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CONGRESS UPDATE: Rebels distributing defiance fliers, man dies in fist-fight

Written by Zimbabwe mail
Saturday, 12 December 2009 12:45
HARARE - The Zimbabwe Mail can reveal that a document is
circulating and fliers distributed this morning amongst Zanu PF delegates to
the party's congress urging members "to reclaim their party from the
presedium". (Pictured:Robert Mugabe is struggling to rescue his long time
favoured successor Emmerson Mnangagwa)

The document, believed to be a summary of Jonathan Moyo's authored plan for
a Zanu PF break-away plan and its colourful fliers which have been
distributed openly by a group of party rebels led by former Chairman of Zanu
PF Harare province, Hubert Nyanhongo are all urging party members to "to do
whatever possible to reclaim their party from unelected leaders".
The fliers are written in English, Shona and Ndebele languages.
The national congress of ZANU-PF of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe opens
in the capital Harare Thursday amid high expectations.
Last night our reporter witnessed a Nissan 4x4 pick up truck off-loading
defiant banners, fliers and placards at the Kopje Plaza, the NETONE building
and they where taken into the basement by people believed to be aligned to
the embattled Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The Mnangagwa faction has set up its operational base in the Kopje Plaza's
fourth floor and the command centre being run from Firstel Cellular's board
Firstel Cellular is a Zanu PF owned mobile phone company siezed from Mutumwa
Mawere and it occupies the entire fourth floor of the Kopje Plaza.
The Zimbabwe Mail reporter was shown around the place by an overzealous
Senior member of the faction and he showed him army communication radios
hidden in the basement.
Unconfirmed reports said in the last 48 hours some of the ring leaders of
the rebel party members have been seized by the intelligence forces and
scores of party supporters have since fled into the neighbouring South
Africa as the battle to control Zanu PF reaches fever peach.
We're also told that last night a man died in a fist-fight at the Zanu PF
Harare District offices near Fourth Street bus station and scores were
injured as things got out of control during a pre-congress briefing. The
dead man was accused to be a spy agent for Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Sources said, South African President Jacob Zuma has kept a close touch with
his Zimbabwean counter-part with reports that President Mugabe has sounded a
security scare alert as the battle ground moves into the control of security
President Jabob Zuma in turn has informed other SADC leaders of the
challenges facing Zimbabwe and on his visit to Zambia he has briefed the
Zambian President of the need to set-up his army ready to assist if there is
an urgent need.
Today, Botswana President Ian Khama, a former Army commander himself, will
tour army bases in the Chobe District which is situated around the
Zimbabwe-Botswana border, and our source revealed that this is part of the
latest SADC security alert plan as they fear Zimbabwe could degenerate into
a civil conflict.
We can reveal that the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Executive Secretary Tomaz Salomao was tasked by SADC leader to meet
President Mugabe early this week in order to get some feedback and the
Zimbabwean President raised the security concern which has since been
communicated to the region's Defence Ministers.
A battle over who will eventually succeed 85-year-old President Robert
Mugabe as party leader threatens the future of his long-ruling ZANU-PF but
analysts say an immediate split is unlikely at a congress this week.
By balancing competing factions and through a political patronage system,
Mugabe has kept a tight grip on ZANU-PF since becoming party leader in the
mid 1970s and spearheaded a guerrilla war against white minority rule.
But as Mugabe heads into the twilight of a political career spanning over
half a century, his lieutenants have stepped up an internal fight for prime
positions to take over the party when Mugabe retires. He has not given a
Rival factions have been jostling for posts in ZANU-PF's "presidium"
leadership before a five-yearly party congress opening in Harare on Friday,
widening cracks within ranks already torn over personalities, ethnic and
regional issues.
"These fights are going to go on until Mugabe goes, and when he goes ZANU-PF
is in danger of disintegration," said Eldred Masunungure, a leading
political analyst.
"There is no consensus candidate on who should succeed Mugabe, and Mugabe
himself has apparently created that crisis to remain in power," Masunungure
told Reuters.
But whoever eventually wins the battle to succeed Mugabe -- whenever his
position becomes vacant -- will have a huge task to reorganise a party which
many critics say just managed to hang onto power last year through violence
against the opposition.
A post-election standoff with the rival Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
forced Mugabe to sign a power-sharing deal with its leader Morgan
Tsvangirai. Since then the new government has struggled to rebuild the
shattered economy and attract much-needed aid funds.
"All the fighting that is going on in ZANU-PF is not going to help them at
the next elections against the MDC," said Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of
political pressure group National Constitutional Assembly.
"What is emerging is a weak and divided party, a party probably in terminal
decline," he said.
The two-day congress will endorse Mugabe as party head for five years, and
confirm a new policy-making central committee.
A faction led by former army General Solomon Mujuru has gained an upper hand
in the succession battle as Mujuru's wife, Joice Mujuru, 54, has been
nominated by most of ZANU-PF's provincial executives to remain as
vice-president to Mugabe.
This makes Joice Mujuru, for now, the front runner to succeed Mugabe as
ZANU-PF leader if he steps down, ahead of rival faction leader Emmerson
Mnangagwa, who local media has for long touted as a favourite to takeover
from Mugabe.
The congress will also confirm John Nkomo, 75, current party chairman to
become the second ZANU-PF vice president, replacing veteran politician
Joseph Msika who died aged 86 this year.
Zimbabwe's ambassador to South Africa, Simon Khaya Moyo, 64, has been
earmarked to fill Nkomo's party chairman post.
The issue of Mugabe's successor has divided ZANU-PF along ethnic lines, with
Mnangagwa's faction charging that Mujuru's group seeks to preserve the party
presidency for another member of Mugabe's Zezuru ethnic group.
"The problem of tribalism or ethnic tensions has been swept under the carpet
in ZANU-PF for a long time, but I think this is going to be a real issue if
some things appear so obvious," said Masunungure.
Mugabe has flatly refused to discuss his retirement plans, but analysts say
he is unlikely to contest the next presidential poll -- expected in the next
two years or in 2013 if the current unity government runs a full term.
He will be heading towards his 90th birthday by then, and may not get his
party support to continue in power.

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"He no longer has the mental and physical stamina to put a halt to this struggle."

December 12, 2009
Mugabe says his fractured party is 'eating itself up'
Jan Raath in Harare

They were supposed to be celebrating on a grand scale - 10,000 of President
Mugabe's closest supporters coming together to affirm his continued hold on
power. But at the Zanu (PF) congress yesterday delegates sat stunned to hear
their leader berate his party for infighting, saying that Zanu was "eating
itself up".

Normally defiant, Mr Mugabe admitted to the party's five-yearly meeting that
it had "lost" presidential elections last March - a first-round defeat that
was followed by a bloody campaign of repression. "The reason why we lost in
March last year was because of factions," he said. "When it comes to
elections, the party strangles itself. It is eating itself up and the MDC
says, 'Do much more'. The more intense the internal fights we have, the
greater opportunity we grant to the opposition to thrive."

Observers say that the divisions in the party, mostly on tribal lines, mark
the worst internal strife that Zanu (PF) has experienced since Mr Mugabe
came to its head in the 1970s. And while past congresses have been lavish
celebrations of its continued rule, this time the state coffers are
controlled by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Zanu (PF)'s hated
enemies, reducing the scope for extravagant spending.

The big issue on the agenda was how the party was beaten by the MDC in
parliamentary and the first round of presidential elections in March last
year, leaving it forced into the unprecedented but faltering power-sharing
agreement with the MDC. But behind that are serious questions concerning Mr
Mugabe's remaining time at the top as well as the potential power struggles
to succeed him.

The congress was preceded by months of tumultuous elections to choose
representatives on Zanu's district and provincial organisations as well as
its women's and youth leagues and the notorious war veterans' movement. This
weekend, however, is the moment for selection of the party's top
leadership - excluding, of course, Mr Mugabe's position.

At the weekend Mr Mugabe produced a top Zanu (PF) leadership filling the
posts of president, two vice-presidents and party chairman that consisted
solely of his own Zezuru tribe - part of the Shona people - and the Ndebele
people of western Zimbabwe. He brushed aside demands for inclusion from the
other four large ethnic groups, effectively setting most of his party
against him.

"There are too many leaders now. They are building another party, not Zanu
(PF)," Mr Mugabe said.

The loyalty of the upper levels of the army, police and secret police are a
major and dangerous factor in Mr Mugabe's survival, but, diplomats say,
their effectiveness is reduced because they are as riven by political
fissures as much as the civilian party members.

"Mugabe must have agonised over that speech," said Eldred Masunungure, the
head of the respected Mass Public Opinion Institute. "It was the best way to
try to deal with the divisions. But it won't work. He no longer has the
mental and physical stamina to put a halt to this struggle. Zanu (PF) will
tear itself asunder."

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Despite all his cunning, Mugabe knows that the game is up

December 12, 2009

Jonathan Clayton: Analysis

Even Robert Mugabe's fiercest critics concede that he is an astute and
cunning politician. As such, he knows that the game is up. Yesterday he
effectively admitted as much to the Zanu (PF) faithful.

Since the once all-powerful ruling party was forced into last year's
power-sharing agreement with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), it
has seen its remaining power and influence slowly ebb away.

It has no moral authority to govern. Everyone knows a few small but
significant improvements, such as the first economic growth for 12 years and
increased foreign aid, have come about as a result of an MDC hand on the
finance ministry.

Ministries controlled by Zanu (PF) remain mired in incompetence and
inefficiency. Now, they are also paralysed by power struggles as Mugabe's
cronies look with anxiety to the future.

"Their hands are dripping in blood and their pockets are full of booty. They
are afraid that all their gory misdeeds will be exposed once they are out of
power. So, they must cling to power by all means but in so doing they dig
deeper graves for themselves for such tactics backfire and hasten the end.
Mugabe knows it but is powerless to stop it," said George Ayittey, a
political analyst and expert on Zimbabwe.

South Africa, which so often in the past whitewashed their misdeeds, is now
exhibiting a decisiveness and firmness which was unthinkable in the days of
former President Thabo Mbeki.

President Jacob Zuma, with the full support of the Southern African
Development Community (SADC), has made it clear thaqt the Global Political
Agreement - as the power sharing deal is known - is the only show in town.

Mr Zuma, with the recession hitting jobs in his own country, is determined
to end the political crisis north of the Limpopo.

Mr Mugabe's cronies know they cannot go back, but are incapable of moving
forward. They are haunted by fear of reprisals, retribution and paranoia.

Political commentators believe real power in Zanu (PF) is now held within a
cabal of no more than 200 people, comprising senior military officers,
members of the secretive Joint Operations Command, which effectively runs
the party, and a clique of Mugabe cronies linked by business or family ties.

"ZANU pf has lost all credibility with the Zimbabwean people. It has become
an imposition - a cancer - on Zimbabwe's body politic - a far cry from the
liberation stature it once enjoyed," Mr Attiyeh said.

Political commentators say that to have found a peaceful solution to the
Zimbabwean crisis in the period when Mr Mugabe had the unequivocal support
of a sizeable armed forces component and a sizeable proportion of the
population may have presented a major problem. To be faced instead with a
clique of just 200 or so people who have brazenly amassed great wealth for
themselves and their families while leaving the Zimbabwean people
impoverished is totally different situation.

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Zimbabwe's President Mugabe Heads for Copenhagen Climate Conference

Delegates to the Copenhagen Climate Conference including Zimbabwean youths
were calling for global greenhouse gas emissions to be cut in half by 2050.

Selah Hennessy & Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye | London & Washington 11
December 2009

A first-draft deal at the United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen
says the world should halve world greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The blueprint was released at the end of the first week of the conference.

European leaders pledged more than US$10 billion to help poor countries cope
with climate change, as Selah Hennessy reported from London.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwean youth delegates in Copenhagen said they hope President
Robert Mugabe when he shows up in the Danish capital next week will
highlight the challenges facing the country and the need for solutions.

Delegate Anesu Makina, studying climate change at the University Of East
Anglia in the United Kingdom, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Marvellous
Mhlanga-Nyahuye that she has been frustrated by reactions from older
delegates at the conference who did not take the views of young people

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Freedom House Survey Shows Zimbabweans Looking Forward to Elections

Conducted by Afrobarometer and the Mass Public Opinion Institute of Zimbabwe
polled 1,200 people in Zimbabwe's 10 provinces and found that 73% wanted a
new and freely elected government within two years

Benedict Nhlapho | Johannesburg 11 December 2009

A survey commissioned by Washington-based Freedom House and released in
South Africa on Friday showed a majority of Zimbabweans desiring democratic
safeguards including a presidential term limits and an independent

A majority wanted to see new elections held within two years.

VOA Studio 7's Benedict Nhlapho reported from Johannesburg.

Conducted by Afrobarometer and the Mass Public Opinion Institute of Zimbabwe
polled 1,200 people in Zimbabwe's 10 provinces and found that 73% wanted a
new and freely elected government within two years.

Most respondents saw the current power-sharing arrangement between the
ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe and the Movement for Democratic
Change led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as a temporary, second-best
solution compared with another round of national elections.

But the survey found three in four Zimbabweans pleased with the progress
achieved by the unity government on the economic front.

Unveiling the survey in Johannesburg, Freedom House Deputy Programs Director
Daniel Calingaert said the data will provide a critical tool for the unity
government in mapping the way forward for the country.

The survey revealed interesting differences of opinion between supporters of
the MDC and ZANU-PF. Among MDC supporters, 64% want those who committed
political violence in 2008 to admit to their crimes, but 56% of ZANU-PF
backers want to leave the past behind and move forward.

Two-thirds of MDC supporters demand that the perpetrators of such violence
be prosecuted, but nearly half of ZANU-PF supporters said they believed that
amnesty should be granted for such crimes. Yet 78% of self-identified
ZANU-PF supporters said violence is never

Freedom House analyst Charles Mangongera said the survey shows a growing
hunger for democratic principles within ZANU-PF ranks.


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Mugabe again lambasts UK and USA

December 12, 2009

By Raymond Maingire

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has again attacked the United Kingdom and
the United States of America for what he said is a relentless campaign to
seize control of Zimbabwe's rich mineral resources.In his opening address at
the ongoing Zanu-PF congress in Harare Friday, President Mugabe decried what
he said was infiltration of the country by the two rich countries.

"If the rich countries of the West see that you are a naturally resourced
country and they envy those resources, they find a way of penetrating into
your systems and indeed of wanting to control those resources," Mugabe said.

He warned party supporters to be wary of Great Britain which he said
continued to use Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic
Change MDC, Zanu-PF's partner in the inclusive government, as a front to
advance an anti-Zimbabwe agenda.

"Defence of the natural resources means political defence through our being
together," he said, "being united in making a stand that Zimbabwe is for
Zimbabweans and those who come here who are not Zimbabweans must support us.

"We have the right to national sovereignty and the right of control over our
resources. When we open avenues for their participation, we are not saying
they can become the owners of our country.

"We are only saying become partners with us and nothing more, nothing more,
nothing more."

There was loud applause from the delegates as Mugabe said this.

He said the MDC was formed in Great Britain through the Westminster
Foundation and was now parroting a western agenda.

The Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) was established in London in
1992 "to support the consolidation of democratic practices and institutions
in developing democracies". The foundation says on its website that it
specializes in parliamentary strengthening and political party development;
working at national, regional and local levels.

The foundation is sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and
is accountable to the British Parliament for its expenditure.

Mugabe said MDC was talking a language "contrary to the language of the
revolution" through support of the continued existence of sanctions against
Zimbabwe and advocating for the reversal of the land reform programme.

Although Zanu-PF had embraced the MDC as a partner in the inclusive
government, Mugabe said, the two parties' appreciation of national issues
was wide apart.

"We say svinurai, MDC, chinjai pfungwa. Nyika ndeyenyu, haisi yevarungu
kwete. Haisi yanaBennett, (We say to the MDC, 'Wake up, change your way of
thinking. The country belongs to you, not to the white people. It does not
belong to Roy Bennett and others.')," Mugabe said.

"These people are settlers. Even if Bennett and the others were born here,
they remain the off-spring of settlers."

Mugabe said only divine intervention would make the MDC realize the folly of
blindly following the white man's thinking.

"We need that day when we can pray for the readjustment of our mental
 setup," he said.

Mugabe also lashed at some Zanu-PF members and accused them of "playing into
the hands of the enemy by squabbling for positions using channels which are
not availed by our party's constitution".

Zanu-PF on Thursday thwarted an attempt by some party delegates to reopen
nominations for the positions of Zanu-PF vice president and national

Mugabe read the riot act to some provincial chairpersons who threatened to
resign from their positions in protest over what they alleged was the party's
continued imposition of candidates into the presidium.

The congress will confirm Mugabe as leader of Zanu-PF for another five-year
term, with Joice Mujuru and vice president designate John Nkomo as his
deputies. Zimbabwe's ambassador to South Africa Simon Khaya Moyo will return
from Pretoria to become the new national chairman of the party. Moyo was a
protégé of the late PF-Zapu founder, Dr Joshua Nkomo.

Sources within the party say reform-minded members in the leadership of
Zanu-PF now view Mugabe's reelection as leader as retrogressive. They are
said to blame the plunge in the party's fortunes in elections last year to
his faltering leadership.

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SMS ‘spam’ at ZANU congress

by Tendai Maronga and Clifford Nyathi Saturday 12 December 2009

HARARE – Zimbabwean mobile phone users were this week bombarded with
mysterious text messages (SMS) claiming that the country’s security chiefs
were not prepared to salute Vice President Joice Mujuru.

The SMS messages also claimed that delegates would ditch President Robert
Mugabe at the party congress ending in Harare today.

The source of the messages is not known. But some observers suggested
disgruntled members of Mugabe’s bickering party could be responsible for
sending the messages that also criticised party top leaders for imposing
loyalists to positions of influence ignoring choices made during provincial

The messages started circulating Tuesday with the first SMS message sent out
purporting to welcome delegates to the congress and claiming that the sender
was a member of the ZANU PF youth league.

More messages were soon to follow and this time urging delegates to use the
congress to reclaim that the party from the party presidium.  One SMS
message claimed that the party had been “hijacked from the people and they
(delegates) must use the floor to take it back”.

Another text message read: “Mutasa (Didymus, senior party leader) says he
will not allow rules to be broken for election to party chairman – plans to
challenge SK Moyo, ZPFC SMS.”

In the run up to the congress, Manicaland provincial leaders had nominated
party secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa for the post of chairman
ahead of Zimbabwe’s ambassador to South Africa Simon Khaya Moyo who is known
among ZANU PF followers as SK Moyo.

Another text message claimed that one of the two ZANU PF factions led by
Mujuru and her powerful husband Solomon Mujuru was pushing to have a “young
and vibrant” leadership take charge of the party.

Asked about the phone text messages, ZANU PF spokesman Ephraim Masawi said
they were the work of enemies trying to cause divisions in the party. “This
is the work of our enemies. We will not be affected at all. There are people
who want to create divisions within the party but they will not succeed,” he

The party’s secretary for youth Absalom Sikhosana also denied that the
messages were coming from ZANU PF youth league.

Sikhosana said: “It (message) is coming from the enemy. That is how the
enemy operates. That is not our project. It is a project of the enemy
intended to cause confusion and chaos during the congress. Our people must
just ignore them. The youth league is looking forward to the congress to
help in building the country.’’

Meanwhile mobile phone operator Econet Wireless Zimbabwe on Friday issued a
statement distancing itself from the text messages adding that it had asked
a Swedish telecoms company, Tele2 Comviq, to stop sending political messages
to Zimbabwe.

Econet communications manager Rangarirai Mberi claimed that investigations
had established that millions of unsolicited messages were being sent
periodically to Zimbabweans through the Swedish firm’s network.

The Zimbabwean firm said it would cooperate fully with the authorities by
providing any available information leading to the identification of those
behind the text messages. – ZimOnline.

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‘End political squabbles or miss World Cup spin-offs’

by Own Correspondent Saturday 12 December 2009

HARARE – South African mediators on Friday urged Zimbabwe’s squabbling
political parties to step up dialogue to resolve power-sharing differences
ahead of next year’s FIFA World Cup finals that South Africa is hosting.

Zimbabwe could miss out on spin-offs from the World Cup if the country was
still caught up in political wrangles by the time the soccer tournament
commences next June, a spokeswoman for the South African mediators, Lindiwe
Zulu, said.

"(There is) progress on the dialogue between the parties," said Zulu, after
the mediators’ visit to Zimbabwe this week, the second in as many weeks.
"The good thing is that they (party negotiators) are talking. If they are
not ready then Zimbabwe will miss out on the benefits of the World Cup, we
as South Africa are ready for the World Cup."

South African President Jacob Zuma appointed a new team of mediators to help
quicken the pace of dialogue to resolve a host of outstanding issues and
disputes arising from last year’s global political agreement (GPA) that gave
birth to Zimbabwe’s power-sharing government.

The South African President is said to be keen to have the Zimbabwean
political dispute resolved to avoid bad publicity that could cloud the World
Cup tournament that is happening on African soil for the first time ever.

Zulu said her team will submit a report to Zuma on the talks between
negotiators from President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF party and the two MDC
formations led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Premier Arthur

She said the mediators were planning to return to Zimbabwe to monitor the
inter-party negotiations but did not say when exactly they would be

"We will be (coming) back once they (negotiators) have completed something,"
she said. "The earlier the issues are resolved, the better for the welfare
and social status for the people of Zimbabwe."

The mediators, comprising Zulu who is president Zuma's international adviser
and former cabinet ministers Charles Nqakula and Mac Maharaj, have held
meetings with the negotiators from ZANU PF and the two factions of the MDC.
They have also held separate meetings with Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara.

The SADC organ on politics and defence on November 6 gave the Zimbabwean
parties up to 30 days to open up negotiations to resolve the outstanding
issues that have held back their power-sharing government.

The outstanding issues include Mugabe’s refusal to rescind his unilateral
appointment of two of his top allies to head Zimbabwe’s central bank and the
attorney general’s office.

Mugabe has also refused to swear in Tsvangirai ally Roy Bennett as deputy
agriculture minister, while the MDC-T is also unhappy by what it says is
selective application of the law to target its activists and officials.

On the other hand Mugabe, who insists that he has met all his obligations
under the GPA, accuses the MDC-T of not living up to a promise to lead a
campaign for lifting of Western sanctions against the veteran Zimbabwean
leader and members of his inner circle. – ZimOnline

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Govt to audit Dabengwa's MZWT

by Lizwe Sebatha Saturday 12 December 2009

BULAWAYO - The government has ordered an audit of Matabeleland Zambezi Water
Trust (MZWT)'s accounts, amid an escalating tug of war between MZWT chairman
Dumiso Dabengwa and Water Resources Minister Sipepa Nkomo for control of the

Dabengwa took charge of the Trust when he was a government minister and a
member of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party. He has since left the
party to revive the old opposition PF-ZAPU party.

But Dabengwa has sought to retain control of the MZWT that was set up by
concerned leaders from the Matabeleland provinces to spearhead the
Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWP) that is seen as providing a
lasting solution to the southern region's perennial water woes.

The project to draw water from the Zambezi River to the arid Matabeleland
region is also a sure vote-catcher for any political party.

However the water project has moved at a snail's pace despite the government
claiming that it has provided funds to quicken progress, while there have
also been numerous but yet to be substantiated allegations of misuse of
project funds.

Nkomo, who this week announced that the government was planning to takeover
control of the MZWT, said auditing of the Trust would begin upon his return
from Denmark next week.

The minister, who like Dabengwa also hails from Matabeleland, said: "What
Cabinet has done is to ask me as the minister responsible to talk to all
stakeholders and produce a comprehensive report on MZWT and MZWP . . . and
obviously, the report will include what the MZWT has done about the MZWP
project, including MZWT's audited financial accounts."

He added: "I think you are aware that Arnold Payne (a former Bulawayo
councillor and water activist) once went to court to try and force MZWT to
produce audited financial accounts . . . I do not quite think the audited
accounts report was produced. The government is concerned."

Dabengwa could not be reached for comment over government plans to audit the

But the PF-ZAPU chairman has criticised the government for wanting to seize
control of the water project and accused Nkomo of trying to nationalise a
regional project.

Dabengwa told journalists this week that the MWZP was an initiative of the
local people and that the government had no right to take it over.

The opposition politician accused Nkomo of always talking about devolution
of power to the regions and yet doing the opposite when it came to the MWZP.

He said: "We want to point out that Sipepa Nkomo seems to be operating
against the grain by seeking to nationalise regional projects at a time when
everyone has seen the need for devolution." - ZimOnline

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Zimbabwe "blood diamonds" dispute breaks out at U.N.

Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:33pm EST

By Louis Charbonneau

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States, the EU and other Western
powers blasted the U.N. General Assembly on Friday for ignoring Zimbabwe's
reported failure to comply with international efforts to curb trade in
"blood diamonds."

The 192-nation body adopted a resolution warning that "trade in conflict
diamonds continues to be a matter of serious international concern" and
increased vigilance was vital.

The assembly was responding to a report on conflict stones by Namibia, which
chairs the diamond industry's Kimberley Process, a certification scheme set
up in 2003 in the wake of devastating civil wars in Angola, Sierra Leone and

Those wars were largely financed by the diamond trade.

Although the resolution was adopted, a number of Western delegations
criticized the assembly for failing to mention concerns about Zimbabwe,
which is suspected of not complying with Kimberley Process safeguards.

Namibia's report to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said there were "credible
indications of significant non-compliance with the minimum requirements of
the (Kimberley Process) by Zimbabwe."

U.S. delegate Laura Ross said: "We regret that language reflecting this
concern has not been included in the text of this resolution."

Speaking on behalf of the European Union, Sweden's U.N. Ambassador Anders
Liden voiced similar views, as did delegates from Japan, Australia and

Zimbabwe's U.N. Ambassador Boniface Chidyausiku rejected the suggestion that
Harare was not complying with the rules.

"We are committed to the Kimberley Process," he told the assembly, adding
that the United States and others were trying to politicize the issue by
attacking his country.

Zimbabwe was one of the resolution's co-sponsors.

Before the implementation of the Kimberley Process, conflict stones made up
about 15 percent of the world market. They are believed to account for less
than 1 percent of stones traded today, although many diamonds remain

The Namibian report warned that blood diamonds could be making a comeback.
It said Internet sales and postal shipments "have become issues of concern,
as it has proved difficult to track and reconcile rough diamond shipments."

In January, Israel replaces Namibia as the chair of the Kimberley Process.
The United States, European Union and other Western delegations complained
that the assembly resolution failed to welcome Israel's 2010 chairmanship.

The adopted resolution simply "takes note" that Israel will chair the
Kimberley Process. Bashar Ja'afari, the ambassador of Israel's enemy Syria,
proposed removing any mention of the Jewish state from the resolution, but
his motion was defeated.

A United Nations panel of experts said in October that Israel, whose diamond
trade is worth more than $10 billion, may be involved in the illegal export
and sale of blood diamonds from Ivory Coast. Israeli officials rejected the

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Journalists barred from Zanu PF congress

Written by MISA
Saturday, 12 December 2009 12:37
Journalists Faith Zaba and Wongai Zhangazha who are employed by the
privately owned Zimbabwe Independent were on 10 December 2009 barred from
covering the ongoing Zanu PF congress which opened in Harare on 9 December

Constantine Chimakure, news editor with the weekly newspaper, confirmed to
MISA-Zimbabwe that Zaba and Zhangazha were barred from covering the official
opening of the congress by security details at the Harare International
Conference Centre. Chimakure said the two had simply been told that they
were not welcome at the venue of the congress.
He said they had tried in vain to contact Zanu PF deputy spokesperson
Ephraim Masawi for further details on the matter but that his mobile phone
was not being answered.

MISA-Zimbabwe Position
MISA-Zimbabwe strongly condemns the above incidence and expresses its great
concern over the continued suppression of media freedom and freedom of
expression in Zimbabwe. Ironically this occurred on the day when Zimbabwe
together with the rest of the world was commemorating International Human
Rights Day held under the theme, Embrace diversity, End discrimination. This
is a serious contradiction in terms as it deprives the independent media of
its lawful and professional role of freely accessing and disseminating
information in the public interest.
Discrimination against the privately owned media only serves to entrench
media polarisation and clearly contravenes the provisions of Article 19 of
the Global Political Agreement signed by Zanu PF and the two MDC formations
resulting in the birth of the inclusive government. Under the agreement the
three political parties, among other issues, committed themselves to freeing
the media space and secure media diversity.
Regrettably, the Zimbabwean media space remains restricted with the
independent media being vilified and discriminated against despite global
calls for embracement of diversity and an end to all forms of
As the constitution making process gets underway, MISA-Zimbabwe reiterates
its demands for a constitutional provision that explicitly guarantees media
freedom as critical to the citizens' fundamental right to access information
from a diverse, independent and pluralistic media.

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Human Rights not a foreign concept-Tsvangirai

Saturday, 12 December 2009 12:33
As the country joins the rest of the world in marking the world Human Rights
Day on 10 December, Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said in a
statement that Human Rights is not a foreign concept that was imposed upon
the country by foreign countries, but that human rights are formed by the
values of each and every Zimbabwean. (Pictured: Zimbabwe's Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai)

This year Human Rights Day is marked under the theme Embrace Diversity, End
Tsvangirai said that it was because of the human rights that Zimbabweans
waged a protracted war of liberation against the Ian Smith regime. "Indeed
our liberation war heroes went to war specifically to assert human rights
for all Zimbabweans- to reject and defeat the idea that such rights should
exist only for a privileged few," said Morgan.
The President Robert Mugabe regime is accused of gross human rights abuses
by he international community, such as Operation Murambatvina in 2005 that
made over 700 000 people homeless, some of the victims of the operation are
still homeless up to date.
Tsvangirai said that this year Human Rights day is more significant in the
country as the country embarks on drafting a new constitution.
"Our Constitution will represent the supreme law of the land that entrenches
the rights we wish to be governed and the manner we want to be treated by
the state our neighbors and the regional and international communities,"
said Tsvangirai.
The MDC leader who was won Human Rights Accolades added "Only those that
wish to keep us oppressed can oppose our right to choose the standards and
mechanisms by which we wish to have our freedoms guaranteed."
In 1948 on the 10th of December the United Nations' General Assembly adopted
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Some of the articles in the declaration are "No one shall be subjected to
torture or to cruel inhuman treatment or punishment, and No one shall be
subjected to arbitrary arrest detention or exile."
Zimbabwe seems to be staggering on implementing the articles of which it is
signatory to with torture still common in Zimbabwe jails. The case of Pasco
Gwesere the MDC-T Transport Manager who has been languishing in prison for
over 40 days now comes to mind.
Gwesere was alleged tortured in police custody and up to now he has not
received medical attention as ordered by the state.  Gwezere was abducted at
gunpoint from his home on the 27th of October and is accused of
masterminding the theft of firearms from the heavily guarded Pomona Barracks
in Harare.

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Multiple Appeals to Support Zimbabweans

By Busani Bafana

BULAWAYO, Dec 11 (IPS) - While food is readily available in shops and some
political and economic stability is returning in Zimbabwe, vulnerable groups
such as children and people living with HIV and AIDS still face a shortage
of food.

It is this vulnerable group that has galvanised the international community
into action to mobilise humanitarian support in the form of food, medication
and water facilities.

This week the Red Cross launched an appeal for $33.2 million to extend an
on-going emergency food operation in Zimbabwe to September 2010. The
operation is led by the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) with the support
of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
(IFRC). The operation, begun last year, is providing food assistance to over
220,000 beneficiaries across Zimbabwe.

ZRCS Secretary-General Emma Kundishora said that vulnerable people in rural
areas will be assisted with direct food aid, while those in the urban areas
will receive food vouchers to be redeemed in supermarkets.

"The food vouchers are a pilot project for us and we are currently
negotiating with the selected supermarkets where our beneficiaries will be
able to buy food items," Kundishora told IPS.

"We are hoping to start the programme early next year as we have already
received positive indications of support from our sister societies. It is
critical to extend the programme because our beneficiaries do not have food
and most of them are unable to produce food anywhere."

In the long term, the ZRCS will provide agricultural inputs like seeds and
fertilisers, agricultural training, and increasing community access to safe

The U.N. Assistant Secretary General for humanitarian affairs, Catherine
Bragg, visiting Zimbabwe at the beginning of December, commended the "great
progress" made in easing Zimbabwe's humanitarian crisis but called for
continued donor support.

The U.N. has launched the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP), a planning and
resource mobilisation tool used mainly for emergency responses. Under the
CAP, the UN has appealed for $378 million in aid for 2010 to cover food and
medicines, and bolster health, education, sanitation and access to safe

The United Nations Children's Educational Fund (UNICEF) is operating a
malnutrition monitoring programme for children across the country. UNICEF
Zimbabwe Spokeswoman Tsitsi Singizi, told the Voice of America Studio 7 that
conditions for children are most severe in districts such as Mudzi,
Mashonaland East province, where food is often in short supply.

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

According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(OCHA), seven percent of under fives suffer from acute malnutrition. The
U.N. agency estimates that 1.9 million Zimbabweans will need food assistance
between January and March 2010.

"The need to support 'humanitarian plus' or early recovery programmes is
highlighted by the deterioration in existing infrastructure and loss of
employment opportunities," OCHA said in a statement.

The National Aids Council (NAC) estimates that 761,000 children in Zimbabwe
have lost one or both parents to HIV and AIDS. Currently there are more than
1.1 million children under the age of 15 who have been orphaned as a result
of the disease.

"The food situation is a cause for concern but food aid is not sustainable,"
Fambai Ngirande, spokesman for the National Association of Non-Governmental
Organisations told IPS, adding that the country's economy is still not on a
firm footing.

"We should also be focusing on full economic recovery (to allow) us to
consolidate local food security and this rests on government creating a
politically-conducive environment that will bring in investors to benefit
the economy."

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A Christmas party for senor nurses of Zimbabwe



On Thur 17th Dec 2009, two hundred senior nurses of Zimbabwe aged 60 years and over and still working in Zimbabwe’s public health system will be attending a special party held in their honour at the Crowne Plaza, Monomotapa, Harare. The Christmas party has been organised by Zimbabweans both at home and abroad in association with United Action for Youth (UAY), a UK registered charity, to acknowledge and appreciate the outstanding commitment, dedication and contribution these nurses have made to the nation.

The majority of these nurses are working past retirement or have returned from their retirement after the age of 65 to help out with the acute staffing crisis the country has been experiencing over the past few years. They have had to work under very severe conditions, returning to the basics of nursing of empathy and tender loving care in the absence of medicines in hospitals. All this was done, at one point, for next to no pay.

Everjoyce King, one of the organisers of the Christmas Party says, “Our senior nurses have been a true example of ultimate service to the people. They have been a linchpin to Zimbabwe’s public health system, continuing in their jobs of caring for the sick at a time when most of us would have chosen given up. Their commitment and dedication humbles us. This Christmas party in their honour is the least we felt we could do to acknowledge and appreciate them for who they are – an outstanding contribution to society.”

Ms King is inviting all Zimbabweans who are interested in acknowledging these nurses to go to and leave a Thank You message for the nurses. Messages picked at random will be read out to the nurses at the party.

            For a chance to make a contribution: go to where you will be able to buy a ticket for a nurse or to buy a raffle ticket   for yourself.

With raffle tickets, there are fantastic prizes like 2 Nights bed & breakfast for 2 ppl at any African Sun hotel (Conditions apply), Econet phone lines, set of Gel Nail Extensions etc are up for grabs!!!

 We are on FACEBOOK!!!

We’d love to receive Thank You messages we can read for the nurses on the day so we are also inviting you join our group and to leave messages on our Facebook page:

We aim to receive 200 msgs by the 17th and 1000 members joining our group.


THANK YOU for your support!!

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Bridging the knowledge divide Part 7: A politician

by Mutumwa Mawere Saturday 12 December 2009

OPINION: What is a politician? This question was posed by Vusi Sindane in
his article entitled "Simple Politics Part 1 of 2" to help challenge our minds on
the need for and the role of political actors in economic and social change.

We all want to be governed well and yet humanity has not found a reliable
instrument to select the right politician who can deliver on the promise.

Electoral democracy has not produced the kind of outcomes that people expect
and deserve.

The education system is able to discriminate efficiently among citizens.
People who do not make it in the educational system tend to accept their
fate in life and surrender their future to the educated mistakenly believing
that there is a causal link between being book smart and an effective

Although the educational system is not perfect, generation after generation
people have come to rely upon it as a dependable basis of discrimination and
social stratification.

Those that make it still remain human but their claims on life become more
expensive. They tend to make it as politicians and yet nothing in their
training prepares them for service and humility.

Without measurement, the value of education to humanity would just be

When people are graded they tend to excel and want to do better than the
generation before them.

We all strive for excellence when we know that someone is watching and
grading us.

Even in the arena of sports, for example, the spectators are the judges and
this normally energises people to distinguish themselves on the field.

The political market is complex and its players are difficult to understand
and rate.

Is it fair for anyone to expect another person to do what one can do for

We all expect to be led well forgetting that the leaders are after all human
and subjective. They can only see what their eyes allow them to and hear
what their ears allow them to.

Those that are close to politicians automatically become advantaged in as
much as those that are close to the CEO in a private setting.

In business, we know that success is secure if underpinned by service.

If you pick in a store you must pay and equally if you pay you must pick.
However, in the political market if you elect you are never be guaranteed of
the quality of the people you select.

Even if the chosen people may really be rotten apples, there is nothing that
one can do in between elections to reverse the selection and citizens have
to live through it.

In some countries they may never know what the difference looks like because
the incumbent may be persuaded by those close to him/her to believe that the
future is not secure without him/her at the helm.

Once elected, the citizen who becomes a politician ceases to be like the
people who elect him/her. He/she assumes a new life and acquires the powers
that are created by the citizens that he then presides over.

In a representative democracy, a politician is really a person to whom power
is surrendered by the voters so that he/she can preside over state affairs
on their behalf.

In a functioning constitutional democracy, citizens never lose control of
their project i.e. the state as they are constantly alert to any abuse of

However, in many developing nations, citizens are not organised enough in
between elections to provide the checks and balances required.

When we look back at Africa's post colonial history, we never pause to think
what form of government we would have had if colonialism had not visited the

Republican constitutions that have been adopted by many African states were
largely borrowed from other people's experiences.

A republic necessarily requires a different political mindset from that
which is resident in the majority of our heads.

Most politicians are not trusted largely because they tend to promise what
they cannot deliver.

We look up to people who derive an income from the sweat of others and when
they administer public funds they behave as if they have generated the

Politicians would like the public to believe that the state is capable of
creating resources forgetting that free people are capable of generating
extraordinary outcomes not because political actors want them to but out of
self interest.

A good politician ought to be a servant whose primary mission is to advance
the interests of the people he/she represents.

Africa has produced its own political superstars. If anything, the world
knows more about what they say than what they actually do in office.

Largely because of weak institutional foundations, many African political
parties from whom politicians are drawn tend to be weak and underfunded.

Whilst people find faith more attractive, politics is not readily embraced
as a career leaving the few who choose to invest in the political industry
being unaccountable thereby exposing citizens to helpless in terms of any
change agenda without divine assistance.

It has been remarked that any person who overstays in power ceases to be
sane and useful to him/her.

Power can corrupt and absolute power is toxic.

However, politicians are daily encouraged by citizens who constantly
approach them for assistance and facilitation on things that they can do for
themselves in the belief that a politician's purpose is to serve his circle
of friends and not the nation at large.

The only reason I call my car mine is because of the law. Without the rule
of law, what is mine may only be so when there is no stronger person to
claim such right or asset.

We have accepted that we must be nations of laws otherwise the rules of an
animal farm will apply and yet many of our societies exhibit characteristics
of an animal farm.

Politicians become powerful on the back of state power and it is not unusual
for politicians to use such power to limit freedom.

With respect to political role models, Africa has few of them.

For the youth who want to serve their nations, the space is continues to be
dominated by a few and the landscape is infested with dangerous landmines
and political potholes.

Although competition produces best outcomes for the consumer regrettably the
same cannot be said in the political industry where big man see in people
who have made a career out of politics and see no future out of it.

The foundations of nation state building in Africa have to be located in the
colonial story.

The settlers understood that they had to fend for themselves and create a
new home with the kind of civilization they were accustomed to.

Political power was inextricably linked to economic power. Institutions were
built to serve the people who needed such institutions. State actors had no
choice but to play a catalytic and supportive role.

There was no room for tyranny against the settler community from whom
resources were to be generated to support the state. Tyranny was directed at
the majority who were simply not part of the deal on account of the fact
that it was deemed that they had no stake in a modern state.

Independence brought with it a new dispensation that should have allowed for
greater citizen participation in civic and state activities.

However, the space continues to be limited and crowded by tired faces of
Africa who do not know when to leave office.

We need to invest in political literacy so that citizens can assume more
control of their future than allow a few wise men/women to decide their

There is much at stake for us to refuse to be part of it.

Does a politician need to be smart? We all want our politicians to be book
smart and yet no leader has to write any examination before elected.  We all
trust that the selected people will know what the real purpose of the state
is and what citizens want to see.

However, any civilisation that trusts anyone with too much power is doomed
to fail.

We need to appreciate the real purpose of the state as an instrument of the
power to advance their cause rather than as the driver of change.

The selection process of political actors is too imperfect to be trusted and
the rules applied in the industry are treacherous at best and not
people-centred. - ZimOnline

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Sacrificing subjects

Dear Family and Friends,

Not a lot of school leavers in Zimbabwe will want to remember the
last two years of their education. For most its been a time of such
hardship, disappointment and despair that it will be nothing short of
miraculous if they pass their O Level's which are now almost finished.

One youngster whose education I have been helping with since she was
five years old, has just written her O Level's and looking back on
her schooling is a horrible nightmare and something no child should
have to go through.

In 2000 when she was 7 years old and learning to read and write,
*Tsitsi found herself on the roadside with her parents when we were
all evicted from our homes on a commercial farm by a bunch of Zanu PF

In 2003, when she was 10 and practising her spelling and learning
about grammar, Tsisti changed schools and went back to live in a
rural village. Her Aunt and Uncle had both just died of Aids and
there were two young cousins who had to be taken care of. Every cent
was needed and every pair of hands too.

Back in a rural school in 2005, a 12 year old learning about
geography and science, Tsisti suddenly found she had to share her
desk and then sit on the floor as scores of new children arrived.
Their homes in towns had been destroyed by government bulldozers in
what was called

Operation Murambatsvina and the school and village were suddenly full
of strangers who had lost everything. Tsitsi learnt that when someone
came to the doorstep and held out an empty bowl it meant they were
hungry and the family would have to share. That same year Tsitsi

missed many days of learning when teachers were forced to go to Zanu
PF rallies, or when the school was closed for elections and the
teachers went away to do polling duty. There were plenty of strange
young men around, threatening, frightening and watching and Tsitsi
learned to stay close to her Mum. At the end of that year Tsitsi
wrote her Grade 7 examinations marking the end of junior school. It
would be two years before she got the results and she hadn't done
very well.

For the whole of 2008, a 15 year old teenager, Tsitsi only spent 32
days at school. The rest of the time the school was not operating.
There were no teachers, the classrooms were locked and a lone
caretaker was sometimes there but he always told the children they
could not even come and read the textbooks and should go away - try
next week. This was the year when Tsitsi should have been studying
the first year of the O level syllabus.

When Tsitsi went to pay exam fees to write 7 subjects at O level in
November 2009, she was told she also had to pay for paper to write
the tests on and she sacrificed one subject because she didn't have
enough money. She dropped another subject in order to pay the 10 US
cents per student per day being demanded by teachers in order to
teach this last term. This 10 cents a day is on top of school fees,
school association levies and a raft of other charges that arise
almost every week for one miscellany or another.

Tsitsi has just finished writing her 5 O level exams and left school.
At the end of her school life she has only ever done her homework by
candlelight; she has never learnt how to even switch on a computer;
she missed the entire first year of her O level syllabus and has only
been allowed to take a text book home after school three or four times
in her entire school life.Tsitsi has done almost her entire schooling
wearing second hand uniforms, no shoes or second hand ones that were
not the right size and carrying her books in a plastic bag. In her O
level year Tsitsi dug weeds from a field for two weeks in exchange
for a second hand school dress.

Thirty years ago Mr Mugabe and Zanu PF promised education for all by
the year 2000 but Tsitsi is the reality of what they gave us. No one
really knows how Education Minister David Coltart managed to get
Zimbabwe's schools open again this year or how he persuaded teachers
to work for a pittance, but he did. All credit to him and to
thousands of teachers and hundreds of thousands of students for
enduring, suffering and sacrificing. Until next time, thanks for
reading, love cathy�Copyright cathy buckle 12 December 2009.

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A letter from the diaspora

Written by Pauline Henson
Saturday, 12 December 2009 17:21
Dear Friends.
In the same week that the Minister of Finance vigorously condemned the
excessive spending by government ministers on foreign travel, comes the
news that Robert Mugabe is to attend the UN Climate Change Conference in
Copenhagen next week.

It's hard to see what meaningful contribution Mugabe can make to a debate on
climate change when he and his bunch of crazed war veterans have done more
than a little to contribute to it by chopping down trees, slaughtering wild
life and destroying the natural environment. While the AU fulminates about
the west's miserly contribution to the funds allocated to help poorer
nations counteract climate change, they remain silent on Zimbabwe's
destruction of the environment. No doubt, Mugabe will manage to blame
sanctions for climate change along with all the other ills he and his party
have brought down on the heads of Zimbabweans at home and in the world-wide
But before he ventures into the Scandinavian winter, Mugabe must first face
the 10.000 or so delegates at the Zanu PF Congress. With a complete blackout
of news about the 'Talks', on the grounds that "discussing them in public
would only weaken their positions" - whatever that means! - journalists in
Zimbabwe have filled their columns with speculation about Mugabe's future
and the possible splits inside Zanu PF. We are led to believe that the party
is desperate to revive its fortunes, financially and politically.
Unfortunately, that does not include ditching the Dear Leader. It seems that
Zanu PF top people, terrified of losing their ill-gotten gains and of
prosecution by the ICC, have firmly endorsed Mugabe as Party Leader for the
next five years. By which time the Dear Leader will have reached the grand
old age of 91, almost in line for a telegram from HMQ. His real intention of
course is to remain in office until death, always assuming he admits that
possibility! Only death would automatically exclude him from prosecution for
human rights abuses, at least from an earthly court.
On International Human Rights Day, AIDS Free World, an international
advocacy group, issued a damning report that indicated quite explicitly that
prior to the 2008 elections Zanu PF mounted a systematic campaign of rape
against women aligned to the MDC. The report contains sworn affidavits of 70
victims of rape by Zanu PF supporters who actually gave their names to their
victims and told them why they were being raped: because they were wives,
mothers, daughters or sisters of MDC officials. There were no less than 380
rapes and 241 perpetrators named in this report which further claimed that
the campaign was quite deliberate. It was organized by the Joint Operations
Command and Mugabe not only knew about it, he was complicit in that he
refused to punish those responsible. "The evidence is incontrovertible and
unassailable," maintains Stephen Lewis the co-director of AIDS Free World.
Will the rest of the world take any notice of this detailed 64 page-long
report? Will SADC or the AU, armed with such a damning indictment of one of
their own members find the courage to condemn Robert Mugabe and the Zanu PF
members responsible for such heinous crimes against humanity? On past
experience, it is unlikely, I would say.
For me, there was one small item of good news this week. That was the news
that the MDC has expelled and suspended members of their party found to be
corrupt. "All the bad apples are going to be crushed," announced Nelson
Chamisa. "We don't want a culture of violence, we want a culture of
discourse." At last, we have a frank admission of something which many of us
have suspected for a very long time: that the MDC is not immune to the
all-pervasive moral decline that has dominated Zimbabwean political and
social life in recent years. The MDC cannot continue to expect the
unquestioning support of ordinary Zimbabweans at home and abroad if they
abandon the moral integrity that first attracted us to the party. Many of us
profoundly disagreed with their decision to join Zanu PF in a government of
national unity but we accepted it because we were told it was the only way
forward if the country was not to be plunged into even greater suffering.
When I heard fellow Zimbabweans expounding the view that the MDC in
government would be no better than Zanu PF, I dismissed it as mere cynicism
of the sort one hears all the time about the behaviour of politicians. I
heard it again this week when a good friend from home, exiled here in the
UK, phoned me. He had been a passionate supporter of the MDC from the
beginning but now he is utterly disillusioned. "They're all the same," he
said, "once they get into power." You can be sure he won't be going home any
time soon no matter how often Morgan Tsvangirai urges Zimbabweans abroad to
return and help rebuild the country. "Go home to what?" my friend asked,
"When there are no jobs." He has a point.
An editorial in the Zimbabwe Independent this week claimed "Zimbabweans in
the diaspora will not return home until there's peace and security," to
which I would add justice and equality for all, not excluding Zimbabweans of
a lighter shade. When the MDC regains its courage and moral integrity and
raises its voice in defence of human rights for ALL Zimbabweans, regardless
of their race and colour, then I might begin to believe in them again.
Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH

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Bill Watch Special of 12th December 2009[Parliamentary Committee meetings 14th to 17th December]


[12th December 2009]

House of Assembly Portfolio Committees and Senate Thematic Committees 14th to 17th December

All the meetings listed below will be open to members of the public, but as observers only, not as participants[See note at the end of this bulletin on public attendance/participation at different types of committee meetings.]  

Monday 14th December Morning at 10 am

Portfolio Committee on Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism

Briefing from CAMPFIRE Association

Committee Room No. 311

Clerk: Mr Ndlovu

Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development

Oral evidence from Air Zimbabwe

Committee Room No. 1

Clerk: Ms Macheza

Tuesday 15th December Morning at 10 am

Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Water, Lands and Resettlement

2010 Budget Review meeting with Ministry of Agriculture Officials

Committee Room No. 4

Clerk:  Mr Ndlovu

Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce

Oral evidence from the Association of Textile Industries

Committee Room No. 311

Clerk: Mr Ratsakatika

Wednesday 16th December Morning at 9 am

Thematic Committee on Peace and Security

Oral evidence from Ministry of Agriculture on food security

Committee Room No. 4

Clerk: Mr Daniel

Thursday 17th December Morning at 10 am

Portfolio Committee on Education, Sport and Culture

1. Briefing from the Iranian Delegation on Culture

2. Chairman's briefing on UNESCO

Committee Room No. 4

Clerk: Miss Mudavanhu

Public Attendance at and Participation in Committee Meetings

These portfolio and thematic committee meetings are open to the public to attend as observers only.  Members of the public wishing to attend a meeting should telephone Parliament first [on Harare 700181], to check with the relevant committee clerk that the meeting has not been cancelled.  Please use the Kwame Nkrumah Avenue entrance to Parliament.  IDs must be produced.

Members of the public are only free to participate when committees call public hearings.  Veritas will send out separate notices of these public hearings and outline the procedures.  Committees also sometimes have meetings where invited stakeholders [and those who notify Parliament that they consider themselves stakeholders and are accepted as such] are able to make representations and ask questions.  These meetings will be highlighted in these notices.  Portfolio and thematic committees also have meetings for deliberations which are not open to the public, and these are not listed in these notices.


Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.


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