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Zimbabwe says no uranium deal with Iran

Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:12am GMT

* Zimbabwe denies reports of Iran uranium deal

* No certainty on uranium reserves

* Mugabe backs Iran nuclear programme

By MacDonald Dzirutwe

HARARE, April 26 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's government on Monday denied reports
that it had signed an agreement allowing Iran to mine uranium, saying there
was no certainty that the southern African state had commercial uranium

President Robert Mugabe told Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Harare
last week that Zimbabwe backed Iran's controversial nuclear programme and
accused the West of seeking to punish the two countries for asserting their

But Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube on Monday dismissed a
report in Britain's Daily Telegraph claiming Harare had struck a deal
allowing Tehran to mine untapped uranium reserves to secure raw material for
its nuclear programme.

The report said Zimbabwe would get oil for access to potential uranium

"It's not true. No such agreement was signed," said Ncube, a minister from a
splinter faction of the Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe's unity

"There is no certainty that Zimbabwe has uranium deposits. You first have to
prove that there are uranium deposits and that has not been done," he told

Ahmadinejad was in Zimbabwe last week for a two-day visit and there was no
official indication of any link between his trip and Iran's nuclear

Mugabe has previously said the country holds uranium deposits which have yet
to be exploited.

Iran faces a possible new round of United Nations sanctions over its refusal
to halt uranium enrichment. The West accuses Tehran of trying to build
nuclear weapons. Iran says it aims only to generate electricity.

Ncube said Zimbabwe and Iran had only signed general cooperation agreements
in the fields of energy, science and technology and agriculture but
officials from the two countries still had to meet to finalise details of
any investment.

Asked whether Zimbabwe would in future consider jointly mining uranium with
Iran, Ncube said: "There is no evidence that Zimbabwe has commercial
deposits of uranium, so that question does not arise at all."

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Gasela’s tragic accident shows breakdown of rule of law on roads

By Violet Gonda
26 April 2010

Zimbabwe’s roads claimed four senior politicians from both ZANU PF and the
MDC-M, this weekend alone, raising more questions about the state of the
roads, but more importantly, the way people drive in Zimbabwe.

ZANU PF Central Committee member Alice Nkomo died in a car accident Saturday
night along the Bulawayo-Plumtree Road, together with three other people she
was travelling with.
Also on Saturday the MDC-M’s Renson Gasela, Lyson Mlambo and Ntombizodwa
Gumbo were killed in a road accident along the Zvishavane-Gweru road. The
party said the vehicle slammed into a stationary front- loader when they
were on their way to an MDC meeting in Shurugwi. Six other party members
from the Midlands province sustained injuries and were taken to United
Bulawayo Hospital.

MDC-M Education Minister David Coltart told SW Radio Africa on Monday: “We
are all devastated by this. This is the loss of three outstanding colleagues
who worked very hard for the party over the last decade.”
“I am particularly sad about Renson Gasela. He was an MP with me from 2000.
He was a particularly outstanding MP and member of our party, both the
former united MDC and the MDC under the leadership of Arthur Mutambara since

“He was a principled man, had a great integrity and a thoroughly nice
individual. A true patriot of Zimbabwe and I think people from across the
political divide will acknowledge this.”

Gasela was the former MDC MP for Gweru Rural and the Party’s Secretary for
Lands and Deputy Secretary for Information and Publicity. He was also a
founder member of the original MDC and former general manager of the Grain
Marketing Board. Lyson Mlambo was the party’s National Chairperson for the
Disciplinary Committee and Midlands South Provincial Chairperson.
Ntombizodwa Gumbo was the Midlands South Women’s Assembly Provincial

Commenting on the accident Coltart said some people might believe there was
foul play, as Zimbabwe’s history is littered with examples of road
‘accidents’ being used to achieve a political objective through an

But he said; “I think in the circumstances of this case, we probably have to
rule out foul play. It seems to me that this is just yet another example of
the breakdown of law and order in the country. Where someone has had a
vehicle breakdown, without lights and they have not bothered to put warning
triangles or other warning signals.”

The Minister added: “Normally of course this would be met by a criminal
prosecution. We would have police out trying to prevent this type of thing
but it doesn’t happen in Zimbabwe because the rule of law has broken down.”

Also this month at least 25 people were killed and 39 injured when a bus
plunged into a river bed near Chivhu. It is reported the accident happened
on the same road where Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s wife Susan was
killed in a road accident last year. Also this month a bus collided with a
truck on the highway from the Zimbabwe-Zambia border crossing at Chirundu,
killing 10 people.

Observers say there are people driving with no licences and a destroyed
economy so drivers don’t have the money to maintain their vehicles. The
police force, that should be enforcing traffic regulations, is used mainly
to keep one political party in power.

All these unnecessary deaths are a said to be a sad example of how bad
governance and the lack of the rule of law, affect peoples lives in many
different ways.


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Government raked in millions for rejected travel document

Written by Mxolisi Ncube
Monday, 26 April 2010 15:53

JOHANNESBURG - The Zimbabwean Consulate here has raked fleeced its South
African-based citizens of over R10 million since it began issuing them with
Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) mid last year.

Most of the documents, which were valid for six months and were meant to be
multiple-entries, were torn at the border by South African immigration
authorities, who argued that an ETD issued in South Africa, should only be
used to travel to Zimbabwe and not to come back.

The Zimbabwean Consulate began issuing ETDs to the country's exiles in May
2009, following the removal of stringent visa requirements on Zimbabwean
travellers by the South African government, which simultaneously came with
the announcement that the same nationals would also be issued with a Special
Dispensation Permit.

The permit, which would allow Zimbabweans to live and work in South Africa
for six months, has been put on hold since then, as the host government says
that it is still formulating ways of its implementation.

Soon after the announcement, the Zimbabwean Consulate rushed with a circular
that advised undocumented Zimbabweans in the neighbouring country to apply
for ETDs, which it said would be used to apply for the special permit.

An officer at the Consulate this week told ***The Zimbabwean*** that more
than 20 000 applications had been received, in which each of the exiles paid
R450 to apply for the ETDs, while an extra R50 paid for passport-sized
photographs that accompany the application forms.

This effectively means that the Consulate received at least R9 million from
the applicants, while an additional total of R1 million was spent on

Some of the ETD bearers who spoke to ***The Zimbabwean*** said that they no
longer had the ETDs, after they were either torn at the Beitbridge border
post or they did not renew them when they expired.

This also comes at a time when the new travelling emergency document,
launched by government, a few weeks ago is being rejected by South African

"That was daylight robbery of the poor and vulnerable Zimbabweans and
someone at the Consulate should answer for it," fumed one Zimbabwean who had
her ETD torn in January, while she was returning from the Christmas

"We lost our hard earned money to be issued with useless papers worth
nothing and were embarrassed at the border when those so-called ETDs were

"An investigation should be carried out to find out who benefited from the
money that we were robbed of. Zanu (PF) cannot partake in this daylight
robbery and expect us to keep quiet. They are the ones who caused our
suffering in foreign lands and now they are following us here and robbing

The Consulate official who spoke to our correspondent said that, following
the tearing of ETDs on the border, the numbers of people either applying or
renewing them were fast declining.

"We receive a few people these days because of the situation at the border
and the ETDs we are issuing are now valid for 21 days, which are also single
entries," said the official.

A South African Home Affairs source, who also spoke on condition of
anonymity, said that the documents were torn because the Zimbabwean
Consulate issued them without consultation.

"The Zimbabwean Consulate can only issue ETDs to those who lost them while
being here, having entered legally, so that they do not have an
inconvenience to return home and re-apply for their passports," said the

"Issuing illegal immigrants with ETDs while they were already here was
unprocedural because once someone is here illegally, their stay cannot only
be formalised by the host government through asylum permits."

The official also dismissed the notion that that the ETDs were meant for the
Special Dispensation Permit.

"People will only have to prove that they are Zimbabweans to get the permit
and did not need the ETDs."

No comment could be obtained from the Zimbabwean Consulate, as this reporter
was told to call him on his landline, but was always told that he was out of

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Government to save RBZ

Written by Gift Phiri
Monday, 26 April 2010 15:56

HARARE - Government will protect the bankrupt Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe from
getting more property attached over debts. Finance Minister Tendai Biti has

Biti spoke as more RBZ property went under the hammer after the deputy
sheriff executed a writ of attachment for over US$1.5 million the RBZ owes
to a South African company, Advance Seed South Africa (Pvt) Limited.
The auction was conducted after High Court judge Justice Lavender Makoni
ordered that the central bank pay the debt in full with interest. The total
debt came to US$1, 55 million.
The RBZ, which currently has no statutory reserves, failed to raise the
cash, and its property was auctioned off last week to recover the money.
It was the third auction of RBZ property in as many months.
Farmtec Spares and Implements and Seed Co have also auctioned off RBZ
property, including vehicles and buildings, to recover money the central
bank governor owed after buying seed and other implements to give to
villagers as part of Zanu (PF)'s election campaigns.
"We have to protect the (central) bank from writs of execution. Cars and
assets are going for a song," Biti told The Zimbabwean on Tuesday.
Gideon Gono, a close ally of Mugabe, whose position at the central bank is
opposed by the president's rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, is
accused of running down the central bank and the economy.
Biti told  The Zimbabwean on Tuesday that he was moving to install a new
board at the central bank in line with legislative reforms ushered in
through the enactment of the RBZ Amendment Act.
The Act, signed into law by Mugabe last month, is one of landmark
legislative reforms passed by parliament since the formation of a unity
government between Prime Minister Tsvangirai and rival President Robert
Mugabe in February 2009.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Act aims to clip the powers of the governor by
appointing an independent chairperson and board, and restrict the bank to
dealing with interest rates, currency management and regulating banks.

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Zimbabwe working on migration policy to tap into Diaspora resources

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) Zimbabwe is in the process of coming up with a
national migration management and Diaspora policy which seeks to
comprehensively address the country's migration and development challenges,
the Prime Minister's office said here Monday.

In a statement Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's office released Monday,
the move to develop the migration policy was in view of the serious
challenges faced by the country in the wake of an unprecedented flight of
skills since 2000.

An estimated three million Zimbabweans have left the country in the past
decade to escape economic hardships and political persecution.

An inter-ministerial team last month completed study tours of India and the
Philippines to learn about their migration policies.

"The Government is aware that other countries, such as India and the
Philippines, have successfully mobilised their nationals abroad to
contribute to their home country's development process.

"The two countries have successfully implemented policies and have
institutions dedicated to migration and Diaspora issues," the statement

The purpose the visit was to learn about the institutional structures India
and the Philippines have put in place to encourage and promote remittances
by their nationals living abroad as well as how they have handled the issues
of citizenship and voting rights.

The inter-ministerial team recommended that Zimbabwe should enter into
bilateral agreements with countries with the largest pool of Zimbabwean
Diasporas to regularise their stay in the host countries.

Regularisation would enable the Diasporas to be given equal treatment as the
citizens of that country in terms of basic minimum wages and welfare

This would in turn enable them to open bank accounts that would be used to
remit money back home and receive their pension funds that would cushion
them when they repatriate back home.

The team also recommended that Zimbabwean Diasporas should be given dual


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Chinese bank seeks stake in IDBZ

by Own Correspondent Tuesday 27 April 2010

HARARE - The China Development Bank (CDB) has offered a US$30 million line
of credit to assist in the rebuilding of Zimbabwe's collapsed agriculture
sector in a deal that may see the Chinese institution getting a stake in the
Infrastructural Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ).

Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who returned from a week-long visit to China
earlier this month, said CDB agreed in principle to provide the credit
facility to assist Zimbabwe revive a farming sector struggling to regain its
former glory following a decade of destructive policies.

The facility would be available through the Agricultural Bank of Zimbabwe

"The China Development Bank agreed in principle to support the presented
priority areas identified and proposed the development of a 5 to 10-year
Comprehensive Framework which will form the basis upon which concrete
projects will be structured, including implementation (of) timelines and
targets," Biti said in a statement last week.

He also revealed that his delegation, which included Transport Minister
Nicholas Goche, had also agreed to grant IDBZ a "consideration of commercial
interest in IDBZ".

Formerly known as the Zimbabwe Development Bank, IDBZ is a state-owned
financial institution responsible for financing capital projects like
bridges, roads and dams.

"CDB (is) to send a team of experts to Zimbabwe to undertake a due diligence
exercise and needs assessment on the identified enablers for economic
recovery," said Biti, the second-in-command of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's MDC-T party.

President Robert Mugabe's government has cultivated relations with China as
part of a new "Look-East" policy adopted after a fall out with Western
countries that have imposed targeted sanctions on the Harare administration
as punishment for failing to uphold human rights and democracy.

Biti's visit may signal a shift of priorities for the finance minister and
his MDC-T party who have had traditionally strong ties to the United States
and other western nations.

The MDC-T has previously attacked China for casting a blind eye to human
rights abuses by Mugabe's former government and other rogue regimes in
Africa such as in Sudan in its bid to gain access to their raw materials.

Observers say the visit may be a sign that Biti is becoming impatient with
the West's reluctance to help Zimbabwe's coalition government which has
asked for US$10 billion to rebuild its economy and improve social services
like education and health.

China - on a drive to expand economic links with Africa - has since 2000
paid particular attention to Zimbabwe, selling Mugabe's government fighter
aircraft and agreeing to a number of business deals in exchange for mining
and other concessions. - ZimOnline

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China to finance Kariba South expansion

Monday, April 26, 2010

Business Reporter

ZIMBABWE has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sino Hydro of China
to focus on the expansion of the Kariba South Bank extension through funding
from Chinese financial institutions.

The planned Kariba South Bank extension has the capacity to produce between
250 - 360 megawatts.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti and Minister of Transport and Communication
Nicholas Goche led a delegation to China to present the country's priority
infrastructure projects that require immediate funding.

The two parties also agreed on the possibility of developing the Batoka
Gorge Project.

Zimbabwe submitted a list of 20 projects to the China Export and Import
Bank, necessary to achieve the country's macro-economic stability and growth
during the period 2010 - 2012.

In a statement from the ministry of Finance, Minister Biti indicated that
major infrastructure sectors identified included energy and power generation
particularly the implementation of Kariba South Extension and Batoka Gorge

"The rehabilitation of the road network, rail network, telecommunications
and ICT infrastructure development to support both the fixed and mobile
network, broadband network service were also on the list," read part of the
statement. The signing of the MoU comes at a time when Zimbabwe is
struggling to meet its power demands, negatively affecting economic

Power supply challenges and inefficient energy use may hold back industry
from the envisaged recovery.

Power shortages pose the biggest threat to the country's recovery's economic
recovery because it requires huge amounts of funding.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority is sitting on a US$300 million
power debt, making it difficult to attract investors.

The country has total installed capacity of 1 680 megawatts, with 750 MW
from Kariba South, 780 MW from Hwange Power Station and 150 MW from small
thermals - but only 940 MW of this is currently available against a peak
demand of 1 950 MW.

Despite the country importing about 35 percent of its power requirements
there is still a deficit of between 700 MW and 800 MW.

Meanwhile, China Development Bank also agreed in principle to support the
presented priority areas identified and proposed the development of a five
to 10-year Comprehensive Framework which will form the basis upon which
concrete projects will be structured including implementation timelines and

The two parties agreed on the implementation of enablers for economic
recovery with support targeted at energy and power development, road and
rail rehabilitation, ICT infrastructure and other infrastructure projects.

They also agreed on the provision of lines of credit to agriculture through
a US$30 million facility to Agribank and consideration of commercial
interest in the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe.

China Development Bank will soon undertake a due diligence and needs
assessment on the identified enablers for economic recovery and
identification of contact points for both parties to ensure the speedy
exchange of information and facilitate the implementation of the agreed

The Zimbabwe delegation expressed the need for more investments in the
telecommunications sector by Huawei Technologies. Minister Biti said
Government was looking for a strategic partner for its telecommunications
companies with the ability to ensure the expansion of the network,
construction of fibre optic backbone and roll out of 3G and 4G services.

Resultantly, the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the
deployment of a national fibre backbone at a cost of US$48 million and the
modernisation of the current network at a cost of US$30 million. The company
also offered an exchange training programme for the telecommunications
sector at its university.

China Telecommunications Company Ltd offered to work with NetOne on its
network expansion programme through Build Operate and Transfer arrangements.
A number of discussions were held with Chinese companies with interest in
Zimbabwe, that includes Sino Steel Corporation, with a majority stake in
Zisco as well as the construction of a new parliament building in Zimbabwe.

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ZESA launches solar project in rural areas

Written by Paul Ndlovu
Monday, 26 April 2010 15:29

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has embarked on a
US$ 24 million solar project to encourage rural people to start income
generating projects.

The programme is being run through ZESA's  Rural Electrification Agency
The programme provides loan facilities to prospective entrepreneurs  to
acquire machinery needed to pursue the economic development projects in
rural communities.
REA acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Vurayai Guvakuva, said the
programmes is an idea from 2003 that had not taken off due to lack of funds.
"We had the plan initially set in 2002 but lack of funds made it impossible
to be executed. So this time around we have reserved US$24 million to
execute the project," said Guvakuva.
REA had so far disbursed about US$380 000.
The solar project initiatives were meant to encourage productive use of
electricity and address issues of viability in communal areas by empowering
such communities on economic development projects.
"Under the programmes, we are trying to encourage rural communities to
undertake economic development enterprises that require electricity so that
at the end we do not just expand electricity to communal areas. For example,
the rural entrepreneurs can embark on projects like stock feed production,
meat-processing, saw milling, welding," he added.
The provision of electricity in rural communities has tremendous social
benefits.  Schools in rural areas are now able to embark on Information,
Communication, Technology programmes while some rural schools have
introduced Science subjects at Advanced Level. It also reduces the rural to
urban migration.

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Lawyers for Zimbabwe Ruling Parties Agree Questionnaires for Constitutional Outreach

Lawyers for the three unity government parties have finished drafting
talking points or questions that will be posed by constitutional outreach
teams in engaging the people on their wishes for a revised basic document

Blessing Zulu | Washington 26 April 2010

Lawyers representing each of the three parties in Zimbabwe's unity
government have completed drafts of the talking points or questions to be
posed by constitutional outreach teams in engaging the people on their
wishes for a revised constitution.

Talking points are organized by themes including founding principles,
separation of state powers, the legislature, the judiciary and a bill of
rights among others, sources close to the process said.

Zimbabweans will be asked if they want an executive president or prime
minister, for instance, and whether term limits should apply to top offices.

Despite this step forward, the Movement for Democratic Change formation of
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said that political violence is on the rise
ahead of the outreach phase of constitutional revision.

The former opposition party said youth supporters of the ZANU-PF party of
President Robert Mugabe have set up militia bases in areas including the
Harare suburb of Epworth, Muzarabani in Mashonaland Central province, Mutasa
North in Manicaland province, Mudzi and Mutoko in Mashonaland East province,
and Chiredzi and Gutu in Masvingo province.

The government, meanwhile, is struggling to raise US$28 million for the
revision process, with some US$6 million in hand for the outreach phase.

Parliamentary and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga said it is
up to the management committee in charge of the process to launch the
consultation phase after meeting May 10 to adopt the talking points.

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5 journalists summoned to testify in Chiyangwa land case

By Tichaona Sibanda
26 April 2010

Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda and eight councillors are being sued by
Phillip Chiyangwa for criminal defamation over their exposure of his
'illegal' land deals. Now Five Harare based journalists have been summoned
by the state to testify in the court case.

Chiyangwa alleges that the Mayor and the MDC councillors last month leaked a
report compiled by the city of Harare, implicating him in the massive land

The 54-page report alleges that Chiyangwa and Local Government Minister
Ignatius Chombo, with the assistance of two council employees, illegally
grabbed vast tracks of prime land from the city for a pittance and without
following proper procedure.

Mayor Masunda and the eight MDC councillors were last week charged with
criminal defamation for allegedly 'leaking' the damning report. Their trial
begins on the 6th May.

The government's chief law officer, Chris Mutangadura, told the ZimOnline
news website that the state was ready to go to trial, with some of the
people who are named in the land scandal as witnesses. Those mentioned in
the report include town clerk Tendai Mahachi, director of urban planning
Psychology Chiwanga and finance director Cosmos Zvikaramba.

The journalists who broke the story are those who have been summoned to
testify. The five journalists are Vincent Kahiya, editor-in-chief of the
weekly Standard, editor Nevanji Madanhire and two reporters Jeniffer Dube
and Feluna Nleya. Dube and Nleya co-authored the story that was carried by
the Standard.

Freelance journalist Stanley Gama has also been summoned for his story which
was published by the South African based Sunday Times.

Claiming that he has suffered losses to his companies and damage to his
reputation because of the reports, Chiyangwa has lashed out with a
staggering US$900 million lawsuit.

Kahiya, the Standard editor-in-chief, told SW Radio Africa that all they
know is that they've been subpoenaed to appear at the trial of the Mayor and
the councillors.

'I can't really comment because we are part of the court case so it will be
prejudicial.' Kahiya said.

Gama confirmed he had also been summoned, but was surprised the state wanted
him to testify at the trial. After the story broke last month, he was
summoned by the police for questioning, but was not charged. The four
journalists from the Standard were questioned at length, but were also not

Gama said whatever the case he was not going to divulge the source of his
story. Selby Hwacha, Gama's lawyer, told us the police wanted his client to
report to Harare central police where they would formally serve the papers
to appear at the trial.

Veteran journalist Ray Mungoshi, a lawyer by profession, told us that by
dragging the Mayor and councillors to court, the state was again using the
law to clip the wings of its opponents and attempting to silence dissent.

'In a way they are muzzling the media to an extent that they've criminalized
free speech,' Mungoshi said.

A nephew to President Robert Mugabe, flamboyant businessman and former
parliamentarian Phillip Chiyangwa is variously described as extravagant,
opulent and controversial.

In 2004-05 he was arrested and detained for several months by the CIO, after
being accused of passing state secrets to South African agents. He allegedly
received severe beatings and torture and suffered a mild stroke, and has
subsequently shied away from politics.

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Dairy farming chaotic

Written by TONY SAXON
Monday, 26 April 2010 16:50

CHIPINGE - Dairy farmers here who have been supplying milk to the country
have said Zimbabwe's national dairy herd is down to just 22,000 cows from
192,000 in 2000.

The low herd count had resulted in drastic reduction in milk production. All
this is as a result of the 2000 chaotic land invasions.
Darin Biscoe, a farmer in Chipinge, said the situation had been slow to
improve because many cows had died due to lack of technical know-how by the
new farmers.
He said some of the commercial dairy cows were sold for consumption purposes
as the resettled farmers did not have food in their fields.
Another farmer, Thomas Palmer, said :"We have completely abandoned dairy
farming and we are now focusing on something else. We used to supply
Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited with huge tonnes of milk, but now many of us here
have since stopped."

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Zanu (PF) Revives Paper

25/04/2010 19:50:00

Harare, April 25, 2010 - President Robert Mugabe's Zanu (PF) party has
revived its long forgotten propaganda newspaper, The People's Voice, a sign
that the party might be starting to prepare for a possible election next

The paper appeared for the first time after an almost two year absence, at
recent Independence Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium in
Harare where it was distributed to people who attended the festivities.

The paper which, complements the Herald and other state owned media, such as
the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) as the party's political
propaganda machinery was again, in the streets of Harare in bold print and
carrying a headline story on the recent visit by Iranian leader Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad.  Below the story was an article castigating the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for
boycotting the Iranian leader's visit.

In a sign that the paper's return might signal the start of Mugabe's push
for an early election, it carried a comment headlined "Who we are" in which
it spoke strongly about the need to deploy what it called democratic forces
to win the battle of the mind.

The paper also carried a story in which it claimed that Zimbabweans had
refused the inclusion of gay rights in the new constitution.
Apart from The People's Voice, Zanu( PF) is already circulating other
propaganda sheets in rural areas.

Ironically the paper re-emerges at a time when the MDC's two newsletters -
the Prime Minister's newsletter and the Changing Times have been suspended
in unexplained fashion. But insiders at MDC have linked the suspension to a
cut in support funds from the party's financial backers.

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Bulawayo Pressure Groups Determined To Block North Korean Team

25/04/2010 19:48:00

Bulawayo, April 25, 2010 - Pressure groups and political parties based in
Matabeleland and the Midlands region are mobilising themselves ahead of the
arrival of the North Korean team that will set a training camp in Zimbabwe.

The pressure groups and the political parties have lined up a meeting for
this week where they will mobilise and strategise how they can deal with the
North Korea team when it arrives in the country for a training camp before
proceeding to South Africa for the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup.

The Zimbabwean government's decision to invite the North Korean football
team, to set base in Zimbabwe, ahead of the World Cup in June and July, has
not gone down well with people in Matabeleland who lost relatives and loved
ones to Fifth Brigade, a crack unit, trained and resourced in North Korea .

Ibhetshu LikaZulu, one of the pressure group based in Bulawayo, is
coordinating other groups to resist the North Koreans.

Qhubekani Dube the spokesperson for Ibhetshu LikaZulu  confirmed that a
meeting will be held on Monday with other pressure grouping to finalise on
the resistance strategy.

"The meeting is going ahead next week where we will sit down and fiinalise
on a strategy that we will employ against the North Koreans, these people
helped to murder thousands of our kinsmen and it will be an insult for them
to be well received in this region,"Dube said.

He however said they also have a programme to engage government on the
matter but if all failed then they will resort to other means to stop the
North Koreans from coming this side.

"There is a programme to meet Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai and other
relevant ministries to re-consider the decision of inviting the North
Koreans but if all fails then we will employ different methods of
engagement,"Dube said.

Walter Mzembi, the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality, has however urged
pressure groups to drop plans for protests saying the pressure groups should
not mix politics with sport and should allow national healing to take place.

The North Koreans are also scheduled to play a series of friendly matches
against Zimbabwe teams in both Harare and Bulawayo but pressure groups in
bulawayo have vowed that they will disrupt the practise matches.

Over 20 000 people, including women and children were mercilessly butchered
by the North Korean trained Fifth Brigade.


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Farm invasions worsen plight of displaced: WFP

by Own Correspondent Tuesday 27 April 2010

HARARE - Ongoing farm seizures in Zimbabwe pose one of the greatest threats
to the hopes of a better life by the thousands of people displaced by the
country's political crisis, according to the World Food Programme.

The UN agency said most of Zimbabwe's internally displaced persons (IDPs)
faced an uncertain future due to the disturbances prohibiting stability in
the key agricultural sector.

WFP said an unknown number of IDPs was being deprived of basic shelter and
livelihood opportunities due to the ongoing farm invasions.

"The scale of the invasions and subsequent protection needs is yet to be
ascertained through an assessment," said the WFP.

The United Nations Development Programme estimated that there were between
570 000 and one million IDPs at the height of Zimbabwe's political crisis in

A significant number of the IDPs are former farm workers while others are
families displaced by a 2005 slum destruction programme and by political
violence two years ago.

The number may have increased from the UNDP estimate since the formation of
the country's coalition government last year when hordes of President Robert
Mugabe's ZANU PF supporters, so-called war veterans and members of the army
and police stepped up farm invasions.

Commercial farmers' organisations say invaders have since raided at least
150 of the about 300 remaining white-owned commercial farms, a development
that has intensified doubts over whether the unity government will withstand
attempts by ZANU PF hardliners to sabotage it.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has ordered the arrest and prosecution of
the farm invaders but his word is largely ignored with farmers reporting
continuing invasions of their properties and disruption of farming

The International Monetary Fund and Western countries have - on top of other
conditions - made it clear that they would not consider giving aid to the
Harare government while farm invasion continue.

Zimbabwe has since 2000, when land reforms began, relied on food imports and
handouts from international food agencies mainly due to failure by resettled
black peasants to maintain production on former white farms. - ZimOnline

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A Brussels based dialogue between the Zimbabwean Civil Society and the EU Commission

On 23 April 2010 the Zimbabwe Europe Network (ZEN) hosted a dialogue
meeting between the Zimbabwean Civil Society leaders and the EU Commission
in connection with the 30th anniversary of the Independence of Zimbabwe.

The meeting was held in Brussels and speakers included some EU officials,
and some Zimbabwean activists; Lovemore Matombo, President (Zimbabwe Trade
Unions); Gabriel Shumba, Executive Director (Zimbabwe Exiles Forum) and
Brian Penduka, Programs Coordinator (Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum).
Bridget Tapuwa, Writer and Political Blogger (BritaVoice) also attended the
meeting. Unfortunately some of the expected guests could not make it to
Brussels as a result of the problems encountered surrounding the recent
volcanic outburst.

The EU was very emphatic that Zimbabwe lay at her heart. She congratulated
Zimbabwe on attaining 30 years of Independent rule. She would therefore so
much like to have her relations with Zimbabwe normalize so as to open up the
Europe Africa dialogue, a dialogue which has been closed for 7 years as a
result of the tension surrounding the Zimbabwean Government's political
mess. The vitality of opening up the dialogue is emphasized in the light
that it is the Europe Africa Dialogue which holds the key to Europe Africa
Networking. However, of precedence is the return of normalcy in Zimbabwe; a
thriving democracy and respect for human rights.

The Zimbabwean Civic Society expressed concern in the areas which remained
problematic irrespective of the formation of the Government of National
Unity (GNU).

Gabriel Shumba in his usual unshakable tone highlighted the potentiality of
the Zimbabwean diamond base in improving the country's economy, should the
resource be transparently handled and utilized. He intimated that the GNU
has to explore all means to ensuring that the problems surrounding the
exploitation of diamond in Zimbabwe come to an end. Shumba also emphasized
the role of the exiled Zimbabweans in paving the desired political landscape
in Zimbabwe. The Diaspora, which constitutes close to 3 million Zimbabweans
would like to add a voice and a mark, through participating in the voting
processes, for both the Constitution and also in the next general election.
Shumba`s message pointing to the fact that living beyond the Zimbabwean
borders does not necessarily imply that one is unpatriotic.

Lovemore Matombo raised passionate concern over the human rights violations
which continue to be perpetrated even under the  inclusive Government. He
spoke of the desire to see the establishment of the rule of law. The Human
Rights NGO Forum through the voice of Brian Penduka also strongly intimated
on the need for human rights to be respected. Matombo pleaded with the
International institutions to work with Zimbabweans in their effort to bring
about democracy in Zimbabwe.

The EU officials expressed real confidence that the other African nations in
the form of the SADC and the AU are key and are best placed to help Zimbabwe
move out of its mess through attaining the desired change.

The message came out very strongly; it is the Zimbabweans who are best
placed to deal with what confronts them for it is us who know best what we
want. Yes, the AU and the SADC can help, but it is really the Zimbabweans
who have to lead the process.

That rang a loud bell; wherever each one of us is; Are we each actively
doing our part to genuinely advocate for the betterment of Zimbabwe, or are
we drowned in some kind of `comfort` that make us indifferent to the
prevailing unpleasant scenario which the ordinary Zimbabwean back home is

The writer is Bridget Tapuwa and she is reachable on

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Bill Watch Special of 26th April 2010 [Parliamentary Committee Meetings 26th to 29th April]


[26th April 2010]

House of Assembly Portfolio Committees and Senate Thematic Committees: Open Meetings 26th to 29th April

Portfolio and thematic committees will resume meeting this week.  The meetings listed below are open to members of the public, as observers only, not as participants. [See note at the end of this bulletin on public attendance and participation at different types of committee meetings.]

Monday 26th April at 2 pm

Thematic Committee:  Gender and Development

Oral evidence from Action Aid

Committee Room No. 3

Chairperson: Hon. Chitsa                 Clerk: Mrs Khumalo

Tuesday 27th April at 10 am

Portfolio Committee: Health and Child Welfare

Oral evidence from Ministry of Health and Child Welfare on the measles outbreak

Committee Room No. 1

Chairperson: Hon Parirenyatwa       Clerk: Mrs Khumalo

Portfolio Committee: State Enterprises and Parastatals Management

Oral evidence from Harare City Council on procurement of water treatment chemicals

Committee Room No. 2

Chairperson: Hon Mavima               Clerk: Ms Mukono

Thursday 29th April at 10 am

Portfolio Committee: Woman, Youth, Gender and Community Development

Oral evidence from Action Aid

Committee Room No. 3

Chairperson: Hon Matienga             Clerk: Mrs Khumalo

Thursday 29th April at 11 am

Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment

Oral evidence from Chitungwiza Municipality and Harava Rural District Council

Government Caucus Room

Chairperson: Hon Mutsvangwa        Clerk: Mr Ratsakatika


Public Attendance at and Participation in Committee Meetings

·      Portfolio and thematic committee meetings in which they are doing private business – e.g. setting workplans, deliberating on reports and findings, or drafting reports for Parliament, or when the committees make field visits – are not open to the public.

·      Portfolio and thematic committee meetings where oral evidence is being heard are open to the public to attend as observers only.  Members of the public wishing to attend a meeting should telephone Parliament first [on Harare 700181 or 252936-55], to check with the relevant committee clerk that the meeting has not been cancelled. If you are attending, please use the Kwame Nkrumah Avenue entrance to Parliament.  IDs must be produced

·      At some committee meetings stakeholders [and those who notify Parliament that they consider themselves stakeholders and are accepted as such] are invited to make oral or written representations and ask questions.  These meetings will be highlighted in these notices.  

·      When committees call for public hearings, members of the public are free to submit oral or written representations, ask questions and generally participate.  Veritas sends out separate notices of these public hearings.

Note:  Zimbabweans in the Diaspora can send in written submissions to stakeholders’ meetings if they consider themselves stakeholders, and to public hearings, by emailing their submissions to    


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



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PEACE WATCH of 23rd April 2010 [Launch of E-Discussion Forum]


[23rd April 2010]

Launch of E-Discussion Forum

This will take the form of a discussion by e-mail.  Topics will cover issues to do with preventing and dealing with violence and promoting peace.  The Forum will be run by a Facilitator who will send Forum members topics or questions for debate. 

If you would like to join, please reply to this message and put “Subscribe E-Discussion Forum” in the subject line.


The First Topic for Discussion will be

Should there be national elections before a national healing process has taken place?

The general expectation is that the inclusive government was designed to last about two years – although here is nothing in the GPA which states this.  The assumption was that within a few months after the adoption of a new Constitution, national elections would take place.  The Constitution-making process has been delayed, but now it really looks like the outreach will commence shortly.  If it does, the Select Committee of Parliament are hoping that a new Constitution will be in place by February next year.  President Mugabe has said the Global Political Agreement has a two year lifespan, which means that “if the constitution-making process succeeds there will be an election and if it fails that, too, would lead to an election.”  Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC party have in the last few weeks called for fresh elections next year, but under a new constitution.

Nevertheless, many people, both politicians and members of the public, are advocating a continuation of the inclusive government and a postponement of national elections, both because the economy is doing better, and also because reports are coming in of a build-up of politically-motivated violence in some areas of Zimbabwe where there has been no significant progress towards national healing and reconciliation.

Another question that is being asked is whether a credible election can be held before the restoration of civil liberties, including academic freedom, freedom of the media and expression, freedom of assembly and association, freedom from arbitrary arrest and, most crucially, freedom to vote as one wishes in a peaceful and secure environment? 

Please will those joining the E-Discussion Forum write in and give us your opinions on this question.

Simply reply to this message.  Please indicate clearly if you do not wish your name to be published.


The Role of the Facilitator

The Facilitator will circulate the replies with contributions to the whole discussion group, but will reserve the right to omit any that may be offensive to the aims of promoting peace, e.g., that incorporate hate speech.  Comments that are too long may have to be shortened.  Preference will be given to thoughtful and original contributions.  Periodically the Facilitator will wind up one discussion topic by summarising the contributions and will send out a new topic for discussion to members of the Forum.  If the points raised are of wide general interest these summaries will be included in a routine Peace Watch to the wider mailing list and they will also be forwarded to relevant policy makers.

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