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Mugabe to become ceremonial leader in Zimbabwe: Report

Michael Georgy, Reuters
Published: Tuesday, August 05, 2008
JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe's ruling party and the opposition are close to a
power-sharing deal that would turn Robert Mugabe into a ceremonial
president, a South African newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The report came as Zimbabwean state media reported ZANU-PF and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change had agreed to expand their
negotiating teams in a move the ruling party called a "good omen."

The report in The Star newspaper cited unnamed sources close to the
negotiations as saying the agreement would make MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai
executive prime minister.

Zimbabwean government and MDC officials were not immediately available for
"They are down to detail now," the newspaper quoted one source as saying.
"Although how long that will take is still unclear. But a deal is not far
off. Not at all."

Mugabe's ZANU-PF began power-sharing talks with the MDC two weeks ago in
South Africa after Mugabe was re-elected in a widely condemned poll
boycotted by the opposition.

The two sides are under heavy international pressure, including from within
Africa, to resolve a crisis that has ruined the once prosperous economy and
flooded neighboring states with millions of refugees.

The opposition says only Tsvangirai can lead a new government because he won
a first-round presidential vote in March before pulling out of the June 27
run-off because of violence he says killed 122 of his supporters.

ZANU-PF has said it will not accept any deal that fails to recognize
Mugabe's re-election.

Zimbabwe's official Herald newspaper reported on Tuesday that ZANU-PF and
the MDC had agreed to expand their negotiating teams after the parties
adjourned last week before resuming talks in South Africa on Sunday.

They had originally set themselves a deadline of Monday to reach a deal, but
both sides have said the timeline is flexible.

Commenting on the extension of the talks, Christopher Mutsvangwa of
ZANU-PF's information and publicity committee told the Herald: "That shows
progress. The extension is aimed at overcoming all the issues on the agenda.
The omen is very good."

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer John Makumbe had a
cautious interpretation of the expansion of the negotiating teams.

"If a breakthrough is near, it might not necessarily be because more people
are now involved. If anything, I think the more the people, the more
difficult it might be to reach an agreement," he said.

"But nothing is obvious in politics. Remember, the original six negotiators
have been at it for over a year now and have grown familiar, which could
cloud their views on certain issues and impinge on their efficiency."

South African President Thabo Mbeki has been mediating between the rival
Zimbabwean parties since last year.

The parties have also disagreed over how long a national unity government
should remain in power.

The MDC wants new elections held as soon as possible while Mugabe, who has
ruled since 1980, wants to carry on with his new five-year mandate.

With files from Michael Georgy and MacDonald Dzirutwe

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Report: Zimbabwe Parties Near Agreement


By VOA News
05 August 2008

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
are to begin face-to-face negotiations on Thursday in what could be the
closing phase of power-sharing talks.

Sources in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, and South Africa's capital, Pretoria,
tell VOA that South African President Thabo Mbeki will go to Harare to
facilitate the dialogue.

Sources close to the talks, now underway in Pretoria, say the two leaders
must decide whether Tsvangirai will hold executive powers as prime minister.
They say another issue is who will appoint the governors of Zimbabwe's 10

Earlier Tuesday, a South African newspaper reported the sides are close to a
power-sharing deal. The Star reported that President Robert Mugabe would
remain in office but assume a ceremonial role.

The talks in South Africa began two weeks ago after Mr. Mugabe was
re-elected in a poll that the opposition and many international observers
dismissed as a sham.

Tsvangirai pulled out of the June 29 runoff vote, citing what he said was a
campaign of state-sponsored violence against his supporters. The Movement
for Democratic Change leader finished ahead of Mr. Mugabe in the first round
of voting in March but fell short of a majority.

The ruling ZANU-PF party has said that any agreement must recognize Mr.
Mugabe's re-election.

Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper reported Tuesday that the parties are
expanding their negotiating teams after extending the talks on Monday. The
paper quotes the ruling party's information minister Christopher Mutsvangwa
as saying "the omen is good."

The sides are under intense international pressure to reach an agreement so
Zimbabwe can start recovering from its prolonged political and economic

The country suffers from 80 percent unemployment and an inflation rate
officially pegged at 2.2 million percent. Millions of Zimbabweans have fled
the country in recent years, with the bulk of them going to South Africa.

President Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since the country won independence from
Britain in 1980.

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Zimbabwe coalition government sets wrong precedence in Africa

By Alex Bell
05 August 2008

The Africa Liberal Network has slammed the proposed resolution that a
dialogue be established between Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai - saying
it sets a wrong precedence in Africa - this statement came as the talks
between the ZANU-PF and MDC negotiating members continued past their
deadline in South Africa.

The Network is made up of 17 parties from 15 African countries, and is an
associated organisation of Liberal International, the political family to
which Liberal Democratic parties belong.

The newly elected president of the Network, Dr Mamadou Lamine Ba, who is
also an advisor to the Senegalese President, said on Monday that it was
unacceptable for parties that won elections through manipulation or rigging
to be rewarded with equal status to those parties that lost unjustly -
resulting in forced coalition governments.

Dr Lamine Ba said: "Coalition governments could only be allowed when the
parties involved have respect for freedom of expression, not in a situation
like Zimbabwe where one party has been involved in massive killing, leading
to the continued suffering of the people of Zimbabwe." He also called on the
global community to do everything in it's power to end the crisis in
Zimbabwe in order to stop the ongoing suffering there, and said a government
of national unity must only be agreed within the framework of transparent
and democratic elections.

At the same time the Network's former president, Aly Toure from Cote D'Voure
in Liberia, said it was unacceptable to allow despotic leaders to remain in
power, and called on the international community to bring such dictators to
justice. He likened Mugabe to Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir who was
accused by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in July of
genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. Toure said: "I
totally agree with the resolution to bring leaders like Robert Mugabe and
Omar al-Bashir to the Court of Justice to answer to the atrocities
perpetrated by their regimes," and added this was the only way such leaders
could be made accountable for their actions.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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MDC Spells Out Terms for Deal at Talks

The Nation (Nairobi)

5 August 2008
Posted to the web 5 August 2008

Kitsepile Nyathi

Zimbabwe's opposition has broken silence on its demands at the ongoing
power-sharing talks with President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF saying it
will not accept anything short of executive powers for its leader.

The two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and Zanu PF
resumed negotiations on Sunday after a short break and indications are that
the proposal to have the opposition leader, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai as prime
minister is top on the agenda.

The protagonists had made a commitment not to discuss the progress of the
talks in public but the outbursts by senior MDC officials could signal
serious disagreements on the way forward.

Monday was the deadline to conclude the talks but both sides have indicated
that more time would be needed to thrash out the stick points.

"The MDC will not accept any deal that denies Tsvangirai executive powers,"
said Mr Sam Sipepa Nkomo, an MDC executive member. "The talks would rather
collapse or not move forward unless Mugabe is offered a ceremonial post or
forced to retire.

"We have said if Mugabe refuses to give in we will just say 'go ahead and

Mr Tsvangirai's deputy, Mrs Thokozani Khuphe was also quoted by the
international media expressing similar sentiments during an address to the
Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).

Observers say the issue of who would wield "real" power in the negotiated
settlement was one of the contentious issues that led to the reported
breakdown of the talks last week.

Mr Mugabe last week accused Western countries of using "local puppets" to
demand that he step down despite winning elections. The veteran leader has
in the past labelled the MDC a creation of Western imperialists pushing for
a regime change in Zimbabwe.

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Zimbabwe crisis talks spark new fears of compromise

By Violet Gonda
5 August 2008

Activists are extremely uneasy about the media blackout and the rumours that
are surfacing concerning the talks between the Zimbabwean political parties.

The public and media are having difficulties penetrating the web of secrecy
and many people are concerned that the future of the country is being carved
out by a few politicians, leaving Zimbabweans with nothing to rely on but

Journalist Tanonoka Joseph Whande asks in an article this week: "But why?
Look what's happening now. Look at the confusion! And I, whose life and
future is being debated, can only wait anxiously to know if I have been
thrown to the crocodiles, or whether I remain in the same pool with a
cautioned and warned croc. And what, may I ask, will I do, if I find out
after they have signed more agreements, shook hands and toasted each other,
that my life and future have been made worse?"

Arnold Tsunga from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights says: "Exclusion of
CSOs (civil society) and the wider society in the mediation process, gives
the impression that the problem in Zimbabwe is between Zanu (PF) and the
MDC. It ignores the fact that the crisis is one of governance and therefore
an issue for all Zimbabweans."

Furthermore Tsunga said the Mugabe regime is negotiating in bad faith and
has no intention of transferring power to the MDC. He said institutions of
checks and balances, like the parliament and judiciary, have been crippled.
Parliament has not sat since the elections, which is a breach of the
constitution. Tsunga said there is no political will on the part of the
government to shut down the institutions of violence and to offer internally
displaced people protection, especially while the talks are taking place.

Dr. Douglas Gwatidzo, the chairperson of the Doctors for Human Rights,
believes it will be a sad development if the politicians only focused on the
power games. He said Zimbabwe needs an outcome that will genuinely bring an
end to the economic and political crisis that is ripping the country apart.

Dr. Gwatidzo said cases of political violence have decreased, but victims
who were attacked during the run off election are still being found. "Indeed
we are seeing patients, not many of them are fresh injuries - they are old
injuries that are coming out. Probably before the June 27th election they
were afraid to come out for fear of further victimisation. but sadly they
are presenting us with complications which are difficult to correct."

Most hospitals in the country are also failing to cope, as equipment and
medication are in seriously short supply. Dr Gwatidzo said hospitals don't
even have the capacity to take x-rays, because there is no film for the
x-rays. There isn't even any foreign currency to buy specimen bottles to
collect samples.

Whatever is happening at the talks, Zimbabweans have to pray that the
leaders have their concerns genuinely to heart and if a real solution isn't
found soon, there won't be a country left to save.


SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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UN envoy returning to southern Africa to monitor Zimbabwe talks

Yahoo News

1 hour, 4 minutes ago

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - UN troubleshooter Haile Menkerios flew back to South
Africa Tuesday to monitor the South African-mediated talks on resolving
Zimbabwe's political crisis, UN spokeswoman Michele Montas said.

She told a press briefing that Menkerios, a UN assistant secretary general
for political affairs, was first heading to Pretoria for consultations on
the mediation process but also planned to visit Zimbabwe before returning to
New York this weekend.

Power-sharing talks between representatives of Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe and of his opposition rival Morgan Tsvangirai resumed in a secret
location in South Africa on Sunday after a nearly week-long pause to allow
negotiators to return home and consult with their leaders.

The talks had broken up last Tuesday amid suggestions from Tsvangirai's
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) that the two sides were deadlocked in
their bid to resolve the crisis spawned by Mugabe's disputed one-man
re-election win in June.

Menkerios is serving as the UN high-level representative on a so-called
"reference group" -- which also includes the African Union and a security
panel of the Southern African Development Community -- set up to assist the
South African mediators and provide regular progress updates.

The MDC had insisted on widening the South African mediation to other
representatives after accusing Mbeki of being biased towards Mugabe.

Monday, a South African official said bargaining between Zimbabwe's rival
parties was likely to stretch several days beyond the two-week deadline,
which expired Monday, set to conclude the power-sharing talks.

Mugabe won a one-man presidential run-off last month, widely denounced as a
sham after Tsvangirai pulled out of the race due to a wave of deadly attacks
on his supporters.

The 84-year-old Mugabe, who has ruled the former British colony since
independence in 1980, has for his part insisted that the MDC has to
acknowledge his victory in the runoff if there is to be any kind of
power-sharing deal.

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Is this a deal breaker?

An atrocity of 25 years ago may still wreck the talks

One of Mugabe's first and most appalling crimes against the people of
Zimbabwe, when some 25,000 people lost their lives in the early eighties,
may now prove to be the stumbling block to success at the current talks in

The Gukurahundi - the massacre of the people of Matabeleland, which has
never received the recognition or condemnation from the West that it
deserves - has led the opposition MDC negotiators to demand that any
transitional government must set up a Truth and Justice Commission to
investigate this and other Zanu-PF atrocities.

Mugabe's men at the talks, Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa and Labour
minister Nicholas Goche, are adamant that the mass persecution of the
Ndebele people be left in the past.

But MDC Morgan Tsvangirai's negotiators, party chairman Lovemore Moyo and
secretary-general Tendai Biti have both told mediator Thabo Mbeki that the
people responsible should be brought to book.

The genocidal action began in 1982, when Mugabe's Army 5th Brigade, freshly
trained in terror tactics by North Korean instructors, set out to kill,
torture and maim so many people in Matabeleland that they would never dare
oppose the Zanu-PF regime in the future.

The action was termed Gukurahundi, which literally and chillingly means "The
early rain that washes away the chaff before the spring rains." Today, at
the talks in Pretoria, the phrase still rings ominously in the ears of all

Of course, other major stumbling blocks remain between the two sets of
negotiators. Zanu-PF still refuse to consider the proposition that Mugabe
take only a ceremonial role in government. And the MDC are refusing to
accept any deal that denies Morgan Tsvangirai executive powers. Observers
believe another talks breakdown is imminent.

Sipepa Nkomo, a leading MDC official, explained that, if Zanu-PF refused to
negotiate on these key points, his party would simply respond with two
words, in both Shona and Ndebele - "Busa Sibone" and "Tonga Tione." The
meaning of the phrase, for those whose Shona and Ndebele is a little rusty,
is this:

"Go ahead and rule on your own. Let's see where it gets you."

Posted on Tuesday, 05 August 2008 at 09:55

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Mbeki to hold talks with Zimbabwe's military junta

By Lance Guma
05 August 2008

The MDC have requested that South African President Thabo Mbeki hold
separate talks with Zimbabwean military junta to see if they will endorse a
proposed unity government and it's set up. Party officials told Newsreel
Tuesday that Mbeki will most likely have to engage in talks with members of
the Joint Operations Command (JOC) who, under Emerson Mnangagwa, led the
wave of political violence that killed over 120 MDC activists and has
injured and tortured tens of thousands since the March 29 poll. The grouping
of military, police, prison and spy chiefs have vowed never to serve under
Tsvangirai, worried a new government will leave them open to prosecution.

MDC negotiators expressed concern that any deal thrashed out might come to
nothing if the security chiefs are not brought onboard. With sources saying
the MDC might be given the Home Affairs Ministry in a new government
analysts have interpreted the alleged bomb blast at Harare Central Police
station as a reminder of the power wielded by members of the JOC. Some media
outlets speculating on the blast have blamed a faction within Zanu PF led by
Mnangagwa, who are said to be unhappy at the concessions being made at the
talks. Speculation is rife the attack might have been an attempt to scuttle
the talks.

It is against this background that Mbeki will ultimately have to engage this
rogue group of security people. It is conceivable they could over-rule
Mugabe, should they choose to. The same individuals helped save his skin
after the March 29 electoral defeat to Tsvangirai and the Zanu PF leader is
only too aware of that.

Zimbabweans seem to have to deal with confusion about everything, from two
currencies circulating at the same time to a mass of confusing information
coming out of the talks.

Reports have suggested Mugabe will become a ceremonial President and retain
two Vice Presidents in Joseph Msika and Joyce Mujuru. Tsvangirai will become
Executive Prime Minister, with Zanu PF's Emerson Mnangagwa and MDC second in
command Thokozani Kuphe becoming the two deputy Prime Ministers. There was
even a suggestion there could be a 3rd Vice President added to the mix. That
would mean an incredible 6 leaders for the country. A senior MDC official
dismissed this speculation as nonsense, adding that Zanu PF officials were
throwing false stories to the media to deliberately confuse people.

There is growing concern Mbeki might be trying to rush through a deal so as
to present his mediation as a success before the August 16th SADC summit set
for South Africa. Mbeki will also be assuming the Presidency of the grouping
and would rather have resolved the crisis by then than have to supervise his
own work. Zwelinzima Vavi, the head of South Africa's main labour union
COSATU, has already warned they will call for a demonstration next week, on
the eve of the summit, if a deal is not concluded. The Botswana government
has also made it clear they will boycott the summit if Mugabe is still
President by virtue of a flawed process.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Parties Debate 'Hybrid' Government

Business Day (Johannesburg)

5 August 2008
Posted to the web 5 August 2008

Dumisani Muleya

ZIMBABWE's rival political parties yesterday entered the second day in the
latest round of talks for a power-sharing deal debating the model of a new
government to end the country's drawn-out political impasse.

Informed sources close to the negotiations taking place in Pretoria said
Zanu (PF) and opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
representatives were locked in delicate discussions on the system of
government needed to ensure power-sharing and economic recovery.

This followed close consultations between the negotiators and their party
leaders last week. President Thabo Mbeki, facilitator of the talks, met the
negotiating parties and their leaders last week in Pretoria and Harare to
clear the last hurdles.

Mbeki met Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and MDC faction leader Arthur
Mutambara in Harare last Wednesday after meeting the main MDC faction leader
Morgan Tsvangirai in Pretoria the previous day.

Sources said negotiators were focusing on a consolidated proposal, which
included aspects of Zanu (PF) and MDC initiatives. The proposal resembled
the hybrid French system which has positions of president and prime
minister. Apart from the framework for a new government, it also deals with
implementation mechanisms and global political engagement.

Sources said Mbeki was anxious to ensure the final deal would be endorsed
not just by Zimbabweans - including negotiating parties and their leaders -
but also the international community, especially western powers. The US and
European Union (EU) have expressed scepticism about the talks.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said although he would personally not
speak to Mugabe because of his appalling record of human rights abuses, he
backed Mbeki's mediation. He said there was "consensus" in the EU that Mbeki
needed more time to finish his facilitation.

It was becoming increasingly likely, sources said, that Tsvangirai would
become prime minister, while Mugabe would remain president in a
power-sharing pact. There would be at least two vice-presidents, and this
may be increased to three, and two deputy prime ministers drawn from the
three negotiating parties.

The structure would include Mugabe, his present vice-presidents Joseph Msika
and Joyce Mujuru.

The MDC's second-in-command, Thokozani Khupe, and Emmerson Mnangagwa,
Mugabe's loyalist, would become deputy prime ministers.

The other alternative being debated has Mugabe at the top with Msika, Mujuru
and Khupe as vice-presidents. Tsvangirai becomes prime minister with
Mutambara and Zanu (PF) chairman John Nkomo as deputy prime ministers.

Tsvangirai had initially proposed he become prime minister, while Mugabe
would be ceremonial president in a move which would return the country to
the parliamentary system of the 1980s. However, Mugabe's hardline Zanu (PF)
politburo resolved that his position was "non-negotiable". It is said Mugabe
is only prepared to shed some of his imperial powers to Tsvangirai, and not
all of them, as the MDC wanted.

If the proposal being debated succeeds, Mugabe would appoint the cabinet and
the prime minister. Tsvangirai might be allowed to preside over the cabinet
and legislature, but the problem is that his party does not command a clear
majority in parliament.

Sources said if Tsvangirai had sealed a coalition deal with Mutambara to
firmly take control of parliament in an unassailable way, he would have been
almost guaranteed the post of premier -- head of government -- without
hassles, with Mugabe remaining as ceremonial head of state. A prime minister
is usually drawn from the majority party in parliament.

However, this was not done despite a coalition deal after the March 29
elections and so a parliament hung. None of the negotiating parties control
parliament on their own.

Sources said the disputed presidential election result and hung parliament
necessitated a compromise agreement. Both Mugabe and Tsvangirai are now
talking the language of a give-and-take situation, not defiance and lack of

"The talks are now focused on a consolidated, hybrid proposal which has
elements from Zanu (PF) and MDC ideas," a source said. "The proposal is
basically a French-style, hybrid system which Zimbabwe almost got into
during the constitutional reform process between 1999 and 2000."

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Church group warns about Zimbabwe crisis talks

5 August 2008 | 08-0626 |

Harare (ENI). A coalition of church groups in Zimbabwe has warned that talks
to solve the country's economic and political crises will be in vain if they
culminate only in the sharing of political posts between the negotiating

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Poll: Zimbabweans see bleak economy

Published: Aug. 5, 2008 at 1:07 PM

HARARE, Zimbabwe, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Zimbabweans say economic conditions in the
African country are worsening and their personal well-being has fallen, a
Gallup Poll released Tuesday indicates.
Respondents thought their personal well-being declined fell from a mean
score of 3.8 to 3.2 between 2006 and 2008, a meaningful change, the poll

As inflation and political repression mounted and economic conditions
deteriorated, pollsters for the Princeton, N.J., firm said it wasn't
surprising dissatisfaction with the standard of living had increased since
2006. In 2006, 77 percent of Zimbabweans expressed dissatisfaction, compared
with 88 percent who said the same about a year later. In 2008, more than 91
percent said they were dissatisfied with their standard of living.

In addition, 68 percent of people 15 years of age or older, indicated in the
latest poll they didn't have a job.

Zimbabweans were nearly unanimous in their negative assessments of their
country's economy, Gallup said. Ninety-nine percent said they thought
current economic conditions weren't good and 97 percent said they thought
conditions were getting worse.

Results were based on face-to-face interviews conducted in March with 1,000
adults, aged 15 and older, in Zimbabwe. The sampling has a margin of error
of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

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Mugabe cronies reportedly stashing US dollars into foreign accounts

05.08.2008 9:16:20 A

A few years ago, the United Nations published a list of Zimbabwean
politicians and businessmen that it accused of plundering the riches of the
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
On the list were Robert Mugabe's powerful cronies who then stood the
possibility of being tried for their activities of plunder in the DRC.

When the assassinated DRC president Laurent Kabila was about to be driven
out of office by rebels, he appealed to Robert Mugabe for assistance.
Mugabe sent his army into the DRC and effectively saved Kabila from being
overrun. In appreciation, Zimbabwe was granted access to mines, forestry,
land and other highly productive business concessions. They were granted
licenses to run banks, supermarkets and all sorts of businesses.

But the plunder was noted and a United Nations panel produced a report
detailing how the seven countries involved in the war in the DRC plundered
that country's natural resources.

"Criminal groups linked to the armies of Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe and the
Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have benefited from the
micro conflicts," said the report. "Those groups will not disband
voluntarily even as the foreign military forces continue their withdrawals.
They have built up a self-financing war economy centered on mineral

The report went on to say that the army withdrawals were unlikely to alter
the determination of Rwanda and Zimbabwe, and Ugandan individuals, "to
exercise economic control over portions of the Democratic Republic of the
"The departure of their forces will do little to reduce economic control, or
the means of achieving it, since the use of national armies is only one
among many means for exercising it."
Towards the end of its mandate, the UN panel received a copy of a memorandum
dated August 2002 from the Zimbabwe Defence Minister, Sydney Sekeramayi,
proposing that "a joint Zimbabwe-Democratic Republic of the Congo company be
set up in Mauritius to disguise the continuing economic interests of the
Zimbabwe Defence Force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo".

The UN named Emerson Munangagwa as the leader of a group of Zimbabwean
elites who ran businesses, mostly diamond trading, in the DRC. Other
Zimbabweans named were General Zvinavashe (now retired), Air Vice Marshal
Perence Shiri, General Busi Moyo and a horde of other senior Zimbabwean army
And, once again, last week, Africa Confidential reported that as talks
between Mugabe's ZANU-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
were uninspiringly dragging along in South Africa, members of Mugabe's elite
were busy hiding millions of US dollars in offshore accounts.

"Leading members of President Mugabe's regime and their business allies are
transferring tens of millions of US dollars out of Zimbabwe to safe havens
to avoid the threat of tightening sanctions and the possibility of financial
scrutiny by a power-sharing government," reported Africa Confidential.
"Almost all of these transactions are illegal under Zimbabwe's foreign
exchange laws and Africa Confidential has seen bank documents that the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, Gideon Gono, has violated the monetary
rules he claims to enforce."

The paper went on to say that most of the politicians and businesses taking
out the money use established Western banks and insurance companies to make
the transfers.

"The money is drained out of Zimbabwe to either Britain or South Africa with
minimal institutional scrutiny, after which it is transferred to even safer,
offshore jurisdictions or to financial centers in East Asia.

The paper says, within the region, the most farvoured destinations are
Namibia and South Africa, "where the ruling elite have invested heavily in
property, usually registered in the names of their spouses or children.
"As opinion on the legitimacy of Mugabe's regime changes in the SADC, we
hear that senior members of the ruling ZANU-PF now prefer to move their
money to financial institutions in Malaysia and China through large trading
companies or multinational banks."

And there to receive and guide the money into safe quarters is reported to
be Zimbabwean banker and Mugabe's business ally, Enoch Kamushinda, "who now
lives in Malaysia and who recently sold 60% of his shareholding in
Metropolitan Bank to the wholly respectable Nairobi-based Loita Capital
Partner International, allowing him to open his financial investment firm in
Kuala Lumpur - where Mugabe holidayed earlier this year".

Additional reporting: The Insider, Africa Confidential

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Zimbabwe attacks filmed despite opposition agreement with Robert Mugabe

Militiamen of Zimbabwe's ruling party have been filmed beating opposition
supporters five days after a political agreement to discuss power sharing
and end the post-election violence.

Last Updated: 8:20PM BST 05 Aug 2008

The footage, shown by Channel 4 news, was shot at one of the Zanu-PF torture
camps used after the elections to coerce opposition supporters into voting
for President Robert Mugabe.

It was filmed at the invitation of camp guards several days after Mr Mugabe
had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC).

That agreement committed the two sides to enter talks aimed at finding a
power sharing agreement and to try to end the violence.

Sources inside Zimbabwe say the violence has mostly stopped in recent weeks
as Zanu-PF and the MDC have engaged in the negotiations.

One of the men on the film said the reason he was so opposed to the MDC
gaining power was that he feared he would be punished for the campaign of
terror in which he took part.

Located in a rural primary school near the capital Harare, the camp is run
by a man who boasted on film of maiming and killing opposition supporters.

"Some we aim to cut off their limbs, some we remove their [sex] organs,"
said the man.

"The MDC will never rule this country," he added.

The film showed a man cowering as a group of thugs brandishing machetes and
clubs pulled him by his clothes and stamped on him.

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Zimbabwe Court Asked to Close Alleged Torture Camps in East

By Brian Latham

Aug. 5 (Bloomberg) -- A lawmaker from Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for
Democratic Change asked the High Court for an injunction to free MDC
supporters he alleged have been tortured at government-backed camps in his
eastern district.

``The destruction of homes, the harassment and beating of MDC members and
organizers has been extended throughout the district,'' Douglas Mwonzora
said today in a telephone interview from Zimbabwe's capital, Harare.
``Self-styled war veterans are demanding food and money from villages in an
organized protection racket. People have been forced from their homes and
are seeking protection elsewhere.''

No date has been set for the hearing, said Mwonzora, former spokesman for
the National Constitutional Alliance, a group that campaigns to change the
country's constitution. He was elected March 29 to represent Nyanga North.
Nyanga, in the Eastern Highlands, is one of Zimbabwe's main tourism

Mwonzora's court petition comes as negotiators for President Robert Mugabe's
African National Union-Patriotic Front and the MDC are meeting in
neighboring South Africa in an attempt to end a political crisis prompted by
an election.

The MDC says at least 120 of its supporters have been killed by Zanu-PF war
veterans, youth militia and state agents since the March election gave
control of the National Assembly to the MDC, led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
Mugabe extended his 28- year rule in a June 27 presidential runoff in which
he was the sole candidate. Tsvangirai withdrew from the poll after alleging
his backers were the victims of state-orchestrated violence.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai may meet face to face in an effort to reach a
negotiated settlement to determine who will lead Zimbabwe, the
Johannesburg-based Star newspaper reported.

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Winter wheat on course for smallest ever crop

Photo: Save the Children
Bleak prospects
BULAWAYO, 5 August 2008 (IRIN) - Political violence, routine power cuts and fertiliser shortages are all but putting paid to any chance of Zimbabwe harvesting a winter wheat crop that will ease its chronic food shortages.

Once the bread basket of southern Africa, Zimbabwe has become dependent on donor food in a few short years. A recent UN report estimates that by early 2009 more than 5 million of Zimbabwe's estimated 12 million people will require food assistance, with the winter wheat harvest unlikely to make any significant difference.

One of the few remaining white farmers in the prime Nyamandlovu farming area, in Matabeleland North Province, who declined to be identified, told IRIN: "The crop that I planted was severely damaged after war veterans ordered my workers off the land as they campaigned for President [Robert] Mugabe in the June presidential elections, and the little that survived is still facing many challenges, which include persistent power cuts and shortages of fertiliser."

In 2000 Mugabe's ZANU-PF government launched the fast-track land reform programme, expropriating, often violently, nearly 4,500 white-owned farms to be distributed amongst landless blacks. The government failed to provide agricultural inputs to the new farmers, while in other cases the farms were handed out to government ministers, party members and army and intelligence officers, who often left their land fallow.

The white farmer, who planted 60 hectares of wheat and 10 hectares of barley, said outside events disrupted agricultural planning in the period leading up to the second round of presidential voting on 27 June.
"Power cuts are becoming frequent and as a result the load-shedding schedule that the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) had availed is not being followed ... on most days we get electricity during the night and it is impossible to do any meaningful irrigation at that time," he said.

"Most of the wheat and maize I planted has died off, and I will realise far less than what I was supposed to get if electricity was supplied continuously," the farmer said. 
''This is my first winter wheat crop, but most of it has been destroyed because I have not been able to draw enough water to irrigate the crop, and the power outages have been frequent of late''
"Close to half of the wheat I planted is damaged and the one [field] I am tending now is of poor quality due to the water shortage, and I have cancelled any future plans of growing any winter crop," he said. "If I had not got any interruptions on the farm I would have put over 100 hectares under irrigation, but the country's politics is affecting current production."
It is a tale repeated across some of the country's prime agricultural areas. The white farmer's neighbour, a beneficiary of Mugabe's land redistribution, who declined to be identified, told IRIN that his attempt to farm winter wheat has been a disaster.
"This is my first winter wheat crop, but most of it has been destroyed because I have not been able to draw enough water to irrigate the crop, and the power outages have been very frequent of late ... the harvest I will get will be far below my expectations," the new farmer said.

The new farmer planted 40 hectares of wheat, but said he would be lucky to harvest more than five metric tonnes; in future he would not plant crops that required irrigation and would rely on seasonal rainfall if he grew any crops during winter.
"The crop was damaged at an early stage, as we used to have power for about three days a week, but now electricity supplies are being cut almost daily and this is disturbing irrigation cycles ... most of the wheat is now facing problems," he said.
The government estimates that about 8,900 hectares of winter wheat was planted, or 13 percent of the area required to produce the more than 400,000 metric tonnes the country needs to meet its annual requirement.

Politics is the cause of food shortages  

Agriculture Minister Rugare Gumbo was reported as saying, "The projected wheat winter crop is not good, but we have learnt a lesson and already we are now preparing for the summer crop.

"We are making sure that seed companies are getting seed and fertiliser ready for the season, and already we have imported 30,000 tonnes of seed for the 2008/09 season. The country needs 50,000 tonnes [of seed] for planting two million hectares of maize and the rest will be supplied by local manufacturers," Gumbo said.

Renson Gasela, former chief executive officer of the state controlled Grain Marketing Board (GMB), said Zimbabwe would probably produce about a fifth of its consumption needs.

"Zimbabwe requires 400,000 tonnes of wheat per annum but this year we will hardly get 80,000 tonnes, and the reasons are several: power shortages, and a serious shortage of Compound D fertiliser, which was nowhere to be seen in the country, and as a result many farmers reduced the amount of land they ... [planted]," he said.
"We will get the smallest crop of wheat that has been produced in this country this year, and the only solution to the current farming crisis is to have a political settlement that will address the current problems ... anything else is just a stopgap measure," Gasela said.
The President of the Zimbabwe Indigenous Commercial Farmers Union (ZICFU), Wilson Nyabonda, said ZESA was to blame for the disastrous crop. "Farmers will not get any meaningful wheat harvest this year because of electricity shortages, and most of the wheat died due to moisture stress, so there is not much to talk about."


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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Food shortages feared as Zim purchases 60 percent of seed maize

Tuesday, 05 Aug 2008

with Kumbirai Mafunda

 ZIMBABWE could continue grappling with a severe grain shortage as the
government has only secured 60 percent of the country's seed maize
requirements for use in this year's agricultural season.

Agriculture Minister Rugare Gumbo made the startling revelations when he
addressed farmers at the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) annual congress held
in Harare yesterday.

With less than two months before the start of the 2008-09 agricultural
season which gets underway in October Gumbo disclosed that the government
has only secured 30 000 tonnes of maize seed out of a required 50 000

Gumbo said the government had committed scarce foreign currency resources to
import the bulk of the 30 000 tonnes of maize seed. He said only 11 300
tonnes of maize seed was sourced from local seed houses while 18 700 tonnes
was imported from neighbouring countries.

"We are intensifying our farming preparations and so far we have bought 30
000 tonnes of maize seed out of the 50 000 tonnes required to plant two
million hectares of maize," said Gumbo.

Gumbo said the government would move with haste to import the remaining 20
000 tonnes of maize seed before the start of the planting season which could
once again turn out into a disaster.

Critics among them the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation
(FAO) have always blamed the government for its poor preparations in
sourcing critical inputs such as seeds and fertiliser before each and every
farming season for the current grain shortages.

Zimbabwe's seed houses among them Seedco and Pioneer have in recent years
been failing to produce enough maize seed owing to reduced hectarage to grow
maize in the country after most of their seed producing farms were seized by
veterans of the liberation war and supporters loyal to President Mugabe's
ZANU PF party under a government backed land seizure exercise.

Since the widely condemned farm seizures, which President Mugabe defends as
aimed at correcting colonial imbalances which favoured white commercial
farmers with fertile soils Zimbabwe has grappled with severe food shortages
which has forced the government to commit some scarce foreign currency for
the importationn of maize to close a growing food deficit in the country.

In the 2007-08 farming season Zimbabwe only harvested 850 000 tonnes of
maize out of an annual domestic consumption of 2 million tonnes resulting in
severe food shortages across the country.

Owing to the perennial food shortages western countries among them Britain
and the USA, which President Mugabe frequently lashes out at have helped
alleviate massive starvation through food handouts to the troubled country.

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Pure lunacy: ZANU-PF's plan to feed Harare residents
image A young police officer guards BACCOSI goods in Harare. The progamme is reflective of Gono's incompetence and ZANU-PF's desperation.

So, Harare is a city of over a million and half, and the government intends to feed all households through the curruption ridden BACCOSI programme

Harare-- Picture this: A government that has failed to provide basic services such as healthcare, water provision, education and infrastructure. A government that operates companies like NOCZIM, ZESA, NRZ, GMB, companies synonymous with corruption, incompetence, embarks on a herculean plan to feed all the residents of Harare.

That is exactly what the ZANU-PF government is planning to do through the BACCOSI programme. Already, reports have come out that the programme is ridden with corruption (the standard) where only the ZANU-PF connected are getting the goods. 

Harare Metropolitan Province Governor Cde David Karimanzira, brimming with confidence, said officials had started listing the names of beneficiaries from high-density areas at the weekend.

“In the low-density suburbs they will start with domestic workers only. Maybe it is because some of the house owners can afford to buy most of the commodities.

“But the issue will be looked into so that they (low density house owners) would also benefit,” he said 

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, now getting involved in food distribution-- that is how the RBZ has sunk-- teams started listing names of beneficiaries in Harare on Saturday, beginning with the high-density areas.

“In the low-density suburbs, only the gardeners and housemaids will benefit. House owners in the low-density suburbs would start benefiting during the next phase. Currently there are no teams on the ground who are collecting the names of the housemaids and gardeners but they will be there soon,” said a central bank official, speaking on condition of anonymity. 

This is Gono and ZANU-PF's master plan after failing to revive Agriculture, which they killed over the last eight years.

Instead of investing in the education of agric officers who would help the new farmers, the government, true its pupulist tendencies, opts for a quick fix solution.

Rather, instead of giving the people a fishing rod so they can fish themselves, the government gives them the fish, already cooked, and salted, it appears.

How long will such populist programmes last? BACCOSI is reflective of Gono's incompetence and ZANU-PF's desparation. --Harare Tribune News

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The list: Operational ZANU-PF militia torture camps
image ZANU-PF militia, led by such people as Chinotimba, Col. Mzilikazi, are still operating across the country with impunity.

As ZANU-PF negotiates with the MDC, its militia torture camps are still open for business, torturing and rapping MDC activists across the country

Harare-- ZANU-PF still has its militia torture camps operating across the country. An MDC official has made an urgent application to the high court in a bid to force ZANU-PF to close these torture camps.

For example in Gutu District,  Gutu Central, Ward 40 at a base headed by, Wilson Gadzu in Chief Mugombedzi's area, all people who had previously left the area because of violence are taken to task at the bases where they are made to pay fines before being readmitted.

There are over 55 bases still operationational across the country. For more names of the bases and what ZANU-PF militia at these bases are doing, please consult the attached .pdf file. 

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EU ready to unlock funds to help Zimbabwe

August 5, 2008

Ambassador Xavier Marchal

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - The EU is holding onto its purse until there is an acceptable
outcome of the current inter-party talks in South African and a legitimate
government is formed Head of Delegation of the European Commission to
Zimbabwe, Ambassador Xavier Marchal says.

The EU is ready to assist Zimbabwe avert the unfolding humanitarian crisis
when and if normality and legitimacy are re-established as a result of a
fair political agreement, endorsed by the European grouping. Marchal told
the annual congress of the Commercial Farmers Union on Monday.

An acceptable agreement would unlock funds to turn round the agricultural
industry, he said.

Marchal said Zimbabwe was on the brink of a humanitarian disaster, with
extremely poor prospects for the next agricultural season. But his grouping
of European countries was ready to revive Zimbabwe's collapsed agricultural
industry and help feed a starving population.

"Yet as we speak, partners involved in key food aid and food security
activities can still not operate properly, and I call again on Government to
immediately and totally lift restrictions imposed on them," he said.

President Robert Mugabe banned non-governmental agencies involved in food
distribution to starving communities in rural Zimbabwe accusing them of
campaigning for the Movement for Democratic Change after he lost the
presidential poll and his party surrendered a Parliamentary majority to the
opposition for the first time since independence in 1980.

The ban triggered off an international outcry from international and
regional food distribution agencies as well as from local civic groups.

"Agriculture has collapsed. This year's harvest of the key crops has been
catastrophic. The 'mother of all agricultural season' has miscarried,"
Marchal told the commercial farmers meeting.

He said land has always been at the core of the tensions that have prevented
Zimbabwe from gaining full benefit from its potential, instead bringing it
down to its knees.

"After all, agriculture is one of the three main vertebras of the economic
spinal cord of Zimbabwe, together with natural resources and mining. It has
significantly contributed to making Zimbabwe what it was. And it can again
rapidly become the engine of its recovery," the diplomat said.

Marchal told farmers the European Commission remained ready to engage as
long as Zimbabwe proved it had a business plan providing for genuine
agricultural policies, in which all farmers are desired stakeholders; in
which private sector and property rights are respected, and in which all the
skills of Zimbabwe are brought to work for the common cause.

He said any government that emerges from the current talks needed to provide
a business plan to the EU in which a very much needed land reform programme
was conducted for its real purpose, not for political reasons or simply for
patronage: in which the true asset of Zimbabwe in term of land and
agriculture was fully valued and highlighted

He said once legitimacy is restored the EU could then quickly move towards
implementing the 10th European Development Fund, of which one of the two
targeted sectors would be land, agriculture, food security and the
environment, all estimated at 50 million Euros.

Zimbabwe would also take full advantage of an EC-funded Sugar Adaptation

Strategy, aimed at bringing back her sugar industry from abyss to world
class level again, with the best yields worldwide. The amount possible for
this could reach 45 million Euros over six years.

"We could move swiftly to implement a vast EC-funded Stabex programme,
through the main Unions, the CFU, the ZFU, and the ZCFU. The amount possible
for this programme reaches 20 million euros," Marchal said, adding that the
EU could implement all recommendations of studies it is currently
conducting, on land reform, on the compensation issue and on the best
strategies for a commercial agriculture.

More importantly there is the potential prospect of Zimbabwe benefiting from
a new initiative from the Commission, aimed at farmers in Africa, to help
them tackle high food prices and boost output. This is a massive scheme,
provided with one billion Euros (US$1.6 billion), with 750 million Euros
earmarked for 2008 and the remainder for 2009.

These funds will be funneled to developing countries through international
organisations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World
Food Programme, focusing on improving access to farming inputs such as
fertilisers and seeds, as well as ways to improve agricultural capacity and

"We are also proceeding with supporting rural populations, through various
projects aimed at building food security, through UN agencies and Non
Government Organisations. This includes a programme to support small scale
irrigation totaling about 45 million Euros.

"An amount of 15 million euros in emergency food aid earmarked for the
coming months, hence the need for government to immediate lift the ban on
NGOs that distribute food aid to address the humanitarian crisis," Marchal

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Mozambican police harrass long-suffering Zimbabweans

5th Aug 2008 18:04 GMT

By John Fenandes

VILLA DE MANICA, Mozambique - Mozambican police officers have been accused
of ill-treating Zimbabweans crossing into their country to shop for basic
commodities or conducting business.

The latest action by the Mozambican law enforcement agents come just a few
weeks after Maputo cut significantly the quantity of foodstuffs and other
commodities that restive Zimbabweans can buy from the neighboring country.

Police in Mozambique are reportedly arresting and confiscating goods bought
by Zimbabweans on fimsly grounds.

Zimbabweans who fell prey to the Mozambican police say they lost thousands
of Meticas, the Mozambican currency, and groceries to the police who would
have "arrested" them on petty issues.

The police also subject Zimbabweans to humiliating "punishments" such as
denial to cross the Machipanda Border Post until it is almost time for the
Forbes Border Post on the Zimbabwean side to be closed.

Others, especially women, have been forced to offer sexual favours to some
male police officers to be immune to ill-treatment by the unscrupulous

"They are arresting Zimbabweans and taking away their goods for very petty
reasons such as being drunk even when you are not driving," said Tawanda
Madondo, from Harare. "I sipped a bottle of an alcoholic beverage as we were
crossing the Mozambican border into Zimbabwe and we were stopped and told
that it was a 'serious' crime to drink beer in front of a police officer."

"Despite the fact that I was a passenger everyone was ordered out of the
vehicle and told we were not going to proceed. We could not do anything
because the officer was armed with a pistol so we had to part with crates of
beer we had bought from Mozambique," Madondo said.

Mozambican police are notorious for being trigger happy. The Mozambicans
apparently have a very liberal drinking policy.

Another Zimbabwean who fell victim, Tonderai Sithole of Dangamvura, said he
was suspected of being a diamond dealer searching for buyers in Manica Town
and was searched but they found nothing on him.

"When they found no diamonds on me they took away all the money I had in
Mozambican currency which ran into thousands."

Beer lovers have suffered much of the brunt as Mozambican police appear to
be "thirsty" each time they see any Zimbabwean carrying crates of beer.

"If you do not voluntarily give them some of the beer they will create a
case for you and they end up taking all of it."

Beer is in short supply in Zimbabwe. Where it is available the prices are
far beyond the reach of many, business and company executives included. A
beer now costs about US$10 in average hotels. That amount is enough to buy
two six pack beers across the border.

Officials from the Mozambican consulate in Mutare refused to comment saying
they needed to investigate first.

The hostile attitude by the Mozambican police towards Zimbabweans has been
linked to a collective action by the international community towards
President Mugabe's Zanu PF government.

Immediately after the controversial June 27 election neighbouring countries
joined other African nations and the international community in condemning
Mugabe's re-election in a poll in which he was the sole candidate.

But Mozambique did not publicly make its position known, stoking speculation
that officials in Maputo were reluctant to condemn a long time ally.

However, sources said the Mozambican government responded quietly by
tightening controls on the importation of foodstuffs from the country by
Zimbabwean citizens.

Mugabe has enjoyed cordial relations with Mozambique's ruling Frelimo party
officials dating back to the days of the liberation war when his party's
Zanla guerilla army was allowed to set up training camps and bases for
combatants fighting the white minority Rhodesian government of Ian Smith.

After independence Zanu PF paid back by helping the Mozambican government to
fight off an armed insurgency by the Mozambique National Resistance
Movement, a rebel army supported by apartheid South Africa back in the

This was ended in 1996 after a peace deal was signed in Rome, Italy.

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War Vets: Liberation war must count
image War Vets, are hardline cadres who support Mugabe 100%.

Fresh from demanding cabinet posts from Mugabe, the militant war vets have told the people that they should remember that the war counts.

Harare-- War Vets, who recently told Mugabe that he must allocate them cabinet posts in recognition of their work "mobilizing" the people in the run-up to the June 27 election, said Zimbabweans should remember their history, especially during the upcoming Heroes Day.

Zimbabweans should take time to reflect on the values and ideals that we fought for against the Ian Smith regime, the war vets said. 

War Vets, credited with being an integral part of the ZANU-PF machine that saw Mugabe win the one man race on June 27 with a landslide of 85%, have become an indespensible part of ZANU-PF and government.

Unlike other Zimbabweans who sweat everyday for their salaries, war vets earn monthly incomes on par with serving soldiers, way higher than that of other civil servants.

War veteran, "Cde" Andy Mhlanga and Senator Monica Mutsvangwa concurred that Zimbabweans should never forget thousands of compatriots whose remains lie scattered in and outside the country.

"Cde" Mhlanga said as the country commemorates heroes day on the 11th of this month, all Zimbabweans must acknowledge the gallant fighters who lie buried at various camps including Nyadzonya, Chimoio, Tembwe, Freedom camp and Mulungushi.

The war veterans leader, Cde. Chinotimba, was not available for comment as he is still leading ZANU-PF malitia units on the field, in Buhera District, Manicaland Province. 

War vets recognize noone else as the leader of the country, other than Robert Mugabe, their patron. In 2000, names like "Black Jesus," "Chenjerai 'Hitler' Hunzvi," "Border Gezi," found their place in history books as these war vets formed the vanguard force that invaded white owned commercial farms.

Recently, War Vets threatened to form another organization, dubbed "Revolutional Council," with Grace Mugabe its their patron.

This new organization, according to members, was being formed to safegaurd the interests of war veterans against counter-revolutionaries epitomized by Morgan Tsvangirai.--Harare Tribune News


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Wanted: reinforced pockets

A friend went to the bank today to withdraw money $200. He got paid out in
50c coins because the bank had no paper money to give him. So I decided to
weigh them, that is 2kg of coins.

Store tellers in Zimbabwe are going mad as they cannot cope with the number
of coins they are having to process. To buy a packet of milk, a loaf of
bread, a few tomatoes and a dozen eggs is around $124 revalued currency or
$1 240 000 000 000 old money. Now you have to work it out in 50c coins, the
most common available currency at the moment. That comes to 248 x 50c coins!

At one particular store visited they could not find enough containers to
hold all the coins, so they resorted to chucking them on the floor. By the
end of the day there was an area approximately 4sq metres, 10cm deep. Now
this is a small shop, just imagine the chaos at a large supermarket!

At the small shop, they had to have their computer system adjusted to reduce
it by 10 zeroes, so they only opened at noon. By 6pm the shop's entire
contents were wiped out. Another larger store that opened at normal time
closed their doors at noon because they could not handle the volume of

One guy today bought a satellite dish with the coins he had stashed in
buckets that were being used as doorstops.

An impoverished vendor bought an entire house full of furniture and hired a
truck to take it home, all from coins he had hidden under a bed.

The big joke is the brilliant governor of the reserve bank has absolutely no
idea how many old coins are actually in circulation.

This entry was written by Still Here on Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

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Tekere book revealing

05 August 2008

Book: Tekere: A lifetime of struggle

Author: Ibbo Mandaza

Two decades ago during a heated central committee meeting of the Zimbabwe
African National Union (Zanu), Edgar Tekere warned that new president Robert
Mugabe would lead the newly independent country to ruin.

Tekere was fighting for his political life as moves were afoot to expel him
from the party. Under Mugabe's leadership, Zimbabwe is today battling for

This startling revelation appears in Tekere' s biography authored by the
eminent Zimbabwean scholar Dr Ibbo Mandaza.

At the meeting Tekere accused Mugabe of orchestrating plots to have him
killed. At the end of a speech he told Mugabe: "If I am going to leave, this
party will roll like a rock. Under your leadership this country is going
down a precipice.''

We should be cautious as Tekere may be inventing history, taking advantage
of the current crisis in Zimbabwe. This is a no-holds-barred book about
Tekere's controversial life. It is about his life as a youth, involvement in
the nationalist movement and liberation struggle.

But most importantly, it gives an insight into the uneasy relationship
between him and Mugabe. Although the two men seemed to have been close
during the liberation struggle, they did not seem to like one another.

Tekere mentions various incidences where he was not comfortable with Mugabe's
conduct. He takes a dig at Mugabe, whom he says was a loner.

Mandaza brings to the open Tekere's chaotic life - he was both a juvenile
and adult delinquent. He was unruly, fearless, nonconformist and always in

He started smoking at the age of 13, became a heavy drinker and was expelled
from school. He got married to four wives, all of whom died in tragic

This is what Tekere says about his rebellious nature: "I have always been a
rebel. I was a bright child, but was impossible. I would organise the other
children so that the class became unteachable."

Tekere details his involvement in the liberation struggle which started when
he was still at school. He was at the heart of the formation of all the
nationalist movements, which included factionalism, splits and mergers.

He was detained several times by the Rhodesian authorities. It was during
one of his spells in detention that he gained a Bachelor of Commerce degree
from Unisa.

Tekere and Mugabe left together for exile in Mozambique, where Tekere earned
the respect of all cadres. He was very fond of Josiah Tongogara, whom he
regarded as a brave soldier. He confirms that Tongogara died in a road
accident and that there was nothing untoward about his death. He also
reveals a number of issues hitherto unknown about Zanu.

He says Mugabe's speech about reconciliation was not discussed with the
party leadership.

Tekere also points out that Mugabe did not wrest the leadership of the party
from Ndabaningi Sithole as he wants people to believe. Mugabe became head of
the party by virtue of being secretary general after Leopold Takawira's

Tekere says Mugabe was not comfortable with Zanu's decision not to fight the
elections as the Patriotic Front alongside Joshua Nkomo. Had they done so,
Zanu would have lost as Nkomo was a liability, he says. The book
characterises Mugabe as a devious and calculating person.

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