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Mugabe disowns Roman Catholic Church

By Godfrey Mtimba
Friday, 22 April 2011 16:15

MASVINGO - President Robert Mugabe disowned and criticised his Roman
Catholic church for condemning his Zanu PF party’s 31 year rule stranglehold
on power which has led to the Vatican clergy calling him an oppressor, the
87 year old leader said at indigenous church gathering in Masvingo.

Mugabe who all of a sudden has been rallying for support in indigenous
churches across the country, addressed members of the Zimbabwe Christian
Church (ZCC) at the official opening of their 18 000 seater multiple purpose
conference centre at Mbungo estates in Masvingo.

Mugabe lashed out at the Roman Catholic Church where he was baptised and is
a member saying the church is now against him together with other Western
headquartered churches who criticise his 31 year old rule.

He said he has turned to churches led by indigenous black people like
various Apostolic sects and ZCC, as his party intensifies efforts to win the
support of the churches ahead of elections to be held later this year.

Mugabe said despite being born in the Catholic Church, the Vatican
headquartered church Bishops and priests have been on the fore front of
attacking and criticising his continued stay in power and accusing him of
being an oppressor.

“Even though I was born in this church, their bishops are all over me on a
daily basis. They attack me and criticise me because they are led by the
whites who have their interest and agendas. They say I am an oppressor
because they are not happy that the country is being led by a blackman,”
said Mugabe.

Ironically Zimbabwe’s liberations struggle received immense support from the
Roman Catholic Church priests and Bishops. Mugabe accused white bishops and
priests of blacks unfairly saying that they want black people to treat them
like Gods.

“The way they do their things in the church is not fair to the local black
majority in our own country. When we go to worship the lord they want us to
treat them in a special way, actually they want to be treated like small
Gods when they are just people with a white skin,” he said.

Mugabe added that he would focus his attention on getting support from the
locally based churches because they are led by indigenous people who want
black empowerment like the ZCC leader, Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi, who had
earlier own showered praises on him and assured him of support from his huge
followership in the country, before calling Mugabe ‘a God anointed leader of

Mutendi who owns several schools in the province was later rewarded with a
farm to construct an Agricultural University in Chinhoyi, Mugabe’s home
province after he had pledged support for him while delivering his sermon in
the conference centre.

“We now realise we have church leaders who are blacks and lead their people
in a holy way like ZCC and certain apostolic sects that were formed in the
1930s but were banned by the former colonialist. Black people should lead
churches in the country because we own this country. We cannot be continued
to be led by Bishops with old ideologies like those of the Smiths and Rhodes
who suppressed our people,” Mugabe said.

Mugabe, however turned to his usual tirade of attack on the West saying he
would not allow any foreign investment in the country from Britain and the
United States.

“We are now for black empowerment and we do not need any more companies from
the Western countries to come here. All their companies here should be led
by our own sons and daughters and we will make sure that they get that

“People just respect people from the West because they have the white skins
but some of them are not even educated. They never went to the University or
completed ‘O’ level but they get respect from some of us especially those we
are trying to work together with,” he said referring to the MDC party in the
inclusive government.

Zanu PF has turned to coercing support from local church sects over the past
year in a bid to raise its support base following growing unpopularity that
led to the party‘s dismal defeat by arch rivals MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai
in the March 2008 harmonised elections.

The elections were followed by a violent one man presidential re-run
election which Mugabe claimed victory after the former had pulled out
sitting violence.

Senior Zanu PF supporters who have addressed indigenous Apostolic churches
in the last months include Vice President Joice Mujuru and Information and
Publicity Minister Webster Shamhu.

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MPs conspire to remove Mugabe

By Thelma Chikwanha, Staff Writer
Friday, 22 April 2011 16:11

HARARE - Parliamentarians from both the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
and Zanu PF are believed to be investigating the scope for legally removing
President Robert Mugabe from power, including the possibility of impeaching

The daring moves are being contemplated in the light of the dramatic defeat
of Zanu PF’s candidate in the recent speaker of parliament elections.  Then,
it was generally accepted that some Zanu PF MPs voted with their MDC
counterparts to vote back Lovemore Moyo and to embarrass Zanu PF’s chairman,
Simon Khaya-Moyo.

The Daily News learnt last night that the parliamentarians, who are fed up
with Mugabe’s contested leadership of the country, were looking into the
question of whether the president’s advanced age and failing health could be
successfully used by the legislators “to retire Mugabe out of office”.

Were that to happen, our sources claimed, Mugabe would be replaced by
vice-president Joice Mujuru in the short term – as she supposedly enjoyed
support from both MDC and Zanu PF MPs in parliament. This unlikely
eventuality would see the more hawkish faction in Zanu PF that is allegedly
aligned to Emmerson Mnanganga being frozen out of power.

While Mugabe seemingly has the power to dissolve parliament and to
circumvent any moves to impeach him under the current laws, the concerned
legislators and analysts canvassed by the Daily News believe that the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) has created possible legal loopholes that can be
used to remove the president.

The analysts said even under the old constitutional dispensation, the
president could be impeached, as long as there was a two-thirds majority
supporting such a move.

The Daily News has been told that the plan, which is allegedly being
discussed by MPs from both factions of the MDC as well as Zanu PF, has
gathered pace ever since it was reported that Mugabe’s health is

Political analyst Ibbo Mandaza said an impeachment was possible, with or
without the new constitution.

“It’s possible and it’s a question of proving that Mugabe is now
incapacitated while he has also to prove that he is able to lead this
country. But it can be done, especially in view of reports about his health
and as long as two thirds of the MPs agree. Remember it will be a secret
vote and it might turn out to be nasty for Mugabe,” he said.

University of Zimbabwe political scientist John Makumbe agreed with Mandaza
but said that the president would move to dissolve parliament as soon as he
got whiff of the impeachment plan – and even though he was not empowered to
do so under constitutional Amendment Number 19.

Human Rights Researcher Pedzisayi Ruhanya doubted if the parliamentarians
would succeed, saying the judiciary and legislature were largely appendages
of the presidency and, therefore, impotent.

“It will not happen. Before the process is over, parliament will be
dissolved. The ultimate authority in the Zimbabwean political system is the
executive of government presided over by the President,” Ruhanya said.

Another analyst said Mugabe’s woes were currently worsened by the fact that
hawks from his own party also wanted him to go now – although many of them
were too scared “to be seen to be plotting again as happened during the
Tsholotsho debacle”.

Still, he said, many people in Zanu PF knew that Mugabe was no longer
“electable” as he had proven to be a liability to the party over the last 10

Three years ago, serial political flip-flopper and re-admitted Zanu PF spin
doctor Jonathan Moyo told journalists that Mugabe was so unpopular that he
could even lose to a donkey in a presidential election. That view is
apparently widely shared by many in Zanu PF.

Section(29) of the constitution of Zimbabwe makes provision for the
termination of the tenure of the office of the president stating that;

“The president shall cease to hold political office if a report prepared by
a joint committee of the senate and house of assembly appointed by the
speaker in consultation with the president of the senate upon the request of
not fewer than a third of the members of the house of assembly has
recommended the removal of the president on the ground that:

(a)    He has acted in willful violation of this constitution or

(b)    He is incapable of performing the functions of his office by reason

physical or mental incapacity or

(c)     Gross misconduct and senators and members of the house assembly
sitting together have resolved by the affirmative votes of not less than
two-thirds of their total number that the president should be removed from

According to section (31) of the constitution, once a president is removed
the vice president, where there is one vice president, becomes the acting

Where there are two vice presidents, then the last one of the two to act as
acting president shall be acting president until elections for the position
are held.

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Sanctions threat to election roadmap

22/04/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE’S three main parties said they had agreed broad rules for the
holding of free and fair elections, but disputes remained far from resolved
after Zanu PF anchored its adherence to the pact on the lifting of western
sanctions on the country.

Negotiators from President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party, and the two MDC
factions led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Industry Minister
Welshman Ncube, met on Wednesday and Thursday to hammer out the agreement
aimed at lifting obstacles to free and fair elections.

The parties agreed that a new constitution must be in place before elections
are held; that a travel ban on Mugabe’s supporters and trade sanctions on
state-owned companies be lifted and a raft of amendments must be made to the
Electoral Act.

But the MDC factions said they could not agree with Zanu PF negotiators over
security sector reforms. The MDC negotiators wanted police powers to stop
political rallies curtailed and a commitment by Zanu PF -- which maintains a
stranglehold on the army and police -- that soldiers would not be deployed
in rural communities or play a part in the electoral process.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, Zanu PF’s top negotiator, emerged from
Thursday’s talks to declare that they had “finalised the election roadmap”.

“We produced a report that we signed and would be submitted to the three
principals [Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Ncube] and the South African facilitation
team after the Easter Holiday," he said.

"The report identifies activities that had to be undertaken before elections
are held. These are: the lifting of sanctions; completion of the
constitution-making process and enactment of amendments to the Electoral
Act. Those are some of the critical issues.”

Elton Mangoma, a negotiator from Tsvangirai’s party, said: “We disagreed on
security reforms and deployment of soldiers in rural areas during

The MDC parties also say they want election observers from the regional
trade bloc, SADC, to be in Zimbabwe six months before and after elections.
They also want retired soldiers taken off the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

The six negotiators, two from each party, travel to South Africa on May 6
for two-day talks with President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team which has
been mediating in Zimbabwe after former President Thabo Mbeki nudged Mugabe
into sharing power with his rivals following disputed elections in 2008.

Should the parties finally find common ground on all aspects of the roadmap,
a SADC summit set for May 20 in Namibia will rubberstamp the agreement.

Zanu PF’s insistence on the lifting of western sanctions could yet turn out
to be a deal breaker. Western countries, led by Britain and the United
States, have previously resisted calls by regional leaders to lift the
embargo which includes travel restrictions on Mugabe and over a 100 of his
close aides accused of human rights abuses.

Mugabe’s rivals fear the sanctions clause could be used by Zanu PF to break
off from the roadmap and call early elections if the embargo is not lifted.

Mugabe has previously said he wants elections this year, but he has shown
more flexibility in recent weeks by reaffirming his party’s commitment to
the constitution reform exercise.

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ZANU-PF in poll crisis

Thursday, 21 April 2011 12:27

Clemence Manyukwe, Political Editor

ZANU-PF’S election campaign stumbled after the ace in its campaign kit, the
indigenisation and economic empowerment lobby — meant to force foreign-owned
firms to cede at least 51 percent of their shareholding to blacks — proved
to be a hard sell to rural voters. This emerged as investigations indicated
the party was now in a quandary with its anti-sanctions campaign meant to
raise two million signatures to force the European Union, the United States
and other Western countries to remove sanctions they say are targeted at
President Robert Mugabe and members of his inner circle.
ZANU-PF heaps all the blame for everything that has gone wrong in Zimbabwe
on travel restrictions and financial embargoes imposed on its ruling elite.
The party says the prohibitions are affecting everyone including the rural
Sources indicated that the Southern African Development Community (SADC),
which is expected to get a petition from ZANU-PF for onward transmission to
the international community against the sanctions, was seized with grave
matters affecting Zimbabwe’s domestic politics, which they fear could
destabilise the entire region.
There were indications the ZANU-PF leadership had also become coy and
therefore unwilling to engage SADC over the issue due to current efforts to
fend off a fall-out triggered by a public rebuke of South African President
Jacob Zuma over a scathing report he presented in Livingstone, Zambia, on
March 31 that appeared to tackle ZANU-PF and its leadership over the
political crisis in the country.
The issue of sanctions as well as indigenisation were expected to play a key
role in ZANU-PF’s election campaign ahead of scheduled but now
unlikely-to-be-held-soon elections that SADC insists should be held after a
conducive environment for polls has been created.
A weekend consultative meeting by the party had revealed that there were
serious doubts among party faithful that the empowerment campaign could help
salvage the party’s dwindling support base, with fears emerging that the
campaign could, in fact, alienate the party from its key rural strongholds.
ZANU-PF launched its empowerment campaign at provincial level on Saturday,
regurgitating the same theme it used in the controversial 2008 polls that it
went on to lose to the combined Movement for Democratic Change formations.
Sources said party members told ZANU-PF leaders during the consultations
that the immediate priorities of rural dwellers were access to seed and
fertiliser and that they were unconcerned with rhetoric emanating from the
capital over expropriation of foreign-owned businesses.
Besides, some party members had bluntly expressed their misgivings about the
programme, indicating that they were aware it would only benefit the fat
cats and their cronies. They gave the example of the land reforms as one
such programme that benefited the elite within ZANU-PF.
There were also doubts that the programme would help lift the standard of
living for the ordinary people and meaningfully redress inequalities to
create a fair society.
ZANU-PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, on Tuesday said there was confusion over
the indigenisation issue, hence, the weekend meetings to correct
“We launched the indigenisation policy on Saturday. There was confusion as
people did not know what to do. We are explaining the benefits and how it
can be applied and we will be moving to district level. We can’t say
everyone would benefit, but the majority will benefit,” Gumbo said.
When asked if they were progressing with their anti-sanctions campaign,
Gumbo retorted: “You are asking wild questions.”
Political analyst, Trevor Maisiri, said ZANU-PF’s undoing was its failure to
balance generic indigenisation and broad-based economic empowerment that
would resonate with the rural people, a key vote it cannot afford to lose if
it wants to remain relevant in local politics.
“In that regard, broad-based indigenisation therefore has a faster rate of
return to a broader stakeholder base than generic indigenisation.
“Given that the majority in the rural areas have very proximate and
immediate needs, generic indigenisation will therefore not provide for their
immediate needs as this is restricted to a few individuals and also takes
long to give returns.
“In that regard, the rural masses will view indigenisation as mere rhetoric
without a traceable output that comes into their empty food bowls, which are
currently and seriously empty,” said Maisiri.
He said ZANU-PF’s campaign should have been preceded by “a moral values,
integrity and national vision embedment”.
“This would have created unity, focus, non-tolerance to corruption and a
general ownership of national resources by the people and not by the few
duplicitous elites,” Maisiri said.
Maisiri said ZANU-PF’s anti-sanctions campaign was defective in that it
failed to develop a clear and strategic process on how the eventual petition
would be utilised in lobby against the sanctions.
“It’s one thing to collect signatures through a petition and it’s another
thing to be clearly strategic about the engagement process and the advocacy
mechanism . . . However, on another note, ZANU-PF may gain mileage from the
inferred foreign interference that many have pointed in the case of NATO
(North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) and the Western forces’ involvement in
“If ZANU-PF is strategic enough, the party may project the sanctions as
another extension of this now too-controversial interference in African
affairs by Western powers.
“Ultimately, the issue will all depend on whether ZANU-PF has the
credibility for the whole continent and the world to be listened to,” said

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UK, US relent on Zim ‘blood diamond’ ban

Published on : 22 April 2011 - 2:21pm

Western calls for an international ban on trading in Zimbabwe’s
controversial Chiadzwa diamonds appear to have been silenced, after a
reported agreement on the country’s trade future was met in Dubai last week.

By Alex Bell, SW Radio Africa,Harare

It’s understood that officials in China and India have managed to persuade
the European Union (EU) and the United States to soften their stance on the
export of the diamonds. The Western states had been resisting growing
pressure to allow Zimbabwean exports to resume, amid ongoing human rights
concerns at Chiadzwa, where its feared that at least 20 people are killed a

Kimberley Process
But this resistance has been put to the test, with support for Zimbabwe’s
diamonds steadily growing. Earlier this year, the new Chairman of the
international trade watchdog, the Kimberley Process (KP), unilaterally gave
Zimbabwe the green light to start exports.

The DRC’s Mathieu Yamba is believed to have broken KP protocol by not
consulting other member countries on the decision, causing the EU and other
Western states to immediately call for a boycott of Zimbabwe’s stones.

Yamba has insisted that he will not review his decision until the next KP
plenary session, expected later this year.

Get an agreement
Meanwhile, the KP’s monitoring group for Zimbabwe met in Dubai for a two day
meeting last week, to try and get some kind of agreement on what to do about
the situation. The result has been yet another draft agreement on Zimbabwe’s
trade future, which will set the conditions for international exports, if
the Zim government accepts it. It’s understood that this agreement is the
result of the EU, the UK and the US all relenting on pressure to ban
Zimbabwe from trade.

The new agreement has reportedly been sent to KP Chairman, Yamba, who will
now hand it over to the Zim government for approval. It is not yet clear if
the government will accept this agreement, or what the details of the
agreement are.

Without approval
But it’s widely believed that the agreement is pandering to the Zimbabwean
government, which has threatened to sell its diamonds without approval.
Diamond rights activist, Farai Maguwu, who heads the Mutare based Centre for
Research and Development, told SW Radio Africa on Monday that there has been
a general ‘softening’ towards Zimbabwe. He explained that KP members have
continued to weaken “to allow trade in (Chiadzwa) diamonds.”

“The KP is basically businesses oriented and its aim is to preserve the
diamond industry at all costs. It appears that everyone is getting very
tired about Zimbabwe, and the KP is lowering its standards to try and
appease Zimbabwe,” Maguwu said.

Maguwu said the KP is risking its credibility and risking setting a “very
dangerous precedent,” if Zimbabwe is allowed to export diamonds “while the
situation on the ground is appalling.” He said the KP will have lost all
relevance if it does not take human rights concerns more seriously.

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ZESA presses on with tariff hike

Thursday, 21 April 2011 12:18

Munyaradzi Mugowo, Business Editor

POWER generation and supply utility ZESA Holdings is pressing ahead with a
review of the current tariff structure, officials sources said, indicating
that tariffs could go up before the second half of the year. The State-run
power utility has not increased the price of electricity since February 2009
when the economy dollarised.
Through its transmission and distribution unit, ZESA had proposed to hike
tariffs to US$0,10 per kilowatt-hour this year from US$0,07.53 per unit, but
faced resistance from consumers, industry and government, who dreaded the
cost implications of the decision on households and industry.
The utility runs a special tariff of US$0,05.25 per kilowatt-hour for
business entities that consume at least 11 kilovolts.
In terms of the law, electricity tariff hikes should be a result of an
inclusive process involving broad-based stakeholder consultations. Eighty
percent of ZESA’s electricity is used to power households.
In a recent presentation to ratepayers and investors, the Zimbabwe
Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), a subsidiary of
ZESA, said the present tariff structure was both sub-optimal and repulsive
to potential partners and independent power producers.
“ZETDC is not a charity,” an official with the utility said.
“We’re in business and we need to have a return on our assets. We’re pushing
for a rate of return of 8,51 percent on our assets.” The sources said the
tariff build-up should take into account costs and return on assets.
They further disclosed that the proposed tariff of US$0,10 per kilowatt-hour
was still concessional, marginally below both ZETDC’s break-even tariff rate
of US$0,11 per kilowatt-hour and the regional median of US$0,12.2 per
They explained that average cost of generation was about US$0,04.92 per
kilowatt-hour – US$0,02.39 for Kariba, which accounts for about 50 percent
of local power supply;  US$0.06.04 for Hwange, which accounts for around 27
percent and US$0,14.14 for three small thermals that contribute only seven
percent of the load.
ZESA also imports an additional 36 percent of its total supply at a cost of
US$0,05.2 per kilowatt-hour.
Aggregating the generation costs for all the four composite sources of power
and adding a margin of US$0,02.33 would yield an average tariff rate of
US$0,10.07 per kilowatt-hour, just what ZESA is pressing for.
“We’ve also resuscitated our small thermals and they’re on the expensive
side,” an official said.
However, power from these plants is still without takers because of cost
ZESA had tabled an independent power purchase deal for its bulk power users
through a publicly-circulated invitation of expression of interest, under
which it sought to resuscitate the three coal-fired plants and dedicate
their output to interested users.

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Mudenge Promises Mugabe To Punish MDC Supporters

22/04/2011 13:43:00

Masvingo, April 22, 2011 - Zanu (PF) politburo member and Higher and
Tertiary Education Minister, Stan Mudenge has promised his party leader,
Robert Mugabe to witch hunt people who voted for rival party leader, Morgan
Tsvangirai leader of the lager formation of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) to punish them for turning against the former revolutionary
party in 2008 March elections.

Speaking during Mugabe’s official opening of Zimbabwe Christian Church,
(ZCC) two billion dollars multi-purpose Conference Centre at Mbungo estates
in Masvingo North, Mudenge who is the local MP assured his ageing leader
that party youths would fish out all the people who voted against Zanu (PF)
and deal with them accordingly.

Mudenge blamed the locals for turning against their backs against Zanu (PF)
leading to the embarrassing defeat of their party leader, Mugabe by arch
rival Tsvangirai for the first time in history after the country attained
independence in 1980.

“President I want to tell you that some people in my constituency have
rebelled and they voted against you in 2008. They are now supporting the
puppet party MDC but I want to say that we will fish them out and deal with
them until they come back to us and do things our way,” Mudenge said.

He added that party youths will be vicious to the said culprits to avoid
another embarrassing defeat of the octogenarian leader who turned 87 years
two months ago, when anticipated elections come later this year.

Mudenge boasted that Zanu (PF) youths with the help of military aid from the
partisan Zimbabwe defense forces will crack down on all people suspected of
neglecting Mugabe in 2008 as a lesson to those who wished to do the same
this year.

“We have a very forceful and vigorous youth wing and our members of the
armed forces who will make sure that no one loses direction again like what
happened three years ago. Those who did it will be punished severely by our
active young man and women who know the importance of keeping our leader in
power,” added Mudenge.

Mudenge whose face looked pale, however, pleaded for support from the ZCC
church leader, Nehemiah Mutendi, saying his large followership could save
Mugabe from another embarrassing defeat this year.

“We need your support from all the church members to vote for President
Mugabe so that we will not suffer another defeat as what happened in 2008.
We pledge to help the church as Zanu (PF) in every respect if you guarantee
us with the membership votes, “Mudenge said before a close to 30 000 crowd.

Mugabe who was the guest of owner however later rewarded Mutendi with a farm
to build an agricultural University in Chinhoyi, which was said will boost
the land reform programme by giving training to beneficiaries of the chaotic

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Air Zimbabwe Pilots Return to Work, But Carrier's Future Still Looks Bleak

Sources said the government paid US$2.8 million under an agreement with
pilots and cabin crew to get the state carrier’s planes back in the air.

Gibbs Dube | Washington  21 April 2011

“Zimbabwe needs to work hard to clean the reputation of both the country and
airline,” said Fly Magazine Publisher Guy Leitch

Air Zimbabwe has resumed resumed most flights following intervention this
week by the Harare government to settle financial claims by striking pilots
and cabin crew.

Sources said the government paid US$2.8 million Wednesday under an agreement
with pilots, flight engineers and cabin crew to get the state carrier’s
planes back in the air.

Under the agreement, airline employees agreed to forego some US$4.5 million
in back wages and allowances outstanding from 2007 and 2008.

The government, striking workers and Air Zimbabwe management agreed that the
arrears estimates were based on inflated figures from the country's bout of

Air Zimbabwe General Manager for Europe David Mwenga said the deal has
brought relief to thousands of travelers. “We are happy that travelers will
be able to use Air Zimbabwe during and after the Easter holidays,” Mwenga

Publisher Mark Mansfield of Airnews, which covers African aviation, said
that though the strike has been ended Air Zimbabwe's future is bleak.
“Zimbabwe must realize that it is losing a valuable asset and what is
worrying is that private investors cannot rescue the national airline
because of the current political situation in the country,” he said.

“Zimbabwe needs to work hard to clean the reputation of both the country and
airline,” said Fly Magazine Publisher Guy Leitch, also based in

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20 held in Bulawayo MDC-T clashes

22/04/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

TWENTY MDC-T youths were arrested in Bulawayo as rescheduled elections to
choose a provincial executive turned violent with youths supporting rival
candidates engaging in street battles and smashing cars in the city centre.

Witnesses said fights broke out between dozens of youths backing
chairmanship candidates, Senator Matson Hlalo and State Enterprises
minister, Godern Moyo.
It’s the second time the elections have had to be aborted due to violence.

Moyo was elected chairman at the first time of asking last weekend, but the
rest of the executive could not be filled after clashes broke out between
the rival factions. Hlalo, who was beaten by ten votes, dismissed Moyo’s
election as a farce claiming at least 58 delegates had been barred from

The party’s national executive has allegedly refused his request to nullify
Moyo’s election.

Meanwhile, Friday’s re-arranged polls were meant to elect the rest of the
executive but violence started after delegates from the Mpopoma and
Pelandaba wards were barred from voting because they failed to conduct
district elections.

Police were then called in as fist fights broke out between angry party
youths, some of them pelting each other with stones and smashing cars.
Twenty youths were arrested for public violence.

At least ten people were said to have been injured in the melee which took
place outside the city’s Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions offices where the
elections were supposed to be held.

Hlalo was later quoted as saying the elections would never take place as
long as some wards were barred from voting insisting he would have won the
elections if Mpopoma and Pelandaba delegates had been allowed to vote.

He said party leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai must resolve the
dispute before the MDC-T national congress scheduled.

The party was last week forced to nullify elections Masvingo and Midlands
North after they were also marred by violence.

Analysts have warned that Tsvangirai needs toget a grip on violence in the
party saying these clashes show that the MDC-T could no longer continue to
play innocent and blame political disturbances in the country on its Zanu PF

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Unicef To Donate $20 Each To Vulnerable Zimbabwe Families

22/04/2011 13:02:00

Harare, April 22, 2011 - The United Nations Children Fund (Unicef) in
collaboration with the government of Zimbabwe will donate US$10 million to
poor and vulnerable families.

"Under the cash transfer programme, extremely poor labour constrained
households will receive an average of US$20 a month. The cash payout will
vary slightly from household to household depending on the size of the
family. A pilot programme is already underway in Goromonzi, where about 105
households are receiving payments. This pilot programme is intended to
assist the Government in designing a national Cash Transfer programme for
Zimbabwe by December 2013," Unicef said in a statement.

"Each subsequent year 10 poorest districts will be selected to give a total
of 30 districts by 2013. For 2011 government has made a budgetary provision
of US$4 million complemented by a donor contribution of US$6 million. Donors
supporting the programme are:  UKAid, EU, Sweden and Netherlands."

Unicef said the selection of the districts was based on a poverty assessment
of the districts using data from the Poverty Assessment Study Survey of 2003
and the National Nutrition Survey of 2010. The districts to be covered in
the first year are Makoni, Rushinga, Goromonzi, Kariba, Umguza, Mangwe,
Chivi, Zvishavane, Epworth and a few selected wards in Bulawayo.

"The Social Cash Transfer programme is expected to reduce poverty levels in
poor households and ensure improved access to basic social services such as
education and health. The Social Cash Transfer Programme was introduced by
the Government of Zimbabwe together with the United Nations Children’s Fund
(UNICEF) under the National Action Plan (NAP) for Orphans and Vulnerable
Children (2011-2015)," Unicef said.

"The selection of beneficiaries is done through a census of all households
followed by a poverty assessment of labour constrained households
implemented by an independent agency in consultation with Community Child
Protection Committees. However, because of limited resources the Cash
Transfer programme will be implemented in a phased approach in geographical
targeting. In 2011 the programme will cover the 10 poorest districts in each
of the country’s 10"

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Julius Malema Trial Generates Interest In Zimbabwe

22/04/2011 10:45:00

Harare, April 22, 2011 – He is no Mandela or is he anywhere near hero status
but his every move raises excitement.

Julius Malema’s hate speech trial currently underway in a Johannesburg High
Court has generated interest among Zimbabweans.

He is on trial for singing an anti-apartheid war song “Dubulu Bunu”loosely
transalted to mean “kill the boer.”

Many pubs, hotel lobbies and banking halls here were on Thursday showing the
trial live on South Africa’s 24-hour news channel ETV.

Many mid-morning banking clients could be seen keenly following the
proceedings throwing in a few points of arguments among themselves in
between Malema’s exchanges with the prosecution team.

“He is quite a tough guy, look at how he is tearing apart those guy’s case,”
said one client who was in a queue at the Standard Chartered Bank along
Second Street. “I didn’t know he was quite an intelligent and belligerent
young fellow.”

Another gentleman who was in the same queue simply quipped, “That’s how it
started here in Zimbabwe, it starts like this.”

Other people in the queue who seemed to be enjoying every moment of it and
openly sympathising with Malema made it clear that he was on trial because
he is fighting to change things in South Africa.

Malema has argued that the controversial song does not literally mean 'kill
the boer' as is alleged but it means 'shoot the system'.

Many Zimbabweans remember Malema for his infamous visit to Harare last year
where he endorsed the controversial land reform programme saying “here in
Zimbabwe you are far, in SA we are just starting.”

However on Thursday Malema told the same court that the ANC land proposal
would not be similar to Zimbabwe's which saw almost all the white commercial
farmers driven out during the infamous 2 000 land invasions and resulted in
widespread food shortages up until now.

During his visit last year, Malema made a fiery speech at a netball complex
in Mbare making clear his intentions of pushing for the nationalisation of
farms and mines currently in the hands of white South Africans.

He described President Robert Mugabe as a hero in the mould of former Cuban
leader Fidel Castro and his successor brother Raul, because he was "not
afraid of imperialists".

He however made foes when he lampooned Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, as an ally of "imperialists".

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Protest against Swazi king’s visit to London


From the Zimbabwe Vigil


Protest against Swazi king’s visit to London


MEDIA NOTICE – 21st April 2011


Southern African exiles are to picket the Dorchester Hotel in London next Tuesday 26th April in protest at the visit to London by the Swazi king to attend the Royal Wedding.


King Mswati III – the world’s last remaining absolute ruler – has 13 wives but it is not known how many will be among the entourage of fifty joining him at one of London’s most expensive hotels.


The protest is organized by the Swaziland Vigil which has been demonstrating outside the Swaziland High Commission in London in support of human rights and democracy in the impoverished country.


The Swaziland Vigil co-ordinator Thobile Gwebu said ‘King Mswati is making our country a laughing stock but the brutal action taken against recent anti-government demonstrations shows how bad the situation in Swaziland really is. We would love it if the British government withdrew his invitation to attend the wedding because he is such a bad example to any young couple.’


The Swazi protesters will be supported by members of the Zimbabwe Vigil who are unhappy at King Mswati’s support for fellow tyrant Mugabe. The Zimbabwe Vigil has been campaigning against human rights abuse and for democracy in Zimbabwe outside the Zimbabwe Embassy every Saturday since October 2002. And the protest is also supported by Action for Southern Africa, the successor to the Anti-apartheid Movement. See their press release:


Date:          Tuesday, 26th April 2011 from 6 - 8 pm.

Venue:       Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, London W1K 1QA. The protest will be located at the main entrance to the hotel on the public footway in Deanery Street W1 (The police ask that we do not obstruct the public footway or enter on to property owned by the Dorchester Hotel).


Contact:     Thobile Gwebu / Fungayi Mabhunu 07746 552 597


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