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Judge to head Zim electoral commission

by Own Corrrespondents Thursday 17 December 2009

HARARE - Former Harare High Court Judge Simpson Mutambanenge is tipped to
head a new-look Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) that will oversee
elections in a country where political violence and charges of rigging have
marred every major poll in the past decade.

Mutambanengwe, who sits on the Namibian bench after retiring from his
Zimbabwe job in 2004, was yesterday still being consulted by the Office of
the President and Cabinet on whether he would be available to chair the new
electoral body that Zimbabweans hope will help restore credibility to an
electoral system that few outside President Robert Mugabe's inner circle

The appointment of the ZEC and two other independent commissions, the
Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission
(ZHRC), is expected to be made next week when Mugabe returns from Denmark,
where he is attending the United Nations Summit on Climate Change.

Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba was not immediately available for comment
on the matter. But Gorden Moyo, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's
Morgan Tsvangirai's office, told ZimOnline that the government was
concluding consultations with various people named to serve on the

"Otherwise there is agreement on the selection of the people. The necessary
gazetting of the appointments will be done soon. It is safe to say the
official announcement of the appointments to all the three commissions will
be done this side of Christmas," said Moyo.

According to our sources, Mugabe suggested Mutambanengwe's name and while
Tsvangirai had reservations, he eventually agreed to the President's choice
reportedly in order to allow the process to move forward.

If Mutambanengwe accepts appointment to the ZEC, this will be the second
time he would have answered to the call of duty from his home country after
he briefly returned from Namibia in 2006 to preside over the corruption
trial of then Harare High Court Judge Benjamin Paradza.

Mutambanengwe convicted Paradza and sentenced him to three years in jail.
However Paradza did not serve the sentence after skipping the country before

Paradza's lawyers had argued during trial that the charges against their
client were meant to punish him for embarrassing the government. In 2003
Paradza freed an opposition mayor who had been arrested for holding an
illegal political meeting.

The government denied that the corruption case against Paradza was
politically motivated.

Other people lined up to serve on the new electoral commission are two
members of old ZEC Theo Gambe and Joyce Kazembe, who was deputy head of the
discredited commission.

The old George Chiweshe-led ZEC is accused by the former opposition MDC of
rigging the March 2008 election to block outright victory by Tsvangirai
against Mugabe in a presidential ballot that the MDC-T leader won, but with
fewer votes than required to avoid a second round poll.

Mugabe's supporters then unleashed a ruthless campaign of violence to force
Tsvangirai to withdraw from the second round presidential poll that analysts
had strongly tipped the former trade unionist to win.

The two rivals were later forced by the regional SADC alliance and the
African Union to agree to form a government of national unity that includes
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, who heads the smaller formation of
the MDC.

Others to named serve on the ZEC are Daniel Chigaru, the current general
manager of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, University of Zimbabwe law
professor Geof Feltoe, P. Makoni, S. Ndlovu, Pastor Godwill Shana, a former
chairman of the Transparency International Zimbabwe.

According to information made available to ZimOnline there have been major
changes made on the original list of names of people to serve on the ZMC
that was sent to Mugabe by Parliament's Standing Rules and Orders Committee.

Chris Mhike, a lawyer turned journalist who scored the highest marks on the
interviews for the ZMC, has been dropped from the list, while Henry
Muradzikwa, the former chief executive officer of the government's Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Holdings who was tipped to head the media commission, will now
come in as an ordinary commissioner.

Another former employee of the state broadcaster Godfrey Majongwe is now
earmarked to chair the ZMC.

Other ZMC commissioners are journalism lecturer and former newspaper editor
Nqobile Nyathi, university lecturer Lawton Hikwa, central bank worker
Millicent Mombeshora, former ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa, Reverend Useni
Sibanda, former Zimbabwe Union of Journalists president Matthew Takaona and
Miriam Madziwa-Sibanda, a former journalist now media consultant.

The media, human rights and electoral commissions are part of reforms that
Zimbabwe's power-sharing government must implement to re-shape and
democratise the country's politics that has been characterised by violence
and gross human rights violations almost from independence from Britain in

Once the commissions and a new constitution are in place the government will
call fresh elections with the whole process that began last February
expected to last between 18 to 24 months.

Rich Western nations have refused to back the Harare government or lift visa
and financial sanctions imposed on Mugabe and his inner circle seven years
ago, saying they were not happy with the slow pace of the political
reforms. - ZimOnline

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425-member constitutional reform team named

by Own Correspondent Thursday 17 December 2009

HARARE - A special parliamentary committee leading Zimbabwe's constitutional
reform process has named a 425-member team drawn from lawmakers, politicians
and civic society members that will make up thematic committees to lead
drafting of the country's new governance charter.

One of the committee's co-chairpersons, Douglas Mwonzora from Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party, said the team whose consultation process is
going to take two months will start work on January 12.

"The consultation process is going to take 65 days," Mwonzora said at press
conference in Parliament.

"Some people think that represents a reduction of days for the process,
that's not. A certain quarter of people who applied to take part are drawn
from political parties and civil society. For example, ZCTU has said it's
not going to take part in the problems, but you have its affiliates who are
taking part in the process. Just as NCA, some people are taking part in the
process in their individual capacity."

According to Paul Mangwana, the other co-chairperson from President Robert
Mugabe's ZANU PF party, the select committee will have 30 percent
representation from Members of Parliament, and 70 percent will be drawn from
the civil society.

Mangwana said they had taken time to announce the composition of the team
which will eventually have 560 people because they wanted to get assurance
of funding from Finance Minister Tendai Biti.

"We wanted assurance that resources will be there, but now we have been told
that the resources are available," Mangwana said.

He said the thematic committees will have 17 themes that will be used during
the outreach programme. Some of the committees that have been put in place
will deal with issues related to religion, war veterans, elections, bill of
rights and founding principles of the constitution.

Some of the people drawn from the civil society that have been chosen to
take part in the process are Stanford Moyo (lawyer), Geoff Feltoe
(University of Zimbabwe -UZ - lecturer), Foster Dongozi (journalist and
secretary general of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists), Joseph Chinotimba,
Kucaca Phulu (Bulawayo-based lawyer), Amy Tsanga (UZ law lecturer), Tsitsi
Dangarembwa (film director) and Takavafira Zhou (political analyst).

In addition to funding shortages stalling the parliamentary committee's
work, sharp differences have also emerged between the political parties over
the writing of the new constitution that threaten to derail the reform

ZANU PF has said any new constitution should be based on a draft
constitution secretly authored by the main political parties on Lake Kariba
and known as the Kariba Draft.

However, civic organisations and Tsvangirai's MDC are opposed to it, saying
the document leaves largely untouched the wide-sweeping powers that Mugabe
continues to enjoy even after formation of a power-sharing government with
Tsvangirai and Deputy Premier Arthur Mutambara.

Under last year's power-sharing deal the country is supposed to have a new
constitution in the next two years to pave way for new elections.

The draft constitution will be put before the electorate in a referendum
expected in July next year and if approved by Zimbabweans will then be
brought before Parliament for enactment.

Once a new constitution is in place, the power-sharing government is
expected to call fresh parliamentary, presidential and local government

Zimbabweans hope a new constitution will guarantee basic freedoms,
strengthen Parliament and limit the President's immense powers. - ZimOnline

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Zimbabwe's Mugabe Accuses West of Double Standard on Climate, Human Rights

President Mugabe accused the West of holding to a double standard under
which it failed to move with dispatch to address global warming while taking
the developing world to task over alleged human rights abuses

Blessing Zulu, Ntungamili Nkomo & Irwin Chifera 16 December 2009

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday chided the West from the
podium of the United Nations summit on climate change in Copenhagen for what
he charged was a double standard under which it fell short on addressing
global warming while taking developing countries to task over human rights.

Mr. Mugabe told the climate change summit: "When these capitalist gods of
carbon burp and belch their dangerous emissions, it's we, the lesser mortals
of the developing sphere who gasp and sink and eventually die."

He complained that polluters are not pursued by Western governments with the
same zeal they show in castigating abusers of human rights.

"Why," asked Mr. Mugabe, "is the guilty North not showing the same
fundamentalist spirit it exhibits in our developing countries on human
rights matters on this more menacing threat of climate change?"

He appeared to single out the United States in his remarks, demanding, "When
a country spits on the Kyoto Protocol by seeking to shrink from its diktats,
or by simply refusing to accede to it, is it not violating the global rule
of law?" The United States has declined to sign the Kyoto Protocol.

He said the developing world would be called upon to clean up the mess left
by the industrialized West, therefore deserved ample climate-related

"We who bear the burden of healing the gasping earth must draw the most from
the global purse for remedial action," Mr. Mugabe declared.

The Zimbabwean president's arrival in Copenhagen caused a stir among critics
who said he should not have been admitted to the country let alone the
climate summit given his record on human rights and general issues of
governance. He has drawn such fire on numerous occasions at U.N.
conferences, particularly the annual gathering on food security in Rome
where skeptics have contrasted his country's dire situation after a decade
of land reform with his rhetoric.

Denmark and the 26 other European Union states have barred Mr. Mugabe and
many other ZANU-PF officials and supporters from travel within the economic
and political bloc - but such sanctions do not apply to U.N. gatherings.

President Mugabe's delegation of 70, meanwhile, came under fire at home
given the cost incurred by such a large entourage. Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai canceled his plans to attend the summit with a smaller group
citing massive official travel costs since the unity government's formation
in February.

Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmessen was called upon to explain Mr.
Mugabe's presence to human rights activists and responded that "nobody can
be in doubt about my attitude toward Mugabe and Zimbabwe," but defended the
diplomatic decision to admit Mr. Mugabe to his country.

Geneva-based human rights lawyer Marlon Zakeyo told VOA Studio 7 reporter
Blessing Zulu that Mr. Mugabe can attend such meetings under diplomatic
rules regarding U.N. meetings - but must be reminded of his excesses.

Sources in Harare said meanwhile that Mr. Mugabe, Mr. Tsvangirai and the
third unity government principal, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara,
have told their negotiators to address all remaining contentious issues on
the table in the latest round of talks and submit a final report to them
before Monday.

The three principals issued the instruction after meeting on Monday to
discuss a preliminary report submitted by their negotiators on progress to

A statement from President Mugabe's office published in the state-run Herald
newspaper said the principals agreed on some of the recommendations from the
negotiators for Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and the two formations of the
Movement for Democratic Change, but disagreed on others.

Minister of State Gorden Moyo, attached to Mr. Tsvangirai's office, told VOA
Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that the principals want to achieve
closure on the so-called outstanding issues before Christmas.

Elsewhere, Harare correspondent Irwin Chifera reported that Parliament's
select committee on constitutional reform said public consultations on
redrafting of the basic document, postponed several times, will finally
begin next month.

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Auditors denied access ......Chihuri hides ghost cops

Written by Mxolisi Ncube
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 11:24
BULAWAYO - Police Commissioner, Augustine Chihuri , instructed his
subordinates to deny government auditors access to police records, in a bid
to hide glaring loopholes in the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).
Zimbabwe's inclusive government, at the instigation of Public Service
Minister, Elphas Mukonoweshuro (MDC-T), embarked on an audit of the civil
service and its payroll, in a bid to rid the system of massive corruption.
The audit was expected to disclose tens of thousands of "ghost" workers. It
involved a physical count of all civil servants, excluding the army, which
is not classified under the Public Service.
Although the audit was approved by cabinet, it met strong resistance from
Zanu (PF), which is being accused of paying a big chunk of the taxpayers'
money to its youth militia, most of whom are too under-qualified to be civil
servants and are only used to terrorise voters at election time.
ZRP Internal sources told The Zimbabwean this week that when the audit was
announced, they received an internal signal from Chihuri ordering them not
to co-operate with the auditors.
The signal was sent out by Faustino Mazango, commissioner responsible for
human resources, and is said to have threatened any police officer who
defied this order.
"The signal was written in early November and addressed to all police
stations in the country," said a Bulawayo-based police officer, who must
remain anonymous for obvious reasons.
"The signal ordered us not to allow the auditors any access to police record
books containing the names, force numbers and qualifications of each member
of the ZRP."
Another police officer, also from Bulawayo, said Chihuri was determined to
frustrate the audit, which would have exposed him.
"Chihuri keeps lying to the nation that the ZRP has 60,000 members, but the
actual strength is far less than 35,000, because thousands of junior
officers quit in large numbers during the past decade, in protest over poor
working conditions and political persecution. He feared that the audit would
reveal all this," said the police officer.
"Even our recruitment drives have failed to address that skills gap."
A senior police officer from Police General Headquarters in Harare also
confirmed that there were less than 40,000 police officers in Zimbabwe
He added that when the civil service audit was first announced, Chihuri
tried to cover fill the gap by enlisting members of the Zanu (PF) youth
militia, who were already living inside police stations, and some civilian
volunteers serving as members of the Neighbourhood Watch Committee.
"He also ordered the incorporation of general hands whose duties involved
cleaning offices and cooking at police canteens. But still this was not
enough, leading to the order not to allow access to police records."
The police sources said that the admission of the green bombers to the force
flew in the face of ZRP's claims of professionalism.
"These are people who failed to meet the minimum educational requirements
for entry into the ZRP, yet they are now fast-tracked without even going
through formal training," fumed one officer.
The minimum qualifications are five O level passes, including maths and

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Zimbabwe Government Probes Road Project, 'Ghost Workers' on State Payroll

A 77-kilometer road project in Chegutu, Mashonaland West province, cost
Zimbabwe Platinum Mines just US$19 million, so Prime Minister Tsvangirai
wants to know why a 20-kilometer link should cost four times that amount

Blessing Zulu & Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington 16 December 2009
Zimbabwean PM Morgan Tsvangirai
Photo: AP

Zimbabwe's unity government is tackling waste and fraud ranging from a
high-priced airport highway to "ghost workers" on state payrolls.

Political sources said Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has ordered a
Cabinet probe into Local Government Minister Ignatious Chombo's handling of
a project to improve the highway from Harare to its international airport,
which the ministry has priced at US$80 million for the 20-kilometer link.

Engineering sources said a 77-kilometer road project in Chegutu, Mashonaland
West province, undertaken by Zimbabwe Platinum Mines or Zimplats cost just
US$19 million. So Mr. Tsvangirai wants to know why the Joshua Nkomo
Expressway is going to cost so much more.

The Harare City Council, dominated by Mr. Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic  Change, has tried to stop the project but met resistance from
Chombo, sources said. Chombo could not be reached for comment and Council
spokesman Leslie Gwindi, a Chombo ally, refused to comment.

Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the Tsvangirai MDC formation told VOA Studio 7
reporter Blessing Zulu that Mr. Tsvangirai read city councilors the riot

Elsewhere, sources said a state audit to weed out "ghost workers" on state
payrolls has identified 5,000 such employees in Masvingo province. Sources
in the Public Services Ministry said 1,000 were registered as teachers, some
at non-existent schools, while others had left state employment or died.

Public Services Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro told Studio 7 reporter Jonga
Kandemiiri that his ministry will not release results from individual
provinces, but will wait until the entire exercise has been completed.

But Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe General Secretary Raymond
Majongwe said the audit has confirmed earlier union allegations.

In another matter, the PTUZ said two union members at Mount Selinda Mission
in Chipinge, Manicaland province, were sentenced Wednesday to 12 months in
prison after being convicted of beating up war veterans in 2008.

The union said its lawyers will file an appeal.


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Mini-Cabinet reshuffle imminent

Written by Gift Phiri
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 11:20
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe  is preparing a mini-Cabinet reshuffle to
shake off the political fall-off from his rather bizarre Zanu (PF) congress.
The Zimbabwean has learnt that the President's closest allies want all Zanu
(PF) ministers to be subjected to a "loyalty test" to keep their jobs.
News that a shuffle is imminent raised tensions at last weekend's party
congress, with officials reportedly urging Mugabe to institute a purge of
Zanu (PF) ministers who are suspected of plotting against his leadership.
The Zanu (PF) congress deferred new announcements to the Politburo, the top
policy making body, because of heightened factional clashes at the congress.
There was talk of Tourism and Hospitality Management minister, Walter
Mzembi, who was jettisoned from the Zanu (PF) Central Committee at the
congress, leaving the Cabinet. It was suspected within Zanu (PF) ranks that
Mzembi could be switching allegiance to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's
MDC.  The Zimbabwean heard that Mzembi was likely to be replaced by current
Information and Publicity minister, Webster Shamu, who has dismally failed
to equal the Prime Minister's savvy media campaign, in that portfolio.
There were also plans to return Professor Jonathan Moyo to the Information
and publicity portfolio. And to install new Zanu (PF) national chairman,
Simon Khaya-Moyo, elected at the Zanu (PF) congress to replace John Nkomo,
the new minister of National Healing, Reconciliation and Intergration, a
position previously held by Nkomo. The Zimbabwean heard that a replacement
for Khaya-Moyo as ambassador to South Africa is also expected to be
announced during the mini-reshuffle.
Mugabe was said to be moving to crack down on suspected dissidents by
insisting they make clear statements in private that they will support his
continued leadership.
One senior figure said: "We do not want a situation where rebels are inside
the tent and still p***ing on us."  A senior source suggested the most
likely time for the reshuffle would be in January, when Mugabe returns from
his traditional month-long leave. However, some officials hope he will
spring it sooner.
Mugabe attempted to revive his support base with a speech to the party
congress that set out more clearly his plan for the future and the team he
needs going forward. He said elections were around the corner and emphasised
the need for a robust team to reverse the stunning loss the party suffered
at the hands of the MDC in polls last year. However, there were coded
criticisms of his style from officials on the congress fringe.
The senior Mnangagwa faction official told The Zimbabwean that the party
needed to restore the "emotional connection" it had with voters in the
1990s. "We are not going to win by reciting lists of achievements. They mean
nothing. And nor will we win simply by denouncing the MDC and sanctions."
He said there was need for new people to improve communications and fully
backed the return of Moyo to manage the party and Mugabe's defunct
propaganda campaign.
"We have not lost, people have just stopped listening, and if we change the
way we talk, what we say now will be as important as it was in the 1990s and
will be in 2010."  Mugabe admitted his party had made slip-ups and lost
elections last year and promised to do better and reclaim constituencies it
lost to the MDC.

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Zimbabwe Finance Minister Proposes Expatriate Tax, Offering Absentee Ballot

Finance Minister Tendai Biti said in a report that the 3 million Zimbabweans
living outside the country with large numbers in South Africa and the United
Kingdom could help the country fund operations and raise capital

Sandra Nyaira | Washington 16 December 2009

Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti says expatriate nationals should be
prepared to pay an annual tax to retaining their Zimbabwean citizenship and
in return for privileges including the right to cast absentee ballots.

The proposal is included in a national reconstruction report unveiled by
Biti at a seminar at Manchester University, England, recently.

It said the 3 million Zimbabweans living outside the country in South Africa
and the United Kingdom in particular could help the country raise scarce
capital. It added that expatriates should feel the government values them,
so it proposes "confidence-building" steps including dual citizenship and
absentee ballots.

"Clearly this would be controversial but it could be a way for migrants to
contribute directly to the state budget," the report states.

The report also addressed the longstanding problem of brain-drain, noting
that many in the diaspora are professionals whose skills are needed at home.
"The inclusive government will need to find ways to lure them back (even for
short periods) to share their skills and knowledge," said Biti's report.

"It is probably in these non-pecuniary remittances that Zimbabwe could gain
the most," it continued. "The health and education sectors should be
targeted most as these were the areas hardest hit by the brain drain."

VOA was unable to reach Biti for his own explanation of the tax proposal.

But economist Luxon Zembe says such a tax would be unfair.

Zimbabwean emigré Tendai Mutyambizi said in an interview from Leicester,
England, that it is early days for Harare to propose a diaspora tax.

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New Discord Among Zimbabwe Governing Partners on Political Parties Finance

President Mugabe's ZANU-PF says it received the most votes in 2008 general
elections so it should receive the largest share of funds, but MDC officials
say a formula including Senate votes should be negotiated

Gibbs Dube | Washington 16 December 2009

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and the Movement for
Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have added
another item to the long list of their disagreements: how to share US$4
million budgeted for the financing of political parties with parliamentary

ZANU-PF says it should receive more of the funds to be disbursed under the
Political Parties (Finance) Act than the MDC formations of Mr. Tsvangirai
and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, arguing that it received some
2.22 million votes in the 2008 general elections, compared with 2.08
received by the Tsvangirai MDC and just over 363,000 polled by the Mutambara

Using this formula, ZANU-PF would receive US$1.90 million, the Tsvangirai
MDC US$1.78 million and the smaller MDC formation US$785,000.

The Political Parties (Finance) Act says public funds should be allocated to
the parties in proportion to their share of votes cast in a parliamentary

But the Tsvangirai MDC says a formula must be negotiated as the funding in
the past was based on a parliament with just one chamber - the House. The
party wants the funds to be based on votes cast for the House and Senate.

The Senate was added between the 2005 and 2008 general elections when a
constitutional amendment harmonized presidential and general elections.

MDC Deputy Secretary General Tapuwa Mashakada told VOA Studio 7 reporter
Gibbs Dube that the three parties are expected to negotiate for the
inclusion of the Senate votes before sharing the US$4 million.

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MDC Officials Label Mugabe A Racist

Harare, December 17, 2009 -Two Movement for Democratic Change party senior
official have accused President Robert Mugabe of being racist by swearing in
his party's former chairman John Nkomo as the country's co-vice President
despite that he is under police investigation on allegations of sodomy while
refusing to swear in MDC's deputy minister designate Roy Bennett because of
his pending court cases.

MDC deputy organizing secretary Morgan Komichi said the swearing in of Nkomo
shows that Mugabe is a "racist".

"The whole process shows ZANU-PF's insincerity. Here is a man who  is facing
serious allegations who have  been abruptly sworn in and  at the other side
we  have Mr Bennett our party choice for the  post  of Deputy Agriculture
Minister who  has  not  been sworn in nine months after the  formation of
the inclusive government," he said.  "We are however not surprised that the
Nkomo sodomy allegations have been swept under the carpet, and we demand
that investigations be completed and justice prevail in that case.  This is
not only a selective application of justice but clear racism by President
Mugabe and his party, given that both Bennett and Nkomo have pending
criminal cases. We know that one is not guilty until proven otherwise by the
court of law, and why treating these two cases  differently?

MDC Youth Secretary General Solomon Madzore said justice should be applied
equally to all citizens, adding that Mugabe had double standards.

"We are not saying Nkomo is guilty of sodomy, but what we want is a fair
application of justice despite the colour of the skin or one's political
affiliation. If the President is refusing to swear-in Roy Bennett for having
pending court cases why then rush to swear-in Nkomo, whom we all know is
under investigation on allegations of sodomy.

"We  all know that Mugabe  is against homosexuality and we are surprised to
note  that  he  went  on to swear in a  person who  is  accused  of the same
practices he  always condemns. The truth of the matter is that Bennett is
white and Mugabe is a racist who cannot accept white people in the
government," he said

Nkomo's sodomy allegations arose after a Bulawayo man accused him for
sodomising him. The man was apprehended by police for lying but the case is
still under investigation.

Bennett is facing terrorism charges and Mugabe has insisted he will not
swear him as deputy minister of Agriculture until he is cleared of court
charges. Bennett's issue is among the outstanding cases that has slowed the
implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that brought about
the unity government. Currently negotiators of MDC and Zanu PF have been
locked in meetings to try and iron out the outstanding issues as demanded by
a Southern African Development Community (SADC) troika. An announcement
still has to be made on the progress of the talks.


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Mugabe will never fully implement the GPA - Athol Trollip

17 December 2009

DA believes it's time for President Zuma to use the Road map to Peace and

The re-election of Robert Mugabe as Zanu-PF leader and his utterances at the
party's fifth national conference is a clear indication that the party is
not serious about implementing the Global Political Agreement (GPA), signed
with the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations.

The negotiations to be resumed this Friday, are not going to lead to
anything. Mugabe's comments at the congress this week confirm this. Mugabe
realises that if the GPA is implemented fully, it will influence the balance
of power and weaken the strong grip he has on Zimbabwe.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) believes it is therefore time for President
Zuma to make use of our proposed Road Map to Peace and Democracy, which now
seems to be the only viable alternative to bringing about constitutional
democracy in Zimbabwe.

Since the GPA was signed in 2008 Mugabe has been refusing to discuss or
implement many of the issues agreed to under the GPA leaving the country at
a political impasse and in a state of economic meltdown. His recent comments
at the conference do not provide any evidence of him changing his tactics
any time soon. Instead it spells more doom.

In his closing address at the congress Mugabe stated: "Congress has noted
that the inclusive government brings the party into partnership with
ideologically incompatible MDC formations from which it must extricate
itself in order to defend its mantle as the only dominant and ascendant
political party that is truly representative and determined to safeguard the
aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe."

The party has also vowed to not allow further discussions of pertinent
issues hampering the successful conclusion of negotiations. "Congress
resolved that our inclusive government negotiators cease to entertain any
discussion on or negotiation of the issue relating to the appointment of the
governor of the Reserve Bank, the Attorney General and the provincial
governors as these fall outside the purview of the Global Political
Agreement and have their statutory origins that protect them."

These are exactly the issues identified by SADC Troika as legitimate
grievances of the MDC that need to be resolved.

These latest developments show that Mugabe and Zanu-PF have no plans to
implement the GPA. In fact it suggests an increase in their attempts to work
against the agreement.

There is enormous international goodwill just waiting to pull Zimbabwe back
from the abyss, but this will not happen as long as Mugabe is leader of the
party. There is too much distrust of the party and this distrust has in the
past proven to be justified.

We now call on President Zuma to use our roadmap to implement alternative
measures in Zimbabwe. It is time to realise that as long as Mugabe is leader
of Zanu-PF, the crisis in Zimbabwe will never end. It will continue to run
in circles with Zanu-PF hoping the opposition will grow tired and give up.
It is time that we sit up and face the enormous implications of this
situation continuing for the next five years, because that is how long
Robert Mugabe still plans to be around for.

Statement issued by Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader, Athol Trollip
MP, December 17 2009

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Judicial system ‘deplorable’

Written by Tony Saxon
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 11:37
MUTARE - The administration of justice is still compromised in both service
delivery and infrastructure, a judiciary expert has said.
Officially opening a seminar on judicial system in Zimbabwe at a local hotel
this week, a prominent human rights lawyer and the Mutare Legal Projects
Centre board member, Tinoziva Bere, said more reforms were needed in the
system to improve the welfare of the judicial officer.
“The state of infrastructure, working and living conditions of the judicial
officers is deplorable and requires urgent transformation if justice is to
prevail in the country. I even took some pictures of desks and tables that
are used by the judiciary officers in Mutare, I can tell you that the
situation is devastating and just unmanageable. Reforms are needed urgently
so that different players who want to assist the judicial sector may come on
board,” said Bere.
The main purpose of the seminar, according to Bere, was to apprise captains
of the judicial profession as well as the police. Also highlighted were the
demands of the court clauses, legal requirements and expectations in fair
trial principles with emphasis on application for recusal, sentencing,
confessions and statements by accused persons.
The prosecutors and magistrates have been urged to apply court clauses
properly following instituted legal requirements. The police and prison
officers were also urged to compliment the court requirements in order to
make life easier for the magistrates and the prosecutors.
Presenting his paper on Confession and statements, the acting Regional
Magistrate in Mutare, Livingston Chipadza, said there was need for the
police to understand the operations of the judiciary.
“The police as our major partners should be appraised on the modus operandi
of the courts as this enhances quality of performance and execution of duty.
The work of the police is in tandem with our own. So there is need for
appraisal and awareness for the benefit of both the police and the
 judicial,” said Chipadza.
Also present at the seminar was Justice Francis Bere who appraised the
delegates about the sentencing and trial. He said that magistrates should
work within the confines of the law and should be guided by the requirements
of their profession.

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Govt to reimburse Zim dollars

Written by Zwanai Sithole
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 11:12
BULAWAYO - The government is going to reimburse all the Zimbabwean dollars
that were lost when accounts were frozen early this year to create a
dollarised economy.
Addressing members of the civic society here this week, the Minister of
State in the Prime Minister's office, Gorden Moyo, said the government was
currently working out the modalities of compensation.
"The government is going to reimburse all those people whose Zimbabwean
dollars were frozen in their accounts .The affected people will be
reimbursed in foreign currency at the exchange rate of the day. As a
government we have already agreed, and as soon as the money is available,
disbursements will be done," said Moyo.
Although the country is facing financial problems, Moyo stated that it was
the duty of the government to find the money to compensate the affected
people. Scores of people lost their money in banks during the height of the
economic crisis in the country when the Reserve Bank Governor, Gideon Gono,
on numerous occasions devalued the local currency in a bid to contain

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Probe ordered at Town House

Written by Farai Shoko
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 10:19
HARARE - The Harare City Council has ordered an investigation into the
purchase of US$1,6 million worth of water pipes amid allegations of
corruption. A resolution passed by council late last month said a team of
external engineers should be appointed to lead the investigation.
"It is resolved that a team comprising external engineers be appointed to
investigate and establish how sewer main pipes valued at about US$ 1,6
million were procured from Hume Pipe Company limited by the department of
Water and Sanitation," reads the resolution. There are suspicions within the
MDC members within the council surrounding irregularities in the awarding of
the tender to companies suspected to have links with Zanu (PF).
Sources privy to the scandal alleged that wrong pipes were delivered to
council. However, the company was paid for the pipes despite protestations
from council staff. Lesley Hwindi, the spokesman for council could not
immediately comment when The Zimbabwean called his office, but council
minutes in possession of this newspaper confirm the procurement of the pipes
was under probe.
Muchadeyi Masunda, the ceremonial mayor for the city council, told The
Zimbabwean that the matter was being investigated.

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Zimbabweans making merry at Christmas


Cleopatra Matimbe (24) pushes her trolley slowly through a busy supermarket
in central Harare, picking up groceries for Christmas.

Now it's hard for her to remember that last year, she and most of Zimbabwe
had no holiday celebration.

"Last year's Christmas was different from the other Christmases we used to
have long back. We had to go to South Africa for groceries, there was no
money to do the shopping," she said.

"It's different from the last two years, things have been hard for us."

Zimbabwe was at the height of its economic crisis during the last holiday
season. Shops were deserted. Few people had any money, and those who did had
to queue endlessly at banks for limited withdrawals of the Zimbabwe dollar,
left worthless by inflation estimated in multiples of billions.

Then in January, the government abandoned the local currency and allowed
trade in foreign currencies, suddenly stabilising the economy after a decade
in freefall caused by political and economic uncertainty.

A further boost came in February when rivals Morgan Tsvangirai, who leads
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and long-time President
Robert Mugabe formed a unity government, following disputed elections last

Shocking hyper-inflation that impoverished the nation has been tamed and is
now ranging below 2%, thanks to the use of hard currencies like the United
States dollar and the South African rand.

"There is a difference this year. A lot of us are now affording to buy
groceries, we can afford to buy basic things like cooking oil and rice,"
said Matimbe, who manages a family farm near the capital Harare.

Last year, the only public sign of the holidays was the queues outside banks
on Christmas Eve, as workers desperately tried to withdraw their salaries.

Anyone who wanted to buy rice, sugar or soap had gone to South Africa or

This year Harare's stores are full, decorated with "Seasons Greetings" and
huge portraits of Santa Claus hanging on walls.

Shop windows on the First Street pedestrian mall are decorated with tinsel,
and shoppers are snapping Christmas cards, gifts and new outfits.

Oswell Kawanzaruwa (33), a self-employed motor mechanic, said this year he
might even take a vacation -- an unthinkable luxury until recently.

"This Christmas I am planning going out with my children to Chinhoyi or
Mutare resort areas. Last time I did not do that but this time I am sure I
can afford to do that," Kawanzaruwa said.

"For the past two years the economy was in bad state the Zimbabwe currency
was fluctuating, things were going up every hour."

One shop manager, Bevlyn Makamba, said that many stores are now even able to
source their supplies locally as businesses slowly resume production.

"Most of our products, we are getting them locally. It's different from last
year when we were getting all our stocks from South Africa. Most of our
products are local at the moment. We are getting very few imports," Makamba

Christmas is celebrated in Zimbabwe by more than three-quarters of the
population, who are mainly Christians. The day is marked by attending a
morning church service, visiting friends, feasting and drinking.

Makamba said for 20 US dollars a family in Zimbabwe can have a good
Christmas as they can buy rice, chicken and drinks to celebrate the festive

"In Zimbabwe it's all about rice and chicken, a little bit of salad and
beer, 20 US dollars will do," she said.

That means that for the first time in years, a Christmas dinner will become
an affordable treat, at least for those with jobs.

Unemployment remains rife, but the government -- the country's largest
employer -- is paying salaries of between 160 and 200 dollars and has
already announced that it will give a tax-free Christmas bonus.

Even with the festive mood, signs of crisis abound. As workers on First
Street, a pedestrian street in downtown Harare, strung up twinkle lights
from street poles, a blackout plunged half the city centre into darkness for
most of the day. -- AFP

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GPA restores stability - economist

Written by Tony Saxon
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 10:13
MUTARE  - The full implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA)
terms guarantees social and political stability, an economist has said.
Speaking to the business community at a local hotel on a national outreach
programme for the draft Medium Term Plan (MTP) January 2010 - December 2015,
David Mupamhazi, said Zimbabwe needed a supportive monetary and fiscal
policy framework that ensured low inflationary environment, increased credit
to private sector and higher domestic revenue collections.
Mupamhazi said the MTP responds to article III of the GPA on the restoration
of economic stability and growth in Zimbabwe as well as building on the
foundation laid by the Short Term Emergency Recovery Programme (STERP).
"The primary objective of the MTP is the restoration and transformation of
capacities for sustainable economic growth and development. The MTP also
seeks to establish a vibrant market and private sector driven economy," he
Mupamhazi said the MTP placed a premium on job creation, poverty reduction
and equity while also ensuring that balance was attained in development
across all regions of the country.
He said government should provide a conducive policy environment that will
ignite private sector initiatives, entrepreneurship as well as promoting a
saving and invest culture.

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Nightmare continues at De Doorns

Written by Braam Hanekom
Tuesday, 15 December 2009 11:48
CAPE TOWN - Zimbabwean victims of the recent xenophobic attacks continue to
suffer extreme discrimination and difficult conditions at a safety camp in
De Doorns camp, 80 km from the city.
The African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally
Displaced Persons in Africa, places an obligation on states to protect the
rights of internally displaced persons regardless of the cause of
displacement. However, at the De Doorns site, residents have been denied
several rights and freedoms. The residents are prohibited from working with
PASSOP, a local NGO which provides advocacy services to refugees and asylum
seekers. Several residents at the site confirmed in sworn in Affidavits that
the Site manager had openly threatened to throw them out of the safety camp
if they were seen engaging, cooperating or seeking the Services of PASSOP.
Most of the residents openly stated that they felt intimidated and scared to
approach PASSOP and other NGOs. The Site manager is reported to have made
threats publicly that NIA will have informers at the site to identify those
working with PASSOP saying they would be handed over to the Zimbabwean
authorities who would hand them over to the CIO.
While the government is obliged to provide for displaced persons with
adequate humanitarian assistance such as food shelter, medical care and
other services necessary, the situation at the site has proved to be for
from sufficient.
Residents have complained of the difficulties of accessing health care. A
mobile clinic only visits once a week. Asked about this, the site manager
argued that the residents were free to visit health facilities in the
community, an option which many residents did not see as viable.
Worse still, meals are no longer being served at the site. The safety site
manager, Sean Minns, confirmed this position arguing that it had been
realized that ninety per cent of the site residents were in paid employment.
How the unemployed, those with disabilities and those in poor health will
survive remains unclear. People on medication, especially for TB, require
sufficient food to support their medication regime.
The general sentiment amongst the displaced Zimbabweans at the camp is that
the reduction in humanitarian assistance and services is a strategy designed
to force re- integration back into the hostile community.  They urged the
government to rethink this strategy as they were not convinced that this
would provide a lasting solution to the problem. In their view only an
inclusive process would create sustainable conditions for voluntary returns,
local re-integration or relocation.
Zimbabweans living in South Africa are a tool through which politicians can
negotiate their influence. South African grass level politicians have just
to scream and shout "get rid of them" and their popularity soars.
Politicians at higher levels, however, are more calculated. For example-
Tsvangirai last week called for Zimbabweans to return to Zimbabwe, clearly
aiming to impress South African political leadership.
It is said that in places like De Doorns the local community has celebrated
when large immigration raids were implemented. Many raids were done at
politically convenient times. Over the past few years (when government aimed
to deport as many Zimbabweans as they could) the immigration crackdowns were
often in line with election campaigns. It is sad but true, foreigners live
in fear of politicians, but also of communities. When a South African
township is struggling to get attention around a particular service delivery
item, xenophobic violence is a very effective means of getting attention
from politicians who are ignoring them. In short, there will never be a time
in the foreseeable future when the safety of Zimbabweans among the South
African impoverished communities can be guaranteed. They are hostages that
are held to what ever ransom at which ever time for what ever reason.

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Lamentations of Robert Gabriel

Written by John Makumbe
Tuesday, 15 December 2009 11:28
It was a heart-renting experience to listen and watch or read some of the
forlorn statements uttered at the fifth congress of Zanu (PF) by Mr Mugabe,
Commander in chief of the armed forces, chancellor of all state
universities, loser of the March 29 presidential elections, father of
Chatunga, and former holder of more than 10 honorary degrees of various
universities that have since stripped him of that honour.

I note the following lamentations of the old man as published in the Herald
and Sunday Mail Zanu (PF) mouthpieces masquerading as newspapers:
.    The MDC told the EU Troika that visited the country they should not
remove the sanctions yet. We have some whose thinking needs to be
.    Machechi akawanda deno tawana zuva rekuti tinamatirwe pfungwa
dzitasanuke. We need a day where (sic) we can pray for the adjustment of our
mental set-up (our mindset, stupid).
.    Government has money coming from the IMF issued as SDRs. Ours is frozen
because somebody thinks they should not be used. This is wrong, absolutely
wrong. (Good work Tendai Biti. Never before has a president been so
humiliated by a mere minister).
.    We must conduct an introspection to look into (sic) ourselves. Let our
party look into itself (sic) and you will agree with me that the reason why
we lost in March last year was because of factions. (Easy to blame others
Bob; what about your evil policies that have ruined the nation?)
.    The party is fighting itself, eating itself. (First accurate analysis
ever made in Zanu (PF)). The MDC would want the fight to be more intense and
that is a greater opportunity given to the opposition to thrive. (The old
man is forgetting that his party is now the opposition).
.    Give them (the people) the freedom to belong to the party. Please free
them. Let the people think freely. Let them make their choices freely. That
is democracy. (That is also quite unknown to Zanu (PF) Mr First Secretary of
the dying political party).
.    He said there was a need to reverse the uncanny and insidious
encroachments by treacherous Western-sponsored political formations and a
host of fake NGOs that have hidden their regime change intentions under the
convenient but false cover of claims about the rule of law, human rights and
property rights. (It is the negation of these fundamentals of democracy that
your political party is shunned by the people, Mr Commander in chief blah,
blah, blah).
.    The present day set-up is disempowering our people who are engaging in
barter trade and losing everything they owned through barter trade. (Did
Morgan not warn you that your ridiculous economic policies would reduce us
all to Stone Age scavengers years ago? Did you listen to his wise words? Now
you are crying as indeed you should).
It was very interesting to note that for the first time in the history of
this country, Zanu (PF) was admitting that it was facing formidable
obstacles posed as a result of the strides made by the MDC-T. Mugabe urged
his few supporters to work hard and prepare for the next elections, which he
intoned, are round the corner. These are the final elections for him to get
more of the same medicine that Dr Morgan delivered to him in March 2008,
only this time it will be a fatal dose.
Zanu (PF) is well aware of this situation, and so is Mugabe. The key factor
will have to be the result of the constitution-making process. If that
process is successful in that it will result in the adoption of a democratic
constitution for this country, then Mugabe will not need to lament any more.
He will be able to retire safely and quietly and leave politics to the young
and able in the MDC-T.

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