the
trip was to 're-engage' the EU on various issues, including the targeted
sanctions against Robert Mugabe and over 200 allies from ZANU PF.

Since 2002 the EU have imposed an assets freeze, travel ban and arms-sale
ban on the former ruling party. ZANU PF has been on a constant push for
these targeted sanctions to be lifted, but the EU has made it clear that
this was not going to happen while serious doubts remain about human rights
abuses and the stalling of political reform.

The Zimbabwe head of delegation, Elton Mangoma, the Economic Planning
Minister from the MDC-T, said they were working on finding new dates to
travel to Brussels. Mangoma was due to attend the talks with Patrick
Chinamasa, Minister of Justice from ZANU PF, and Regional Integration
Minister Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga from Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara's smaller MDC formation.

Earlier this year an EU team, led by Development Commissioner Karel De
Gucht, held separate talks with Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
in Harare, the first official dialogue with the Zimbabwe government in 7
years. Although the EU team praised the meeting they indicated it was not
appropriate yet for sanctions to end and complained about the slow pace of

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South Africa refuses to accept new Zimbabwe travel document

By Lance Guma
22 April 2010

Thousands of Zimbabweans have been left stranded at the Beitbridge border
post after South African immigration officials refused to recognize a newly
introduced Temporary Travel Document. According to reports from the state
owned Herald newspaper 'South African port officials allegedly fired their
guns to frighten the affected travellers into crossing back to the
Zimbabwean side of the border.'

On the 14th April this year the Registrar General's office introduced a new
Temporary Travel Document, valid for 6 months, arguing it wanted to stop the
spread of fake Emergency Travel Documents (ETD's). Registrar General Tobaiwa
Mudede convened a press conference at which he hailed the new document as
meeting international standards. 'The new document is machine-readable just
like a passport,' and has 'invisible marks which can only be detected by the
machine at ports of entry,' he said.

But it seems someone forgot to tell the South Africans, or at the very least
show them a specimen. On Tuesday night South African immigration officials
are reported to have started turning away Zimbabweans who were using the new
document and referred them back to the Registrar-General's Office in
Beitbridge. Those who still have the old 21-day Emergency Travel Document
are being allowed in with no problems.

One of the affected passengers is said to have filed a complaint with the
South African Embassy in Harare, after his 8 year old daughter was hauled
off a bus around midnight. She was among a group of travelers 'shepherded
back with guns' by South African police at the border. In an effort to scare
away the disgruntled passengers the police are alleged to have fired
gunshots into the air. South African police and border officials deny the
allegations even though their Zimbabwean counterparts confirmed hearing the

On Thursday Newsreel spoke to Maqoba Ndebele, a cross border bus driver, who
confirmed that thousands of passengers are being turned back. He said most
of the travellers are furious as they have used a lot of money on their
journeys and have been turned back through no fault of theirs. In response
to this situation Co-Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi has been quoted as
saying they will inform the South African government about the new travel

It would have been a good idea to do this at the beginning!

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Police Back-track On MDC Demo

22/04/2010 12:20:00

Masvingo, April 22, 2010 - More than 300 youth from the Morgan Tsvangirai
led Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) took to the streets on Thrusday
to protest against the slow implementation of the Global Political Agreement

The youth, defied the police order to cancel the demonstration. The police
had back-tracked, at the eleventh hour, on its earlier decision to grant the
youth permission to march through the streets of Masvingo, saying they had
received orders from above to stop the planned protest.

The youth demanded a speedy implementation of the GPA, re-surgent violence
and the need to swear in deputy agriculture Minister designate Roy Bennett,
currently facing treason charges. It also called for the speeding up of new
appointments of provincial governors.

The placards waving youths, also petitioned Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa over 'the absence of the rule of law' as well as the selective
application of the law.

MDC-T provincial spokesperson ,Tongai Matutu, said the police made an about-
turn, on the last hour and cancelled their clearance in a bid to stop them
from marching.

"We were just informed by the police 30 minutes before the demo that they
had cancelled our clearance, and threatened to arrest the youth but the
activists, however, said they were not moved by such a partisan action,"
said Matutu.

Provincial police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Prosper Mugauri said
they were 'given orders from above' that they should not give the MDC-T
youths clearance to press ahead with the demo.

"That was a directive from Harare, phone our headquarters for a comment,"
Ass Insp Mugauri said, before hanging the phone.

Matutu, legislator for Masvingo Urban, slammed the police for barring the
MDC-T from having peaceful demonstrations, when Zanu (PF) is granted the
authority and is also escorted with the police.

Early this month, a handful of war collaborators took to the streets and
blasted Tsvangirai over western sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.

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South African farmer accuses Zimbabwe authorities of ethnic cleansing

By Violet Gonda
22 April 2010

South Africa citizen, Ian Ferguson, who built up Denlynian Game Ranch in
Zimbabwe's dry Beitbridge area into a prized tourism destination, has
accused the Zimbabwean authorities of 'ethnic cleansing' under the guise of
land resettlement.

The white commercial farmer is the latest casualty of the government's land
reform programme.

The commercial farmer said he took over the farm when it was derelict 24
years ago and got a 'letter of no interest' from the government. Ferguson
built it up and installed electricity and pumping points, only to have a
group of people calling themselves the 'Zhovi Conservancy' invade the farm

Ferguson said there is currently widespread looting and asset stripping by
the group who invaded the game ranch last Wednesday.† 20 staff members,
including game guards, were evicted and dumped along the Bulawayo road.† His
son, Arthur, was arrested in front of his young children and spent a night
behind bars at Beitbridge police station.

The farmer said there is no law and order when it comes to the land issue
and those taking over the ranch include police officers, civil servants,
municipal workers and communal farmers. ZANU PF vehicles were also
reportedly seen on the property.

"The property has the highest density of plains game in Zimbabwe and a very
sensitive ecosystem. Our fear is that they are going to slaughter the game
and destroy it within weeks if not days." Ferguson breeds a unique pack of
wild dogs and the wildlife ranch is home to animals including antelopes,
giraffes, eland, kudus, bushbucks and zebras.

He pointed out that there is a major river that runs through his property
and on the opposite side is land that was purchased by government in the
early 1980s. The farmer said this particular land, which is three times the
size of his wildlife conservation farm, was fully developed when it was
acquired by the authorities but has been completely neglected.

"It's totally derelict with not a single person living on it. So the whole
thing doesn't make any sense at all. It's nothing to do with land
resettlement, it's purely ethnic cleansing. That's all it is."

He said the 'new settlers' claim they have offer letters 'but they won't
give us the offer letters and we have been told that the offer letters are
not legal because they were created in Beitbridge and not by the ministry'.

Ferguson said the South African Embassy in Harare have told him that his
farm is not protected under a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection
Agreement (BIPPA), signed by South Africa and Zimbabwe last year. According
to this agreement any property which was gazetted for acquisition before
2009 is not protected under this BIPPA. He said his† farm was originally
gazetted for acquisition in 2007.

He added: "But as a South African citizen the South African government is
still obliged to protect one's interest in foreign countries and we can't
complain, they are doing everything they can and they are being very
cooperative and are concerned."

It is understood the South African embassy has approached the Zimbabwe
Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the issue but it is not known what the
response has been.

Reports also claim that co-Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, who comes
from Beitbridge, is behind this latest land invasion, but we have not been
able to get a comment from the Minister.

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FIFA World Cup SA: a Deadline for Death in Zimbabwe

22 April 2010


"We will kill you after the World Cup," promises ZanuPF district Chairman
Mike Chiwodza, backed by a gang of thugs gripping machetes and barbed-wire
clubs. Robert Mugabe's ZanuPF† officials are once more terrorising villagers
in Mashonaland East, using the FIFA World Cup of Soccer closing ceremony as
a deadline for death.

On the 8th and 9th April, 2010 ZanuPF thugs led by Chiwodza went from home
to home in the villages around Marambapfungwe district of Mashonaland East,
telling the people that as MDC supporters "your houses won't be burned this
time because then that would be evidence. This time we will abduct and kill
you and get rid of your body in the Mazowe River or down mine shafts."

In the meantime, the thugs also demonstrate their power using acts of petty
cruelty. Those victims of the 2008 political violence who received blankets
from Red Cross have been told they have to give them back to the MDC -
'where they belong'. Red Cross blankets and other basic necessities were
donated to victims left homeless and traumatised after their villages were
razed to the ground after the last election. Mugabe's orgy of reprisals
after being trounced at the 2008 polls was code named "Operation
Mavoteraphapi" (meaning How Did You Vote?).

This season's food aid in the form of maize, beans and cooking oil supplied
by CRS Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and which is distributed by the
village chiefs, is being given to known ZanuPF members and is not reaching
all the intended recipients - MDC families are excluded.

On the 17th April, 2010 chairman Chiwodza and his group visited more
villages and elaborated on his previous threat not to burn their houses.
This time, he told the forced assembly of people, even if the MDC activists
and officials fled their homes, they (ZanuPF) would find their wives and
children and kill them after the Soccer World Cup.

These threats are real. Retired South African army generals investigating
post-election violence in Zimbabwe in 2008 uncovered ample evidence of
state-sponsored terror.

"What we have heard and seen is shocking. We have heard horrific stories of
extreme brutality and seen the victims," said one of the generals. "We have
seen people with scars, cuts, gashes, bruises, lacerations and broken limbs,
and bodies of those killed. It's a horrifying picture."

South Africa has officially urged calm and nonviolence in Zimbabwe, so that
FIFA World Cup visitors will feel confident and secure out here in Africa.
But it seems that has been twisted by the ZanuPF element to mean: "No
murdering for now, but do what you like after the tourists have gone home".

Robert Mugabe, at his party's Congress last December, promised another
election 'soon'. After his party was trounced at the polls in 2008 he will
not risk another defeat. Under pressure from the SADC negotiators, a raft of
electoral reforms have recently been prepared for presentation to Zimbabwe's

A reformed Electoral Act and administration would severely curtail the
Mugabe machine's ability to rig the poll again. But conveniently for ZanuPF,
the GPA-formed Parliament is in recess until June.

Judging by the steady increase in the number of terror gangs, torture
centres and youth milita bases being deployed in the rural areas of
Zimbabwe, Mugabe's 'electoral campaign' is already well under way. This time
thugs like Chiwodza won't use half-measures; their orders are to 'eliminate'
the opposition en masse.

The perpetrators will not fear prosecution since for over thirty years there
has been complete impunity for ZanuPF's political terrorists in Zimbabwe.
Some of the police are complicit and the army actively assists when
required. Even so, reports indicate that the majority of the armed forces
(including the police) want to return to their professional and non-partisan
status and would welcome the real and lasting change to democracy. Thus, the
youth ilitias and party cadres are key to Mugabe's survival strategy.

No dictator in Mugabe's discredited and vulnerable position would wait for
electoral laws to be reformed before calling an election. It is becoming
increasingly clear that the clock is ticking towards a deadly campaign to be
unleashed in Zimbabwe as promised - right after the FIFA World Cup. This
could then be followed by an early election, possibly as early as August
this year, with the opposition MDC devastated and the conditions heavily
weighted in Mugabe's favour.

Will the AU and SADC stand by and watch another slaughter, another stolen
election in Zimbabwe?† Should Mugabe's plan be allowed to unfold, all the
gains and goodwill brought to southern Africa by the FIFA World Cup would be
at risk.


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Zimbabwe's War Vets Seeking Compensation From Britain

22/04/2010 12:15:00

Harare - April 22, 2010 - A splinter group of the Zimbabwe National
Liberation War Veterans Association, has started a "Heal Our Wounds
Campaign", meant to force the British government to give them more
compensation for taking part in the liberation struggle.

Zimbabwe gained its independence in 1980, from British colonial rule, after
a protracted war.

Coordinating committee member, Ignatius Chigwendere, told Radio VOP† that
they were demanding compensation from Britain for† the† atrocities caused by
the Smith regime.

"We are saying the British should compensate us as a form of healing our
wounds. The Smith soldiers are on an in-definite pension scheme," said

The group, sponsored by one war veteran, Fred Mutanda, this week, started
placing advertisements in newspapers claiming that over 27 000 "comrades
were massacred during the liberation war by the Rhodesian Security Forces"
and there was no national healing that was carried out for the parents and
relatives of all those who were massacred.

The group, based in Harare,† is suspected to be aligned to Joseph
Chinotimba. The War veterans split following a congress that was held in
Bindura recently with Jabulani Sibanda leading the other group.

The dispute has now taken on an ugly tribal dimension with the Chinotimba
faction calling for the establishment of a "national office in Harare."

†"Some of the Rhodesian forces who perpetrated the atrocities are now
Cabinet Ministers and policy advisors today. The war veterans' leadership
said nothing about such people, because they were not there and don't know
what they did. What is therefore national healing?" reads part of the full
page advertisement placed in the Financial Gazette on Thursday.

The advertisement, which is attributed to the War Veterans Coordinating
Committee, and with no logo, also questions who is "healing the widows,
widowers and children of the fallen heroes who are living in abject poverty".

"Your brother and sisters did not die in vain; the war veterans' leadership
needs your help to honour them for we only knew them by their chimurenga
names. The Mau-Mau in Kenya was compensated why not Zanla and Zipra?" asked
the war vets in their advertisement.

Zanla and Zipra were military wings of the old Zanu and Zapu that took part
in the war from Mozambique and Zambia. The two parties later joined in the
unity accord of 1997.

In 1997, the government acceded to demands by the ex-combatants and paid
them Z$50 000 each and it eventually worked as a catalyst to the country's
economic collapse.

Chigwendere said the money was not enough.

"That Z$50 000 we got is nothing because it was a once- off payment. We want
the inclusive government to assist† us push Britain to compensate us just
like what the Smith regime is doing† to† its† ex-combatants," he† said.

Currently war veterans get at least US$60 per month as† part† of the
government's appreciation of† their role in the liberation struggle.

The war veterans listed numerous dates, which they said, bring haunted
memories of their lost colleagues.

Some of the incidents of the liberation struggle they listed include the
March 18, 1975 assassination of Herbert Chitepo, the 1976 Nyadzonya massacre
and the 1977 Chimoio massacre. They also listed the Selous Scouts poisoning
of water sources in Mozambique from 1976 to 1979. They also mentioned the
1979 death of Zanla commander Josiah Magama Tongogara.

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Mix of hope and resignation about the return of independent press
Reporters without Borders

Published on 19 April 2010

Fed up with years of inactivity because of forced closures and still waiting for their newspapers to be given licences to start working again, Zimbabwe's independent media journalists are drifting in limbo - between hope and resignation - Reporters Without Borders found during a fact-finding visit to Harare from 20 to 23 March, its first trip to Zimbabwe after years of being denied visas.

"The Zimbabwean press has endured enough repression in recent years," Reporters Without Borders said, pointing out that Zimbabwe is ranked 136th out of 175 countries in its press freedom index. "It is time for the government of national unity to demonstrate its will to reform press legislation and liberate the country's media. There have been enough statements. We urge the Zimbabwe Media Council to quickly grant licences to the media that request them."

During the visit to Harare, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk met Jameson Timba, who is the deputy minister of media and information and an adviser to the prime minister, human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, photojournalist Shadreck Anderson Manyere and members of the management and staff of The Zimbabwe Independent, The Standard, NewsDay, The Financial Gazette and the defunct Daily News.

Reporters Without Borders also met a foreign press correspondent, a state media representative, and representatives of the Media Institute of Southern Africa, the Zimbabwean Chapter (Misa-Zimbabwe), the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ), Zimbabwe Journalists for Human Rights (ZJHR) and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR). Reporters Without Borders regrets being unable to meet the head of the Zimbabwe Media Council (ZMC), who did not want to give an interview.

Iniquitous laws

The Zimbabwean press was still one of the most vigorous in Africa at the start of the past decade. The public read the newspapers avidly every day, especially The Daily News. Privately-owned and run by experienced journalists, it was known for its independence and its serious, reliable reporting. "It was a vibrant newspaper and when it came on the market, it was a sell-out almost every day," said Annie Musemburi-Musodza, who used to be former editor Geoffrey Nyarota's assistant. "It sold more copies than The Herald, the state-owned daily."

But President Robert Mugabe, who has been on the Reporters Without Borders list of "Predators of Press Freedom" for years, had the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) passed in 2002. It banned foreign investment in Zimbabwe's media with the sole aim of killing off The Daily News, one of whose shareholders was Scottish. It was followed on 6 August 2007 by the Interception of Communications Act, which made it easier for the political and police apparatus to give free rein to its paranoia by allowing the authorities to monitor email messages and mobile phone calls without having to seek court permission.

This repressive legislation, enabling close surveillance of journalists and constant control of the press, is one of the biggest obstacles to media development in Zimbabwe, an obstacle that the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ) is determined to combat. By means of its Media Law Reform Project, this NGO coalition is trying to get parliamentarians to completely overhaul the press laws. It also wants to get "freedom of the media" added to freedom of information in the Zimbabwean constitution.

When Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai reiterated his government's priorities at the end of March, the presentation of a Freedom of Information Bill (to replace the AIPPA) and a Media Practitioners Bill to parliament were mentioned prominently. The 21 March issue of The Standard, an independent weekly, said the government hoped to complete these reforms by the end of the year.

Zimbabwe Media Council and return of independent press

The Zimbabwe Media Council (ZMC), which has replaced the Media and Information Commission (MIC), is supposed to issue newspapers with licences and thereby open the way for the independent press to re-emerge. The promise has hung in the air for months without materialising. "Let's be clear about this," said lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa. "The ZMC is there to save the media. It should be doing its job"

Created in 2009, the ZMC did not officially get under way until its inaugural meeting on 18 March 2010. It was only after months of prevarication and negotiations between Zanu-PF, President Mugabe's party, and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Prime Minister Tsvangirai's party, that the ZMC's nine commissioners were named. They are Godfrey Majonga (chairman), Nqobile Nyathi (deputy chairperson), Chris Mutsvangwa, Matthew Takaona, Chris Mhike, Henry Muradzikwa, Lawton Hikwa, Miriam Madziwa and Millicent Mombeshora.

They are the ones whose job it is to receive and examine the applications submitted by news media. At a meeting with the editors of all of Zimbabwe's newspapers at the start of March, no less a person than the president asked the ZMC to begin to work, fulfil its role and create a space for the media. The prime minister, for his part, insisted that nothing is tying the hands of the ZMC's commissioners. Nonetheless, nothing is happening and it looks as though the ZMC is playing for time.

Reporters Without Borders hoped to meet with the ZMC's chairman, Godfrey Majonga, during its visit. Several requests for an interview were made, but without success. At first, Majonga insisted that he had nothing to add to what was said at the 18 March inaugural meeting. Then he said he could not give an interview on his own as the ZMC was a collective commission. "He has held the position for only seven days," the deputy media and information minister, Timba, said. "Give him a bit of time."

Jethro Goko, the head of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), the company that owns The Daily News and The Daily News on Sunday, pointed out that it obtained favourable high court ruling in 2006. "We are ready," he said. "We are just waiting for the ZMC to give us our licence but we will not reapply because a ruling confirmed four years ago shows we have everything in order. The ANZ does not have a lot of resources but we are dedicated to providing the Zimbabwean people with credible quality newspapers."

Another privately-owned daily, NewsDay, decided not to wait for its licence in order to start working. When the newspaper threatened to begin publishing without a licence in 2009, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of media and information, George Charamba, warned that its journalists would be arrested. NewsDay has gone ahead and hired journalists, who are currently producing a four-page insert that is distributed inside the weeklies The Standard and The Zimbabwe Independent.

Government control of state media, persecution of independent media

Meanwhile, until the ZMC starts issuing licences, the media landscape continues to be dormant and subject to heavy government control.

In the state-owned media, for example, the hands of the journalists are tied by their editors, who take their orders from the government. Amid a constant fear of unfair dismissal, self-censorship is widespread. Six journalists employed by the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) were fired in 2008 for allegedly not giving President Mugabe enough coverage during the election campaign.

ZBC's management took radio presenter Godfrey Gweje off the air in March 2010 for making "subversive political comments" after he criticised the low pay (189 US dollars a month) received by civil servants, then on strike for better pay. The previous week, Wellington Toni was fired as the Sunday News sports editor for referring on a website to corrupt practices in the regional state-owned weekly The Chronicle.

"We cannot express our opinions," a state media representative told Reporters Without Borders on condition of anonymity. "We are men, with weaknesses, and we are afraid."

Freelance journalists and those working for the privately-owned weeklies are often harassed or threatened. Constantine Chimakure and Vincent Kahiya of the Zimbabwe Independent, for example were arrested together in May 2009 and were subsequently the target of judicial proceedings for a year before charges were finally dropped.

Freelance journalist Stanley Gama was summoned to Harare central police station on 30 March, just two days after communication minister Webster Shamu said the harassment of journalists should stop, and was questioned by Chief Superintendent Chrispen Makedenge about his sources for a story in the Zimbabwe edition of South Africa's Sunday Times about a cabinet minister's alleged corrupt practices.

Two months before that, on 15 January, Makedenge made a death threat against freelance journalist Stanley Kwenda over one of his articles for the privately-owned newspaper The Zimbabwean. Makedenge, who has been implicated in the abduction of journalists and MDC members, told Kwenda: "You are not going to last this weekend." Kwenda fled the country.

Nick Maunze, an official in the Zimbabwean government's Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), publicly threatened Godfrey Mutimba, The Standard's correspondent in the south-eastern province of Masvingo, in March. "You must be careful young man, very, very careful because I will reduce you to nothing," he told Mutimba. "I do not care what your papers write about me; they are useless and will not change anything. What I need to tell you and your other reporters is that you should know that I have dealt with even bigger fish which had thick heads."

Referring to opposition activist Job Sikhala, Maunze added: "I am the one who forced Sikhala to drink urine when he was arrested and it is not hard for me at all to deal with an even smaller fish and useless reporters like you. What will you do to me?"

These are just a few examples of the threats and harassment to which Zimbabwean journalists are routinely subjected.

Hounded news photographer Shadreck Anderson Manyere

Kidnapped in December 2008, freelance news photographer Shadreck Anderson Manyere, was subjected to an ordeal comparable to what was inflicted on leading journalist and human rights activist Jestina Mukoko during his next four months in detention. Charged with banditry, sabotage and terrorism, he was held in appalling conditions, brutally interrogated and tortured.

In the year since his release on 18 April 2009, he has had to report to a police station in the capital under pain of being arrested again. This is a major handicap for a freelancer as it means he cannot accept a job in the provinces.

At the same time, Manyere is hounded whenever he works in the capital. He was arrested while covering a demonstration by members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) on 18 January 2010 and then released without charge. On 24 February, he was forced to delete his photos of a demonstration by pro-Zanu-PF activists against western government sanctions against party leaders including President Mugabe. He was arrested at a Harare court on 1 March for taking pictures of detainees as they arrived to face charges of plotting against the government. Told he did not have permission, he was taken to the central police station. He was released the next day after paying a 20-dollar fine but his camera was confiscated.

Manyere told Reporters Without Borders: "Whenever I cover a demonstration or an event, the police ask me: 'Are you working for The Herald or for ZBC?' As soon as I reply that I am a freelancer, they try to confiscate my camera and they often take me to a police station."

"They are after him, that's obvious," lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said. "They want to push him to the limit and force him to give up his profession."

Three years of silence about cameraman Edward Chikomba's death

On 23 March, the last day of Reporters Without Borders' visit, the police raided a Harare art gallery and removed more than 60 photos that had been put on display by the human rights group ZimRights. Most of the photos were taken in the run-up to the 2008 elections and showed the use of violence to disperse demonstrations. They also showed the current prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, with his face swollen from being beaten while in detention.

Freelance cameraman Edward Chikomba, a former employee of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), was one of the people who took the photos of Tsvangirai. He was found dead in Darwendale (60 km west of Harare) on 31 March 2007, two days after being kidnapped by four men suspected of being intelligence officials. They went to his home in Glen View, a high density suburb of Harare, and forced him to get into their four-wheel-drive vehicle at gunpoint.

Chikomba was accused of selling his footage of Tsvangirai to foreign news media. Since leaving the production team of "Vision 30," broadcast by ZBC until 2001, Chikomba had been making documentaries independently for individuals or news media.

According to his wife, who witnessed his abduction, Chikomba knew he was in danger. "I am dead," he said, when he saw the four men arrive outside their house.

No proper, independent investigation has ever been carried out into his death.

Given the current state of the Zimbabwean media and the urgent need to restore press freedom, Reporters Without Borders makes the following recommendations:

-To the Zimbabwean government: Put a stop to the frequent police violence against journalists, quickly foster a climate more favourable to free expression for privately-owned independent newspapers, and open up broadcasting, currently monopolised by ZBC. The two parties, Zanu-PF and MDC, must work in a more determined and concerted fashion. It is time to pass from words to action.

-To the Zimbabwe Media Council: Immediately issue licences to newspapers that request them and conduct itself in a more transparent manner by ceasing to be uncommunicative about its activities, which are not known to the public.

-To the international community (SADC, African Union, European Union, UN and bilateral aid agencies): Put more pressure on Zimbabwe to ensure that opening up the media sector is one of the reform timetable's priorities.

-To South African President Jacob Zuma (as the person mandated by the SADC to ensure full implementation of the Global Political Agreement, a power-sharing agreement between Zanu-PF and MDC): Be firmer with President Mugabe and Zanu-PF. By not cooperating fully with the MDC, President Mugabe and his party are the source of several obstacles to implementation of the power-sharing agreement and are thereby preventing Zimbabwe from advancing with determination down the road of democratisation.

-To Zimbabwean journalists: Try to avoid the very marked polarisation of political life by not taking a pro-Zanu-PF or pro-MDC position and by respecting the principles of neutrality and objectivity in order to provide the Zimbabwean people with better reporting.

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Mutambara says violation of human rights doesnt collapse economy

Thursday, 22 April 2010 07:41

BULAWAYO - Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara (Pictured) shocked
delegates at the Zimbabwe International Business Conference in Bulawayo on
Wednesday when he said bad governance, violation of human rights and
democracy do not affect investment and the growth of Zimbabwe's economy.
Responding to a question from one of the participants at the conference
which is being held concurrently with the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair
(ZITF) Deputy Prime minister Mutambara said countries like China, Singapore
and Malaysia have successful economies despite their poor record on
democracy and human right violations. "Malaysia under Prime Minister
Mahathir Mohamad was not a democracy but has one of the best economies in
Asia.†† There is also no democracy in China and Singapore but their economy
is one of the biggest in the world," said Mutambara who is the leader of the
smaller faction of the MDC.
Mutambara claimed that colonization is the corner stone of the British
economy while the American economy was anchored on slavery. "The American
economy is built upon slavery and not democracy. The same applies to the
British economies which grow as a result of colonization of Africa. So we
must be very careful when we talk of democracy and human rights violations
in Zimbabwe because human rights violations in our country has nothing to do
with the collapse of our economy, " said Mutambara.
Mutambara's comments were apparently at variance with his boss Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who bemoaned the resurfacing of political
violence in the country while earlier addressing the same gathering. The
business conference was organized by ZITF in partnership with the National
Economic Consultative Forum (NECF).

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Zimbabwean women rescued from "Slave trade" operation

22 April, 2010 02:45:00††† bY

CAPE TOWN - South African police officers have rescued five teenage girls
believed to be the victims of a suspected (slave trade), human trafficking
ring operating from a small warehouse in Parow.
The squad, acting on a tip-off, entered the warehouse last night and found
them huddled together in a corner, clutching their possessions. Old
mattresses were scattered across a cement floor, bedclothes tossed over

One of the young women told officers that she had had a miscarriage last
week, but had not received any medical attention.

They said they had been lured to Cape Town from towns like Prieska in the
Northern Cape after being offered good jobs and salaries.

Instead, they alleged, they had been forced to work in a woman's house and
her friends' shops.

They claimed that they were fed only dry bread slices in the morning, with
baked beans for supper.

Niel Arendse, spokesman for the city's Specialised Law Enforcement Services,
said an officer from his unit had been attending to a dispute in Clarendon
Street, Parow, on Wednesday evening.

"The people who were fighting told her there were young girls locked in that

In a matter of hours, the Vice Squad and police put the rescue operation in
place. When they arrived, they spoke to the young women through the
warehouse window.

The building's owner, whose name is known to the Cape Argus and who lives in
Parow, was called to open the warehouse on the corner of Market and
Clarendon streets.

She said on Thursday morning that her employment agency found young women
for domestic work. Until they found employment, the company provided them
with food and accommodation in the warehouse.

"It is explained to these women on their arrival in Cape Town that they can
leave the agency at any given time."

She said the women were not held against their will and the property was
locked at night for their own protection.

As soon as the warehouse door was opened last night, the teenagers rushed
around the warehouse gathering their belongings. They were taken to a city
shelter, a move that was organised by two NGOs.

The young women - four are 18 and one is 19 - said they had been promised a
better life in the city. But, they said, they had been held captive, some of
them since January.

"We either worked in her house or in shops. But she knows the people," said
one of them.

"Sometimes they tell us we made a mistake with the till in the shop and they
take R70 or R200 off our money.

"Some of us have not seen money since we got here in January."

The girls painted a bleak picture of their life in Cape Town. They said
those who were lucky enough to work in the woman's house would receive the
occasional portion of rice and meat.

"She didn't leave any food here (at the warehouse) for us. If we tried to
tell her she mustn't lock us in, she would scold us," said one of the girls.
"She also told us we must stay at the back (of the warehouse) and not go
near the front."

But they managed to alert a few residents to their situation and one told
the officer.

"I don't care about work any more, I just want to get home," said one girl.

The girl, who said she had suffered a miscarriage last week, said she had
been told by the warehouse owner that it was "not her problem".

The unit's officer said: "Now we need to make sure she gets to a doctor

Aldred Charles, who heads the city's Substance Abuse, Safety and Security
Specialised Service Unit, said the woman could face charges of human
trafficking and exploitation.

He said they had found documents showing that the operation centred on
recruiting young women from rural areas.

Charles said human trafficking, for both labour and sex, was a growing
problem in the city.

The Vice Squad had planned to crack down on a suspected sex trafficking ring
last night, involving foreign women without residence permits, but the women
had been moved before the squad could act.

Arendse said the squad had uncovered a similar operation in Table View last
month. Here, women from Mozambique and Zimbabwe were allegedly being

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Church Camping Site Torched

22/04/2010 12:21:00

Masvingo, April 22, 2010 - A camping site belonging to Members of the
Johanne Masowe Apostolic sect here was torched on Wednesday and a church
elder said he was suspecting that it was the work of officials from the
Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

Church Elder Raphel Maponda, told Radio VOP that following the heckling of
former governor and Chivi-Mwenezi Senator Hosiah Hungwe on Sunday, by church
members, elders of the sect had been receiving threatening messages.Church
members and elders had cut Hungwe's speech short, accusing him of
politicking. Hungwe had called the church members to support Zanu PF and
President Robert Mugabe.

On Thursday morning church members were shocked to see the church's
traditional Maparanyanga Camp, about 20 kilometers out of town along
Bulawayo road, had been razed destroying property worth over US$ 1 000.

"We are going to call for an urgent meeting today or tomorrow and find the
way forward," said Maponda.† "We highly suspect that CIOs are behind this
move because since Sunday, we started to receive some threats from known
CIOs who said we were not supposed to humiliate Hungwe.

"We never humiliated him. All we did was to ask him to sit down when we
discovered that his speech was sour to our church members."

Maponda said he had filed a police report at Masvingo Rural police but
nothing had been done so far.

"We reported the case to the police but nothing has been done. We highly
suspect foul play because almost every elder received a different kind of
threat since Sunday. We might be forced to look for another praying site,"
he added.

Masvingo acting police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Prosper Mugauri,
said he received the report but everything was still under investigation.

"We have received such a report but it's too early to come up with what
happened, maybe it was just a result of veld fire. We are investigating,"
said Mugauri.

Hungwe refused to be associated with the fires.

"I am out of it. Right now I am in Chivi, how can you link my service there
with fire? It is just an accident," said Hungwe.

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African 'Jewish' tribe displays its lost ark
By Moira Schneider, April 22, 2010
The ngoma, a sacred wooden drum.

The ngoma, a sacred wooden drum

Members of an African tribe are displaying a sacred object they believe to be the Ark of the Covenant in a Harare museum.

The item is a ngoma, a sacred drum made of wood. According to oral tradition, a ngoma was carried from Israel by the Lemba, a South African tribe who believe they are descendants of Jews from the Middle East. After it burst into flame and was destroyed, another ngoma - the one currently on display - was constructed from the ruins.

DNA research has traced the Lemba's origins to the Middle East. More remarkably, a genetic marker largely found only in Cohanim, descendants of the ancient Jewish priesthood, is present in the same proportions among the Lemba's own priests, known as the Buba.

The 80,000 Lemba people, who live in Zimbabwe and northern South Africa, have many customs in common with Jewish tradition, including male circumcision, refraining from eating pork, allowing the blood to drain from an animal before they eat it, wearing skullcaps and prayer shawls during rituals and adorning some tombstones with Stars of David.

But Alex Makotore of Harare, son of a late chief of the Lemba, says that the tribe does not claim to be Jewish. He accuses scholars of trying to impose a foreign identity on them.

"We don't want to look like people who are looking for an identity," he said. "We've got our own African identity, we are not looking for our roots.

"They call us black Jews, but it is them [the scientists] that call us that. If we are linked to the Jews, then fair and fine, but we cannot rightly say that it is only the Jews that [have those customs]."

He does say he is "excited" about a possible connection to the Old Testament, but says the Lemba are unconcerned that there is little connection with the local Jewish community.

"We don't look for them. We don't want to end up with a situation where we feel second-rate to another race."

By contrast, Perez Hamandishe, member of parliament from the Movement for Democratic Change and a pastor in the Pentecostal church, says that the Lemba believe that they are Jews.

"We are Jews by blood," he insists, adding that like the majority of the Lemba, he is Christian by religion, but Jewish by culture.

"My lifestyle is Jewish, we observe everything Jewish - we only eat kosher," he said. "If I go to a Gentile house, I don't eat their food. When I travel, I carry my own pots and food. I don't eat prawns, fish without scales or rabbit."

Sam Benatar, president of the Zimbabwe Jewish Board of Deputies, said that there were "all sorts of claims all over Africa by people purporting to be Jewish", but the Lemba's belief "may well be true".

Peter Sternberg, former president of the Board, said that the Lemba "are virtually all either Christians or Muslims - one should really leave it at that."

The story of the Lemba Ark was originally revealed by Tudor Parfitt, professor of Hebrew at London University's School of Oriental and African Studies, in his book The Lost Ark of the Covenant.

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Harare Jazz Festival - A Success

22/04/2010 12:37:00

Harare, April 22, 2010 - The Harare Jazz Festival broke local music
attendance records, when 3 000 fans including the Vice President Thokozani
Khupe paid their way to watch the show held at the Harare Sports Club.

The is probably the biggest crowd to attend a musical show in the country.
The show was probably one of the most expensive in the country with tickets
going for US$500 for a table of 10 people.

The show was mostly attended by company executives and politicians including
Vice President Khupe.

Sam Mataure, one of the organisers of the festival, said the show was a
success but said they were hugely let down by the Zimbabwe Republic Police
who failed to control some people who thronged the venue without advance

"We paid the police US$2 100 but they completely failed to control the
crowds," Mataure said.

Oliver Mtukudzi opened the concert which kicked-off on Saturday.

To South African jazz mucisician Hugh Masekela, Ladysmith Black Mambazo,
Sibongile Khumalo (SA), Themba Mkize (SA), Silvia Manco Quartet (Italy),
Mbare Trio (Zim), Cool Crooners (Zim) and Jazz Invitation (Zim) also
performed at the show.

Meanwhile Tuku Music Company has released on CD the 1986 album Ivai Navo
previously on vinyl. This is the first such time Tuku is reproducing on CD
his oldies formerly on vinyl. By reproducing on CD, some of his old music
recorded on vinyl, Tuku wants to make the yesteryear records more accessible
following huge market demand for the golden oldies. Fans can now buy the CD
directly from Pakare Paye Arts Centre or from leading record bars across the

Hits from Ivai Navo include Ivai Navo, Mombe Ndonda, Hakuendwe, Nhodzera,
Vende and Kanyanisa. Vende is one of Tuku's many compositions that celebrate
the lives of our beloved departed.

Tuku says of Vende which he dedicated to his late father Samson: "The gap he
left in my family cannot be filled. When I look in the mirror I see his
face, when I look at my face I see his face. Now I realise I have to learn
to live with it."

Tuku's late son Samson was named after his grandfather.

Also now available after selling out is Tsimba Itsoka (2007). The CD is now
on sale in all leading record bars across the country. Alternatively it can
be purchased from Pakare Paye Arts Centre.

Songs on Tsimba Itsoka: 1. Ungade'we 2. Chikara 3. Kuropodza 4. Mhinduro 5.
Hapana kuti mbinjana 6. Junga 7. Kuipedza 8. Masimba mashoma 9. Mbiri
hurimbo 10. Nzungu imwe 11. Vachakunonokera 12. Kumirira nekumirira.

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Bulawayo music festival 2010


Two years ago we held the 6th Bulawayo Music Festival and we are about
to host another one!

I attach the details about it.

As before, I appeal to any ex Academy students and friends to contact
the Academy if they would like to help financially to support this
Festival. Two years ago there was some generous support from your

Any help would be gratefully appreciated and an acknowledgment would
be put up in the foyer during the duration of the festival.
Please write to me if you can help and I will send you our bank details.

Many thanks,

Bruce McDonald
Zimbabwe Academy of Music <>



The Seventh Bulawayo Music Festival will take place at the Zimbabwe
Academy of Music from Wednesday 19 May through to Sunday 23 May.
Sponsored principally by Sandvik and the Beit Trust, it will feature
more visiting performers than ever before.† There will be four
pianists including Leslie Howard whose many claims to fame include an
entry in the Guinness Book of Records for a feat unequalled by any
solo artist in recording history, his 99-CD survey for Hyperion of the
complete piano music of Franz Liszt.

The other pianists are Zimbabwe-born Michael Brownlee Walker, Coady
Green and Elizabeth French and they will be playing in various
combinations including several works for four pianists and even some
for four pianos.

Visitors from South Africa include the Odeion String Quartet and
guitarist James Grace as well as the double bass virtuoso Leon Bosch
who was born in Cape Town but left South Africa in the apartheid years
and settled in Britain.† Trevor Lax is a trumpeter who will be
conducting workshops for wind players as well as performing, as will
James Grace, and, in a first for the festival, there will also be
musical light entertainment by Kit and the Widow, a comedy duo who
have performed in some of the top venues all over the world.† In
addition, one of the duo, Richard Sisson, has written The Mukamba
Tree, a half-hour work based on a book by the local author June
Farquhar which will involve upwards of 200 young performers as well as
all the visiting musicians.

The line-up is completed by Petroc Trelawny, very well known in
Britain as a BBC Radio 3 announcer and producer.† He will be
interviewing all the performers during the festival and acting as
narrator for The Mukamba Tree as well as researching the 1953 Bulawayo
Rhodes Centenary Festival for a projected radio programme and possible

There will be a total of sixteen concerts in the Sibson Hall at the
Academy and, as well as the various multi-piano concerts, they include
two to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Chopin's birth and a solo
recital from Leslie Howard.† Leon Bosch, James Grace and Trevor Lax
will all give lunchtime solo recitals and there will be two
performances from Kit and the Widow.

The chamber music repertoire is particularly strong this year and
takes full advantage of the presence of a double bass with a string
quintet by Bottesini, a piano quintet by Hummel and a sextet by
Mendelssohn as well as Schubert’s much loved “Trout" Quintet.† There
will also be Dvorak’s Piano Quintet, a Guitar Quintet by Boccherini,
string quartets by Mozart and Ravel and the Septet by Saint-SaŽns for
trumpet, string quartet, double bass and piano.

As well as a multi-piano gala in the central section, the opening
concert will begin with a performance of a Bach 3-Piano Concerto and
end with Vivaldi's Gloria with a choir drawn from Girls' College, the
Convent, CBC and the Academy Singers whilst the closing concert will
involve all the visiting performers in a light-hearted programme
before the festival ends with The Mukamba Tree.

But this is by no means all.† Whenever there isn’t a concert in the
Sibson Hall, there will be music in the grounds, often two events with
performances in a large marquee plus workshops, etc. in a second
venue.† The entertainment lined up for the grounds includes Liyana
with Prudence Mabhena, Drums of Peace, the Peterhouse Orchestra, the
Girls’ College marimba band, gospel choirs, pop bands, jazz and more.

All in all the Bulawayo Music Festival promises something for
everyone, whatever their interest in music though it is obviously
primarily aimed at classical music fans.† Booking for season tickets
which cost $60.00 is open at the Academy, e-mail,
tel: [09] 60684 / 67195.† Season tickets cover all concerts in the
Sibson Hall whilst entry to all other events is free though donations
will be welcome.† Booking for individual concerts will open on Monday
26 April.† Tickets for the main evening concerts will be $10.00, for
all others $5.00.

Further information from or

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"I shout; I speak out on issues concerning women living with HIV"

Photo: Anthony Kaminju/IRIN
Sisters doing it for themselves
HARARE, 22 April 2010 (PlusNews) - Evelyn Mashamba is one of Zimbabwe's most outspoken gender and AIDS activists and has being living with HIV for the past 10 years. She told IRIN/PlusNews how being HIV-positive propelled her into the movement to fight for the rights of women living with the virus.

"I started my work as an activist 2005 in Masvingo [Province in southeastern Zimbabwe]. It so happened that there was a workshop at the College of Primary Health Care and Physicians, and a doctor friend of mine invited me to share my story with the participants.

"Since then I have not looked back - in 2008 I founded an organization known as Shamiso Development Trust, where I am currently the director. Shamiso is an organization that seeks to empower women and girls to claim their space in society, especially since the advent of HIV/AIDS.

"HIV-positive women's lives can only improve if their income base is improved - most women are stuck in care work, where they are not remunerated due to the fact that programmers have categorized care work as 'voluntary'.

"It's sad that the majority of women are doing this unremunerated work. I wonder why women are not paid when they are doing such a wonderful job?

"I have been living with HIV for the past 10 years - it hasn't been a bed of roses, especially when other people try to pull you down. There have been times when I have gone not knowing when I will get my next medical supply; I have been down and under health-wise, but determination is what has driven me to where I am today.

"HIV/AIDS programming has not been very favourable to us women living with HIV. However, all these challenges have made me stronger, and given me the edge to demystify the pandemic.

"I shout; I speak out on issues concerning women living with HIV. This is what drives me out of bed every day ... My dream is to establish a special clinic and wellness centre for women living with HIV ... only then will I slow down."


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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Foreigners and local whites out

A muddle over "indigenisation" looks set to slow down an economic recovery

Apr 22nd 2010 | JOHANNESBURG | From The Economist print edition

FOR a moment it seemed as though a mortal threat to businesses in Zimbabwe
had been lifted. Now the usual lack of clarity has been restored. Would-be
foreign investors and local businessmen alike do not know what to do next,
except to hold their breath.

Two months ago Zanu-PF, the party of Robert Mugabe, who marked 30 years in
power on April 18th, unilaterally announced regulations to put into effect
an "Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act". The law, passed two years
ago but not previously enforced, required all firms worth more than $500,000
to be majority-owned by "indigenous Zimbabweans"-and to show plans within
six weeks for compliance within five years.

Under Mr Mugabe's bluntly racist conception of nationality, white
Zimbabweans are excluded, since the law defines "indigenous" as those
"disadvantaged by unfair discrimination on the grounds of his or her race"
before independence in 1980, plus their descendants. So any white
Zimbabwean, let alone a foreign firm, is liable to be prevented from wholly
owning any smallish enterprise or farm. Whites are barred altogether from
some sectors, including bakeries and beauty parlours.

Among the foreign firms that would be hit are Barclays Bank and Standard
Chartered, two British banks that are big in the region, as well as Nestlť,
the Swiss-based food giant, and Impala Platinum Holdings (Implats), one of
the world's biggest producers of platinum, which is headquartered in South
Africa but is one of Zimbabwe's prime mining companies.

Just ahead of a deadline for companies to submit their plans for compliance,
the Movement for Democratic Change, the former opposition party that is
locked in an unhappy national unity government with Mr Mugabe's lot, said
that the cabinet had pronounced the regulations "null and void". Rubbish,
said Saviour Kasukuwere, a Zanu-PF man who is the minister in charge. He
insisted that there would merely be further "consultation" before the law is
put into action.

Even the delay gave foreign and local white business people a glimmer of
hope that they could go on running their own shows. Zanu-PF would be loth to
admit publicly that it was backing down over anything, least of all in the
face of foreigners and whites. Mr Mugabe says that indigenisation
"recognises our sovereign right of ownership". Ultimately, he says, his law
will prevail.

The next step is for a parliamentary committee to consider the regulations,
so far without a deadline. But the MDC's slim majority in the lower house,
which it won in a general election two years ago despite rigging and
intimidation, is steadily being whittled away by deaths, arrests and
criminal convictions which mean that a growing number of the party's MPs
cannot vote in parliament. And even if the indigenisation rules were
suspended or scrapped, that would be no guarantee of security. Earlier this
month a South African-owned game ranch was invaded, even though a new
bilateral investment-protection treaty between the two neighbouring
countries' governments had just come into force.

In any event, the indigenisation debate and Zanu-PF's capriciousness hardly
encourage foreigners-let alone white citizens-to invest. Despite Zimbabwe's
mineral riches, most big mining firms have stalled future plans. And the
uncertainty is spiking the efforts of Tendai Biti, the MDC man who is the
unity government's finance minister, to secure the foreign cash the country
sorely needs to recover from Mr Mugabe's ruination of the economy.

Some say this is part of Zanu-PF's plan to fight the next election, perhaps
as early as next year, on its usual populist platform, blaming the West for
all Zimbabwe's ills. It is certainly wary of letting the MDC take the credit
for a recovery.

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Commonwealth Documents from 1979 Released to the Public

Commonwealth News and Information Service (London)

22 April 2010

press release

Previously classified files released by the Commonwealth Secretariat this
week give a unique insight into the history of women in international
development 100 years after the German socialist Clara Zetkin proposed the
establishment of International Women's Day.

Milestones for 2010 include a quarter century of Commonwealth Women's
Affairs Ministerial Meetings and 30 years since the first appointment of a
Women's adviser at the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Records released under the 30 year rule document the establishment of this
role from endorsement at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in
Lusaka 1979, to the work of the Internal Working Party on Women &

The seminal report on how the Secretariat could support national efforts, by
Elizabeth Reid, is also released. She was the first ever adviser on women's
affairs to the Australian Prime Minister.

1979 also saw Britain elect its first ever female Prime Minister, Mrs
Margaret Thatcher. After only a few months in office she attended her first
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Lusaka. The records show that
there was uncertainty as to how Britain and its new leader would respond to
the agenda item of Southern Africa. In the event, however the meeting was
hailed as a great success. In his closing remarks Zambian President Kenneth
Kaunda described how an 'atmosphere of friendship and the spirit of
frankness had greatly contributed to a constructive approach to some of the
most difficult problems'.

It paved the way for the Lancaster House Meeting and Zimbabwe's
independence, and it produced the Lusaka Declaration on Racism and Racial
Prejudice. This declaration was a solid and unified commitment for action on
South Africa, and gave little to suggest that Britain would eventually want
to oppose sanctions against the apartheid regime.

However, that point lay in the future, in 1979 consensus seemed to have been
achieved, and with amazing swiftness too, incredibly the meeting finished a
day early.

A copy of the complete list of files is available on its website at The files are available for viewing
in the Secretariat's Library and Archives at Marlborough House and
appointments may be made with Hilary McEwan, Archivist, by telephone at +44
(0)20 7747 6167, by fax at +44 (0)20 7747 6168, or by email at

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A Criminal Act: Child Soldiers

The use of child soldiers in Zimbabwe's 30th Independence anniversary celebrations on 18 April 2010, was detestable and has no place in a society that is currently engulfed in a low-intensity conflict.

Absent from these images are the children of the ruling class and of the political elite comfortably sitting in a lounge watching their compatriots on a HD television, or playing the latest video games. The children from impoverished and marginalized backgrounds are taken by adults for indoctrination, given crisp army uniforms, food and training, while undisturbed, the wealthy hide their children behind walled mansions.

The Eighth Assembly of the World Council of Churches held at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare, December 3-14, 1998, addressed by President Nelson Mandela of South Africa and President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, adopted a statement on child soldiers, stating: "The involvement of children in armed conflicts violates fundamental humanitarian principles, exposes them to the risk of death and injury, threatens their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, and draws them into a culture of violence."

"The use of children as soldiers destroys lives, families and the social fabric of communities. Conditions of violence and poverty are perpetuated when children are forced to abandon school and their families to enter conflicts. The practice violates international law, which has established the minimum age of 18 for recruitment into all forms of military service. Action must be taken to ensure that this standard is universally upheld, violators are brought to justice and hope is restored for children trapped in this cycle of violence."

According to Radhika Coomaraswamy, a special UN representative for children in armed conflict, using children as soldiers was "particularly abusive" as their ignorance of death made them fearless. Children under fifteen had "an under-developed notion of death".

Under Article 8.2.26 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), adopted in July 1998, and entered into force 1 July 2002: "Conscripting or enlisting children under the age of fifteen years into the national armed forces or using them to participate actively in hostilities" is a war crime.

Pictures courtesy of Associated Press

Phil Matibe

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PEACE WATCH 5/2010 of 21st April [When is it a Crime or Disturbanceof the Peace to take a Photograph?]


[21st April 2010]

Taking Photographs

Taking photographs can be a high-risk occupation in Zimbabwe for journalists [and sometimes for other people, including tourists].† Last month a freelance photojournalist was arrested outside Harare magistrates court for taking photographs of arriving prisoners without the permission of the Commissioner of Prisons, and, although this is not against the law, he was detained, questioned by the police and charged with disorderly conduct.† This raises the question:† “In what circumstances can journalists and other people take photographs in Zimbabwe?

The Legal Position

The general rule is that everyone is free to take photographs of anything and anyone they like, except where the law specifically forbids photographs to be taken.† This is one aspect of freedom of expression, which is protected by the Constitution and which includes freedom to receive and impart ideas and information.† This freedom as spelt out in the Declaration of Rights [section 20] can only be limited in certain circumstances, by a law passed in order to protect:

††††† the interests of defence, public safety, public order, the economic interests of the State, public morality or public health; or

††††† the reputations, rights and freedoms of other people, or the private lives of people concerned in legal proceedings; or

††††† the authority and independence of courts or tribunals or Parliament.

And any such law must be “reasonably justifiable in a democratic society”.† There are several laws that prohibit or restrict the taking of photographs in Zimbabwe.† By listing them here we are not implying that they comply with section 20 of the Constitution – even some of the following provisions could be open to a constitutional challenge.

Laws Prohibiting or Restricting Taking Photographs

Defence Act:† Under section 94 of the Defence Act, the Minister of Defence has the power to declare any area to be a protected area and to give directions banning the taking of photographs within the area [but not of the area from outside it].† Although section 94 is couched in extremely wide terms, it probably covers only defence installations.† Taking photographs in contravention of section 94 attracts a fine of US $200 or six months’ imprisonment or both.† Various areas were declared to be protected before Independence, but none have been since.† The pre-Independence declarations have never been repealed.

Electoral Regulations:† Under section 25 of the Electoral Regulations, 2005, it is a criminal offence to take a photograph of anyone inside a polling booth, or to take a photograph within a polling-station without permission from the officer in charge of the station.† Anyone who contravenes the section is liable to a fine of US $700 or a year’s imprisonment or both.† There is nothing wrong, however, with taking photographs of the outside of polling stations.

Official Secrets Act:† Under section 3 of the Official Secrets Act anyone who takes a photograph which is calculated or intended to be, or which might be, useful to an enemy of Zimbabwe is guilty of espionage and liable to imprisonment for up to 25 years, if he or she takes the photograph for a purpose prejudicial to Zimbabwe’s safety or interests.† Section 3 of the Act is couched in very broad terms and could afford a pretext for the arrest of anyone who tried to photograph defence installations and other places believed to be of strategic importance.

Prisons (General) Regulations:† Under section 168 of the Prisons (General) Regulations, 1996, it is an offence to take photographs inside a prison unless the Commissioner of Prisons consents.† A contravention of the section attracts a year’s imprisonment.† Taking photographs of the outside of a prison, on the other hand, seems to be perfectly all right — unless the photographer loiters when taking it, in which event he or she may be arrested and charged with loitering within 100 metres of a prison and failing to move on when requested to do so, in contravention of section 85 of the Prisons Act.† If found guilty of that crime, the photographer is liable to a fine of US $100 or three months’ imprisonment or both.

Protected Places and Areas Act:† If premises are declared to be a protected place, the declaration usually includes prohibitions or restrictions on taking photographs on the premises [section 4(5) of the Act].† Anyone who takes a photograph in contravention of such a provision risks a fine of US $400 or two years’ imprisonment or both.† Similarly, if an area is declared to be a protected area the taking of photographs within the area is usually prohibited [section 5 of the Act], and anyone doing so is liable to the same penalty.† Note that the Act does not make it an offence to take photographs of a protected place or area, merely within the place or area.† The following places and areas are listed in the Index to Legislation as being protected under the Act: the Aurex Factory, Goromonzi; the Beitbridge border-post; the “Chimanimani Restricted/Reserved Area” [presumably the Marange diamond fields]; the Zimbabwe Defence Industries factories in Domboshawa; Fidelity Printers and Refinery in Harare; an underground fuel depot in Mabvuku; a fuel depot in Masasa; the National Heroes Acre; the Presidential retirement home in Borrowdale, Harare; the environs of State House, Harare; and the Wilton Pipe Station.

Other Situations Where Photography is Restricted

Parliament:† Taking photographs of the proceedings of the Senate or the House of Assembly is considered to be contempt of Parliament unless permission has been obtained from the President of the Senate or the Speaker.† Although not stated specifically in the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act or in Parliamentary Standing Orders, it is established practice of both Houses to prohibit visitors from filming or taking photographs of their proceedings.† The prohibition does not extend to taking photographs outside the Parliament building.

Court proceedings:† Similarly, filming or taking photographs of court proceedings without permission from the presiding judge or magistrate amounts to contempt of court and is punishable as such.† So far as is known, no court in Zimbabwe has ever given permission for criminal or civil proceedings to be filmed or photographed [apart from the ceremonial opening of High Court sessions] and no court is likely to give such permission in future.† Again, there is no prohibition against photographing the outside of court buildings.

Parties to criminal and civil proceedings:† If a court has prohibited disclosure of the identity of a party or witness to criminal or civil proceedings, then it would be unlawful, and punishable as contempt of court, for a journalist to photograph the party or witness entering or coming from the court in connection with the proceedings.

In All Other Situations

In all other cases journalists and other people can generally take photographs of what and of whom they choose.† It is not necessary to get the consent of a person before taking his or her photograph;† if the person objects to having the photograph published, he or she can take civil proceedings to prevent publication but cannot normally invoke the assistance of the police to prevent the photograph being taken.† The police can become involved only if taking the photograph:

††††† seriously impairs the dignity of the person concerned or seriously invades his or her privacy, in which event it will amount to criminal insult, which is punishable by a fine of US $300 or a year’s imprisonment or both; or

††††† amounts to intentionally engaging in disorderly or riotous conduct in a public place, in which case it will amount to disorderly conduct in a public place, a crime punishable by a fine of US $200 or six months’ imprisonment or both.

In some other cases people can be prevented from taking photographs and the police may be called on for assistance.† For example, if a person enters private land or premises in order to take a photograph, he or she can be told to leave and, if he or she does not do so, will be guilty of criminal trespass and liable to a fine of US $200 or six months’ imprisonment or both [section 132 of the Criminal Law Code].† The police may be called upon to eject the person from the premises.† But in such a case the essence of the crime would be failing to leave the premises rather than taking photographs.† Much the same applies if a person takes photographs of a meeting such as a company meeting without permission from the person presiding:† he or she may be asked to leave and may be ejected if he or she refuses.

Legitimate Law Enforcement or Police Harassment of a Photo Journalist

To return to the story of the freelance photojournalist.† On March 1st he was apprehended and detained by prison officials at the Harare magistrates court for taking photographs of prisoners without the permission of the Commissioner of Prisons.† He was later handed to the police who detained and questioned him.† There is no law in Zimbabwe that prohibits filming outside courthouses, nor one that requires journalists to seek permission from the Commissioner of Prisons before performing their duties, so the police could not charge him for taking photographs.† They eventually charged him with disorderly conduct and he paid the fine rather than spending the night in the cells, but his lawyer is contesting that charge as spurious.† [Note: the prisoners he photographed were a group of alleged coup plotters being brought to court to face charges of attempting to escape from Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison and the photojournalist was pursuing his legitimate professional job covering a case of public interest.]

On January 18 this year, the same photojournalist, Andrisson Manyere, was arrested and detained by the police for two hours for filming a public protest march in Harare by members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise [WOZA].† He was released without charge.† The following month a group of ZANU-PF youths unlawfully apprehended and detained him for filming the youths’ public protest against sanctions on the ZANU-PF leadership.† The youths handed Manyere over to State security agents who, unlawfully, forced him to delete all footage in his camera before they released him.†

Previously, State security agents seized Manyere at his home in Norton on December 13, 2008.† Without search warrants or any legal justification, they raided his house and confiscated his work equipment, including a camera and two laptops, which have never been returned to him.† While in police custody, Manyere was threatened with death and accused of taking and sending images of victims of human rights abuses to international media.† Manyere was charged with banditry, sabotage and terrorism, together with other abductees [see previous Peace Watches] and kept in Chikurubi maximum security prison for months, and was only finally released on bail on 13th May, 2009.† His case is pending before the courts.† His lawyer has said he was tortured and that during his incarceration his rights to legal representation, a fair trial, and security of person were violated; he has brought a civil case claiming damages against the State but a court date has not been set.†

Meantime he is trying to earn a living following his profession and is having to replace the equipment which has not been returned to him.† His constantly being arrested is making this difficult and is also causing a lot of suffering to himself, his wife and children, who each time he is arrested fear the worst.


Any limitation on peoples’ constitutional rights and freedoms must be in accordance with the law.† A person should not be stopped from taking a photograph unless there is a given law that prohibits him or her from doing so.† And the law must comply with section 20 of the Constitution.† The police’s duty is to uphold the law, not to act outside the parameters of the law.

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

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