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Announcement Seen Soon From Zimbabwe Unity Principals on Talks Progress

Sources close to the talks said issues including the empaneling of Media and
Electoral commissions had been resolved, though not much progress has been
made on the more contentious question of top political appointments

Jonga Kandemiiri and Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington 14 December 2009

The heads of the three parties in Zimbabe's unity government met Monday to
discuss the outcome of the latest round of talks on outstanding issues
troubling power sharing, and were said to be preparing to an announcement.

Sources close to the talks said issues including the empaneling of Media and
Electoral commissions had been resolved, though not much progress has been
made on the more contentious question of top political appointments with
ZANU-PF hardliners digging in at a party congress on the weekend.

Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri
that an announcement could be expected this week.

Sources said negotiators for ZANU-PF have recommended that the unity
principals address a news conference and call for Western sanctions - one of
the former ruling party's high-priority issues - to be lifted.

They also called on their leaders to publicly denounce hate speech and urge
members of their parties to co-exist peacefully.

There were no indications that the negotiators were anywhere closed to
settling the question of replacing Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono or
Attorney General Johannes Tomana, a priority for Mr. Tsvangirai's MDC.

President Robert Mugabe has been adamant about keeping both men in place -
he reappointed or appointed both of them in late 2008 without consulting his
future partners in government - and the ZANU-PF congress which ended on the
weekend resolved that no concessions should be made on this point.

Political analyst George Mkhwanazi told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili
Nkomo that such intransigence will further destabilize power sharing.

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Mugabe, Zuma clash looms

Monday, 14 December 2009 14:23
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe looks headed for a clash with South African
President Jacob Zuma after his Zanu (PF) party told the new SADC-appointed
mediator to be "patient" with Zimbabwe's political crisis and insisted it
would resist attempts to reform the country's partisan security forces.
(Pictured: President Jacob Zuma - Told to be patient )

Fresh clashes also loom between Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
after last week's Zanu (PF) national congress resolved that any issues
agreed so far in power-sharing negotiations that have been taking place in
Harare would only be implemented when the MDC-T has successfully called for
the lifting of a travel ban and asset freeze imposed by the West on Mugabe
and 200 of his loyalists.
"There should be no movement on the concerns of the MDC formations without
corresponding and simultaneous redress of Zanu (PF)'s concerns such as the
illegal Western sanctions, Western-funded pirate radio broadcasts and
Western interference in Zimbabwean internal politics through the funding of
parallel government structures," read part of the resolutions adopted by
Mugabe's party last Saturday.
Such ranting against "foreign interference" is to be expected from a Zanu
(PF) meeting but in the backdrop of Zuma's entry as new mediator and his
reported intent to push for quicker resolution of outstanding issues, the
congress resolutions look like they were specifically meant for the South
African President's ear.
Of particular interest is one resolution that talks of "no foreigners,
individuals, corporates or national (sic) in whatever capacity or any from
time to time find themselves involved in aspects of Zimbabwe's bilateral
disputes have the right to impose a constitutional order on Zimbabwe."
The resolution gives the impression that Mugabe and Zanu (PF) would not
accept a new constitution unless the document reflects the wishes and views
of their own party - regardless of what Zuma and the rest of the
international community think.
Constitutional reform is in fact the most important task for the
power-sharing government formed by Mugabe and Tsvangirai in February and
which was guaranteed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Zanu (PF) asked Zuma to be patient with Zimbabwe's political crisis and to
understand that the parties have "delicate, sensitive fundamental concerns
that cannot be resolved overnight".
The call for patience appears to suggest Mugabe's party is not too happy
with the way Zuma has gone about trying to have the outstanding issues
resolved quickly.
Zuma, who replaced former South African president Thabo Mbeki last month as
SADC-appointed mediator in the Zimbabwean crisis, is said to be anxious to
see a quick resolution of the problems in Harare.
The South African leader is said to be keen to have the Zimbabwean political
dispute resolved quickly to avoid bad publicity that could cloud the World
Cup tournament that is happening on African soil for the first time.
To show that he was serious about a fast-tracked resolution of Zimbabwe's
crisis, one of his first tasks as mediator was to sack the old facilitation
team appointed by former South African President Thabo Mbeki and putting
together his own group of people.
The new three-member team is headed by Zuma's political adviser Charles
Nqakula and includes special envoy Mac Maharaj and the president's
international relations adviser Lindiwe Zulu.
The appointment of a new facilitation team completed the removal of Mbeki
and his envoys since Zuma assumed the facilitator's role at last month's
SADC defence and security organ summit in Maputo.
Since the start of the inter-party negotiations between Zanu (PF) party and
the MDC-T, Mbeki has been accused of adopting a softly-softly approach
towards Mugabe.
The MDC has on several occasions requested that Mbeki be relieved of his
mediation role in the Zimbabwean crisis.

Security sector
Another potential clash-point between Mugabe and Zuma on the one hand, and
Mugabe and Tsvangirai on the other, is the Zimbabwean leader's insistence
that he would never allow any move to change or reform the security forces
as demanded by the MDC-T and the international community.
The MDC-T is pressing for reform of the security forces that the Prime
Minister's party says have been heavily politicised and have virtually
become a security arm of Zanu (PF).
"May I state this clearly and categorically, (that) as Zanu (PF) the defence
of our sovereignty rests with us and with no other. Any manoeuvres to tamper
with the forces will never be entertained by us," said Mugabe, who has had
to rely on the security forces since 2000 to prop up his waning political
Many senior security officers have vowed never to recognise Tsvangirai as
The remarks by Mugabe came just days after Tsvangirai announced last
Thursday that his office had embarked on reforms of the security forces
despite resistance encountered from some quarters of Zimbabwe's fragile
coalition government.
The premier said his office was working with relevant ministries on a
programme to train members of the security forces on key governance issues
such as human rights as part of efforts to turn the army, intelligence
service and police force into non-partisan outfits that respect the laws of
the land and enforce them impartially.
"Within the GPA (Global Political Agreement), there is a commitment to train
all security personnel in human rights and my office has already begun to
work with the relevant ministries on these programmes regardless of any
resistance we may encounter," Tsvangirai said during a presentation at an
event organised by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights in Harare.

Security Council
The move by Tsvangirai appears calculated to beat hawkish elements in
Zimbabwe's armed forces and Zanu (PF) who have deliberately frustrated
efforts to regularly convene meetings of the National Security Council
The council, which replaced the Joint Military Command (JOC) which was
allegedly behind last year's bloody run-off election campaign to retain
Mugabe, is supposed to meet monthly but has only met once since the
formation of a coalition government by the 85-year leader, Tsvangirai and
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara in February.
The NSC is the new security think tank of the country and comprises Mugabe
as chairperson, the two Vice-Presidents John Nkomo and Joice Mujuru,
Tsvangirai, Mutambara, co-Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe as well as
ministers responsible for finance, defence and the police Force.
All the country's top security commanders are ex-officio members of the

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Biti eyes SADC common currency by 2013

14/12/2009 00:00:00

SOUTHERN African countries could have a common currency as early as three
years, Zimbabwe Finance Minister said.

Tendai Biti said the currency would likely be the South African rand "by
another name".

"We are happy to go that route," Biti said during a lecture at the
University of Manchester last Friday.

Biti said he expected the currency to be adopted first by the 14-nation
trade bloc, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and could
expand to include countries in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern
Africa (Comesa).

But the minister said the plan depended on regional powerhouse, South
Africa, giving its nod.

Biti added: "There is some way to go, certainly there would be a need to
create a SADC reserve bank. We could end up with a union along the lines of
the European Union.

"If South Africa is flexible, then this dream for some of us would not be a
dream anymore."

Biti said the economies of Southern African countries, taken individually,
were too small to attract big money international investors.

"We must create one big market to be competitive. A single currency would
also strengthen our union and foster regional integration."

Biti said the push for a common currency could spell the death of the
Zimbabwe dollar which is currently suspended following Zimbabwe's decision
to dollarise earlier this year.

Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar,
Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland,
Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe currently form SADC.

Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Seychelles, Mauritius, the DRC, Swaziland, Malawi and
Zambia are also in Comesa along with Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt,
Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Rwanda, Sudan, and Uganda.

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Thugfest at Climate Conference Environment

| Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 11:42:53 am PST

Someone at the United Nations thought it would be a great idea for us to
hear what thugs, dictators, and religious fanatics think about global

    COPENHAGEN -Iranian Prime Minister Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe plan to address
negotiators at international climate talks in Copenhagen next week.

This, of course, disproves the Great Climate Change Hoax. Come on, people,
it's another piece of the puzzle! CRU emails, Ahmadinejad, Chavez . don't
you see the New World Order conspiracy?

Yes, that's sarcasm, in case you had any doubt.

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Tsvangirai aborts trip, Mugabe grabs plane

by Own Correspondents Tuesday 15 December 2009

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai aborted a trip to the United
Nations climate summit as President Robert Mugabe commandeered an Air
Zimbabwe jet to fly him to the conference underway in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In an incident that gives a small glimpse into the differences between
Mugabe and Tsvangirai's style of management and politics, the PM's office
said he was calling off the trip to ensure one delegation and a united voice
from Harare at the summit.

Tsvangirai's spokesman James Maridadi said the move was also meant to save
on the little cash available to the Harare coalition government.

"Mr Morgan Tsvangirai will not be attending the climate change summit
meeting in Copenhagen this week," the PM's spokesman James Maridadi said.

He added: "In the spirit of unity and speaking with one voice ... and in the
spirit of promoting a single delegation from Zimbabwe, Prime Minister
Tsvangirai decided to stay at home. The decision to stay is also informed by
revelations of a bloated government foreign travel budget by Finance
Minister Tendai Biti in his recent budget statement."

Tsvangirai would have led a 19-member delegation to Denmark.

Mugabe's office did not speak about his trip to Copenhagen but sources said
the globetrotting President was due to leave Harare Monday night with a
bloated 59-member delegation.

And Mugabe was going to grab one of Air Zimbabwe's few remaining jets to fly
him to Denmark, something the veteran leader has regularly done on his
countless trips abroad and often leaving passengers stranded.

But Air Zimbabwe chief executive officer Peter Chikumba yesterday defended
Mugabe's habit of commandeering planes saying the airline has always ensured
that clients are not inconvenienced whenever the President or any other
individuals charter planes from the airline.

"We do get requests from government and individuals. For example, I do not
think it is a secret that tonight we (Air Zimbabwe) are going to
Copenhagen .. we (will) find a compromise within our routes and the intended
destination," said Chikumba during a presentation to a special parliamentary
committee on transport.

The 85-year-old Mugabe has not cut down on his trips abroad even after the
United States, European Union, Switzerland, Canada and Australia banned the
Zimbabwean leader and his top allies from their territories as punishment
failure to uphold democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

For example foreign travel by Mugabe and members of his bloated Cabinet
chewed up US$28.4 million or 22.5 percent of the US$126.4 million allocated
for ministries' operational expenses between January and October this year,
according to figures released by Finance Minister Tendai Biti two weeks ago

This translated to nearly five percent of total expenditure of US$640.8
million incurred by the coalition government up to October and was
equivalent to the amount spent on capital projects during the same period.

In a bid to cut down on official gallivanting Biti, who is from Tsvangirai's
MDC party, said with effect from January 2010, business travel for ministers
and their officials would be limited to allocated amounts which would be
made available monthly.

It remains to be seen whether Biti will be able to stop Mugabe going on his
never ending foreign trips that the President insists have been beneficial
to the country but which many Zimbabweans say have not yielded anything
tangible and are waste of scarce resources. -- ZimOnline.

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‘Zim’s health system still strained’

by Sebastian Nyamhangambiri Tuesday 15 December 2009

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s Health Minister Henry Madzorera on Monday said the
country’s health delivery system is still strained and needs strengthening
to be able to adequately deal with cholera which last year’s killed more
than 4 000 people countrywide.

“We believe that that this year we are better prepared,” said Madzorera at
the opening of the First Annual Regional Conference on Immunisation in
Africa organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) African region in
Harare yesterday.

“However we still need to improve our disease surveillance systems which are
currently faced with human resource constraints, poor communication networks
and limited utilisation of data collected. Communicable disease control
needs strengthening,” he said.

Last year a cholera epidemic – that the WHO labelled the worst in Africa in
more than 15 years – killed 4 288 Zimbabweans out of 98 592 infections.

The situation could have been worse had it not been for the international
aid agencies which moved in to rescue the situation.

Last week United Nations (UN) Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian
Affairs and Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator Catherine Bragg said the
humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe was still “fragile” despite some
successes by President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s
February unity government.

Since October, cholera has re-emerged and there has been about 100 cases of
infections and at least five lives claimed. ?

The WHO conference has drawn health ministers and vaccination experts from
the continent and will end on Thursday.

According to WHO Africa director Luis Gomes Sambo, the conference is
“expected to review the status of immunisation in the African region and
propose more efficient ways of utilisation of immunisation tools and

He said this was important in light of the fact that sub-Saharan Africa
still accounted for 51 percent of all under-fiver-year-olds’ deaths

He added that as of December 2008, routine immunisation coverage in the
region had increased in the last decade from 40 to 75 percent.

“However, the overall increase in routine immunisation coverage rate masks
disparities between and within countries. For example, about five million
children missed DTP3 vaccination in 2008 and 75 percent of them are
concentrated in 10 countries.”

On immunisation programmes in Zimbabwe, Madzorera said before the formation
of the unity government, raising funds was “extremely” difficult. He added
that: “(Now) problems of transport and human resources were more serious
that having the actual drugs”. – ZimOnline

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Regional Immunization Conference Under Way in Harare

Ish Mafundikwa | Harare 14 December 2009

The first annual regional World Health Organization conference on
immunization is underway in Harare.

On the agenda of the conference is a review of the status of immunization in
the 46-country sub-Saharan region, according to WHO Regional Director Dr.
Luis Gomes Sambo.

"And also to share information about new vaccines and also to share
information about the current levels of coverage of immunization services in
the African region," said Luis Gomes Sambo.

The conference takes place at a time when there has been a considerable
decline of under-five mortality in the region.  But Dr. Sambo said
sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 51 percent of all under-five deaths
globally in 2008.  At this rate, he said, Africa cannot achieve the fourth
U.N. Millenium Development Goal to reduce under-five mortality rate by
two-thirds between 1990 and 2015.

Dr. Sambo said though progress has been made, preventable diseases like
measles are still among the leading causes of death for young children.  In
2008, 18 children died from measles every hour.

Polio is another disease on the retreat.  Since the launch of the Global
Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, polio infections have declined by 99
percent with less than 2,000 cases reported in 2006.  As of last year only
Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Nigeria remain polio endemic.

The immunization target for Africa is at least 85 percent.  At the moment it
is only 74 percent.  Dr. Sambo said there are still many challenges to
achieve the target.

"We need better management of the available resources for immunization,
human resources, technologies and we need increased funding to improve the
capacity of governments to purchase vaccines and we need also greater
mobilization of people," he said. "We need to inform people that to bring
their people to vaccination campaigns."

Participants from WHO headquarters, regional offices, four African health
ministers, other U.N. agencies and WHO immunization partners are attending
the conference that continues through Thursday.

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Australia gives Zim US$5m aid

by Own Correspondent Tuesday 15 December 2009

JOHANNESBURG - Australia said on Monday it will provide US$5 million to
Zimbabwe for business grants despite its continuing condemnation of
President Robert Mugabe's continuing rule.

"Humanitarian need in Zimbabwe remains enormous," Australian Foreign
Minister Stephen Smith told reporters on Monday.

"Australia continues to be concerned by the grave situation in Zimbabwe:
there must be an end to politically motivated acts of violence and
intimidation, human rights and the rule of law must be respected;
constitutional law must proceed unhindered," he added.

Smith said Australia had pledged the contribution - which will be used to
finance private activities to boost the southern African country's rural
economy and address long-term food security needs - through the Africa
Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), an African-wide initiative led by the
United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

The fund provides matching grants to private sector businesses for
commercially viable projects, which cannot get finance.

A long time critic of Mugabe's rule, Smith said Australia was committed to
assisting Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai rebuild Zimbabwe.

"We continue to be very concerned about the ongoing conduct of President
Mugabe. We welcome very much that South Africa through its new president is
taking a very keen interest in the oversight of the Global Political
Agreement (GPA)," he said, referring to the pact that paved the way for
power-sharing in Zimbabwe.

Australia has financial and travel sanctions in place against Mugabe and
members of his ZANU PF party inner circle whom it accuses of being complicit
in the brutality of Zimbabwe's past and continuing to obstruct economic and
social reforms.

The latest contribution boosts Australia's aid to Zimbabwe to US$33 million
since February 2009 when Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed the inclusive
government that has managed to stabilise the economy although it continues
to be dogged by squabbles over the implementation of the GPA.

The coming into office of the new administration led to greater cooperation
between the international humanitarian community and the Zimbabwean
authorities, improvement in the country's socio-economic and humanitarian
situation, and improved humanitarian access to vulnerable populations. -

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Zimbabwe faces expulsion from CITES

December 15, 2009

By Owen Chikari

MASVINGO - Zimbabwe risks being expelled from the Convention on
International Trade of Endangered Species, CITES, after losing about 26
percent of its rhino population in less than three years due to rampant

The country is believed to have lost about 160 rhinos since 2006 a figure
which is considered too high by animal welfare organisations.

According to the organisations, among them the Species Survival Commission
and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the loss
represents about 26 percent of Zimbabwe's rhino population.

"The number of the rhino population is expected to decrease further by about
14 percent if poaching in the southern African country is not controlled",
reads their report in part.

"There has been rampant poaching in the country's sanctuaries and it is
feared that some animal species especially the rhino might face extinction."

Officials within the department of national parks and wildlife have
confirmed that Harare has irked CITES and the international body has issued
a stern warning over unchecked poaching activities.

"We have been warned and given six months to ensure that we comply with
CITES standards".

CITES is an international body whose duty is to regulate and supervise the
trade on endangered species among member states.

Poaching is allegedly rampant in the Gonarezhou and Hwange National Parks,
where it is believed that senior Zanu-PF politicians and government
officials are indiscriminately killing wildlife.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife has since banned all hunting activities
as it battles to control the illegal killing of wildlife.

Vitalis Chadenga the director of Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has
denied that Zanu-PF functionaries and senior government officials are
involved in poaching.

"We have banned all hunting activities in our sanctuaries in order to
control poaching activities", said Chadenga in a statement

"Our investigations have not nailed any politician as has been reported in
the press".

However the country is failing to control poaching activities due to, among
other things, the presence of farm invaders who moved into the sanctuaries
during the height of farm invasion with the tacit approval of President
Robert Mugabe's government.

In Gonarezhou national park about 720 families from the Chitsa clan have
invaded the extensive park. They have refused to vacate the park, arguing
that they are just repossessing their land.

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Victims of Zimbabwe blitz struggle to build houses

By Reagan Mashavave (AFP) - 2 hours ago

HARARE - Four years after her house was demolished in a blitz by Zimbabwe's
government, Chipo Chama still lives in a grass thatched shack struggling to
find a better home for herself and her two children.

Though she is married to a builder, the 27-year-old housewife has rickety
wooden planks for walls and covers her roof with plastic sheeting to keep
out the rain in Harare's Hatcliffe suburb -- far from the neighbourhood
where she used to live.

"Right now I don't have a housing lot, but we are paying money to local
co-operatives (to save for a down payment) so we may get lots to build
houses," Chama said.

And she is far from alone. According to official estimates, some two million
Zimbabweans in this country of 12.2 million require accommodation.

In 2005, Chama had a sturdy brick and cement house with asbestos roofing,
but the government bulldozed it, saying it was illegal and was not fit for
human habitation.

The blitz, which was named Murambatsvina -- meaning "Drive out filth" -- 
left more than 700,000 people homeless and shattered the livelihoods of 2.4
million people whose small businesses were also destroyed by President
Robert Mugabe's government.

The police and the army gave only short notice to people to move their
property from buildings slated for destruction, causing property losses
estimated in millions of dollars.

Some now live in settings far worse than the homes that were razed, often
without water, electricity or sewers, coping with harsh conditions made even
more abject by the country's economic straits.

The campaign was widely seen as an attempt to tamp out support for the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which enjoys much of its
support in Zimbabwe's cities.

But since MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai joined a unity government with Mugabe
in February, little has changed for the victims.

Chama says she lost property worth 300 US dollars -- a huge sum in a country
where per capita GDP was estimated at 200 dollars last year.

Despite her loss, she hopes one day she will be able to find a lot to build
a house for her family.

"I hope that in the years to come we will be able to build homes like in
other surburbs," Chama said.

Another victim of Murambatsvina, builder John Chitawa, 49, told AFP that his
life has never been the same after his property and little belongings were
demolished in the clean up campaign but says life has moved on, and is
picking up from where he left four years ago.

"When Murambatsvina hit us we lost a lot of things because the two roomed
house I had built and the property was destroyed," Chitawa said adding that
he lost valuables worth 3,000 dollars.

"The whole property I had was lost, my bed, my wardrobe, radio. I was
attending a funeral when the blitz came and everything was destroyed and I
was left at ground zero."

Chitawa, one of the few who got a housing lot from the government after
Murambatsvina, has already built four rooms but there is no electricity,
water is not flowing in taps and he uses a ventilated pit latrine -- known
here as a Blair Toilet -- as the sewer system is not functioning well.

A few houses were built by the government of President Robert Mugabe in 2005
but were far from accommodating all the victims of Murambatsvina and the
houses lacked water and sewers.

Housing Minister Fidelis Mhashu said the new unity government is mapping up
a policy to build low-income housing, adding that if the country does not
give priority to building houses for the homeless slums will emerge.

"We don't have slums in this country of the likes of those in Kibera, Kenya,
and other countries," he said referring to one of the biggest slums in

"We are aware that if we don't act with speed we are going to have problems
of slums appearing or mushrooming," Mhashu said.

Mhashu estimates that the country has a housing backlog of two million
people and said the government will approach donor countries and financial
institutions to assist in building houses as the government doesn't have

"Our country estimate is about two million people require accommodation,"
Mhashu said.

"We are frantically looking for funds from our financiers throughout the

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MDC dismisses Zanu-PF’s “false bravado”

December 15, 2009

By Our Correspondent

HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has described as false
bravado plans by Zanu-PF to ban any further discussion of last year’s
unilateral appointments of party loyalists to key government positions by
President Robert Mugabe.

MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa told The Zimbabwe Times Monday that Zanu-PF’s
intransigence continued to be a threat to the relative stability that the
country has experienced since the inclusive government was formed 10 months

“Inclusiveness entails compromise,” Chamisa said, “It would be unfortunate
if Zanu-PF continues to dig in their heels and hoping that the country can
move forward.

“It is political suicide. When people are determined to commit suicide, no
matter how much you try to help them they will always try to find a way of
killing themselves.”

In a development that is sure to trigger off more tension within the
inclusive government, a Zanu-PF congress on Saturday resolved to bar party
leader Mugabe and negotiators from discussing anything that relates to the
controversial status of central bank governor Gideon Gono, Attorney General
Johannes Tomana and Zanu-PF loyalists appointed to provincial governorship

Zanu-PF further declared it would not entertain any discussions centering on
any reforms of the security forces.

Zanu-PF claimed it had the sole right to determine the affairs of the
partisan security institutions as they were formed through its liberation
war forces.

“If that is their intention, then it is very unfortunate because that kind
of paradigm and thinking belongs to the past. It belongs to the world of
retrogression,” Chamisa said.

“For us, it means nothing. It has no meaning to us. We are all in this
agreement voluntarily.

“Nobody was forced to sign this agreement. This agreement is for the mutual
and collective good of our country but of course you know that our
colleagues do not understand the difference between good and bad.

“We will persuade them to realise that difference but if they want to
believe their own propaganda, we will not stop them.”

Chamisa could however not be drawn into revealing what options the MDC had
if Zanu-PF went ahead with its publicly declared intentions.

“The MDC tool-box has enough arsenals to deploy for effective results for
the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.

“Unlike Zanu-PF, we are full of ideas, full of options, we have great minds,
we have time on our side, we have age on our side and more importantly we
have the support of the people and the world.

“It is only in Zanu-PF and among very few individuals that you find
vilification of MDC. Otherwise the whole nation and whole world are
celebrating the gallant effort of the MDC in rescuing not only the economy
but Zanu-PF itself.

“Stomachs are not branded Zanu-PF or MDC. When human beings go to the shops,
they are confronted by the same shelves regardless of their party

During its congress, Zanu-PF further accused the MDC of selling out and
attempting to sabotage the land reform programme which it declared was

Chamisa responded, “Finger-pointing is the game of losers. It is the
language of losers. Winners don’t point fingers. Agonising is the language
of losers and blunt instruments.”

Chamisa further dismissed claims by Zanu-PF that it authored the prevailing
economic stability by introducing the use of foreign currency long before
the inclusive government was formed.

He said the current economic stability was not limited to the multi-currency
regime but was a result of the change in the culture of transacting
government business that the MDC had brought into government.

“It is a whole mix of strategies that have been deployed to rescue our
economy,” he said.

“The MDC has brought the much-needed stop to the bleeding that the economy
was experiencing after Zanu-PF had run out of ideas on how to stop it.

“We brought the positive side of things in as far as the transactional
government business is concerned.”

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Govt abandons people living with HIV- ZLHR

Written by Fungai Kwaramba
Monday, 14 December 2009 15:06
HARARE - There is lack of commitment on the part of the Government to
provide people living with HIV/AIDS a high standard of health care,
according to the Human Rights and Law Project of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for
Human Rights (ZLHR).
"In Zimbabwe, out of the 350 000 people who urgently need treatment, only
190 000 people are in the government roll out programme. Commitment from the
central government to facilitate its obligation to ensure the highest
attainable standard of health, including treatment, care and support is
lacking," a ZLHR spokesperson said last week as the country observed World
Aids day.
The rights group observed that the human rights situation in Zimbabwe
contrasted sharply with this year World Aids Day theme, "Universal Access
and Human Rights".  "Universal access to treatment in Zimbabwe remains a
mirage. Access to HIV and AIDS treatment, prevention and care is proving to
be a mammoth task for most people in Zimbabwe," said the spokesperson.
In light of this, ZLHR called upon the government to show commitment to
universal access to treatment and create conditions which would ensure
medical service and medical attention to all in the event of access.

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Fresh scandal hits mining sector

Written by Staff Reporter
Monday, 14 December 2009 14:15
HARARE - Zimbabwe's troubled mining sector, still smarting from allegations
of rampant smuggling and rights abuses at the controversial Chiadzwa diamond
fields, has been rocked by another crisis - this time involving accusations
that the parent Ministry of Mines has not been following laid-down
procedures in the issuing of mining claims.

The ministry is alleged to be operating without a properly constituted
Mining Affairs Board, a clear violation of the Mines and Minerals Act.
Under the Act the board is supposed to ensure transparency in the issuing of
mining titles and overall operations of the sector. It also provides
technical guidance to and protection of the Ministry of Mines in the issuing
of exclusive prospecting orders (EPOs).

A report by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy noted
that by operating without the Mining Affairs Board since taking office in
April this year, the secretary for mines Thankful Musukutwa has operated
outside the law and that all decisions he made on behalf of the ministry
could be contested.

Other industry players however say the board has not operated for the past
four years, raising fears that corruption in the mining sector has not been
limited to smuggling of minerals but also extended as far as getting mining
claims in the first place.

Chairperson Edward Chindori-Chininga said Musukutwa admitted to the
committee under oath that the ministry had taken unilateral actions that
would have required explicit approval from the disbanded Mining Affairs

Chindori-Chininga said his committee was particularly concerned that Mining
Affairs Board operations had been suspended since April 2009 and yet it has
a backlog of issues that it has to deal with.

"The Committee is also concerned during the nine-month period that the
Mining Affairs Board was not meeting there were repeated violations of the
Mines and Minerals Act by the secretary for mines and mining development,"
said Chindori-Chininga.

The committee said among the violations committed by ministry was its
decision to reduce the size of an average EPO and special grants from 65 000
to 20 000 hectares without an accompanying statutory instrument to legalise
the reduction.

Section 93.4(b) of the Mining Act requires the minister to publish a
statutory instrument to give effect to his decision to reduce EPO and
special grant sizes.

"The Secretary for Mines and Mining Development charged EPO and special
grant holders US$20 000 for 65 000 hectares and then reduced to 20 000
hectares without adjusting the fee of US$20 000. This was done without
developing any legal instrument, following the Mines and Minerals Act or
consulting the Mines Affairs Board of which he is the chairperson," the
committee added.

Both Mines Minister Obert Mpofu and Musukutwa could not be reached for

The parliamentary committee called for the immediate revival of the Mining
Affairs Board to ensure transparency in the operations of the sector.

"The Mining Affairs Board should meet regularly so as to assess progress
reports and recommend abandonment of   ground where applicable.  This will
in turn open ground for new applicants," it said.

It also recommended that the ministry adhered to the requirements stipulated
in the Mines and Minerals Act in its performance of duty, noting that the
inconsistent application and violation of the law could result is
unnecessary litigation and prove detrimental in the drive to attract
investment in the mining sector.

The allegations of lack of checks and balances in the Ministry of Mines come
at a time Zimbabwe is desperately trying to shake off claims that the
country is not following international standards in the mining of diamonds
at Chiadzwa.

Human rights groups and the international diamond mining watchdog have
reported rampant smuggling of the precious stone and the use of forced
labour by members of the security forces.

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Sudan peacekeepers describe 107-day kidnap ordeal

Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:13am GMT

By Andrew Heavens

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Two freed peacekeepers on Monday described how they
survived 107 days held by kidnappers without shelter in remote mountains in
Sudan's Darfur region.

Pamela Ncube from Zimbabwe and Patrick Winful from Nigeria, looking frail
but cheerful, received an emotional welcome at Khartoum airport a day after
they were freed in Darfur.

The civilian workers for Darfur's joint U.N./African Union UNAMID
peacekeeping force were abducted at gunpoint from their base in the west
Darfur town of Zalingei in August in one of a new wave of kidnappings.

"There was no shelter at all. We were under the sun, under the moon," Winful
told Reuters at the airport.

Winful said they were treated "quite well" by their captors but exposed to
harsh conditions in Darfur's central Jabel Marra mountains.

"We were in the mountains throughout. There was the harmattan (a dust
storm). There were the rains."

The UNAMID security officer said they worked hard to keep each other
cheerful. "Without that we wouldn't have made it out. We just took a day at
a time."

Both said they were too exhausted to talk longer and thanked Sudan's
government for keeping up pressure on their captors. They were given medical
checks at the airport.

"I feel great. I give glory to God," said Ncube, a member of UNAMID's child
protection team.

West Darfur's national security chief Ahmed Altayeb Abugroon told Reuters
the kidnapping was carried out by bandits linked to rebel groups in the

"We negotiated through the families of the kidnappers and other channels ...
Yesterday, thanks to God, we persuaded them to release the captives."

Abugroon said the peacekeepers were set free about 13km (8 miles) outside
Zalingei and walked until they were picked up by local authorities.

Government authorities earlier said the captors had demanded a ransom but
none was paid.

UNAMID officials at the airport said Ncube and Winful told them they had
survived on assida -- a porridge made from ground millet -- and birds caught
in the area.

"They were moved all the time, always in the valley of the mountains. They
lived outside under trees ... They were sick with stomach problems," said
UNAMID spokesman Noureddine Mezni.

"The local administration played an important role. They were negotiating
until the last minute." The peacekeepers, he said, "were both very brave".

Gunmen have abducted at least 14 foreigners in Darfur and just over its
border in neighbouring Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR) since

Two officers for the International Committee of the Red Cross, abducted in
Darfur and Chad, and two workers for the French aid group Triangle, seized
in CAR, remain in captivity.

The Darfur conflict surged in 2003 when mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms
against Khartoum, accusing it of neglect.

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ZPS fails to take prisoners to court

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Herald Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Prison Services has implored Govern-ment to urgently intervene
and provide it with adequate resources as the shortage of transport
continues to impact negatively on the operations of the service.

The failure to transport prisoners to criminal courts throughout the country
has to a large extent compromised the criminal justice delivery system.

Prisons Deputy Commissioner Washington Chimboza said this on the sidelines
of a Prayer Day last Friday organised by Prison Fellowship Zimbabwe to
review progress in the rehabilitation of offenders and support for

"Critical shortage of transport has impacted negatively on our operations
and we urgently need new vehicles to compliment our ageing fleet of four
vans countrywide," said Dep Comm Chimboza.

"In a bid to ensure that inmates are not kept on remand for too long we
have, for a start, identified a building at Marondera Prison as a makeshift
court, but still that will not solve the problem as magistrates and their
staff would also need transport."

ZPS has been struggling to ferry remand prisoners to court throughout the
country resulting in most of them being remanded in absentia and staying in
prisons for years without being tried. Magistrates are now forced to remand
criminals out of custody as officers sometimes fail to come to courts.
Prison officers in some cases find their own way to the courts but still
meet transport challenges when suspects accused of serious crimes are
remanded in custody.

The organisation was last year allocated funds to procure a fleet of
vehicles but could not buy even a single vehicle because of hyperinflation.

"This year we were allocated US$17 million to cater for all our needs, but
only received US$3 million," said Dep Comm Chimboza.

He said the situation in prisons had significantly improved and malnourished
inmates have also recovered.

He, however, paid tribute to Prison Fellowship Zimbabwe and other
organisations for complementing Government efforts to feed prisoners. The
service is faced with a host of challenges, which include hunger, shortage
of drugs, cholera, transport and water cuts among others.

"I must seize this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to those
who teamed up in supporting us against the problems bedeviling our
organisation," he said.

"A number of organisations that include the business community, church
organisations and private citizens came forward and offered assistance at
the time of need."

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Bid to force arrest of Zimbabwe rights violators

Published: 2009/12/15 06:36:25 AM

ZIMBABWEAN human rights violators could lose the right to travel to SA if an
appeal due to be brought in the North Gauteng High Court today succeeds in
forcing the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to arrest known
perpetrators who set foot in the country.

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), along with the Zimbabwe Exiles
Forum, is seeking an order setting aside a decision by the NPA not to
prosecute 18 identified Zimbabwean human rights violators in the event they
travel to SA.

The case, aimed at preventing SA from becoming a haven for those who commit
crimes against humanity, is the first such action in the country. It arises
from a dossier submitted to the NPA in March last year, two weeks before the
violent election in Zimbabwe.

Earlier this year attempts were also made to secure accountability for the
victims of the war in Gaza with a dossier being submitted to the NPA, said
Nicole Fritz, the head of the SALC.

The Zimbabwe dossier included a legal opinion by advocates Wim Trengove ,
Gilbert Marcus and Max du Plessis about SA's obligations under the
Implementations of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
(ICC) Act .

The dossier contained numerous affidavits detailing personal experiences of
widespread torture at the hands of the Zimbabwean police. Fritz brushed off
suggestions that the case could jeopardise the fragile unity government,
saying it was meant to prevent a recurrence of such abuses. "Security
accountability can help stem the fallout in Zimbabwe," she said.

Fritz said after a round of correspondence, SALC finally received a letter
from the then acting NPA director Mokotedi Mpshe six months ago to the
effect that he had been advised that the police did not intend investigating
the matter.

The ICC legislation gives South African authorities the power to investigate
and prosecute acts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, no
matter where those acts have been committed. This applies even if the
perpetrators are not South African nationals .

The SALC maintained in its submission to the NPA that the senior Zimbabwean
officials named travelled to SA fairly often, both for official and personal

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UN criticised for ignoring Chiadzwa

Monday, 14 December 2009 14:38
HARARE - The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution calling for
vigilance on trade in conflict diamonds but angered Western nations for not
censuring alleged rights abuses at Zimbabwe's disputed diamond fields.

The assembly warned that "trade in conflict diamonds continues to be a
matter of serious international concern" and urged greater vigilance to rid
world markets of illicit stones.
The resolution followed a report on conflict stones by Namibia that chairs
the Kimberley Process (KP), a grouping of diamond trading countries and
civic society groups set up in 2003 to prevent trade in blood diamonds.
The KP report to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke of "credible
indications of significant non-compliance with the minimum requirements of
the (Kimberley Process) by Zimbabwe."
But the United States, the European Union and other Western powers blasted
the UN General Assembly for ignoring Zimbabwe's reported failure to comply
with international efforts to curb trade in blood diamonds.
The KP last month let Zimbabwe off the hook after ignoring a damning report
by its own mission that condemned operations at the army-controlled Chiadzwa
diamond fields in Manicaland's Marange area.
The mission, which visited Zimbabwe in June and July, highlighted serious
cases of abuse and forced labour allegedly committed by Zimbabwe's security
The UN resolution also comes barely a month after an international cartel of
companies providing services that support fair and competitive diamond and
jewellery markets announced a ban on trade in Zimbabwean diamonds on
November 16 citing alleged human rights violations at Chiadzwa diamond
The Rapaport Group and the RapNet Diamond Trading Network cited "severe
human rights violations" at the controversial diamond fields in Marange
where the army has been accused of murder and forced labour.

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Zanu (PF) to order MDC job losses

Written by Taurai Bande
Monday, 14 December 2009 14:58
MARONDERA - The local Zanu (PF) provincial executive has resolved to
confront and threaten companies employing MDC activists after the on going
party congress in Harare.
The provincial meeting attended by party district representatives to the
congress, was chaired by a District Coordinating Chairman identified as
Gudo, and the losing Marondera Urban Zanu (PF) MP, Peter Murwira. It was
held last week at the Mashonaland East provincial headquarters offices. "It
has come to our attention that influential and effective MDC activists are
employed by business people who pretend to sympathize with our liberation
party. After the congress, we will hold meetings with employers and order
them to fire agents of neo-colonialism. Employers who defy our instructions,
will simply have to close shop and relocate elsewhere," Gudo told the
The resolution by Zanu (PF) to frustrate economic activities of influential
MDC cadres, follows massive defections of grassroots supporters to the MDC.
The defections have been attributed to intensified MDC campaigns, exposure
of Zanu evils by the private media and superb execution of public duty by
elected MDC officials in all spheres of political, social and economic life.
"Our support base has been eroded, and as a party, we can not take the
challenge lying down. Something must be done as some business communities
are bank rolling MDC activities. We used to enjoy massive support from
business communities. How can our party suddenly run out of donations from
business people? Something must be done," Gudo emphasized. The business
community has indicated that its loyalty no longer lies with Zanu (PF). "In
order to safe-guard our business interests, we will pretend to support
Mugabe and his party, but in reality we are MDC," said a local businessman
on condition of anonymity.

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BIPPA farms: govt seeks “amicable” solution

Written by Martin
Monday, 14 December 2009 14:46
HARARE – Zimbabwe is pursuing an “amicable” solution to the disputes
involving white-owned farms expropriated under the controversial land reform
programme in violation of investment protection agreements signed with other
countries, according to the draft of a new economic blueprint to be launched
by government next year.

A quick resolution of the sanctity of property rights in the agricultural
sector would be one of the pillars of the proposed Medium Term Plan (MTP)
being finalised by government.
Under the MTP, the power-sharing government formed by President Robert
Mugabe and former opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai last February plans to
engage countries with which Zimbabwe has signed Bilateral Investment
Promotion and Protection Agreements (BIPPAs) but whose nationals were
affected by Harare’s controversial land reform programme.
According to the draft MTP document, the proposed outreach programme would
see the Harare authorities aiming to “resolve amicably the outstanding
issues on the already acquired farms which were protected under the BIPPAs”.

Land Resettlement Minister Herbert Murerwa could not be reached for comment
on the matter.

But Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister Elton Mangoma
confirmed that the new Harare regime wanted to see finalisation of the often
violent land reform programme.

“What we are saying is that there must be a resolution of the land question
in general, not just the issue of BIPPAs,” Mangoma told The Zimbabwean on

The advent of the land reform programme in 2000 saw Mugabe’s previous
government acquiring white-owned farms including agricultural investments
covered by BIPPAs, resulting in disputes with foreign investors.

The administration, which has over the past nine years seized nearly all
land previously owned by the country’s about 4 000 white farmers and gave it
over to blacks, has in the past maintained it would not pay for the land
because white colonial authorities stole it from blacks in the first place.

The government has to date paid compensation to a handful of former white
landowners and only for improvements on farms such as buildings, roads and

But several foreign nationals whose farms in Zimbabwe were seized by the
government have dragged the Harare administration before international and
regional courts demanding compensation for the loss of their properties.

A group of Dutch nationals in April won its case against the Harare regime
after appealing to the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment
Disputes (ICSID) in Paris for compensation for loss their properties.

The Dutch farmers argued that their properties were protected by a bilateral
investment treaty under which Harare promised to pay full compensation to
Dutch nationals in disputes arising out of any investments in Zimbabwe.

Several countries among them Austria, France, Germany, Mauritius, Holland,
South Africa, Sweden and Malaysia signed investment protection agreements
with Zimbabwe.

The chaotic and often violent land reform programme – that Mugabe says was
necessary to ensure blacks also owned some of the best land previously
reserved for whites by former colonial governments – is blamed for
destabilizing the mainstay agriculture sector and knocking down food
production by about 60 percent.

Zimbabwe has largely survived largely on food handouts from international
relief agencies since the land reforms began nine years ago.

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Zanu thugs leave man for dead

Monday, 14 December 2009 14:31
BIKITA - Zanu (PF) supporters here severely beat up a man last week and
forcibly evicted him from his home as punishment for not backing President
Robert Mugabe's party.  (Pictured: Police chief Augustine Chihuri - Has not
acted against Zanu (PF) youths accused of committing violence)

The youths, who have in recent weeks stepped up attacks against members of
the MDC across Masvingo province under which Bikita falls, told their victim
they were acting on the orders of the local Chief Masasire.
Takarambwa Mutanhaurwa from was asleep with his family at night when a group
of Zanu (PF) youths pounced on him. They severely beat him until he lost
consciousness and then poured buckets of water over him in an attempt to
revive him.
When they could not revive him, they presumed him to be dead and left.
Mutanhaurwa only regained consciousness hour later after losing a lot of
blood, and was rushed to a nearby hospital where he received medical
treatment - a swathe of bandages and plasters to cover the huge gash above
his eye. But his troubles were not over.
When he returned home, he was confronted by the same gang who told him they
were acting on the orders of Chief Masasire to evict him from his home and
take his field because he was not a member of Zanu (PF).
"I am very bitter about my field. Some people are already ploughing it and
that angers me most. But there is nothing I can do because I am afraid of
these people. I have reported the matter to the police but they told me
there was nothing they could do because they were not present when the
incident happened," Mutanhaurwa said.
The police and Chief Masasire were not immediately for comment on the
Political violence, human rights abuses and farm invasion blamed have
continued in many parts of the country despite formation of a unity
government last February.

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ZLHR protest on Human Rights Day

Written by Munosvikepi Chakonera
Monday, 14 December 2009 14:48
HARARE - Following Zimbabwe's deteriorating human rights record, lawyers
here, under the banner of the Zimbabwe Lawyers (ZLHR) for Human Rights,
marked International Human Rights Day by marching in protest to demand an
end to escalating human rights abuses.
Apart from the arrests, abductions and torture of human rights activists,
human rights lawyers have been arrested on trumped up charges including the
obstruction of justice to plain harassment of lawyers taking up political
The latest arrest is that of Mordecai Mahlangu who was dragged to court on
allegations of attempting to defeat the course of justice in the
high-profile trial of MDC treasurer, Roy Bennett.
The police provided an escort for the marchers and the lawyers delivered a
petition demanding that government address human rights abuses, including
alleged abductions of activists.
The march by ZLHR was complimented by Zimbabwe Human Rights Association
(ZIMRIGHTS), which also staged a protest march in the morning to commemorate
International Human Rights Day.

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No human rights for farm labour

Written by Fungai Kwaramba
Sunday, 13 December 2009 10:18
HARARE - The human rights of farm labourers in the country have not been
observed, according to General Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union
Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ).

90 per cent of children born on farms in Zimbabwe do not have birth
certificates while 60 per cent do not attend school due to continued
displacement and lack of resources, said the union in its statement to mark
this year's World Human Rights Day.
"As Zimbabwe observes this day (Human Rights Day), over 4 000 people are
denied their basic rights to shelter, clean water and other amenities. We
have thousands of farm workers and their families who, on a daily basis, are
facing intolerable harassment and infringement of their right to express
"It is also time for the government to start recognizing the negative
effects of the land reform process and to provide the basic social needs for
the affected," said GAPWWUZ.

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ZESA owes US$100m for imports

Monday, 14 December 2009 14:51
HARARE - Zimbabwe owes its neighbours close to US$100 million in unpaid
electricity bills and may soon face more biting power shortages unless there
is a massive injection of capital to rehabilitate obsolete generation
infrastructure, The Zimbabwean learnt this week. (Pictured:  Firewood - What
Zimbabweans will  soon have to rely on unless ZESA pays up foreign suppliers
of electricity)

Documents in the possession of this newspaper show that the Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) was sitting on US$97.7 million arrears
for power imported from Mozambique, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of
"The country has not been able to pay for its regional power imports
amounting to US$97.7 million as at 27 November 2009," one of the documents
There are moves to boost internal generation capacity to reduce dependency
on regional suppliers, with more than US$385 million needed for an emergency
plant rehabilitation programme.
So far only US$51 million has been raised from the African Development Bank
(AfDB) for the exercise while the government scrounges around for more
The AfDB loan would only be available in the second quarter of 2010 because
of bureaucratic and political considerations by the lender, which would
militate against efforts to improving electricity generation in the
The government is also said to have reached an agreement with Botswana Power
Corporation under which the company would inject US$8 million to revive the
mothballed Bulawayo thermal power station, which has not produced
electricity for nearly a decade.
The deal is similar to one agreed last year with Namibia's utility NamPower,
which allowed the Windhoek-based company to invest US$45 million to
rehabilitate Hwange in exchange for electricity.
The emergency rehabilitation plan would see Zimbabwe's Hwange power station
ramping up generation to maximum capacity of 750 MW while the 90MW Bulawayo
thermal power plant will be restarted with help from Botswana by June next
Hwange, like Kariba hydro power station, has been dogged by ageing equipment
and lack of funding to buy spares to revamp its units.
Any increase in power output is good news for Zimbabwe, which has suffered
acute power cuts due to falling generation capacity over the years and has
had to rely from ever declining imports from its regional neighbours.
Internal generation capacity from the main Kariba and Hwange power stations
as well as smaller thermal stations is around 900 megawatts (MW) against
demand of around 2 270 MW during peak hours.
This leaves a huge shortfall of more than 1 300 MW during peak periods which
the country has to meet through imports.
Zimbabwe has over the years failed to attract independent power producers
despite having several power projects on the cards, which if implemented
would make the country a net exporter of electricity.
An unstable political environment and lack of policies that encourage
private sector investment in the sector has kept potential investors away.
A unity coalition formed in February between rivals President Robert Mugabe
and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai that had raised investors' hopes may
yet collapse amid sharp difference over how to share executive power.
Zimbabwe requires US$2 billion for new equipment and to expand production at
the country's two main power plants and ease shortages that have also
affected industrial production and contributed to the economic crisis.
Critics blame the economic crisis on repression and wrong policies by Mugabe
such as his seizure of productive farms from whites for redistribution to
landless blacks.
Failure by the government to provide resources and skills training for black
villagers resettled on white farms saw agricultural production plummeting by
about 30 percent, causing food shortages and also crippling an economy built
on farming.
Mugabe, in power since Zimbabwe's 1980 independence from Britain, however
denies mismanaging the economy and blames his country's problems on Western

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Christmas card campaign in support of Harare

Marites N. Sison
Staff writer
Dec 14, 2009

This Advent, Canadian Anglicans are being invited to send a Christmas card
as a show of solidarity to the new bishop of Harare, Chad Gandiya/Bishop
Gandiya and members of his diocese continue to face challenges resulting
from internal church divisions and political violence in Zimbabwe.

The diocese of Keewatin is sending a personalized card that is a print of a
painting by its bishop, David Ashdown. The card, which can be downloaded
here, depicts a winter landscape in Canada's north.

"We invite you to download the [card], add your personal greeting, sign it
and send it electronically to Bishop Gandiya at
or by surface mail to: The Right Reverend Chad Gandiya, 9 Monmouth Road,
Avondale, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Bishop Gandiya was at the meeting of the Canadian House of Bishops last fall
and talked about the challenges faced by his diocese, which has been locked
in a legal battle with excommunicated former bishop Nolbert Kunonga, a
supporter of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

"The situation continues to deteriorate," said Archbishop Ashdown, who is
also the Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert's Land.
Archbishop Ashdown has been in communication with Bishop Gandiya and with
the latter's permission, email updates about the situation in Harare have
been posted on the diocese of Keewatin website,

In a letter to his diocese, Archbishop Ashdown noted that since being
deposed, Bishop Konunga and his followers have claimed ownership of Anglican
church buildings in Harare, "denying access to the majority of the city's
parishioners." In some instances, parishioners have been attacked by Bishop
Konunga's supporters, "forcing them to hold church services in the open, or
in buildings provided by other churches until the High Court ordered the two
groups to share church facilities," he added.

However, a recent email from Bishop Gandiya said that despite the High Court's
order, the people of his diocese continue to be harassed and denied access
to the church buildings by Bishop Konunga's supporters.

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ZANU PF congress : grand exercise in self-delusion

The recently held ZANU PF congress was indeed,an exercise in futility.In
some of my previous articles that covered the moribund state of the former
ruling party, I have repeatedly stated that ZANU PF is mortally wounded to
such an extent that only a miracle can save it from inevitable electoral
annihilation by the resurgent and vibrant MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai.During the past week,the nation was subjected to some form of
tragi-comedy styled the ZANU PF 5th People's Congress.It was a tragedy
because of the sad atmosphere of deeply held factional positions and tribal
politics that openly played themselves out at an occasion that was supposed
to be a real and genuine political party congress.Sad because one could not
avoid sensing the feeling of utter hopelessness, dejection and resignation
amongst members of the Emmerson Mnangagwa faction who werely obviously
outplayed and outmanouvred at this circus called a congress.It was a comedy
because of the sheer pleasure and comical relief one could get by simply
observing grown-up men and women behaving in some very strange manner all in
a desperate bid to push their factional agendas.Of course, there was comic
relief in the use of electronic warfare in an attempt to push certain
positions particularly the short message campaign using mobile telephone
technology.This campaign was obviously aimed at influencing the delegates'
choices during the plenary session at the congress.Alas,there was no plenary
session at the congress! The whole act was stage-managed in such a manner
that the genuine and legitimate concerns of the majority of the delegates
were never entertained.That was vintage ZANU PF.

A political party congress should be an occasion to robustly debate and
discuss a party's ideological ramifications as well as to design and
articulate its development trajectory going forward.In addition,a congress
should also be used as an occasion to choose a leadership that will be able
to competently and effectively manage the party's affairs.Where there is
need, as was obviously the case in ZANU PF, a new leadership ought to have
been chosen to try to extricate the former ruling party from the political
wilderness where it is now domiciled.The fact that ZANU PF dismally failed
to use its congress as an opportunity to renew and re-invigorate itself is
clear testimony to the conclusion that the former ruling party is now
completely damaged goods which no right-thinking consumer can willingly
buy.For what can one say about a party that goes out of its way to thwart
internal democracy in a bid to push the selfish and in some cases, openly
tribalistic agenda, of some political heavyweights.One may ask, why were the
delegates prevented from making nominations from the floor ; even for
candidates to occupy seats in the so-called presidium? Who knows what might
have happened to the likes of John Nkomo and Simon Khaya Moyo if congress
delegates had been granted their democratic right to nominate candidates
from the floor.It is quite possible that characters such as Oppah Muchinguri
and Didymus Mutasa would have found themselves in the presidium if genuine
democracy had been given a chance at the recently held ZANU PF congress.But
we all know that democracy and ZANU -PF are like parallel lines ; they will
never meet.If ZANU PF so effectively thwarts democracy at its own congress,
how can any sane person,therefore, expect such a party to practise democracy
in its dealings with other organisations; particularly competing political

A political party that hopelessy fails to renew its old and tired leadership
at a congress should never be given the mandate to govern any democratic
nation.Zimbabwe is too special to be relegated to the realms of failed
states such as Somalia.ZANU -PF has perfected the art of rule by the elders
otherwise known as gerontocracy.In any democratic and progressive
nation,geriatrics are normally confined to less-demanding tasks and in some
cases, they are even confined to retirement homes.We should certainly
respect our deserving elders but then it will be utter recklessness to
burden our elders with the onerous task of running the affairs of
state.Unlike ZANU-PF, the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has a
youthfull and focused leadership who obviously have a cutting edge.These are
people in the prime of their lives who have both the physical and mental
energy to take Zimbabwe to the next level.

Some of the resolutions passed at the ZANU PF congress fly in the face of
the spirit of inclusivity which should be the hallmark of the transitional
government presently running Zimbabwe.For instance, the ZANU PF congress
resolved that there should not be any more concessions to the MDC in the
on-going talks until such a time that so-called illegal sanctions have been
lifted.What sanctions? ZANU -PF has desperately sought to use the ''
sanctions'' red herring to confuse the people about what the global
political agreement ( GPA) entails.Let the position be made abundantly clear
that the MDC is not making any special and out-of- context demands at the
on-going talks.What the MDC is simply demanding, and rightly so, is full
and unconditional compliance with the GPA by all its signatories.Nothing
more and nothing less.For instance, Gideon Gono and Johannes Tomana's
appointments by Mr.Robert Mugabe were done in flagrant violation of the
terms and conditions of the GPA that was solemnised in Harare on 15
September, 2008.These two men's appoitments were effected in late 2008,
several weeks after the signing of the GPA.The mere fact that the other
signatories to the GPA were never consulted when Mr.Robert Mugabe made these
appointments is clear and unmitigated violation of the political
agreement.It is, therefore, preposterous, naive and ill-informed for anyone
to argue that Gono and Tomana should not be considered as issues in the
on-going talks by the negotiators from the three political parties who are
signatories to the GPA.

ZANU PF is mortally and fatally wounded.They can only resurrect themselves
by resorting to thuggery and violence as they did after the MDC resoundingly
won the March 29, 2008 harmonised local government, parliamentary and
presidential elections.Lest the people forget; Morgan Richard Tsvangirai
thrashed Robert Mugabe in the March 29, 2008 presidential elections.If
democracy had been allowed to prevail, Morgan Richard Tsvangirai should, by
electoral right, be the legitimate and lawful President of the Republic of
Zimbabwe today. ZANU PF can huff and puff but the simple truth is that the
people spoke on March 29, 2008.The people will speak again, more
resoundingly this time, should free and fair elections be held held right
now or at any time in the future. Mr.Robert Mugabe has promised that
elections will soon be held to determine who should run matters of state in
our beautiful little country called Zimbabwe.The people cannot wait to show
Mr.Robert Mugabe and his moribund and faction-ridden party that they prefer
to have Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC as their custodians in running
Zimbabwe. ZANU PF has hopelessly failed to adapt to the dictates of
modern -day developmental politics.It is not a matter of whether but rather,
when ZANU PF will become extinct like the dinosaur.

Written by:

Senator Obert Gutu

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Killing Civilians in Gokwe in the Evening; Shopping at Harrods the Next Morning

Before the tears of the relatives of victims of political violence have
dried, before the bodies of victims are cold, the perpetrators of human
rights abuses are insisting upon breakfast at Tiffany's, the morning after.
With their wives shopping at Harrods using looted funds, in full view if
their victims' Diaspora relatives, ZANU (PF) officials, bloated with
dictator-induced courage, further torment and threaten Diaspora residents
with political violence if they return to Zimbabwe.
At independence, ZANU (PF) inherited an economy recovering from war, which
had been subjected to full UN sanctions (sanctions passed by the UN Security
Council and implemented by every member state). Yet, the Zimbabwe dollar was
equivalent to US$1.47 and real growth for 1980-1981 exceeded twenty percent.
Zimbabwe's economic structure was essentially self-sufficient and traded
only for profit or for consumer goods.

Zimbabwe in 1980 was Africa's poster child for peace, prosperity and the
engine for economic growth with levels of economic development
uncharacteristic of sub-Saharan African nations.

The current crop of political leaders who are revolutionary counterfeits and
embalmed in corruption has dismally have failed and must retire en-masse.

Political leadership requires foresight and an understanding of the shifting
sands of international politics. The days of "big man" politics are long
gone and Zimbabwe's political heartburn is due to the ego of one man. The
West, which Mugabe ridicules by day and wants to trade and play with by
night, have minimum humanitarian standards for full admission into the
league of progressive nations.
The values demanded by the West are human values, African morals that
existed in Zimbabwe's leaders before they mutated into the brutal dictators
they are today. A culture of entitlement is stifling democratic debate
whilst nationalistic politics is erasing our multi-culturism.
There are no punitive measures or sanctions against Zimbabwe from any
African country. Landlocked Zimbabwe must now become the economic anchor for
"intra-Africa trade" as a way of becoming economically independent.
The Look East Policy-a politically motivated policy implemented by ZANU (PF)
in 2003 to fill the void caused by the self-inflicted isolation of Zimbabwe's
traditional international trading partners-is retrogressive. It focuses on
bilateral trade with China and stronger economic relations with Malaysia,
Iran and North Korea. China is merely creating markets for its cheap and
inferior products that are rejected by western countries, colonisation by a
different name: lipstick on a pig.
Ironically, China now recruits expelled ex-Zimbabwean farmers to assist with
improving its tobacco agriculture in China and in no time will cease
importing from Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe's national herd stood at 1.4 million cattle and earned the country
an equivalent of US$ 2 billion a year through exports to the EU. Today
Zimbabwe has 120 000 cattle left, even if the EU resumed trade today,
Zimbabwe would not be able to fulfil its beef quota.
Horticulture exports to Europe receipts amounted to US$142 million in 1999
and only came to US$24 million in 2008, a disturbing 83% decline.
Conversely, Western events commemorated with bouquets of flowers are in
abundance while expensive vases beautify western households daily. This can
be a US$5 billion dollar market for Zimbabwean floriculture, which would
replace the country's dependence on tobacco cultivation.
No punitive measures by any country existed against any politician in
Zimbabwe before the political violence that marred the 2000 parliamentary
elections. Ninety-eight innocent persons were brutally murdered, hundreds of
women raped and scores maimed, whilst some of the surviving victims of
ZANU(PF)'s scorched earth policy sought refuge in Western democracies.
Cognizant of the plight of ordinary Zimbabweans who remained behind, only
punitive personal restrictions in the form of asset freezes and travel
restrictions lobbied for, and subsequently imposed on, all known
perpetrators of human rights abuses at the request of the surviving victims.
Today there exists in the public domain a list of the main architects of
crimes against humanity in Zimbabwe, compiled by the Zimbabwean victims of
brutal political violence. It is essentially the "who is who" of the ruling
elite. The USA, EU and other Western democracies-sanctuaries for the
multitudes of Zimbabwean abused by their own government-do not wish to
associate with violators of international humanitarian law.
Under no circumstances should rapists, murderers, and torturers, be
permitted to freely mingle and further torment their victims through travel
to these said countries. Furthermore, persons who have looted national
assets and have raided our central bank are now itching to spend the spoils
in Western high streets.
The rule of law in Zimbabwe is illusive and exiled Zimbabweans will continue
to press for further punitive measures against individuals who abuse their
fellow citizens. The same exiled community, which yearns for home, is
galvanized around ensuring that humanitarian and development assistance goes
directly to the ordinary people of Zimbabwe undisturbed.
The continued reference by ZANU (PF) to "sanctions" and their removal as a
condition for reverting to the rule of law is a thoughtless smokescreen and
a tired gimmick.
Zimbabwe's peaceful exiles and asylees have rights, too. The whole notion of
awarding asylum is to give protection to victims of political violence. It
is perilous to give the victim safety and then allow the unrepentant
perpetrators access to those victims.
The unconditional return to the rule of law in Zimbabwe is an unshakable
prerequisite before any consideration for the lifting of personal travel
restrictions can occur.
Phil Matibe -


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