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Zimbabwe's rivals vow to keep talking

Yahoo News

Mon Aug 18, 9:08 AM ET

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Officials on both sides of Zimbabwe's political
divide are vowing to keep talking after regional leaders urged them toward a
power-sharing deal.

Zimbabwean Minister of Information Sikhanyiso Ndlovu said Monday that
President Robert Mugabe is committed to "trying to negotiate a settlement."

Southern Africa's leaders ended a summit Sunday by calling on Zimbabwean
negotiators to resolve their political differences quickly and to turn their
attention to their nation's economic crisis.

They say the negotiations have already established the basis for a
power-sharing agreement.

Chief opposition negotiator Tendai Biti had said after the summit that
"dialogue will continue."

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Zimbabwe opposition chief to tour region amid talks deadlock

Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Date: 18 Aug 2008

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 18, 2008 (AFP) - Zimbabwe opposition chief Morgan
Tsvangirai will tour southern Africa this week for talks with leaders to end
a crippling political logjam, his spokesman said Monday.

"We are aware that the Zimbabwean problem is an ongoing problem," said
George Sibotshiwe, after a regional weekend summit failed to resolve a
deeadlock over the composition of the new government after controversial

"Therefore our president needs to continue to engage regional leaders to
continue to assist us in resolving our crisis back home... He is touring
southern Africa this week".

Tsvangirai and Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe left a weekend summit of
southern African leaders in Johannesburg still deadlocked over how to share
power, though talks are due to continue.

Tsvangirai boycotted Zimbabwe's June 27 presidential run-off election
despite finishing ahead of Mugabe in the March first round of voting, citing
violence against his supporters that had killed dozens and injured

Mugabe, 84, who has ruled since independence in 1980, defied regional and
international calls to postpone the election and pushed ahead with it
anyway, handing himself a new term as president.

Meanwhile, the ruling ZANU-PF party suffered a historic defeat in the March
legislative election.

Stumbling blocks in the negotiations include the division of power between
Mugabe and Tsvangirai in a national unity government, and what authority
they would have as president and prime minister.

A source in Tsvangirai's party told AFP that the opposition suggested in
talks that titles were less important than who held executive power, and
that Mugabe could become prime minister instead of the other way around.

"We are agreeing that if the role of the president and the prime minister
are the same and you believe in the sharing of power, then the role given to
us as prime minister, let Mugabe take those," the source said.

"Then we will take the role of the president".

Mugabe furiously rejected the offer, The Star newspaper in South Africa


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President Mbeki's remarks following SADC summit August 17

18 August 2008

Transcript issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Pretoria

Remarks by South African President Thabo Mbeki on the conclusion of the 28th SADC Heads of State and Government Summit, Sandton, August 17 2008

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, good evening. I am sure that all of you have received a copy of the commniqué that was approved by the SADC Summit earlier today which contains the principle decisions that were taken by the SADC Summit. In that context, I must repeat the strong view of the Summit, all of us wish the President of Zambia Levy Manawasa a speedy recovery, our outgoing Chair.

We discussed off course as is normal at a SADC Summit political and socio-economic issues and on the political front, noted the efforts being made in the region to address issues in that areas - that include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi and off course, Zimbabwe, I will return to this just now.

It is our belief that all these situations in the DRC, the resolution of the electoral dispute in Lesotho, and the constitutional dispute in Malawi, that progress is being made towards the resolution of the challenges in that regard.

As we indicated earlier, the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation chaired by Angolan President Dos Santos and later by the new Chairperson of the Organ, His Majesty King Mswati III, met on Friday, Saturday and today to discuss the situation in Zimbabwe. In that context, the SADC Organ has issued a communiqué that you will receive shortly which among other things, expresses firm opinion that documents that are contained in the Facilitator's Report reflect that framework, spirit and purpose of the SADC and African Union decisions and in view of that, that they are a good basis for a global agreement among the Zimbabwe parties and in that context, therefore, we appeal to the Zimbabwe parties to sign any outstanding agreements and to conclude the negotiations in Zimbabwe and said recognising that while negotiations are continuing it may be necessary to convene parliament to give effect to the will of the people as expressed in the Parliamentary elections in March this year and off course, encouraged the Facilitator to continue the mediation efforts which means that the negotiations will continue and the Facilitation will continue to do its work in this regard in trying to implement this decision of SADC and encourage the parties to conclude these outstanding agreements on the basis, that in fact, the documents that have been agreed to, provide this good basis for the conclusion of the negotiations.

In that context, I must mention that the report of the Facilitator that is referred to in the communiqué of the Extraordinary Summit of the Organ is a comprehensive report which contains all of the documents that have been negotiated and agreed to in the negotiations that started last year and that would include the Draft Constitution that was agreed to in September last year and a whole range of other documents. It is a comprehensive report of the negotiations as they have been going on now for at least 15 months. That is the report to which the resolution refers.

Off course, the outstanding result of the conference with regard to economic matters is the formal launch of the SADC Free Trade Area (FTA) and the critical challenge with regard to that is that we implement everything that is contained in this FTA to accelerate the process of economic integration of the region.

The Summit also then said, that given that we have launched the FTA we must continue the work that would lead to the formation of the SADC Customs Union that would be the next step in that regard.

It also paid attention to two important matters related: the implementation of the decisions that came out of the conference held in Mauritius to address poverty in the region and again, you would see that reflected in the communiqué that was issued earlier and a related matter about food security and again took decisions about what we should do in this regard to act within the region to address food shortages that some countries in the region are experiencing but otherwise to deal with this matter of ensuring that the region is self-sufficient in food production and what specific steps need to be taken in that regard.

Off course naturally, we addressed the matter of energy and what could be done in the region to address this.

As you know, we also signed a number of legal instruments which included the Protocol on Gender and Agreements in Science and Technology, Trade and so on. So, these are some of the principle outcomes and as I had indicated, they would be included in the SADC communiqué as well as the communiqué of the Extraordinary Summit of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation.

It is our view that certainly the Conference completed its agenda and it is our view that it was indeed an excellent Summit that took decisions which are of importance to the political and economic structure of the region and in amending various provisions to the SADC Secretariat which also meant amending the Treaty of SADC also emphasized the point that SADC Summit is very keen that we should indeed have the capacity to implement the decisions that have been taken so that we do indeed accelerate our forward movement with regard to all of these matters that relate to political stability and so on in the region as well as the process of economic integration and the socio-economic upliftment of all the people in our region so, we believe that this was indeed a very successful Summit and I must conclude by saying that we are very pleased that Seychelles came back into SADC and that in itself was confirmation of the relevance of SADC in terms of the future of our countries in the region and that is indeed why Seychelles thought it was important that it should come back into the Community and we are very pleased by this.

Let me then finally thank all of you for your co-operation in covering the Summit and the SADC region in particular and I would hope that we would continue to co-operate in the manner in which we have because we are very interested indeed that our people in the region, in particular, should be familiar with the decisions we are taking and the work that the Community is doing.

Thank you.

Questions and answers

Question: Mr President I would like to know if you have any sense of when we can expect to see a final agreement signed by the negotiating parties in Zimbabwe? Can you also give us a sense of the concerns around the outstanding agreements?

Mbeki: It is clearly not possible to say when the negotiations would be concluded. It is a matter of the negotiating parties convening to look at whatever matter might be outstanding. One cannot allocate a date to this and the SADC Organ did not indicate a date by which this matter should be concluded with regard to the completion of this process, except to indicate the urgency of the matter. So, it is not possible to say when the negotiations would be concluded.

Question: Mr President you said that the Organ agreed that the documents provided form a good basis on which to conclude the negotiations. Does that mean that you feel that there is no need to negotiate over the documents?

Mbeki: I am not aware if this communiqué has been distributed. You will see that that particular paragraph expresses the strong opinion of the Extraordinary Summit of the SADC Organ having studied the documents to which I referred earlier, came that conclusion looking at those documents relative to the decisions/resolutions of SADC and the African Union on the matter, expressed that opinion but said that negotiations should continue and that would include concluding negotiations and signing any outstanding agreements as a matter of urgency.

So essentially, what the Extraordinary Summit was saying was that negotiations should continue but of course, having had the possibility for the first time of looking at the entirety of the documentation, the Organ felt it should express its own view about this because bearing in mind, these two resolutions - SADC and the African Union - so, it says that negotiations need to continue but it is off that view with regard to the quality and extent of the work that has already been done by the Zimbabwean negotiators that they have produced a set of documents that in the view of the Organ do indeed address the issues that were raised in these two resolutions and to that extent, they believe form a good basis for a speedy resolution of outstanding matters but that the negotiations must off course, continue.

Question: Mr President what are the outstanding issues in the agreement?

Mbeki: Let me explain something before we get more questions - I am speaking here not as the Facilitator but as the Chair of SADC. Now you are asking me to get involved in a discussion that deals with the Facilitation and I must say that I cannot answer questions posed to the Facilitator - I can answer questions posed to the Chair of SADC but bear in mind that there is an agreement in the Facilitation process arrived at by all the parties and the Facilitation that we would not handle the process of negotiations through the media and indeed I am sure you will remember this because it is also included in the Memorandum of Understanding so to that extent, there is a limitation that is imposed with regard to how much detail we can express but that is a matter that belongs to the Facilitation process.

But with regard to what the Organ discussed I think it is properly and fully reflected in the communiqué of the Extraordinary Summit of the Organ.

Question: Mr President yesterday, when you were speaking as the Chair of SADC, you said that the negotiations needed to be concluded to extricate the Zimbabwean people from the dire situation in which they find themselves. Could you give us an impression of what you see as the humanitarian urgency for a deal?

Mbeki: What drove SADC in the first place, to last year convene an extraordinary Summit of the Organ in Dar-es-Salaam in March last year to discuss Zimbabwe - there were other matters on the agenda like the DRC and so on - was driven by very serious concerns about the matter you have referred to, the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe.

And the discussions that have taken place over the last three days focused us on really trying to assist to speed up the process of the conclusion of the negotiations and the implementation of the agreements that would come from these negotiations.

It is driven precisely by these very deep seated concerns in the region that the political concerns must be created so that with the greatest urgency this humanitarian, economic and social condition in Zimbabwe can be addressed as a matter of urgency by an inclusive government. So it is matter of fundamental concern to the region - this socio-economic and humanitarian condition of the people of Zimbabwe.

But believe that we need this inclusive government to drive this process of addressing these challenges but this consideration of the humanitarian situation of the people of Zimbabwe is fundamental to all of the statements that are made and this decision of SADC emphasizing the urgency of this matter. It is not just to address the political stability but also to create the conditions so that you have an inclusive government that would then address these other urgent issues.

Question: Mr President as the Chair of SADC, do you believe that any deal that leaves President Mugabe with any power is going to be acceptable to the international donor community and is it going to be a long term solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe?

Mbeki:The two resolutions that bind the Facilitation - the first one said specifically that could the Facilitator please get the ruling party and the opposition to meet and discuss in order to resolve the political challenges facing Zimbabwe.

The African Union resolution said the same thing. And so, we have indeed been working over this period with the ruling party and the MDC lead by Mr Tsvangirai and the MDC lead by Professor Mutambara and the decision that will be reached about what needs to happen will come from the Zimbabwean parties.

It certainly would not be correct for the Facilitator to hand down any prescriptions to say that the person or group that should be part of the inclusive government to which these parties have agreed so it would be a matter really that the Zimbabwean parties would agree to - who is in that inclusive government and the role that they would play in that inclusive government.

That must truly come from the Zimbabwe parties because I think of all of us, they know best what is good for Zimbabwe and the thing is that everybody - the Facilitator, SADC, the international community - would have to respect what the Zimbabwe political leadership says about Zimbabwe and I am quite certain that the Zimbabwe political parties would answer the question you have posed on the basis of what they think is right for Zimbabwe, what they think is required in Zimbabwe.

It is not any determination that can, nor indeed should, be made by anybody. Let's really allow the people of Zimbabwe to determine their future. This is critically important because any solution that is imposed from outside will not last, it will not last, unless it is a common product that is owned by this entire collective of the leadership of Zimbabwe. I think if the Facilitation tried to impose any solution we would be creating a situation that actually would amount to creating conditions for the failure of whatever might be incorrectly described as a solution.

Transcript issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Pretoria, August 18 2008

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Mbeki defeated as Zim talks deadlock


    August 18 2008 at 11:10AM

By Basildon Peta and Daniel Howden

Efforts by southern African leaders to end the Zimbabwe crisis by
breaking the deadlock between Zanu-PF leader Robert Mugabe and his
arch-rival, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai,
failed last night.

The stalemate was a personal defeat for President Thabo Mbeki, who
assumed the chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on
Saturday vowing to get a deal during the summit.

Mbeki, who faces criticism at home and abroad for his handling of the
crisis, said that the talks would continue.

Even after their gathering had officially ended, he summoned Mugabe
and Tsvangirai back for a last-ditch attempt to get a deal, but to no avail.

Mugabe and the opposition leader are deadlocked about the balance of
power between the roles of prime minister and president.

Diplomatic sources said the SADC leaders had tabled their own
proposals in an attempt to break the impasse. It would have amounted to
Tsvangirai and Mugabe sharing power equally. Both parties rejected it.

Tsvangirai has come under intense pressure to sign up to Mbeki's
proposal, which would see Mugabe retain much of his current authority.

The former trade union leader argues that the proposal would, in
effect, make him a "ceremonial prime minister" in a government led by
Mugabe, the man whom he defeated in the first-round presidential election in

Tsvangirai, 54, is said to have tabled a counter proposal last night
that would have switched roles.

"His logic is that since Mugabe is saying the deal currently on the
table gives the prime minister a lot of powers, then he must assume that
position and Tsvangirai becomes president," said a diplomatic source. "That
suggestion made Mugabe furious and he rejected it."

The dramatic failure of the SADC leaders to broker a deal means that
"we are back to square one", said an MDC official. Regional leaders said in
their final communique that Zimbabwe's parliament could now be convened,
apparently indicating their backing for Mugabe to appoint a new cabinet and
a new prime minister.

Previous agreements, including an African Union accord and a
memorandum of understanding between the two rivals, required a negotiated
settlement before a new government could be formed.

Zimbabwe's neighbours fear the consequences if the country's political
stalemate and economic decline lead to a total meltdown.

Botswana President Seretse Khama Ian Khama boycotted the summit. - The

This article was originally published on page 2 of Daily News on
August 18, 2008

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Tsvangirai opposed to convening of parliament


August 18, 2008, 15:45

Thulasizwe Simelane, Harare
Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says convening
the country's parliament, before a political compromise is reached, would be
contrary to the spirit of the ongoing dialogue.

This follows President Thabo Mbeki's remarks that it may be necessary to
convene parliament, even before the talks are concluded. This comes as the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit ended in Johannesburg
on the weekend, without clinching a power-sharing deal between Zimbabwe's
rival parties.

Now the leader of the smaller MDC faction, Arthur Mutambara, is under the
spotlight as speculation grows that parliamentarians may be sworn in soon.
With 10 seats, Mutambara's MDC holds the swing in the lower house, where
Tsvangirai's MDC and President Mugabe's Zanu-PF are separated by just one

As a power-sharing deal continues to elude negotiators, Mutambara may soon
be called upon to decide whether to take part in parliament without
Tsvangirai on board.

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Zimbabwe farmer victim of latest Mugabe land eviction

The Telegraph

One of Zimbabwe's top tobacco growers has been left camping on the roadside
outside his farm after being evicted by a senior figure in President Robert
Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
Last Updated: 4:00PM BST 18 Aug 2008

Kobus Joubert, who is in his 70s, is a former president of the Zimbabwe
Tobacco Association, whose members used to earn 40 per cent of the country's
export earnings before Mr Mugabe destroyed commercial agriculture with the
seizure of white-owned land.

He once farmed 1,200 acres, but he and his wife Maryanna have been left
sleeping in a lorry, loaded with a few meagre possessions they have been
able to salvage. Some of his workers have also taken refuge alongside him.

His farm, Scotsdale, about 60 miles west of Harare, was seized at the

A neighbouring farmer, Bruce Campbell, 42 and his British girlfriend Grace
Valentine, 29, went to help the couple but were arrested and accused of
pointing a weapon and threatening Mr Mugabe.

"I was unarmed and never mentioned the president's name," said Mr Campbell.
"The police were highly unprofessional."

His lawyer, David Drury, also represents his father Mike Campbell, 75, who
together with his wife Angela, 66 and son-in-law Ben Freeth were savagely
attacked on their farm near Chegutu seven weeks ago.

He said: "There is a mad rush for the farms at present. I handled 13 cases
last week alone."

A Commercial Farmers' Union spokesman said Mr Joubert's plight was an
example of "growing pressure" against Zimbabwe's remaining white farmers
since a memorandum of understanding on negotiations was signed between
Zanu-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change three weeks ago.

"It looks like this is a last minute grab ahead of what many people believed
was a settlement between MDC and Zanu PF," he said.

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Rush to seize farms ahead of GNU deal
Farms workers plight
Farms workers plight
Family members of evicted farm workers workers cook breakfast on the side of the road outside Mvurwi village, about 130 km (81 miles) west of Harare, May 1, 2008. Some 20 families said they were evicted by ruling party militia and war veterans from Chipanza Farm after being suspected to have voted for the opposition Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) in Zimbabwe's March 29 presidential and parliamentary elections.
The Destruction
The Destruction
A large commercial farm sits fallow in the countryside March 20, 2008 west of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Since 2000, when some 4,000 white farmers lost their farms as part of Zimbabwe's controversial land reform program, the nation's agricultural output has taken a nosedive. The government, led by President Robert Mugabe, sanctioned former war veterans and ruling party loyalists to invade and occupy white-owned farms. Many of the new landowners were unable to farm it, due to lack of any knowledge of farming practices. Zimbabwe, once called "the bread basket of Africa," now relies heavily on international food aid to feed its population.

Sensing that a GNU deal is nigh, ZANU-PF cronies are now in a rush to invade the last remaining commercial farms across the country

Harare -- ZANU-PF cronies, many of them multiple farm owners, are leading war veteran units onto the last remaining white owned commercial farms in Zimbabwe, in a rush to beat the signing of a GNU deal between ZANU-PF and the MDC.  As in the past, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is aiding the farm invaders in a blatant disregard of the laws of the country.

The farm invaders, who believe a GNU deal is nigh, are not looking for land on which to farm, eyewitnesses say. Rather, they are invading the farms in order to loot them, taking away the tractors, the irrigation equipment, the livestock, any asserts that are easy to sell. 

A case in point is the plight of renowned tobacco farmer Kobus Joubert, who is now living in the open after his farm was seized by a leading ZANU-PF official. The unlawful seizure of Mr. Joubert's productive farm, analysts say, is an epitome of the decade long deeds by leading ZANU-PF officials.

Mr. Joubert, who now lives in a lorry with his wife after being evicted over the weekend, was the proprietor of Scottsdale, a farm west of Harare, 1200 acres in size. The fact that anyone can take away another person's property is testimony of the lawlessness across the country.

A neighbouring farmer, Bruce Campbell, 42 and his British girlfriend Grace Valentine, 29, went to help Mr. Joubert and his wife but were instantly arrested and accused of pointing a weapon and threatening Mugabe by the ZRP police officers.

"I was unarmed and never mentioned the president's name," said  Campbell. "The police were highly unprofessional."

His lawyer, David Drury, also represents his father Mike Campbell, 75, who together with his wife Angela, 66 and son-in-law Ben Freeth were savagely attacked on their farm near Chegutu seven weeks ago.

He said: "There is a mad rush for the farms at present. I handled 13 cases last week alone."

A Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) spokesman said Joubert's plight was an example of "growing pressure" against Zimbabwe's remaining white farmers since a memorandum of understanding on negotiations was signed between ZANU-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change three weeks ago.

"It looks like this is a last minute grab ahead of what many people believed was a settlement between MDC and ZANU-PF," he said.

In recent weeks, the CFU has actually joined hands with ZANU-PF, leaving most farmers with nobody to turn to but their neighbours. CFU President Trevor Gifford asserted now was the time to join hands with the government to rebuild Zimbabwe. 

"The farmers who have taken the confrontational stance against Government have not done so through the CFU and are not even members of the union," Gifford said of the farmers who have taken ZANU-PF to the SADC Tribunal in Namibia over the land reform programme.

"The CFU would rather engage Government in dialogue so that we all come to a solution to our challenges. We do not want to reverse the land reform programme but our members would participate in the exercise. We need to put our differences aside and work as a nation. We are Zimbabweans and we need to plan for our future as one through dialogue," he added.

Meanwhile, corruption reigns supreme in the agriculture sector. In Gutu District, ZANU-PF cronies are allocating themselves farm implements bought by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe at the expense of deserving farmers.

The farm implements that Grace Mugabe last month commissioned include 100 tractors, 1000 knap sack sprayers, disc harrows, ploughs and scorch carts.

Some of the equipment, gathered at Hwiru grounds in the sprawling growth point, is slowly disappearing in the dead of the night amid reports that some senior ruling party officials-who already have two or more tractors-are snatching away the equipment while leaving genuine farmers without benefiting.

Fingered in the scam includes former Member of Parliament (MP) for Gutu North, Lovemore Matuke, and Shuvai Mahofa, who lost in Gutu South, a Mukumbiri, as well as the District Administrator, Patience Muzenda.

Muzenda - daughter of provincial war veterans chairman Isaiah - is also said to be working in cahoots with provincial Governor Willard Chiwewe who is also said to be bringing in his new list of ghost farmers.

Sources say the ZANU PF heavies are deliberately delaying to disburse the equipment as they are working out strategies to make some of the equipment disappear. It was also said that they clashed over the matter after Chiwewe decided to take over the role of disbursing the tractors.

“It is a strategy to loot the equipment so that they will have excuses if there is a shortage, like in this case, they are saying some of the equipment has been stolen or vandalized,” said the source.

The source added that the ZANU PF officials are driving the tractors at night to secret locations.

“This is not the first time that they stole the equipment at night. There are some tractors that were commissioned by Vice President Mujuru in Zvavahera in the run up to the elections. The tractors were never given to farmers, yet they are nowhere to be seen now,” said the source.

It was also reported that one war veteran, who was irked by the delay and smelt a rat, literally drove one tractor away as he said that he had a right to benefit.

Masvingo Provincial Governor, Cde Willard Chiwewe refused to comment on the matter.

However, ZANU PF provincial chairman, retired army major Alex Mudavanhu confirmed the delay of the release of the equipment, but said they were still working out modalities to see to it that genuine farmers get the tractors, said to be well below 90 by now -- Harare Tribune News/VOP/Services


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Zanu PF Chefs Loot Tractors

GUTU - ZANU PF bigwigs are grabbing the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
(RBZ)-bankrolled tractors and other farming implements at the expense of
well deserving beneficiaries.

First Lady Grace Mugabe last month commissioned the tractors,
numbering to 100, soon after the re-run of the Presidential polls on June
27. Other farming equipment availed also includes 1000 knap sack sprayers,
disc harrows, ploughs and scorch carts.

Some of the equipment, gathered at Hwiru grounds in the sprawling
growth point, is slowly disappearing in the dead of the night amid reports
that some senior ruling party officials-who already have two or more
tractors-are snatching away the equipment while leaving genuine farmers
without benefiting.

Fingered in the scam includes former Member of Parliament (MP) for
Gutu North, Lovemore Matuke, and Shuvai Mahofa, who lost in Gutu South, a Mr
Mukumbiri, as well as the District Adminstrator, Patience Muzenda.

Muzenda - daughter of provincial war veterans chairman Isiah - is also
said to be working in cahoots with provincial Governor Willard Chiwewe who
is also said to be bringing in his new list of ghost farmers.

Sources say the ZANU PF heavies are deliberately delaying to disburse
the equipment as they are working out strategies to make some of the
equipment disappear. It was also said that they clashed over the matter
after Chiwewe decided to take over the role of disbursing the tractors.

"It is a strategy to loot the equipment so that they will have excuses
if there is a shortage, like in this case, they are saying some of the
equipment has been stolen or vandalized," said the source.

The source added that the ZANU PF officials are driving the tractors
at night to secret locations.

"This is not the first time that they stole the equipment at night.
There are some tractors that were commissioned by Vice President Mujuru in
Zvavahera in the run up to the elections. The tractors were never given to
farmers, yet they are nowhere to be seen now," said the source.

It was also reported that one war veteran, who was irked by the delay
and smelt a rat, literally drove one tractor away as he said that he had a
right to benefit.

Masvingo Provincial Governor, Cde Willard Chiwewe refused to comment
on the matter.

However, ZANU PF provincial chairman, retired army major Alex
Mudavanhu confirmed the delay of the release of the equipment, but said they
were still working out modalities to see to it that genuine farmers get the
tractors, said to be well below 90 by now.

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Zimbabwe's Judiciary Under Compromise

HARARE - RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono, accused
of compromising the independence of the judiciary by pampering them with
goodies such as state-of-the-art televisions, cars and cash, has defended
his actions saying there was nothing wrong with rewarding the country's

Describing the doling out of basic commodities, cars and electrical
goods to all the country's Supreme and High Court judges as the enhancement
of their working conditions, Gono said his actions were within the
provisions of the Reserve Bank Act.

"Those who take time to read the Reserve Bank Act, however, are aware
that the central bank is legally authorized to assist government programmes
from time to time," said Gono in a statement to the media.

The independent media accused Gono of compromising the judiciary by
giving them the goodies at the expense of the generality of the population
reeling from serious food shortages, adding that the RBZ's governor's
actions were unlawful and unconstitutional.

But Gono has hit back, saying the RBZ's actions was within its
responsibilities as outlined in the Reserve Bank Act.

He said specifically, the Reserve Bank Act Chapter 22:15, Section 8
(2) stated that "nothing in this section shall prevent the State from
carrying on transactions in such a manner as the state my require and if so,
requested by the State, the Bank shall make the necessary arrangements to
this end."

Gono said the central had to move into the judiciary to avoid a brain
drain in the sector.

"In the same vein, no successful economic turn-around can be achieved
in an environment where the judiciary system is acutely under-funded," he

Apart from televisions, cars and cash, Gono last month lavished all
the country's Supreme Court and High Court judges with sugar and mealie
meal, among other scarce basic commodities.

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Delivery Of Buses - A Political Gimmick

Bulawayo -  Villagers in rural Matabeleland say they were taken for a
ride by the ruling Zanu PF and the government when they introduced state
buses which have since been withdrawn from the roads.

The buses named Gushungo after President Robert Mugabe's totem, had
been introduced during the run up to the March 29 elections to chose a
President and members of Parliament, Senate and local government.

Most roads to rural areas were flooded with state buses which were
charging fares much lower than public transporters in the run up to the
elections, but most of the buses were now off the roads.

"Those buses are no longer available. We are back to square one, may
be it was just a campaign tool for Zanu PF," said a villager from Kezi.

However, a senior official at the Central Mechanical and Engineering
Department (CMED), which was running the fleet in conjunction with the
Reserve bank of Zimbabwe, said buses were removed from most roads because of
shortage of spare parts and fuel.

He said it was uneconomic to continue providing transport countrywide
for "free", yet there were more pressing matters that the Government had to
attend to.

"As expected, it was going to be a very futile exercise and we had to
stop most of these buses because there is no fuel. Some government
departments are going for weeks with a drop of fuel and what more these
buses, which are making losses everyday.

"The majority of them have broken down and we don't have spares to fix
them. There is no forex to order spares from outside the country because as
you know, most leading spare parts companies in the country no longer
entertain us because the government takes time to pay and by the time the
money is out, it would have lost value," he said.

Villagers are now resorting to the expensive public transport, which
gets fuel from the parallel market or service stations that sell the
commodity in foreign currency.

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Botswana denies giving Tsvangirai passport


August 18, 2008, 14:15

The Botswana foreign ministry has denied reports that the country is
considering plans to grant Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, a
diplomatic passport.

There have been reports that the Zimbabwean government is refusing to renew
his passport. Last week the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader's
emergency travelling documents were confiscated at Harare airport. They were
later handed back to him. However, foreign affairs spokesperson Cliff Maribe
says Botswana cannot give a foreign national such a passport.

Tsvangirai is in Gaborone today as part of a tour to Southern African
Development Community (SADC) countries to encourage regional leaders to
become involved in Zimbabwe's power-sharing talks.

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Madhuku urges Tsvangirai to pull out of talks

By Violet Gonda
18 August 2008

Outspoken civil leader Dr Lovemore Madhuku has called on MDC President
Morgan Tsvangirai to pull out of the controversial interparty negotiations,
saying it is obvious that Robert Mugabe will not give him the responsibility
to be the executive leader. Madhuku was speaking a day after the Zimbabwean
political rivals failed to strike a deal at the SADC summit in Johannesburg
at the weekend. The chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly said
politicians are taking Zimbabweans for granted and excluding everyone in
these talks, and yet they have failed to deliver results.

"They promised to come to some agreement in two weeks and they have not done
that. They have not even told people what the reasons are. This is really a
display of politicians, collectively - both ZANU PF and MDC - being
extremely arrogant," Madhuku said.

The constitutional law expert believes Tsvangirai should be going back to
the people to tell them that talks have failed and re-organise a united
front with civic, student, churches and labour groups. Madhuku added: "If he
wants to run the country he must get back to what has always been the way
forward. He must put pressure here and build a force here that pushes Mugabe
out. So he should pull out of the talks."

Morgan Tsvangirai walked out of talks with Robert Mugabe last Tuesday
because of Mugabe's unwillingness to cede any real power. The political
rivals were then invited to the SADC summit, but that meeting was also
unsuccessful in breaking the impasse. Madhuku said Mugabe is not the sort of
person who will compromise and SADC is not a body that will force him to.

Meanwhile the SADC organ on politics, defence and security said: "While
negotiations 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 29 March 2008." This statement has been viewed by the MDC
as an attempt by the regional body to pressure the MDC into signing a deal,
as convening parliament without consensus would be breaching the Memorandum
of Understanding by the parties.
Madhuku added that if implemented, this would be a scenario that would work
in Mugabe's favour. He said collectively ZANU PF has more seats in Senate
and Parliament, including the appointed chiefs. "Remember that the smaller
component of the MDC will never vote Tsvangirai in a closed session. I think
they have always been against Tsvangirai," he added

Madhuku warned that if the MDC does not go back to its constituency and
re-organise people, Mugabe will reconvene parliament and constitute cabinet
with no accountability.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Dealing with the Devil

Mens News Daily

2008-08-17 at 8:38 pm

I watched Mugabe last night at the SADC Summit in Johannesburg as he
listened to the Zambian Foreign Minister lambaste him for his disregard for
any sort of democratic principles in his effort to hold onto power. Mugabe
had his eyes nearly closed, the camera was focused right up close and you
could see his teeth were clamped shut. You could almost feel the animosity
and anger. Just down the line was the vacant seat of Botswana - Ian Khama
had refused to attend the summit if Mugabe was invited.

None of the other SADC leaders would have been very happy to have Mugabe in
their midst, he has disgraced the region, undermined our reputation as a
progressive democratic group of States that should be taken seriously when
it comes to the questions of democracy, openness, security of assets and the
rule of law. For most Zimbabweans, the man once regarded, as a hero of the
liberation struggle is now a failed despot.

When you dine with the devil you better use a long spoon - in our case that
has not really been an issue until the last few days when MDC leadership
have at last come face to face with Mugabe in the negotiations. But on
Sunday we had the first really substantive exchange with Mugabe since the
talk's process began more that 15 months ago. They took place at the Rainbow
Towers Hotel in Harare and the first session lasted 14 hours.

At the next session on Monday afternoon the talks ran into what always was
going to be the major sticking point, who was going to drive this
transition? No agreement was reached and the parties agreed to break away to
think through the issues. When they gathered on Tuesday Mr. Mbeki presented
Morgan Tsvangirai with a draft text that had already been agreed and signed
by Mutambara and Mugabe. He took the text to his team and on return he
tabled an alternative MDC version of a draft final text.

He told the other parties to the talks that as far as the MDC was concerned,
this was the core of the arrangements for the transition and that the MDC
would not change its stance significantly. Mugabe belligerently threatened a
unity government with Mutambara and said Morgan would be excluded from such
an arrangement. Morgan walked out of the talks and left the building.

Mbeki then spent some time explaining to the other two leaders why a deal
without Morgan's signature on it simply would not fly. He announced that he
would take the dispute to the SADC leadership for mediation when they met in
Johannesburg on Saturday. Then he flew to Luanda to consult President dos

On Saturday and Sunday the talks have gone on more or less continuously -
with neither side moving very far. We could have told Mr. Mbeki some days
ago that MDC would not move from the position that it had agreed at the
outset. This is a negotiation to enable the orderly transfer of power from
Zanu PF to MDC and to create space for that process through a transitional
arrangement that would end when a new constitution had been agreed and
promulgated. That process would be followed by our first free and fair
election under a universal franchise since 1980.
The latest position is that Mr. Mbeki has announced the talks are to
continue under the guidance of the SADC Troika until a deal is reached. The
issue dividing the parties is tantalizingly narrowly based; it's really just
the question of powers and duties for the President and the Prime Minister.
But it is the key issue and the whole deal revolves around the question.

As we have always said, there is no purpose in negotiating an agreement just
to have the outcome repudiated by the international community who in the end
are going to be asked to pick up the tab for Mugabe's delinquency. Since
this has been the main point of contention from the beginning, I am
surprised Mbeki had the nerve to even float the arrangements that he did for
the structure of the new government - he should have known better.

But the one thing the past few days have shown is that Mbeki has to have a
deal and is willing to go to great lengths to get the final hurdles
resolved. If he can, it will save South Africa from having to deal with the
floodtide of refugees that are on their way to South Africa and the
possibility of losing the World Cup in 2010 as well as what is left of his
personal legacy after 8 years in office as President.

As for the rest of us stuck at home and glued to our radio and television
sets, we can do little except wait and pray. But of one thing I am
completely sure - the vast majority of Zimbabweans are saying to us -
"vasbyt" - do not give in and do not allow Mugabe to retain any sort of
residual power and influence. I am amazed at the near total consensus on
that position across the country.

When it became known that Mutambara had signed a deal with the regime, there
was outrage in all parts of the country. I can imagine that Mutambara
himself must have felt the blast of hot air! Certainly our mails have been
full of condemnation and worse. He tried to deny that he had done a deal,
but both Mbeki and Mugabe confirmed that he had agreed to share power even
if Morgan walked away.

So now we wait and watch. I have been telling people that if they see that
Morgan has agreed to a deal then they can take it that it is all over. The
MDC will run the new government even if at the same time it has to work
together with Zanu PF. If no deal is struck then we will walk away even
though we dread the thought of what it will cost all of us. But for us there
is simply too much at stake and we will do this in the memory of all those
who have died and suffered in the past 10 years during our struggle for
democracy and freedom.

We can sense that even if we do have to walk away from a deal, that the end
is now in sight and that time is running out for the monsters that have
destroyed our country. We can see that it is only a matter of time before we
can celebrate the dawn of a new Zimbabwe.

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 17th August 2008.

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Mugabe rejects PM offer


    August 18 2008 at 07:24AM

By Hans Pienaar and Basildon Peta

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has offered Morgan
Tsvangirai a 50-50 power-sharing deal as prime minister with President
Robert Mugabe, but the Movement for Democratic Change rejected this,
offering the prime minister post to Mugabe instead.

A furious Mugabe rejected the counter-offer, sources said last night.

But the MDC scored a symbolic victory in the "recognition" by the SADC
that parliament may have to be convened even as talks continued - based "on
the will of the people" as expressed by the results of the March 29
parliamentary elections, which the MDC won.

However, such a move might scupper the dialogue between the three
negotiating parties because it means Mugabe would immediately have to
appoint a new cabinet. Doing this before the negotiations are completed
would entail Tsvangirai being excluded from a new government, contrary to an
African Union resolution demanding the formation of an all-inclusive

The latest bargaining came at an extraordinary "summit organ troika"
meeting of the SADC's organ for politics, defence and security co-operation.
This meant that 14 leaders - minus Botswana, but with new member
Seychelles - met under the chair of Swazi King Mswati the Third to discuss
the Zimbabwe crisis.

According to impeccable sources, the meeting, which included Mugabe,
offered the 50-50 deal to try to break the latest impasse in the talks,
which President Thabo Mbeki last night said were about 15 months old.

The MDC came with a counter-proposal, saying that since Zanu-PF was
now willing to share power equally, it could just as well accept Mugabe as
prime minister.

However, Mugabe rejected this and the meeting adjourned. The meeting
came after the closing ceremony of the 28th SADC summit in Sandton, where
Mbeki took over as the new chair of the SADC.

Mswati took over as chair of the organ in the place of Angolan
President Jose dos Santos.

At a press briefing after the SADC meeting, Mbeki indicated that the
negotiations were continuing, but said it was impossible to say when an
agreement would be reached.

He read from a communique that expressed the organ's view that
parliament might have to be convened.

Sources at the meeting said certain leaders were concerned that the
legality of dealings in and with Zimbabwe might be affected by the continued
failure to convene parliament. In terms of Zimbabwe's constitution, the
deadline for convening parliament has expired.

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on August
18, 2008

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Deal rests with Mugabe


Article By:
Mon, 18 Aug 2008 15:27
Regional leaders' failure to resolve Zimbabwe's crisis has raised questions
over whether President Robert Mugabe is prepared to cede enough power to
make a deal possible, analysts said Monday.

A summit of southern African leaders with Mugabe and opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai in attendance ended on Sunday with no final deal between
the two rivals despite a push from heads of state to bring them to an

Divisions remained over how power would be shared between the two men in a
national unity government, including what authority they would have as
president and prime minister.

"He is definitely choosing for the hardline and he has always done that, and
I think it is particularly unlikely for him to concede powers over the
security establishment," said Olmo Von Meijenfeldt, an analyst with the
Institute for Democracy in South Africa.

Zimbabwe's military and security chiefs are strong backers of Mugabe, who
was a hero of the country's liberation struggle against white minority rule.

Some analysts argue the powerful Joint Operations Command of security chiefs
call the shots to a large degree in Zimbabwe, and Mugabe's position at the
negotiating table depends heavily on them.

"I think the question to ask from where I'm sitting is whether it is
Mugabe's decision," said Aubrey Matshiqi of the Centre for Political Studies
in South Africa.

An obstacle to a settlement to end the crisis that intensified after
Mugabe's widely condemned re-election in June may be the Joint Operations
Command, he said.

"It would be very difficult for the JOC for instance to give up ministerial
posts if this includes giving up the security portfolios."

Tsvangirai in June claimed that Zimbabwe was being run by a "military
junta", and he boycotted the June run-off vote, citing rising violence
against his supporters that had left dozens dead and thousands injured.

The opposition leader has held out so far against accepting a deal that he
sees as not granting him real power.

"It's better not to have a deal than to have a bad deal," Tsvangirai told
The New York Times in an interview published Sunday.

Pressure has increased on Tsvangirai, and South African President Thabo
Mbeki, the mediator for the Zimbabwe talks, said Sunday parliament may have
to be convened as negotiations continue.

The ruling party lost its parliamentary majority for the first time since
independence in 1980 in March elections.

However, Mugabe's Zanu-PF and a smaller opposition faction led by Arthur
Mutambara would have a parliamentary majority if they combined forces.

Despite the differences between the bitter rivals, some analysts say some
type of deal will eventually come out of the discussions.

Eldred Masungure, a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, told AFP that "a
deal is inevitable".

"There will be an immense pressure on both parties to reach a deal," he
said. "Failure is not an option as all other exits are blocked."

But where a deal will leave the opposition is unclear, and some analysts
argue Tsvangirai will never accept an agreement that does not give him a
workable share of power.

"Robert Mugabe might be willing to give some power to Morgan Tsvangirai, but
that power will only translate to 25 percent of real power and that would
not include him giving Morgan control of the army, police and the
intelligence," said Takavira Zhou, a political analyst in Zimbabwe.

In the meantime, Zimbabwe's economic meltdown continues. Once seen as a
regional breadbasket, the country now has the world's highest inflation
rate, officially put at 2.2 million percent, and major food shortages.

Some argue Mugabe's party may be willing to accept a deal if only to free up
international aid.

"Zanu-PF seems to have a problem in giving real power to the MDC, but
eventually they will have to," said Takura Zhangazha, director of the Media
Institute of Southern Africa.

World Bank and IMF support will be needed "to get the economy back on
track", Zhangazha said.


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Economists raise alarm over Free Trade Area

sadc logo

SADC leaders have hailed the FTA as a major breakthrough

August 18, 2008, 18:30

Economists have warned of economic pain and even job losses in the short-term because of the historic Southern African Development Community (SADC) Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed in Johannesburg yesterday.

The agreement sees the establishment of a regional common market of more than 247 million people, where goods and services will move freely without tariffs. However, some economists say many companies will not survive the opening of the flood gates and they say it will lead to job losses.

SADC leaders have hailed the FTA as a major breakthrough.

Besides goods moving freely across the region, the agreement will also see faster economic growth and job creation throughout the region. Regional trade in agricultural products and other processed goods are expected to pick up immediately and consumers stand to benefit handsomely from lower prices resulting from increased competition.

Ironically, Zimbabwe also joined the FTA, even though it has very little to offer the region from its collapsed economy. On the other hand, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Seychelles have decided not to join until they put their economic houses in order.

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ANALYSTS' VIEW-Zimbabwe power-sharing deal still elusive


Mon 18 Aug 2008, 9:41 GMT

Aug 18 (Reuters) - Southern African leaders failed to secure a power-sharing
deal between Zimbabwe's ruling party and the opposition at the weekend.

But the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said it believed
talks with President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF would be concluded soon and
that failure was not an option.

Following are comments from political analysts:


"A collapse of the talks would be a real disaster for the region."

"The main sticking points (are) the powers between Tsvangirai and Mugabe. I
think that's the big issue."

"In principle they've agreed that Mugabe should be president and Tsvangirai
should be prime minister. The real issue is what are the lines of

"Unless Tsvangirai signs on the dotted line the crisis continues, not only
simply because the billions of foreign aid does not become available, but
also because he does represent a significant majority of the Zimbabwean


"A deal is still in sight, despite the weekend setback. Even the parties
recognise that failure is not an option and that there should be compromise.

"I don't see any exit route from this protracted crisis, other than a
political settlement. It appears the parties are getting closer with each
meeting, despite there being unresolved issues.

"The two main protagonists, Mugabe and Tsvangirai, need more prodding. The
circumstances compel that a political settlement be found.

"ZANU-PF and the MDC will find a common ground, probably this week. There is


"I dont think it (the weekend regional meeting) changes anything. The
sticking points remain and it is completely unacceptable for two politicians
to hold the nation at ransom".

"It is unthinkable for Mugabe to sign away his power. He is not going to
budge as he probably thinks he has gone far enough by offering Tsvangirai
the prime minister's post and some ministries".

"So this process will either collapse or the MDC will capitulate. The fact
that they have stayed in this process this long shows they could eventually
capitulate and be swallowed by ZANU-PF".


"I suppose what is interesting is that there was an expectation that there
would be a lot of pressure from most of the SADC heads of government on the
MDC to settle. If there was that pressure it obviously didn't work out."

"We know publicly that Botswana and Zambia feel that Mr. Mugabe is not a
legitimate president of Zimbabwe. We know that Angola and Namibia feel that
he is. It's clearly public that there are divisions within SADC on this

"As long as there are divisions within SADC it becomes much more difficult
for Southern African heads of government to pressurise the MDC into a

(Reporting by Nelson Banya in Harare; Phakamisa Ndzamela in Johannesburg)

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Mugabe Held Hostage By Party Hawks And Army

The Nation (Nairobi)

17 August 2008
Posted to the web 18 August 2008

Kitsepile Nyathi

Zimbabwean strongman, President Robert Mugabe has always been regarded as
something of a political enigma. For most of his 28 years in power, he has
virtually run the once prosperous Southern African country as a de-facto one
party state.

In the eyes of millions of subdued Zimbabweans he is a dictactor who brooks
no challenge even from his former liberation movement or the army.

But after an embarrassing electoral set back during the historical March
elections where his ruling Zanu PF lost its parliamentary majority to the
opposition for the first time since independence, a new profile of a leader
who is a hostage to very powerful forces is emerging.

Presented with a golden opportunity to revive his tattered legacy by
reaching a political settlement with his main rival, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai of
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Mr Mugabe dug in his heels at
the last minute.

His image of a man with sole and absolute power was brought into question.
South African President Thabo Mbeki spent four days holed in a Harare hotel
after Zanu PF and MDC negotiators produced a draft agreement that many
believed was a panacea to the impasse that has kept Zimbabwe without a
government for five months.

He went back home empty handed after Mr Tsvangirai walked out of the talks
protesting that he no longer "understood the language" Mr Mugabe was talking
at the negotiating table.

Reports have since emerged that defence forces commander, General
Constantine Chiwenga told Mr Mugabe that the army was not prepared to honour
any arrangement that leaves Mr Tsvangirai as the dominant figure in

Gen Chiwenga is the leader of the Joint Operations Command (JOC), which is
made up heads of the army, police, prisons and intelligence that has
effectively usurped power from Mr Mugabe since Mr Tsvangirai defeated him in
the presidential election held on March 29.

Another threat

Then another threat came from former liberation war fighters who are said to
have ordered the 84 year-old president not to accept any power sharing deal
with the opposition, warning that he risked dire consequences including the
invasion of commercial farms.

The warnings were separately delivered to Mr Mugabe on Monday, while
Zimbabweans expected that the three leaders including Professor Arthur
Mutambara of the small faction of the MDC were close to signing the
anxiously awaited power-sharing deal.

"The outcome of the talks hinges on the army generals and Mugabe is only
there as a figure head," said a researcher at the Department of War and
Strategic Studies at the University of Zimbabwe who could not be named for
professional reasons.

"The military remains deeply suspicious of Tsvangirai and some commanders
feel that they have sacrificed a lot for Mugabe to lose out their positions
just like that."

He said Zimbabwe's political transition from the Lancaster House talks that
brought the country's independence in 1980 to an accord that ended a civil
war in 1987 had always been negotiated by soldiers who must be involved if
the current talks were to succeed.

Another source of trouble for the talks is from Mr Mugabe's failure to
manage his succession in the ruling Zanu PF.

"A ZANU-PF clique is now seeking to subvert the process as they think
President Mugabe made too many concessions," the Financial Gazette newspaper

"That is why you see that even though the principals are bound by the terms
of the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) not to leak information to the
media, confidential information is now finding its way to the state media.

"They hope that Tsvangirai maintains his stance."

That was demonstrated by the uproar that followed reports that Prof
Mutambara's faction was prepared to sign an agreement without Mr Tsvangirai
that would pave way for Mr Mugabe to form a new government.

Seven of the faction's 10 MPs threatened to resign from the party rather
than work with Zanu PF.

And, about Mr Tsvangirai: "If he makes the wrong move he will be finished
politically because Zimbabweans will never forgive him for selling out to
Zanu PF," says Thomas Ngwenya, a former PF Zapu member.

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ACDP lashes out at "cowardly" African leaders

Monday, 18 August 2008 15:50
 JOHANNESBURG -  Rev Kenneth Meshoe, M.P. and President of the ACDP,
today lashed out at some African leaders for their cowardice in not
confronting Robert Mugabe and in letting down the people of Zimbabwe again.

"The ACDP is disappointed at the failure to reach an agreement in the
Zimbabwe talks. It is shameful that African leaders at the SADC conference
did not have the guts to stand up to Mugabe; they know that he cheated and
stole the presidency thus he does not qualify to be treated as Head of
State. Because the SADC observer mission did not declare the Zimbabwe
election free and fair, SADC leaders could not openly endorse Mugabe's
presidency, but they did so behind closed doors during the SADC meeting.

It shows they do not have a heart for ordinary Zimbabwean citizens who
are suffering; they are only intent on protecting one of their own. SADC has
failed Southern African states again. The people expected them to confront
Robert Mugabe about the atrocities still being committed by his armed forces
and police junta, by ZANU-PF party supporters and particularly by the youth.

It is disgraceful that a leader with blood of his own people on his
hands should be celebrated like a hero. African renaissance will remain a
pipe-dream for as long as cruel dictators like Robert Mugabe are treated
like heroes.

Our leaders should emulate the courage of the Botswana President, Ian
Khama, who was courageous enough to make a stand for justice in defence of
the Zimbabwean people, by refusing to endorse the illegitimate presidency of
Zimbabwe can never have peace with a cruel dictator at the helm - for
peace to prevail they need a leader who believes in equality, liberty and
justice for all."
For more information, contact
Dr Kenneth Meshoe, M.P. and President of the ACDP,
082 962 5884

Ms Libby Norton
ACDP Press Attaché,
07 25 70 636l

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Arthur Mutambara an Idiotic Moron or a Patriot?

Monday, 18 August 2008 11:01

Arthur Mutambara an Idiotic Moron or a Patriot?

By Peter Mutanda wa-Ndebele

Arthur Mutambara, a robotics scientist and a leader of the splinter
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Party is becoming a villain or hero?
This man, some people declared a perfect leader who is untarnished by
the power struggles that has rocked MDC in the past and others opposed
saying he is too much of an outsider who has lost touch with the realities
of Zimbabwean politics. Others also questioned about his credentials and
experience as a genuine mainstream politician.
"He has a good history as a student leader but will need time to grow
into the position of national leader," political scientist Brian
Raftopoulos, told the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper.

Arthur Mutambara became popular in 1988 - 89 when he was a student
leader at University of Zimbabwe where he organised anti-government protests
that led to his imprisonment. Since then he disappeared into the oblivion,
15 years later he appeared to lead the splinter group after MDC had splinted
over disagreements on whether to participate in 2005 senate elections. In
February 2006 at a Congress of the breakaway MDC faction Mutambara admitted
that he was against the elections "My position was that the MDC should have
boycotted those Senate elections. I guess then that makes me the anti-Senate
leader of the pro-Senate MDC faction. How ridiculous can we get? That debate
is now in the past, let us move on and unite our people."
So is Mutambara an opportunist or elitist? Whose interests will he try
to serve then, the people's or his? Only he can answer these questions.
During his early days of joining the splinter bandwagon, he became
part of smear campaigns and bitter war of words led by Welshman Ncube, Paul
Themba Nyathi and followers like Gibson Sibanda etc. Arthur Mutambara once
proclaimed doomed Morgan Tsvangirai to repent by joining his splinter group.
How can the President of the main faction repent by joining a splinter
faction? Only Arthur can answer that question.
Now on every opportunity that he gets he preaches about the
indecisiveness of Morgan Tsvangirai and forgetting about his own
indecisiveness or simply lack of wisdom to make quality decisions.
In the March 2008, Mutambara decided not to run for President instead
ran for parliamentary elections for a seat in Zengeza which he lost
dismally. His faction decided to back Simba Makoni, a ZANU-PF affiliate
running as an independent Presidential candidate, for what reasons? Only
Mutambara can answer that.
In April after Tsvangirai and his MDC faction had won the elections,
Mutambara blown by this euphoria pledged his faction to support Tsvangirai.
However now it seems he is teaming up with Thabo Mbeki and Robert Mugabe to
pressurise Tsvangirai to sign a farce of a deal that will repeat the same
history of ZAPU that was swallowed by ZANU. Why is Mutambara in a hurry to
agree on a quick deal with these two beleaguered leaders who have failed
their own people in their two respective countries? Zimbabwean people have
been patient with the leadership failure for the past 28 years; they can't
be impatient now in this 1month of very important make or break talks.
Arthur Mutambara in his article, Exalting the Heroic Revolution meant
to be a heroes' day message attacked "the irritating ignorance, political
insensitivity, double standards, and patronising arrogance" of the west. He
also accused the west of trying to pinpoint their preferred Zimbabwean
leader to lead the new government.
But questions still stand, who is he trying to impress of late,
Mugabe, Mbeki or the Zimbabwean people? Whose interest is he serving, his
personal or Zimbabwean people's? Is he a traitor or a patriot?

Readers Comments

Traitor No, Patriot No, c**kroach Yes
written by Chief (SA), August 18, 2008

Mutambara is a confused c**kraoch in a bowl of milk. He has shown the
Zim people and the rest of the world, that he doesn't know what he is doing.
He is a mere opportunist looking to enrich himself which ever way the
outcome of the talks.

Hachisi chi UBA ichi this is politics at National level, it requires
one to have a soci-econimic and political understanding inoder to make
informed decissions.

Ibharanzi to conclude

written by wevhu, August 18, 2008

He is an inexperienced idiot at Zim politics. He should be told
Zimbabweans are not robots. He should go back to studying robotics.

written by Mordekai, August 18, 2008

I can't understand what a professor of Robotics is doing in politics.
At best he should be a traffic cop!

written by kiki, August 18, 2008

Mutambara is an opportunist. all he wants is power by whatever means.
Politics is not robotics Arthur. This is our life and please you have messed
us up enough, and enough is enough.

written by Peter Machado, August 18, 2008

Mutambara is imposing himself on people.Why did he not even contest
his home area constituency.No right thinking Zimbabwe has time for this
selfish guy.It should be made clear to him that he needs to stop
monopolising knowledge about what is right for Zimbabweans.Auther's conduct
reflects the pre-occupation ,obssession and the wrong notions about being an
educated individual.Robotics has no relevance to the current
crisis.Mutambara makes a lot feel sick as he has nothing to offer.He should
not be in the talks anyway.

written by mugabe, August 18, 2008

Authur in fact urimhata nekuti yu are no longer employed saka
urikutsvaga basa by what ever means manje tsvangs ndewepovo hahaiti madhodhi
ako ayo

written by Hapana, August 18, 2008

Will those who parachuted Arthur in, please send a helicopter to
casavac him out. He is way out of his depth almost and a real worry to some
of us who think he can be easily be manipulated by Mugabe
pathetic Arthur
written by zvakwana kani, August 18, 2008

Could you go back to your so-called Professorship? You could be more
useful there. Just a pointer - you are playing on the wrong turf right now.
written by Juga, August 18, 2008

Asina kudzidza arinani. This is a disgrace. Now the stupid professor
is exposed for what he really is...Power hungry. We know the outcome of all
this....Remember another professor. Jonzo Moyo? Ring a bell? That is what
will happen to you Authur. I thought professors read and learn from history.
Apparently not. Not you two. You are just as dim witted as they come....some
mothers have them!

written by Pat M, August 18, 2008

Just another shameless a*s-licker. Very soon he will be singing the
hymns of his financial saviour and soon -to-be benefactor, the blood
stinking Robert Mugabe. a Judas Iscariot. Our people shall not be sold!

To Morgan I say stand firm, the criminals are on auto-destruct. It is
just a matter of time. Do not throw them a line. Arthur will sink with them!

written by mbukeli, August 18, 2008

l can not believe that he is now singing with those in the sinking
boat.he can not talk about violence,hunger,murder on his doorstep but opens
his mouth loud and blames the certain him and the sinkers dream
about the West everyday.
where did he come from to start this confusion in MDC?
please has anyone lost a professor we have found one and we cant keep
him any longer he is toxic

What a tool
written by Mendizim, August 18, 2008

He needs to go back and play with his robots ASAP because he has no
place in Politics!!

Dude can't even answer a question with any semblence of maturity

AGO confused
written by Muchinja Akakwana, August 18, 2008

He follows the wind , when he thinks MT is gaining ground he is for
the people, and if he thinks matibili is gaining ground then he is for
posts. He supported Simba although Simba publicly distanced himself. He is
busy running around touting ten seats but those mps have no allegiance to
him. Usatambe nezanu now Jonzo has been dumped by zanu since he has no ten
seats. Although he has said it is his constituitional right to rejoin zanu,
zanu yacho has barely taken note of him. Zanu inokushandisa.

Morgan Ndizvo
written by Samdala Ngenkani, August 18, 2008

Mutambara is a very stupid idiot who doesnt know where he
stands.Please Morgan dont allow him to join you no matter what cause it
seems like he is just mweya wetsvina urikutsvaga pekugara.Never ever allow

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Bus Owner Charges In Foreign Currency

Mutare - A senior Zanu PF official and prominent Mutare bus operator
Esau Mupfumi is charging bus fare in foreign currency as Zimbabwe's economic
woes continues amid stalled talks aimed at finding a political situation in

President Robert Mugabe and opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai failed to sign a political settlement deal at
the weekend at a Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional
meeting at the weekend as planned. The mediator, South African President
Thabo Mbeki, had been so confident that a deal would be signed. The talks
are however expected to continue.

Mupfumi, who is Zanu PF's National Consultative Assembly member for
Manicaland province, owns a fleet of buses which plies along the country's
main highways.

" Last week I was forced to pay 100 rands for a trip from Bulawayo to
Mutare, " said Charity Mutambanengwe. "I tried to argue with the bus crew
that it is illegal to charge passengers in forex but they could not listen
to my arguement. They even threatened to drop me in Zvishavane if I did not
give them the money,' she said.

Another passenger Elijah Matiki also claimed he had been been forced
to pay in rands as bus fare when he was coming from Mutare going to Botswana
two weeks ago.

"The crew normally target potential cross border traders. They do not
ask everyone to pay in forex but the criteria they normally use is those
people who have got large goods and are coming from outside the country."

Last week the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Gideon Gono
warned business people not to charge goods and services in foreign currency
saying the practice was illegal.

Due to the high inflation in the country most people were preffering
to deal in hard currency as compared to the local currency, which many see
as valueless. Zimbabwe, currently has one of the highest in the world at 2,2
million percent. Some economic anaylysts say the figure is much higher than

Most Zimbabwean shops have no food, where it is available it is out of
reach of many.

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University Closed Down

Harare - The Zimbabwe Open University's (ZOU) John Boyne building
offices in Harare have been closed due to shortages of running water and
appalling conditions.

ZOU is the only open university in Zimbabwe used by thousands of
students throughout the country. The university's building is situated at
corner Speke avenue and Innez Terrace in the central business district.

Oficials from the city of Harare's health department descended on the
building last Friday and ordered the closure of the structure which houses
the university's Human Resources, Academic registry and  Information and
technology departments.

' Our senoirs have told us to stay at home untill alternative offices
have been sought in town.The place had become a health hazard. Imagine we
last have running water in May and all along we have been using public
toilets,' said one of the university workers who refused to be named for
fear of victimisation.

The seven storey building which housed more than 500 people is also
reportedly said to have developed serious structural defects, further
risking the lives of the occupants.

" The lifts are not functioning . The ceiling of the building is also
falling apart and there are lots of rats in the ceiling which always make
this fun sound. We are happy that at least something has been done,' said
another worker .

Last week three people died while  several others were injured when a
building which houses a night club in Harare curved in and collapsed.

Serious water shortages have hit Harare with residents going for weeks
or months without the precious commodity.

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Chingoka flies to Dubai for ICC talks

From cricinfo, 17 August

Cricinfo staff

Peter Chingoka, Zimbabwe Cricket's chairman, will travel to Dubai for talks
with David Morgan, the ICC president, after the Zimbabwe board failed to
endorse Chingoka's offer that his country would stay away from ICC centenary
celebrations in England next summer and the ICC World Twenty20 which
follows. Last month, Chingoka told the ICC executive that Zimbabwe would
withdraw from the events so as not to force a stand-off in the likely
scenario that the British government refused him and his players entry to
the country. At the time, it was hailed as a breakthrough which would allow
the two events to proceed without the threat of a Zimbabwe ban overshadowing
them. However, Cricinfo has learned that the ZC board failed to give
Chingoka its backing, and after several meetings he has been instructed to
go back to the ICC to clarify a number of issues. Chingoka will travel to
Dubai with Tavengwa Mukuhlani, ZC's vice chairman, and Wilson Manase. It is
expected he will meet Morgan as well as Sharad Pawar, the vice-president,
and Haroon Lorgat, the ICC's chief executive. If the ZC contingent fails to
get answers to appease their own board then the whole issue of Zimbabwe
visiting England in 2009 is likely to resurface. Since the ICC meeting
Chingoka has been added to the European Union list of Zimbabweans banned
from entering the EU because of their links to the Mugabe regime.

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