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Fierce succession battle threatens Mugabe's party

Wed Dec 9, 2009 10:18am GMT

* Internal fight over leadership intensifies

* Immediate ZANU-PF split seen as unlikely

By Cris Chinaka

HARARE, Dec 9 (Reuters) - A battle over who will eventually succeed
85-year-old President Robert Mugabe as party leader threatens the future of
his long-ruling ZANU-PF but analysts say an immediate split is unlikely at a
congress this week.

By balancing competing factions and through a political patronage system,
Mugabe has kept a tight grip on ZANU-PF since becoming party leader in the
mid 1970s and spearheaded a guerrilla war against white minority rule.

But as Mugabe heads into the twilight of a political career spanning over
half a century, his lieutenants have stepped up an internal fight for prime
positions to take over the party when Mugabe retires. He has not given a

Rival factions have been jostling for posts in ZANU-PF's "presidium"
leadership before a five-yearly party congress opening in Harare on Friday,
widening cracks within ranks already torn over personalities, ethnic and
regional issues.

"These fights are going to go on until Mugabe goes, and when he goes ZANU-PF
is in danger of disintegration," said Eldred Masunungure, a leading
political analyst.

"There is no consensus candidate on who should succeed Mugabe, and Mugabe
himself has apparently created that crisis to remain in power," Masunungure
told Reuters.

But whoever eventually wins the battle to succeed Mugabe -- whenever his
position becomes vacant -- will have a huge task to reorganise a party which
many critics say just managed to hang onto power last year through violence
against the opposition.


A post-election standoff with the rival Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
forced Mugabe to sign a power-sharing deal with its leader Morgan
Tsvangirai. Since then the new government has struggled to rebuild the
shattered economy and attract much-needed aid funds.

"All the fighting that is going on in ZANU-PF is not going to help them at
the next elections against the MDC," said Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of
political pressure group National Constitutional Assembly.

"What is emerging is a weak and divided party, a party probably in terminal
decline," he said.

The two-day congress will endorse Mugabe as party head for five years, and
confirm a new policy-making central committee.

A faction led by former army General Solomon Mujuru has gained an upper hand
in the succession battle as Mujuru's wife, Joice Mujuru, 54, has been
nominated by most of ZANU-PF's provincial executives to remain as
vice-president to Mugabe.

This makes Joice Mujuru, for now, the front runner to succeed Mugabe as
ZANU-PF leader if he steps down, ahead of rival faction leader Emmerson
Mnangagwa, who local media has for long touted as a favourite to takeover
from Mugabe.

The congress will also confirm John Nkomo, 75, current party chairman to
become the second ZANU-PF vice president, replacing veteran politician
Joseph Msika who died aged 86 this year.

Zimbabwe's ambassador to South Africa, Simon Khaya Moyo, 64, has been
earmarked to fill Nkomo's party chairman post.

The issue of Mugabe's successor has divided ZANU-PF along ethnic lines, with
Mnangagwa's faction charging that Mujuru's group seeks to preserve the party
presidency for another member of Mugabe's Zezuru ethnic group.

"The problem of tribalism or ethnic tensions has been swept under the carpet
in ZANU-PF for a long time, but I think this is going to be a real issue if
some things appear so obvious," said Masunungure.

Mugabe has flatly refused to discuss his retirement plans, but analysts say
he is unlikely to contest the next presidential poll -- expected in the next
two years or in 2013 if the current unity government runs a full term.

He will be heading towards his 90th birthday by then, and may not get his
party support to continue in power.

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Future of Zanu PF in doubt with reports of a break-away plan

Written by Our Correspondent
Wednesday, 09 December 2009 09:43
HARARE - Tensions are running high in ZANU-PF as party members and delegates
to the party Congress openly declare their intentions of rebelling against
Robert Mugabe's self endorsement without their approval, amid reports of a
break away party. (Pictured: For the first time Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe's power is under threat from his party faithful)
Mugabe is turning 86 in February and some ordinary members of the party are
adamant that it is now time for their dear leader to hand over power to
someone younger. An estimated 10 400 delegates, who include foreign
representatives from the usual suspects as far as Venezuela, Hugo Chavez's
Socialist Party to China's ruling Communists, are expected to start arriving
in Harare for the congress to listen to Robert Mugabe's usual defiance and
Many delegates who spoke to The Zimbabwe Mail reporter in a survey,
expressed their anger and disgust towards the manner in which the so called
presedium secretly endorsed itself ahead of the Congress and only making
tactical sporadic announcements in the media thereby surpressing any voice
of decent amongst rank and file. ZANU PF's centre of power, the Politburo,
officially endorsed the party's nominated leadership ahead of the start of
the ZANU PF congress on Wednesday and this included the endorsement of
Robert Mugabe as party leader for the next five years.
But, in what appears to be total confusion or misunderstanding and
allegations of manipulation and rigging process of the party's selection
process, some members of the party in the grass roots are now openly
expressing their disgust and anger after reports by the State media declared
the endorsement of the party leadership without their participation. A
furious party member, said, "We went to war for one man, one vote, but our
leaders are now clinging onto power, manipulating rules and procedures they
make in order for them to die in office".
A source within Zanu PF said there were reports of disgruntled groups
planning to cause chaos at the Congress and security level has been raised
with all members of the Army and Central Intelligence Organisation at full
strength tracking down party delegates suspected of planning disruptions.
Last night, the Zimbabwe National Army's crack commandos units and bomb
experts pitched up a temporal camp at the the venue of the congress to sniff
out trouble as tensions run through the embattled party. On Wednesday
afternoon a politburo meeting was briefly disrupted with reports of a bomb
scare at the Zanu PF Head Offices. The meeting only resumed after a sweeping
clearance by the members of the Army's bomb disposal unit.
Speculation that the party was on the brink of a split has been rife, and
the nominations process has revealed deep divisions in the party with a
scramble by different factions to secure top posts. Originally, Masvingo
province refused to nominate Vice President Joyce Mujuru for the post of
party vice president, which she is set to retain after the Politburo's
endorsement. The Masvingo party structure instead backed Manicaland Governor
Oppah Muchinguri, with some analysts arguing the nomination reflected
Masvingo's alignment with Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose faction
is vying for dominance with Mujuru's. At the same time there has been little
unity when nominating a replacement to Nkomo's post when he is officially
declared party Vice President. Nominations for the post have been scattered
among Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, Mines Minister Obert Mpofu,
Ambassador to South Africa Simon Khaya Moyo and ZANU PF Secretary for
Administration Didymus Mutasa. Moyo has now been nominated to the post, but
not by a unanimous agreement.
Efforts to restructure the party in the capital have also showed more
division in the party after clashes between the supporters of two officials
competing for provincial chairman.
Recently, party supporters rooting for Amos Midzi who has been nominated as
Harare provincial chairman, clashed with others who were backing Hubert
Nyanhongo, ZANU PF's sole legislator in Harare. The two groups have accused
each other of 'hijacking' the restructuring process, staging various
demonstrations in the city since October. This is one of ZANU-PF's most
important party congresses since coming to power at the country's
independence in 1980. Many ZANU-PF delegates say they want to decide who
will succeed President Robert Mugabe, but the party is ravaged by power
This party meeting is being held nearly a year after ZANU-PF lost its
parliamentary majority for the first time since independence. Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe received fewer votes in the presidential election
last year than MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who pulled out of the second
round of runoff citing violence against his supporters. ZANU-PF and the
Movement for Democratic Change have since formed a unity government with Mr.
Tsvangirai as prime minister.
At his party congress, Robert Mugabe is expected be defiant as ever, but he
is expected to capitulate in the coming week as the whole raft of agreements
in the current negotiations process with the coalition partners will expose
him as a spent force. ZANU-PF delegates say the battle to succeed Mr. Mugabe
is between Vice President Joyce Mujuru and Defence Minister Emmerson
Mnangagwa. Our reporter was told by a Senior in the party that members of
Mnangagwa faction are livid after suffering heavy losses in the provincial
structures that nominated party leaders. The source said Mnangagwa has
tasked Jonathan Moyo to draft a get-out plan which will emerge soon after
the congress. It is believed that the faction will run parallel structures
in Zanu PF with a long term plan to form a fully fledged break-away
political party whose Congress is scheduled for September 2010.
A 200 page detailed document authored by Jonathan Moyo was shown to our
reporter and it runs through all segments detailing the sources of funding,
to recruitment of members from Zanu PF and both the MDC factions and
external support. The report also mentioned possible strategies of
disrupting the current unity government and a section with a plan for "Early
destruction of Dabengwa's Zapu". ZANU-PF youth secretary for Harare
province, Tendai Wenyika, predicted the congress would be turbulent and said
most people want the succession issue decided. She said at previous
congresses and annual conferences, the question of succession had been what
she described as "taboo." The unity government's political agreement says a
ZANU-PF member will succeed Mr. Mugabe as national president should he
retire or die before new elections. Zimbabwe will not vote again until a new
constitution is adopted, which could take two years.

Zimbabwe mail

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Zanu-PF congress disrupts negotiations

December 9, 2009

HARARE (Own Correspondent/SWRadio Africa) - The Zanu-PF congress which
starts in Harare today, Wednesday, has dealt a blow on the ongoing
negotiations between the party and the two MDC parties, its partners in the
government of national unity.

The two negotiators representing Zanu-PF requested leave of absence in order
to attend the party's congress which runs until Saturday.

Two weeks of renewed negotiations between Zanu-PF and the MDC broke off on
Monday amid signs of increasing frustration over the lack of progress in
efforts to resolve outstanding issues in the Global Political Agreement.

Efforts to reach the so far elusive deal have repeatedly bogged down over
President Robert Mugabe's reluctance to rescind his unilateral appointment
of Gideon Gono and Johannes Tomana as Reserve Bank Governor and Attorney
General, respectively.

Analysts suggest that removing the two powerful officials from their
positions ahead of the Zanu-PF congress would have been viewed by hardliners
in the party as capitulation to the MDC.

Mugabe appointed the two without consulting Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara his partners in the inclusive

He unilaterally extended Gono's term of office at the RBZ in November last
year in contravention of a clause of the GPA which states that all senior
government appointments are to be made only after agreement between the
three principals. Tsvangirai and Mutambara were only sworn in three months
in February.

Mugabe has rebuffed calls to dismiss Gono and Tomana and the issue remains
the most contentious of the negotiations.

The talks are said to have been temporarily stopped to allow Zanu-PF
negotiators, Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche, to attend the party's
congress. Negotiators representing the Mutambara camp will also be traveling
outside the country this week.

AT the suspension of the talks the negotiators briefed the visiting team of
South African facilitators. The team which comprises ANC stalwarts Charles
Nqakula and Mac Maharaj and President Jacob Zuma's international relations

Lindiwe Zulu, received a report on the current state of the talks. The team
returned to South Africa on Tuesday.

In Pretoria they are expected to brief President Zuma on the talks as well
as present him with a report, which he will forward to President Armando
Guebuza of Mozambique, the current chairman of the SADC Troika. It is
believed Guebuza will then decide whether to convene another Troika summit
or a full SADC summit to discuss the outstanding issues holding back
progress on the inclusive government.

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Zanu-PF re-elects Mugabe

Article By:
Tue, 08 Dec 2009 18:37

The top leadership of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's party has decided
that he will remain its leader for the next five years with his role as
party boss unquestioned, officials said Tuesday.

The politburo of the 46-year-old Zanu-PF party made the decision on Monday,
just ahead of its five-yearly congress later this week.

The body endorsed Mugabe, 85, as its sole candidate for the party

Analysts say it is highly unlikely any changes will be made when the
tightly-controlled congress's 5000 delegates begin meeting on Thursday.

Mugabe has been in control of Zanu-PF for 35 years and ruler of Zimbabwe
since independence in 1980. A personality cult has developed around him in
the party, with some officials referring to him as the "second son of God"
or the "supreme leader." His total control of Zimbabwe ended in February,
when he was forced to enter a coalition government with his arch-rival
Morgan Tsvangirai following a violent presidential election campaign in

"We deliberated on the nomination of the praesidium (the top four positions)
and endorsed the nomination of president Mugabe as the party's president and
first secretary," party spokesperson Ephraim Masawi was quoted as saying
Tuesday in the state-controlled daily Herald.

Vice President Joice Mujuru, 54, whose husband, ex-army commander Solomon,
is viewed as the most powerful person in the party after Mugabe, was
confirmed to continue in her role as vice president.

There were reshuffles to fill the position of the other vice president,
Joseph Msika who died in August. The 75-year-old former party chairman John
Nkomo was given the position, while ambassador to South Africa Simon Moyo,
64, was chosen as party chairman.

Analysts say the apparently smooth running of the party's election process
masks a series of ferocious power struggles which will erupt when Mugabe
dies or retires.

Observers say that Zanu-PF was also badly shaken by its defeat in last
year's parliamentary elections by Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC).

Despite being outvoted by the MDC, Zanu-PF retained many of the most
powerful ministries in the coalition government, in which Tsvangirai is
prime minister.

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ZANU congress: ‘Mugabe to showcase defiance’

by Edith Kaseke Wednesday 09 December 2009

HARARE – President Robert Mugabe will likely use this week’s congress of his
ZANU PF party to harden his stance against MDC demands to resolve a
power-sharing dispute so he can appease party hawks opposed to the coalition
government and show the party faithful that he is in complete control of the
new administration, analysts said.

A unity government formed between ZANU PF and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in February is being
hobbled by disagreements over how to fully implement terms of a political
deal signed last year.

ZANU PF, MDC and another splinter MDC group are in negotiations to end the
disputes but analysts have said there will be no breakthrough before ZANU PF
holds its congress that will officially open this Friday and will retain
Mugabe as undisputed party leader.

“Mugabe is going to be ‘Mr Rhetoric’ par excellence. He will come out
defiant saying the onus is on the MDC to resolve what it sees as the
outstanding issues,” said John Makumbe, a University of Zimbabwe political
science lecturer and long time Mugabe critic.

ZANU PF says the MDC should push for the removal of Western travel and
financial sanctions imposed on Mugabe and his inner circle, call on pirate
radio stations broadcasting from abroad to end their broadcasts and that the
former opposition party should stop running a parallel government.

Tsvangirai has branded ZANU PF an unreliable partner and wants the
85-year-old leader to replace Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono,
Attorney General Johannes Tomana and appoint new provincial governors as
well as swear-in Roy Bennett as deputy agriculture minister.

Mugabe digs in

Political analysts said Mugabe would dig in, prolonging the impasse while
trying to convince his radical lieutenants that even if forced by the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) to make concessions, ZANU PF
will still remain in charge of the key apparatus of state.

South African President Jacob Zuma will this week get a report from
Zimbabwean negotiators on the state of the negotiations, which he will pass
on to Mozambican leader Armando Guebuza, who chairs the SADC Organ on
Politics and Defence for action.

Mugabe, who is battling to control increasing divisions in the party over
the emotive succession topic, is trying to delay full implementation of the
global political agreement because the concessions would erode the core of
his power.

The veteran leader has led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 but lost to
Tsvangirai in a presidential election last year in March only to return to
power after a violent run-off election boycotted by Tsvangirai and which his
MDC says left more than 200 people dead.

“Mugabe is trying to manage the succession issue in ZANU PF and it is a
critical time for him not to be seen giving in to the MDC. Already there are
those who are strongly opposed to the unity government who may view further
concessions as selling out,” Eldred Masunungure, a University of Zimbabwe
political commentator said.

Makumbe added: “He will repeat the lie that he is fully in charge and that
there is nothing for ZANU PF to be afraid of but we all know the reality.”

Mugabe’s critics say the former guerrilla leader wants to die in office and
is the biggest beneficiary of factional fighting in the party but analysts
say ZANU PF faces real prospects of disintegration if the succession issue
is not openly debated and resolved soon.

Mugabe dying in office

Retired General Solomon Mujuru and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa lead
factions vying to lead the party when Mugabe steps down but Mujuru seems to
have got an upper hand this year after his wife Joice was nominated by a
majority of the party’s provinces to remain as Mugabe’s deputy, seen as a
springboard to the top party post.

Analysts are still divided on whether Mugabe will contest the next election,
likely to be in 2013, when he will be 89.

Some analysts say the party will likely choose another presidential
candidate ahead of its next congress in 2014 and may make Mugabe party
leader for life, fearing that if he stands as a candidate he will further
divide the party or will be heavily defeated by Tsvangirai.

But political analysts say among the competing factions, there is no
candidate strong enough to face Tsvangirai, who is using his position as
Prime Minister to further hone his presidential skills. That could leave
Mugabe with a wide berth to have another shot at the presidency.

Mnangagwa was forced to seek refuge in a rural constituency after twice
being defeated by an MDC legislator in Kwekwe and is not a national figure
while Joice Mujuru, although a deputy president for the past five years
remains untested in a national election and may not make it in a country
that remains largely chauvinist.

“I don’t see anyone coming out to challenge Mugabe to stand as ZANU PF
presidential candidate. They are all too petrified of that old man and those
who want to challenge him may just retreat into the shadows,” Makumbe said.

“Mugabe will lose the next election and that will be the end of ZANU PF.
They are in a dilemma, either way the party seems heading towards
disintegration,” he added. – ZimOnline

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“Great progress” in Zimbabwe - UN official

Published: 2009/12/09 03:41:15 PM

A top UN official, today, praised “great progress” in easing Zimbabwe’s
humanitarian crisis, but urged donors to continue supporting the country’s
recovery from a decade of economic freefall.

“It has been refreshing to see great progress in so many aspects that
worried us in February. I trust this positive trend will continue,” UN
assistant secretary general for humanitarian affairs Catherine Bragg told a
news conference.

“It is important to celebrate the achievements to date, however we must not
neglect the continuing humanitarian needs.” The United Nations on Monday
appealed to donors for $378 million in aid for 2010, saying the humanitarian
situation in the country remains “fragile”.

Bragg met Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai today and government ministers.
She is expected to meet President Robert Mugabe later today.

Bragg toured UN projects in central Zimbabwe, visiting clinics and communal
farmers benefiting from seeds donated by aid organizations.

Since the formation of the unity government of one-time rivals Mugabe and
Tsvangirai, the former opposition leader, hospitals have re-opened and basic
services have improved.

But the recovery still has far to go, after much of Zimbabwe’s basic
infrastructure fell apart during a decade of political crisis and economic

Last year cholera killed over 4,200 people while more than 100,000 were
infected by the disease. This year only a handful of cases have been

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Zimbabwe clinches Chinese financing, investment deals

Wednesday, 09 December 2009


Zimbabwe and two Chinese companies Tuesday signed four financing and
investment agreements covering transport and mining.

In the transport sector, Sino Zimbabwe Development Company agreed to finance
the extension of the runway and taxiway at Harare International Airport, and
build a 25-kilometre railway line between the capital Harare and th e city's
dormitory town of Chitungwiza.

The Chinese company also agreed to electrify the rail line between Harare
and th e central city of Gweru, at a cost yet to be determined.

But officials said the projects at Harare International Airport, which is
gearin g up for increased traffic during the 2010 World Cup finals in South
Africa, would cost around US$40 million.

In mining, China International Fund put up US$90 million to finance a gold
minin g joint venture with the government, and also to purchase diamonds
from local producers.

Misheck Sibanda, chief secretary to President Robert Mugabe, and cabinet,
said t he agreements were timely, and would help shore up the country's
battered economy.

"It is a moment of true co-operation on a win-win basis," he said.

The Chinese investments follow a series of other similar deals signed with
Zimba bwe in recent weeks.

Two weeks ago, Sino-Zimbabwe put up a US$500 million fund to buy gold from
local producers. Earlier, and another Chinese company said it would invest
around US$8.3 billion in Zimbabwe.

The country's economy is recovering after years of contraction, with growth
this year estimated at 4.7 percent.

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Exiled Zimbabwean lawyer wins human rights award

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) Human rights lawyer and Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF)
executive director Gabriel Shumba has won the 2009 Vera Chirwa Prize offered
every year by the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria in
South Africa.

The Vera Chirwa Human Rights Award is offered to alumni of the Master of
Laws in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa "who best epitomises the
true African human rights lawyer" and who would have "made an outstanding
contribution to the protection and promotion of human rights in Africa."

Shumba becomes the third recipient of the prize and would be presented with
the award on Thursday.

A Zimbabwean human rights defender, Shumba was brutally tortured and forced
to flee his homeland in 2003. He subsequently founded ZEF in South Africa,
an organisation that has been documenting and litigating rights abuses of
those in exile, as well as generally championing the cause for a democratic

"It is a singular honour to receive the Vera Chirwa Human Rights Award on
International Human Rights Day tomorrow (Thursday), especially as the United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navi Pillay (a South African
national), will be gracing the event. I am humbled," Shumba said on

The award is named after Malawian lawyer Vera Chirwa, who was jailed in
Malawi alongside her late husband Orton Chirwa for treason for 12 years by
the repressive and autocratic government of Hastings Kamuzu Banda.

On 9 June 1983, she escaped execution as a result of international pressure,
and was only released from prison shortly after her husband's death in

Both the Chirwas, from their exile in Tanzania, had been staunch advocates
of democracy in their country. Vera Chirwa has continued to carry the human
rights campaign torch regionally and internationally.


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Williams and Mahlangu and Refugee Seven further remanded in Bulawayo Magistrate's Court

Written by The Zimbabwean
Wednesday, 09 December 2009 08:00
WOZA leaders, Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu, appeared in
Bulawayo Magistrate's Court on Monday 7th December as instructed only to be
informed that their court record file, which is kept separate for security
reasons, was not accessible. They did not appear in court but were asked to
return on Tuesday 8th December. Upon returning on 8th, their lawyer, Kossam
Ncube, was informed that the file is locked in an 'exhibit' room and the
person with the keys is away on leave but they were trying to call her to
come and hand over the file. Later it was said that her line was not
reachable. One of the prosecutors then suggested a duplicate file be
prepared, upon which Mr Ncube agreed as long as the state agreed not to
oppose his application for a removal off remand. Whereupon the prosecutor
advised that he had to take the matter to his chief law officer, Mrs Cheda -
'you know these political cases are sensitive' he said. The reply
forthcoming from Mrs Cheda was that she had to consult 'Harare' (the
Attorney General's office) and could not get through on the telephone. The
matter was then postponed to later in the afternoon.
When the matter reconvened in the afternoon, Magistrate Mkhonto refused to
hear any of the defence's arguments whilst the file is not before her. She
further remanded the pair to Monday 14th December and instructed the state
to produce the original file. When Mr Ncube asked if she would entertain an
application on the 14th if the file is not to hand, her reply was that she
would only be prepared to entertain any application with the record present.
WOZA members in solidarity in the court counted at least seven plain-clothed
state agents in the court room.
Meanwhile seven members arrested on 17 June 2009 in Bulawayo during a
peaceful protest under the theme "Real People, Real Needs" on UN World
Refugee Day also appeared on the same day in the same court and were again
represented by Kossam Ncube. Magistrate Tancy Dube was due to deliver a
ruling on whether she would allow the defence to take a constitutional
challenge in regard to the matter. After a late start, she granted the
application for the matter to be taken to the Supreme Court. The state did
not oppose this application.
Mr Ncube then immediately applied for his clients to be removed off remand,
as they could not continue appearing in court for an indefinite period of
time as the Supreme Court has a large backlog.
The state, represented by prosecutor Jeremiah Mutsindikwa, opposed this
application. He argued that one could not predetermine that the Supreme
Court application would not be resolved speedily and that the police could
not be burdened to re-summons the accused when the Supreme Court would have
dismissed the defence application. Mutsindikwa argued that it was not a
limitation on their liberty to keep appearing in court and he would be
generous and agree to a long remand period. The magistrate will give her
ruling on 10 December, International Human Rights Day, on whether the seven
members can be removed off remand.
WOZA is disappointed that, once again, justice had been delayed in these two
matters. Williams and Mahlangu were arrested on 16th October 2008 for
demanding that the food situation in Zimbabwe be declared a national
disaster and all Zimbabwean be able to access food aid. They have been out
of custody in this matter since the High Court granted them bail on 5th
November 2008.

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Human Rights Lawyer Threatened

HARARE,December 9,2009- A Harare based detective Henry Sostein Dowa on
Tuesday threatened Denford Halimani, a human rights lawyer with unspecified
action during the trial of Constance Gambara, the clerk of High Court
Justice Chinembiri Bhunu--who is jointly charged with prominent human rights
lawyer Alec Muchadehama for contempt of court.

Detective Inspector Dowa, who was being cross examined by Halimani, the
lawyer for Gambara, who is accused of causing the unlawful release from
custody of freelance photo-journalist Andrison Manyere and two Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) officials Kisimusi Dhlamini and Gandhi Mudzingwa
threatened to deal with Halimani at the end of court proceedings.

Halimani, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) had asked
Dowa about his recall from a UN peacekeeping mission in Kosovo in 2003 after
links to the harassment and torture of human rights defenders in Zimbabwe.

Halimani was attributing to torture threats that Gambara had been subjected
to by Dowa during interrogation to force the High Court Clerk to admit
conniving with Muchadehama in the release of the three abductees who were
kidnapped by state security agents in 2008. They faced allegations of
plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe's administration.

Dowa was in 2003 withdrawn from the United Nations peacekeeping mission in
Kosovo owing to his past involvement in human rights abuses and torture in

But Dowa threatened Halimani for questioning him about his alleged
involvement in torturing human rights defenders saying: "I would like him
(Halimani) to talk to me about it (torture allegations) later."

Halimani then protested to Bulawayo Regional Magistrate Fadzai Mthombeni,
who is now handling the matter after the resignation of Harare Magistrate
Chiwoniso Mutongi. He said he was no longer feeling safe to proceed with
cross-examination in the light of the threat by Dowa. But Magistrate
Mthombeni told Halimani to proceed with his professional duties as the court
protected him.

The threat on Halimani follows that on another human rights lawyer and ZLHR
member Charles Kwaramba who was threatened by Dowa in July for allegedly
criticizing him for his role in the persecution of human rights activists
and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) members.

Rights group ZLHR said it was deeply concerned by the threat on Halimani,
who as a legal practitioner was executing his professional duties.

"ZLHR is greatly worried about the rising pattern of threats, harassment and
attacks against lawyers. The threat on Halimani is deliberately meant to
frighten him from discharging his duties as a human rights lawyer and must
be condemned. Lawyers must be protected when carrying out their professional
duties, and the police have an obligation to allow them to do so unhindered
and not to use unlawful actions such as threats to impede them," ZLHR said
in a statement.

Meanwhile, Muchadehama's lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, who is also a member of
ZLHR applied for discharge at the close of the State's case after all of the
State's witnesses gave evidence in court. Besides Dowa, the other State's
witnesses include Chris Mutangadura, a law officer in the Attorney General
(AG)'s office, Caroline Mafuka, Stella Chapwanya and Debra Jakobo who all
work at the High Court.

Mtetwa said there was no evidence that the accused persons committed any
offence. She stated that both Muchadehama and Gambara were never
investigated for contempt of court by Dowa, who is the investigating officer
in the matter and who told the court that he only investigated and
interviewed them on a charge of defeating or obstruction of justice and
criminal abuse of duty as a public officer respectively, the initial charges
which the duo faced upon arrest. Dowa disclosed that the charges were only
altered to contempt of court at the AG's Office and he did not investigate
or interview the two on the fresh charge.

The State, which is represented by Austin Muzivi, Sharon Hofisi and Douglas
Sheshe is expected to respond to Mtetwa's application before Magistrate
Mthombeni gives her ruling on the application for discharge.

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Red Cross appeals for $32M for Zimbabwe food aid

Associated Press

(AP) - 5 hours ago

JOHANNESBURG - The Red Cross says they need $32 million to feed 220,000
Zimbabweans who cannot access hard currency in the collapsed economy.

The Red Cross' Zimbabwe representative Stephen Omollo said Wednesday the
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is
appealing for the money to help Zimbabweans living in rural areas without
access to U.S. dollars in an economy that has switched from the Zimbabwe
dollar to hard currency.

Omollo says markets have food, but people can't afford to buy it. The Red
Cross is distributing food vouchers that vendors can later exchange for

The U.N. also appealed this week for $378 million in aid for Zimbabwe, but
says the situation has improved somewhat under a 10-month-old coalition

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South Africa Leans Harder on Zimbabwe Unity Parties to Iron Out Differences

South Africa's facilitation teams meets with GNU leaders President Mugabe,
Prime Minister Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara over the
outstanding issues

Blessing Zulu & Sandra Nyaira | Washington 08 December 2009

A team of three South African facilitators representing President Jacob Zuma
met the principals in Zimbabwe's unity government on Tuesday seeking a rapid
resolution of the toughest issues facing the power-sharing partners.

Meanwhile, negotiators for the the ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe
and the Movement for Democratic Change formations of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara were said to have
reached agreement on a broad range of secondary agenda items.

South African facilitator Lindiwe Zulu, a foreign policy advisor to Mr.
Zuma, told VOA Tuesday afternoon that she and her colleagues had met
President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai and hoped to meet shortly
with Mr. Mutambara. The three were the signatories of the 2008 Global
Political Agreement that laid the groundwork for the unity government.

Sources close to the discussions in Harare said the negotiators have agreed
that an audit of the nation's farms should be carried out within three
months and that long-awaited media reforms should be undertaken without
further delay.

Sources in Pretoria and Harare said more divisive issues like the leadership
of the Reserve Bank and the office of the Attorney General, and the swearing
in of MDC Treasurer Roy Bennett as deputy minister of agriculture, had been
put aside until next week, but that facilitators want action on them, too.

But MDC sources said the succession struggle in ZANU-PF, which is holding a
party congress this week, is hindering talks as the negotiators are
unwilling to take decisions of any import without consulting party brass.

Analyst Sydney Masamvu of the International Crisis Group in Pretora told VOA
Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that the pace of the negotiations should
quicken once ZANU-PF has wrapped up its congress this week.

The ZANU-PF politburo has endorsed Mr. Mugabe's continuation as president of
the former ruling party, also throwing its support behind Joyce Mujuru,
party as well as national vice president. It endorsed incumbent party
chairman John Nkomo as second vice president, filling the vacancy left by
the death of Joseph Msika, and proposed Zimbabwean Ambassador to South
Africa Simon Khaya-Moyo as successor to Nkomo in the chairmanship.

ZANU-PF sources said some top officials including Emmerson Mnangagwa, the
minister of defense, were not pleased to Khaya-Moyo tipped for the chair.
But analysts said the congress is not likely to resist the politburo's
wishes, and that most of the 5,000 delegates to the congress will
rubber-stamp them.

ZANU-PF spokesman Ephraim Masawi declined to comment on the congress in an
interview with VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira other than to say that
all is prepared for the congress which is held every five years.

Nairobi-based political analyst Brian Kagoro saw two possible outcomes;
either ZANU-PF seizes the opportunity to regroup and emerge united, or
splinter as disaffected party members seek their political future elsewhere.

ZANU-PF has seen a number of prominent defections to the reconstituted
Zimbabwe African People's Union of the late liberation leader Joshua Nkomo,
which merged with ZANU in the late 1980s to form ZANU-PF.

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Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change Dismisses Food Politics Charge

ZANU-PF Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa accused the MDC formation of
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of partisanship in food distribution in
Manicaland, but the MDC said Chinamasa merely has his eye on a vacant House
seat there

Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington 08 December 2009

The Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai has rejected charges by a prominent ZANU-PF politician that it
is politicizing humanitarian aid distributions in Makoni district,

The accusation was launched by Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, a
resident of the Makoni Central constituency.

He filed the complaint with the Joint Monitoring and Implementation
Committee or JOMIC, a sort of ombudsman for the national unity government,
charging that the MDC and the Irish humanitarian agency GOAL were
distributing food along partisan lines with the MDC was handing out leaflets
to villagers getting aid.

A source in the monitoring and implementation committee confirmed that a
complaint had been received from Chinamasa and that investigators were sent
to Makoni last week to meet with local political leaders. He said the
investigators exonerated the Irish organization of any wrongdoing while
resolving that political parties and politicians should stay away from food

MDC Manicaland Provincial Spokesman Pishai Muchauraya told VOA Studio 7
reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that Chinamasa has his eye on the Makoni Central
seat that was left vacant by the death of John Nyamande.

Chinamasa could not be reached for a response to Muchauray's contention that
the food-politicization accusation was politically motivated.

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Chinese bank delegation expected

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

New Ziana.

A delegation from China's Export and Import Bank is expected to visit
Zimbabwe later this month to further explore areas to invest in the country.

The team led by bank deputy director general Le Xiaoyang, is expected to
hold high level talks with officials from the Ministry of Finance and the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on areas of possible cooperation within the
financial sphere.

Chinese embassy third secretary Ji Lin told New Ziana that the visit would
be the second following the one in November this year when the delegation
met government officials.

"A delegation from the Eximbank will be in the country to engage the
Ministry of Finance and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on possible areas of
cooperation. But this would mostly be about reviewing the country's risk
status as Eximbank weighs the possibility of extending loans to Zimbabwe,"
said Lin.

He said the bank would consider extending loans to the country whilst
establishing terms of payment with its Zimbabwean counterpart.

The Eximbank team, added Lin, would also be visiting various countries which
include Sudan and Congo on a similar mission of assessing the economic

The scheduled meetings come at the back of a China-Inter Ministerial meeting
in which the Chinese government identified various areas of possible
cooperation with Zimbabwe.

Reliable sources privy to the meeting said China pledged to channel
resources into various productive sectors of the economy. Some of the
identified areas include agriculture, education and health.

Earlier on, a Chinese company, Sonangol signed five agreements with the
Government in an investment deal worth about US$5,5 billion to be channelled
into various sectors.

The five agreements cover gold and platinum mining, oil and gas exploration
and urban and rural development. The Sonangol deal is one of the biggest
investment agreements that Government has successfully negotiated since
independence. - New Ziana.

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UNICEF Launches Initiative To Relieve Undernourished Zimbabwean Children

UNICEF donated 10 vehicles along with fuel and computer equipment that will
help child welfare officials monitor the nutritional status of children
across the country's 10 provinces, especially areas short on food

Patience Rusere | Washington 08 December 2009

The United Nation's Children's Fund or UNICEF has launched a program in
Zimbabwe to more closely monitor malnutrition among children, donating 10
vehicles along with fuel and computer equipment that will allow child
welfare officials to identify areas and individuals which are

UNICEF says a third of the country's children are not getting enough to eat,
and as a result, one Zimbabwean child in five suffers stunted growth.

UNICEF Zimbabwe Spokeswoman Tsitsi Singizi told VOA Studio 7 reporter
Patience Rusere that conditions for children are most severe in districts
such as Mudzi, Mashonaland East province, where food is often in short

In South Africa, meanwhile, some 37 Zimbabwean children who had been living
at the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg have gone into hiding
following reports that the Gauteng provincial government intended to
relocate them this week, as VOA Studio 7 correspondent Benedict Nhlapho

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Improving but still fragile

Photo: IRIN
Food security has improved but thousands of Zimbabweans will still be dependant on aid
JOHANNESBURG, 8 December 2009 (IRIN) - The humanitarian community in Zimbabwe, taking a cautiously optimistic approach, has appealed for US$378 million dollars to buy food and medicines, and bolster health, education, sanitation and access to safe water in 2010 - half the amount requested in 2009.

"We have noticed an improvement in the humanitarian situation," UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator, Catherine Bragg, said at the launch of the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) in the capital, Harare, on 7 December. The CAP is a planning and resource mobilization tool used mainly for emergency responses.

However, she was quick to add that things were "still fragile". "The needs may have reduced, [but] they remain astoundingly high due to the structural nature of some of the problems."

Despite significant improvements in food security, Bragg noted that an estimated 1.9 million Zimbabweans would still require food assistance at the peak of the 2010 hunger season, from January to March, and that "33 percent of children under age five are chronically malnourished". According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), seven percent in this age group suffer from acute malnutrition.

A cholera outbreak, which began in August 2008 and lasted a year, causing the deaths of more than 4,000 people and infecting nearly 100,000 others, re-emerged in October 2009, while "some 1.2 million people live with [HIV/AIDS], including 35,200 children under age 15 ... urgently need antiretroviral treatment," Bragg said.

Most of the money - over US$107 million - will go to agriculture. The health sector required some US$64 million, food aid around US$58 million, education US$35 million - there were severe shortages of essential supplies, high staff turnover, and teachers' strikes - water and sanitation US$46 million, and the remainder would address other needs like coordination and protection.

The 2009 appeal requested US$719 million, of which more than 50 percent went on food aid. OCHA said 64 percent of requested funding had been received, and a further US$185 million was added by donors outside the CAP.

Food and beyond

At a conference hosted by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in Cape Town, South Africa, on 4 December, Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told IRIN: "We have very limited fiscal space because of a number of [competing] needs."

He said aid would continue to be required to handle Zimbabwe's enormous social service needs, and "[until Zimbabwe's GDP improves], humanitarian requirements will have to be supported by outsiders."

Tsvangirai said he hoped less assistance for food requirements would be needed in 2010 than in 2009. "There's been a huge improvement in terms of agricultural production, and we have put a lot of money and effort into ensuring that this current [growing] season even goes further, so that Zimbabwe becomes again self-sufficient in food."

Bragg said a deterioration in existing infrastructure was hampering meaningful economic revival, hence the need to combine assistance with support for "humanitarian plus", or early recovery, programmes. She noted that cooperation between government and the international community had greatly improved.

Zimbabwe's Minister of Regional Integration and International Cooperation, Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga, highlighted the importance of continued investment in agriculture to ensure food security, so that "Zimbabwe can begin to claim her rightful place as the breadbasket of Africa."


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

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Civil society condemns situation at Jo’burg church

by Own Correspondent Wednesday 09 December 2009

JOHANNESBURG – Civil society organisations on Tuesday said the situation at
Johannesburg's Central Methodist Church where thousands of migrants, most of
them Zimbabweans, have taken shelter was unsustainable because of health

"The present situation that faces those living in the church is not
sustainable," a statement signed by more than 30 civil society organisations

Aids Law Project director Mark Heywood, reading from the statement said the
situation had become untenable because of health risks posed by

The situation was made worse in July with the arrests of over 300 people
sleeping on the streets around the church, resulting in more people moving
inside to run away from the police, Heywood said.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), Amnesty International,
Human Rights Watch, the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation,
the South African Council of Churches (SACC) and the Treatment Action
Campaign are some of the organizations that signed the statement.

SACC general secretary Eddie Makue labelled the overcrowding at the church
as a "shame" for the country and said South Africans should apologise for
the way their marginalised had been treated.

"We are ashamed by the overcrowding here because if we were responsive to
your needs you would not have overcrowding here," he said. "We are deeply
concerned that the human dignity of people is being trampled on the way it
has been with the people of the church."

But Heywood ruled out closing the church because that would not solve the
problems of the people sheltering in it but merely transfer them to another
place where they could be in greater danger.

"Refugees would be dispersed and forced underground into places where they
would be less accessible and in greater danger of health and human rights
violations," he said.

The Johannesburg church offers refuge to more than 3 000 immigrants from
across Africa with the bulk of them Zimbabweans who continue to flock to the
sanctuary, fleeing their home country because of hunger and economic

The church reportedly receives up to 200 new arrivals from Zimbabwe per week
with the formation of a unity government between President Robert Mugabe and
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai last February appearing to have done little
to stem the tide of Zimbabweans crossing the border to seek food and better
opportunities in their more prosperous southern neighbour. – ZimOnline.

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Joburg's sanctuary of shame

Beauregard Tromp
December 09 2009 at 07:11AM

Lovemore had stayed at the church for only a few months when he decided he
had to leave.

"People are fighting all the time, stealing each other's things. It wasn't

"Some of the boys run the school. They say they are the pioneers. They get
away with anything," said Lovemore.

This included privileges when it came to food - of which there is never

Much of the fighting at the church is over the affections of girls, who are
vastly outnumbered by the young men.

And, of course, the endless battles for food. Conditions had improved by the
time Lovemore got to the church. At least once a week there would be meat in
their diet, as well as beans and vegetables.

People employ different methods to survive. Some find piece jobs. To
Lovemore it seemed many people were involved in crime.

"And there are boys who are selling themselves as wives to men," he said.

Lovemore started attending the Albert Street School, where many of the kids
from the church go. Dressed in a T-shirt, jeans and barefoot, he felt out of
place among the others, most of them also from Zimbabwe.

He found the teachers' blatant advances towards the girls revolting.

"We came here as orphans, and what we needed was love."

Feeling increasingly isolated, during breaks he would wonder the city,
lingering in parks and watching the hustle and bustle around him.

"You want to feel you belong, like you fit in.

"Once you step out of school and onto the street you may get stopped by
police, who won't believe you're at school," he said.

Cabbage and pap for lunch. Cabbage and pap for supper. Always cabbage and

Joseph had had enough of this mundane existence, a diet he says is even
available in Zimbabwe. Too often, tensions would spill over when it comes to
the allocation of food.

"When we are coming from school and we're still hungry, you see someone
eating nice food, the kind of food you want, then the girls stay with them,"
he explained.

Late at night, sometimes shortly before midnight, the girls would return to
their sleeping quarters.

This scramble for resources among thousands of people saw Joseph and some
friends decide to take matters into their own hands. Loitering in the CBD,
in the space between security guards, metro police and closed-circuit
cameras, the group would identify a would-be victim. The chase would last
for a short distance. The robbery concluded like any other transaction on
the bustling, cluttered streets of the inner-city. In seconds it would be

"We rather go for women, or people who are alone. It's easier," said Joseph.

Most often the loot would consist of a cellphone and a wallet. Takeaway
food, clothes and flashy "computer" cellphones - the boys were living the
high life. Their dangerous gambit seemed foolproof and, coupled with the
invincibility of youth, there seemed no end in sight to the easy money to be

Then one of the gang was shot by the police. "I got scared and decided I
didn't want this anymore."

For Joseph it was fairly easy leaving the church and making his way to a
children's shelter outside the city.

When Dzino arrived at the church more than a year ago, he was delighted to
discover that a boy from his locality in Zimbabwe was living there already.
"I was hanging out with my homeboy, KB," he said.

But then the rumours started. People started pointing at Dzino, speaking in
hushed voices and whispers. Confronting some of the conspirators, Dzino was

"I heard from people that he was sleeping with men. So they thought that
because I was hanging out with him, I was also." He started observing his
friend more closely, watching as he left early in the evenings sometimes,
only to return the following morning or in the dead of night.

Rifling through his bag, Dzino discovered make-up. Whenever he'd return it
would be with money or some flashy clothes. Dzino started to suspect KB was
prostituting himself.

Suspicion turned to reality when he witnessed KB and three other boys being
solicited by a man who lived inside the church.

His eyes now opened, Dzino said it was the punier, smaller boys who were
targeted as "wives" by some of the men in the church. He said there was no
need to report what he saw to the committee who run the church, or to Bishop
Paul Verryn. "They know. They all know."

Before he left, KB returned to the church late one night with bruises to his
face and body. He'd been attacked in Hillbrow. But Dzino didn't want to know
any further details of who the perpetrators were or under what conditions
the assault happened.

KB and his friends were prowling the streets of Joburg, descending on
unsuspecting pedestrians and robbing them of cash and valuables.

Since Dzino left the church he has been focusing on his school work, hardly
ever discussing the events he witnessed at the church, except with social

He has no contact with his friends and acquaintances he left behind.

To a casual observer the tall, well-built young man in and about the Central
Methodist Church was not one to be messed with. But others familiar with
area quickly spotted the uncertainty in the face of the newcomer.

A friendly man started up a conversation with the 16-year-old, speaking to
him about his conditions, his aspirations. It wasn't long before the man
offered to help the youngster out with a few essentials, including a school

The man would bring it around next week. No, actually you're in luck.
Today's payday and, if you come with me, I can get them for you right now,
the man offered.

Tendai wanted to believe the good Samaritan and accompanied him to nearby
Bree Street taxi rank where the two set off to a nearby township. Once
there, Tendai was left alone until nightfall. When the man returned he again
convinced Tendai that he'd better sleep over until the morning.

Tendai thought nothing of sharing a bed with the man, who had earlier spoken
of his wife and two children. Then, hands started groping his body under the

The strapping young man tried to fight off his attacker, screaming as he
tried to keep the man at bay. The commotion attracted the attention of a
neighbor who came to the boy's rescue. The man gave Tendai R100 and told him
to leave.

"The next day I told the principal but he didn't take me seriously," said
Tendai. Days later the same man appeared at the church, and, while he now
ignored Tendai, was often spotted in and around the building.

The woman thought she was alone with her infant. Slowly, she started pulling
out wads of cotton wool and stuffed it deep into her baby's mouth. But in
the Central Methodist Church you are hardly ever alone.

Quickly the eyes that had been watching her stepped in and stopped the
infanticide. The baby was one of the lucky ones.

"That child lived, but others, we just hear that the child died. Some of the
women killed their babies so that they can look for men," explained Cecilia.

During her nearly two-year stay at the church it was not uncommon to find a
dead baby on a step inside the church.

Some of the women trying to survive under trying conditions at the church
sell their bodies on the streets of Joburg for as little as R50. And in the
CBD, flyers for backstreet and legal abortions compete for space on
buildings and street lamps.

It's a well-known fact that the principal of the Albert Street School has
"girlfriends" among his students, said Jillian. Flashing some cash and
sealing the deal with a date at the local KFC is the modus operandi to make
the teenagers feel "special".

Cecilia was one of those who was "proposed". She had agreed to go with the
principal to the photo shop at the nearby Carlton Centre.

When they left, the principal guided her through a different part of the
sprawling mall, emerging in front of a hotel. "He begged me to go in with
him. He said he would give me anything I want in my life. He said he would
buy me a school uniform. But I want to make something of my life and not
have to rely on someone who's just like my father," said Cecilia.

Life at the overcrowded church had become unbearable for the two and they
plotted their escape.

"If you tell anybody you want to leave the church, you're in for the high
jump," said Jillian.

There would be threats of not being able to return to the church, of the
worse conditions you'd find yourself in, or that you'd be deported.

Finally, after contacting social services, the two left without giving

o This article was originally published on page 6 of The Star on
December 09, 2009

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Zesa charges residents ‘erroneous’ bills

By Fortune-Galangwe

Published: December 9, 2009

Harare The troubled power utility, ZESA has admitted that it charged Harare
and Bulawayo residents ‘erroneous’ hefty bills last month. Many residents
have complained and resisted to pay the unrealistic charges.

Most residents received monthly electricity bills ranging from US$200 to
US$2000 albeit the massive power cuts being experienced in the country.

The power utility chief executive Ben Rafemoyo has attributed the mishap to
the crashing of ZESA computer billing system when the economy was
transformed from the Zimbabwean dollar to the multi-currency system.

“The situation emerged after the billing system crashed while we were in the
process of changing it from the Zim dollar to US dollar denominated charges”
said Rafemoyo.

Residents had been informally advised by ZESA to ignore the astronomical
bills and pay the stipulated US$30 and US$40 for high and low density

Many residents have criticized the power utility for charging huge bills
which are based on estimations. For the past month residents have been
experiencing massive load shedding which are attributed by ZESA to the
maintenance works at Kariba Hydropower Station.

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Zimbabwe Weekly Update



The three principals of the unity government failed to meet the 30-day deadline set by SADC to resolve outstanding issues in the unity government. The South African three-person mediation team consequently returned to Harare for another round of talks to help speed up the process. The team will return to Pretoria Tuesday to present a report to President Jacob Zuma, who will forward it on to President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique, the current chairman of the SADC Troika. The negotiation talks are shrouded in secrecy, but the parties are reportedly close to reaching an agreement, and have so far found common ground on media reforms and the appointment of provincial governors.


Youth Development Minister Saviour Kasukuwere this week admitted to parliament's public accounts committee that his ministry hired 13 000 youths just before last year's violent presidential election run-off to work nationwide as voting 'ward officers', violating public service job recruitment regulations.

Zimbabwe's Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga on Wednesday said the country would by this time next year have a new and democratic constitution. He said that the violation of people's rights could only be stopped once a democratic, people-driven constitution is in place.


In his budget presented last week, Finance Minister Tendai Biti announced that for the first time in 12 years, the country is posting positive economic growth numbers of 4.7 percent, compared to a 10.9 percent decline in 2008. Biti attributed this to improved performance in all sectors under the stimulus of incoming aid as well as the introduction of hard currency. Biti predicted a national growth in GDP of 7% in 2010. He said that Zimbabwe's total debt, including arrears, was at US$5,4 billion as of October 31 2009.

Zimbabwe has been recording huge monthly trade deficits with China since the start of the year, according to data from the Central Statistical Office (CSO). Data for October shows that Zimbabwe only exported US$487 719 to China but imported goods worth US$6.7 million during the same month. The only time Zimbabwe recorded a trade surplus was in February when exports of US$28.8 million were more than imports of US$6 032 612.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai visited Cape Town last week for a series of meetings with leading figures of the Zimbabwe Diaspora to discuss ways to kick-start Zimbabwe's economic growth. One of the main outcomes of the meetings was an action plain detailing an economic reconstruction programme. The plan has not been made public.

The German Ambassador to Zimbabwe said a group of major donors known as Friends of Zimbabwe were hoping to persuade the World Bank to increase its support to the Multi-Donor Trust Fund, a vehicle set up to help the transitional government rehabilitate the economy. But he said this would only happen if the Global Political Agreement (GPA) was fully implemented.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) on Thursday appealed to the government to adopt the South African rand as a currency of reference, citing the multi-currency system as confusing. The CZI also hailed the 2010 National Budget as a progressive budget that focuses on key issues of reconstruction, equitable growth and stabilization.


Zimbabweans are experiencing power cuts of up to 20 hours daily, yet ZESA, the state owned power utility, is exporting power to Namibia at a discounted tariff to help settle a US$50 million loan. ZESA is supposed to provide 180 megawatts of power to Namibia for a minimum of five years.

The new Chirundu one-stop border post between Zimbabwe and Zambia, near Lake Kariba, will enhance trade between the two countries and save about $486 million annually in costs incurred due to long delays at the old border.

The German government sent an official letter of complaint to Zimbabwe, lamenting that German investment continues to be under threat due to ongoing lawlessness in the country. The letter follows an attempt by some Zimbabweans to take over a German-owned farm near the border with Botswana.

Humanitarian Crisis

More than 70 aid organizations, led by the United Nations, on Monday launched an appeal for US$378 million to meet Zimbabwe's humanitarian needs, to improve health, water and sanitation.

Fifty HIV/Aids activists last week marched from Mhondoro to Harare to raise awareness about the disease and push the government to make life-saving anti-retroviral drugs available countrywide.

Meanwhile the mainstream MDC has appealed to the unity government to make anti-retroviral drugs accessible to Zimbabweans. In a statement to mark World Aids Day on December 1, the MDC said HIV/Aids remained one of the biggest threats to development in Zimbabwe.

The Gender Support Programme, a basket fund aimed at increasing the economic participation of women in Zimbabwe, has been re-launched after a faltered start earlier this year. The fund seeks to improve gender equality and equity in Zimbabwe.

A World Food Programme (WFP) representative said Zanu-PF has caused extensive suffering to the vulnerable children of Mbuya Nehanda Children's Home, following the invasion of the home's farm by war veterans in 2000. Party supporters looted the institution's property, which led to deteriorating standards at the institution.


A government organ for national reconciliation, formed by the unity government, will examine all cases of human rights violations before and after the country's independence, including Gukurahundi, the genocide that killed thousands of innocent Ndebele civilians in the 1980s.

Zanu-PF chairman John Nkomo said he regrets the political violence during last year's elections, and said the country should never experience such violence again. Nkomo is the second senior member of Zanu-PF within the past two weeks to condemn the violence. Last month Zanu-PF secretary for women's affairs, Oppah Muchinguri, also criticized last year's attacks.

Twelve Zimbabwean students at Fort Hare University, who had their presidential scholarships withdrawn in September for allegedly supporting the MDC, are stuck in South Africa because they fear for their lives if they return home. The university has offered them travel money to return home and re-negotiate their scholarships, but they are afraid of being arrested if they do so.

A new report, released by the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), noted a significant decline in human rights violations in the country in August, the most recent period it has documented, though the organization documented resistance in some rural areas to the unity government. Reported violations eased from 1,335 in July to 527 in August, with a notable decline in incidents of severe violence.

The nine-year old son of an MDC activist in Chimanimani was reportedly abducted but later found dumped in the bush. The alleged motive was to pressure the parents to join Zanu-PF.


MDC employee Pascal Gwezere, who was abducted from his home last month and severely tortured, is still in prison after the Attorney General's office filed an appeal against Gwezere's bail in the Supreme Court. Gwezere, who is being kept on "trumped up" theft charges, will remain behind bars until the Court reaches a decision.


African Consolidated Resources (ACR) and its five subsidiaries have lodged an urgent eviction application to remove the Government from the Marange diamond fields in the Chiadzwa district after the High Court dismissed their previous eviction request. No date for the hearing has been set.


A number of journalists from privately-owned media organizations boycotted the Zimbabwe Union for Journalists' (ZUJ) congress in Bulawayo last Friday, where Dumisani Sibanda, editor of the government-controlled Sunday News, was elected new president of the union. The absent journalists complained the election was a sham.

Deputy Minister of Media, Information and Publicity Jameson Timba last week told journalists in Harare that Minister Webster Shamu and permanent secretary George Charamba need to stop their interference in the editorial content of the state media. He said his ministry has "no business in any of the newsrooms of Zimpapers."

Voice of America (VOA), an external radio service that broadcasts "Studio 7" from Botswana into Zimbabwe, has fired back at the government's complaints about "pirate" radio stations. VOA's Director of Africa Broadcasting said the complaints were completely inaccurate and without truth, and said she was disappointed by the government's position.


Foreign airlines have stopped using the country's airspace because the state-run Department of Meteorological Services' equipment is antiquated and incapable of providing crucial weather information to aircrafts. Zimbabwe lies on the major route of airlines flying between Europe and South Africa, but planes now fly east or west of the country.

Biti allocated millions of US dollars in funding to the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) to refurbish the country's strategic airports. The upgrade of the airports is in preparation for the numerous visitors anticipated in the country during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

The Zimbabwe delegation failed to attract any 2010 World Cup finalists to set up their training bases in Harare and Bulawayo next year.


The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said six Zimbabwean children were among nearly sixty African children who were rescued from child traffickers in southern Africa over the past four years.

Farming Sector

Members of the agricultural sector said growth projections of 10 percent in agriculture next year and the subsequent season can only be achieved if resources are made available on time. Budget allocations of US$55 million for the 2009/2010 agricultural season would not be enough to revive the sector, therefore more resources must be made available for the 2010/2011 season.

Hester Theron (79), a commercial farmer facing eviction from her farm in the Beatrice District, has been given temporary reprieve after filing an urgent appeal against a Harare magistrate's ruling in November that she vacate her farm within a month. She had been sentenced to a three-month jail term, suspended for five years on condition she vacated the farm by Dec. 8.

But a High Court judge last Friday ruled that her eviction be halted until the appeal is heard - which could be a matter of months, or possibly even years.


A report compiled by international rhino specialists reveals that South Africa and Zimbabwe are at the centre of a resurgent rhino smuggling and poaching crisis, led by phoney "sport hunters" from Vietnam who come to hunt, allegedly with the help of Vietnamese embassy staff.

Zimbabwe has suspended wildlife hunting licences in an effort to curb poaching that has been on the rise since the beginning of the year. The Department of National Parks and Wildlife, which oversees national parks in the country, placed adverts in the press warning permit holders to stop hunting with immediate effect.

Source: Zimbabwe Democracy Now

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Annual International Rule of Law Lecture: The Progressive Erosion of the Rule of Law in an Independent Zimbabwe

9 December 2009

The third annual International Rule of Law Lecture will be held tonight at Inner Temple. Judge Anthony Gubbay, a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe, will give an address entitled 'The Progressive Erosion of the Rule of Law in an Independent Zimbabwe'. He will follow the lecture with a question and answer session. With over two hundred expected in the audience, and with Chairman-Elect Nicholas Green QC introducing the evening, the lecture will afford a fascinating insight into the rule of law and the problems facing Zimbabwe from one of the country's most high-profile judges.

The lecture follows a visit to Zimbabwe in October 2009 of a delegation containing representatives from the Bar Council and the Bar Human Rights Committee. The purpose of the delegation's visit, which included the Chairman of the Bar Desmond Browne QC, was to report on the impact which the formation of the Unity Government between ZANU-PF and the MDC had exerted upon respect for the rule of law and access to justice in Zimbabwe. The visit included meetings with Zimbabwean lawyers, and with the Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai. The Bar Council and the Bar Human Rights Committee continue to maintain contact with lawyers in Zimbabwe to offer practical assistance wherever possible.

The 2009 lecture follows previous addresses given by prominent lawyers of international standing such as Judge Phillipe Kirsch, President of the International Criminal Court, who gave the 2007 lecture, and Judge Johann Kriegler, former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, who gave the 2008 lecture. The 2010 lecture will be delivered by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.

The lectures highlight rule of law issues arising in different parts of the world. They are intended to inspire discussion and encourage barristers to consider pro bono work in issues covered by the lectures.

Judge Gubbay will say:

"The rule of law forms an essential foundation in any democratic system of governance. It is a concept of universal validity and application. It embraces those institutions and principles of justice which are considered minimal to the assurance of human rights, and the dignity of man.

He continues:

"The formation of the power-sharing government was welcomed by most right-thinking Zimbabweans. It has resulted in an end to rampant inflation and in a fair measure of economic stability. Though now threatened by policy differences, the slow pace of reforms, and feuding over top executive positions, it never the less, represents a glimmer of hope of a transition to democracy, and with it international recognition and financial, it is critical that the unity holds together."


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Mugabe’s control of the armed forces makes Zanu PF invincible –

8 December 2009

Article: Zimbabwe Exiles’ Forum

Or does it?

In an article published on the website on 24 December 2007, the author, Freeman Forward Chari, posed the following question:

“In a country of nearly 200 000 military people….. whose public sector is run by the military, where does the common man fit in? Is there a possibility of civil participation in the country?”

Chari breaks down the military component for 2007 as follows, but does not indicate his sources, so the accuracy of his figures cannot be confirmed:

Security Forces – total 80 000

q Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA): 35 000[1]

q Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ): 5 000

q Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP): 25 000

q Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO): 15 000

Those with a basic knowledge of military operations/training – total 110 000

q Prisons Service: 10 000

q War veterans: 35 000[2]

q Trained youths / youth militia: 30 000 graduates since 2005

q Zimbabwe People’s Militia (trained in ‘80s): 20 000 vigilantes/youths

q Plus voluntary retirements from ZNA & ZRP: 15 000

Total number: 190 000

“This means we have (in 2007) at least 190 000 people in Zimbabwe who have a basic understanding of military language,” wrote Chari.

He reminded Zimbabweans that, at the level of leadership and policy formulation, there was a need to also explore the level of involvement of the military in strategic entities that deal strictly with civilians. In December 2007, the line-up was:

q Minister of Energy and Power Development - Rtd Lieutenant General Mike Nyambuya.

q Minister of Youth Development and Employment Creation - Rtd Brigadier General Ambrose Mutinhiri.

q Ministry of Transport - Rtd Colonel Hubert Nyanhongo, Deputy Minister

q National Railways of Zimbabwe - Brigadier Douglas Nyikayaramba (Board chairman) and Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai (CEO).

q Grain Marketing Board - Rtd Colonel Samuel Muvuti (CEO).

q Permanent Secretary for Industry and International Trade - Rt Colonel Christian Katsande.

q Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) - Justice Chiweshe, (head) a former Advocate-General in the Zimbabwe National Army.

q Attorney General - Sobuza Gula-Ndebele, a retired Colonel.

q Sports and Recreation Commission - Brigadier General Gibson Mashingaidze and Rtd Lt Colonel Charles Nhemachena.

Chari summed up the relevance of the appointments as follows:

Zanu PF controls:

Food (Grain Marketing Board – GMB)


Energy, fuel, power

Trade and industry



The Attorney General


Chari pointed out that Joint Operations Command (JOC) comprises the ministries of Defence, Finance, State Security, Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs. “The military therefore controls the finances and even the foreign policy is directed by the military and not parliament,” he said.

Major Martin Saurombe (Rt), writing for the website in 2007, brought in an interesting perspective. He reminded Zimbabweans that, in politicising the military, Zanu PF had started by appointing raw guerrillas to top posts in the army.

He noted that:

General Solomon Mujuru commanded the army from 1981 to 1992 without attending a single military course.

The late General Vitalis Zvinavashe, retired former commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, also never attended any military courses.

Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander, General Constantine Chiwenga, Air Force Commander Perence Shiri and Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri are also politicians in military uniform.

One wonders how many people are aware of this fact.

Frustration in the ranks

Despite the fact that it became very dangerous for members of the armed forces to show the slightest signs of disloyalty to Zanu PF, by mid 2007 the dissatisfaction that had been brewing began to mount and to be expressed openly.

In August, Perence Shiri and Constantine Chiwenga were shocked when they were booed by junior soldiers at the KG VI Barracks in Harare for trying to convince them that the hardships being experienced in the military were caused by sanctions imposed by Britain and the USA.

The following month, disgruntled veterans of Zimbabwe’s liberation war asked government to hike their monthly allowances five-fold, just two weeks after pledging undying loyalty to Mugabe and declaring him the only one fit to rule the country.

Four months later, in January 2008, former army general Vitalis Zvinavashe sent political temperatures within Zanu-PF soaring after calling on Robert Mugabe to step down. Zvinavashe is reported to have said that, “by clinging onto power, Mugabe was betraying the essence of the liberation struggle.”

Mugabe’s hatchet men

Authoritative journalist Basildon Peta wrote in an article published in the Sunday Independent of June 29, 2008 that “the multi-billionaires who have Zimbabwe by the throat are right to dread the people’s revenge.”

He listed Mugabe’s six “hatchet-men” as Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, General Constantine Chiwenga, Augustine Chihuri, Paradzai Zimondi, Perence Shiri and Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono. He noted that this Joint Operations Command junta controls Zimbabwe.

“When Mugabe lost control of parliament and it became clear that he was also losing the presidency to Morgan Tsvangirai after the poll on March 29, it was these six men who hurriedly assembled around their octogenarian leader,” explained Peta.

“For five weeks, the announcement of the presidential election results were stalled while they plotted…(but) none of their charges stuck.

“So they unleashed the infamous Operation Makavhoterapapi (For whom did you vote?) in preparation for the presidential runoff….”

Peta reports that it was Constantine Chiwenga, as commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Force, who spearheaded the campaign of violence that led to the deaths of 86 people, the serious injuries inflicted on thousands more and the massive displacements countrywide.

Police and army clash in Harare

By the beginning of December 2008, tensions across the country were heating up. In Harare, police shot at rioting soldiers on the streets as unpaid uniformed personnel sided with the country’s impoverished people for the first time in protest against Zimbabwe’s collapsing economy.

“If Mr Mugabe is unable to maintain loyalty even within his own armed services, his position will come under serious threat,” commented The Telegraph (UK) on December 1.

The following day, Mugabe ordered the execution of 16 rioting soldiers in a cold blood murder carried out by members of the Presidential Guard death squads at its PG HQ Base in Dzivarasekwa, north west of the capital. Three others were reported to have died during torture.

The fast-track military court martial was presided over by High Court Judge Major General George Chiewshe, with three other assessors, two majors and a captain. Chiweshe, who is the current Chairman of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, was previously Director Army Legal Services.

Soldiers tortured following theft of guns

During October 2009, at least 12 soldiers died after they were brutally tortured by military intelligence agents following the alleged disappearance of an assortment of guns and other military equipment from Pomona barracks.

By early November reports were being leaked that an additional 120 soldiers had been horrifically tortured at KG VI Barracks in Harare following the alleged theft of the guns. SW Radio Africa warned of rising tension in the Zimbabwe National Army.

A retired army colonel who fought with ZANLA forces in Mozambique, told the radio station that Robert Mugabe had lost the control and trust of the army. (ZANLA was the armed wing of ZANU PF during the liberation war of the 1970s).

Security reports from Zimbabwe indicated the situation was volatile.

Fear of reprisals, retribution and paranoia

Dr George Ayittey, a prominent Ghanaian economist, author and president of the Free Africa Foundation in Washington DC, analysed the militarisation of Zanu-PF in Part 1 of “The Zimbabwe Conundrum” (September 8, 2009) as follows:

“The hierarchy of the ruling Zanu-PF has fully been “militarized” or integrated with the security apparatus. The security chiefs who are behind President Mugabe presently -- Paradzai Zimondi (rtd), head of prison service, Augustine Chihuri, head of the police force, Perence Shiri -- want Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is also the choice of “war of liberation veterans,”[3] to succeed Mugabe.

Mnangagwa, known as the “Butcher of Matabeleland,” is known for his uncompromising stance and ruthlessness. He was the Minister of State Security who orchestrated a systematic and brutal 1981-1983 campaign (known as Gukurahundi) to suppress the Ndebele people and wipe out the main opposition, ZAPU and its leader, the late Joshua Nkomo.

It is fear of reprisals, retribution and paranoia which haunts the ruling Zanu-PF regime…. Their hands are dripping in blood and their pockets are full of booty. They are afraid that all their gory misdeeds will be exposed once they are out of power. So they must do everything they can to cling to power. They must crush the opposition and ruthlessly silence any whiff of protest. But in doing so, they dig deeper graves for themselves because these brutal tactics seldom work.

African tyrants spend an inordinate amount on an elaborate security-cum-military structure to protect themselves and suppress their people. Since they came to power through illegitimate means (a military coup or stolen election), they are suspicious of everyone and paranoid of any little event, however innocuous.

So they spend huge resources creating layers upon layers of security – just in case one level fails – and shower security agents with perks and amenities. But in the end, they are hoisted by their own petards – overthrown by their own security apparatus.

The more an African head of state spends on security, the more likely he will be overthrown by someone from his security forces…. The Zanu-PF regime, in contemplating its imminent demise, should ask itself whether more investments in lethal weaponry and brutal repression will pay off.”

In Part 2 of The Zimbabwe Conundrum (September10, 2009), Ayittey notes that, in all of Africa’s post-colonial cases where intransigent autocrats refused to yield to popular demands for freedom and took hard line positions, the threat to the despotic regime did not come from the opposition parties. It came from:

1. Within the despot’s own security apparatus / circle of officers / family members

2. Rebel groups

3. Invasion from a neighbouring country.

Ayittey explains that the insurgency often started with a small band of determined rebels and says it was relatively cheap to start a rebellion.

According to Ayittey, Zanu-PF has two choices: The first is to maintain its hard-line stance – which he says is invariably a dead end - and the second is to adopt a more conciliatory approach.

“Political leaders who were willing to yield to the popular will and make amends saved not only themselves but their countries as well,” writes Ayittey.

Holding Zimbabwe to ransom – a clique of 200

In view of escalating dissatisfaction within the ranks of the armed forces, Zimbabwean commentators say it is fallacious to believe that Zimbabwe is being held to ransom by security forces who remain loyal to Mugabe.

Furthermore, they point out that the improvements within the economy - which are clearly understood to be the result of Finance Minister Tendai Biti (MDC-T)’s achievements – are already impacting positively on the lives of their families and communities.

The glimmerings of optimism that followed the signing of the Global Political Agreement are now being bolstered by the decisiveness and firm approach of South African President Jacob Zuma.

President Zuma, with the support of the Southern African Development Community, is clearly committed to solving the Zimbabwean crisis and restoring peace and democracy across the Limpopo.

The question that must be asked is this: Who exactly is holding Zimbabwe to ransom and how strong is this grouping?

Political commentators believe that it’s a cabal of about 200 people comprising senior serving army officers, the members of Joint Operations Command and a clique of Mugabe cronies who have benefited substantially over the years from his patronage.

This ties in with a report released at the SADC summit in Kinshasa during early September by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition. Comprising over 350 civil society organisations, Crisis said it had information that over 70 top military officers remained in the provinces where they were deployed after President Mugabe and Zanu-PF suffered a devastating electoral loss just after the March 29 poll last year.

Clearly they are crucial in the equation. Crisis called on the inclusive government to immediately get the army out of the countryside and recall them to barracks.


In Part 2 of ‘The Conundrum on Zimbabwe”, Ayittey claims that the game is up for Zanu-PF.

“It has lost all credibility with the Zimbabwean people. It has become an imposition – a cancer – on Zimbabwe’s body politic – a far cry from the liberation stature it once enjoyed. Fear and paranoia are driving the regime to cling to power at all cost – by force and with brutal repression,” he writes.

This changed scenario presents an opportunity for President Zuma, his South African negotiating team and the leaders of SADC, who have clearly lost patience with President Mugabe and Zanu-PF, and who want to see a speedy solution to the crisis. The fallout on the entire region, while difficult to quantify, has been very significant.

To have found a peaceful solution to the Zimbabwean crisis in the period when Mugabe had the unequivocal support of a sizeable armed forces component would have presented a major problem.

To be faced instead with a clique of just 200 or so people who have brazenly amassed great wealth for themselves and their families while leaving the Zimbabwean people impoverished is totally different situation.

For a powerful country like South Africa, which holds all the trump cards, dealing with the dregs of a regime that has blighted the face of southern Africa suddenly becomes eminently manageable.




Executive Director

Zimbabwe Exiles’ Forum

Cell: +27 (0) 72 639 3795

Tel: +27 (0) 12 322 6969


The Zimbabwe Times published a list containing the names of all the officers involved after it was leaked by disgruntled officers. (See list overleaf).

[1] ZNA: Independent estimates for 2009 suggest the current figure could be well below 30 000, bearing in mind that desertions have been rife.

[2] War veterans: Independent estimates for 2009 are as low as around 10 000.

[3] This statement is open to question. Update: Emmerson Mnangagwa’s faction, which is entangled in a bitter struggle for power with a faction led by former army general Solomon Mujuru, was ruthlessly crushed in Zanu PF’s November 2009 presidium nominations.

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CORRUPTION-AFRICA: A Crime Against Development

Sholain Govender-Bateman

TSHWANE, Dec 9 (IPS) - Corruption is preventing the world from reducing
extreme poverty, from averting child deaths and even from fighting epidemics
like HIV/AIDS. And it will have a devastating effect on the attainment of
the Millennium Development Goals if not tackled directly by each national

The way to do this, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and
Crime (UNODC) Southern Africa representative Dr. Jonathan Lucas, is through
the full implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption
(UNCAC) which most countries are signatories to.

Lucas was speaking to stakeholders on International Anti-Corruption Day in
Tshwane on Dec 9. "The 2009 message is simple: Corruption is a crime against
development, democracy, education, prosperity, public health and justice -
what many would consider the pillars of social well being."

He said corruption was no longer hidden. "It is now seen by people across
the world as a serious crime, a crime which weakens societies, ruins lives,
and spurs underdevelopment."

The UNCAC agreement, which was signed in Merida, Mexico six years ago, sets
out specific guidelines that countries should follow in order to combat

On December 14, 2005, UNCAC came into force and became the first legally
binding, global anti-corruption agreement, and was "a significant
achievement in the fight against corruption" according to Lucas.

In November this year more than 1,000 participants from the 141 signatory
countries attended the third conference of the state parties to UNCAC in
Doha, Qatar. The "Doha Mechanism of Implementation" was agreed upon as a
mechanism to monitor the convention.

According to UNODC executive director Antonia Maria Costa: "This agreement
will not end corruption, but will enable us to measure and fight it."

In a statement released today, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the
Doha agreement meant that: "From now on, states will be judged by the
actions they take to fight corruption, not just the promises they make."

Lucas told IPS that with cases like the recent accusations of nepotism and
other corruption made against Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma by
opposition leader John Benjamin, Zambia's unresolved corruption allegations
against former President Frederick Chiluba and Uganda's ongoing battle for
democracy amidst claims of election rigging and dictatorship, UNCAC was
committed to ongoing engagement with each state. He added each national
government was responsible for the implementation of the convention.

The convention is based on four pillars - prevention, criminalisation, asset
recovery and international co-operation.

Open, honest and efficient decision-making, fair competition and ethical
procurement systems are some of the aims of the convention. UNCAC also calls
for a ban on bribery in all investment decisions, both local and
international and law enforcement and swift international co-operation that
leaves no place for criminals to hide.

"According to the World Bank," said Lucas, "the cross-border flow of money
related to corruption is estimated to be 1.6 trillion US dollars per year."

This reflects the huge impact that corruption has on developing states and
is why UNODC Southern Africa launched the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency
Network for Southern Africa (Arinsa) in March this year.

Lucas said Arinsa was of critical importance in Southern Africa as it
created an informal gateway for anti-corruption information exchange and
co-ordination between law enforcement and judicial authorities in the field
of asset seizure in countries Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia, South
Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.

In a major breakthrough for UNCAC, countries agreed on asset recovery as
part of the UNODC/World Bank joint Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR)
launched in 2007.

Lucas said asset recovery was a challenge and particularly important for
developing countries where corruption eroded much needed public resources.
"The work of the StAR Initiative has proven successful in a number of pilot
countries including Bangladesh, Haiti, Indonesia and Nigeria."

Key to fighting corruption, is the inclusion of the private sector in the
implementation of anti-corruption strategies, said Ki-moon.

"The private sector should not lag behind governments. Businesses must also
prevent corruption within their ranks, and keep bribery out of the tendering
and procurement processes."

He urged companies not to cheat and to open themselves up to peer review in
line with the 10th principle of the UN Global Compact. This principle states
that "businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including
extortion and bribery".

As part of this process, UNODC in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers,
released the first edition of the "Anti-Corruption Policies and Measures of
the Fortune Global 500" report in November this year. The report provides an
overview of measures that 2008 Fortune Global 500 countries have taken to
combat corruption and economic crime.

"When public money is stolen for private gain, it means fewer resources to
build schools, hospitals, roads and water treatment facilities," said the
U.N. Secretary General.

"When foreign aid is diverted into private bank accounts, major
infrastructure projects come to a halt. Corruption enables fake or
sub-standard medicines to be dumped on the market, and hazardous waste to be
dumped in landfill sites and in oceans. The vulnerable suffer first and
worst." (END/2009)

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