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Another GPA hurdle

By Reagan Mashavave, Staff Writer
Monday, 25 April 2011 13:37

HARARE - Negotiators to the three political parties who signed the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) are disagreeing on the role of the army and
intelligence officers during elections.

However, they agreed on the election road map to be submitted to the unity
government’s principals.

The six negotiators from Zanu PF, and the two MDC formations met in the
capital yesterday as has been planned by the South African facilitators
early this month that the three parties will discuss the election roadmap
that will lead to another round of workshops early next month.

The negotiators last month completed their review of the GPA which they
submitted to the South African facilitators led by Charles Nqakula, an
advisor to President Jacob Zuma.

Zimbabwe’s GPA negotiators are rushing against time to resolve all the
outstanding issues to the unity agreement as the South African Development
Community (Sadc), the guarantors of the unity pact, resolved that the
country must work on resolving outstanding issues.

The Sadc troika on politics, defence and security said the country must stop
violence which has been rampant across the country.

A source who is privy to the negotiations that were held yesterday in the
capital said the three parties agreed on the need for electoral reforms, and
on how people should vote.

“The negotiators are still disagreeing on the role of the uniformed forces
especially the deployment of soldiers and intelligence officers during
elections,” a top government official who requested anonymity said.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party has complained that the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is heavily staffed by intelligence officers
who are loyal to President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.

ZEC for reasons yet to be known delayed the announcement of 2008 harmonised
elections by weeks. Mugabe lost to Tsvangirai in the elections that the MDC
said were tampered with.

Efforts to contact the negotiators were fruitless as their mobile phones
went unanswered.

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Police ban May Day commemoration marches in Zim

by Bhebhe Mandla
2011 April 25 16:59:06

The police in Mutare and Kwekwe have banned planned marches by the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), which are part of May Day commemorations.

There are reports that the police  temporarily banned the marches for
security reasons until further notice.

However police in Bulawayo have not yet responded to ZCTU's request for
permission to hold the May Day marches.

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Mugabe, Tsvangirai Square Off For Elections

25/04/2011 14:09:00

HARARE, April 25, 2011- It is not difficult to tell when elections loom in
Zimbabwe. The populace is treated to an outpouring of vitriol, which is
designed to cow the opposition and bolster President Robert Mugabe’s

President Robert Mugabe, 87, hasn’t actually set the date for an election
yet. But the climate is unmistakable. Just about anybody who can hold a pen
is being required to sign a petition seeking the lifting of Western
sanctions which, we are told, are responsible for the nation’s myriad woes.
Some two million signatures are due to be handed in to the British and
United States embassies, although rampant coercion is likely to be seen in
Western eyes as invalidating the process.

The driver of deputy prime minister and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
official Thokozani Khupe was arrested and detained for suggesting the
exercise was “a waste of time.”Headmasters in rural areas such as Chivhu
have been told to use their schools as signing centers while shop owners
have been told they would lose their licences if they didn’t sign.

But not everybody has been persuaded. One resident of a Harare township said
there was a noticeable lack of enthusiasm where he lives.
“Most people here refused to comply,” he said, reflecting the views of the
country’s youth.Meanwhile, police have refused to allow the MDC to hold
rallies on the outskirts of the capital. Those places were already booked by
Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party, they were told. When asked about the following week
the police said those places had already been booked as well. In fact all
available space was block-booked for the rest of the year.

Harare’s mayor Muchadeyi Masunda said he had records to show there were no
such bookings. But nevertheless the police prevented any MDC rallies from
taking place.They did not have sufficient resources to control crowds was
there new excuse, although the riot police are quick to show their brutal
presence if people do gather.

Meanwhile, the state broadcaster has been abusing its monopoly by carrying
hagiographical accounts of Mugabe’s rule while excluding mention of other
parties. It has also been screening grisly pictures of bodies retrieved from
a mine at Mt. Darwin, 110 miles northeast of Harare, who Zanu-PF claims were
victims of Rhodesian forces in the country’s 1970s bush war. But observers
note that some of the 640 bodies brought up to the surface were still
covered with skin and emitted fluids suggesting a more recent origin.

The MDC says 200 of its followers were killed in the political violence of
2008 but they have been careful not to claim the Mt. Darwin bodies as their
former members in the absence of forensic tests.Dumiso Dabengwa,
intelligence chief of the old opposition Zapu party, has warned if Zanu-PF
continues to make political capital out of the Mt. Darwin exhumations he
will draw attention to the estimated 20,000 victims of Mugabe’s Fifth
Brigade in Matabeleland in the early 1980s.

The pre-election campaign so far hasn’t been all plain sailing so far
Mugabe.Having carefully orchestrated the election of Zanu-PF’s chairman
Simon Khaya Moyo to the speakership of the House of Assembly, Mugabe came
down with a bump when his candidate lost to the MDC’s Lovemore Moyo, the
previous speaker dethroned in a civil suit.

The president was stung by remarks from his regional colleagues denouncing
violence. Southern African leaders in a summit communique from Livingstone
in Zambia on March 31 expressed concern over the political polarization in
Zimbabwe which they said was “characterized by violence, intimidation and
“There must be an immediate end to violence, intimidation, hate speech,
harassment and any other form of action that contradicts the letter and
spirit of the (inter-party) global political agreement (GPA),” the regional
leaders said in unprecedented public remarks.
Usually heads of state are reluctant to criticize each other over such

Zimbabwe’s state press struck back with ferocity, referring to Zuma’s
“His disconcerting behavior has now become a huge liability,” said
Zimbabwe's state-owned Sunday Mail.
This follows shuttle diplomacy by Tsvangirai ahead of the summit in which he
pointed out persistent human rights abuses and departures from the agreement
that created the coalition government.

Communiques from SADC summits are usually dull reading. But the
uncompromising language the Livingstone summit communique, clearly critical
of Mugabe,  represents a significant coup by Tsvangirai. Taken together with
the MDC's victory over the House speakership provides the party with an
important boost when its fortunes were flagging. It now remains to be seen
what use Tsvangirai and the MDC can make of their advantage.

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Another MDC official accused of insulting Mugabe

By Pindai Dube
Monday, 25 April 2011 16:46

HARARE - An MDC official in Matabeleland North province, Oliver Chikumba,
was last week arrested for insulting President Robert Mugabe after he
refused to sign the Zanu PF anti-sanctions petition.

Last month, Witness Dube, the personal driver for MDC vice-president
Thokozani Khupe, was also arrested in Bulawayo for refusing to sign the same
Zanu PF anti-sanctions petition.

Chikumba, the former secretary for information for the main MDC in
Matabeleland North Province, was dragged to Hwange Magistrate’s Court on
charges of insulting Mugabe, after he refused to sign the controversial
petition, which is being forced on the people throughout the country.

According to the State outline, Chikumba was approached by a Mrs Mlonyeni, a
Zanu PF women’s league member, outside TM Hwange Supermarket, who requested
him to sign the Zanu PF anti-sanctions petition.

Chikumba refused to sign the anti-sanctions petition and is alleged to have
told Mlonyeni to bring Mugabe to him first before signing.

The infuriated Mlonyeni, with the help of Darlington Nhova, suspected member
of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), arrested Chikumba and
dragged him to Hwange police station, where he was detained for four days
before being brought to court on Friday.

He is being charged for contravening Section 33 of the Criminal (Procedure
and Codification) Act.

The matter was postponed to April 29.

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The Zimbabwean Consulate Finally Delivers Passports To Zimbabweans in Cape Town

Written by PASSOP
Monday, 25 April 2011 16:26

PASSOP has been informed that the Zimbabwean Consulate will finally be
delivering passports to Zimbabweans who applied for them in Cape Town,
following months of misinformation, which caused much panic amongst Cape
Town based Zimbabwean applicants. We welcome this move, but note with
concern the inconsistency in the Zimbabwean consulate’s public statements.
We also note with concern that there remain applicants for the Zimbabweans
Dispensation Project who still need to apply for passports, who have not
been given any opportunity to do so in Cape Town.
We will monitor the process to ensure that they are held to account, it is
important that human rights are respected during the distribution process
and that no more assaults or political interference occurs. Consulate
officials will be distributing passports in Cape Town from the South African
Department of Home Affairs office in Boston Centre, Bellville between 28 and
30 April 2011.
Applicants will be required to bring their passport application receipt for
R750.00 and a Zimbabwean ID/ expired/valid passport. Please note parents and
guardians collecting for children below 16 years will be required to bring
their child’s birth certificate and parents Zimbabwean ID.
For comment from PASSOP please contact: Langton Miriyoga – 084 026 9658 or
Braam Hanekom – 0843191764

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Tourism boosting Zimbabwe's weak economy : minister

Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:27pm GMT

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's tourism industry earned about 13 percent of
the impoverished state's gross domestic product in 2010 and should grow an
average 6.9 percent annually over the next decade, a minister said on

Zimbabwe, isolated and shunned by the West for suspected human rights abuses
under President Robert Mugabe, has made steady gains in tourism ever since a
unity government formed in 2009 brought a measure of stability.

"I have set a ... $5 billion revenue target, 5 million arrivals by 2015,
with the current peace and stability prevailing in our country and our
ability to spin a more positive image of ourselves as preconditions,"
Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Walter Mzembi wrote in the government
controlled Herald newspaper.

Tourism earnings jumped 47 percent last year to $770 million while the
number of visitors rose 15 percent to 2.3 million, the Zimbabwe Tourism
Authority told Reuters separately.

Tourism collapsed after Mugabe began a forcible take-over of white-owned
farms about a decade ago. Political violence and an economic meltdown kept
tourists away from the country's nature preserves and its gateway to the
Victoria Falls.

Zimbabwe's economy expanded for the first time in 2009 under the unity
government led by Mugabe and rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who
leads the Movement for Democratic Change.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti, an MDC member, told Reuters in January he
expects the economy to grow by about 8-15 percent in 2011 with agriculture,
mining and tourism seen as key industries. He estimated GDP at $6 billion.

Mugabe is pressing for an election this year, before agreed democratic
reforms are complete, a move that Biti says could lead to a bloodbath and
renewed economic collapse.

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Zanu PF not paying municipal bills - Mayor Masunda

By Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Monday, 25 April 2011 16:49

HARARE - Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda has claimed that the city council is
losing revenue at properties which have either been used or occupied by Zanu
PF supporters whom he accuses of refusing to pay the municipality.

Masunda said Zanu PF is using Carter House in Mbare without paying council
its dues.

The Harare mayor told the Daily News that Carter House is council property
reserved for travellers either in transit or stranded.

Carter House as far as I know about it, is a transit place and no one should
own that building because it is supposed to serve as a hotel to people who
would have failed to proceed to where they should, said Masunda.

He also bemoaned the non compliance with their by laws which could have seen
Zanu PF paying for the holding of the anti-sanctions rally near the
Magistrates Court.

They were supposed to have paid at least US$1000 for the anti-sanction
campaign but up to this day they have not paid anything to the city.

If Joyce Meyer paid almost US$4500 for her church service why should they
not pay? The City of Harare is home to all political parties and no-one has
monopoly to control of any resource within the city, said Masunda.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo could neither deny nor confirm the
allegations but referred all questions regarding payments to the party’s
finance department.

Masunda, warned political parties that have a tendency of using unhealthy
designations for holding rallies saying most of them are held without police

We discourage the use of open space for political gathering because most of
these places do not have ablution facilities and they are very difficult to
manage hence we charge high prices but some political movements tend to use
them and do not pay anything to council, said Masunda.

The City of Harare is home to legitimate stakeholders and we want to treat
all of them as equal partners to the development of the city.

We don’t allow block booking to anyone because we are here to serve everyone
including Zanu PF, the two MDC formations and even other political parties
that want to use our properties can approach either the city valuation
department or the department of housing, said Masunda.

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Bulawayo's Only HIV-AIDS Nursing Home Faces Closure

25/04/2011 17:32:00

BULAWAYO, April 25, 2011- Thembelihle Nursing Home in Mpopoma high density
suburb of Bulawayo's only HIV/Aids nursing home, run by the Grace Mugabe,
faces closure after allegedly running out of funds.

The Nursing Home is designed to provide terminally ill HIV/Aids patients
with enough food to regain their strength. It was opened in October 2006 and
was adopted by Grace.The Nursing home chairperson Ellen Nzimande, confirmed
that the home is facing closure, due to a shortage of drugs and medical
supplies, rising cost of food and the growing poverty of Zimbabwean
citizens, which are making it a lot harder for them to run it properly.

She said “most of the donors pulled out in February this year and since
then, we have been depending on some well-wishers, especially churches.”

Grace has not been seen in public for more than a month now and is believed
to be in China. There are conflicting reports about her with some reports
saying she is pursuing studies at a Chinese university and some saying she
is seeking medical attention and some saying she has ran away from his

Zimbabwe used to have one of the highest number of people infected with
HIV/Aids in the world, but the figures decreased recently. The level of
infections has changed dropped dramatically primarily due to change in
sexual behaviour because of improved public awareness of Aids deaths and a
subsequent fear of contracting the virus. Other important drivers have been
the influence of education programmes that have shifted people’s attitudes
towards having multiple concurrent sexual partners in extra-marital,
commercial and casual relations and have increased the acceptability of
using condoms for casual sex.

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First-Quarter Gold Output Fell 19%, Herald Reports

By Brian Latham - Apr 25, 2011 6:30 PM GMT+1000

Zimbabwe’s first-quarter gold production in fell 19 percent compared with
the last quarter of 2010, the state-controlled Herald reported, citing
Chamber of Mines President Victor Gapare.

High-carbon ferrochrome production slumped 18 percent and platinum
production fell two percent, the Harare-based newspaper said on its website.
Nickel production rose almost four percent, the Herald said.

The newspaper didn’t provide the volumes of minerals produced for the

Zimbabwe has the world’s second-biggest platinum deposits after South
Africa. The country mines mainly platinum, ferrochrome, gold, coal, diamonds
and nickel.

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MLF To Discipline Mkandla Over Flag Burning Comments

25/04/2011 17:31:00

JOHANNESBURG, April 25, 2011- The secessionist and radical Mthwakazi
Liberation Front (MLF) has summoned its national organising secretary Max
Mkandla to appear before the organisation’s disciplinary committee following
his controversial comments condemning the burning of the Zimbabwean flag by
South Africa based members last week.

MLF spokesman David Magagula told Radio Vop that Mkandla will be required to
explain his actions when he appears before the disciplinary committee.

“ We have sent him a letter advising him to appear before the disciplinary
committee and explain why he decided to attack the organisation in the media
instead of following proper channels, ” Magagula told Radio Vop.

According to Magagula, Mkandla should be organising people in his area to
identify and burn Zimbabwean flags they will come across in
Matabeleland.Last week Mkandla condemned the burning of the Zimbabwean flag
in Johannesburg.Mkandla who is a former Zipra cadre described those who
burnt the flag as criminals.

But MLF leaders in Johannesburg have supported the actions of the youths who
organised the march and burning of the flag describing it as a symbol of
oppression against ethnic minorities in Matabeleland province. MLF has also
announced that its leader and former Zipra guerrilla officer Fidelis Ncube
who is affectionately known as  General Nandinandi will address supporters
in Johannesburg on Saturday.The organisation has been under pressure from
supporters to force Ncube to address people in Johannesburg.Ncube is based
in Gaborone, Botswana.

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Royal couple face rogue's gallery of despots in Abbey's front row

By Jonathan Brown

Monday, 25 April 2011

Sitting in the front rows, well ahead of the pop stars, sporting heroes and
celebrities, will be figureheads from some of the world's most controversial
regimes. While Colonel Gaddafi's representative has been officially
uninvited (but only after the attacks began on citizens in Libya),
diplomatic niceties dictate that the representatives of other unsavoury
members of the London diplomatic corps, including those of North Korea and
Iran, will be welcome.

Despite Zimbabwe having withdrawn from the Commonwealth in 2003 and Robert
Mugabe being subject to a travel ban and sanctions, Zimbabwe's ambassador to
London, Gabriel Machinga, remains on the guest list because the two
countries retain "normal" relations. St James's Palace said that all heads
of mission in London have been invited as a matter of course. Diplomats and
heads of state are invited by the Queen rather than the royal couple, the
Palace said. A recent report for the US Congress found that, while
state-sponsored abuses were at a lower level than in 2008, Zimbabwe security
forces continue to beat and torture opponents of Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF.

The presence of Prince Mohamed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia and
Princess Fadwa bint Khalid bin Abdullah bin Abdulrahman is also likely to
draw protests. Bahraini human rights protesters are staging weekly demos
outside the Saudi embassy in London against the country's deployment of
troops to help quash the democracy protests there. Last month Amnesty
International highlighted the case of Mohammad Salih al-Bajadi, a
30-year-old Saudi businessman who co-founded a human rights organisation,
who was arrested and held incommunicado after attending a protest.

A little further along the pew will sit King Mswati III of Swaziland. It is
nearly four decades since political parties and trade unions were banned;
three days of planned protest to mark the occasion were called off earlier
this month after most of the leadership of the opposition was arrested by
the security forces and a curfew declared.

There has already been anger in his own country, where more than a quarter
of adults have HIV/Aids – the highest prevalence in the world – over the
absolute monarch's inclusion on the wedding guest list in London. The king,
who has an estimated fortune of $100m, is no stranger to weddings: he has
been married 13 times and stages an annual dance where he can choose afresh
from hundreds of bare-breasted virgins. Seventy per cent of his subjects
continue to live in absolute poverty, enjoying fewer rights than neighbours
in Zimbabwe, and six out of 10 deaths result from Aids.

Who's in and who's out

Neither Tony Blair nor Gordon Brown has been invited to the Royal Wedding.
While Prince William and Kate Middleton have sent invitations to an array of
politicians, war veterans, sports stars, musicians, and charity heads, the
names of the two former Labour prime ministers are missing from the guest

Even the landlord of Miss Middleton's local pub will have a seat in
Westminster Abbey on Friday. John Haley, who runs the Old Boot Inn in
Bucklebury, the Berkshire village where the Middleton family lives, said he
was privileged to receive one of 1,900 invitations.

It is thought that Mr Blair and Mr Brown were not invited because they are
not Knights of the Garter, members of the most senior British order of
chivalry. The former Tory prime minister Sir John Major does hold the title,
suggesting that he will make an appearance at the event. At the wedding of
Prince Charles and Diana Spencer in 1981, all surviving prime ministers –
Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Home, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath and James
Callaghan – were in attendance.

The 200 invited politicians and diplomats include David Cameron, his deputy
Nick Clegg, the Labour leader Ed Miliband and the Commons Speaker John

Foreign royalty invited include the Sultan of Brunei, the King and Queen of
Norway and King Constantine, the former sovereign of Greece, and his wife
Queen Anne-Marie. Celebrity guests will include David and Victoria Beckham,
Sir Elton John, Guy Ritchie and the socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson.

Louise Wells

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Maybe together we women can make a difference…

April 25th, 2011

Living in Zimbabwe as a woman I feel completely disempowered to do anything
about the political situation and the effects it has on me and my family.
The inclusive government, from what I can gather by the limited information
I can access, is not delivering what it said it would after the horrors of

I understand that Zanu PF and the MDC are not working together in a manner
to improve the political situation, alas from what I hear, it is beginning
to get worse as talk of another election starts. Rumours of violence and
political campaigning are gripping my community.

The decision makers are mostly men and the entrenched patriarchal system and
cultural norms makes it ever more difficult for women to participate at any
decision making level.  In 2008 there were 210 seats and only 30 (14.29%)
were taken up by women.

Although at the grass roots level, women are active in mobilizing the
electorate to vote in large numbers, their passion and activism is not
reflected in positions of power despite making up 50% of the population.

Our political system in Zimbabwe would unquestionably benefit from an
increased presence of women. However there are not many women who would
voluntarily go into politics in its current state because it is just too
difficult and they would rather use their talents to another way.

When I look at my own life, I ache to make a difference in my community, but
that decision comes with risks. I know of many people who have become
politically conscience have been met with violence, isolation or worse,
several have been arrested at some point and even tortured.

And the time it would take to participate in civic or political activities
would take me away from my children. Without adequate alternatives for child
care, I am shackled from participation before I even begin. I have not
however fully investigated my friends’ thoughts on this issue, perhaps if
enough of us wanted to become involved in our own futures we could take
turns with childcare – I don’t know?

Women and children have been the hardest hit sector from the political and
economic crisis our country has endured. We are responsible for ensuring our
children are fed, extended family members are safe and have often been the
targets for political oppression through rape and abuse. Our sexual organs
have become battle grounds. Yet we have almost no voice. When our men are
targets for abuse, they with relative ease flee their homes, and if needed
the country with the clothes on their backs. We cannot do that with

One woman in my area did become publically involved and became chastised and
humiliated because she dared to criticise and speak her mind in an arena
regarded as a male space. I don’t want that to happen to me.

I have heard of groups like WOZA with its brave members making statements
against wrongs in government, but I also hear that they are frequently
arrested and beaten. Am I brave enough to go through that, and do I believe
it will really make a difference? Perhaps on my own, no. But if enough of us
band together our voices will be strong, loud and important.

Surely we should have a voice, and stand shoulder to shoulder with our men
and not in their shadow?

I hope we can begin to tackle some of these fears and discriminations as I
am tired of having my world decided and created by others who do not
understand, nor try to understand my needs and fears. We should begin to
build strategic coalitions with our men in politics and find common ground
on which to build on. We need a critical mass so we can no longer be
dismissed or ignored.

And we must not assume that all men in political positions are gender
insensitive. Can we try to identify those who have an open door policy and
perhaps learn from them how to best put our ideas across without alienating
other men?

But numbers alone are not enough. We must educate ourselves so that when
given the opportunity to speak we can participate for the benefit of the
women we speak with or on behalf of.

Let’s make a difference, take out futures into our own hands and work
together with all to bring our beautiful country into a new dispensation of
tolerance, peace and growth.

This entry was posted by SA on Monday, April 25th, 2011 at 6:49 am.

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