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Zimbabwe awaits end to silence on presidential vote


03/04/2008 09:10 HARARE, April 2 (AFP)

Zimbabweans waited anxiously Thursday for an end to a deafening official
silence over the outcome of presidential elections after the opposition took
control of parliament.

The electoral commission wrapped up final results on the parliamentary
contest in the early hours, in which President Robert Mugabe's ruling
Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) lost its
majority to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

State media said Mugabe now faces the likelihood of a run-off in the
presidential contest against his arch-rival MDC chief Morgan Tsvangirai, who
Mugabe recently pledged would never rule in his lifetime.

Presidential candidates were due to meet Thursday with electoral commission
officials to witness the verification of ballots results, which were
expected to be announced at the very latest by the end of Friday, commission
sources said.

Frustrated with the silence from the commission, the MDC pre-emptively
released its own results on Wednesday indicating that Tsvangirai had won the
presidency outright with more than 50 percent of votes.

While Mugabe's government was quick to condemn the announcement, diplomatic
sources indicated intensive behind-the-scenes negotiations were underway to
ensure a smooth exit for the veteran leader after three decades in power.

The MDC's secretary-general Tendai Biti told a press conference in Harare on
Wednesday that Tsvangirai had won 50.2 percent of votes against 43.8 percent
for Mugabe.

"Put simply he has won this election ... Morgan Richard Tsvangirai is the
next president of the Republic of Zimbabwe, without a run-off."

However the state-run Herald newspaper was laying the ground for a second
round, predicting that Tsvangirai would "fall far short" of the total needed
for an outright victory and that "a run-off appears the most likely

In the parliamentary contest, the MDC won 109 seats against 97 for ZANU-PF.
An independent candidate, former information minister Jonathan Moyo, also
retained his seat in the 210-member chamber.

The situation is slightly complicated by a split in MDC ranks, with 10 of
the newly-elected lawmakers belonging to a faction at odds with Tsvangirai.

Three candidates died in the build-up to the polls and elections in their
constituencies will take place at a later date.

With 84-year-old Mugabe's grip on power starting to loosen, diplomatic
sources said there was a concerted effort to persuade him to stand down with
dignity after a 28-year rule which began at independence.

Edgar Tekere, a one-time cabinet minister who is now one of the president's
arch critics, feared that Mugabe would still try and cling to power.

"They (ZANU-PF) have lost control, and so has Mugabe, if he in not trying to
resort to to his habitual tricks of stealing the vote," Tekere told AFP.

"I hope that he does not try that as that will be absolutely foolish and
plunge us into chaos."

The economy of Zimbabwe has been in meltdown since the start of the decade,
with inflation now standing at over 100,000 percent and unemployment at
beyond 80 percent. Even basic foodstuffs such as bread are now in scarce

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Zimbabwe results delay rings bell, says Kenyan paper


03/04/2008 08:18 NAIROBI, April 3 (AFP)

The delay in Zimbabwe's presidential election results is unpleasantly
familiar but a Kenya-style crisis could be averted by the run-off system,
Kenya's Standard newspaper said Thursday.

"Runoff Offers Hope of Popular Mandate," was the headline of the first
editorial to be published in Kenya on the elections in Zimbabwe, which took
place on Saturday.

"Yes, Zimbabwe is at a familiar tipping point," said The Standard, Kenya's
second daily in terms of circulation.

Veteran president Robert Mugabe, whose party lost control of parliament in
the polls, was under pressure by the opposition and the international
community Thursday to announce the outcome of the presidential poll.

The delay has fueled suspicions that the 84-year-old leader was seeking
tamper with the results and cling to the seat he has held since Zimbabwe
gained independence from Britain in 1980.

Kenya's worst post-independence political crisis erupted when delays in
vote-tallying for the December 27 presidential poll saw incumbent president
Mwai Kibaki pip pre-election frontrunner Raila Odinga to retain the top job.

Odinga accused the 76-year-old Kibaki of rigging the results, sparking
nationwide riots that swiftly deteriorated into a cycle of ethnic killings.
The violence left at least 1,500 dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.

"Unlike Kenya's first-past-the-post system, which allows few options for
dealing with a close vote other than the courts or the streets, Zimbabwe's
two-round runoff system could be the mechanism that forces a relatively
peaceful transition," The Standard said in its editorial.

"There is a lesson here for Kenya," the paper said.

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Zimbabwe senate result soon-state media


Thu 3 Apr 2008, 8:18 GMT

HARARE, April 3 (Reuters) - Results from an election for Zimbabwe's upper
house of parliament are expected on Thursday, state media said, but there
was no word on the vital presidential outcome.

"The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has said the results of the senatorial
elections will be announced today," ZBC state radio said. The senate has
powers to block legislation from the lower house, where President Robert
Mugabe's ZANU-PF party has lost control for the first time since

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Analysis of the election results so far - 3 April 2008

It is with considerable, but not unreserved, optimism that I write today
because the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has finally completed the
announcement of the House of Assembly results. The final tally is historic
because for the first time in 28 years Zanu PF has lost control of the House
of Assembly. Of the 210 seats contested Zanu PF won 97 seats, the MDC
(Tsvangirai) 99, the MDC (Mutambara) 10 and an independent 1. The remaining
3 seats will require by elections because candidates contesting those seats
died (of natural causes) during the election. All 3 are likely to be won by
either the MDC (Tsvangirai) or ourselves, the MDC (Mutambara).

The tortuous process implemented by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)
this week to announce the results is unacceptable. Four days after the
closure of the polls we are nowhere near receiving all of the results. I
knew at 4am on Sunday morning, 9 hours after the polls had closed, that I
had won the Khumalo Senatorial seat. I was formally declared a duly elected
member of the Senate at 12.30pm Sunday by the Constituency Elections
Officer, in terms of the Electoral Act. I won by such a wide majority (1944
votes) that there was never any prospect of the result being challenged.
Despite that, four days on my election has still not been announced by the

The same applies to the all important Presidential race. The Herald
curiously appeared to have the results of this race yesterday because it
announced confidently that no candidate is likely to get the absolute
majority required to win. The MDC (Tsvangirai) responded by announcing its
own result, based on original polling station returns, giving Morgan
Tsvangirai an absolute majority of 50,3%. I cannot comment on how accurate
that is and note that Robyn Dixon writing in the LA Times this morning says
that the MDC (Tsvangirai) made an error in calculation and that on their own
figures Morgan Tsvangirai's tally is less than the 50% required.

However whether the final tally in the Presidential race is 49% or 50,3%
this is in fact irrelevant because all that lower figure means is that we
will have to wait a further 3 weeks to see the end of Robert Mugabe's rule.
It is obvious that all democrats must rally around the candidacy of Morgan
Tsvangirai in the run off and if we all do then Robert Mugabe stands to be
annihilated and indeed humiliated. Not only will he face a single opponent
but all the momentum is now with the MDC (I use that word in the collective
sense). Robert Mugabe has already gerrymandered, has already given out all
the taxpayers' tractors and ploughs and has already tried to use food as
weapon. In other words he has nothing further to bribe or intimidate the
electorate with. They rejected these methods in the general election and
there is no doubt they will reject them even more forcefully in the run off.

However I hope that there will now be some sober reflection in the MDC
(Tsvangirai). The sad reality is that their failure to agree on a coalition
has undermined the opposition's victory. In at least 8 House of Assembly
constituencies we handed victory to Zanu PF by dividing the vote. In several
others we only narrowly avoided doing the same again. At the same time many
of the opposition's best MPs such as Gibson Sibanda, Welshman Ncube, Paul
Temba Nyathi, and Trudy Stevenson lost and will not be in the new
Parliament. We have lost their experience, integrity and expertise -
qualities we will sorely need as we seek to rebuild Zimbabwe and to turn
Parliament into a genuinely democratic institution.

But most seriously in the Presidential vote the failure to agree the
coalition agreement, so painstakingly negotiated by many of us, has opened
up the possibility of a rerun which would have been impossible had the 7% of
voters who voted for the MDC and the candidate it endorsed, Simba Makoni,
voted for Morgan Tsvangirai.

In short the MDC (Tsvangirai) must acknowledge that it has enjoyed a pyrrhic
victory in many respects. All is not lost as we can still win the
Presidential election in the rerun. However it is now incumbent upon the MDC
(Tsvangirai) to build a broad and effective coalition. For this to be
achieved it must be prepared to bring into its team some of those who lost
in the House of Assembly election and who have so much to offer Zimbabwe. It
must also be prepared to accommodate some of the legitimate policy concerns
expressed by those of us in the MDC (Mutambara).

Senator David Coltart

3 April 2008.

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Zimbabwe's elite cliques a threat to peace

Toronto Star

Mugabe cronies hold top posts in industry, mining, banking and armed forces

Apr 03, 2008 04:30 AM
Olivia Ward

In Zimbabwe, all ears are to the ground awaiting President Robert Mugabe's
decision on whether to give up power peacefully if opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai is confirmed as the winner of the presidential poll.

But even without a military backlash, Tsvangirai will have a difficult job
turning the page on one of the most ruinous dictatorships in modern history
without bloodshed.

"If you look at the banking sector, mining, every kind of production and
land redistribution you find the people who have benefited are mostly
cronies closest to Mugabe," says Gabriel Shumba, executive director of the
Zimbabwean Exiles Forum.

"They're likely to be losing power in the next days or weeks. Making sure
that happens peacefully will be a monumental task for (Tsvangirai's)
Movement for Democratic Change."

Experts on Zimbabwe say that although the core of Mugabe's supporters in the
ruling ZANU-PF party are old ideological comrades from his independence
struggle days, others may fight to preserve the wealth and influence they've
accumulated during the autocratic leader's 28 years in power.

Members of Mugabe's notorious security forces have prominent roles in
Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank and Grain Marketing Board as well as the Electoral
Supervisory Commission, which is a crucial factor in the current poll.

Since 1987, corruption scandals have been gathering steam in Zimbabwe. They
had a dramatic surge after 2002, reaching into the country's crumbling
private sector. Grain, housing, timber, aircraft and water scandals followed
one another at a steady pace.

But one of the worst examples of cronyism, experts say, was the
redistribution of white-owned land, which benefited Mugabe's allies and
government officials but left much of the 12 million-strong country close to
starvation. Reclaiming that land will be a volatile process.

"Zimbabwe will be a big tangle to undo when Mugabe leaves," says economist
Craig Richardson, author of The Collapse of Zimbabwe in the Wake of the
2000-2003 Land Reforms. "Tsvangirai or his party will have to move slowly,
on a case-by-case basis to address the political sensitivities."

That may be too low-key for some Zimbabweans, like the 16,000-odd destitute
people arrested for gold panning after they lost jobs on once-productive
farms. Or those whose ramshackle market stalls were destroyed in Mugabe's
"cleansing" campaign.

Much of the elite group's wealth may have been moved offshore for the rainy
day when the 84-year-old Mugabe's hold is broken.

"The new government should make a cautious approach to insiders who know
where the wealth has been hidden," says Shumba.

"They should also pass a law that allows for confiscation of assets. Then
they could engage with countries where the assets have been sent."

With or without a clear victory for Tsvangirai, the most difficult days for
Zimbabwe lie ahead.

But, says Richardson: "I am very hopeful for the future. Even if Mugabe were
to press forward and be re-elected he faces a country in total meltdown.

"Throughout history, hyperinflation means regime change. Mugabe is in an end

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A pebble on the road

Wednesday 2nd April 2008

Dear Family and Friends,
It has been an excruciating three and a half days waiting for the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission to announce the results of the March 29th elections. At
the time of writing this letter at 3.30 pm on the 2nd April 2008, the full
parliamentary results have not yet been announced. None of the figures for
the Presidential, Senate and Local Council elections have been announced at

The results are coming out at un-advertised intervals and at rate slower
than a snails pace. The waiting has been utterly exhausting, not to mention
cause for considerable suspicion but, as we Zimbabweans are so good at
doing, we have waited patiently and calmly. After all, we've been waiting
for change since February 2000 so a few more hours or days is a mere pebble
on our rocky road.

On the evening of the 1st April 2008 after hours of frantic international
media speculation about deals, talks and resignations, MDC President Morgan
Tsvangirai addressed a press conference. As one, those of us who had access
to the broadcast, sat forward in our seats. Mr Tsvangirai's words will go
down in the history of this long and painful struggle we are nearing the end
of. In part he said:

"I would like to thank the millions who came to reclaim their dignity and
invest in the change they can trust. The votes cast on Saturday was for a
change and a new beginning. It was a vote for jobs; it was a vote for food,
for dignity, for respect, for decency and equality, for tolerance, for love
and for trust."

Mr Tsvangirai urged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to proceed with haste
in announcing the full results of the election and said that the MDC would
be disclosing their own tabulated totals on Wednesday. He said there were no
deals, talks or resignations and wouldn't be until all results had been
announced officially.

At 1.30pm on Tuesday the 2nd of April 2008 the MDC announced that they had
won the parliamentary and presidential elections in Zimbabwe. Speaking at a
press conference in Harare, MDC Secretary General Tendai Biti announced the
following results based on figures which had been displayed outside polling
stations as prescribed by electoral law.

2,832,243 votes had been cast.
99 parliamentary seats had been won by the MDC (Tsvangirai)
96 seats had been won by Zanu PF
11 seats had been won by MDC (Mutambara)
1 seat had been won by independent Jonathan Moyo.

3 further parliamentary seats were subject to by-election and Mr Biti said
the MDC were confident of securing victory in these constituencies too.

With regard to the results of the Presidential votes, Mr Tendai Biti
announced the following percentages:
50,3% to Morgan Tsvangirai
43,8% to Robert Mugabe
7 % to Simba Makoni

As a result of the above figures Tendai Biti said: "Morgan Richard
Tsvangirai has won this election."

Two hours after the MDC had announced victory the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission produced another batch of 11 results which give Zanu PF 93 seats,
MDC (Tsvangirai) 96 seats, MDC (Mutambara) 9 seats and 1 seat to Independent
candidate Jonathan Moyo. A further 7 results are still outstanding.

Its not clear how this is going to end but what is clear is that the
avalanche towards change has started. It may take a few days or even a few
weeks but we will continue to wait patiently until we can stand up with
dignity and self respect and say that we are proud to be Zimbabweans.
Until my next letter, thanks for reading this update. With love cathy.

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Zimbabwe votes to live

New York Post

April 3, 2008 -- It takes a special kind of dictator to fix an election -
and still lose.

Yet that's exactly what seems to have happened to Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe,
whose 28-year reign of terror has dragged a nation once known as Africa's
breadbasket to the brink of starvation.

Voters went to the polls Saturday for elections that no one of sound mind
thought would turn out to be free or fair.

Still, the Zimbabwe Election Commission revealed yesterday that Mugabe's
ruling ZANU-PF party has lost control of parliament for the first time since

It looks likely that Mugabe himself at best will be able to throw his
re-election race with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai into a runoff
later this month. (Tsvangirai claims he won outright.)

Not an impressive showing, in other words, for a man whose vote-rigging
resources include a puppet elections bureaucracy and a thoroughly loyal -
and brutal - police state.

But this time, he's had to face the spreading conviction that the country
simply won't survive much more of his rule. For Zimbabwe is quite literally
falling apart.

Money is worthless, with the annual inflation rate north of 150,000
percent - a reflection of the equal parts incompetence and thuggery of
Mugabe's rule.

Horrors abound: Under the guise of rectifying a colonial injustice, Mugabe's
2000 "land reform" seized land en masse from Zimbabwe's prosperous white
farmers, handing it over to ruling-party cronies who - surprise - couldn't

Wheat production in what was once one of Africa's most fertile nations
plummeted practically overnight; it's now at less than one-sixth its
pre-"reform" high.

Average life expectancy has fallen nearly 26 years since 1990, the World
Bank reports; up to a quarter of the population has fled in desperation.

But don't expect Mugabe to go quietly.

The Elections Committee has yet to release the official results of the
presidential race - a sure sign it's scrambling to give the boss some
breathing room.

A runoff race, meanwhile, would give him time to ramp up the repression
that's already seen widespread reports of food aid used as political
blackmail - not to mention the vicious beating Tsvangirai took from police
thugs last year.

Still, credit the raw courage of Zimbabwe's people for pushing Mugabe this
far; they'll likely need an equal measure of perseverance to give him the
final boot.

The survival of their country surely depends on it.

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Genesis of a new order

Dispatch, SA


ROBERT Gabriel Mugabe once assured Zimbabwe’s fleeing whites that “there is
a place for you in the sun”. Now his own place in the country he has ruled
for 28 years is uncertain.

Mugabe, now 84, was born in 1924, the son of a village carpenter in Zvimba,
90km west of Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare.

As a child, he tended his grandfather’s cattle, fished for bream in muddy
water holes, played football and “boxed a lot,” as he recalled later.

Few blacks at the time learned to write their names. But Mugabe went to
school, where he was taught by Jesuit priests. Classmates described him as
shy and bookish, a loner deeply attached to his mother and resentful of his
absent father, according to Heidi Holland, author of Dinner with Mugabe.

Mugabe later became a primary school teacher himself, and taught at mission
schools until he won a scholarship to all-black Fort Hare University in
neighbouring South Africa.

There he underwent a political baptism of sorts. He avidly studied Karl
Marx. Gripped by the “passive resistance” movement of Mahatma Gandhi in
India, he vowed to play a similar role in helping his own country to end
British rule. In 1951, he earned a bachelor of arts degree. It was the first
of seven degrees, including one in law.

Back in Zimbabwe – then known as Rhodesia – Mugabe quickly became
disenchanted with the white government. In 1958 he flew to Ghana, a newly
independent former British colony, to teach. There he married his
Ghanaian-born first wife, Sally Hayfron.

He was known as austere, a non-smoking, non-drinking Roman Catholic. Sally
Mugabe said of her husband: “He’s very warm and gentle at home. He is very
fair. He will go to any limits to see that justice is done. He has never
been violent for the sake of violence, though we have both struggled for our

Upon his return to Zimbabwe, Mugabe became a political activist and was
jailed for 10 years by the white minority regime of Ian Smith. While in
jail, his son died from malaria, and his appeal for parole to attend the
funeral was denied.

When he was released, he fled into exile in neighbouring Mozambique.

There he became the head of a liberation movement and guerrilla army and
dreamed of a one-party Marxist state.

He came to power in 1980 after a seven-year bush war for black rule, serving
first as prime minister and then as president. At independence, he was
hailed for his policies of racial reconciliation and development that
brought education and health to millions. Zimbabwe’s economy thrived, and
Mugabe appealed to whites to stay in the country. Twenty years later, many
wished they hadn’t.

Mugabe ordered the often violent seizure of white-owned farms on behalf of a
landless black majority. But instead, he gave the farms to black relatives,
friends and cronies.

Mugabe also lost no time in establishing his absolute power. He quickly
crushed political opponents, and sent North Korean-trained troops into
Matabeleland to hunt down armed anti-government rebels in the 1980s.
Thousands of people, mainly civilians of the minority Ndebele tribe, were

Using the same draconian regulations used to keep him in jail for a decade,
he put scores of political opponents in detention without trial. Zimbabwe’s
economy gradually fell apart, and a third of the country fled.

In 1992, Mugabe’s first wife died of kidney failure. He married Grace
Marufu, his former secretary, 40 years his junior. He had three children
with Marufu, and was 73 when she gave birth to their third child.

During his rule, the average life expectancy of Zimbabweans has fallen from
60 to 35 years. — Sapa

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Former Mozambican leader Chissano in Zimbabwe: diplomatic sources

Monsters and Critics

Apr 3, 2008, 8:17 GMT

Harare - Former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano is in Zimbabwe to help
broker talks between embattled President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and
Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change on the outcome of last
weekend's elections, diplomatic sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa

Chissano was president of Zimbabwe's neighbour Mozambique from 1986 to 2005.
Since stepping down he has regularly been called on by international bodies
to mediate in conflicts.

A longtime friend of Zimbabwe's leader of 28 years, Chissano was best man at
Mugabe's wedding to his second wife, Grace.

He was also a member of a team of elder African statesmen and women who
mediated in Kenya's bloody post-election conflict earlier this year.

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Zimbabwean exiles yo-yo between hope and fear


 03/04/2008 09:15 JOHANNESBURG, April 3 (AFP)

Zimbabweans who have fled to South Africa to escape economic misery and
political persecution are hopeful they might be about to see the back of
President Robert Mugabe at last.

While Zimbabwe awaits official word of whether Mugabe will stay or go, in
downtown Johannesburg the possibility of change, while welcomed, is almost
too good to be true.

"I am happy because I heard that the opposition won. But I'm afraid Mugabe
will find another trick to stay in power," says 29-year-old Admire

"The old man killed a lot of people and he wants to cover up many corrupted
things," speculates a young worker, who came to Johannesburg in November and
has since survived by doing odd jobs.

Along with thousands of his compatriots with nowhere else to go, Gwadzoayi
beds down for the night in the Central Methodist church hall, in the heart
of downtown Johannesburg.

"There is a mix of cynicism and excitement among the people here. Some don't
believe it is happening and fear some trick from Mugabe," says Paul Verryn,
the pastor.

His sermon on Wednesday night was topical: "Whatever the results, you must
behave like one nation."

Verryn encourages people to heed each others' opinions, whether they are
followers of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change or Mugabe's
Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front party (ZANU-PF).

"That doesn't mean that you have to agree on everything, but that you will
struggle for the right of your opponent to express his points of view."

ZANU-PF lost its parliamentary majority in Saturday's general elections and
the opposition has already proclaimed victory in the simultaneous
presidential poll of which the official results are still to be announced.

One of the crowd gathered for the mass, 22-year-old Owen Muchanyu, says he
has been praying for opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to become president
in place of Mugabe -- the country's only leader since independence in 1980.

"Maybe with him, Zimbabwe will change. With Mugabe, the future is very
bleak," says the former teacher, who decided to leave two months ago in
order to escape intimidation by ZANU-PF officials towards public sector

"Since I was a teacher, I was contrived to support the ruling party, but I
couldn't do that, I am on the opposition side."

As Zimbabwe's once thriving economy went into meltdown, with inflation now
exceeding 100,000 percent, neighbouring South Africa became the destination
of choice for those seeking greener pastures.

Some estimates say the number of refugees may be as high as three million.

Amidst those preparing for sleep in the church, a young woman sings a song
of peace in Shona, one of the Zimbabwean languages.

Eyes closed, her head tilted back, Ann Chaps, 30, sways her hips to the

"I feel happy. It's time for Mugabe to go. He is very old," says Chaps, who
used to work in marketing before, like so many others, illegally jumping the
border because she couldn't afford a passport.

"There is nothing left in Zimbabwe, nothing to eat, no money in the banks."

Hopeful of eventual change in her country, Chaps, like many of her
compatriots, could not return to vote.

"I was scared because people I know went last week and got arrested at the
border. They are still in jail in Zimbabwe."

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LonZim to spend $65m on Zimbabwe assets this year


Thu 3 Apr 2008, 7:53 GMT

LONDON, April 3 (Reuters) - Investment group LonZim <LZM.L> Plc plans to
spend $65 million buying Zimbabwean assets this year as interest in the
once-wealthy nation emerges with the rule of President Robert Mugabe under

An end to Mugabe's rule could make the once-wealthy nation appealing again,
foreign investors say.

"Any kind of stability brings commercial dividends," LonZim Executive
Director Geoff White told Reuters in a telephone interview. "Zimbabwe will
become an economic powerhouse again one day."

LonZim plans to within the next four to six weeks raise $50 million in an
institutional share placement to help it buy assets in the technology,
banking, transport and agro-processing sectors, White said.

Shares of LonZim, which still has about $15 million in uninvested funds, are
up 2 percent to 118 pence at 0848 GMT, valuing the company at about 43
million pounds ($85.43 million). (Reporting by Hsu Chuang Khoo, Editing by
Sue Thomas)

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Two articles - rantings from the Herald

Zim, Be Wary of Western Stooges

The Herald (Harare)  Published by the government of Zimbabwe

3 April 2008
Posted to the web 3 April 2008

Tendai Hildegarde Manzvanzvike

Garikai Musanonoka Sithole, son of veteran nationalist, the late Dr. Edson
Sithole, has called on Zimbabweans to avoid aborting the revolution at this
critical stage.

Garikai (35) said: "2008 itai mbiri yakakosha yokuvhotera Zanu-PF. "Tava

"Tava neindependence". (In 2008, let the people of Zimbabwe be well known
for voting en masse for Zanu-PF and for giving Zanu-PF a resounding
victory). Born in Mt Selinda on December 24, 1973 to veteran nationalist Dr
Edson Sithole and Sihle (Mavhu) Khupuka, a South African

national from KwaZulu-Natal, Garikai Sithole is not a newcomer to Zimbabwe's
political issues. On June 17, 2007, The Sunday Mail reported that Garikai
initiated moves to have the late Rhodesian prime minister Ian Douglas Smith
indicted over the mysterious disappearance in 1975 of his father Dr Edson
Sithole, who

was a central committee member of the then Zanu. A retired soldier and now
an A2 cattle farmer in Masvingo Province, Garikai instructed his lawyers to
institute litigation against Smith whom he held responsible for the death of
his father and for denying him and his siblings the right to grow under the
guidelines of a loving father.

He told The Sunday Mail: "I have already instructed my lawyers, Tshuma,
Gurajena and Partners, to take up the issue with the courts because I feel
the family has a right to redress."

Dr Edson Sithole, who disappeared mysteriously in the then Rhodesia in
October 1975 and whose body was never recovered, was accorded national hero
status in 1994 together with eleven other 11 nationalist and liberation war
heroes: Lieutenant-General Lookout Masuku, Dr Samuel Tichafa Parirenyatwa,
Cde Benjamin Burombo, Cde Lazarus Nkala, Cde Artwell Bokwa, Cde Amon Jirira,
Cde Jini Ntuta and Cde Nikita Mangena.

Dr Sithole has a cenotaph at the National Heroes Acre. Referring to Simba
Makoni and Morgan Tsvangirai as unfocused individuals, Garikai said the duo
are pawns of the British and their Western allies, especially the United
States, and they were being used in attempts to sabotage the land reform
programme, and to serve British interests.

He, however, said that their projects were exercises in futility, arguing
that Makoni and Tsvangirai will not govern Zimbabwe until and unless the
remains of the children of Zimbabwe who perished during the liberation
struggle have been identified, brought home and properly interred, including
the remains of his father Dr Sithole.

Garikai hailed President Mugabe for returning land to its rightful owners
saying: "Cde Mugabe has a vision of wanting to see all of us develop. "The
youths today have land, the elderly have land, but Makoni and Tsvangirai are
saying that whites or the West should come and administer this country. "Am
I at my age supposed to be a recipient of the land reform programme, let
alone being an A2 farmer? Garikai was allocated his farm when he was 30.

"Am I supposed to be a recipient of farm implements being allocated by
Government, over and above the farm that I got?

"Pazera rangu ndonzi ndine tractor.

"Tractor yandisina kushandira.

"How much does one tractor cost?"

He attributed the prevailing economic hardships to the illegal Western
sanctions imposed at the instigation of the MDC, which sanctions were
imposed in retaliation to the land reform programme. Garikai accused
Tsvangirai of "killing Zimbabwe", saying Tsvangirai was destroying
Zimbabwean families, and challenged the people of Zimbabwe to have
discerning minds and eyes regarding people like Makoni and Tsvangirai.

Turning to Makoni, he said: "My father disappeared without trace in 1975 and
we were left as orphans.

"Simba Makoni must also know that his ancestor Chingaira's head was
decapitated by the British and taken away to Britain, and it has not been
repatriated to Zimbabwe," adding: "Mudzimu wokwaChingaira nhasi wave
kuwirirana papi nevarungu?

"Chingaira nhasi angazvirumbidza here kuti mwana (Simba Makoni) ari kuita

"I would have wanted to see Makoni as one of my relatives being in the
forefront, assisting our family to find the remains of our father. But he
has failed us." He also challenged Makoni's performance track record,
arguing: "What did Makoni develop in Manicaland in the past 28 years? Did he
ever buy a bus for the people of Manicaland, even something small for
cross-border shoppers?

"Just one vehicle to assist the people of Manicaland Province?

"I just want him to mention one developmental milestone he achieved in his
Manicaland Province, before he can tell the nation that he can do this and
that for them as a president." Garikai said President Mugabe had never
denied putting his leadership to the test through constitutional and
democratic processes like elections. This is why elections are held
regularly and on a timely basis in this country. In a caveat, Garikai made a
very interesting analogy when he said that all problems are now being blamed
on President Mugabe.

"Munhu unoita barika rako asi woshaya kuziva kuti mhuri yakakura inoda mari.
Zvokunetsa woti ndiMugabe. (You become a polygamist, but fail to realise
that a big family requires a lot of money for its upkeep. When you cannot
maintain your family, you turn around and say it is Mugabe's fault.)

"Uku kwangove kuhwanda chokwadi. Vamwe vanhu President Mugabe havamudiri
chokwadi chaakamirira. (This is just hiding from the truth. Some people do
not like President Mugabe because he stands for truth and honesty.)"

He urged all Zimbabweans to remember that "Zimbabwe yakabva murimi remoto,
haigoni zvakare kudzorerwa makare." (Zimbabwe was tempered by fire and
brimstone, and it cannot be returned into fire again).


Poll Results - UK's Hidden Hand Exposed

The Herald (Harare)  Published by the government of Zimbabwe

3 April 2008
Posted to the web 3 April 2008

Caesar Zvayi

The British government and its prime minister, Gordon Brown, have now come
out in the open as the real power behind the MDC Tsvangirai faction,
demanding the release of the results of Zimbabwe's elections that show an
opposition victory.

Almost the entire British state machinery -- from the BBC to its House of
Commons -- was almost going hysterical over the delay in announcing the
election results by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

Britain's three main political parties united in urging Brown to approach
South African President Thabo Mbeki to press him "to deal with the crisis in
Zimbabwe". It was these three British parties that set up the so-called
Westminster Fund for Democracy that bankrolled the launch of the MDC from a
ZCTU platform in September 1999 after the Government announced it would
compulsorily acquire white-held farms for redistribution to landless black

Brown told the BBC that the "eyes of the world" are on Zimbabwe, saying the
election results should be published without delay.

Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg urged Brown to increase pressure for a
"swift and transparent" declaration of results, even though ZEC has been
hailed by observer missions for the manner in which it conducted the
election and managed the release of the results.

"Gordon Brown must seek urgent discussions with Thabo Mbeki and other
leaders of the Southern African Development Community to ensure that maximum
pressure is applied to ensure a swift and transparent declaration of
results," Clegg said.

Brown's office said the British premier had discussed "the situation" with
President Mbeki on Monday, but would not give details of the talks. British
Foreign Secretary David Miliband and former Labour cabinet minister Peter
Hain called on Africa and the rest of the world to express their support for
the MDC.

Miliband told the BBC's Newsnight programme: "It is long overdue for the
rest of the world to stand shoulder to shoulder with the spirit of democracy
which has expressed itself in Zimbabwe and which is now about to be traduced
by President Mugabe and his ruling clique."

At a meeting in Paris, foreign ministers from France, Italy, the
Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain issued a joint statement, along
with Milliband, saying: "We call on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to
swiftly announce all the election results, especially the results of the
presidential election. The future of the Zimbabwean people depends on the
credibility and transparency of the electoral process."

The BBC said Brown's spokesman had hinted at possible increases in aid for
Zimbabwe in the event Tsvangirai wins.

Zimbabwe's election results have become a top story on all international
media networks, drawing far more attention than Kenya was accorded when over
1 500 people were hacked or speared to death while 600 000 others were
displaced following the disputed re-election of incumbent president Mwai
Kibaki on December 27 last year.

Given the intimate relationship between the global media structures, Western
politics and the quest for world domination, analysts say this vindicates
the view that what is at stake in Zimbabwe is far bigger than what the
contestants, with the notable exception of those in Zanu-PF, realise.

A view vindicated by the conspicuous flow of many white former commercial
farmers who trooped back into Zimbabwe once the MDC prematurely claimed
victory. Some of them have headed to the farms where they threatened to
evict newly resettled farmers particularly around Chegutu and Kariba, as
many are coming through Chirundu Border Post.

Zimbabwe, the analysts say, represents the last frontier of resistance
between the black nationalist struggle and Western neo-colonial encroachment
under the guise of globalisation and the parochial discourse of

Following the Government's decision to bar all news networks hostile to
Zimbabwe from covering the elections, many of them are encamped right round
the borders with flushed correspondents giving feverish coverage to all
sorts of conspiracy theories and utterances by the opposition and its

The BBC, the public face of British foreign policy, yesterday devoted the
entire day to non-stop coverage of Zimbabwe before splashing hourly updates
to claims of electoral victory by the MDC. The BBC, in fact, dispatched its
main news anchor to report from Johannesburg.

Yesterday all major news networks ran hourly updates on Zimbabwe eclipsing
even US President George W. Bush's visit to Europe for a Nato conference
that is supposed to resolve some contentious issues between the world's
major military powers.

What has raised eyebrows is the fact that the Western leaders are basing
their premature pronouncements on results compiled by the MDC and its civil
society compatriots, yet ZEC - the only organisation legally and
constitutionally mandated to issue the results -- has not declared a winner,
let alone the winner of the presidential contest.

What makes the pronouncements from the West even more glaring is that
African leaders, many of whom have a lot to gain or lose from the political
dynamics in Zimbabwe, have not spoken, obviously waiting to issue their
statements once the full outcome is in the public domain.

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