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Zimbabwe may force miners to fund development: paper

Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:49am GMT

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe is considering legislation to force miners to
fund development in local communities, the state-owned Herald newspaper said
on Tuesday, citing Ministry of Mines and Mining Development officials.

Mining companies would be compelled to pay for development in communities in
the mineral-rich nation where they are based under proposed amendments to
the Mines and Minerals Act.

They would also need permission from local community leaders before starting

"We know that we need the amended Act but it had to go through processes
which could not be avoided," Thankful Musukutwa, permanent secretary in the
Ministry of Mines, was quoted as saying.

Foreign mining companies are already facing a May 9 deadline to submit plans
on how they will transfer 51 percent of their local equity to blacks in the
southern African country.

Foreign players in Zimbabwe include Rio Tinto and Impala Platinum.

President Robert Mugabe is looking to raise funds as he pushes for elections
this year aimed at defeating his unity government partner and rival, the
Movement for Democratic Change.

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Mugabe makes fifth trip to Singapore

26/04/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has made his fifth trip to Singapore in four months,
media reports said.

Mugabe, 87, flew out of Harare on Friday last week “to collect his ailing
wife”, Grace, the Standard newspaper reported on Sunday.

The paper said Mugabe would return on Wednesday, before making another
foreign trip to Rome, Italy, for Friday’s Food and Agriculture Organisation

Grace Mugabe has not been seen in public since April 7 when she and the
President flew out of Harare. A striking Air Zimbabwe flight crew was
ordered back to work for the trip which the airline said was “national duty”.

Presidential spokesman George Charamba has refused to comment on the First
Lady’s absence amid conflicting newspaper claims about the real reasons for
her Asian trip.

Initial reports said she had fallen in the bathroom of the couple’s
Borrowdale mansion and dislocated a hip, but the privately-owned Daily News
has since reported she is in fact on a degree study programme with an
unidentified Chinese university.

Mugabe went to Singapore in January as part of his annual holiday. He
returned there in February, Charamba telling reporters at the time that it
was to correct a problem with eye surgery he underwent during his holiday.

He was back in Singapore in March, Charamba said, for a review on his
cataract operation. He returned spotting a new pair of glasses.

Mugabe married Grace in 1996 following the death of his first wife, Sally,
in 1992. The couple have three children together – Bona, Robert Jnr and

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‘Jittery’ police bar May Day marches

By Alex Bell
26 April 2011

The police have moved to block the annual May Day marches organised by the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), which the union federation says is
a sign that the security forces are ‘jittery’.

Three marches, organised to take place along with numerous others
countrywide over the weekend, have been banned, with the police apparently
citing ‘security concerns’. The ZCTU said that their applications to have
the processions in Kwekwe, Mutare and Bulawayo have all been turned down,
despite the May Day celebrations being peaceful annual events.

The ZCTU’s Japhet Moyo told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that there is “no
good reason to ban these processions.” He explained that the union’s legal
team has already been instructed to seek a High Court order to force the
police to allow the marches.

But Moyo said that even a legal order will do little if the police have
already decided to stop the marches, saying: “We are living in a police

“The police have indicated that they will not follow judgements and they
have disregarded the High Court before. We will not be surprised if the
police stop us even if we have a court order because they have taken the law
into their own hands,” Moyo said.

The police have been clamping down on public activity in recent months, and
earlier this year said that MDC marches were banned over ‘security concerns’.
Although this ban was eventually lifted, the police have gone out of their
way to make public gatherings almost impossible.

An MDC Peace rally was postponed numerous times in March, when the
Highfields stadium was allegedly ‘booked’ for the entire year by ZANU PF.
That rally was also not allowed to go ahead at Glamis Arena because a ZANU
PF function was taking place near by.

The ZCTU’s Moyo said this attempt to block the May Day marches is a clear
sign that “the security forces are jittery,” because of recent civil
uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East.

“They are worried that any public gathering will turn into something more
serious. They see enemies everywhere,” Moyo said.

The May Day celebrations are being held under the theme ‘Respect our Rights;
Save our Economy Protect our Jobs’. The main commemorations will be held at
Gwanzura stadium on May the 1st, but other processions and events are set to
be held countrywide.

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ZEC composition stalls election roadmap

Written by Munyaradzi Dube
Tuesday, 26 April 2011 13:52

HARARE - The political road map that is the pre-condition for a free and
fair elections has been stalled by differences on the composition of the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) which the MDC say is composed mainly of
state security agents.
A copy of the roadmap indicates that both the two MDC formations would like
the a new recruitment drive for ZEC in order to weed out state spy agents.
Top MDC leadership including party President Morgan Tsvangirai have
indicated that ZEC the body that presides over elections  is infested with
members of the despised secret service , but Zanu PF which has a deep rooted
relationship with the spy agency says that they should be no changes as that
would comprise the commission.
Apart from calling for a new recruitment drive the two MDC formations are
insisting that the country involves SADC observers six months before
elections and also after in order to ensure that the elections will be free
and fair. Also the two formations would like to see the much talked about
security reforms which would entail that state security institutions such as
the police and the army issue a public statement to the effect that they
will respect the laws of the country and will also respect the outcome of
the elections.
Civil organisations in the country and the two MDC formations have always
argued that the police and the army are actively propping up Zanu PF. On
several occasions the feared army has been deployed around the country to
instil fear into villagers.
But Zanu PF denies that the army is active in politics despite the fact that
service chiefs have publicly declared that they support the former ruling

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Sadc wants more action

By Stanley Gama, Assistant Editor
Tuesday, 26 April 2011 12:23

HARARE - Although Sadc is pleased with some recent developments in
Zimbabwe's Global Political Agreement (GPA) negotiations, particularly since
last month's troika crisis meeting in Zambia, it says much more still needs
to be done before the region can relax.

Speaking to the Daily News last night, a regional diplomat close to the
negotiations said Sadc had taken note of the “positive news” that Zimbabwean
negotiators had agreed on an election roadmap that would, in effect, push
the ballot that President Robert Mugabe wants to force through this year,
well into next year.

“If it is true that the tripartite negotiations have made the progress that
we are hearing about, then that is positive news. But I want to make it very
clear that this on its own (latest developments) is not sufficient for Sadc
to think all is now hunky dory.

“The situation in Zimbabwe remains tense and much, much more remains to be
done. Among other things, there are still random arrests of citizens and
violence is still a hallmark of the political terrain. So in that light the
region remains vigilant and our basic premise is that the crisis is far from
over,” he said.

Negotiators have apparently agreed on the steps needed to complete the
constitution-making process, as well as the amendment of electoral laws –
both moves critical before a credible election can be held.

A report produced to this effect by the negotiators would be submitted to
the three GPA principals, as well as to the South African facilitation team
this week.

The completion of part of the election roadmap-markers comes ahead of an
extraordinary Sadc Summit that is to be held in Namibia on May 20 - where
developments in Zimbabwe will once again be at the centre of the agenda.

The regional summit will be preceded by a meeting of the negotiators,
convened by the SA facilitators, to be held in South Africa on May 6 and 7.

The SA facilitation team is also expected to jet into Harare soon after Sadc’s
extraordinary summit - possibly later that day — to follow up on all the
outstanding issues.

Meanwhile, analyst Shepherd Mntungwa said yesterday that Mugabe’s plans to
cling to power through violent early elections had “now truly been
scuppered,” following the agreement by negotiators to an election roadmap.

“It is obvious that this agreement will push the ballot well into next year.
It also further demonstrates that Sadc’s pressure on Mugabe is working, and
he is now isolated,” he said.

Edwin Mushoriwa, one of the MDC’s negotiators was also quoted yesterday
saying that it was now “practically impossible” to hold elections this year.

Another source told the Daily News yesterday that the country’s top army and
security officials were stalling further progress in the GPA negotiations by
instructing Zanu PF negotiators to refuse to give in on the issue of the
transfer of power in the event that Mugabe was defeated again in an open and
free election.

The source said, although Zanu PF and the two MDC formations now broadly
agreed on the elections roadmap, there were still major differences on seven
issues — including on the reform of the security sector, amendments to
draconian laws such as Posa and Aippa, the removal of the army from
communities and reforms at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

The MDCs are also apparently demanding a written commitment from Zanu PF and
the military that they would not engage in violence during an election, or
if Mugabe lost a ballot. Zanu PF had refused to give this written guarantee.

“Despite the excitement around a few of the things agreed to date, the
negotiators remain deadlocked on seven issues which are the main factors in
any progress in the GPA and I think only President Jacob Zuma, the
facilitator, has the capacity to unlock this.

“The point is that while Zanu PF negotiators agree that there have to be
some reforms, the problem is that they are getting pressure from the
securocrats who still wield too much power and want to retain this power
going forward.

“There is need to solve the pre-emptive coups before elections, in which,
the army generals have previously announced that they will not recognise a
leader who did not participate in the liberation struggle. As you know, we
are in the GPA because of the difficulties related to the transfer of power
which we experienced after the 2008 elections,” the local insider said.

Human Rights researcher, Pedzisai Ruhanya said if the issues of security
sector reforms were not addressed, then negotiators and the facilitators
were wasting their time.

“These are the issues that are blocking Zimbabwe from becoming a democratic
state. If the issues are not resolved the next election will be a sham
because it will be a repeat of the 2008 fiasco.

“If these issues are not resolved now, they will perpetuate the crisis. We
will remain a country with a perpetual crisis of governance. Zanu PF as a
party is non-existent without the security apparatus,” he said.

University of Zimbabwe political scientist, John Makumbe said: “There are 24
outstanding issues that the three parties have to agree on. But we need to
have security sector reform, land audit, electoral act amendments and
appoints of the provincial governors, among other issues that Zanu PF do not
want to see being fully implemented."

“Sadc have to rein in Zanu PF because it is the one that is resisting the
full implementation of the GPA. There is likelihood that these outstanding
issues may not be fully agreed on."

“We don’t know what will happen in Namibia next month when Sadc is going to
meet and review the situation in Zimbabwe; we hope they will rein in on
Mugabe and force him to comply with the GPA.

“We have the issue of multiple farm ownership, and every senior Zanu PF
member is a multiple farm owner and they are not willing to discuss it. In
the security sector reforms, we can see that these generals don’t want to
co-operate with the MDC and it is another problem, these are the issues that
need to be sorted out and the onus now lies with Sadc leaders to help the
three signatories to the GPA to agree, but it is going to be very
 difficult,” said Makumbe.

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Rights abuses continue - US

By Oscar Nkala
Tuesday, 26 April 2011 17:53

BULAWAYO - The United States of America says security forces, police and
Zanu PF-dominated elements of the government have continued to commit
serious human rights abuses due to the party’s dominant control.

The US also says political processes have effectively negated the citizens’
right to change their own government.

In a briefing accompanying the State Department Bureau of Democracy and
Human Rights 2010 Report released on April 8, the State Department noted
that despite the inauguration of a unity government between MDC mainstream
leader Morgan Tsvangirai, the Welshman Ncube-led MDC faction and President
Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF which lost the 2008 elections, the Zanu PF faction
has continued to use its over-bearing influence and paramilitary forces to
intimidate and commit human rights abuses against members and supporters of
other political parties.

“Security forces, police, and Zanu-PF-dominated elements of the government
continued to commit numerous, serious human rights abuses.

“Zanu-PF’s dominant control and manipulation of the political process
through trumped-up charges, arbitrary arrests, intimidation, and corruption
effectively negated the right of citizens to change their government.

“There were no politically motivated killings by government agents during
the year; however, security forces continued to torture, beat, and abuse
non-Zanu-PF political activists and party members, student leaders, and
civil society activists with impunity,” the report reads in part.

The report said projections of an early election in 2011 have already led to
a serious escalation in the harassment and intimidation of rights activists.
“Security forces, which regularly acted with impunity, arbitrarily arrested
and detained political activists not associated with Zanu-PF, members of
civil society, labour leaders, journalists, demonstrators, and religious
leaders; lengthy pretrial detention was a problem.

“Executive influence and interference in the judiciary continued, and the
government infringed on citizens’ privacy rights. The government continued
to use repressive laws to suppress freedom of speech, Press, assembly,
association, and movement,” reads part of the summary report.

The report also accused the Zimbabwean government of restricting academic
freedom with the arrest of high-ranking government officials and the making
of numerous public threats of violence against demonstrators and political
activists who are not associated with Zanu-PF.

“Farm invasions continued, and the government impeded non-governmental
organisations’ (NGO) efforts to assist those displaced, as well as other
vulnerable populations, albeit to a lesser degree than in 2009. Government
corruption remained widespread.

“The following human rights violations also continued: government
restrictions on domestic and international human rights NGOs; violence and
discrimination against women; trafficking of women and children;
discrimination against persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, the
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans-gender (LGBT) community, and persons with
HIV/Aids; harassment and interference with labour organisations critical of
government policies; child labour; and forced labour, including by
 children,” the State Department said.

The report covers many categories of liberties which include Press freedom,
respect of personal integrity including freedom from arbitrary and unlawful
deprivation of life, disappearance, torture among several personal freedoms

The report said the US government is convinced that the Zanu PF clique in
government is not committed to democratic reforms, noting the arrest,
beatings, torture and continuing arrests of political dissenters.

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SADC NGOs call for end of human right violations in Zimbabwe and Swaziland

Written by MISA
Tuesday, 26 April 2011 15:15

A representative of SADC non-governmental organizations and human rights
defenders meeting in The Gambia has urged the Forum on the Participation of
NGOs in the 49th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and
People’s Rights (ACHPR) to adopt resolutions on Zimbabwe and Swaziland
calling for an end to impunity and the culture of human rights violations in
the two countries.
In a statement on the human rights situation in southern Africa during the
Forum of NGOs underway in Banjul, The Gambia,  Corlette Letlojane of Human
Rights Institute of Southern Africa (HURISA), said the ACHPR Special
Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Special Rapportuer on Freedom
Expression and  Access to Information, and the Special Rapporteur on
Torture, should be called upon to investigate cases of  torture, and
violations of freedom of expression in Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
Letlojane blamed difficulties in accessing justice and enforcement of
judgments in Zimbabwe on the breakdown of rule of law and continuous
violations of human rights. She cited the non- enforcement of the SADC
Tribunal’s landmark decision against the Zimbabwean government following an
appeal to the regional body by white commercial farmers against the country’s
controversial land reforms.
She also highlighted how draconian pieces of legislation continue to shrink
the democratic space impinging on the citizens’ right to freedom of
expression, assembly and association. The recent arbitrary arrests and
detention of Abel Chikomo, Director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum,
Macdonald Lewanika, the Co-ordinator of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition,
Munyaradzi Gwisai and 45 others from International Socialist Organization,
were cited as examples of such violations.

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Magistrates in new walk-out

26/04/2011 00:00:00
    by Lindie Whiz

MAGISTRATES staged a new walk-out on Tuesday after turning up at their banks
to find promised pay increments had not been effected.

Magistrates went on a three-day strike on April 4 to press for improved pay,
only ending their industrial action after securing undertakings by the
government that adjustments would be made at their next pay day which was

Douglas Vakai Chikwekwe, president of the Magistrates’ Association of
Zimbabwe, insisted late Tuesday that the new strike action was a “small

“The stalemate is being worked on and we hope it will be overcome by
Wednesday at the latest,” he said, without explaining the nature of the
At the Bulawayo Magistrates’ Courts, prosecutors were giving suspects next
remand dates.

A strike by magistrates earlier this month paralysed an already creaky
justice delivery system.

Although judges continue to work at the High and Supreme Courts, the
majority of cases are heard at the lower magisterial courts.

Magistrates earn between US$206 and US$300 monthly. They are demanding a
minimum salary of US$600 for trainees, US$1,000 for junior magistrates,
US$1,500 for senior magistrates, US$2,000 for senior provincial magistrates,
and US$2,500 for regional magistrates.

Senior regional magistrates and the deputy chief magistrate want US$3,000
while the chief magistrate's salary should be US$3,300, according to the

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PM Tsvangirai Moves to Mend Party Divisions Ahead of Congress

Foreign-based provinces of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai expressed anger because they were excluded
from nominations for national party posts

Studio 7 Staff | Bulawayo/Washington  25 April 2011

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday moved to mend division
in his Movement for Democratic Change formation Bulawayo which had sparked
violence in the approach to the party's national congress opening in that
city later this week.

Mr. Tsvangirai met with the warring factions of Senator Matson Hlalo and
Parastatals Minister Gorden Moyo and ordered a truce. Supporters of the two
politicians battled in the streets of Bulawayo late last week following
Moyo's disputed to the position of party provincial chairman for Bulawayo.
Hlalo refused to concede, alleging voting abuses.

Elections for other provincial posts were called off due to the violence,
which threatened to undermine the personal prestige of Mr. Tsvangirai.
Before being named a minister, Moyo was a senior aide to Mr. Tsvangirai as a
minister of state in his office.

Mr. Tsvangirai on Monday ordered Hlalo's camp to respect Moyo's victory,
adding that those perpetrating violence would be expelled from the party.

He said elections for other party posts would be held Tuesday.

Tsvangirai said the election of two other Bulawayo executive members,
Provincial Secretary Reggie Moyo and Deputy Chairperson Dorcas Sibanda will
also stand.

Hlalo told VOA that his camp will adhere to Tsvangirai's instructions.

Sources in the party said some activists feel Moyo, a relatively new member,
does not deserve to be granted the chairmanship ahead of long-serving
members like Hlalo. But party members loyal to Moyo said he is more
qualified for the job.

They also accused Hlalo of retaining violent tendencies from his days as a
member of the former ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe

Addressing reporters after the party peace talks in Bulawayo, MDC spokesman
Nelson said Tsvangirai’s intervention marks an end to violence and confusion
in the party.

Meanwhile, foreign-based provinces of the Tsvangirai MDC formation were
voicing anger because they were left out of the nominations for national

The party constitution says the three external assemblies in South Africa,
Britain and the United States are allowed to make nominations. External
assembly members say that as they contribute heavily to the party's coffers
they should not be denied a say.

Political analyst Walter Nsununguli Mbongolwane said the exclusion of the
MDC external provinces is likely to lead to further tension within the

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MDC-T Congress, Succession Battle Under The Spotlight

26/04/2011 14:20:00    Radio VOP

Harare - The democracy ball is rolling within the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC-T) party led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as the party is
set for a congress this weekend to elect a new leadership.

Some political commentators and critics see the congress as key because
those who shall get key positions of party Secretary General and National
Organiser are seen as the most likely candidates to take over from incumbent
party President when his term eventually comes to an end. If elected at this
congress, which is most likely, Tsvangirai will be serving his third term as
party leader and probably his last.

A lot of canvassing for votes has been going on in recent weeks. Some of the
political shenanigans have threatened to tear the party through its seams.
The stakes are so high that even the post of secretary general, currently
being held by Harare east Member of Parliament and Finance Minister Tendai
Biti, is being hotly pursued by Public Service Minister Professor Eliphas
Mukonoweshuro and Gutu South Member of Parliament.

The political trickery which has seen violence occurring during the
provincial elections has prompted Tsvangirai to tour the country's provinces
to quell the high tempers in the party as potential candidates jostle for

An interesting aspect of the weekend congress is that many of the current
executive members are likely to return from the congress as ordinary
members. Elias Mudzuri who holds the current position of National Organiser
and Chairman Lovemore Moyo are at risk the most. Mudzuri faces a formidable
challenge from the hugely popular Nelson Chamisa for the post of National
Organiser while Moyo is being challenged by Lucia Matibenga.

With Tsvangirai almost sure to return to the party’s top position together
with Biti as Secretary General and Chamisa as National Organising Secretary,
political observers are keen to find out how the post congress political
power dynamics within the MDC will work. This follows widespread speculation
that both Chamisa and Biti are eyeing to take over the party's top
leadership once Tsvangirai leaves.

Chamisa (33) who has youth on his side is viewed by political observers as
having a charismatic character, hugely popular among ordinary MDC supporters
and the media. He is seen in some circles as second in popularity ratings
within the rank and file of the party after Tsvangirai. He is also believed
to be quite close to Tsvangirai than Biti. He is also credited for the
critical role that he has played in steering the majority of Zimbabweans
onto the technology platform through internet access on mobile phones as
Minister of Information and Technology.

On the other hand, Biti who will be turning 45 years old this August and is
Minister of Finance is credited for bringing back the lives of Zimbabweans
back to normal with his economic policies since the formation of the
Government of National Unity (GNU) in 2009. He is also liked by many for
standing up to Mugabe and Zanu PF’s excesses. However his undoing seems to
be what his critics term as aloofness because he lacks grip with the
ordinary masses. His approach to politics is seen as elitist.

It is with this background that political relations within the MDC will be
tested to the fullest after the congress when the battle for succession is
likely to be more pronounced.

But analysts believe “the MDC congress is for sale” and the highest bidder
will win.

“Battle lines have already been drawn and its going to be a battle for
money, those who can buy votes will win this election,” a Harare based
political commentator who is involved in MDC politics said.

Mudzuri has already accused Chamisa of using his media muscle to de-campaign

Others have sought to use social network sites to win themselves supporters.

As they say a day is a long time in politics, curiosity is high to discover
what happens between now and election day.

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MDC disowns 6 councillors

By Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 26 April 2011 17:47

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has disowned six councillors
in Bindura who are allegedly working in cahoots with Local Government
inister Ignatius Chombo to have the Mayor Tinashe Madamombe fired.

The six councillors told the state media that they prefer working with
Chombo than his deputy Sesel Zvidzai whom they accused of gross favouritism
and working to destroy everyone in local authorities.

But Zvidzai, the MDC secretary for local government who is also the Deputy
Minister for Local Government told the Daily News that the six councillors
are not members of the MDC.

“They can go ahead and work with Chombo but I can tell you that those
councillors are no longer members of the MDC,” said Zvidzai.

Zvidzai said the councillors who claimed that they have petitioned the Prime
Minister to fire him will find it difficult to prove to the party leadership
that they are innocent over the allegations of corruption and grabbing
council stands.

“It is good that they have petitioned the Prime Minister because it will
ensure that they get themselves a rude awakening, I wonder whether the PM
will choose to listen to them considering that they allocated themselves
almost five stands each when most people in the town are homeless.

“I can tell you that definitely the PM will not entertain such nonsense. I
am not fighting anyone but I am fighting corruption and will do that until
it is over,” said Zvidzai.

The six councillors early this year petitioned Chombo to fire Madamombe on
allegations that he awarded Bindura municipal workers bonuses when the
council was not making profits among other allegations.

The councillors claimed that the party recognised Daniso Wakatama but
Zvidzai said this was not true.

“Wakatama tried to overthrow Madamombe but he was brought back by the upper
court of the land and if Wakatama has any query about the judgement he is
free to approach any court he thinks will entertain his plea, but am afraid
no court can listen to him after the highest court of the land ruled in
favour of Madamombe,”

“I am not doing any favouritism, but just working within the confines of the
law. Those councillors should just return back the land they stole from the
people and I will work with them,” said Zvidzai.

He said that the MDC respects the rule of law and cannot wrestle with
justice so that it can support Wakatama.

“The party cannot oppose the judgement because one of the principles of the
MDC is the respect of the law,” said Zvidzai.

The Daily News reliably understands that the councillors also illegally
borrowed council funds but are failing to pay it back.

When reached for comment, acting Bindura mayor Ivory Matanhire refused to
comment over the phone accusing this reporter of favouring the deputy

“I don’t want to talk to you over the phone because you go to the minister’s
office and talk to him so come here to Bindura or we will come there and
talk to you direct,” she said.

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China says foreign aid about friendship, not resources

Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:54am GMT

By Ben Blanchard

BEIJING, April 26 (Reuters) - China's foreign aid programme is selfless and
about helping countries abandoned by a cruel West in a hurry to dump their
old colonies, a senior official said on Tuesday, dismissing suggestions
Beijing's primary aim was accessing raw materials.

China has provided 256.29 billion yuan ($39.26 billion) in aid over the last
six decades, with almost half going to Africa. Government figures do not
include a state-by-state or yearly breakdown, though Beijing says aid has
risen substantially since 2004.

By comparison, since 2001 the U.S. Congress has approved about $20 billion
for Pakistan alone in direct aid and military reimbursements, the
Congressional Research Service says. [ID:nN21278335]

Some Chinese projects, particularly in countries affected by Western
sanctions such as Myanmar and Zimbabwe, have attracted attention for China's
support of governments with poor human rights records and lack of

But Vice Commerce Minister Fu Ziying, who oversees Beijing's aid programme,
said China was in fact the responsible one, especially in nations that were
once colonies of Western powers.

"All the colonialists left behind were governors' houses," Fu told a news
conference. "Many developing countries lack hospitals, schools, cultural
centres, bridges, roads. Our aid is concentrated on sectors where they need
it most."

In the post-colonial period in Africa, when China was facing its own
development problems, the Chinese stepped in to provide selfless help, he
added, describing a visit to a cemetery in Tanzania for those who died
building a railway.

"The youngest was just 22. I could not help but shed tears," Fu said. "Just
as Western countries abandoned newly independent Africa, the Chinese came.
Sixty-nine sacrificed their lives and thousands laboured with the Tanzanian
and Zambian people. Why? For friendship.

Some in Africa say many Chinese projects benefit local people little, with
materials and even labour imported directly from China. Dam schemes have
proven divisive too. [ID:nL3E7FK0IA]

China's close links with oil-rich African states, including Sudan and
Angola, have fuelled criticism as well that Beijing only cultivates
relations to secure access to energy and raw materials to power its surging

Not so, Fu insisted.

China helped countries with no discernable natural resources, like Mali, he
said, adding that less than 30 percent of African oil exports went to China.

"I've just come back from Guinea, with its iron ore mines. Who is the
biggest owner of those mines? It's not the Chinese. It's those Western
countries who once colonised Africa."

($1 = 6.528 yuan) (Editing by Ken Wills)

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MDC Minister ‘traumatised’ by Lupane detention horror

By Irene Madongo
26 April 2011

The Co-Minister of National Healing, Moses Mzila-Ndlovu, says his time spent
this month at Lupane Police Station is one of the most horrific and
unimaginable experiences for a human being.

Mzila-Ndlovu was arrested on 15 April after police accused him of addressing
an ‘illegal’ memorial service for Gukurahundi victims and survivors, at a
Roman Catholic Church Mass in Lupane. A Catholic Priest, Father Marko
Mkandla, was also arrested for holding the church mass. Last Tuesday the
pair appeared at court in Hwange, shackled together with leg irons and
guarded by a heavy police presence. They were released on bail.

Mzila-Ndlovu, who is also the deputy secretary general of the faction of the
MDC led by Welshman Ncube, says he underwent intense interrogation and was
also denied basic necessities such as food or water.

On Tuesday Mzila-Ndlovu told SW Radio Africa that: “I was denied food and
water on the Monday that my colleagues from the party came to see me. There
was never any food from the police from the day I was put in police cells.”
He also spoke of the pain and scars the leg irons inflicted on him. He also
said he was still feeling ill.

For decades the government has been suppressing attempts to publicise the
Gukurahundi Matabeleland massacres, which were carried out by troops loyal
to Robert Mugabe.

Despite his ill-treatment by the state, Mzila-Ndlovu remains determined that
the story of the Gukurahundi must be told and those behind the massacres
should come forward.

“It is a story that must be told in Zimbabwe. I believe that we cannot bring
closure to that case until it is spoken about and until someone steps onto
the pedestal and takes responsibility for that,” he said.

Meanwhile, the NewsDay newspaper says that Mkandla was also abused in police
custody. He was reportedly stripped in the presence of two female police
officers, verbally abused by the police and denied medication for his
pneumonia condition.

Mkandla’s lawyers confirmed that he was mistreated. Lizwe Jamela, of
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, told SW Radio Africa on Monday: “Mr.
Mkandla was not taken care of fairly when he was in police custody. He was
denied access to legal representation, as the police kept us on a wild goose
chase. We only saw him once, on the day he was arrested, and then at court,
where he was in leg irons and accompanied by heavily armed police. He told
us he had not been given food for four days, just water. He was also
detained in isolation throughout the weekend and the public holiday.”

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Holiday Lesson Fees Stir Controversy Among Zimbabwe Parents, Officials

Education Minister David Coltart said his ministry does not oblige teachers
or students to participate in holiday tutoring, adding that such lessons
should only be scheduled when parents and teachers agree

Tatenda Gumbo & Sithandekile Mhlanga | Washington  25 April 2011

The Zimbabwean government has warned schools against scheduling mandatory
holiday lessons it says are increasingly a way for teachers to bolster their

Deputy Education Minister Lazarus Dokora sounded a warning this week saying
the government has realized that many schools are now making it mandatory
for children to attend holiday lessons - in the process fleecing students'
parents and guardians.

Authorities added that they are suspicious some teachers are holding back
during regular class hours to ensure children will require lessons during

Day schools are charging an upwards of US$40 a child for such instruction,
in addition to which parents are also expected to pay an administration fee
of US$20.

Boarding schools are said to be charging more than US$100 for lessons.
Parents say they pay up because they do not want their children to lag
behind their classmates.

Dokora says schools should use allotted school periods for learning and not
exhaust students using the so-called holiday lessons as an opportunity to
derive income.

Education Minister David Coltart said the ministry does not obligate
teachers to teach during holidays or mandate students to attend any extra
lessons,  adding that this should happen only when parents and teachers have
reached an agreement.

Coltart told VOA Studio 7 reporter Tatenda Gumbo that teachers found to be
compelling students or their parents to attend and pay for extra lessons
will be disciplined.

Coltart said private institutions are free to decide if children must attend
extra lessons.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association Chief Executive Sifiso Ndlovu said a high
teacher-pupil ratio in schools plus economic hardships are obliging teachers
to give holiday lessons.

Ndlovu told reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga that both parties benefit from the
set-up - but adds teachers are at fault if they fail to use the time to help
struggling students.

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Zimbabwe: China's friend in need?

From Nkepile Mabuse, CNN
April 26, 2011 -- Updated 1044 GMT (1844 HKT)

(CNN) -- Shunned by Western investors, economically ravaged Zimbabwe has
turned its sights to the East to improve its finances.

International isolation and a bad credit record have forced Zimbabwean
president Robert Mugabe to seek economic support from China, the world's
second-largest economy.

Since 2002, the European Union and the United States have imposed sanctions
on the mineral-rich southern African country amid reports of human rights
abuses, political violence and the controversial land reform policy
targeting white farmers.

China has moved to occupy some of the void created by the exodus of Western
businesses and now Zimbabwe's once-empty stores are filled with Chinese

"We are happy to have these people coming to Zimbabwe opening factories and
shops, because when you compare to last time, there were more unemployed
youths," says Never Jacob, a Zimbabwean store manager.

"For me, I can say (of) the coming of Chinese to Zimbabwe, we appreciate
their coming," he adds.

China has been doing business with Zimbabwe for years -- Chinese foreign
minister Yang Jiechi has said in the past that the two economies "are cut
out for each other."
I can say (of) the coming of Chinese to Zimbabwe, we appreciate their
--Never Jacob, store manager, Zimbabwe

China has also called for the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe, saying
that no country has a right to interfere in the internal affairs of another

And last month, it announced a $700 million-loan aimed at, among other
things, rejuvenating Zimbabwe's agricultural sector.

But local economists say, overall, Chinese investments in Zimbabwe are
difficult to quantify.

"Some of the projects are not easily accessible to the public and we are not
given many details about how much work is done or what production has taken
place," says economist John Robertson.

CNN's attempts to get figures from the Zimbabwean government about its
economic partnership with China were unsuccessful.

But according to figures obtained from the Chinese embassy, the trade
between the two countries totaled $560 million dollars last year -- just
under half a percent of total China-Africa trade in 2010.

Chinese imports made up nearly 60% of that business, with Zimbabwe importing
mainly mobile communication hardware. Its number-one export to China was,
apparently, tobacco.

The Zimbabwean Minister of Investment Promotion says the Chinese are mainly
interested in mineral resources, including diamonds.

Last year, Zimbabwe's efforts to improve its fragile economy seemed to be
given a boost when the country was allowed to sell diamonds from its
controversial Marange fields.

There are currently five companies -- two of which are Chinese -- with
licenses to operate in the diamond fields near the Mozambique border.

These mines are under export controls following allegations of human rights
abuses by Mugabe's Zanu-PF party. China is said to be complying with those
international controls.

Zimbabwe's finance minister Tendai Biti, whose party, the Movement for
Democratic Change, formed a unity government with Mugabe's party two years
ago, says that diamonds have not yet provided the financial boost that many
would have expected, contributing only $35 million to the country's coffers
last year.

Mugabe's Zanu-PF party denies accusations of looting and abuses, while Biti
blames smugglers for robbing the country of much-needed revenue.

"These diamonds are alluvial, so you can literally mine them with a spoon or
the sole of your heel," says Biti.

"They are located in a place that is 66,000 hectares, so that's half the
size of the United Kingdom, so what it means is that there is porousness -- 
anyone can virtually walk in there and pick stones," he adds.

China has been silent on the issue, choosing rather stick to its policy of
non-interference in the internal matters of other countries.

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Zimbabwe-From Bread Basket to Begging basket

by Mpumelelo Ndlovu
2011 April 26 14:27:32

When I first came to South Africa in 2006 I was on leave. The main purpose
of my visit was to study the job market here and then go back and come back
later to look for employment.

I was met at Park Station by my nephew who had lived here for some time and
his first words were (in Shona) “Mazouyawo sekuru? Chero mabofu aona kuti
hakuchagariki kwenyu uko” (You have finally decided to come, uncle. Even the
blind can see that your country is no longer inhabitable). Today Zimbabwean
beggars are found in almost all taxi terminuses and other busy intersections
in affluent suburbs of Johannesburg.

The country that used to be the bread basket of Southern Africa is now
contemplating importing maize even from Malawi (BlackSeaGrain -22/4/2011).
Since when did Malawi, a mountainous country, which is almost one huge lake,
gain a reputation as a maize producer.

Surprisingly, most Zimbabweans have recently been declared Malawians. I have
a friend who was born in Zimbabwe, by a Zimbabwean mother (who is now late),
educated and trained  as a teacher in Zimbabwe, taught in Zimbabwe for five
years before deciding to come to South Africa in 2007 using her Zimbabwean

Her passport expired in 2008. When she tried to apply for a new one in 2010
she was told that she is a foreigner and has to go to Malawi first and
denounce her citizenship because her father (whom she never knew) was from
Malawi. She knows no-one in Malawi.

What kind of a country wastes state resources educating people and then
declare them foreigners?

If I am not mistaken, in terms of good arable land, we are second only to
Zambia in the SADC region. It’s time for the region to act. You cannot get
rid of cockroaches in your own house if the neighbour’s house is dirty. Make
sure the whole neighbourhood is clean.

The responsibility of Zimbabwe is food security. How can then the region be
secure if Zimbabwe cannot feed its citizens?

The opposition parties have failed to deliver. Their policies and principles
offer no change or solutions to the problems currently facing Zimbabwe.
Their leaders have also declared themselves Life Presidents. What is needed
in Zimbabwe is separation of State business from Party business,
proportional representation in government and devolution of power.

Of all the Political Parties currently flooding the political landscape in
Zimbabwe, only ZAPU seems to be fighting for the people and not for the
Presidency. When will the Zimbabweans ever enjoy their political
independence? When will they ever know that true democracy means that your
vote is not for sell and you should never be blackmailed into voting against
your conscience?

With ZAPU one day Zimbabweans will wake up to a Zimbabwe where my wife
supports and votes for MDC while I vote for ZAPU and we never fight about
it. According to ZAPU policies, we will one day have Zimbabwe as a nation
not as separate tribes and races dominated by Shona and Ndebele speaking

One day, Zimbabwe will belong to everyone who lives in it, regardless of
where their grandfathers came from.

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