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Zimbabwe's president says he will not retire

By GILLIAN GOTORA, Associated Press – 35 minutes ago

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe's 87-year-old president said Saturday he
will not retire before proposed elections next year and will stay on also to
lead the country against what he called a Western campaign for regime

President Robert Mugabe, addressing 6,000 delegates at the end of his
party's annual convention in the second city of Bulawayo on Saturday, said
it would be "an act of cowardice" for him to step down. He has ruled
Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.

"Luckily, God has given me this longer life than others to be with you and I
will not let you down," he said.

The four-day convention passed resolutions confirming Mugabe as its sole
presidential election candidate and called for polls "early next year
without fail."

Speaking in the local Shona language, he said he felt it would be wrong for
him to leave now.

The 30-month coalition with the former opposition needed to be "put to
death" at elections.

"Let us now start preparing for elections and as we do that we are digging
the grave of this monster," he said.

His ZANU-PF party was under siege from Western economic sanctions that tried
to dislodge it.

"I can't leave you in such a mess. It would be completely wrong and a loss
of confidence in myself. When the party is moving ahead, then I'll say it is
in your own hands," he said.

Deep divisions have emerged in Mugabe's party over his ability to remain in
control, stop infighting and contest a rigorous election campaign.

Mugabe has visited Singapore at least eight times this year for medical
treatment. U.S. cables quoted on the WikiLeaks Internet site earlier this
year cited close associates saying he has prostate cancer.

Speaking for 90 minutes late Saturday, Mugabe said the coalition had failed
and opponents blamed the failure on his intransigence and pointed to his age
as an obstacle. But, he insisted, some coalition members from Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai's party took "a free ride" on the power sharing deal
brokered by regional leaders after disputed and violence-plagued elections
in 2008 to benefit from government perks.

"Are you ready to dig this grave? Have you got your picks and shovels
ready?" he asked party loyalists.

Of Tsvangirai's party, he said "It's money and pleasure they want, they want
to be a happy lot. We are in an impasse, we are in deadlock. We can't go on
standing still."

Other resolutions passed by the gathering blamed Western travel and banking
bans on Mugabe and his loyalists for undermining the economy and called for
Western aid groups and non-governmental organizations to be expelled if they
followed the political goals of Western governments who want Mugabe ousted.

One resolution condemned the International Criminal Court at The Hague for
bringing former African leaders — Charles Taylor of Liberia and Laurent
Gbabgo of Ivory Coast— to trial while overlooking rights violations by
Western leaders in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Another resolution said the U.S., Europe and other "white countries" were
linking aid flow to poor countries by demanding they accept gay rights.

The convention stopped short of setting a possible election date next year.

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Mugabe threatens to reject new constitution

09/12/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has warned that Zanu PF would reject the draft
constitution if the charter, currently being drafted, undermines the party's
key empowerment polices and the country’s cultural values.

Mugabe recently blasted moves to include gay rights in the constitution and
his party also wants its controversial land reforms protected along with
current moves to transfer control of foreign-owned companies to locals.

“Zanu-PF reserves the right to disassociate itself from a draft constitution
which seeks to undermine the cardinal goals of our national liberation
struggle and our national culture and values,” Mugabe said in a central
committee report presented at the party’s conference in Bulawayo.

Zimbabwe is writing a new constitution as part of a raft of reforms expected
to lead to new elections next year.

The process has however, been delayed by inadequate funding and squabbling
between political parties.

Once completed, the new charter must be put to a referendum followed by the
new elections.
Mugabe blamed his rivals for the slow pace of the reforms.

“It is sad that this much awaited referendum on the proposed draft
constitution, which must pave way for elections and should have been
completed by now, continues to be stalled, if not forestalled, by our
adversaries who do not seem to want to see their new found comforts under
the inclusive Government overturned by motions of democracy,” he said.

The Zanu PF leader said his coalition partners were dragging the process to
delay the new elections which would end the unity government.

“There is fear of defeat now dictating their stances. Shame, shame, shame!
Elections have to come soon this coming year,” he said.

“The GNU has become a drag on our nation. This conference must send a clear
message that elections must be held early next year without fail.”

Political analysts say Zanu PF is pressing for early elections fearing that
Mugabe, who would be 89 in 2013, may not cope with the pressure of
campaigning then.

A June 2008 U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks in September claimed
Mugabe had prostate cancer that had spread to other organs.

He was urged by his physician to step down in 2008 but has stayed in the

Mugabe has also travelled to the Far East several times this year, allegedly
for medical attention.

He however, maintains he is still fit.

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Plans to remove remaining white Zim farmers

Eyewitness News | 9 Hour(s) Ago

President Robert Mugabe’s party said it plans to remove all remaining white
farmers from the land.

The proposed take-over of another 198 white-owned farms is contained in a
report made public at the ZANU-PF annual party conference that ends on

The report said the white-owned farms that have not yet been listed for

The ZANU-PF central committee said the farms are needed for redistribution
to new black farmers or for urban expansion.

It said another 223 white farmers are facing prosecution for failing to
vacate their land.

The president of the Commercial Farmers Union said the move to take over
previously unlisted farms is “absurd”.
Charles Taffs told Eyewitness News that Zimbabwe is desperate for investment
and the country is facing its worst food deficit in 100 years.

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MDC-T Murder Accused Appeal To Supreme Court

Harare, December 10, 2011 -Seven jailed Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
activists who were arrested in May on charges of murdering a police officer
have filed an appeal at the Supreme Court against a ruling denying them bail
by the High Court.

The papers were filed at the Supreme Court on Thursday after High Court
Judge Justice Tendai Uchena had granted them leave to appeal against the
refusal of bail by the High Court.

Charles Kwaramba, the lawyer representing the seven said he hoped the matter
will be heard before the end of the year.

They have been in custody for seven months.

The MDC T says the charges are “fake” and trumped-up saying the plainclothes
policeman was killed by unknown reveler during a beer brawl.

The seven are among 28 MDC activists who are facing charges of murdering a
police officer at a shopping centre in Glen View.

Among them is Solomon Madzore, the MDC-T Youth Assembly chairperson who was
denied bail on Monday.

Madzore is being detained at the Chikurubi Maximum Prison.

Meanwhile, Wilstaf Sitemere, the MDC Masvingo provincial chairperson who was
arrested in November on false charges of assaulting a Zanu-PF supporter,
Nyasha Mazorodze who appeared in court on Tuesday for routine remand and the
matter was postponed to 20 December. Sitemere is on a US$50 bail.

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Moyo In Trouble For Insulting Tsvangirai

Harare, December 10, 2011 - The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) has
raised a complaint with the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee
(JOMIC) over Zanu-PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo’s use of abusive
language and hate speech against their Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

The complaint was raised over an article published in the Sunday Mail
edition of the 4th-10th of December 2011 headlined “Morgan’s open zip and
shut-mind approaches” in which the former minister of Information and
Publicity slated Tsvangirai over his perceived bed-hopping.

Moyo is a member of JOMIC after he was seconded by Zanu-PF in October this

“If Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has one fatal character weakness which
defines his persona and leadership or lack thereof, it is that just like he
typically approaches national issues with an open mouth, he now routinely
approaches women anywhere and everywhere at places such as political
rallies, airports and offices with an open zip and a shut mind,” reads part
of Moyo’s article.

“… when Tsvangirai promiscuously opens his zip in the privacy of his bedroom
or space he invariably comes out claiming foul play and wondering who opened
his zip to get him to sleep with any of the many women alleged to be in his
life with his dirty finger pointed at some of his advisors, media, CIO
agents and Zanu-PF members.

“Morgan Tsvangirai is a promiscuous politician who cannot be trusted by
voters in particular and women in general.

" Tsvangirai’s open-zip approach to the women he meets anywhere and
everywhere including at places such as political rallies, offices,
supermarkets and airports poses a clear and present danger to Zimbabwe’s
otherwise successful and internationally respected fight against HIV and
Aids to the detriment of Government policy,” said Moyo.

Moyo charged that Tsvangirai was promiscuously seeking the votes of
Zimbabweans to be president of Zimbabwe by approaching all national issues
“with an open mouth while he is promiscuously seeking women by approaching
them with an open zip for his sexual gratification without caring about
moral consequences including the scourge of HIV.”

But MDC-T Secretary General Tendai Biti, in his letter of complaint to JOMIC
over Moyo said the Zanu-PF spin-doctor’s Sunday Mail article was clearly
defamatory against Tsvangirai.

“The article in question is not only defamatory but scurrilous and
malicious. It hits below the belt and represents the worst of ourselves,”
reads part of Biti’s letter to JOMIC dated 7 December, 2011.

Biti reminded JOMIC co-chairpersons Elton Mangoma (MDC-T), Nicholas Goche
(ZANU-PF) and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga that Article XIX.1 (e) of the
GPA obliged that the public and private media should refrain from using
abusive language that may incite hostility unfairly undermined political
parties and organizations.

“The article in question is clearly not favourable and is indeed abusive,
incites hostility against the President of our political party and therefore
a fortiori to the MDC. What is most disturbing is that the article has been
authored and penned by a member of JOMIC the very same body that in article
XXII of the GPA is tasked with ensuring full and proper implementation of
the letter and spirit of the GPA” added Biti.

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Tsvangirai snubs chief's court

By Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Saturday, 10 December 2011 11:22

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has refused to appear before Chief
Lucious Negomo’s traditional court in Chiweshe to answer charges of breaking
traditional laws following his alleged “marriage” to Locadia Karimatsenga.

Chief Negomo on Wednesday personally travelled to Harare and summoned
Tsvangirai to his traditional court to answer charges of breaking a
traditional law that prohibits marriage ceremonies or traditional rituals in
the month of November.

However, it has turned out that the law does not apply to other parts of
Zimbabwe amid indications that this is one of Zanu PF’s dirty tactics on

Tsvangirai is said to have paid damages to the Karimatsenga family on
November 18, but the Karimatsengas insist he paid lobola. Locadia is said to
be pregnant with twins.

Tsvangirai, through his lawyers Dube, Manikai and Hwacha Legal
Practitioners, told the chief that he will not attend the hearing which is
set to take place today.

Selby Hwacha said summoning Tsvangirai to the traditional court was not

Hwacha claims that Negomo is not among the list of chiefs empowered to
convene traditional hearings.

“It appears to us that you are not included in the list of chiefs who have
been entrusted with responsibility of convening a customary court,” said
Hwacha in the papers sent to the chief.

Tsvangirai’s lawyer said the chief was out of order the moment he decided to
personally serve Tsvangirai with the summons.

“In fact the purported summons is defective also because it cites you as
both the plaintiff and complainant and as the presiding officer or judge!
Obviously this is irregular,” said Hwacha.

Added Hwacha’s letter to Chief Negomo: “It appears to us that you have not
read and or that you do not understand the law, province and your limits as
a traditional chief.”

Deputy Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Sesel
Zvidzai, a Tsvangirai appointee in the fragile coalition, came out fighting
from his boss’ side saying the area in which the Karimatsenga family resides
does not fall under the jurisdiction of Chief Negomo.

“Christon Bank is a Human Settlement under Mazowe Rural District Council.

“Resettlement areas have not been placed under jurisdiction of any
appropriate Chieftainship and Christon Bank is one such resettlement that
has not been placed under the jurisdiction of any Chief,” said Zvidzai.

Zvidzai described Chief Negomo’s action as “serious mischief.”

“His actions to summon the Prime Minister to his so-called court are
mischievous (this) will naturally invite action from the ministry,” said

But Negomo, who insists that the Karimatsenga family come from his area says
the “marriage” ceremony has invited misfortunes in his area.

In the past, traditional leaders have been accused of siding with Zanu PF, a
move which was later to be confirmed by Chief Fortune Charumbira, president
of the chief’s council during the on-going Zanu PF conference when he openly
pledged support to the former ruling party.

Negomo’s actions have attracted serious criticism from other traditional
leaders saying his action was politically-driven.

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I’m lonely — Mugabe

By Nkululeko Sibanda, Senior Writer
Saturday, 10 December 2011 11:18

BULAWAYO - The song Lonely by American-based hip hop artist, Akon is
synonymous with estranged lovers.

They cry and wail over the departure of their loved ones, crying out to the
world to sympathise with them in their time of great need and loneliness.

But on Thursday, President Robert Mugabe hypothetically sang the song,
surprising all and sundry who sat and listened to his two-and-a-half hour
speech to mark the official opening of the 12th Zanu PF annual national
people’s conference.

The conference, which took place in Bulawayo, ends today.

In his address, Mugabe told his party faithful he was now a lonely figure as
his fellow leaders of the former ruling party had all died.

Many in Zanu PF believe the 87-year-old leader now has to step down from
office given his advanced age which makes him susceptible to ill-health.

Ironically, Mugabe’s statement came after he toured an exhibition that had
been put together by the Friends of Joshua Nkomo Trust featuring pictures
and paraphernalia that by the late nationalist, Vice President, Joshua
In the pictures were some of the country’s fallen heroes.

“When I look around me, I realise that all those that I plotted the
liberation struggle with, the founding fathers of Zimbabwe, are all gone,”
Mugabe said.

“Ubaba u Joshua Nkomo, Umdala Wethu sewahamba (Father Joshua Nkomo has
passed on). Baba Simon Muzee (Muzenda) has also passed away. Then you also
have Joseph Msika, he has also left us.

“These were the founding fathers of this movement called Zanu PF. With them,
we led a successful liberation struggle, a struggle that brought about this
independence that we so much cherish,” he added.

“When I look at all these names, including some that I did not mention here,
I then ask myself the question what about me. What about me?

“I am here but all my fellow comrades are all gone. What does this mean to
me as an individual,” Mugabe said.

He then chided some in Zanu PF whom he said were getting out of line and
sync with the values his party.

Mugabe said there were serious differences that had rocked his party,
arguing that those divisions had cost his party and forced it into a
coalition government with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party.

“I really wonder whether we are still walking in the very same path that we
walked in when we charted the course of liberation. Some of you have gone
out of line. There are now divisions all over."

“I believe if we had all been united under one goal, then we would not be
having all these divisions. … We are in this inclusive government because of
some of you who decided to depart from the liberation struggle values,”
Mugabe lamented.

He also lambasted elements in his party who have used violence as a way of
cowing supporters to vote for Zanu PF.
“The point is why we are afraid of the MDC if we believe we have the
policies that can deliver Zimbabweans out of their problems.

“We in Zanu PF must denounce violence. It is not a cure to our problems. We
do not need it. Let us adhere to our values and principles. Let us avoid
corruption. Let us be clean in our business as a party.

“These values are our greatest weapon that will see people own a new status
as a happy people,” Mugabe added.

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ZLHR slams court ruling

By Bridget Mananavire, Staff Writer
Saturday, 10 December 2011 11:16

HARARE - Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) yesterday slammed the
decision by the state to oppose the granting of bail to two Media Monitoring
Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ) employees by a Gwanda court.

In a statement ZLHR said it was malicious and unwarranted for the State to
veto a bail order granted in favour of Fadzai December and Molly Chimhanda
and MMPZ member, Gilbert Mabusa.

“ZLHR is perturbed by malicious and obdurate actions of the State in
continuing to unnecessarily infringe upon the fundamental right to liberty
of the MMPZ employees by bringing up Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure
and Evidence Act (CPEA),” ZLHR said.

December, Chimhanda and Mabusa, who are accused of contravening some
provisions of the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) and the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act were arrested on Monday.

They were granted $50 bail each by Gwanda Magistrate Douglas Zvenyika with
no reporting conditions.

However, State prosecutor Blessing Gundani, invoked the infamous Section 121
of the Criminal Evidence and Procedure Act (CPEA) thereby suspending the
bail order which had been granted to the three.

The invocation of Section 121 of the CPEA suspends the bail order for seven
days pending the filing of an appeal by the State in the High Court.

“This is despite the fact that the constitutionality of Section 121 of the
CPEA is being challenged in numerous cases which are yet to be heard by the
Supreme Court of Zimbabwe,” ZLHR said.

In addition, the State added an alternative charge of undermining authority
of or insulting President Robert Mugabe against the MMPZ officials in
contravention of Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform)
Act without elaborating how the trio committed the offence.

ZLHR added: “The pressing of a new charge against the MMPZ officials 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.”

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Judge recuses self from ZCTU case

By Chengetai Zvauya, Senior Writer
Saturday, 10 December 2011 10:20

HARARE - High Court Judge Justice Ben Hlatshwayo yesterday recused himself
from hearing a matter in which the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU)
members are fighting to control the country’s biggest labour union.

The factions — one led by Lovemore Matombo and the other led by George
Nkiwane — are locked in a legal battle to control ZCTU with both groups
claiming to be legitimate leaders of the union.

Hlatshwayo recused himself yesterday in the court before hearing because he
had offered a legal opinion suggesting that the two parties should meet and
reunite so that they work as one group representing the interests of the

The two parties met in Harare on Thursday but failed to make any headway in
their negotiations.

Hlatshwayo last week had recommended that the two parties should consider
settling their matter out of court before he could deliver his judgment.

Alec Muchadehama representing the Nkiwane led group said: “The judge has
referred the matter to the Registrar of the High Court for it to be
allocated to another judge; he has recused himself because he had offered
his own opinion in the matter two weeks ago.”

Caleb Mucheche who is representing the Matombo side said Justice Hlatshwayo
had not heard the merits of the matter and had no court order to stop his
clients from going ahead with their scheduled congress.

“There is no court order in this matter as the judge recused himself and we
wait for the matter to be allocated to another judge,” said Mucheche.

Matombo is set to hold his elective congress next week in Bulawayo on
December 16 and 17.

Raymond Majongwe who is the secretary-general for the Matombo faction said
their congress will go ahead next week in Bulawayo and thereafter get the
new leadership to occupy the ZCTU offices.

The Nkiwane faction is currently occupying the ZCTU offices at Chester House
in Harare.

Nkiwane last month filed an urgent chamber application seeking to bar
Matombo from referring himself as president of ZCTU, holding an elective
congress and using ZCTU logos and assets.

The ZCTU split into two groups in August this year after Nkiwane was elected
president of the labour body at a congress which the Matombo group
boycotted. Matombo disputed the results saying the delegates who voted
Nkiwane into office were not bona fide ZCTU members.

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Zimbabwe Per Capita Health Spending Well Below International Benchmark

09 December 2011

Dr. Custodia Mandhlate, World Health Organization country representativ,
says Zimbabwe has made strides in improving health care since 2008 when the
system virtually collapsed as a cholera epidemic raged

Tatenda Gumbo | Washington

Zimbabwean public health spending of some US$9 a person - US$20 per
Zimbabwean if international donor funds are taken into account - remains
well under the recommended level of US$34 per capita according to a recent
government calculation.

This comes despite a significant allocation of US$63.4 million for the
health sector by the Ministry of Finance this year and the creation of a
$435 million dollar fund by international donors working with Zimabwe.

Based on World Health Organization recommendations and targets agreed in the
African Union Abuja Declaration of 2001, African countries are urged to
allocate 15 percent of government expenditure to providing health care to
their populations.

The United Nations Children's Fund says it costs between US$10 and US$50 to
deliver a baby in an urban public health facility. Consequently, percentage
of deliveries attended by trained medical personnel has declined over the
past 10 years.

Dr. Custodia Mandhlate, WHO country representive, said Zimbabwe has made
great strides in health care since 2008 when the system virtually collapsed.
She said that while spending is under recommended levels, allocations should
rise next year.

Health activist Emmanuel Gasa said Harare must make health a top priority,
adding that it seems at times that politics has taken priority over the
needs of the people.

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US Updates the Zimbabwe Targeted Sanctions Schedules
Zimbabwe Identifications


Specially Designated Nationals Update

The following entities have been added to OFAC's SDN list:


MARANGE RESOURCES (PRIVATE) LIMITED (f.k.a. BLOCK WOOD MINING; a.k.a. MARANGE RESOURCES; a.k.a. MARANGE RESOURCES LTD), MMCZ Building, 90 Mutare Road, Harare, Zimbabwe; P.O. Box 4101, Harare, Zimbabwe [ZIMBABWE]
MBADA DIAMONDS (PRIVATE) LIMITED (a.k.a. CONDURANGO; a.k.a. CONDURANGO INVESTMENTS PVT LTD; a.k.a. MBADA; a.k.a. MBADA DIAMOND MINING; a.k.a. MBADA DIAMONDS), New Office Park, Block C, Sam Levy's Village, Borrowdale, Harare, Zimbabwe; P.O. Box CY1342, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe [ZIMBABWE]

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Sale of Agricultural House

JAG OPEN LETTER FORUM - No. 775- Dated 9 December 2011

Jack McLellan - Sale of Agricultural House

Dear Jag

I have been advised to write to you to make public my concerns regarding the
sale of, and more importantly, the disposal of the funds raised from the
sale of Agricultural House.

Have the present CFU office bearers the right to sell an asset paid for by
all commercial farmers before 2001. If they have the right to do so, do they
have the moral right to use the proceeds from the sale to maintain a lavish
life style for themselves and the other staff that seem to be unproductively
employed there and who don't take cognizance of my views.

To my way of thinking it is like an insurance company paying out a minimal
policy claim, while still owning a huge office building that was built to
protect the policy holders but when it comes to paying says - it has no
money. I would like to propose that the money raised is split between all
the registered commercial farmers at say the end of 2001.

Please, if you have a voice at CFU, could you make my views known? In my
personal dealings with CFU I have never felt that I mattered and have always
been told diplomatically, that my views are of no consequence.

With further thought, I think we should look at CFU's attitude to it's
members in it's relations with ZANU PF. I think legal opinion should be
sought as to whether the office of CFU collaborated with ZANU PF over the
years, to the detriment of it's members. To have supported the Government
while its members were killed, beaten, harassed and driven from their farms
and homes, to my way of thinking, betrays the trust and obligations they
accepted when they took office.

Jack McLellan


All letters published on the Open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.


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Damp squib

Dear Family and Friends,

The day before the official opening of Zanu PF’s Bulawayo conference
the collapse of a tree in Harare got tongues wagging and left the
superstitious running for cover. A Musasa tree thought to have been
nearly 200 years old collapsed on the road near State House when it
was hit by a vehicle. The tree, which was a National Monument on a
declared Historic Site, has for many years been called the Hanging
Tree despite the fact that historians disputed stories that famous
Zimbabwean ancestors were hanged from its branches in the late
1890’s. One historian said the Hanging Tree was an urban myth but
even so there can be few of us who haven’t stood under its branches
at one time or other and wondered, goose bumps covering our arms.

In a magnificent article, journalist Angus Shaw described how a
n’anga arrived and performed a ceremony over the collapsed Musasa
tree, witnessed by crowds who had gathered, many of whom took away
leaves and pieces of bark as momentos. Shaw wrote that the the
Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association said the “tree
represented "powerful forces" in the nation's social and political
life.” He said that a street vendor nearby said the collapse of the
Musasa was surely a sign that “something big was going to happen.”

On the same day as the ‘Hanging Tree’ collapsed in Harare, Mr
Mugabe was in Bulawayo, planting a tree on National Tree Day. All eyes
were on him and Bulawayo as Zanu PF held their annul congress. This
the most important gathering of senior members and leaders of Zanu PF
and this year it had the potential to be explosive to say the least.
Zimbabwe held its breath.

A year of damning Wikileaks cables had shown that most of Mr
Mugabe’s high level colleagues had betrayed him and indicated that
he should step down, including his Vice Presidents. Everyone thought
that the Bulawayo gathering would be the place where the betrayers
would be held to account and lose their positions in the party’s
leadership but nothing happened.

Delegates had a unique chance to change the leadership of their party
but did not do so.

They unanimously endorsed Mr Mugabe as their presidential candidate in
the country’s next election. Mr Mugabe is 87 years old.

Wearing a baseball cap and a red and white Zanu PF jacket, Mr Mugabe
addressed the party he has been the president of for thirty one years.
He spoke to the four or five thousand delegates for two and a half
hours and television cameras showed a very restrained and subdued
audience – not a reaction we have come to associate with these

Despite anticipation and expectation, the Bulawayo gathering appeared
to have been a regurgitation of more of the same. Mr Mugabe described
the present government of national unity as “a drag on our
nation,” saying it shouldn’t be allowed to continue. He spoke
repeatedly of an election in 2012. He said there was no turning back
on indigenization laws and that they were not an election gimmick.
Mugabe said all mining companies would be forced to hand over at least
51% of their shareholdings to black Zimbabweans.

At the end of a week when we expected huge fireworks but got a damp
squib, you have to wonder if the collapse of the 200 year old Musasa
tree is a sign that something big is going to happen. That grand old
tree will be missed but reminds us that nothing and no-one is
immortal. Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy.10th
December 2011.

Copyright � Cathy Buckle.

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