The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage
Summit ends in Zimbabwe stalemate
Mr Tsvangirai says he is prepared to compromise on a deal, but
only so far
Zimbabwe's ruling party and opposition have been unable to
reach a power-sharing agreement at a regional summit of Southern African
Asked if a deal had been reached in Johannesburg, a spokesman for the main
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said: "No, not at all".
However, South African President Thabo Mbeki said after the official summit
closed that talks would continue.
Hours earlier, Mr Tsvangirai said the talks had been going "very well".
Mr Mbeki is the regionally appointed mediator for Zimbabwe, and the latest
talks took place at a summit of leaders of the 14-member Southern African
Development Community (Sadc).
As the summit formally ended, Mr Tsvangirai's spokesman, George Sibotshiwe,
told reporters: "There is no deal yet."
Mr Tsvangirai is said to have agreed in principle for Mr Mugabe to retain the
title of president, while he takes on a beefed-up prime ministerial role.
The key sticking-points are reported to be over the exact balance of power.
In other business at the summit, the Sadc agreed to launch a regional trade
zone aimed at eliminating import tariffs, with plans for a common currency by
Zimbabwe is among a majority of Sadc countries who will participate in the
trade zone. Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo did not join up
Mr Mbeki said that some Sadc leaders would continue to discuss Zimbabwe after
the close of the summit.
Protesters outside the summit made their feelings
Mr Tsvangirai finished ahead of Mr Mugabe in the first round of Zimbabwe's
presidential election in March and his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) also
won a majority in parliamentary elections.
But Mr Tsvangirai pulled out of the second round of the presidential
election, citing a campaign of violence against his supporters. Mr Mugabe went
on to win the vote unopposed.
Mr Tsvangirai told the New York Times that the most basic issue of how he and
Mr Mugabe would share power remained unsettled, and there were limits to the
compromises he could make.
“It's better not to have a deal than to have a bad deal,” Mr Tsvangirai told
Sticking-points in the power-sharing talks are reported to include
- the balance of power between Mr Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai
- the make-up of any coalition cabinet
- control of Zimbabwe's security forces
- the possibility of an amnesty over post-election violence
Mr Tsvangirai had a seat at the summit with other invited guests on the floor
while President Mugabe joined other regional leaders at the head table.
Arthur Mutambara, head of a breakaway MDC faction, also attended.
Pressure on Mbeki
Some critics believe regional leaders' handling of the Zimbabwe crisis has
reflected badly on them.
Events in Zimbabwe were a "blot on the culture of democracy", Zambia said.
The rare public criticism, attributed to Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa,
comes after Botswana's president decided to boycott the summit in protest.
Zambia's Foreign Minister Kabinga Pande said the "regrettable events" in
Zimbabwe had "no doubt left a serious blot on the culture of democracy in our
"These events... brought into question Sadc as an institution capable of
promoting the rule of law and democratic governance," he said, speaking on
behalf of President Mwanawasa, who is in hospital after suffering a stroke.
No deal for Zimbabwe
JOHANNESBURG (AP/Own Correspondent) - Zimbabwe's feuding
had not reached any agreement by the end of the two-day
SADC regional summit
where the country's crisis was placed high on the
agenda amid high
expectations of agreement.
"We're finished," George
Sibotshiwe, a spokesman for the mainstream Movement
for Democratic Change
(MDC) which is led by Morgan Tsvangirai and which won
elections in March. He was referring to the meeting held with
leaders on the sidelines of the summit while responding to a
whether any agreement had been reached.
"No, not at all," Sibotshiwe
In a speech to southern African leaders on Friday Tsvangirai had
that his party was negotiating for him to assume the proposed
Prime Minister with executive powers, while President Robert
of the party in government retained the office of President
and command of
the military as a means of resolving the contentious issue of
who would lead
any unity government.
Tsvangirai outlined his party's
proposal in a speech he delivered to
regional cabinet ministers gathered for
the SADC summit on Friday, on the
eve of the summit.
the proposal presented by the MDC in the deadlocked
Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, would mean a major curbing of the
powers Mugabe has
wielded over the past 28 years. Details of Tsvangirai
speech were only
revealed publicly on Saturday night. He said the two sides
to agree on how powers would be divided between him and
Mugabe. A South
African Cabinet minister closely involved in the talks,
said on Saturday that a deal was close but was unclear if a
would come during the summit.
And after months of attacks on opposition
supporters, the prospect of Mr
Mugabe remaining commander in chief was
worrisome. Eliphas Mukonoweshuro,
Tsvangirai's foreign policy adviser,
acknowledged there was "a possibility
of abuse", but said regional leaders
could keep a check on Mr Mugabe.
The opposition may have little choice.
Zimbabwe's military leaders who are
members of the powerful Joint Operations
Command, which now wields immense
power in Harare, have said publicly that
they would not recognise Tsvangirai's
President, Thabo Mbeki, who has been mediating Zimbabwe's
talks, spent much of last week trying to push Mr Mugabe and Mr
strike a deal.
The question of Mr Mugabe's role has been a major sticking
point, with the
long-time President reportedly refusing to yield any power
administration publicly mocking Tsvangirai's claim to have the
At the opening of the summit on Saturday,
Tsvangirai sat in a prominent
position on the floor while Mugabe sat at the
head table with other
presidents. The southern African leaders gathered
again on Sunday on the
final day of the summit, amid a push for a Zimbabwe
deal before the end of
SADC says Zimbabwean parliament may have to be
Monsters and Critics
Aug 17, 2008, 19:05 GMT
Johannesburg - The
Southern African Development Community (SADC) said Sunday
it might be
necessary to reconvene Zimbabwe's parliament despite continuing
between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and opposition
The call was contained in a communique issued after a meeting
of the SADC
organ on politics, defence and security on Zimbabwe.
meeting took place after the close of a SADC summit of heads of state
government in Johannesburg earlier Sunday.
'While negotiations (on a
government of national unity) are continuing it
may be necessary to convene
parliament to give effect to the will of the
people as expressed in the
parliamentary elections held on March 29, 2008,'
Mugabe's Zanu-PF party has been pushing for parliament to be
since opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader
Tsvangirai backed away from a power-sharing agreement that would have
Mugabe retain executive powers.
The MDC took more votes than
Zanu-PF in the March 29 elections but Arthur
Mutambara, the leader of a
splinter faction of the MDC that holds the
balance of power between the two
parties in parliament, has said he would
consider working with either
The main summit of the 15-nation SADC grouping had failed to
disagreement between Mugabe and Tsvangirai on how they would share
a unity government, if, as has been proposed, Tsvangirai is made
Mbeki says Zimbabwe talks to continue after summit
Aug 2008, 13:55 GMT
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African President
Thabo Mbeki said on Sunday
that some regional leaders will continue talks
aimed at ending Zimbabwe's
post-election political crisis after their summit
Earlier opposition MDC officials sent out conflicting signals on
It was not clear whether Zimbabwe President
Robert Mugabe and opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai would take part in the
talks after the summit.
Regional security body to deal with Zimbabwe crisis:
Sun Aug 17, 11:20 AM ET
JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - South African
President Thabo Mbeki said a regional
body on security issues will discuss
Zimbabwe's crisis on Sunday after the
end of the Southern African
Development Community summit.
"The organ of SADC on politics, defence
and security co-operation has been
dealing with the issue of Zimbabwe since
Friday and continues to engage with
this matter, and indeed after we have
closed formally, the organ will
convene again just to deal with the
situation in Zimbabwe," Mbeki said.
He was giving a closing statement at
the 14-nation Southern African
Development Community summit in
Mbeki is the regionally appointed mediator for Zimbabwe,
and at the opening
of the summit on Saturday had raised the possibility of a
deal being reached
between the country's political rivals before the
gathering wrapped up.
On Sunday, he said he hoped for the "speedy"
resolution to the crisis that
intensified after President Robert Mugabe's
re-election in a June run-off
poll widely condemned as a sham.
spokesman for Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said Sunday
there was no deal between the country's main rivals, and the party had
planned a news conference for later in the day.
Both Tsvangirai and
Mugabe were in attendance at the summit, and significant
had been said to remain to a deal, with disagreement
centering on the
division of power between the two.
SADC's body on security issues had
agreed at a meeting on Friday that a deal
to resolve the crisis should be
signed during the summit, a foreign minister
who attended told
Tsvangirai boycotted the June run-off despite finishing ahead of
the March first round of the election, citing rising violence
Robert Mugabe facing coup or civil war, warns
Zimbabwe faces the possibility of a military coup or civil war if
negotiations between President Robert Mugabe and the democratic opposition
fail, Botswana's foreign minister has warned.
By Sebastien Berger in
Last Updated: 6:58PM BST 17 Aug 2008
As heads of
state from Zimbabwe's neighbours gathered in Johannesburg for a
summit, Ian Khama, Botswana's new president, boycotted the meeting
protest at the presence of Mr Mugabe, who he regards as illegitimate
he was "re-elected" in a one-candidate presidential run-off.
octogenarian leader sat on the podium nodding his head in time to
band playing "When the saints go marching in", the front row
seats of the
Botswana delegation in the hall were conspicuously empty.
Mr Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for
Change, and Arthur Mutambara, who heads another MDC faction,
during the gathering, but without reaching a resolution.
foreign minister Phandu Skelemani said a successful outcome to
negotiations was crucial.
"If they fail the situation will spiral," he
said. "There's going to be
turmoil. Then we are really heading for trouble.
Some mad chap might think
these fellows have failed, now I'm taking over.
Those are the risks you run.
"I'm not sure that the Zimbabweans are not
going to start fighting, then we
are all in trouble. There's no option but
to agree. The consequences are too
ghastly to contemplate."
Mbeki, the South African president mediating the talks, claimed that
negotiations could be finalised during the summit. But after a
said that a deal "should" be signed over the weekend Tendai Biti,
Tsvangirai's secretary-general and chief negotiator, retorted: "He's
The negotiations are understood to be stymied over the
question of executive
authority, with Mr Mugabe insisting on remaining as
head of the government,
leaving the effective power of Mr Tsvangirai's
proposed prime ministership
open to question.
In a speech to
ministers Mr Tsvangirai said: "We have agreed that Mr Mugabe
president whilst I become prime minister. A prime minister cannot be
responsibility without authority and be expected to deliver.
that the prime minister must chair the Cabinet and be
responsible for the
formulation, execution and administration of government
appointing and dismissing his ministers."
On the summit sidelines he
added yesterday: "No deal in the short-term is
better than a bad
Botswana's foreign minister Phandu Skelemani said his country
faces a "very
serious" situation as a result of Zimbabwe's impoverishment,
refugees were "streaming across" their shared border at an
He did not want to single out Mr Mugabe for criticism
over the talks, saying
that "all the parties involved" had to "see reason to
see failure to agree
implies catastrophe for Zimbabwe".
But in a
clear reference to the man who has led Zimbabwe since independence
ago he said: "Over the years the political situation may have been
crunch has now come.
"The country is melting economically, I don't think
Mr Mugabe can fail to
see that. If he sees that and being the patriot that I
believe he is he must
have only one answer, that the Zimbabweans look up to
him and the other
leaders of the political parties to find a
It was wrong of the Southern African Development Community
to invite Mr
Mugabe to the summit, and even more so to seat him at the top
table while Mr
Tsvangirai was relegated to a seat in the hall, Mr Skelemani
"They are equals and they ought to be treated as such. Neither one
has won the presidential election.
Botswana had to boycott
the meeting to remain true to its democratic
principles, he said. "To sit
down with Mugabe or his ministers, we have said
no. Those who break all
these rules should not expect to sit at the same
table with us before the
situation is corrected.
"I'm sad that it should have come to
Free Trade Area set to enhance
August 17, 2008,
It has been made official that the
Southern African Development Community is now a Free Trade Area
It is official, the Southern African Development
Community is now a Free Trade Area (FTA). It's a historic step toward the vision
of a fully integrated economic region. The FTA is expected to enhance economic
growth, create jobs and fight poverty but Zimbabwe continues to cast a long
shadow on the region.
First proposed and adopted in 1966 in Maseru, the
dream has finally come to fruition. SADC chair President Thabo Mbeki had the
honour to launch the trade protocol, praising the region's joint effort. It
demanded hard work and dedication and the new chair has cautioned against taking
the achievement for granted.
“I raised this because we need to
resuscitate the shared vision and commitment, the unity and cohesion that has
characterised SADC from its inception”, said Mbeki.
In his closing
address he pledged the SADC troika's total commitment to resolving the Zimbabwe
Meanwhile, efforts to resolve the political crisis in Zimbawe are
continuing after the conclusion of the summit. The meeting of regional leaders
has ended, but the SADC's Organ on Peace, Security and Defence has now convened
with Zimbabwe's negotiating parties to thrash out a solution. The SADC's peace
and security troika consists of Swaziland, Angola and Tanzania. King Mswati the
Third of Swaziland is chairing the session on Zimbabwe.
MDC wary of Mugabe deal 'plot'
As Zimbabwe's government and opposition continue to hold power-sharing
talks, the BBC's Africa correspondent Orla Guerin reports undercover from inside
Zimbabwe - where BBC journalists are banned - on opposition worries at whether
promises will be fulfilled.
Many MDC supporters say they have been beaten by pro-Mugabe
After months of state-sponsored violence and intimidation, and a sham
election run-off, it is easy to see why Zimbabwe's opposition MDC (the Movement
for Democratic Change) has a problem with trust.
Many MDC supporters and officials we have spoken to here in Zimbabwe believe
that the President Robert Mugabe has no intention of ceding any real authority
to their leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Some fear that a power-sharing formula could be a trap at best, and a
political death sentence at worst.
MDC insiders joke grimly that President Mugabe only wants to give Mr
Tsvangirai one thing - responsibility for trying to fix Zimbabwe's ruined
"You can never trust Zanu-PF," said MDC councillor Chengerai Mangezuo, who
has the trademark of opposition activists - broken limbs. He is in hospital with
two broken legs.
"Today they share power, and tomorrow they turn things upside down."
The MDC supporter in the bed opposite him agreed.
"Zanu-PF is not a party you can trust," said Rufaro Chakawarika, who also has
two broken legs. "If we look back at what they promised people, they didn't do
it. They might agree on some aspects and tomorrow it will never be fulfilled."
These two bedridden casualties of the fight for change agree on something
else - that Robert Mugabe should face charges.
"I would be happy to see him tried," said Mr Chakawarika, "so that in future
he would not send his people to go in the country and attack innocent people.
Once he remains in power this is going to happen again and again."
Mr Mengezuo believes that - as long as Zanu-PF holds power - his life is at
"They want to have a by-election, so they will kill me to have it. They will
come again, I know they will come again," he says.
These men like other opposition activists we have met say they still want to
see an agreement, but only if it puts real power in the hands of Morgan
They argue that anything less would be a betrayal of all those killed since
Zimbabwe went to the polls. Reliable sources here say the death toll has now
reached almost 200.
Abigail Chiroto was one of them - a 26-year-old wife and mother, taken from
her home in June, by armed supporters of Zanu-PF.
Mr Tsvangirai says he is prepared to compromise on a deal, but
only so far
Her four-year-old son Ashley was abducted with her, and witnessed some of his
mother's final anguish.
Ashley is now a solemn, withdrawn child. When we met, he shook my hand
silently, then dropped his eyes to the ground.
"Since Ashley's mother was abducted, he doesn't talk much," said his father
Emmanual Chiroto, an MDC MP, formerly mayor-elect of Harare.
But sometimes the little boy asks questions for which his father has no
answer - like when will he be able to see his mother again.
"He wants to drive to the place where they left her, and make sure she is no
longer there", said Mr Chiroto.
The MP wants justice for the church-going woman he calls his "perfect-partner
"She was so nice," he said, "always encouraging me. We never had a quarrel.
She can never be replaced."
He says there can be no new beginning for Zimbabwe, and no power-sharing
agreement, unless the guilty are punished.
"I would be happy to work very hard for this country," he says "as long as
there is justice and the rule of law is respected, and those that committed
crimes are actually brought to book. But without that I feel that my wife died
While the opposition wants justice, many of President Mugabe's henchmen want
a blanket amnesty. It is understood that his hardline security chiefs are
particularly concerned about that.
Many Zimbabweans have been hit hard by the economic
Mr Mugabe's critics say he is simply going through the motions, and trying to
repair his image by appearing to be willing to share power.
The opposition maintains that Morgan Tsvangirai knows his foe, and is not
going to be fooled by that.
For this weary and broke nation, there is a great deal at stake. Only real
change will trigger an international rescue package - Western donors do not plan
on lining the regime's pockets.
One newspaper here says these are "painful days, of hoping and waiting".
For many in Zimbabwe it is a hungry wait, but opposition supporters may be
hungrier than most.
Government grain supplies - such as they are - do not go to opposition
strongholds, and foreign aid organisations have been banned from operating.
"Our people are hungry," one MDC official told me this week.
"The government is doing this deliberately, because when people are hungry,
they are pliable."
But hungry or not, many opposition supporters are not ready to swallow an
agreement that leaves Robert Mugabe in control here. Better no deal at all, they
say, than a bad one.
Hoping against all hope
Sunday, 17 August 2008 13:01
When I was in South Africa over the last month I was able to see
very good friends who are Zimbabwean expats. One works in the business
of biotech and we were both graduate students together at Rhodes
back in 1997, albeit in very different disciplines. The other is
whom I met at a conference in Pretoria a couple of years back.
He's hit hard
times after funding disappeared for his position at an
history site and he is holding on to hope that something
will come through
soon, before he has to go back into the maw of Robert
Neither of my friends is optimistic about Zimbabwe,
and, after all,
why would they be? Even forgetting the rapaciousness of
regime and the politics he has created, the immediate
concerns that my
friends have for their families and friends do not involve
roaming bands of
ZANU-PF thugs. Instead their fears are of famine, the
inflation that continues to skyrocket - it is at an
with no signs of abating - despite (because of?) the
laughable bank notes, such as the new Z$100 billion bill
that is worth about
$1 US and can buy approximately four oranges, or could
as of last week, if
one could find oranges to buy, and the fact that a loaf
of bread now costs
approximately a third of a teacher's monthly salary.
conditions are all the direct result of Mugabe's politics and
policies, of course, but for the average Zimbabwean these are not
politics qua politics but rather of how to eke out a
So what to make of the apparent success of the "talks about
that have led to the signing of a memorandum of understanding about
meetings between Robert Mugabe and his beleaguered challenger (and
presumptive true choice of the voters) Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for
Democratic Change? And what to make of the commencement of meetings this
week? Certainly Mugabe's willingness to sit down with his rival, the
handshakes and photo-ops, the signs of movement after so much stasis, and an
interregnum in the bloodshed are all worth something. But what? After all,
"talks about talks" has a rather Orwellian ring to it, even if the idea of
"talks about talks" was a vital moment in leading to the CODESA negotiations
that led to the end of Apartheid in South Africa.
One cannot really
blame observers in southern Africa or elsewhere for
holding on to hope. The
tendency is to hold on to hope when hope is all one
has on which to hold.
And perhaps the new agreement finally to meet, to hash
difficulties, really does represent a breakthrough, a new dawn,
tentative. But I cannot shake the images of the last few months
last few years) and the lengths to which Robert Mugabe has gone
to hold on
to power. And I cannot shake the thousands and thousands of words
about the Zimbabwe crisis while I was in South Africa, more even than
on a daily basis here in the US, from sources even more wary than I,
The Zimbabwean, which has chronicled in grim and unremitting detail
situation in that country. And I think of the day-to-day fears of my
for their families. And I think again of what I think the odds are
after all that has transpired Mugabe will suddenly yield even a modicum
control to a man and a party he has terrorized and abused and harassed.
By all means, then, let us believe that the process, however slow and
tortured, is going to result in some sort of compromise. Let us believe that
after all of the silent diplomacy and seeming aloofness Thabo Mbeki's gambit
has worked, however belatedly. Let us imagine that a new day is dawning and
that the talks about talks have yielded talks that will lead to concrete
change. By all means hope that finally we have more than hope before us. But
forgive me if I am skeptical. Skepticism seems to be the one currency that
still spends at its full value in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe Vigil Diary - 16th August 2008
After the deluge of rain last
week we had a sunny Vigil to exchange opinions
on how things are going at
home. We were pleased to see the strong support
for our cause by COSATU
members. The Vigil management team took soundings at
the Vigil for a meeting
afterwards. Despite suggestions of progress at the
talks between the MDC
and Zanu-PF people remain skeptical that Mugabe will
yield enough power to
make a real difference.
The management meeting reaffirmed our mission
statement. This means we
expect to remain outside the Embassy for the
foreseeable future and will not
accept a deal that does not provide for real
The meeting also discussed the strategy behind our two current
Despite the talks, the Mugabe regime has still to lift the ban on
humanitarian aid agencies distributing food. Unless things change
dramatically the Vigil will soon present its petition calling on European
Union members to suspend government aid to the SADC countries - apart from
Botswana and Zambia which have spoken out against Mugabe. We want this money
to be used instead to finance refugee camps in South Africa, Botswana,
Zambia and Mozambique where our starving and beaten brothers and sisters can
find refuge. All reports suggest that the food situation is becoming
desperate and there has been no end to the violence.
team noted that some other organisations have also taken up
the issue of the
2010 Football World Cup and - again depending on the
outcome of the talks -
we will be looking to present our petition calling on
FIFA to move the event
from South Africa because of the instability that can
be expected to follow
the collapse of Zimbabwe.
The team also discussed what effect the outcome
of the talks might have on
Home Office decisions on asylum. If real power
remains with Zanu-PF we will
need to make sure that the Home Office does not
make any attempt to send
Despite our recent
clarification (reprinted below) it is clear there is
misunderstanding about the roles of ROHR and the Vigil. We will
ROHR representatives at the Vigil to ensure that people understand
are giving money for.
A throwback to times past: despite all the
publicity about the atrocities in
Zimbabwe Mugabe still has his supporters
in London. We had one of them
waving his fist angrily at us from across the
road. He seemed demented...
from the Vigil there are 2 other organisations that operate at the
Saturday afternoons: Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR)
Zimbabwe Association. There has been confusion about the
the 3 organisations so a clarification is outlined below.
Vigil: the Vigil is a non-party political group of human rights
who protest weekly on Saturday afternoons outside the Zimbabwe
London. To be a member of the Vigil all you have to do is attend on
afternoons (and sign the register if you wish to). There is no
joining the Vigil and you do not have to be a member of the other
ROHR: is the Vigil's partner organisation based in
Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out
of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation
on the ground in Zimbabwe
which reflected the Vigil mission statement (see
above) in a practical way.
ROHR in the UK actively fund raises through
events, sales etc to support the activities of
ROHR in Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwe Association is a member of the Zimbabwe
Vigil Coalition and is
a support group for Zimbabwean refugees and asylum
seekers. They offer
members help and advice on asylum matters and have been
responsible for a
long-running campaign to stop detention and removals of
Zimbabweans in the
UK. There is a small annual fee for membership. For more
the 3 organisations support each other but operate separately as far as
support for individuals is concerned.
For latest Vigil pictures
FOR THE RECORD: 168 signed the register.
· Next Glasgow Vigil. Saturday 28th August, 2 - 6 pm. Venue:
Street Precinct. For more information contact: Patrick Dzimba, 07990
· Zimbabwe Association's Women's Weekly Drop-in Centre.
10.30 am - 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre,
Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground:
Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020
(open Tuesdays and Thursdays).
Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place
Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of
rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in
2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair
are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.
ZESA tightens load shedding
From The Sunday News, 17 August
Sunday News Reporter
The Zimbabwe Electricity
Supply Authority has in the past few weeks
tightened its load shedding
regime as it anticipated reduced power supply,
with some areas going for as
much as 12 hours without power." According to
the initial load shedding
scheme released by ZESA, electricity was to be cut
for about four hours a
day, but recently the load shedding seems to be
haphazard without a clear
timetable. Zesa spokesman, Mr Fullard Gwasira said
the utility had no choice
but increase the hours when electricity was cut
due to reduced power
generation at Hwange Power Station. "We are facing coal
is down to 120 megawatts instead of the usual 500," he
said yesterday. Mr
Gwasira said some conveyor belts had broken down at
Hwange Colliery Mine,
but these had since been repaired. He was optimistic
that the situation was
going to improve mid this week.
The failure by the authority to
provide adequate power comes at a time when
repairs to Hydro Cahorra Bassa
Dam had been completed and Zimbabwe was
expected to be one of the countries
to benefit from power exports. Zimbabwe
was expected to buy 200MW of power
from HCB, which should ease the power
shortage. However, Mr Gwasira said
they were not getting that much power
from the giant Mozambique Dam, instead
he said the country was getting 50MW.
He said when the utility had enough
money it had an agreement to buy up to
150MW. It has also been revealed that
at a time the country was facing power
shortages, Zesa had entered into a
deal with South African power utility,
Eskom, for the refurbishment of three
power stations with a combined
generation of 500MW. Presently Zesa has a
deal with Nampower of Namibia. Mr
Gwasira however declined that they had
entered into any deal with Eskom. "We
hear about the Eskom deal from the
media, we have no such deal," he said.
"We are only in an agreement with
However, sources at Zesa claimed that load shedding was
here to stay, as
most power stations at the power utility were in an
advanced state of
disrepair. They revealed that load shedding was going to
be tightened this
week, with power cuts set to last for almost 24 hours.
They revealed that
power generation was constrained at Hwange and this was
worsened by the fact
40MW of power had to be exported to Namibia daily. A
source revealed that
most of the power generating units at the colliery were
down and this had an
adverse effect on power supply. "Only units 3 and 6 are
operating and the
rest are down," the source said. "Unit 6 was only brought
on line recently
but it constantly develops faults." The source said power
unit 3 was shared between Namibia and Zimbabwe and this meant
that not much
power was being used for the country. He said units 1 and 4
outages and were not producing any electricity. An Indian
contracted to repair the two units and they were supposed to
the repairs. "At the rate they are going, I do not see them
repairs before December," he said. Zesa was also failing to
get spares to
repair unit 5, as most of the parts were obsolete. The utility
reportedly removing spares from other units in an effort to repair the
but this had failed.
Herald Reporter Exposed
17, 2008 | By Metro Investigations Unit |
In what could be mounting evidence that the state
media is being used by some key people in ZANU to destroy talks through
fabricating stories and vilifying Tsvangirai. Herald Journalist Mabasa Sasa who
on Tuesday wrote the ‘Deal sealed ‘ story and was handed the sensitive talks
documents by George Charamba has been exposed.
In his latest news report the reporter claimed that,
“When Tsvangirai briefed the Organ on Politics he was
challenged by President dos Santos and asked how he reconciled his power claims
with the requirements of Zimbabwe’s electoral law.’
Metro has since established that there were only
three people in the briefing Dos Santos, Kikwete and Mswati,neither of these
presidents spoke to the press. Tsvangirai’s briefing was the last and was in the
No journalist had any contact with the three
presidents, it is unimaginable let alone feasible that Sasa could have been told
by any leader,or source and at what time.
Without giving any back up to his report the reporter
further claimed that ‘Indications are that the Sadc secretariat is also “angry”
with the manner in which Tsvangirai had been stalling and pressure was mounting
on him to “be reasonable”.The reporter did not specify what those indicators
However what all journalists saw and was widely
reported by respected news agencies was that an estimated 2,000 and 3,000 people
protested against Mugabe’s presence outside of a regional summit
The protesters also delivered a memorandum to the
executive secretary of SADC saying, “Robert Mugabe is not legitimate leader of
his country … he has not been democratically elected by the people of his
Metro has already reported that Permanent Secretary
in the Ministry of Information George Charamba gave the reporter the talks
documents to publish before the talks had collapsed and specifically told the
reporter the headline should read ‘ New dawn:Deal sealed’.
The same reporter went on to publish a doctored
version of the documents under the headline:Tsvangirai U-Turn : The facts, he
claimed that MDC negotiators agreed with ZANU PF on the issue of sanctions,it
‘On the 25th of July, Tsvangirai agreed that
sanctions were not targeted and the Western economic embargo was hurting the
nation and should be lifted as a matter of urgency.
The claims have since been debunked MDC National
Chairman,Lovemore Moyo , who was also part of the expanded negotiating team
publicly said the MDC flatly refused at the talks to speak out against a
targeted travel ban on Mugabe and some senior ZANU PF members.
George Charamba who directs the Herald editorial
content belongs to the Mnangagwa faction and was major player in the ill-fated
Ndiyane plot in December 2004 which was meant to catapult Mnangagwa to the vice
presidency, Charamba drafted a speech for Mnangagwa for the event and hired a
plane for the meeting.
The Mnagagwa faction is reportedly strongly opposed
to any meaningful power sharing deal and is in favour of a cosmetic deal through
accommodating a willing partner, the Mutambara faction. Already almost all 10
Mutambara faction MPs have been approached by the faction,some using close
out of reach
Sunday 17th August 2008
Dear Family and Friends,
will of the people. It is impossible to believe that 140 days after
voted for an MDC Parliament and an MDC President the will of the
yet to be accepted or implemented. After nearly five months we
in a truly horrible state without sworn in legislators,
without a parliament
and without legitimacy. Everything around us is falling
apart so fast now
and yet the people and party in power for the last twenty
eight years simply
refuse to go.
The electricity is now off more than on - in my area its
only been on twice
during daytime working hours in the last week. Urban
water supply seems to
have virtually collapsed and in my home area taps are
dry for at least 20
hours a day. Massive environmental devastation is being
done as people have
no choice but to cut trees down for fuel wood. Shops
remain barren of
virtually all goods and banks have become nightmare places
where hundreds of
people queue for hours at a time to withdraw the maximum
which is now handed out as a small bag of coins. At some
banks the situation
is so bad that the doors stay closed and locked all the
time and people are
only allowed to enter in small batches.
the old leadership would have us believe, we are not a country at
one is trying to invade us or take us over and the future is
out of our reach. It is very hard, however, to stay sane,
focussed on the Zimbabwe that the majority voted for on the 29th
One afternoon this week I went with a friend to a small
education centre and game park at a local school and the
magnificence of the
Zimbabwean bush helped revive flagging spirits. The
Msasa trees are coming
into new leaf and putting on a spectacular display of
burgundy, port and hot red. The wild oranges are starting
to turn yellow and
they hang heavily from branches of leafless trees. On
rocks and kopjes there
are unexpected and vivid scatterings of lime green
and bright orange lichen.
In between trees and rocks, superbly camouflaged,
there were giraffe, zebra,
wildebeest and impala. This small environmental
education centre, a vision
from the past, giving knowledge and understanding
to our children in such
troubled times and promising hope for the future of
our beleaguered, broken
Until next week, thanks for reading,
West Situation Report (15-08-08)
Sunday, 17 August 2008
Hurungwe North - Kazangarare
Jawet Kazangarare, the notorious Zanu
PF war veteran responsible for
spearheading the violent persecution of MDC
supporters in the Hurungwe
areas, is accused of raping 13 year old Ella
Ruvanga at a base camp prior to
the June 27 runoff.
The case was reported
to the police at Zimbabwe Republic Police Kazangarare
Sub Office but no
action has been taken to date, as with all the other cases
related violence reported countrywide where Zanu PF
supporters are the
perpetrators. The victim and other young girls from the
area where forcibly
taken from their homes and taken to the base camp where
they did household
chores (cooking,washing clothes e.t.c) for the war
veterans and Zanu PF
youth as they went about their day to day business of
MDC sympathizers and supporters. After the alleged rape,
the victim did not
seek medical treatment and is reported to be experiencing
Hurungwe West - Magunje ,Ward 11
The Grain Marketing Board
manager, Homela , Zanu PF District Coordinator
,Dr. Karonga and the Zanu PF
MP for Magunje Frank Ndambakuwa have spent the
previous five days denying
maize grain to the winning MDC councilor for Ward
11, Ruth Chinhanho on the
basis of being MDC. They told her that she was
only going to obtain maize
grain from the GMB after she reformed to being
Zanu PF. Frank Ndambakuwa
went on further to threaten her with death,
telling her that he would prefer
to see her dead because of being MDC.
Ndambakuwa is responsible for the
April shooting of Peterson Kwenda, who he
shot in the leg for being an MDC
activist. Kwenda was denied the urgent
medical assistance he required as
ambulances where being turned away from
Karoi Hospital by State Security
Agents and Zanu PF loyalists resulting in
the wound be gangrenous.By the
time medical help came his way it was already
too late and he had to have
the leg amputated in two places, below the knee
and later on above the
On August 10 2008, Ndambakuwa,armed with a gun, and a certain Zanu PF
by the name Darlington drove to Richard Chokumanda's place, with
intentions. Chokumanda is a well known MDC activist in the area. He
Ndambakuwa's car prior to its arrival and ran for dear life. Later
the day he accidentally had a run in with Ndambakuwa at the local
centre where he threatened him with death because of his
the MDC. The gun that is used for threatening MDC
supporters by Frank
Ndambakuwa and used in the Peterson Kwenda shooting
belongs to the GMB, and
he confisticates it from the security guards who
guard the GMB premises
whenever he feels like it.
Hurungwe West -
Nyamupfukudza Town ship, Ward 26
The Nurse In Charge for Doro Clinic, Mrs
Bwanari was assaulted on the 26th
of June 2008 by Zanu PF youth led by a
Zanu PF Councilor known as Chakanyuka
after being accused of being a MDC
supporter. She then sought refuge in the
far away town of Kadoma amongst
relatives and only returned to her place of
work last week, more than a
month after the assault. After learning of her
return, Chakanyuka assembled
his band of Zanu PF thugs and assaulted Mrs
Bwanari again, this time
seriously injuring her and breaking one of her
ribs. Battered and bruised,
she returned to her relatives in Kadoma. Three
days after the assault, two
heavily pregnant women arrived at the clinic
seeking medical attention only
to find out that the only nurse for the
clinic, Mrs Bwanari was not around,
chased away from her place of work by
Zanu PF youth and the only personnel
manning the clinic were HIV/AIDS care
givers who could not help the two
patients in any way. One of the patients
died at the clinic due to heavy
bleeding and the other while being
transported to far away Magunje Clinic
aboard an ox drawn scotch cart.
Residents from the community were outraged
by the deaths, teamed up and
approached Councilor Chakanyuka rebuking him
for the continued assaults on
health workers and laying the two womens
deaths squarely on him. Chakanyuka
then travelled to the Ministry Of Health
offices Karoi in a bid to request
another nurse for Doro Clinic. His bid was
denied on the grounds of the
ongoing assaults and the clinic is now on the
verge of closure due to lack
of medical personnel, with devastating effects
on the community.
Hurungwe West - Magunje, Ward 13
worked as an ambulance driver for Karoi General Hospital
but was dismissed
from work after being accused for being an MDC supporter.
He then returned
to his rural homestead in Rengwe, a community not very far
from the town of
Karoi, and took over the position of Village Head from his
ageing father. He
benefited from the farm mechanization program, launched by
the Zanu PF
government as a vote buying gimmick just prior to the March 29
continued ahead of the June rerun. He was given a knapsack and
plough. After the rerun, Happy Dandawa , the Chief for Rengwe area,
all Village Headmen report to, organized Zanu PF youth goon squads
moved around the area collecting the government given farm implements
all residents accused of being MDC after the March 29 election,
those given to Vaison Kavharasiya. Information reached him that a
relative had "sold him out", telling the Chief that he was MDC and
benefited from the government program. Vaison approached his relative
fist fight ensued yesterday that resulted in injury. This shows the
polarization along political lines that has become prevalent amongst most if
not all communities in rural Zimbabwe, and has resulted in the destruction
of previously cohesive family structures. Chief Dandawa is now calling for
the forced removal of all residents accused of being MDC. The same Chief is
responsible for spearheading the pre June 27 assault by Zanu PF youth of
Apostolic Faith Mission Church in Zimbabwe pastor, Pastor Muguti resulting
in his hospitalization. The flimsy reason given for the assault was that the
rate of attendance at Pastor Muguti's church is always high while attendance
to Zanu PF rallies is low. So the Pastor is MDC because he is not
instructing his flock to attend Zanu PF rallies. The assault resulted in
condemnation from Zimbabwean church bodies.
One woman, one nation
Zimbabwe can unite to cheer for
By Mark Zeigler
August 17, 2008
BEIJING - Olympic swimmer
Kirsty Coventry flies home to Zimbabwe each
December from her training base
in Austin, Texas.
She does because she likes to visit her family over
holiday, and because it's summer in the southern hemisphere.
what few remaining pools in Zimbabwe that actually have water
covered in green algae are no longer heated.
Coventry braves the sometimes frigid water as much as she can when she
home. Her coach writes up supplemental dry-land workouts and prays it's
enough so that her training regimen isn't set back irreparably.
wasn't super excited that she was going home," says Kim Brackin,
recruited her from Zimbabwe to Auburn in 2000. "But I also know at her
you need to have a happy athlete. And that makes her happy. We went to
Opening Ceremony, and everyone was like, 'Why are you going to Opening
Ceremony? You have to swim the next day.'
"But that's Kirsty.
She just wanted the experience of walking with her
Hers is a country rapidly descending into the realm of the absurd.
The longtime president, Robert Mugabe, has been accused of fixing the
recent election through intimidation and violence.
hovering around 2 million percent, if you listen to
figures, and several times that on the black market -
forcing people to pay
for a loaf of bread with backpacks full of bills that
quite literally aren't
worth the paper they're printed on.
Unemployment is pushing 80
percent. The average life expectancy,
according to the CIA World Factbook,
is 39.73 years.
But Coventry swims on, and tiny Zimbabwe is 18th in
the medal count at
the Beijing Olympics.
Zimbabwe has a gold
and three silvers.
Coventry has a gold and three
"Right now," Brackin says, "I'm sure people are doing some
celebrating in Zimbabwe, as they should be."
Phelps won five individual events en route to his record eight
Coventry nearly won four, finishing second in the 100-meter
individual medley and 400 IM by a combined .82 seconds. She
a gold in the 200 backstroke yesterday, and now is
responsible for seven of
Zimbabwe's eight all-time Olympic medals.
"Part of the reason I'm
still swimming and still motivated is to raise
my country's flag high and
shine some good, positive light on my country at
home," says Coventry, who
refuses to comment publicly on Zimbabwe's divisive
political crisis. "I
don't know how many athletes have their whole country
supporting them. Every
time I go home, I have people in the street cheering
parents naming newborn sons and daughters after her. Shortly after
Athens Olympics, there was a Swimmingpool Nhanga born in Harare, a
Zuze, a Breaststroke Musendame, a Butterfly Masocha, a Backstroke
Her grand return to Harare was televised on live TV for
Mugabe presented her with the equivalent of $50,000 U.S. as
That Coventry is a white girl from a Harare suburb
who went to college
in the United States and still lives there doesn't seem
to matter to the 12
million residents of Zimbabwe, all but a few thousand of
whom are black and
poor. They consider her one of their own, a lifeline to
the rest of the
world, a beacon of hope in an ever-darkening
"Sometimes it's more pressure," Brackin says. "She's
expected to bring
She also brings electricity. As the
government's supply of foreign
currency dwindles, it is unable to pay
neighboring countries for electrical
power and rations it with rolling
blackouts that often last for days.
Except when an important event
is on TV and the government doesn't
dare shut off the power. Except when the
daughter of Rob and Lyn Coventry
dives into a pool half a world
"Things are tough for everyone at home," says Coventry, whose
own a household and industrial chemical company. "Things have
changed a lot, but the one thing that hasn't changed, as bad as
gotten, is that people are still very nice.
"They're fighters in Zimbabwe and they're going to make it. That's
can help bring to the situation - that dreams still can come true and
that good stuff."