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ZANU-PF party panics as Robert Mugabe sticks

    by: Jan Raath, Harare
    From: The Times
    December 10, 2011 12:00AM

A FRAIL President Robert Mugabe spoke for more than two hours at the opening
of the annual conference of his ZANU-PF party yesterday after it pledged to
endorse him for another term in office despite increasing misgivings he
might be too old.

Many of the more superstitious Zimbabweans interpreted the fall of the
country's colonial-era "hanging tree" yesterday in the heart of Harare as a
portent of change, coinciding as it did with the start of the party

The 6000 delegates in an exhibition hall in Bulawayo cheered and ululated in
front of a row of mostly elderly party mandarins at the high table. Mugabe,
87, who has ruled Zimbabwe for 31 years, sat in the centre, occasionally
drifting off to sleep.

Rumours had abounded in the highest echelons of the party that the meeting
would see the emergence of new figures to replace Mugabe. Competition for
the top post between the Defence Minister, Emmerson Mnan-gagwa, and the
Vice-President, Joice Mujuru, has escalated sharply. However, the subject
was declared strictly off-limits at the conference. Privately, senior party
officials say Mugabe may not be physically capable of running an election
campaign next year or in 2013.
Free trial

The President has travelled to Singapore for unspecified medical treatment
nine times in the past year.

Outwitted by Mugabe, senior party officials say they will resort to a tactic
that in the Zimbabwean language Shona is called kurovera bhora musango -
spoiling the game by kicking the football off the field and losing it in the
bush. "We will publicly endorse Mugabe for the presidency - we have no
option. But when it comes to elections we won't campaign for him," said a
member of Mugabe's central committee who asked not to be identified.

A Western diplomat said: "Zanu-PF is in a state of suspended animation. They
have no new ideas, they can't make important decisions to renew the party.
They're in a panic because they don't know what to do except roll out Mugabe

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Zimbabwe’s longtime president says he’s confident of election victory

By Associated Press, Published: December 9

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s long-time ruler expressed confidence Thursday
that his party can win proposed elections, saying there was no need for
coercive campaigning or political violence because voters support his party’s
“progressive” economic ideas.

President Robert Mugabe, 87, has called for elections next year to end a
fragile 30-month coalition with the former opposition — a partnership he
described as an impractical “patch on torn trousers.”

In an address to his ZANU PF party’s annual convention, Mugabe criticized
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party. He said it was “busy chasing
women,” a reference to widower Tsvangirai’s break-up with a commodity broker
who claimed he had made her pregnant.

“We think of our people ... we are busy taking care of our country,” Mugabe

Mugabe’s often violent program to seize thousands of white-owned farms since
2000 disrupted the agriculture-based economy. He has also announced plans to
force businesses and mines to hand over a 51 percent ownership to black

He addressed 6,000 delegates in the city of Bulawayo for 2 1/2 hours
Thursday. The convention ends Saturday.

Mugabe warned Zimbabweans to be alert to attempted Western manipulation of
mineral resources in gold, platinum and diamonds. Speaking in the local
Shona language, he also said the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi
befriended the West who wanted Libya’s oil. Western powers then “squashed
him in broad daylight.”

Dewa Mavhinga, a political analyst with the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition,
told The Associated Press that he feared Mugabe will unilaterally call early

He said violence and allegations of vote-rigging plagued three national
elections in the past decade and that there still was no “level political
playing field.”

Deep divisions in Mugabe’s party have emerged over the ability of the ailing
leader to remain in control and stop infighting.

U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks earlier this year quoted
several top party leaders saying they wanted Mugabe to leave office. Party
hardliners loyal to Mugabe have called for such “sell-outs” to be punished
and possibly expelled from ZANU PF.

The party’s 10 provincial districts in separate meetings have already
endorsed Mugabe as its sole presidential candidate against Tsvangirai, 59,
in the next elections despite fears over his health.

Mugabe has visited Singapore at least eight times this year for medical
treatment. U.S. cables quoted associates of Mugabe as saying he suffers from
prostate cancer.

Mavhinga of the Crisis Coalition said the party convention is unlikely to
dare tackle leadership changes and was expected to “rubber stamp” Mugabe’s

“The party has invested too much in one person and it’s inextricably linked
to Mugabe. Without him things will fall apart,” he said.

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Zimbabwe: The land of nervous laughter
Robert Mugabe arrives at Zanu-PF's conference in Bulawayo, on December 8, 2011 Robert Mugabe appeared well as he arrived to deliver his speech in Bulawayo
Zimbabwe - New Era?

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe moved to the podium with his trademark blend of languor and briskness - still looking reasonably sprightly for an 87-year-old in reportedly poor health.

The crowd - perhaps 3,000-strong, seated, hot and mildly expectant after waiting for some nine hours for this moment - had just been warned not to "dare" to even talk to their neighbours during the president's speech.

There had been a big build-up ahead of the keynote speech of Zanu-PF's annual party conference. And yet, there was a tangible sense that everyone in the pavilion in Bulawayo was going through the motions.

President Mugabe launched - after a brief delay to rearrange his notes - into a long and familiar attack on western imperialism and past injustices.

Within minutes, I counted four out of 10 people in the row behind me, slumped in their seats with their eyes closed. They were not an exception. The crowd rallied, periodically, when the president made a joke, or a particularly biting remark. But the atmosphere was heavy and tired.

Mr Mugabe did stray from his usual targets - former British Prime Minister Tony Blair still a major preoccupation - to touch on the "momentous" but unfinished events of the Arab Spring - an awkward subject, you might think, for a man who has been in power for more than three decades.

Mr Mugabe described Libya as "well-developed but autocratic" but concluded that "Nato terrorists" had bombed the country back by a century in order to carve up its oil assets at a "mini-Berlin conference." Other African countries with mineral wealth - Zimbabwe for example - should beware.

What next?

The security at the event was astonishingly tight - the full apparatus of the Zimbabwean state employed for a party political event. My colleague even had to take out a contact lens to prove to a suspicious guard that his lens cleaning kit was not hazardous.

It was a sharp and telling contrast with Zimbabwe's other main party, the former opposition MDC - now "partners" in an uneasy unity government - which can rarely even secure police permission for its rallies, and whose ministers are sometimes abused or detained at police roadblocks.

Supporters welcome Robert Mugabe at the Zanu-PF conference in Bulaway (8 December 2011) Robert Mugabe received a warm welcome from Zanu-PF supporters at the party conference

In public, no-one I met at the Zanu-PF conference seemed willing to even entertain the thought that their elderly leader might not rule forever and that perhaps it might be prudent to discuss the succession issue. Behind the scenes though, there is frantic speculation about power struggles, factions and even possible coup plots.

As things stand, President Mugabe is pushing for re-election in 2012. But before that happens, Zimbabwe is supposed to have a new constitution, and new rules governing its heavy-handed security services - responsible for at least some of the violence during the chaos of the 2008 elections. So what will happen?

I'm inclined, for now, to go with the middle option.

It's so dangerous to speak about him in any way - some secret service may be following and might arrest you”Businessman Bulawayo

In the real world outside the Zanu-PF conference, Bulawayo seems superficially calm and stable. The shops are full, the traffic lights are working, the pavements are being cleaned, and most people I spoke to acknowledged, with relief, the continuing political truce that has allowed Zimbabwe to pull out of hyperinflation and economic free-fall.

And yet, the low-level intimidation of journalists and activists continues - a reminder that the state and Zanu-PF remain almost synonymous here - and according to Moses Mzila-Ndlovu, an MDC MP and minister for national reconciliation, "the rest of the world thinks that things have stabilised and improved but in so far as we talk of real meaningful change in the lives of the people, we are still facing this deficit."

Ask anyone on the street to talk politics, and Zimbabwe is still the land of nervous laughter. One man ventured that "perhaps President Mugabe might want to retire," but most people I spoke to preferred to avoid the subject.

"It's so dangerous to speak about him in any way. Some secret service may be following and might arrest you. God knows what might happen. There has been some bit of liberalisation in many facets of life, but politically not much has changed," said one businessman who declined to give his name.

And so Zimbabwe staggers on. The foreign investors - who were queuing up to return to the country in 2009 - are now pulling back warily, waiting for clarity about Zanu-PF's "indigenisation" programme.

"These things have to be cleared up," said John Sullivan, who runs a Bulawayo factory manufacturing parts for the mining industry. He had 300 employees. Now, for a variety of reasons, he has 10. "Investors are very reluctant - this is a very hostile environment towards business. There's a 'loot-ocracy' at work… profiting from the situation. [Zanu-PF] still call the shots. They have their… tentacles in a lot of business activity."

He is critical of President Mugabe's plans to force companies to sell 51% of their business to black Zimbabweans. "This is just a mechanism for looting. They target certain [lucrative] businesses."


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Mugabe’s age and health to impact on his candidature

By Tichaona Sibanda
9 December 2011

ZANU PF will officially endorse Robert Mugabe as their presidential
candidate in Bulawayo on Saturday, creating Mugabe’s own piece of history as
he will become Africa’s second oldest person to stand in an election.

If elections are held next year, as Mugabe wants, he will be 88 years old.
The late life-President of Malawi, Kamuzu Hastings Banda, was 98 years of
age when he stood in Malawi’s first democratic election in 1994, and was
roundly defeated by Bakili Muluzi.

Morgan Tsvangirai will be 59 years old in 2012.

Our Bulawayo correspondent, Lionel Saungweme, said that just as in previous
years, delegates to the ZANU PF conference are being whipped into line to
endorse Mugabe’s candidature: ‘Never in the history of ZANU PF has Mugabe’s
candidature been discussed openly. Usually a few individuals in the
politburo decide and the rest are forced to accept him without any debate,
or dissenters risk being vilified or dismissed from the party.’

In his opening remarks on Thursday, Mugabe told delegates the time had come
for the party to prepare for elections as, ‘we just have to have elections
next year.’

‘Look at this. There are three parties – MDC formations and ZANU PF. There
are those among us who lost the elections completely. They were rejected by
the people. We asked parliament to regard them as if they won the elections.
Now we have them in government.

‘We have honourable that and honourable this, when votes had made them
dishonourable this and dishonourable that. We actually cheated on democracy
but let us not over do it. Time has come to go for elections and let people
choose their government,’ Mugabe said.

Political analyst Dr Maxwell Shumba told SW Radio Africa on Friday that ZANU
PF and Mugabe, at 88 years, will never win an election but could ‘steal it’
through intimidation and violence.

‘I think it is now a misnomer to call ZANU PF a party. It has become a loose
gathering of individuals with a common element of greed. In this competing
global village the job of a president requires someone who is at the top of
his game. Being president is considerably stressful, with increased age
comes increased chances of health problems, along with forgetfulness and
confusion,’ Shumba said.

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Mugabe fears Nato attack

By Nkululeko Sibanda, Senior Writer
Friday, 09 December 2011 11:34

BULAWAYO - President Robert Mugabe says he fears being targeted by Western
countries the same way Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was ousted by
Nato-backed fighters.

Mugabe told an annual party conference in Bulawayo yesterday that Zimbabwe’s
rich mineral resources made him a target.

Gaddafi, one of Africa’s longest serving dictators, was in October captured
and killed by anti-government fighters who are now in charge of the oil-rich

Mugabe has been in power since the country attained independence in 1980,
and yesterday appeared to show discomfort with the West.

Speaking at the official opening of the conference in Bulawayo, Mugabe said
he was conscious of the fact that Western countries that dethroned Gaddafi
were opposed to his rule hence the need for vigilance.

“When Nato bombed Libya, they found countries in the African continent weak
and very much not united.

“We undermined ourselves as Africans. Today, in Libya, we have a broken
people, whose lives, hopes and dreams have been shattered by Nato forces. In
Zimbabwe, as Zanu PF, a party born out of a revolution, we have to be alive
to the fact that there is no way we can expect to be excluded from the
possibility of what happened to Gaddafi happening Mugabe fears Nato attack
to us,” said Mugabe in a two and a half hour speech.

“That is why we have to ensure that we strengthen our ties with our regional
allies, that is countries such as South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique, Namibia,
and others. These are the comrades that assisted us attain our independence
and they stand ready to help us in case that which happened to our good
friend Gaddafi happens to us.”

Mugabe claimed minerals such as gold, diamonds, coal, and chrome were likely
to “tempt” Western countries to invade Zimbabwe.

“If they ended Gaddafi’s rule, a man who had oil at his disposal, what can
stop them (the international community) from doing it to us. A country such
as Zimbabwe is in danger of being taken over by these colonialists who are
out to get resources of other countries to boost their economies,” Mugabe

“Well before the war in Libya, Britain and France were already positioning
themselves to exploit the Libyan oil, reminding us of what they did during
the [1884] Berlin Conference that saw the partitioning of Africa. The Libyan
issue clearly shows that other countries which have resources like our own,
which has diamonds, are on target.”

Mugabe, who turns 88 in February, poked fun at the way his former close ally
warmed up to Western leaders who plotted his downfall. Cosy relations
between Mugabe and Gaddafi cooled off after the late Libyan dictator opened
up to Western countries that had at one time slapped Tripoli with sanctions.

“Imperialists are not good people at all,” Mugabe said.

“That is why someone said only a dead imperialist is a good one. They lied
to Gaddafi that they were his friends. They made him blind to the fact that
he was supposed to establish allies in African countries."

“He ended thinking that his friends were the Blairs (former UK Prime
Minister Tony Blair) of this world. He then, after that, behaved as if he
was a clever someone. He thought the comfort he had been given by the
British was an eternal one to a point that he even forgot to invest in
Zimbabwe or even in southern Africa. Now where is he? Vakamudashura masikati
machena (They killed him in broad daylight),” he said.

Mugabe took the opportunity to reveal that Gaddafi had only hinted he would
send four camels to Zimbabwe as part of “his investment.”

“He only said he would send us four camels and that was it. The man had no
other investments in Zimbabwe,” said Mugabe.

Mugabe threatened to repossess farms from party members who had entered into
co-habitation deals with former white commercial farmers.

“There are some of you who have seen it fit to engage in these unholy
alliances with former white commercial farmers. We gave you 99-year leases
and you have seen it fit to enter into deals with the very former white
farmers we took land away from."

“You are entering into petty deals with them while we sought to empower you
by giving you the land. We shall take it away from you if you do not want to
use it and give it to those that can be productive on the land,” Mugabe

He was quick to speak against party members invading farms without

“There are those that have taken it upon themselves to invade some land that
we reserved for some other reasons. They do not even bother to find out why
that land was set aside. All they know is to invade."

“I want to say it is wrong, absolutely wrong, for anyone to make use of any
tactic so that they can occupy a piece of land without finding out reasons
why that piece is not allocated, even from an authority that controls the
land they are targeting. And there are quite a number of cases like that,”
he said.

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Top Zanu PF Officials Worse Than Dogs: Sibanda

Bulawayo, December 09,2011—War veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda has blasted
senior Zanu-PF leaders who were recently fingered in whistleblower website
WikiLeaks saying “dogs” are even better than them ,as there are serious

Addressing the annual Zanu-PF conference at ZITF grounds in Bulawayo Friday
morning, an emotional Sibanda said Zanu-PF is full of pretenders who only
praise Mugabe during his presence but goes to criticize him on his back.

“Those people are serious sellouts, who pretend to like president in his
presence but goes to the enemy on his behind and criticize him. Dogs  are
even better than these people. A dog can understand better and defend  its
territory than these people.

“These people are also the ones who are causing divisions in the party,
“said Sibanda.

In the past months Wiki Leaks has been releasing US diplomatic cables that
contain confidential information exposing top Zanu-PF officials, especially
the presidium for passing on information to the US government about the
party and its leader Mugabe whom they said “should go”.

Top Zanu-PF leaders who were  mentioned in WikiLeaks for either plotting the
“Mugabe must go” campaign or who were implicated by association are Vice
Presidents Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo, Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere,
Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, Dzikamai Mavhaire, Cephas Msipa and Emmerson Mnangagwa
among others.

Sibanda also said Mugabe will rule forever despite his advanced age saying
that those who think he will go are wasting their time.

“We are not worried about the President’s age because we are happy with his
leadership,” he said.

Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe for the  past  31  years and  the party  has
already  endorsed   him  as  candidate in the next  year elections.

The Zanu-PF conference ends on Saturday with a musical gala scheduled for
White City stadium in the city on the same night.

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State Invokes Section 121 To Deny Bail To Media Monitors

Gwanda, December 09, 2011 - Magistrate Douglas Zvenyika granted $50 bail
each to three Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ) advocacy officers
but the order was immediately suspended following the invocation of Section

The trio namely Fadzai December, Molly Chimhanda and Gilbert Mabusa, was
further remanded in custody to the 16th of December.

They are being charged under the notorious Public Order and Security Act
(POSA) for failing to give notice of the meeting.

They are also being charged in terms of the Criminal Law (Codification and
Reform) Act for participating in a gathering with the intent to
promote public violence, breaches of peace or bigotry.

In granting the trio bail, the magistrate concurred with the defense counsel
led by Kossam Ncube that three were not a flight risk considering the fact
that they had handed themselves to Gwanda police
from Harare, and that the charges there are facing were not serious as the
sentence has an option of a fine if convicted.

After magistrate Zvenyika had granted bail in what is becoming a tradition,
state prosecutor Blessing Gundani invoked section 121 of the Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act - a counter measure which
prosecutors invoke to defeat the bail order and retain accused persons in
custody for a further 7 days to allow the state time to file an appeal
against the bail ruling.

The draconian piece of legislation has in the past been arbitrarily invoked
particularly against members of the Movement for Democratic Change
formations and human rights defenders.


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Amnesty calls for release of Zim ‘prisoners of conscience’

By Alex Bell
09 December 2011

Global human rights defender, Amnesty International, has called for the
immediate release of three media activists from the Media Monitoring Project
Zimbabwe (MMPZ), calling them “prisoners of conscience.”

The three MMPZ staffers, Fadzai December, Molly Chimhanda and Gilbert
Mabusa, have been detained in Gwanda since the beginning of the week, after
they were called in for questioning over a meeting there last month. They
are being charged with conducting the meeting without permission, despite it
not being a public event. The three are also being charged under the terms
of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for “participating in a
gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of the peace or

The MMPZ members appeared in Gwanda Magistrates Court on Wednesday, where
the State opposed their release on bail. The ruling was postponed until
Friday, but despite the three being granted bail, they will now face at
least another seven days in custody.

Their lawyer, Kossam Ncube from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
(ZLHR), told SW Radio Africa that the State prosecutor invoked the
controversial Section 121 of the Criminal Procedures Act, which gives them
seven days to lodge an appeal against the bail. Ncube said that even though
they were expecting the State to go in this direction, it is still a
disappointing development for his clients.

“The three are taking it in their stride, but it is tough on them. Prison
conditions are very hard,” Ncube said.

The MMPZ meanwhile said in a statement that “invoking Section 121 in this
case represents a malicious action by the state that unnecessarily deprives
Fadzai, Molly and Gilbert of their right to freedom.” The statement added
that the Section “clearly allows prosecutors to usurp the powers of judicial

The state has also added a third charge against the MMPZ staffers, which the
ZLHR said in a statement “is sufficient confirmation that the State is
determined to deprive these human rights defenders of their liberty and keep
them in detention at all costs.” The group now faces a charge of
‘undermining the authority of the President’, but the State did not explain
how the three are alleged to have committed this offence.

Amnesty International’s Noel Kututwa told SW Radio Africa on Friday that the
organisation considers the MMPZ members to be “prisoners of conscience” and
called for their immediate and unconditional release.
“This is just another example of the clampdown on media freedom in Zimbabwe,
and if things are allowed to continue, it can only get worse,” Kututwa said.

He added: “We are very concerned that there are so many outstanding issues,
despite the government of national unity being in place for three years.
These arrests show there has been little improvement in that time.”

Civil society groups and observers have continued to voice their support and
anger over the detention of the MMPZ group. But the three are sadly not the
only activists still in detention.

On Monday the Chairman of the MDC-T’s Youth Assembly, Solomon Madzore, was
denied bail for the second time, after being in custody for more than two
months. He is accused of ‘murdering’ a policeman in Glen View along with 27
other party activists. Of that group, seven others still remain in custody,
almost seven months since their arrest.

They are: Glen View Ward 32 Councillor Tungamirai Madzokere, Rebecca
Mafikeni, Phenias Nhatarikwa, Lazarus Maengahama, Stanford Maengahama,
Yvonne Musarurwa and Stanford Mangwiro.

The MDC-T says the charges are ‘trumped-up’ and a deliberate attempt to
discredit its members. The Youth Assembly has also slammed the charges,
saying it is nothing more than “political persecution.”

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Nothing to celebrate on International Human Rights Day

By Tererai Karimakwenda
09 December, 2011

December 10th is designated International Human Rights Day and given recent events in North Africa and the Middle East, where thousands took to the streets demanding their rights, this year holds a special meaning.

The 2011 theme – “An Extraordinary Year for Human Rights” – is appropriate in many countries where ordinary citizens removed dictators and oppressive governments, using the power of new media and social networking.

In Zimbabwe however, the year brought no improvement to the human rights situation. The unity government failed to produce a more democratic state and the Mugabe regime continued to hold on to power. The arrests of MDC officials, human rights activists and media practitioners intensified.

Claris Madhuku, director of the Platform for Youth Development (PYD), told SW Radio Africa that December 10th is a sad day in Zimbabwe and the human rights situation is “a far cry from ideal”. Madhuku said young people face difficult challenges every day as there are no jobs or affordable opportunities to further their education.

The activist praised new media and social networking technologies like twitter and Facebook, for giving those who are abused the opportunity to share their experiences. “The globe has become a small world and people communicate easily. When violence happens in one corner of the country, people know right away,” Madhuku explained.

He appealed to young Zimbabweans to respect each other and avoid political violence when elections are finally held in the country. “The leaders in the unity government should not just talk, but they should make sure those who are responsible for violence are fully dealt with,” Madhuku added.

On Friday the United Nations launched the 2012 Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) for Zimbabwe in Harare. This is a fundraising effort that raises money to address humanitarian challenges in the coming year.

The UN Resident Coordinator, Alain Noudehou, said $478 million was needed in 2012 to address humanitarian challenges that include food insecurity and outbreaks of waterborne diseases. Minister Priscilla Misihairambwi Mushonga was also at the launch.

Links to speeches by Noudehou and Misihairabwi at the launch can be found below.


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Civil Servants Cautions Of Strike In The New Year

Harare, December 09 – Zimbabwe civil servants have given the cash-strapped
coalition government until December 31, 2011, to address their grievances
over low salaries or face a crippling industrial action in the New Year.

The civil servants representatives on December 1, 2011 wrote to the
chairperson of the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) Nelson
Sambureni requesting that the government urgently convene collective
bargaining meetings for 2012 salaries and allowances review.

Tendai  Chikowore, the chairperson of the civil service APEX Council, which
represents all civil servants except the police and army, said in her letter
to Sambureni the issue was of paramount importance.

In the letter, Chikowore stated APEX’s desire to have all negotiations
concluded by the end of this month; an ultimatum analysts said the
government is likely to miss as it is technically broke despite a
trickle of revenue from the proceeds of diamond sales from Marange Diamond

“This letter is a request for collective bargaining meetings to resume
urgently. This follows the presentation of the National Budget by the
Finance Minister,” reads part of Chikowore’s letter to Sambureni.

“We propose that in the next three days, parties exchange position papers
for purpose of study and seeking fresh mandates. We believe this way we can
assess each other’s needs and explore the best

“It is Apex’s desire that negotiations be concluded by the end of December
2011, hence the urgent need to convene first meeting as early as possible,”
said Chikowore.

However, civil servants’ representatives say about 96% of public sector
workers earn below the Poverty Datum Line (PDL) now estimated at US$540, a
situation they say demonstrates the level of poverty in
government ranks.

Members of the APEX council include the Progressive Teachers Union of
Zimbabwe, the Public Service Association, the Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and
the Zimbabwe Teachers Union.

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Doctor brain drain proves costly

By Gugulethu Nyazema, Senior Writer
Friday, 09 December 2011 10:46

HARARE - Doctors for Human Rights reported that of the 12 000 doctors
trained in Zimbabwe only 1 500 are currently registered to practise in the

The report revealed that the rest are outside the country where  they earn
decent salaries and their skills are recognised.

Sub-Saharan African countries that invest in training doctors have ended up
losing $2 billion as the health experts leave home to find work in more
prosperous and developed nations.

According to the report South Africa and Zimbabwe suffer the worst economic
losses due to doctors emigrating, while Australia, Canada, Britain and the
United States benefit the most from recruiting doctors trained abroad.

A local health expert called on destination countries to recognise this
imbalance and invest more in training and developing health systems in the
countries that lose out.

“Many wealthy destination countries, which also train fewer doctors than are
required, depend on immigrant doctors to make up the shortfall. It is
unfair, however we cannot blame anyone for this,” said Dr Edgar Mhizha.

Health experts say the migration, or “brain-drain”, of trained health
workers from poorer countries to richer ones exacerbates the problem of
already weak health systems in low-income countries battling epidemics of
infectious diseases like HIV/Aids, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.

The World Health Organisation adopted a code of practice in 2010 on
international recruitment of health personnel that highlighted the problem
of brain drain and called on wealthy countries to offer financial help to
poorer ones affected.

The code is seen as particularly important for sub-Saharan Africa, which
suffers from a critical shortage of doctors and has a high prevalence of
diseases such as HIV, TB and malaria.

The latest United Nations global HIV/Aids report released  found that 68
percent of the around 34 million people worldwide who have the human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes Aids live in Africa.

Using various data including published reports on primary and secondary
school spending from Unesco, researchers estimated the cost of educating a
doctor through primary, secondary and medical school in nine sub-Saharan
countries with some of the world’s highest rates of HIV.

The countries studied included Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South
Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The research team then added the figures together to estimate how much the
origin countries paid to train doctors and how much the destination
countries saved in employing them.

The results show that these governments spend $21 000 (Zimbabwe) and $59 000
(South Africa) to train a doctor, only to see them in many cases migrate to
richer countries.

Among the nine sub-Saharan African countries most affected by HIV/Aids, more
than $2 billion of investment was lost through the emigration of trained
doctors, according to the Doctors for Human Rights.

Results  for the research indicated that Zimbabwe and  South Africa incurs
the highest costs for medical education and the greatest lost returns on

The findings suggested the benefit to Britain was around $2,7 billion, and
to the United States was around $846 million.

Australia was estimated to have benefited to the tune of $621 million and
Canada was $384 million better off.

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Chief under fire over PM ‘marriage’ summons

By Lance Guma
09 December 2011

The chief who tried to serve a summons on Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
for allegedly breaking traditional rules by ‘marrying’ in the sacred month
of November, has come under fire from fellow traditional leaders and a
government minister.

On Wednesday Chief Negomo (Luscious Chitsinde) broke with tradition when he
personally travelled to the PM’s offices in Harare and tried to serve the
summons in person. According to traditional leaders who spoke to SW Radio
Africa this was ‘improper and suspicious’ as he should have sent his
messengers to do that.

On Friday Deputy Minister of Local Government, Sesel Zvidzai whose ministry
over-sees the operations of chiefs and traditional leaders, said Chief
Negomo did not have jurisdiction over the matter. He said Christon Bank,
home to the family of the PM’s alleged ‘wife’ Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo,
did not fall under the chief.

Zvidzai said Christon Bank is under Mazowe Rural District Council and is a
resettlement area that has “not been placed under jurisdiction of any
appropriate Chieftainship.” He said the Ministry was still working on
placing such areas under the appropriate chiefs.

“This process is difficult and very sensitive as it revisits issues around
who is the legitimate traditional leader for the resettlement area under
question. The process involves district ddministrators, chiefs with common
boundaries and other chiefs who were removed by the colonial regime for
refusing to cooperate,” he said.

Zvidzai said the attempt by Chief Negomo to summon the PM was ‘mischievous’
and “will naturally invite action from the Ministry.”

Tsvangirai’s party meanwhile has raised concerns over the fact that Chief
Negomo was booked into a 5 star hotel this week and had invited the state
media to capture, in pictures, the serving of the summons on the PM. The
MDC-T accused the chief of being used by ZANU PF to score cheap political

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Zimbabwe needs $336,34m until 2015 for child food aid

Zimbabwe's Government of National Unity (GNU) needs at least $336,34 million
in cash for food aid for poor children, the United Nations (UN) has
confirmed. The UN has distributed a National Budget for the programme for
poor children in Zimbabwe.
by Ngoni Chanakira Harare

"The Programme of Support (POS) which was developed under the National
Action Plan I and reviewed for NAP II will provide the framework for
multi-year, multi-donor funding where donors will pool resources together
for the implementation of the NAP," the UN said in a note accompanying the
National Budget.

"The POS funds will be managed through UNICEF." It said the main donors
contributing to the pool of funds right now included DFID, NZAID, SIDA
Sweden, The Netherlands Government, German Government, AUSAID and the
European Commission.

"They have already given indicative commitments to provide support for
implementation of the NAP II," the UN said.

in 2011 $51 970 000 would be made available while in 2012, $55 836 000 is
planned, the UN said. It said in 2013, $63 656 000 would be made available
while in 2014 a total sum of $76 144 000 would be given to the GNU.

Finally in 2015 a grand total of $88 734 000 would be made available,
bringing the total to $336 340 000, the UN said. The Government of Zimbabwe
has been providing resources for social protection for vulnerable groups.

"From 2001 to-date government resources budgeted specifically directly to
help in two areas - education under the Basic Education Assistance Module
(BEAM), and maintenance for children in conflict with the law under Children
in Difficult Circumstances (CDC)," the UN said.

"From 2008 onwards, government made some resources available for NAP I
through the CDC budget line. The budgets for 2009 and 2010 have already been

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Parastatals funding blocked

Friday, 09 December 2011 11:58

Staff Reporter

FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti has frozen funding to all parastatals that have
proved to be a drain on the fiscus.

The move has since been welcomed by Parliament’s Budget and Finance
Committee, which went a step further by urging government to expeditiously
pay for all services it receives from State firms in order to ease their
Presenting the Budget and Finance Committee report on the 2012 National
Budget in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, committee chairperson,
Paddington Zhanda bemoaned the fast-tracking of the budget through the House
of Assembly.
The budget was rushed through Parliament on Tuesday to accommodate ZANU-PF’s
annual national people’s conference, which opened in Bulawayo  the same day.
Although there is leeway for the fiscal plan to be passed even in January
next year, any further delay could have negatively impacted on workers as
proposed tax-free bonuses for this year would not be legally binding.
“While the committee commends the minister for not allocating any funds to
the loss-making entities, the committee is of the view that, as long as
their doors remain open, they will continue to incur debts which, at some
stage, will be taken over by the government,” Zhanda said.
“Mr. Speaker Sir, parastatals which are compromising on service delivery
cannot continue to be protected. In addition, one of the major constraints
faced by parastatals is the amounts they are owed by government ministries
and departments. The committee urges the government agents to ensure that
they pay for all services they get from parastatals.”
The budget committee said the demonetisation of the Zimbabwe dollar, which
ceased to be legal tender in 2009, has been outstanding for a long time and
it is time the matter is concluded.
It welcomed the US$100 million that was allocated to the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) to enhance its lender-of-last resort function.
Biti was also commended for revising upwards the royalties of gold from 4,5
percent to seven percent and platinum from five percent to 10 percent, but a
general review of the mining taxation system was proposed.
The committee said it was concerned with the shortage of energy and the
deteriorating situation at the National Railways of Zimbabwe.
“The committee therefore, recommends an urgent organisation of the energy
and investment conference to deal with these challenges. The committee
recommends a harmonisation of duty on petrol, diesel, paraffin and levy on
“This will reduce false declarations that are so prevalent at the borders.
It is estimated that this measure will bring additional revenue to the
fiscus of more than US$200 million,” the committee added in its report.
Lawmakers are also concerned about the US$7,4 billion debt burden weighing
down the country as well as the government’s failure to privatise Agribank
so that it is adequately capitalised for it to be able to provide
specialised funding to agriculture.
“Agriculture cannot continue to rely on government resources for financing.
It is also very wrong Mr. Speaker Sir, for government to continue to do this
on behalf of the private sector. It is high time the private sector should
follow the footsteps of Delta and cotton merchants in financing the farmers
for their raw materials requirements,” the report added.
“Government funding will continue in areas of research and development,
extension services and irrigation infrastructure. Mr. Speaker Sir, the
future of agriculture financing is contract farming.”

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Zimbabwe's government under fire for award of overseas business contracts

Foreign deals allegedly worth more than half a billion dollars attract
criticism as domestic unemployment soars

    David Smith, Friday 9 December 2011 07.00 GMT

Zimbabwe's government has caused anger by awarding contracts worth more than
half a billion dollars to foreign companies, most of them Chinese, according
to reports.

The $553m deals were criticised in parliament because Zimbabwe's economy is
still struggling, with many people unable to find work, the independent
NewsDay newspaper said.

Chinese economic activity in Africa is often a source of controversy, with
allegations that China is underpaying for mineral resources and either
mistreating local workers or importing its own.

Paddy Zhanda, chairman of the parliamentary portfolio committee on budget,
finance and investment promotion, revealed the figure while presenting a
report on the 2012 national budget, NewsDay said.

"$553m worth of contracts were awarded to foreign companies, and most of
these to Chinese companies," Zhanda was quoted as saying. "Zimbabwe has a
very high unemployment rate and a liquidity crisis and we implore the
minister of finance, Tendai Biti, to stop this bleeding."

Zhanda reportedly said the projects awarded to foreigners included the
construction of flats in Harare at a cost of $7m.

He added: "A few examples of these projects include construction of Lupane
State University to cost $10m, National University of Science and Technology
to cost $4m, a project at the University of Zimbabwe to cost $2m, Beitbridge
Waterworks to cost $4m, construction of the new parliament of Zimbabwe
complex in Kopje to cost $134m, and others."

Projects awarded to Chinese companies include the construction of a defence
college on the outskirts of Harare. Zimbabwe received a Chinese loan of $98m
to build the college, to be repaid over 20 years through earnings from the
Marange diamond fields, which are being mined by Chinese firm Anjin
Investments and the Zimbabwe army.

Some of the gems, worth $160m, went on sale this week for the first time
since the lifting of an international ban by the Kimberley Process. The
campaign group Global Witness has withdrawn from the certification scheme in

Zimbabwe's government has announced that China plans up to $10bn in
investments over the next five years, more than any other country.

But members of the public recently said the government should take measures
to discourage Chinese companies and other foreigners from importing cheap
labour for menial jobs, NewsDay reported. Unemployment is estimated to be
more than 90%.

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Sata settles own bill

By Post Online and Staff Writer
Friday, 09 December 2011 16:53

LIVINGSTONE - President Michael Sata on Saturday personally paid lodging and
food bills to Sun International Hotel’s Royal Livingstone for over an hour’s
use of the resort.

After a closed-door meeting with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe who
arrived by road from Victoria Falls Town, Sata joked about Mugabe’s security
detail, saying he was better off sending an envoy.

Sata travelled to the meeting venue using a commuter omnibus and without a

A hotel worker who sought anonymity said the President’s gesture to
personally pay the bill was a sign that he was allergic to corruption.

“What we used to see is that when president Rupiah Banda, Levy Mwanawasa or
other senior government officers came for official duties, we were taking
the bill to either the PS (permanent secretary) or the DC (district
commissioner) and we saw a lot of inflations in the original bills being
taken out to them and not come back. Sata is really doing the “Don’t kubeba”
style,” the hotel worker said.

And Sata when presented with two bills — one in a brown envelope and another
in a hotel folder — queried the hotel staff over the authenticity of the

“What is this?” Sata asked a Royal Livingstone guest relations officer with
the name tag Lydia Namukanda.

"Can you please give me a bill? The problem is that when you young men take
off your hair, you also take off your brains. Who is the manager here?”
complained Sata.

Sata then demanded an audience with the resort manager and  mistakenly
called out to a tourist before resort manager Giulio Togni approached.

Sata who was by the driveway at the resort later walked over to the hotel
front office desk where he personally paid the bills accumulated by
journalists, security and protocol officers from Zimbabwe and Zambia.

And when asked on the agenda of Mugabe and Sata’s meeting, George Chellah
who is the President’s special assistant for press and public relations said
a communiqué would be issued later from Lusaka.

“The meeting was cordial and fruitful and we will give the details by 18:00
Saturday when I get back to Lusaka,” Chellah said.

And scores of tourists jostled and begged to get a picture of Mugabe who
left at 16:06 amid tight security.

“Why did he come here like that? He should have sent someone,” Sata joked as
he proceeded to pay the bills.

Mugabe was seen off by Southern Province deputy permanent  secretary Alfred
Chiingi and police commissioner Brenda Mutemba before Sata walked over 150
metres from his hotel suite to the lobby.

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Analysis: Loophole in blood diamond monitoring scheme exposed

By Ed Stoddard and Clara Ferreira-Marques

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON | Fri Dec 9, 2011 12:54pm EST

(Reuters) - It was hailed as a way to make it possible to buy a diamond ring
for your sweetheart free from worry that you were funding civil wars and
rights abuses.

But the efficacy of the Kimberley Process (KP) has been thrown into doubt by
a diamond field operating under a recognized government, not a rebel army,
that is widely criticized for abuses of its own.

The scheme signed in January 2003 was aimed at cutting off "blood diamond"
financing for rebel groups fighting a U.N.-recognized government. But
allowing exports from Zimbabwe's Marange mine has exposed a loophole: it has
no mechanism to hold either the industry or producer countries to account.

Campaign group Global Witness, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003
for its work on conflict diamonds, said the process it helped found had
failed several tests.

"The Kimberley Process is essentially giving its stamp of approval to blood
diamonds," said Annie Dunnebacke, a senior campaigner at Global Witness.

"Marange was the catalyst. Zimbabwe is the most blatant case of conflict
diamonds getting on the international market."

Human rights groups estimate at least 200 artisanal, or small-scale, miners
were killed in 2008 when Zimbabwe's security forces seized the fields at
Marange - one of the largest diamond finds of recent decades - adding to
years of human rights abuses attributed to President Robert Mugabe and his
ZANU-PF party.

All diamond exports from the country were suspended in 2009 but resumed last
month after the United States and other leading Kimberley members dropped
their opposition.

The dispute over Marange had brought the Kimberley Process which aims to
regulate the $30 billion rough diamond industry to a virtual halt. But now
that exports have resumed business is thriving: Chinese-owned Anjin, one of
three companies mining diamonds in Marange, this week started to sell 2
million carats of diamonds stockpiled during the export ban.

Experts, campaigners and the industry say the evaluation of Kimberley's
success or failure will come down to whether misbehaving countries - not
just rebel groups - can and should be held to account.

"The problem lies with KP's definition. It outlaws diamonds where rebel
groups are fighting legitimate governments. Zimbabwe's human rights record
notwithstanding, under KP rules, Mugabe's is the legitimate government,"
said Salil Tripathi, policy director at the Institute for Human Rights and

"There is no option within KP but to permit Zimbabwe to export - unless you
change the definition of conflict diamonds. But to keep the definition
narrow was the original compromise ... without which an agreement wouldn't
have been possible," Tripathi said.

Eli Izhakoff, president of the World Diamond Council, which speaks for the
industry, said that under the current definition of conflict diamonds,
virtually all rough diamonds are now from conflict-free sources. That
compares to the 1990s when "blood diamonds" accounted for up to 15 percent
of rough diamonds, according to the Kimberley Process.

"If you widen the terms of reference to say conflict diamonds include all
governments who misbehave, that is a different process," said Izhakoff.

"It is up to governments. If they want to change the terms of reference and
agreement, let it be, but that is not the agreement in 2003. Of course we
can add to it, and retune it, and that is helpful."

It is likely to be an uphill battle to review a process that has been
lucrative for many governments.

In Sierra Leone, official exports rose more than 80 percent in 2003 thanks
to the end of the civil war which gave the government control over the mines
and forced the trade through the Kimberley Process - even if a large amount
of gems are still widely thought to leave the country outside official

"Most people decided to go through the right channels, instead of taking the
goods out or smuggling them out," said Jinnah Mohamed Ibrahim, acting
director of the Government Gold and Diamond Office in Freetown, which values
and certifies precious minerals for export.


Many pressure groups hope the United States will press for a widening of
KP's remit when it take its turn as chair of the Kimberley Process from the
Democratic Republic of Congo next month.

"We understand that Global Witness does not find the process to be a
credible stamp of approval for human rights, and we view this decision as
another in a series of challenges to the Kimberley Process - to demonstrate
the capacity to implement reforms and restore its credibility," a U.S. State
Department spokesman said this week.

"We intend to work with all stakeholders to address these challenges."

Canada, home to some of the largest recent diamond finds, said it was
"disappointed" with Global Witness's departure but a foreign ministry
spokesman said Ottawa would continue to press for "adaptability in the face
of evolving global circumstances".

Dunnebacke said the scheme also needed to be re-tooled to focus on the

"One of the reasons we think it's not working is because there is no
requirement within the Kimberley Process for industry to take responsibility
for their supply chain ... We would like to refocus the debate to what
industry can and should be doing to clean up the trade," she said.

Apart from Zimbabwe, campaigners say other areas of potential concern
include Angola, where state-sponsored violence has been documented on
artisanal diamond mining areas.

Illicit diamonds helped sustain the rebel UNITA movement in Angola's
long-running civil war, which ended a decade ago. Conflict there and in
other countries such as Liberia were the focus of the initial blood diamond
campaigns by groups such as Global Witness.

An opportunity for KP to show its mettle will next come with Venezuela,
which is currently suspended at its own request and has until December 20 to
provide required documents and data or face expulsion. Venezuela is a small
producer in the global context, but its illegal sales had long proved an
irritant for KP.

The former head of Venezuelan state gold miner Minerven said earlier this
week he thought expulsion was inevitable.

Dunnebacke said the Kimberley Process had allowed a sense of complacency to
set in over the issue, dramatized in the movie "Blood Diamond", starring
Leonardo DiCaprio.

"It has almost acted like a shield for industry, especially in recent years.
The message from industry has been the problem of blood diamonds is solved,"
she said.

The industry says the system is working overall but even there, there are

Simon Rainer, chief executive of the British Jewellers' Association (BJA),
said the process is doing what it was originally set up to do - prevent the
sale of rough diamonds used by rebel groups to finance conflict.

But he urged governments to take firmer action against Zimbabwe to prevent
any unauthorized Marange diamonds from entering the global supply chain.

"What is needed is an additional process that stops elected governments from
using diamonds in conflict against their own people," Rainer told Reuters.

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Reply from Zimbabwe Vigil to accusations by Nehanda Radio

An article on 5th December on ( repeated several malicious accusations against the Zimbabwe Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR). The article is a cut and paste job from discredited Nehanda Radio articles, some dating back two and a half years, when the Vigil was blamed for Tsvangirai being booed at Southwark Cathedral in London. The latest attack is in response to our diary of 3rd December suggesting that Tsvangirai should consider his position as leader of the MDC, partly because of his lack of political acumen in having a relationship with a woman with known Zanu PF connections. The Nehanda Radio article hardly addresses the issue brought up in our diary: it is just an excuse to have another go at the Vigil and ROHR.

Because misinformation like this may hurt our supporters seeking asylum here we feel the need to yet again set the record straight.


The Vigil has had a letter of apology from the UK Border Agency for misuse by its case workers of articles from the Nehanda Radio website as evidence that Vigil letters in support of asylum seekers are not reliable. For text of the UKBA letter check: and for the background to this situation check Vigil diaries of 25th June and 23rd July ( and


Most of the latest Nehanda Radio piece was directed at ROHR and they wish to set the record straight as follows:


·         ROHR is a properly constituted organization formed to fight for human rights in Zimbabwe. Members complete a form on joining and commit to paying £10 a month membership subscription (normal for political parties and civil society organisations) to help fund ROHR’s administration costs (staff salaries, office rentals, utility bills, etc) and human rights campaigns in Zimbabwe.

·         ROHR does not charge for letters in support of asylum claims. It will issue letters of support only to deserving members who have shown their commitment to opposing human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. While members may from time to time be asked to contribute towards the administration cost, ROHR letters are strictly not for sale.

·         Allegations of financial irregularities against ROHR President Ephraim Tapa were made by then suspended (now departed) members of the Board of Trustees (check: Mr Tapa commissioned an inquiry into ROHR financial matters by the UK National Executive. Checking of moneygram transfer vouchers to Zimbabwe, original bank statements and confirmations of receipts from ROHR head office in Harare in a long and assiduous process established that the allegations were not only false, but malicious and calculated to cause maximum damage to Mr Tapa and ROHR Zimbabwe as an organization. The inquiry noted that Mr Tapa used his personal funds for telephone bills transport costs and other expenses involved in running ROHR Chapters in South Africa, Zimbabwe and the UK. It was also established that Mr Tapa occasionally used his personal funds to subsidize ROHR operations in Harare. ROHR operates a transparent accounting system and its records are available for inspection by bona fide members through Head Office.

·         The assertion that Mr Tapa was sacked by ROHR is laughable. For the avoidance of doubt, Mr Tapa is still the President and Board Chairperson of ROHR Zimbabwe and is very much in control.

·         Neither ROHR nor the Vigil initiated the Zimbabwe We Can (ZWC) movement. It was a global initiative involving a number of organisations, members of various political parties, prominent and ordinary Zimbabweans alike, and all lovers of a free, just and peaceful Zimbabwe.  Ephraim Tapa was approached by many to lead the movement and was elected President at the first meeting.  After that the Zimbabwe Vigil Management Team met and agreed to support ZWC. The ZWC continues to attract the attention of not only Zimbabweans abroad but also at home and all are welcome to come on board.


Zimbabwe Vigil Co-ordinator


The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.

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When will Mugabe return Libya’s 4 camels to the NTC?

By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 09/12/11

Contrary to high expectations that Mugabe would rein in party stalwarts
including most Cabinet ministers implicated in the WikiLeaks disclosures,
the octogenarian avoided tackling the explosive issue in a show of poor
leadership and hypocrisy.

Instead, he reportedly spent almost an hour talking about his erstwhile
slain bosom buddy Col Muammar Gaddafi whom he described as “naïve” by
sapping with the West and Europe where he heavily invested.

“Just a few years before he died he made the undertaking on investing in
Africa, but we saw him dishing out camels and we got four which are at the
farm,” he said. Many people now wonder: “When will Mugabe return Libya’s 4
camels to the NCT?”

The BBC television coverage of the Zanu-pf conference on Thursday 8 December
2011 helped remind those outside Zimbabwe how the former ruling party
remains steeped in fear and denial of the harm their party has caused to the
country’s economy for selfish reasons.

One praise singer at the conference, politburo member and Bulawayo Resident
minister Cain Mathema in typical see-no evil, hear-no-evil and speak-no-evil
Zanu-pf style, blamed company closures in Bulawayo on what he called
“sanctions that were deliberately invited by the MDC so that workers would
blame Zanu-PF.”

Momentarily, Governor Cain Mathema forgot that over the past year Zanu-pf
youths reportedly took over some buildings owned by Zimbabweans of Indian
origin, claiming it was part of their indigenisation drive.

For instance, in May 2011, Victoria House block of flats along Hebert
Chitepo Street owned by Essats family of Indian origin was reportedly taken
over by Zanu-pf youths. Other buildings which were “seized” or occupied
include Elons Court, Zambesia and the Capri.

In August 2011, the owner of Elons court, Khalil Gaibe, tried to have the
youths evicted, but riot police who showed up at the premises were unable to
move them.

The same Cain Mathema, alongside another Zanu-pf Matabeleland South governor
Angeline Masuku in March last year blamed sanctions for clocking 2 400km a
week in chauffer-driven government cars to their work stations for several

Angeline Masuku said in a bid to beat “sanctions” she was forced to drive
more than 240 kilometres daily in her Mercedes Benz E280 between a farm on
the outskirts of Bulawayo and her offices in Gwanda. Similarly, Cain Mathema
also commutes between rural Tsholotsho and Bulawayo where he is a
metropolitan governor.

A simple calculation of the mileage and fuel consumption by the two
governors gives a hint of the scale of waste of national resources when
generalised to the rest of Mugabe’s cabinet, politburo, central committee
and permanent secretaries most of who were rewarded with looted farms
scattered all over the country.

For example, resident minister Angeline Masuku who is expected to work 5
days a week and 52 weeks a year, travelled 62 400 kilometres in one year
excluding possible travel at weekends.

In the five year period by which time the story broke out in March last year
(The Zimbabwe Times, 29/03/10) Masuku had travelled 312 000 kilometres. If
she is still doing that, and we add her mileage for 2011, (62 400 kms) we
get 374 400 kms- just below a half a million kilometres in six years!

In terms of fuel, Mrs Masuku used about 150 litres every week just to get to
“work”. That brings the fuel consumption for one year (52 weeks) to 7 800
litres or 39 000 litres for five years. By 08/12/11, Mrs Masuku had used
about 46 800 litres of fuel (i.e. 7 800 for one year plus 39 000 for five

Like Angeline Masuku, Cain Mathema had up to the time of his speech
yesterday 8 December 2011 used about 46 800 litres of fuel to travel 374 400
kms at a cost of US$65 520 if their cars run on diesel or US$69 732 if they
are still commuting based on prices ruling in January 2011. We have not
factored in the driver’s pay and the car’s maintenance.

According to the Independent of 20 January 2011, as of Tuesday 18 January
2011 the price of diesel rose from US$1.15 per litre in December 2010 to
between US$1.30 and US$1.40 per litre while petrol was selling at between
US$1.40 and US$1.49 from US1.25 per litre during the same period.

Ironically, Mugabe travelled in a bullet proof ZIM1limousine surrounded by a
dozen plus security vehicles and outriders to meet Zambian President Sata
whose country is exporting maize to Zimbabwe, who arrived with his family in
a Toyota minibus registration number AJB 7970 driven by a plain clothed

Zimbabwe’s Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara is reportedly flying
business class every week on Monday between Harare and Johannesburg where he
is believed to live in the posh Sandton suburb while hard-pressed tax payers
pay for his travel.

In contrast, the British Prime Minister David Cameron surprised a Bollywood
actress who saw him as a standing passenger on London’s Jubilee line
underground train and he told her it was quicker for him to travel on the
tube than using the road. To those who know basic economics and time
management, every cent/penny counts, so is every minute!

Conspiracy theories will not rescue Zimbabwe’s economy but good leadership.
That leadership should start with primary elections for a new Zanu-pf
leadership at the Bulawayo Conference because investors are anxiously
holding back.

Clfford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Aanalyst, London,

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