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White-run abattoirs ordered to cede 50% stake to blacks

Zim Online

Thursday 30 August 2007

      By Regerai Marwezu

      MASVINGO - President Robert Mugabe's government has ordered
white-owned abattoirs to cede 50 percent stake to blacks as it presses ahead
with a controversial plan to place control of the battered economy in the
hands of indigenous Zimbabweans.

      While the majority of whites remaining in Zimbabwe are citizens with
most of them born in the country, Mugabe's government does not regard them
as indigenous to the country and often accuses them of being loyal to
Britain and other Western nations where their ancestors originated.

      Industry Minister Obert Mpofu said the government would not allow
closed white-owned private abattoirs to reopen unless they hived off at
least 50 percent stake to blacks.

      "We cannot allow whites to have full control of such companies
(abattoirs) since they can sabotage the country at any moment," Mpofu told
ZimOnline on Wednesday.

      He added: "We are urging all private abattoirs wholly owned by whites
to make sure that they comply with this Cabinet decision for us to issue
them with fresh licences. If they defy this directive we are going to take
over their enterprises or close them for good."

      All private abattoirs were last month ordered to close as punishment
for alleged failure to comply with a government directive to lower meat

      The government reversed the ban on private abattoirs because of meat
shortages after the state-run Cold Storage Commission failed to keep the
country supplied. However, only black-owned private abattoirs have to date
been issued fresh licences to operate.

      The decision to force abattoirs to sell shareholding to blacks comes
as Parliament's Legal Committee last week began reviewing the government's
Indigenisation and Empowerment Bill that seeks to compel foreign-owned firms
to cede controlling stake to indigenous Zimbabweans.

      The government is expected to use its overwhelming majority in both
chambers of Parliament to pass the Bill into law when it is tabled for
debate in two weeks time.

      The empowerment Bill has drawn criticism from economists who fear it
would scare away foreign investors at a time Harare desperately needed
support from the international community.

      Mugabe has defended the empowerment Bill as necessary to ensure
control of the country's natural resources was in the hands of the majority
blacks, claiming that foreigners were not investing in Zimbabwe's future

      A similar drive by Mugabe to seize white-owned commercial farms to
give to blacks is largely blamed for derailing the mainstay agricultural
sector after the government failed to back up black villagers resettled on
former white farms with skills training and inputs support to maintain

      Zimbabwe - once a regional breadbasket - has grappled with severe food
shortages since the beginning of farm seizures in 2000. - ZimOnline

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Mugabe tells ZANU PF supporters to remain loyal

Zim Online

Thursday 30 August 2007

By Thulani Munda

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday told members of his ruling
ZANU PF party to remain loyal, as veterans of Zimbabwe's 1970s independence
war declared him their sole candidate for president in next year's

Mugabe, who has in the past accused some of his top lieutenants of seeking
the help of magicians in a bid to enhance their chances to succeed him,
admonished senior ZANU PF leaders stampeding for his job, saying they should
wait to be chosen by the people and should not impose themselves as leader
of the party.

"Leadership must come from the people, people will decide. You do not push
yourself into the position of leadership. Let the people choose," said
Mugabe, to thunderous applause from war veterans, among his fiercest

Mugabe, in power since Zimbabwe's 1980 independence from Britain, initially
encouraged his followers to discuss his succession but made an about turn
and has over the past three years consistently tried to stifle debate on the
matter, rebuking those who make open their ambitions for the top job as
disloyal and power hungry.

He is expected to be re-elected next year for another five-year term to
extend his rule to more than three decades.

Zimbabwe holds presidential and parliamentary elections next year, which
some analysts say could be the toughest yet for Mugabe and ZANU PF, citing a
deepening economic crisis they say has angered voters.

War veterans, who earlier in the day marched across Harare to show support
for Mugabe and waited for hours for him to address them, said they were not
prepared to accept anyone else as candidate for president next year.

"We convey this to you as the sole candidate for 2008 elections, we are
satisfied with your leadership before and after independence," said the
ex-combatants leader, Jabulani Sibanda.

"We are gathered here in solidarity with our President, not only the
president of Zimbabwe but for the oppressed people of the world," he added
as the veterans sang and chanted slogans in praise of Mugabe.

War veterans have routinely waged violence and terror against the opposition
at every election to ensure victory for Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party.

The ex-combatants also spearheaded the government's controversial land
reform programme touted by Mugabe as his administration's best achievement
since coming to power in 1980 but blamed by critics for causing food
shortages and exacerbating the country's economic crisis.

The world's highest inflation of more than 7 000 percent, deepening poverty
and shortages of every basic commodity highlight Zimbabwe's economic crisis
that the World Bank has described as the worst in the world outside a war

Western governments and the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change
party blame Zimbabwe's meltdown on repression and wrong policies by Mugabe -
charges he denies.

Meanwhile, Mugabe broke his silence on the decision by Western nations to
withdraw student visas of children of top members of his party and

"They said the sanctions are for the leadership and now the children. What
have the children done to warrant the deportations? That's what imperialists
do," he said.

Some Western governments that have imposed visa and financial sanctions on
Mugabe and his top lieutenants have said they will extend the ban on
children of the Zimbabwean officials studying in their countries. -

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Soldiers attack villagers after bar scuffle

Zim Online

Thursday 30 August 2007

By Lizwe Sebatha and Nqobizitha Khumalo

BULAWAYO - Zimbabwean soldiers went on a rampage this week beating up
defenceless villagers in Esigodini in a revenge attack following an earlier
scuffle involving two of their colleagues.

Villagers told ZimOnline yesterday that more than 60 uniformed soldiers
driving in two trucks on Tuesday attacked unsuspecting villagers at Ntabende
rural service centre in retaliation to an earlier attack in which two of
their colleagues were beaten during a scuffle at a bar the previous night.

The soldiers, based at the nearby Bomb Range Barracks, are alleged to have
rounded up the villagers and ordered them to lie on the ground before
assaulting them.

"We were at the shopping centre when all of a sudden two trucks emerged full
of soldiers who then started beating up everyone in sight using logs and
whatever they could lay their hands on to beat us all over our bodies," said
Beatrice Ncube, one of the villagers.

Scores of villagers were yesterday still admitted at Bulawayo's Mpilo
Hospital, Mater Dei Hospital and United Bulawayo Hospital.

Zimbabwe National Army spokesman Samuel Tsatsi yesterday dismissed the
assault allegations.

"Soldiers do not go about beating up villagers," Tsatsi told ZimOnline.

But Nomalanga Khumalo, Member of Parliament for the area - located about 60
kilometres west of Zimbabwe second city of Bulawayo - confirmed the incident
and expressed disgust at the soldiers' behaviour.

"I am utterly shocked by the action of the soldiers," Khumalo said.

Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), a network of human rights
activists that seeks to promote and protect people's rights in the country,
castigated the attack on the villagers.

"The behaviour by the soldiers is abhorrent and, as ZimRights, we are
shocked by this behaviour and we believe there can be no military action
without the involvement of senior army officials," ZimRights chairperson
Kucaca Phulu said.

He accused the soldiers of abusing their power by indiscriminately attacking
innocent people, including them women and children.

"This could be the beginning of some operation against Zimbabweans and I
believe that this was done with the consent of those in power," Phulu said.

Police in Esigodini confirmed the incident.

"There are some people who were assaulted and we are investigating the
matter and we are still awaiting their medical reports," said a police
officer who refused to be named because he is not authorised to speak to the

Human rights groups have in the past accused President Robert Mugabe's
government of unleashing the police and soldiers on defenceless people as a
way of ensuring they toe the line. - ZimOnline

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MDC postpones launch

The Zimbabwean

.. as free and fair hopes die
The MDC (Tsvangirai) has postponed the launch of its election campaign,
which had been set for September 9.
Party spokesman, Nelson Chamisa, would not divulge details, but The
Zimbabwean understands from party insiders that the postponement could be a
result of deliberations on whether or not to participate in the elections.
"The issue of participation has really not been resolved yet," a senior MDC
official said on condition of anonymity.
Other sources within the party say there have been further deliberations
following the "direction that we seem to be heading regarding the issue of
talks with Zanu (PF) that appear to be dying slowly".
The party, together with the MDC (Mutambara), have been on record saying
they will only participate in the elections on conditions of minimum
guarantees for a free and fair contest.
However, any slight hopes for that being achieved are fading by the day as
Zanu (PF)'s strongman, President Robert Mugabe, continues to rule out
prospects of his embattled regime capitulating to demands for constitutional
and electoral reform.
The usual fawning solidarity at the expense of objective peer review
characterized the recent Sadc meeting in Lusaka where S A President Thabo
Mbeki reportedly claimed "progress" on his mediation efforts.
Sources within both the opposition and the ruling party say Mbeki' claims
are "far from reality" and further report that the two political sides "have
more differences than commonalities on the dialogue issue". - Itai Dzamara

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5th Anniversary of the Vigil and other events


Dear Supporters

Important forthcoming events

ZIMBABWE VIGIL'S FIFTH ANNIVERSARY - Saturday, 13th October 2007
The first Zimbabwe Vigil was on 12th October 2002. Since then we have been
outside the Zimbabwe Embassy every Saturday afternoon.  We are commemorating
our 5th Anniversary on Saturday, 13th October 2007.  We can't celebrate the
need for 5 years of protest against human rights abuses so this is not a
celebration but is perhaps a cause for congratulation that we have kept our
protest going all this time. We are planning a social event in the evening
and will send out more information once we have a venue finalised.

Other events
·        Zimbabwe Vigil at Zimfest - Saturday, 1st September 2007. Zimfest
2007 (food, sports, music) runs from 12 noon - 10 pm at Prince Georges
Playing Fields, Bushey Rd, Raynes Park, London, SW20 9NB.  For the first
time we are running a parallel Vigil at Zimfest - A group of us will be
there with banners, petitions, flyers and drums for singing and dancing. Our
support has increased so much this year that we are able to run two Vigils
USUAL.  For information on Zimfest and how to get tickets, check:
·        "Gukurahundi" - Chatham House Meeting - Tuesday, 4th September
2007, 12 noon - 13.30 pm. The International Liaison Office of the Zimbabwe
Human Rights NGO Forum will be hosting "Zimbabwe's Gukurahundi: Lessons from
the 1980-1988 disturbances in Matabeleland and The Midlands" at Chatham
House 10 St James's Square, London SW1Y 4LE. This is the title of the second
edition of '"Breaking the Silence: a Report on the Disturbances in
Matabeleland and the Midlands.  This meeting marks ten years since the
original publication and launches of its second edition (with an
introduction by Elinor Sisulu and a new foreword by Archbishop Pius Ncube).
Speakers include: Mike Auret, former Director, Catholic Commission for
Justice and Peace, Eileen Sawyer, former Director, Legal Resource
Foundation, Nokuthula Moyo, Chair, Legal Resources Foundation, and Noel
Kututwa, Chair, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum.  For information on how to
attend the meeting, check the Chatham House website:
·        Vigil Special Literature Event - Saturday, 8th September 2007. This
is part of a worldwide reading for Zimbabwe organised by the International
Literature Festival of Berlin.  Our event will take place between 3.30 and 5
pm.  Several Vigil supporters have volunteered to do the readings which will
be interspersed with music. SW Radio Africa have agreed to cover the event.
The readings comprise poems by Chenjerai Hove, Chirikuré Chirikuré and
Dumbudzo Marecharas, and Elinor Sisulu's introduction to the Gukurahundi
book. More information can be found on

Events further afield
·        Ripon North Yorkshire - Friday, 7th September 2007, 6.30 pm. Debate
on human rights opened by barrister James Keeley. Discussion on Zimbabwe led
by Albert Weidemann. Venue: Ripon, North Yorkshire, Address: YMCA, Water
Skellgate, HG4 1BQ. For more information, contact: Albert on 01765-607900 or
mobile 0779 340 1407.

Ordering "The Zimbabwean" Newspaper - if you live in an area where there are
a number of Zimbabweans, why not ask your local newsagent to stock copies of
The Zimbabwean.  The Zimbabwean is distributed around the UK by the same
companies as distribute all the UK national newspapers.  Newsagents gets the
papers at around 32% discount and return what they do not sell to the
distributors.  They do not pay for unsold papers so they can't lose.  Let's
help the Zimbabwean to reach as many readers as possible.
Vigil co-ordinators
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place
every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of
human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in
October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair
elections are held in Zimbabwe.

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Zimbabwe Election Watch - Sokwanele

Sokwanele - Enough is Enough - Zimbabwe

Issue 5: 29 August 2007

This issue of Zimbabwe Election Watch provides a perspective of the political landscape prior to and during the two-month long voter registration programme (18 June - 17 August). The elections are a combination of municipal, presidential and parliamentary polls and are the first to be conducted jointly.

In their latest report for January to June 2007, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) recorded 4 122 incidences of human rights violations that were in most incidences politically motivated. The ZPP says the facts and figures demonstrate the political temperature is definitely rising, with June recording 792 cases up from 671 in May.

Similarly, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum says 2007 is on course to be the worst year for human rights violations by police and government agents in the seven years of political turmoil. Cases of gross human rights violations doubled in the first six months compared to the same period last year.

The often-blatant vote rigging that has characterised past elections is already well underway, with opposition party spokespeople reporting that their rural supporters have been denied the chance to register.

To strengthen its chance of wresting urban constituencies from the opposition, the government has moved people in from rural areas and registered them as urban voters.

A political scientist at the University of Zimbabwe has expressed concern that only about 80 000 names have been added to the electoral roll against the estimated three million who are believed to have left Zimbabwe in search of work abroad.

The Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust has joined the long list of democracy advocates condemning the mobile voter registration exercise as a sham. They said some communities did not even know mobile voter registration teams were in their areas.

Controversial constitutional changes in the pipeline will see the number of MPs increased from 150 to 210 and the forcing through of boundary changes designed to increase Mugabe’s chances of winning a seventh term in office.

Forced internal displacement remains an ongoing problem, with the Internal Displacement Centre warning that new evictions may soon take place.

Police attempted to arrest members of the Crisis in Zimbabwe team who were holding a public meeting and civil society briefing in Gwanda.

The trial of 23 MDC activists accused of banditry has, despite of a lack of evidence against them, been remanded once again after a record 53 court appearances.

Zanu PF youths held a Zimbabwean journalist captive for more than six hours. Attacks and the harassment of journalists are common ahead of elections.

The government, which refuses to declare Bulawayo a water crisis area, is accused of using water shortages to punish political opponents and decimate the city.

Record Human rights violations in January - June 2007 (Zimbabwe Peace Project Report)
Source Date: 21-08-2007

The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) report covering human rights violations between January and June 2007 logs a range of politically motivated violations:

"ZPP recorded 4 122 incidences of human rights violations that were in most instances politically motivated. These included 7 murder cases, 18 cases of rape, 34 cases of food aid discrimination, 69 cases of abduction/kidnapping, 459 cases of torture, 2 323 cases of harassment / intimidation, 1 141 cases of assault, 152 cases of unlawful detention and one case of a politically motivated suicide.

ZPP acknowledges that there are other incidences that go unreported because the victims would rather not risk reprisals ... The facts and figures at ZPP’s disposal demonstrate that the political temperature is definitely rising with June recording 792 cases up from 671 cases in May."

The executive summary includes the following:

In Manicaland province, traditional leaders are reportedly exercising extralegal powers to evict villagers from their communal homes on the basis that they do not support the ruling party. In some instances, burial space is also denied...

Access to information in the sense of hearing any alternative voice is severely limited. There are reports that people are being harassed for reading newspapers from the independent media such as The Zimbabwean and listening to Short Wave Radio Africa and Studio Seven. In Mashonaland Central one person was harassed for reading a Zimbabwe Election Support Network pamphlet.

In a separate report released on August 23, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum said that 2007 was on course to be the worst year for human rights violations by police and government agents in seven years of political turmoil in Zimbabwe.

[Full report available from Kubatana]

Source: Kubatana
Link to source:

SADC standards breached

Zim registers 800 000 new voters as MDC cries foul
Source Date: 22-08-2007

Election officials in Zimbabwe said Tuesday over 800 000 new voters had registered for next year's general elections, bringing people eligible to vote to over five million. Voter registration for the elections, a combination of municipal, presidential and parliamentary polls, ended last week after being open for two months. The polls will be held early next year, and are the first to be conducted jointly…

Nelson Chamisa and Gabriel Chaibva, respective spokesmen for the two factions (of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change), came together to complain about the registration process.

Chamisa said: "The whole thing was done to give Zanu PF an edge over us before the elections are held. Rigging is already going on...

"We have reports from rural areas that youths were told that their chance to register would come later. Only old people were being allowed into registration centres. There has not been much advertising of the whole process."

Chaibva added: "We have cases where chiefs refused to give people letters to prove that they reside in their areas. The whole exercise was a shambles. There were also a lot of logistical problems …”

Source: (ZW)
Link to source:

SADC standards breached

Zanu PF ‘busing in voters to win cities’
Source Date: 21-08-2007

Further to the report on August 12 in Issue 4 of Zimbabwe Election Watch:

Zimbabwe's ruling party is moving people from rural areas to register as urban voters for next year's planned joint presidential and parliamentary polls to strengthen its chances of wresting urban constituencies from the opposition.

In an update released last week on Zimbabwe's voter registration exercise, which ended on Saturday, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) said Zanu PF was using housing co-operatives made up mostly of its supporters to provide letters to rural voters so they could pose as Harare residents.

According to ZESN, some of the Zanu PF supporters are coming from as far as Gokwe to register as Harare voters. Gokwe is a ruling party stronghold about 170km northwest of Harare...

"For every (vacant) stand, a minimum of six people get registered in a constituency in which they do not reside," ZESN director Rindai Chipfunde said…

Since 2005, Zanu (PF) has been parcelling out housing stands at various urban farms to its supporters under the banner of housing co-operatives. Most of the stands remain undeveloped and unoccupied...

Source: Business Day (RSA)
Link to source:

SADC standards breached

Mugabe secretly registers rural voters in urban areas
Source Date: 20-08-2007

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) told Zim Online that false voter registration has been rampant and widespread throughout the country...

In one case in Mutare Central, 12 people from outside the constituency used the same address to register as voters.

"Sometimes we have 10 people using a single water bill to register in the constituency. Zanu PF officials simply accompany these people and we cannot ask questions in such intimidating circumstances," a Registrar General Office official said...

Identified perpetrators: Registrar-General Tobiawa Mudede, Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi

Source: Zim Online (ZW)
Link to source:

SADC standards breached

CHRA warns that voter registration exercise could be biased towards Zanu-PF Boundary Delimitation exercise
Source Date: 22-08-2007

The Combined Harare Residents' Association warned in their latest newsletter that voter registration had been flawed:

.."What is most worrying to the ordinary resident is that Zanu PF militants in Mbare, Hatcliffe and Glen View were accused of enforcing dubious directives from the Zanu PF Harare Province to direct citizens (from other areas) to register as Mbare, Hatcliffe and Glen View residents.

The logic behind these manoeuvres is… that the Delimitation Commission will increase the urban constituencies and neutralise the urban population, considered anti-Zanu PF during elections…

Source: Combined Harare Residents Association
Link to source:

SADC standards breached

Voter registration ends with a whimper
Source Date: 22-08-2007

A campaign to register voters for next year's election ended almost unmarked, with many people saying they were unaware of the two-month long process…

As well as the general lack of information, critics complained that the registration process was manipulated to exclude opposition supporters…

The mobile voter registration teams have two components - members of the government appointed Electoral Supervisory Commission, and staff from the Registrar General's Office who issue birth certificates and national identification documents to those who do not have them, as this is a prerequisite for voting.

(A resident of Mataga, 450 kilometres south of Harare) said he had heard that "Mugabe people" were issuing IDs and birth certificates, but not that voters were being registered.

A political scientist at the University of Zimbabwe said many people in urban as well as rural areas may have missed the deadline because the registration campaign was poorly advertised and was overshadowed by more immediate political developments…

"There is definitely something afoot," he said. "The elections may be no more than symbolic. Zanu PF is already manufacturing figures and names before the election dates are known to the rest of the nation.”…

He noted that only about 80 000 names had been added to the electoral roll, a tiny amount set against the estimated three million who are believed to have left Zimbabwe in search of work abroad. The figure of 80 000 was only twice the national average for a single constituency, he said…

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network, a non-government organisation that does voter education, has reported that traditional leaders in rural areas are excluding known supporters of opposition parties, for example denying them ID papers.

Fidelis Mhashu, an MDC member of parliament for Chitungwiza, 30 km southeast of Harare, claimed that some 65 residential properties in his constituency had been omitted from the document used as proof of residence. He warned that if this practice proved to be more widespread, it would prejudice the MDC in the polls…

Source: Institute for War and Peace Reporting
Link to source:

SADC standards breached

Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust condemns the voter registration exercise
Source Date: 23-08-2007

The Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (ZIMCET) has joined the long list of democracy advocates condemning the just-ended mobile voter registration exercise as a sham.

ZIMCET executive director, David Chimhini said the government wasted taxpayers' money by deploying at least 2 000 officials to register only 80 000 people in two months.

Chimhini, a former head of human rights watchdog, ZimRights said more voters could have been registered if the Registrar General's office and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission had held education programmes before the launch and during the registration exercise…

He added that the voter registration programme was poorly communicated to the people. He said some communities did not even know that mobile voter registration teams were in their areas, while in other cases people were turned away after being told that only those wishing to obtain identity documents were being served...

Link to source:

SADC standards breached

Opposition draws battle lines as Zim Parliament convenes
Source Date: 21-08-2007

Zimbabwe's opposition and ruling party squared up in Parliament at the start of a session that is set to usher in controversial changes to the Constitution ahead of next year's elections.

President Robert Mugabe is expected to get overwhelming approval for his plans to synchronise the timing of the parliamentary and presidential polls as well as force through boundary changes the opposition say will unfairly increase his chances of winning a seventh term in office…

The constitutional changes, which are certain to be nodded through given the ruling Zanu PF's commanding majority, will see the number of MPs increased from 150 to 210 as well as ensure presidential and parliamentary elections both take place around March next year.

The MDC has been particularly incensed by the boundary changes which will see the proportion of MPs in rural areas -- Mugabe's traditional stronghold -- increase markedly at the expense of urban areas, where the opposition usually prevails.

Source: Mail and Guardian Online, The (RSA)
Link to source:

SADC standards breached

New evictions likely as humanitarian crisis worsens
Source Date: 20-08-2007

A new report released by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) warns that new evictions may soon take place in Zimbabwe. Earlier evictions precipitated by the 'land reform' programme started in 2002 and Operation Murambatsvina in 2005, left hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans homeless and destitute.

The IDMC report points out that "Evaluating the humanitarian needs and conditions of IDPs is virtually impossible in Zimbabwe [however] in July 2007 it was estimated that 10 500 households are still in need of emergency shelter. Amnesty International, in a report published in 2006, notes that several thousand people remain in the open under makeshift shelters.”

The report highlights the fact that forced internal displacement is an ongoing problem in Zimbabwe…

Source: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)
Link to source:

SADC standards breached

Police launch phase two of Operation Murambatsvina
Source Date: 23-08-2007

Police in the southern town of Masvingo on Tuesday fought running battles with informal traders accusing the vendors of returning to sites they were evicted from under a controversial government "clean-up" exercise two years ago. The police raided informal traders in the poor working class suburbs of Mucheke, Rujeko and Runyararo and confiscated goods worth millions of dollars during the operation.

Residents who spoke to Zim Online ... said the fresh police crackdown on vendors was reminiscent of Operation Murambatsvina … (which) left at least 700 000 people homeless while another 2.4 million people were directly affected by the clean-up exercise, according to a United Nations (UN) report.

Although some informal traders had operating licences issued by Masvingo council allowing them to sell their wares, the police ignored the licences arguing that the "papers" were issued in error…

The eviction of the vendors comes hardly a week after the Geneva-based international relief group, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, warned of fresh evictions in Zimbabwe.

Source: Zim Online (ZW)
Link to source:

SADC standards breached

Police hunt Crisis Coalition team in Gwanda
Source Date: 24-08-2007

On August 22, plain clothes police officers failed to arrest the Crisis in Zimbabwe team which organised a Public Meeting and Civil Society Briefing meeting in Gwanda. The police officers rounded the vehicle, which Gladys Hlatywayo (Crisis Coalition Advocacy Officer) and Mehluli Dube (National University of Science and Technology [NUST] Vice President) were using at Gwanda Hotel accusing them of inciting the public to cause anarchy and uprisings against the government of Zimbabwe…

The Gwanda Police communicated with their counterparts in Esigodini to mount a road block and arrest the two (but they managed) to escape…

Identified victims: Gladys Hlatywayo (Crisis Coalition Advocacy Officer) and Mehluli Dube (National University of Science and Technology [NUST] Vice President)

Source: Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition

SADC standards breached

Justice delayed is justice denied for 'petrol bombers': lawyers
Source Date: 24-08-2007

Legal experts have expressed concern over the failure by the magistrates courts to set a trial date in the case of 23 Movement for Democratic Change activists accused of banditry, despite a High Court ruling that there was a lack of evidence against them.

The experts have further argued that the continued incarceration of the opposition activists was tantamount to state persecution. This comes in the wake of the magistrates courts' decision to further remand the activists a fortnight ago to October 8 on bail. The activists have appeared in court for a record 53 times and by October 8 they would have clocked six months on remand…

The case… has been described by the legal experts as clear indication of the dearth of the rule of law as due process in prosecution has not been adhered to.

Source: Zimbabwe Independent, The (ZW)
Link to source:

SADC standards breached

Zanu PF youths harass journalist over alleged Studio 7 links
Source Date: 25-08-2007

Ruling Zanu PF youths on August 22 abducted and held captive a Zimbabwean journalist, Godfrey Mutimba, for more than six hours in Gutu district in the southern province of Masvingo. (This was) after they accused him of working for the Voice of America’s Studio 7…, a radio station run by exiled Zimbabwean journalists…

Attacks and harassment of journalists by Zanu PF supporters are common in Zimbabwe ahead of election times. Several journalists have been arrested and beaten up in the line of duty over the past four years.

Source: Zim Online (ZW)
Link to source:

SADC standards breached

Mayor attacks government over Bulawayo water crisis
Source Date: 24-08-2007

A storm is brewing between the government and Bulawayo residents amid charges that the authorities were using water shortages to punish political opponents and decimate the city.

Bulawayo mayor Ndabeni-Ncube revealed that the council had last February appealed to the government to declare the city a water crisis area, which would have allowed non-governmental organisations to step in with assistance.

"Our repeated appeals have fallen on deaf ears," Ndabeni-Ncube told Zim Online… “They want Bulawayo dead.”

ZAPU Federal Party president Paul Siwela described the situation in Bulawayo as an act of genocide.

"By refusing to declare a state of water crisis here the government has paved the way to a mass slaughter of Bulawayo residents through disease," Siwela said, adding that the move was bent on killing investment in the city.

Source: Zim Online (ZW)
Link to source:

SADC standards breached

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Rigging plot exposed

The Zimbabwean


A multi-pronged ruling Zanu (PF) party plot to rig next year's watershed
harmonized elections has been exposed, just as the beleaguered nation begins
gearing up for the crunch ballot which Zanu (PF) is widely expected to lose.

President Robert Mugabe's plot hinges on the multiple registration of
ruling-party supporters in different constituencies to allow them to vote
several times; the second part of the strategy involved bussing of
supporters during the just ended mobile voter registration to known
opposition strongholds, relocating more than 500,000 unemployed urban
dwellers to commercial farms grabbed from whites without compensation and to
redraw constituency boundaries to favour known strongholds of the governing
party. The plot fits into the overall strategy to increase Parliamentary

Mugabe aims to outflank the opposition MDC by moving the hundreds of
thousands of unemployed and other desperate urban dwellers into farming
areas. Others in cities are being promised housing stands if they vote for
Zanu (PF).

The relocation of registered voters from urban to rural areas - in exchange
for their pledged votes - will bolster the ruling Zanu (PF) party's rural
support. The relocated people will get housing stands or plots. They will
then be expected to transfer their votes to the constituency where they have
been allocated the stands.

The plan was tailor-made to fit Zanu's overall presidential election
strategy. A pilot phase proved successful in the recent voter registration
in Harare North, where 4,000 mainly Zanu supporters and "war veterans" were
moved from surrounding areas to register as voters in the constituency.

Government officials admitted that Mugabe was not leaving anything to chance
and would do all he could to ensure he won the presidential election. He has
vowed never to let the MDC rule Zimbabwe.

Sources at the police's Morris Depot in Harare allege that veterans from all
over Zimbabwe are undergoing training in batches of 50, in preparation for
their deployment in the election campaign.

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South Africa Mulls New Response To Massive Zimbabwean Immigration


      By Ndimyake Mwakalyelye
      29 August 2007

The swelling flood into South Africa of Zimbabweans seeking economic refuge
poses a major policy dilemma for Pretoria, which declines to treat them as
refugees for the most but on Wednesday refuted reports it will start issuing
residency permits.

South African Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said through her
press officer, Cleopatra Mosana, that contrary to reports, Pretoria has no
plans for now to issue temporary residence permits for Zimbabweans illegally
in the country.

Mosana said the minister had referred to residency permits as a possible
alternative to establishing refugee camps, as South Africa's opposition
Democratic Alliance has proposed to cope with the estimated 3 million
Zimbabweans in South Africa.

The minister said Pretoria "definitely" needs a new approach, and that the
range of options that presented themselves included temporary residency

Mapisa-Nqakula also said deporting and arresting illegal immigrants was a
waste of public money as many quickly find their way back into the country.

From Pretoria, Mosana told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7
for Zimbabwe that the minister was also addressing the fact that most
Zimbabweans in South Africa are not considered refugees under international

Cape Town-based political analyst Glenn Mpani said Mapisa-Nqakula's comments
indicate Pretoria faces a dilemma on how to deal with the Zimbabwean influx,
adding that issuing permits could create a new set of problems for South

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Police divert confiscated foodstuffs

The Zimbabwean

Members of the ZRP here are diverting foodstuffs confiscated from parallel
market traders and street vendors into their domestic consumption.
Police are required by law to dispose of confiscated perishables like
vegetables through public auctions, but that is no longer the case in
Members of the public who spoke to The Zimbabwean on Monday evening, after
failing for the umpteenth time to buy the confiscated perishables, accused
the lawmen of sharing the food stuffs among themselves.
"They have not auctioned the vegetables for more than two months, yet they
raid vendors at least three times a day, every day. In the past they used to
auction the vegetables every evening," complained Memory Dube of Makokoba at
the police's Licence Inspectorate offices inside Drill Hall, where the
public auctions used to be held in the past.
Junior police officers also confirmed that public auctions were no longer
being held in the camp because they had been told by Senior Assistant
Commissioner Lee Muchemwa, the officer commanding police in Bulawayo
province, that they should sell the vegetables among themselves.
"The officer commanding gave directives in June that we should buy the
perishables ourselves. They also send their drivers to collect for them
everyday before we start buying," said a junior officer who requested not to
be named.
The junior officers added that their bosses were also feasting on other
basic commodities like sugar, cooking oil and mealie-meal that they
confiscate from parallel market traders.
"The bulk of the non-perishable food stuffs are taken by the bosses
themselves. They are kept in the storeroom here and they send their drivers
to come and collect them. That is also where they get grocery items for
their children who are at boarding school," said another police source.
When reached for comment, Muchemwa denied the allegations, saying police
still held auctions.
"That is rubbish. We hold auctions every day and whoever told you that is a
liar. They are pushing their own agenda which is known only to them," said
Muchemwa. - Bayete Zitha

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Coup attempt rattles Mugabe

The Zimbabwean

Deteriorating economic and political conditions are exacting a heavy toll on
President Robert Mugabe's state-of-mind amid reports the octogenarian leader
is stepping up security at his mansion and rotating his defence staff with
rapid intensity.

This security paranoia was clearly evident last weekend at Mugabe's State
House opposite the Harare Sports Club, where Zimbabwe hosted South Africa in
One Day Internationals and military police harassed cricket fans.

Insiders say he was considerably unsettled by the foiled coup. Although he
ordained a media campaign insisting that the coup was a British plot, "it
was the president who most needed convincing", one source said.

Awkward questions are still being asked about the death of three generals
immediately after the coup. There are reports that his senior advisers,
concerned at the destabilisation of Zimbabwe, had talked to some army
leaders about the circumstances in which the military might intervene, and
that news of these unwelcome conversations had reached hardline Mugabe

Grace Mugabe is believed to date the deterioration in her husband's
psychological state from the March 11 event, in which the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) gave notice of a determined challenge
in the presidential election, now only eight months away.

The stress of the approaching elections should not be underestimated. Mugabe's
response has become more and more frenzied. He has threatened the MDC, torn
up the law book and launched ever more vicious attacks on foreigners and
their businesses. He trusts no one no more.

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VP implicated in smuggling

The Zimbabwean

Three months after the death of a senior Zanu (PF) official facing
corruption allegations, investigations have revealed that the late William
Nhara was part of a minerals smuggling syndicate allegedly run by one of
Zimbabwe's vice presidents (name supplied).
Sources told The Zimbabwean the syndicate involved a group of powerful,
politically-connected individuals.
Nhara, who was a principal director in the office of President Robert
Mugabe, died on May 28 after he was arrested, allegedly while trying to
smuggle a consignment of 10,700 carats of diamonds - worth close to US$100
000 on the black market - through the Harare International Airport in
cahoots with a foreigner.
While in police custody and appealing for bail, the sources say Nhara wrote
to Mugabe pleading for his intervention, thus admitting to being a part of
the mineral's looting cartel comprising "some senior officials in
 government". The president reportedly didn't respond.
Investigations by this reporter have led to the discovery of a cartel
comprising senior ruling party officials and linked to foreigners who
purchase diamond and gold smuggled out of Zimbabwe. The company, believed to
have been implicated in illegal gold dealings in police reports as reported
by this paper in February this year, is involved in the gathering of
minerals through the black market.
A network of senior police and state intelligence members is involved in the
smuggling of minerals, which sources say was infiltrated leading to the bust
up and trapping of Nhara.
"Nhara mentioned when he wrote to Mugabe that there were several senior
government officials involved, although he didn't provide names," a source
told this paper. "The vice president concerned tried frantically to help
Nhara out of the mess before he died. Police investigations after the arrest
of Nhara also pointed towards the vice president and other powerful
government officials involved in the smuggling syndicate but that is where
it ended."
Efforts to obtain comment from the vice president were in vain. A woman who
claimed to be a personal assistant in the office on Monday said the person
concerned was "too busy to comment on such matters".  A senior police
officer (Godwin Matanga) speaking on condition of anonymity said "the
syndicate was discovered well before the arrest of Nhara, which itself was a
result of information that exposed it and subsequent tracking. The (name
supplied) are involved but nobody dares take any action against them,
perhaps until another trap catches them red-handed".

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Zimbabwe 'faces tough decisions'

Business Report

August 30, 2007

By Donwald Pressly

Cape Town - Finance minister Trevor Manuel had a mild dig at Zimbabwe's
economic management yesterday by saying that "prices have to work in an

While he did not dwell on this matter, it was understood he was referring to
President Robert Mugabe's attempt to intervene to lower prices.

Manuel, who was speaking to the national assembly finance portfolio
committee, was asked by ANC MP Koena Moloto if he could elaborate on the
plan that was drawn up by the secretariat of the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) to resolve that country's economic woes.

Manuel said: "There will be a fair amount of debate on the executive
secretary's report and what it sees as the nature of the crisis. The
Zimbabweans have to accept that as well."

Without going into details of the plan, Manuel, said he did know what the
SADC finance ministers could not do, and that was to "take decisions for

Contrasting Zimbabwe with neighbouring Mozambique, he took pains to say that
the latter country had taken "the hard decisions". While that economy was
still "quite dollarised", changes had been measurable and these changes had
an impact on the quality of life of the people.

Manuel noted that the successful implementation of an economic recovery
programme in Zimbabwe would depend on taking "the tough decisions that
inevitably have to be taken".

While Manuel again did not spell these decision out, President Thabo Mbeki
gave some hint of what the SADC had in mind in his ANC letter to the nation
at the weekend.

These included: restoring Zimbabwe's foreign exchange generating capacity
through balance of payment support; ending sanctions by the West; and
urgently re-establishing lines of credit to enable Zimbabwe to import inputs
for its product sectors, such as agriculture and the foreign currency
generating sectors.

But he emphasised that domestic moves had to be taken to restrict domestic
credit and money supply.

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RBZ provides $3 trillion for vote buying

The Zimbabwean

The Zanu (PF) regime plans to besiege the country's rural constituencies and
embark on a massive vote buying campaign through distribution of scotch
carts, ox-drawn ploughs and cattle.
Investigations by this paper have exposed the planned campaign - part of a
cocktail of election rigging strategies to be rolled out by the regime -
expected to kick off in the coming fortnight.
It has been established that 500 000 scotch carts and 800 000 ox-drawn
ploughs are already awaiting delivery to rural constituencies across the
country, having been manufactured mainly in Harare and Bulawayo.
In addition, unconfirmed information from Zanu (PF) insiders is to the
effect that the regime also plans to bribe the electorate through giving
every chief 10 head of cattle.
Agriculture Engineering and Mechanisation minister, Joseph Made, and
minister without portfolio, Elliot Manyika are preparing to spearhead the
campaign through distribution of the implements.
Manyika told The Zimbabwean this week: "we cannot reveal how we are going to
contest the elections until the time comes, but we will obviously show
people why they should vote for Zanu (PF)".
An official at Hastt Zimbabwe, operating from Norton, said:  "Well, I cannot
identify myself but can confirm that there are scotch carts and ploughs that
are here and still being completed which are part of a government order. I
cannot reveal the numbers."
Zanu (PF) structures are already preparing for the distribution of the
scotch carts, ploughs and cattle in Mashonaland Central Province.
"The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has already made the funds available for the
acquisition of the implements as well as cattle - estimated to be in excess
of Z$3 trillion," a source said, intimating that the money had simply been
printed by the central bank.
Efforts to obtain comment from central bank chief Gideon Gono were
unsuccessful as it was variously claimed that he was out of the country as
well as that he was busy this week.
The central bank about four months ago spent US$25 000 on purchasing
tractors and other heavy duty farming implements distributed mainly to Zanu
(PF) beneficiaries of the land reform programme but with already reports of
some of them being turned into commuter transport in rural areas. - Itai

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Voter registration did not register with voters

The Zimbabwean

'I doubt if anybody registered to vote in this ward because we would have
heard about it'
ZIMBABWE'S joint presidential and parliamentary elections, scheduled for
next year, have generated much controversy but some analysts warn they could
turn out to be a non-event.
Many argue that the elections, which will pit Zanu (PF) against the
fractured opposition Movement for Democratic Change, have been marked by
voter apathy, lack of publicity, and millions of Zimbabweans outside the
country being denied the ballot.
The nationwide voter-registration process ended almost unnoticed on August
17. Many people who should have put their names down said they were unaware
of registration, and critics complained the process was manipulated to
exclude opposition supporters.
The joint elections have been tentatively set for March 2008, but fears of a
low turnout have already prompted talk of a postponement to next June.
John Mlilo, from Mataga, 450km south of Harare, was typical of rural
residents who were caught unawares by the voter registration effort.
"It is unusual for people to be registered for elections this early. Perhaps
there was something wrong," he said. "Normally they register people at the
local primary school but this time there was nothing. I doubt if anybody
registered to vote in this ward because we would have heard about it."
The mobile voter-registration teams have two components - members of the
government-appointed Electoral Supervisory Commission, and staff from the
Registrar General's Office who issue birth certificates and national
identification documents to those who do not have them, as this is a
prerequisite for voting.
Mlilo said he had heard that 'Mugabe people' were issuing IDs and birth
certificates, but not that voters were being registered.
A political scientist at the University of Zimbabwe said many people in
urban as well as rural areas may have missed the deadline because the
registration campaign was poorly advertised and because they were being
given mixed messages.
 "Every day, people are being told about talks taking place in South Africa,
while back home people are being quietly registered to vote. It's just too
packed and confusing," he said.
Zanu (PF)'s low-key approach to registering voters was cause for concern.
This was true even in those rural areas where Zanu (PF) can normally expect
a clear majority.
"There is definitely something afoot," he said. "The elections may be no
more than symbolic. Zanu (PF) is already manufacturing figures and names
before the election dates are known to the rest of the nation."
A controversial constitutional amendment being pushed by Zanu (PF) would
increase the number of seats in the lower house from 150 to 210, and from 66
to 84 in the upper chamber.
"What I don't understand is why they are keen to increase the number of
Senate and constituency seats when all the evidence points to fewer voters
next year," he said.
There have been allegations that the voter registration campaign is being
used to stop opposition supporters getting onto the electoral roll. The
Zimbabwe Election Support Network, a non-government organisation that does
voter education, has reported that traditional leaders in rural areas are
excluding known supporters of opposition parties, for example denying them
ID papers.
Fidelis Mhashu, an MDC Member of Parliament for Chitungwiza, claimed that
some 65 residential properties in his constituency had been omitted from the
document used as proof of residence. He warned that if this practice proved
to be more widespread, it would prejudice the MDC in the polls.
The political scientist noted that the bitter acrimony between the MDC's two
rival factions had not helped focus the minds of potential opposition
"Because of their own internal problems, the two factions were unable to
educate their constituents on the need to register," he said. "Many are
further still not sure whether their party is going to participate in next
year's elections, or not."
Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of one of the MDC factions, recently warned
that his party might not take part in the polls if the Mbeki-mediated talks
in South Africa failed to extract sufficient concessions from the ruling
party to ensure free and fair elections.
The schism has lost the MDC goodwill and credibility among its supporters
since the 2000 general election, when it lost to Zanu (PF) only narrowly.
"We can argue about rigging and this and that, but the fact remains that the
MDC is never, and will never be, the same party we voted for in 2000," said
Abel Tsuro, a civil servant in Harare. "The party has squandered a lot of
goodwill because of internal squabbles. Many people have lost hope that it
can ever beat Zanu (PF). Most of them have been frustrated out of the
polling booth.
"Add to this the estimated three million Zimbabweans reportedly living in
the diaspora and it gives you a bleak picture of the MDC."
He concluded, "Despite the hype, next year's election is going to be a
lacklustre affair, with perhaps the lowest voter turnout we have seen in
many years." - IWPR

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From confidant to the condemned

The Zimbabwean

The prison memoirs of Kevin Woods
Many times, all I had was a five-word prayer: God, please give me hope!'

The Kevin Woods Story-In the Shadow of Mugabe's Gallows
30° South Publishers (Pty) Ltd
KEVIN WOODS was sentenced to death in Zimbabwe and jailed for 20 years by
Robert Mugabe's government. For more than five years of his detention he was
held in the shadow of Mugabe's gallows, cut off from the world, naked and in
solitary confinement.
He had been a senior member of Mugabe's dreaded Central Intelligence
Organization, the CIO, and was jailed for committing politically motivated
offences against the ANC in Zimbabwe on behalf of the then-apartheid
government of South Africa.
"This is not a pretty story. This is a book, archetypal somewhat, of Africa
north of the Limpopo River. It is a story during which I lived, and nearly
died, sometimes in defence of the country of my birth, and sometimes in
defence of a racial system in South Africa that I never really believed in
but chose, nonetheless, to aid in its time of need against its perceived
Communist-inspired enemy.
"However wrong society may view extremist action, people often do these
things from the best possible personal conviction, belief or motives, but I
always knew that my actions would have consequences far down the line, as
they did, and still do have."
From Mugabe's confidant to condemned prisoner, he recounts his life on the
edge as a double agent.
"I have spoken of many scenes and cases I attended and witnessed, and maybe
it's because of the repetition that they have stuck in my mind. I've related
some of these horrors to CIO colleagues, to my South African handlers and to
other colleagues, maybe in the pub or wherever, or remember them after lying
sleepless in my bed at home. Subsequently, after years of solitary
contemplation on the cold concrete floor of my cell in Chikurubi, I have
visions of bloodshed and murder engraved on my memory.
"I suppose some of the cases remain with me because of their exceptional
brutality, or their excessive overkill, or other more poignant mental
triggers, such as a small child standing outside the flaming wreck of her
grass-thatched rural hut which had just been torched by 5th Brigade
soldiers, with her whole family locked inside."
"I was in Lupane in February 1983 during the curfew when reports of a large
massacre reached the CIO office there. I went and had a look, together with
my Lupane team, and just to the north of Lupane and among the gutted and
smoking ruins of the thatched huts of a large village, like something out of
Apocalypse Now or Dante's Inferno, lay scores of dead and wounded people who
had just been shot by 5th Brigade. Most of us have seen this in Vietnam
films, for instance, but this was very real, and not a movie."
"In my report I told the plain truth, that the 5th Brigade was responsible,
while at the same time, and referring to the same incident, Mugabe's
ministers were denying it and blaming the dissidents, but at the same time
refusing any independent observers into the curfew area to establish just
what had happened. By refusing such an investigation, the government proved
it had something to hide."
Woods explains the desolation of being abandoned by the South African
government when he was compromised, and in his book he details his lone
fight to maintain his humanity, dignity and sanity in a prison system that
belongs to the Middle Ages.
In prison, Woods at times sank into the depths of despair and utter
hopelessness while coping under the most desperate conditions imaginable.
"People on death row pray a lot. I did. When you've nothing, absolutely
nothing to hang on to, God makes it so easy for you to lean on him. You
don't feel God's help - but you have to lean somewhere, and why not a God?
Hope is a wonderful thing. Hopelessness will destroy you. Often I would
manufacture hope, just to get me through each agonizingly long day, when
there was actually nothing to hope for."
"Many were the times I was swathed in blankets and kneeling on the floor of
my cell, utterly devoid of hope and the willingness to carry on and all I
had was a five-word prayer: "God, please give me hope!" It must have worked,
as time after time, wearing my knees bald from kneeling on the rough
concrete, I uttered the same short prayer, and I got through."
"I sat there on death row a few times and heard other inmates being removed
in the dead of night, to be taken to the death chamber that adjoins the
prison hospital. I heard their chains dragging on the floor, I heard their
spine-chilling wails and tears, and I heard the deep 'ka-lunk' of the
trapdoor as they were killed. I remember so well the horror and dread in

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SADC leaders need to be honest

The Zimbabwean

At their Lusaka summit last week SADC leaders called for the removal of
sanctions against Zimbabwe. This, they said, would solve the country's
problems which, they claimed, were exaggerated.
First of all, if the problems of Zimbabwe are exaggerated, why were they
wasting time devoting their energies to solving a non-existent problem
Secondly, they seem to have swallowed hook, line and sinker, Mugabe's
oft-repeated misinformation about sanctions against Zimbabwe.
We have said it before, we say it again: There are no economic sanctions
against Zimbabwe. There are merely travel restrictions against some 130 top
Zanu (PF) officials, and they are not permitted to stash their ill-gotten
gains away in European or American banks. There is also an arms embargo in
place, preventing Mugabe from buying guns, bullets and other armaments to
use against his own people. But he has managed to get these anyway from
Israel and China.
Zimbabwean businessmen continue to do business with the rest of the world.
For the record, Zimbabwe continues to trade with the EU and the USA. In fact
the balance of trade is in Zimbabwe's favour - running into millions of US
dollars every year.
There are hundreds of EU-based companies operating in Zimbabwe to this day.
In fact, Mugabe has threatened for some time to nationalise them and hand
over their assets to his cronies.
Let's be frank, please. Zimbabwe has been thoroughly looted by Mugabe and
his hangers on. The economy has been mismanaged and our problems stem from
this - and no other reason.
In the 70s there were UN-backed mandatory economic sanctions against Ian
Smith's Rhodesia, yet when Mugabe took over in 1980 the country was in a
healthier economic situation by far than it is today.  Granted, the fruits
of prosperity were unfairly enjoyed by a racial minority. Today they are
unfairly enjoyed by a political minority.
SADC leaders, who have embassies in Harare and who should know better, have
clearly made a wrong diagnosis and therefore the treatment they are
proposing is also wrong.
If they are serious about solving Zimbabwe's problems they need to be
honest. They need to face the unpalatable fact of what has really happened
in the country. Mugabe is the source of the problem - and until they deal
with him, the problem will only get worse.

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Isolation increases

The Zimbabwean

With the government vowing to step up its seizures of foreign-owned
companies and Western countries weighing punitive steps, tension has flared
across Zimbabwe in recent days, and the capital Harare has been one of the
hottest flash points.

Clashes Sunday night between consumers that besieged a retail outlet where
mealie meal had just been delivered, touched off the latest surge in
tensions, and landed 10 people in jail, charged with causing public

And this week, as more than 100 war veterans chanted across the streets of
the capital rallying support for President Mugabe, dozens of foreign
entrepreneurs were fleeing their enterprises after confrontations with Zanu
(PF) supporters demanding a stake in the companies.

George Charamba, a spokesman for President Robert Mugabe, said the recent

increase in confrontations was driven by the opposition in a ploy to win
sympathy in the United States and among the EU nations, which are holding
the joint EU/Africa summit November.

But opponents of the aged president said that another wave of
government-sanctioned intimidation is under way in Zimbabwe as the
government finds itself under mounting international pressure and the
economy founders while the presidential election next year approaches.

"The weaker they feel, the more aggressive they become, and I think this
escalation in violence is a result of them feeling increasingly isolated
internationally," said David Coltart, MP for the MDC (Mutambara). "They're
realizing that the net is closing and they've decided that the only way out
of this jam is to provoke a hostile response to foreigners."

While most of the people attacked and killed in Zimbabwe's political
violence over the last five months have been black, the targeting of
foreign-owned enterprises in contempt of bilateral treaties has stirred
particular interest in the West.

In the United States, the House of Representatives is expected to take up
legislation, to ensure the deportation of kids of Zanu (PF) chefs currently
studying there. Australia has already indicated it is deporting eight kids
of senior ruling party officials.

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It's the economy, stupid

The Zimbabwean

The economic meltdown in Zimbabwe - and the hardship caused to its people,
hit by lack of fuel and food, as seen in empty supermarket shelves - is the
result of the country not abiding by basic economic principles.

FOR MOST people the situation in Zimbabwe is quite bewildering. They find it
hard to work out what is happening and to understand why. In fact, if you
observe a few simple but fundamental rules, it is quite easy to understand
the economic collapse and the speed with which it has destroyed what had
been a model, if small, economy.
In my own business, I have to observe these simple rules every day - or go
out of business. So I watch the following issues very closely, on a daily
1. Does my staff feel they are a real part of the business and have a real
say and stake in what goes on? If not, I cannot command their loyalty and
commitment to the business - and without that, we simply cannot succeed in
the long term
2. Are we making more money than we are spending? It's very simple really -
you can ignore the issue of profitability because that can mean many things,
but you cannot ignore your cash flow. In basic terms if you are not making
more money than you are spending, you are going broke.
3. Management is about managing change. Our working environment is changing
every day - sometimes by the hour. You cannot do much about the changes
taking place but you can learn how to surf the waves and enjoy the process.
If you do not, you will pretty soon find yourself on the beach.
If you print more money to fund day-to-day transactions, you reduce its
value. By doing so, government destroys value and savings; by running the
presses at the Reserve Bank they secretly tax their people by reducing the
real value of what they earn or own.
If a nation spends more than it earns it has two options - it can borrow the
money from others or it can print money. If they borrow from 'captive
lenders' and take advantage of their power to do so on uneconomic terms,
then they pay a lower return than would be demanded in a free market. Both
happen in Zimbabwe. We run a budget deficit that is extraordinary by
historical and world standards - last year it was over 60 per cent of GDP.
When borrowing even at these levels cannot fund spending, we print money,
vast amounts of it - and in doing so we foster inflation and destroy value.
This is why real earnings of everyone in Zimbabwe are now down to about 10
per cent of what they were 20 years ago. This is why all pensions are no
longer worth the paper they are written on.
The failure of the pensions industry to protect the interests of their
clients is an absolute disgrace. In my own case, I contributed to five
separate policies for all my working life, and when they matured it would
have cost the company more to write me a letter thanking me for 50 years of
servitude and write a cheque that would not buy me three loaves of bread.
Only markets can allocate resources efficiently and make the hard decision
as to what a product or a service is worth. You interfere with this
principle and you will pay a terrible price.
My first principle of business was developed because I believe people only
look after what they own or have secure tenure over. When I was a small boy,
my family fell on hard times. We moved from a large home in an up-market
area to municipal housing occupied by low-income families. When we had been
there for a few years, the City decided to give us title. We were allowed to
treat the rent we had paid as a deposit and were given a bond for the rest.
The transformation was immediate; people painted their homes, put up walls
and planted gardens. I have never forgotten that lesson.
In the agricultural sphere it is the same - the foundation of productive
agriculture is a sound and secure tenure system within a functioning legal
In Zimbabwe we have violated all these fundamental principles and are now
paying the price. The loss of security of tenure has destroyed our farms.
The failure to observe basic discipline in our economic affairs is driving
inflation to historic levels, the attempt to halt inflation by exercising
control is now wiping out what is left of our economy.
Countries, like ordinary people, can only learn from their mistakes. We are
certainly doing that and I see in that process great hope. Perhaps when
finally we throw off the yoke that we were landed with in 1980, a new
generation of leaders will come to the fore and having seen what happens
when you disobey the basic rules of economics, will instead make the
necessary decisions to take the country in a radically new direction. It's
not rocket science.

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Attacking the silence

The Zimbabwean

BERLIN - African writers, especially Zimbabweans, are being urged to make
their voices heard at a worldwide reading to be held on September 9, to end
the silence surrounding the crimes against humanity being committed in
The Peter Weiss Foundation for Art and Politics launched the appeal in June.
So far, 170 authors from 56 countries have signed the appeal - the Worldwide
Reading for Democracy and Media Freedom in Zimbabwe.
Among the latest signatories are well-known writers such as Margaret Atwood,
Alessandro Baricco, John M Coetzee, Don DeLillo, Jon Fosse, Nadine Gordimer,
Günter Grass, Nick Hornby, Ko Un and John Updike.
The reading, to take place in Berlin during the International Literary
Festival Berlin, aims to draw attention to the plight of Zimbabwe,
"concealed long enough, unfortunately also by members of the political class
in South Africa," the organisers believe.
They have appealed to radio stations, schools, universities, theatres and
other cultural institutions in Africa and all over the world to attack the
silence by reading poems by Chenjerai Hove, Chirikuré Chirikuré and Dumbudzo
Marechara, as well as Elinor Sisulu's foreword for 'Gukurahundi in Zimbabwe:
A Report on the Disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands 1980-1988'
(Johannesburg 2007).
The event is supported by ZimbabweWatch, a Dutch-based NGO that aids
Zimbabweans struggling for a just, democratic and prosperous country.
In the Netherlands, prominent writers have thrown their weight behind the
programme. The country's most respected poet, Leo Vroman, has written a
beautiful poem for the occasion.
ZimbabweWatch will add the names of supporting writers to their list of
contributors, published on their website. Send them an e-mail this week,
giving the name of your publishing house. The address is:
See: for more details on the Worldwide Reading
for Democracy and Media Freedom in Zimbabwe.

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Met Bank sold for a song to foreigners

The Zimbabwean

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono allegedly pocketed
US$300,000 for himself in a transaction that involved the sale of a 60
percent stake in Metropolitan Bank to a Mauritania company, Loita Capital.
Gono grabbed the financial behemoth from Enock Kamushinda - who held a 25
percent stake in Met Bank - during the height of the banking sector crisis
in 2004, ostensibly because depositors' cash was at risk.
Top-level RBZ sources alleged to The Zimbabwean that Gono used his influence
to arm-twist Norman Mataruka, the senior division chief of Bank Licensing,
Supervision and Surveillance division, into approving the sale.
They allege that the transaction, concluded in April this year, did not
follow proper procedures as Gono "unilaterally approved the sale without
seeking authority from the Finance minister as provided for under the RBZ
Act Chapter 24:20".
Gono was said to have contacted his colleagues at Loita Capital, with whom
he had close links during his tenure as Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ)
CEO, by-passing the Exchange Control Review Sub-Committee that is mandated
to scrutinize such transactions.
It was not possible to obtain comment from the divisional chief of the RBZ
Exchange Control, Morris Mpofu.
Questions sent to the RBZ head of public relations Tonderai Mukeredzi and
also copied to Kumbirai Nhongo were not responded to up to the time of going
to print.
Our source said the Bank Licensing, Supervision and Surveillance Division
did not have the prerogative to approve transactions where foreigners were
snapping up stakes in local companies. It can only provide advice to the
Exchange Control Review Sub-Committee.
The Zimbabwean heard that a 60 percent stake in Met Bank is actually valued
at US$1,3 million and that the country was actually prejudiced of
desperately needed US$1 million in this transaction.
Our source alleged that Loita Capital had offered US$600,000 for Met Bank
but Gono allegedly pocketed US$300,000 and presented the transaction to the
Finance minister Samuel Mumbengegwi as US$300,000.
In a letter dated May 27, 2007, a month after the transaction was concluded,
Gono wrote to Mumbengegwi "informing" him about the transaction and
justifying the paltry sum for which he sold the bank on the basis that Loita
Capital had offered to provide Zimbabwe with a US$50 million loan facility
to bankroll key imports such as grain. He told the minister in his letter
that Met Bank would administer the loan.
Repeated efforts to obtain comment from Mumbengegwi were futile.
Our source said there was no guarantee that Loita would honour its promise,
as they were not under any obligation to make the loan available.
"Surely the stake could have been offered to locals. I am 200 percent sure
they could have raised the US$300,000," said our source. "One only needs to
sell an average house in Harare's low density suburbs to raise this amount."
The highly-placed source said it was "ludicrous" for Gono to wrestle control
of a bank owned by Kamushinda, a Zimbabwean, and sell it to a foreigner.
During the greater part of 2004, Gono - who was appointed RBZ governor in
December 2003 - shut down almost all indigenous banks amid reports he
targeted those he had personal clashes with during his tenure as CEO at CBZ.
There has also been controversy over the manner in which he has handled the
stake in failed banks.
Our source said the financial scandal echoes the Pinnacle Properties saga,
in which Gono unilaterally approved a deal for Phillip Chiyangwa for him to
sell houses in foreign currency without first seeking approval from the
finance minister.

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Churches plead with Chombo

The Zimbabwean

Churches in Bulawayo are urging the government to stop a proposed takeover
of water and sewer services, as cases of cholera and diarrhoea have risen
dramatically in the capital Harare where such a takeover has already
"As shepherds of God's people, both Christian and non-Christian, we wish to
advise you that the Bulawayo residents are not accepting the Zimbabwe
National Water Authority take over. May their constitutional rights to
object be respected," said Churches in Bulawayo, a network of Christian
denominations in a 22 August letter addressed to the local government
minister, Ignatius Chombo.
The Zimbabwe government has taken over the running of the water and sewer
systems in 42 of the 55 urban councils countrywide after accusing them of
failing to operate these services efficiently.
The state-run water authority has failed to raise the Z$305 billion (about
US$1.2 billion at the official exchange rate) required to procure
water-treatment chemicals. As a result, residents in many areas have been
reported to go for sometimes more than two weeks without clean water. Some
also lack water supplies in their homes and resort to using unprotected
water sources elsewhere.
Health ministry officials have said cholera has killed 25 people in Harare
in the past year, and the city council's health director said 900 people are
treated daily for diarrhoea. - ENI News

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Zimbabwe's bishops call attacks on archbishop 'utterly deplorable'


By Catholic News Service

HARARE, Zimbabwe (CNS) -- Zimbabwe's bishops called attacks on Archbishop
Pius Ncube of Bulawayo "outrageous and utterly deplorable" and an attempt to
divert attention from the catastrophe that Zimbabwe has become.

"The recent attacks by some politicians and the state media on the person"
of Archbishop Ncube, who is being sued for adultery, "constitute an assault
on the Catholic Church, to which we take strong exception," the Zimbabwe
Catholic Bishops' Conference said in an Aug. 29 statement from the capital,

"The Catholic Church has never been and is not an enemy of Zimbabwe," the
bishops said, noting that the church's service to Zimbabweans includes
running 60 hospitals, 174 schools and many orphanages.

"Our record during the years of the liberation struggle speaks for itself,"
they said.

Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain in 1980 after a guerrilla war.

The bishops noted that the archbishop's case was before the High Court of
Zimbabwe in Bulawayo and should not be discussed in public until a verdict
has been delivered.

In July, Onesimus Sibanda claimed damages from the archbishop for an alleged
affair with his wife, Rosemary Sibanda.

State-run newspapers published photos they said were of Archbishop Ncube and
a woman, taken with a concealed camera placed in the archbishop's bedroom.

"The constitution of Zimbabwe clearly defends the presumption of innocence
of an accused person as a legal safeguard for a fair hearing before an
impartial tribunal," the bishops said.

"Acting in complete disregard of these universally respected conventions,
the state media obtained and publicized, for days on end, in print and on
television, video and photographic material, which violated the most
fundamental personal rights of Archbishop Ncube and were utterly offensive
to the public," they said.

"We support him fully in his present painful personal situation and ask all
our faithful to remember him in their prayers," they said.

The bishops listed a litany of problems in their country: "Freedom and
fundamental human rights are violated daily with impunity, the shelves of
the shops and supermarkets are empty, our currency has become worthless, the
public health service has collapsed, the country's main roads are lined with
tens of thousands of citizens waiting for public transport, corruption is
rampant and young people are risking their lives daily and in growing
numbers to escape the catastrophe that our country has become."

They said the attempt to divert attention from these events by creating
"hate propaganda and character assassination against those Zimbabweans who,
like Archbishop Ncube, have spoken out in defense of the oppressed, has not
deceived ordinary Zimbabweans."

Archbishop Ncube "has courageously and with moral authority advocated social
justice and political action to overcome the grievous crisis facing our
country," the bishops said.

Zimbabwe is crippled by the highest rate of inflation in the world,
unemployment of more than 80 percent, and shortages of foreign currency and
fuel. Food shortages are acute, large numbers of people are migrating to the
neighboring countries of South Africa and Botswana, and, with elections
scheduled for March, political violence has intensified.

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Finding Peace in Stressful Times


Day to day life - working to make an income, managing relationships and family life, and meeting one’s own inner needs – can be stressful even in easy times. But in the times we live in with the economic hardships, the uncertainties of what will happen next and the day-to-day frustrations of getting the basics to keep home and work life running puts all of us under enormous stress. In stressful times, people often try to cope by drinking more, working more, becoming angry and depressed, playing out negative patterns in family life and relationships, and neglecting their inner needs. These often lead to illness, unhappiness and decisions that have negative consequences for work performance, for family relationships, and for ourselves; further adding to the cycle of stress.


In these times, it is important to be able to see and think clearly, know what to involve ourselves in and what not to, be flexible and realistic, respond to stressful people and situations in appropriate ways, and also manage one’s own needs and find ways to relax and enjoy what life offers.


The courses below, which will be taught by Clive Holmes during September 2007, help us to cope with the demands, uncertainties and losses in our lives and find greater peace and happiness.

1.       Emotional Intelligence and Awareness

2.       Restoring our Inner Balance

3.       Understanding Death and Dying


Clive lives in Scotland and holds a degree in Philosophy. He has been teaching courses in the UK and Europe for the last seventeen years. He runs a range of courses targeted at the public, the business community, teachers, school children and health workers. He has recently been approached by the National Health Service to train staff in concepts of emotional intelligence and awareness. His specialty is teaching awareness as a means of enhancing well-being.


Please feel free to pass the information in this programme to anyone whom you think may be interested.


1. Emotional Intelligence and Awareness


Understanding and using our Emotional Intelligence is important for managing the demands of work, home and relationships in more intelligent and relaxed ways. Emotional understanding and insight enable us to be more mature and less stressed in our lives, while still keeping our sense of fun. Through five simple, core principles we can improve the quality and richness of our lives, and be more effective in our work and relationships.


·         Self-awareness: understanding yourself – what you feel, think, see, want, need, etc

·         Self-mastery: understanding how to manage your own needs and act in appropriate ways in stressful situations  

·         The right motivation: understanding that with the right motivation, things happen on their own without much effort

·         Empathy: being aware of where other people are coming from, their needs, concerns etc, and how to use this to create positive solutions to frustrating problems

·         Social skills: understanding techniques that will help you respond more appropriately.

With some effort and application we can use the techniques of Emotional Intelligence and Awareness to manage stressful situations both at work and at home, be more relaxed and make better decisions. The emphasis is on simple practical guidance helping us befriend ourselves and develop clarity and peace of mind.


Thursday 13 September


Loyola Hall, St Georges College

Cost: $500,000

Note: If the cost is more than you can manage, please come along and make a donation of what you can afford.


For more information call : Richard Maasdorp: 0912419897 or email:; Jayne Pilossof 861030, Barbara Vitoria 2900097.



2. Restoring our Inner Balance



The best generosity to ourselves, our family and our society is to cultivate our own calmness, kindness and insight.

This course is designed to help people relax and heal their lives using relaxation and meditation techniques and learn how to rest the mind in the same way as we rest the body. Peace, freedom, flexibility, and coordination will be some of the subjects covered, along with knowing ourselves and how to change the habits of a lifetime that prevent us from being happy. The emphasis will be on actual practises to help us understand these subjects: - awareness meditations, visualisations, and finding individual relaxation methods.


1. Dealing with stress. Relaxation techniques (breathing exercises and visualisations) help us identify and cope with the stresses of our lives. This part of the course also explores the reasons why we feel stress in the first place and ways to remedy negative habitual patterns. The methods are simple and straightforward and include physical, emotional, and psychological and mind “remedies” to reawaken balance in our lives needed for leading happy and useful lives.


2. Coordination and flexibility. This part of the course will cover how to find happiness through developing our skills of coordination in the family, at work and in our relationships. Seeing how we feel, and how others feel, helps our emotional awareness, enriches our lives and the quality of our relationships. This encourages self-respect and respect for others along with the ability to face, cope and be comfortable with whatever happens in our lives. Often we are unhappy because we feel cut-off and isolated and the course teaches us how to reconnect in helpful ways in our relationships and how to find support and inner strength in our lives.


3. Cultivating calmness and stability. Also highlighted will be cultivating calmness and stability in our minds especially through techniques of being in the present moment. The “now” mind will help us focus and cope with whatever may arise. Guidance will be given in how we might facilitate happiness and peace in our lives and how to work with old patterns that make things awkward or worse for ourselves.


4. Knowing ourselves and working with our emotions. Understanding who we are enriches our lives and helps us not to make mistakes through mindlessness and lack of understanding. The course teaches methods to help us cultivate patience and forbearance and learn to change our attitude to the world rather than becoming frustrated, angry and depressed when our efforts to change the world to fit our expectations fail. “It is easier to wear sandals rather than cover the whole world with leather”. Like a good gardener who makes compost from weeds to nourish the growth of fruits and flowers, so we need not give our rubbish to others but use it to create helpful things instead. The course teaches us to identify and work with emotions like anger, arrogance, jealousy, depression, fear, dissatisfaction, stupidity, and craving and transform them.


5. Finding happiness, peace and freedom within. The course teaches how to find happiness, peace and freedom through using meditations on joy, loving-kindness, compassion and equanimity. Step by step exercises are given for each of these to help develop inner peace, well -being and a sense of freedom.
Once again, there will be training in awareness which is essential for developing clarity, kindness and for finding a deeper and more lasting sense of happiness and freedom.


6. Healing our minds. This part of the course is about healing old wounds and preventing new ones arising. Techniques, including forgiveness and acceptance, will be taught to enrich our lives through letting old stories go, appreciating the quality of everything and changing the habits of a lifetime that drain our happiness and peace. We don’t need a new personality; what is needed is to awaken our understanding, open our eyes and see clearly, and develop acceptance and kindness to simply rest with who we are. The course teaches us how to soften our attitudes of resentment and bitterness, and cultivate gratitude and appreciation.


7. Open-mindedness and compassion. This part of the course is about developing open-mindedness and compassion for ourselves and others in our everyday lives. We are often out of balance because we are too involved in our emotions, plans and concepts without realising how distorted our perceptions are. “Life is something that happens to you while you are busy making other plans.”


 The course is offered in a shorter, weekday format and in a more intensive, weekend format.


Weekday course


Wednesday 12 September


Lecture Theatre – Prince Edward School

Cost per talk: $500,000

Wednesday 19 September


Lecture Theatre – Prince Edward School

Cost per talk: $500,000

Note: If the cost is more than you can manage, please come along and make a donation of what you can afford.


Intensive Weekend Course


Saturday 15 September


Rokpa, 34 Quendon Road, Strathaven, Bring and share lunch


Cost: $2 million

Sunday 16 September


Rokpa, 34 Quendon Road, Strathaven, Bring and share lunch


Note: If the cost is more than you can manage, please come along and make a donation of what you can afford.


For more information call : Richard Maasdorp: 0912419897 or email:; Jayne Pilossof 861030, Barbara Vitoria 2900097.


3. Understanding & Accepting Death and Dying


Of all things in life, what is the most amazing? The sage Yadhisthira answers: “That a man, seeing others die all around him, never thinks that he will die.” (The Mahabharata)


Whatever we have done with our lives makes us what we are when we die. And everything, absolutely everything, counts. (Sogyal Rinpoche)


Death and dying are taboo subjects in some cultures, yet death is inevitable for us all. In death, the consequences of our actions manifest as powerful experiences and determine our ability to navigate the process of dying. The consequences of our thoughts, words and deeds in life rebound on us when we die -  negative actions rebound on us with terrible and devastating force, whilst positive actions produce extremely harmonious and beneficial experiences. So the way we use our body, speech and mind while in life is crucially important. (Rob Nairn, Living Dreaming and Dying)


By facing our fears and dispelling our ignorance about impermanence, we can learn how to improve the quality of our lives. This 1½ day course includes exercises to help us be at ease with change, impermanence and the human condition. It teaches us how to develop our capacity to face all our life situations with courage and how to work with fear. There will also be a brief introduction to some aspects of the Tibetan Book of the Dead which offers guidance not just for dying but for living in the present and being fully awake in all the precious moments of our life.


Saturday 8 September


Rokpa, 34 Quendon Road, Strathaven, Bring and share lunch


Cost: $1.5 million

Sunday 9 September


Rokpa, 34 Quendon Road, Strathaven, Bring and share lunch


Note: If the cost is more than you can manage, please come along and make a donation of what you can afford.


For more information call : Richard Maasdorp: 0912419897 or email:; Jayne Pilossof 861030, Barbara Vitoria 2900097

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