The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Banket farmer lucky to be alive after ‘assassination attempt’

By Alex Bell
18 December 2012

A farmer in Mashonaland West insists he escaped a deliberate ‘hit’ on his
life, after he was shot in the face on his property on Monday night.

Piet Zwanikken, a Dutch national who has been farming on his Riverhead farm
for 15 years, is now recovering in hospital with a serious face wound. The
bullet, shot at close range, went through his nose and grazed his cheek. On
Tuesday morning he was in surgery where doctors worked on rebuilding his

He spoke to SW Radio Africa from his hospital bed on Tuesday and said he is
lucky to be alive.

“I believe this was an assassination attempt. A deliberate hit. It is all an
attempt to force me off my farm,” Zwanikken said.

Zwanikken has faced worsening intimidation and threats in recent months,
after the Lands Ministry handed a suspected CIO agent an offer letter for
Riverhead farm in January. This is despite the fact that the property is
meant to be protected by a bilateral investment protection agreement
(BIPPA), between Zimbabwe and the Netherlands.

On several occasions the suspected CIO agent, Charles Mupanduki, has
attempted to take over the farm and land invaders working for him succeeded
for a few days in August. During that time Zwanikken lost thousands of
dollars worth of farming equipment and eventually had to get a court order
to force the invaders off his property.

He explained that on Monday night three land invaders who work for
Mupanduki, called him to his gate and said his tobacco stocks were being
stolen. He told SW Radio Africa that he did not believe them, so he thanked
them and turned back to his house.

“Little did I know that one of them, named Peter Macheka, had a gun behind
his back. As I was turning to go I just saw out the corner of my eye this
bright flash. This guy had shot at close range and next thing I knew I was
shot. I was with my son and we both ran back to the house. I am just so
lucky that bullet didn’t kill me,” Zwanikken said.

The shooting comes as information had been received of a detailed ‘hit list’
supplied to the CIO, which contains the names of people who could ‘make an
impact.’ John Worsley-Worswick from Justice for Agriculture said such a
‘hit-list’ has likely been made ahead of elections, to silence anyone that
could ‘rock the boat’ ahead of the poll.

“Fortunately this shooting on Monday has not resulted in another murder.
This is politically motivated though and driven by chefs, so we are very sad
and alarmed, but not terribly surprised. Farmers are always targeted ahead
of elections,” Worsley-Worswick said.

It is suspected that Zwanikken might have been deliberately targeted because
he is a Dutch national, and relations between Zimbabwe and the Netherlands
have soured significantly in recent months. A group of Dutch farmers, kicked
off their Zimbabwean farms ten years ago, have been stepping up their
campaign to ensure they are compensated. According to an international
arbitration court, the Zimbabwe government owes the farmers almost 24
million euros.

“The Dutch embassy has also been increasingly vociferous and critical of the
Zim government, so it seems linked,” Worsley-Worswick said.

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SA farmer waits to be evicted from Zim farm

December 18 2012 at 10:57am

Johannesburg - An elderly South African farmer who has farmed in Zimbabwe
for nearly 50 years will know on Friday whether he is to be evicted from his
land, Beeld reported on Tuesday.

Piet Henning, who has owned land in the Chiredzi district, in the south-east
of the country since 1965, has to appear in court on Friday “for the 27th or
28th time” on charges of illegally occupying government land.

The “government land” is the stable and original farm of 81 hectares that he
retained after he had more than 200ha of sugarcane fields confiscated in
2003, Beeld reported.

Henning, who farms with his son, Greig, had three farms at one stage, but
the other two had been completely destroyed by 2009.

For the past three years, Henning has had to appear in court every six

President Robert Mugabe's government has been trying for 12 years to drive
white commercial farmers off their land, and there are currently only 221
farmers left, from the original 5 000.

“I expect to be found guilty,” Henning said on Monday.

The Zimbabwean attorney-general and the secretary of justice have told the
courts that no white commercial farmer may be acquitted for land issues. -

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No breakthrough expected from COPAC talks

By Tichaona Sibanda
18 December 2012

The committee negotiating the conclusion of the constitution making process
was expected to meet in Harare late Tuesday, in an attempt to rescue talks
that have stalled.

A meeting to resolve the outstanding issues was postponed on Monday, after
some of the members of the committee failed to pitch up because of
ministerial commitments.

Talks between ZANU PF and the MDC formations ended inconclusively last week,
amid reports all sides failed to make any headway to bridge the gap on some
of the issues contained in the draft.

Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T spokesman and COPAC co-chair, said despite the
deadlock all sides have said they want to seek an amicable solution to the
long drawn out process.

The Nyanga North MP did not hold out any hope for a result from Tuesday’s
talks, as no side was willing to back down on its demands. Analysts told SW
Radio Africa a breakthrough was unlikely this year with all parties wary of
making concessions that would portray them as weak and giving in.

Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa said despite several ‘intense and
tough’ talks between the parties to the GPA, there was no clear progress
towards ending the deadlock and that will mean a delay in holding elections.

‘The main stumbling block is that the sides’ positions are rather difficult
and tough to reconcile. Last week they had an intense and tough exchange of
views, but remained worlds apart. So they agreed to reflect on each other’s
positions but it remains doubtful if each of the parties is ready to
concede,’ Muchemwa said.

The country’s constitution-making process has spanned over three years and
the exercise has been a battleground in the endless war between ZANU PF and
the MDC formations.

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COPAC Taken to Court Again Over Draft Constitution

Jonga Kandemiiri

Zanu PF-aligned Danny Musukuma has for the second time filed an urgent
application at the High Court, this time seeking to stop the Constitution
Parliamentary Committee (COPAC), from sending the draft constitution to

Musukuma is also demanding that the Second All Stakeholders’ Conference has
to be redone, arguing that the people at the conference answered questions
but did not know what they were doing.

In his papers to the High Court filed Monday, Musukuma, who claims to
represent millions of Zimbabweans, cited all three COPAC co-chairs and those
who are in the management committee as the respondents, but left out
Constitution and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Eric Matinenga.

In October, Musukuma took the constitution-making committee to court seeking
to stop the holding of the Second All Stakeholders’ Conference, but he lost
the bid.

He later tried to register to attend the conference as a Zanu PF delegate
but was snubbed by COPAC.

VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri reached Zanu PF COPAC co-chairman,
Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, who declined to comment saying the matter is
already before the courts.

But co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora of the Movement for Democratic Change
formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said that Musukuma was
being used by some in Zanu PF to oppose the new constitution process.

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$4 billion looted from mining companies through indigenisation

By Tererai Karimakwenda
18 December 2012

A total of $4 billion has so far been raised by government from shares that
big mining firms were forced to give up under the National Indigenisation
and Economic Empowerment Act.

According to the state run Sunday Mail newspaper, Indigenisation and
Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere last week said the Sovereign Wealth
Fund had reached $4 billion after two more mining companies gave up 51% of
their shares in compliance.

Kasukuwere said Unki Platinum and Mimosa had finally complied with the
indigenization laws after submitting revised compliance proposals. Mimosa’s
deal raised $550 million dollars and was the most lucrative so far. A deal
with one more company, Zimplats, is expected to be cleared sometime this

According to reports, mining sector officials in the country this week said
government had given them no choice but to “vendor finance” their proposals
or risk losing their operations completely.

Increased pressure on the mining firms came after ZANU PF passed resolutions
at their conference earlier this month, calling for intensified pressure on
the companies.

According to Kasukuwere $1.8 billion of the acquired shares went through the
National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund (Nieef) and the rest
is supposed to go to community trusts and employee share ownerships schemes.

Luke Zunga from the Global Zim Forum dismissed the indigenisation policies
as nothing more than massive looting. He said the communities and so-called
indigenous people, who are supposed to benefit, do not have direct access to
any of the money made through indigenisation.

“These shares are either going to be held in the Sovereign Fund or whatever,
so that they are in the control of those departments of government. It is
these organizations that decide how much to give to the communities,” Zunga

He added: “This is asking for scandal, money disappearing and people killing
each other going after the money. This is not an economic development
policy. It is not. It is simply taking over shares from people who have been
building up their companies.”

Economists have criticized ZANU PF’s indigenisation plan as massive looting
and electioneering, saying it drives away foreign investors and has a
negative impact on the economy.

The MDC formations have also received strong criticism for not being more
vocal in opposing the plans.

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Zim information minister calls for regulation of the internet, social media

RegulationA report in today’s Herald newspaper says Zimbabwe’ Media, Information and Publicity Minister, Webster Shamu, has called for the “appropriate regulation of the internet and new media platforms”. The Minister, according to the report, is calling for this because the potential of the internet to cause strife in society.

The call comes just a week after governments world over met in Dubai for a UN International Telecoms Union (ITU) meeting to discuss a framework to usher in regulation of the internet by governments through the ITU. The proposals were successfully blocked by the US and UK.More on that here.

According to the state owned daily paper, Shamu made the call at a meeting with a Chinese government official.

Here are some of the quotes from the article:

[it is] important to instill in citizens and the journalism fraternity progressive values anchored on clear appreciation of national history and cultural heritage so that they appropriately exercise citizen journalism.

The so-called citizen journalism facet of the new media means everyone has the potential to disseminate information that is…sometimes inaccurate or undesirable, information which may indeed be in total disregard of the national interest and lead to uncalled for internal strife in a country,

The target for the regulation so far is social media and citizen journalism. Social media platforms include websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others like them. Citizen journalism on the internet is basically in the form of blogging on platforms like WordPress,BlogSpot, Posterous and Tumblr as well as independently hosted blogs.

While details of such regulation are not clear from what the minister said, such calls are worrying. The internet, social media, and citizen journalism as it is in Zimbabwe, is far from broken. If anything there’s need for more access, inclusion of more Zimbabweans, and more local content put on the internet by Zimbabweans so it can be relevant to everyday Zimbabweans.

We should not be thinking about regulating we should be thinking of opening it to more creators of content.

image via

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ZimRights official still detained a week after arrest

By Alex Bell
18 December 2012

An official from the Zimbabwe Association of Human Rights (ZimRights), who
was arrested almost a week ago after a police raid on the group’s offices,
is still being detained in Harare.

The offices were ransacked by police officials last Wednesday and ZimRights
Programs manager Leo Chamahwinya was arrested, on allegations of conducting
‘illegal’ voter registration.

He was held without charge until last Friday, when he was formally accused
of ‘conspiracy to commit fraud’. He is now still being detained in Harare
and his legal team are set to file a bail application in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the ZimRights offices in Bulawayo were raided on Monday, in what
is being slammed as a deliberate crackdown on civic groups in Zimbabwe.
Staff was questioned during the raid, but no one was arrested.

Dzimbabwe Chimbga, from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), told SW
Radio Africa that the police spent more than hour “turning the place upside
down,” but eventually left empty handed.

“This comes off the back of the arrest of a ZimRights official in Harare and
we believe this raid is linked. Police claimed they were looking for
subversive material linked to so-called illegal registration of voters. But
they didn’t find anything,” Chimbga said.

The lawyer agreed that civic groups and other NGOs appear to be targeted as
part of a deliberate and “ruthless” campaign of intimidation and harassment.
Last week, two officials from the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN)
were detained for organising an “unsanctioned public meeting” on
International Human Rights Day. Their detention came just days before
ZimRights’ Chamawhinya was arrested.

Last month several employees from the Counselling Services Unit (CSU), an
NGO that provides support to victims of torture and political violence, were
arrested and illegally detained because CSU was allegedly in possession of
“offensive and subversive material.”

And in August the headquarters of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Zimbabwe
(GALZ) was ransacked on multiple occasions, during which visibly drunk riot
police assaulted GALZ employees and seized office materials. Authorities
later attempted to shut down the GALZ operations altogether, charging a
co-chairperson with running an “unregistered” organisation.

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Tsvangirai in charge of elections for unity government

By Tererai Karimakwenda
18 December 2012

It has been reported that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is taking control
of the country’s preparations for elections due next year, in his capacity
as the principal in charge of policy implementation in the unity government.

Newsday newspaper said this was the purpose of a meeting last Friday between
Tsvangirai and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

But Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, William Bango, told SW Radio Africa that this
is not news, as the PM has been in charge of policy implementation for the
government all along, as part of his “job description” and mandate.

“Look at the Constitution and how it defines Mr. Tsvangirai’s expected
duties. It is very clear this is part of his daily diary. Lots of work has
been done in the past four years to prepare. It is clear we are having
elections next year and preparatory work must begin now,” Bango said.

The PM met with officials from ZEC last week and plans to meet with all the
other commissions, including the Constitutional select committee (COPAC) and
the media commission.

Asked why Tsvangirai is not pursuing the implementation of the key reforms
that were stipulated in the Global Political Agreement, which are meant to
lead to free and fair elections, Bango said those reforms had nothing to do
with the daily duties of the Prime Minister.

“There is a deadlock and the GPA is very clear as to what happens in that
case where there is no agreement. In cases like that it clearly says the
matter must be referred to the facilitator for assistance,” Bango said.

But the facilitator, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and his team, have
failed to break the deadlock in the Constitutional reform exercise. Without
agreement on a new charter by the political parties, there can be no
referendum and elections will be delayed even longer.

Some observers have also pointed to the fact that Tsvangirai’s party, the
MDC-T, continues to be harassed and prosecuted by a partisan police force
and judiciary. Their rallies are disrupted and supporters assaulted by
thugs, with impunity.

Ironically Tsvangirai is organising an election, in a country where his
party cannot freely campaign.

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Mutambara: June 28 Deadline to Dissolve Zimbabwe Parliament

Violet Gonda, Taurai Shava

The current Parliament of Zimbabwe and the government will expire in June
next year and elections must be held before then, with or without a new
constitution, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara revealed in Washington
DC at the weekend.

Mutambara, attending the launch of the Zimbabwe Diaspora Home-Front
Interface Initiative, said the current Lancaster House Constitution sets the
duration of the parliament as a function of the presidency and the current
president who was sworn in on June 28, 2008.

Currently the political parties in the inclusive government are haggling
over the final draft of a new constitution, with President Robert Mugabe
threatening to ditch the stalled new constitution and hold elections under
the current constitution.

Mutambara told the VOA that if the political parties fail to agree on a new
constitution, then elections will have to be held without reforms no later
than June 28, which he warns may lead to a disputed outcome.

“If we don’t make progress by June 28, 2013, we will be forced to go into an
election without a new constitution.

“SADC (Southern African Development Community) can encourage us to work
together but the African Union and SADC cannot force us to violate the
constitution. There is no way that SADC and the AU can extend the Zimbabwean
government and the Zimbabwean parliament beyond June 28, 2013,” Mutambara

The deputy prime minister said he would prefer constitutional and electoral
reforms to be in place before the next elections, adding that “if we don’t
do that we are going towards acrimony and I don’t desire to have elections
on the Lancaster House Constitution.”

But the chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly, Lovemore Madhuku,
told the VOA that while it is correct to say that parliament will be
dissolved by June 28, the government has four additional months, meaning
that elections would be needed by October 20.
Interview with Lovemore Madhuku

The constitutional expert said there will be no parliament after June 28 but
just the executive arm of the government.

“The president is allowed to remain in office until a new president takes
office and that must be done within four months of that period.

“So by about October 28 there must be elections but those elections are what
is allowed for purposes of allowing the processes for an election but
parliament will not be able to do anything after 28 June.”

Madhuku said this situation must be avoided as it is not good to have the
executive run government affairs when there is no legal parliament in place.

A senior researcher at the Research and Advocacy Unit in Zimbabwe, Derek
Matyszak, also agreed that the requirement for elections is four months
after the dissolution of parliament, but says the only time that the life of
parliament can be extended is if there is a national security threat.
Interview with Derek Matyszak

He said: “Mutambara seems to be unaware that elections don’t have to take
place for another four months after the dissolution of parliament.

“The only way that it can be extended is if there is a declaration of war or
if there is a declaration of a state of emergency, or if there is a
constitutional amendment to extend the life of parliament.”

Both Madhuku and Matyszak said there is no legal requirement for a new
constitution to be in place before elections.

Meanwhile, Movement for Democratic Change leader Welshman Ncube said his
party is prepared to go for general elections, even if Zimbabwe fails to
adopt a new constitution.

Speaking to journalists after a party rally at Maboleni Township in Lower
Gweru on Sunday, Ncube, who had earlier told his supporters that it is
difficult to craft a new constitution under what he labeled a
“dictatorship,” said if the country fails to have a new constitution soon,
Zimbabweans can always work on having one in future.

Ncube blasted Zanu PF for wanting to impose its will on others, adding that
his party would rather go for polls under the current constitution than an
undemocratic charter.

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MDC Skeptical of Military's Impartiality in 2013 Polls

Ntungamili Nkomo

WASHINGTON DC — The two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations have
received with cautious optimism statements by State Security Minister Sydney
Sekeramayi that security forces will not tolerate violence in the
forthcoming general elections.

Sekeramayi told state-controlled media that security forces will be on high
alert in the run-up to the 2013 polls to prevent clashes between political
parties and attempts to intimidate voters.

The army and the police have been accused of openly supporting Zanu PF and
harassing MDC supporters in previous elections.

“The public is assured that the army, police and intelligence services will
be extremely vigilant and coordinating their activities before and during
the elections to detect any trouble makers,” Sekeramayi told the Herald.

But spokesman Nhlanhla Dube of the Welshman Ncube MDC said he was skeptical
of the minister's statement but will give him the benefit of the doubt.

"If Sekeramayi has indeed made such a commitment, we welcome it," said Dube.
"What we need in Zimbabwe is a professional security force that does not
involve itself in partisan politics."

Dube's sentiments were echoed by Abednico Bhebhe, deputy organizing
secretary of the MDC formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai. But Bhebhe had more

"Many people have been beaten up by the military for supporting the MDC or
being against Zanu PF, and nothing has been done to the perpetrators. What
will change now?” asked Bhebhe.

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Zimbabwe population peaks at 13 million: census report

Sapa-AFP | 18 December, 2012 11:24

Zimbabwe's population steadily increased to 13 million, up by 1.1% from the
last count a decade ago, a report released by the National Statistics Agency
on Tuesday shows.

"Detailed results will be published in a series of subsequent reports after
completion of data processing and further analysis," Mutasa Dzinotizei,
National Statistics Agency (ZimStats) director general said.

Females make the largest group of the population, with 6.738,77 counted.

Long-ruling President Robert Mugabe blamed the scourge of HIV and AIDS
related deaths for the declining growth after the 2002 census.

Though about 13% of the population is HIV positive, Zimbabwe has emerged as
something of an AIDS success, with new HIV infections down 50 percent
between 1997 and 2007, a study last year found.

Officials are encouraging male circumcision because some research has shown
the procedure can reduce HIV transmission rates.

Zimbabwe has also seen an exodus of people fleeing political and economic
turmoil over the last decade, with some estimates suggesting three million
people have left.

The 2012 census figures do not include Zimbabweans outside the country.

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Zim inflation eases

Tue, 18 Dec 2012 10:56 AM

Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate dipped to 2.99 percent in November, down
from 3.38 percent the previous month, due to lower clothing and wine costs,
the national statistics agency said Monday.

Prices rose by 0.13 percent in November, shedding down from the 0.26 percent
gain in October, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStats) said.

Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate has remained below five percent since the
country abandoned its hyper-inflation ravaged dollar for the US dollar and
other regional currencies.

A power-sharing government formed in 2009 between long-time political rivals
President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai dumped the
worthless local dollar.

Goods that were in short supply or unavailable have returned to the shelves,
but prices have continued to fluctuate according to import costs.

Zimbabwe relies on imports mainly from neighbouring economic giant South
Africa after the economic meltdown forced factories to downsize, close or
relocate to neighbouring countries.

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Zimbabwe stockpiling diamond - World Bank

Staff Reporter 6 hours 49 minutes ago

The World Bank believes that the Government of Zimbabwe is hoarding massive
quantities of diamonds, Rough and Polished reports.
In an internal document of the World Bank which was viewed by Fin24, the
authors claimed that the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation
has amassed troves of rough diamonds that might amount to up to $5 billion.
These rough diamonds stored by the ZMDC are said to be of low quality and of
lesser dollar value per carat, according to Rough and Polished. They are
also supposed to have been collected before the Kimberley Process
Certification Scheme voted to permit the Zimbabwean diamond industry to sell
on the global market with KP approval.
The World Bank report also noted that without intervention, Zimbabwe's
diamond production will peak at an annual rate of 12 million carats in the
years to come, but that this rate can be increased by over 25% in the next
six years if the country invests $150 million.

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Zimbabwe whips SA miners into line


ZIMBABWE has ratcheted up the pressure on South African platinum mining
companies to vendor finance their empowerment proposals.

On Friday, Impala Platinum and Aquarius Platinum announced that their
Zimbabwean joint venture Mimosa had signed an agreement to transfer 51% to
black Zimbabwean groups.

Mimosa and Zimplats, which had to submit a revised compliance plan, now want
to provide funding for the acquisition of shares by local groups in their
respective operations.

Zimbabwean Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said the new plan
submitted by Zimplats is likely to be given the nod this week. "We are
pleased that the Zimplats deal is almost sealed. We are hopeful that it will
be a done deal (this week) ."

Mining sector officials in Zimbabwe said on Monday that the government had
apparently told the two mining companies that they had to vendor finance
their proposals or risk their operations being taken over.

"There had been so much pressure on the platinum mining companies and
following resolutions passed at the Zanu (PF) conference earlier this month
to intensify pressure on the companies, Zimplats and Mimosa just had to
comply," said a mining executive who did not want to be named.

"Remember, elections are around the corner and this law is being used to
lure votes. Just about all the big guns have now complied and it will be
easy for Kasukuwere and the government to nudge the others to comply.

Analyst Johannes Kwangwari said the indigenisation scheme was bound to face
challenges from the word go. " Zimplats was the first to comply, although
there were always going to be problems regarding payment for the shares. But
now all the major mining companies have moved in to fully comply and there
is substance in their agreements ."

Meanwhile, it has emerged that the deal signed between Mimosa and the
government will see the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment
Board (Nieeb) pay up a debt owed to Mimosa by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
"The reserve bank has a $57m debt with Mimosa, but we have managed to clear
this debt through this deal," Mr Kasukuwere said.

"Nieeb will take over the debt as part of their shareholding in Mimosa and
the reserve bank will not have to repay Mimosa, but strike an arrangement
through Nieeb," he said.

Aquarius Platinum CEO Jean Nel said on Friday that compliance with the
empowerment law would "offer Mimosa security of tenure".

Under the agreement, Mimosa will cede 51% ownership to indigenous Zimbabwean
groups for $550m. This has been calculated at an "agreed" market value of
$1.078bn for the Mimosa mine.

Mimosa said future funding for the mine’s operations and capitalisation,
where necessary, would be provided by all shareholders, including the
indigenous Zimbabwean groups empowered under the transaction.

"To the extent that shareholders cannot or do not comply with their funding
obligations, Mimosa Investments may fund any shortfall, which may lead to
dilution," the miner said.

Mimosa will cede 10% shareholding to the Zvishavane Community Share
Ownership Trust, which is held by communities in the area around the mine.
Another 10% will be ceded to the Mimosa employee share ownership trust. The
company will give up a further 31% of its shareholding to Nieeb.

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GMB accountant up for fraud

Tuesday, 18 December 2012 10:54
HARARE - The Grain Marketing Board (GMB) has lost over $40 000 after its
acting accounting officer allegedly pocketed money meant for employees.

Lovemore Ncube, 29, allegedly converted to his personal use $40 800 which
was meant for employees to buy stands.

Ncube appeared before magistrate Anita Tshuma on 65 counts of theft of trust

According to state papers, GMB offered a housing loan facility to its
employees to buy stands.

GMB would hold title deeds of the stands until full payment was made.

Ncube’s duties include processing loans for employees and ensuring the money
is transferred from the GMB account into beneficiaries’ accounts.

The court heard between January and June this year, Ncube lied to his
workmates that he had relatives from the Diaspora who wanted to send him
money through various accounts.

He allegedly asked for their bank accounts which he was given.

It is alleged Ncube transferred $39 300 into his workmates accounts
purporting that they were beneficiaries of GMB housing scheme.

He allegedly asked the account holders to withdraw the money and give it to
him, thereby prejudicing the company.

According to state papers, Ncube was also involved in ensuring the GMB
housing scheme provincial representatives were given $100 worth of airtime
for communication.

Ncube, the court heard, also received $1 500 for monthly airtime of
employees and converted it to his own use.

As a result of Ncube’s alleged fraudulent actions, GMB suffered a prejudice
of $40 800 and nothing was recovered.

Magistrate Tshuma remanded Ncube out of custody on a $200 bail.

He will be back in court on December 28. - Ivine Zhakata

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Row erupts over Mat gold mines

Tuesday, 18 December 2012 10:58
HARARE - Three Gwanda residents are in custody in a case of suspected ethnic
violence involving gold mines in Matabeleland South Province.

Police say the three suspects are now in custody after they allegedly
unleashed violence claiming politics of exclusion in the running of gold
claims in the province rich in metals.

Police spokesperson Andrew Phiri said officers nabbed the trio over the
weekend following a public scuffle outside Gum West gold mine. The clashes
were ignited after a motorist ran over a local vendor’s goods.

“The people started to fight this man saying that ‘you Shonas here are
exploiting our resources’ while we are suffering’,” Phiri said. “They went
to Joy Tree Mine and then went to Zebia Gold Mine where they did the same.”

“It is alleged they were beating up people at these mines telling them to
leave mineral resources in Matabeleland for Ndebeles.

“They accused the Shonas of having many mining claims in the area than
Ndebele-speaking people,” the police spokesperson said.

Gwanda has vast gold deposits with Canadian mine, Blanket, being the largest
mine in the area.

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Zanu-PF boasts about a shared history with the ANC

18 DEC 2012 15:02 - VERASHNI PILLAY

Events took a turn at the ANC Mangaung conference as liberation movements
such as Zanu-PF began comparing themselves to the ANC.

The ANC conference in Mangaung took a turn after the winners were announced
and tributes from other parties and organisations were brought to the stage.

A representative from Robert Mugabe's party Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe used the
opportunity to defend the party's controversial policies, likening their
situation to the ANC's.

Zanu-PF national chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo was invited on to stage to
congratulate the ANC.

The reception was initially warm as Moyo recounted the two parties'
historically close relationship, speaking fondly of a visit from Jeff Radebe
and boasting of his friendship with Gwede Mantashe.

But applause from the 4 000-plus audience became increasingly muted as he
delved into the party's controversial history and land grabs in the country.
"A situation where 1% of the population owned 70% of commercially viable
land was not tenable," he said defiantly.

Moyo emphasised the right of the two countries' territorial independence and
said the "restriction free" sale of Zimbabwe's diamonds was necessary. He
concluded by saying his party and the ANC shared a common history, values
and destiny.

Frelimo from Mozambique simply wished the party success, albeit after
mistakenly calling Cyril Ramaphosa deputy president of the ANC and the
republic of South Africa. This was quickly corrected.

Tributes from Chile and the Socialist International also followed.

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Adam Ndlovu burial set for Saturday

18/12/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THE BURIAL of Warriors and Highlanders legend Adam Ndlovu has been slated
for Bulawayo on Saturday.

Family spokesman Madinda said Tuesday that they are yet to decide on the
place of burial – but there were indications the soccer icon might be laid
to rest at the Lady Stanley Cemetery.

The cemetery is preserve for prominent members of the Bulawayo community,
and Adam, viewed by many as a national football hero, might be honoured with
a burial there.

It also emerged that Peter, who was seriously injured in the car crash that
killed his brother, has finally been told of Adam’s passing.

Members of the public will be allowed to visit him from Wednesday at Mater
Dei hospital where he is receiving treatment.

Madinda also highlighted that the Ndlovu family is yet to meet with Nomqhele
Tshili's family, the 24-year-old lady who died with Adam.

Meanwhile, condolences continue to pour in.

Warriors manager Sharif Mussa said: "I am deeply saddened by the passing of
Adam. It is a very big shock not only to me, but Zimbabwe as a whole and the
football fraternity.

“He used to make Zimbabweans smile because of his play. Adam will be greatly
missed. He imparted a legacy to our football. May God be with the family in
the trying times. Best wishes to Peter. I hope he recovers soon."

The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) also paid its respects saying
Adam had “distinguished himself as a great football player and an astute

“The SRC would like to express its heartfelt condolences to the Ndlovu
family and the football fraternity and shares with them the loss of one of
the greatest footballers ever to be produced in this country.

We pray that guardian angels watch over Peter and wish him a speedy

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel tweeted: "Sending my
best wishes to Peter Ndlovu. I hope he recovers."

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Gukurahundi Massacres: The 5 Brigade and CIO (Part 12)
on December 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm


In Matabeleland South in 1984, the pattern of 5 Brigade behaviour differed notably from their behaviour in 1983. Killings were less likely to occur in the village setting. However, mass beatings remained very widespread, with many variations on a theme.

The key men behind the Gukurahundi Massacres: Robert Mugabe (President), Emmerson Mnangagwa (then State Security Minister) and Perrence Shiri (then commander of the 5th Brigade).

The key men behind the Gukurahundi Massacres: Robert Mugabe (President), Emmerson Mnangagwa (then State Security Minister) and Perrence Shiri (then commander of the 5th Brigade).

While the most common pattern still involved making people lie face down in rows, after which they were beaten with thick sticks, there are a large number of interviews referring to sadistic refinements in mass physical torture.

People were on occasion made to lie on thorny branches first, after which 5 Brigade ran along their backs to embed the thorns before the beatings. People were made to roll in and out of water while being beaten, sometimes naked. They were made to push government vehicles with their heads only, and were then beaten for bleeding on government property. Women were made to climb up trees and open their legs, so 5 Brigade could insult their genitals, while simultaneously beating them. Men and women were made to run round in circles with their index fingers on the ground, and were beaten for falling over.

These mass beatings invariably ended with at least some victims so badly injured that they were unable to move, so that they had to be carried away by others the following day. As in Matabeleland North, people were threatened with death if they reported to hospitals or clinics, and the majority of injuries remained untreated. Victims mention fractured limbs which set themselves crookedly, perforated ear drums which became infected, and other injuries which might have been simply treated, resulting in long-term health problems.

Genital mutilation is more commonly reported in Matobo than in Matabeleland North. The practice of forcing sharp sticks into women’s vaginas is independently reported by several witnesses. This phenomenon was apparently common at Bhalagwe, and witnesses refer to women at Bhalagwe adopting a characteristic, painful, wide-legged gait after receiving such torture. In addition, men were also subjected to beatings which focussed on their genitalia. The testicles would be bound in rubber strips and then beaten with a truncheon.

Some men complain of permanent problems with erections and urinating as a result of such beatings. At least one man is reported as dying after his scrotum was burst during a beating. Several witnesses also report being told to have sex with donkeys while at Bhalagwe, and being beaten when they failed to do so. The practice of wide spread rape, of young women being “given as wives” to 5 Brigade at Bhalagwe is also referred to by several independent sources.

The CIO seemed to work very closely with the 5 Brigade in Matabeleland South, and gained a reputation for being even more lethal in their methods of torture than 5 Brigade. The CIO conducted most of the “interrogation” at Bhalagwe and Sun Yet Sen: they would ask questions, while 5 Brigade, who could not speak or understand Ndebele, beat the victim regardless of what he/she responded. CIO used electric shocks to torture people. They attached wires to the backs, ears and mouths of witnesses before shocking them.

Witnesses frequently refer to being tortured by 5 Brigade and then CIO consecutively, or being passed from the custody of one to the other and back again. In Bhalagwe, there is repeated reference to a particularly cruel woman CIO officer who used to sexually torment her male victims.

Water torture was also apparently wide-spread under both CIO and 5 Brigade. This commonly involved either holding a person’s head under water, or forcing a shirt into somebody’s mouth, then pouring water onto the shirt until the victim choked and lost consciousness. The perpetrator would then jump on the victim’s stomach until s/he vomited up the water. This practice commonly stopped once the victim was vomiting blood.

While killing by 5 Brigade was less widespread than in Matabeleland North in 1983, there are still many horrific atrocities on record, including the following, all perpetrated by 5 Brigade. A four month-old infant was axed three times, and the mother forced to eat the flesh of her dead child. An eighteen year-old girl was raped by six soldiers and then killed. An eleven year-old child had her vagina burnt with plastic and was later shot. Twin infants were buried alive.


Mass beatings and rallies invariably ended in mass detentions in 1984. Those detained included all ex-ZIPRAs, all ZAPU officials, and other men and women selected on a seemingly random basis. Those detained could include the elderly, and also schoolchildren. Trucks seemed to patrol, picking up anyone they met and taking them to detention camps.

It was usual for detainees to be taken first to the nearest 5 Brigade base, for 1 or more days, before being transferred to Bhalagwe. Interviewees report being held in small 5 Brigade camps, until there were enough of them to fill an army vehicle to Bhalagwe. A truck-load seems to have been around 100 people. In southern Matobo, the main `holding camp’ was at Sun Yet Sen, where both the CIO and the 5 Brigade were based.This camp reportedly held up to 800 detainees at one time, and people were sometimes held here for a week or longer. There were smaller bases in the west and north.

Detainees in southern Matobo were commonly beaten before their detention, tortured at Sun Yet Sen, and then transferred to Bhalagwe for further torture and detention. In addition to detentions after rallies or mass beatings, 5 Brigade also went through some areas on foot, hauling out villagers from the homesteads they passed, and then herding them ahead on foot, while beating them. Some interviewees report covering extensive distances in this way, as 5 Brigade made a sweep through many villages in an area, gathering a growing number of detainees as they went.


The most notorious detention centre of all was Bhalagwe Camp, situated just west of Antelope Mine. From interviews, Bhalagwe operated at full capacity throughout the early months of 1984, from the beginning of February until the end of May, a period of 4 months. It continued to operate after this, but the phenomenon of mass detentions had dissipated by then, and there were fewer new inmates after this.

On 15 May 1982 aerial photographs of the Bhalagwe area were taken for the purposes of updating maps of the area. An enlarged section of one such photograph (see page ) shows that at this date, Bhalagwe was an operational military camp: military vehicles are visible, as are soldiers on parade. It would appear that 1:7 Battalion was based here in 1982, consisting mainly of ex ZIPRAs incorporated into the Zimbabwe National Army.

At some point in 1982, the ZIPRAs here were allegedly accused of being dissidents, and Bhalagwe Camp was surrounded by elite Paratroop and Commando units and was shut down. However, a military presence was maintained here, as there are references to Bhalagwe being used as a detention centre for ex ZIPRAs and others from mid 1982 onwards, when the anti-ZIPRA sweep in the wake of the tourist kidnapping gained momentum.

Visible at Bhalagwe in May 1982, are 180 large, round roofed asbestos “holding sheds”, each measuring approximately 12 metres by 6 metres, and 36 half-sized ones, measuring 6 metres by 6 metres. According to testimonies on record since March 1984, which have been confirmed in interviews in 1996, these asbestos structures were where detainees were kept.

It is also clear from the aerial photography, that these structures were arranged, apparently within fences, in groups of a dozen – eleven 12 x 6 metre structures and 1 smaller one. What is not clear is how many of these groupings were used in 1984 to house detainees, and how many were used to house military personnel, or served storage or interrogation purposes. Perhaps many were out of use. There is also reference by some detainees to some of the asbestos sheds having suffered wind and storm damage, so by February 1984 the camp may have been less intact than it appears in the May 1982 photograph.

Detainees confirm that 136 people were routinely kept in each 12 x 6 metre shed. There were no beds, and the floor space was so limited people had to sleep squeezed together on their sides, in 3 rows. There were no blankets or toilet facilities.

An assumption, based on affidavits, of 136 per shed would allow for the detention of at least 1500 people within each fenced enclosure of a dozen sheds. Bhalagwe camp has been variously estimated by ex-detainees to have had 1800, 2000, 3000 up to 5000 people detained at one time. On 7 February 1984, the number of detainees was 1 856, consisting of 1000 men and 856 women.

This figure was given to CCJP in 1984 by a detainee who was ordered by 5 Brigade to help others count the number of detainees. As the curfew had only been in effect a few days at this stage, and the phase of mass detentions was just beginning, it is very likely the number rose over the following weeks.

It is quite clear from the aerial photograph that Bhalagwe’s holding capacity was vast, and easily capable of absorbing at one time the highest figure currently claimed, that of 5 000. However, the exact number detained at Bhalagwe’s peak remains unconfirmed.

The first records of detentions in the Bhalagwe area date from the middle of 1982, coinciding with the detention exercises going on in Matabeleland North at that time. Reported detentions in 1982 and 1983 are few, however: it is in February 1984 that Bhalagwe becomes the centre of detentions throughout Matabeleland. The remains of Bhalagwe Camp were still visible in November 1996 (see photos page ).

The camp is ideally situated in terms of combining maximum space, with maximum privacy. There are natural barriers on three sides: Bhalagwe hill lies to the south, and Zamanyone hill demarcates its western edge. The eastern perimeter lies in the direction of Antelope Dam, and there are no villages between the camp and the dam. Water was piped in from Antelope Dam nearby, into water storage tanks. Although the camp is scarcely a kilometre from the main road running south of Bhalagwe hill, it is invisible to passers’ by.

People were trucked in from all over Matabeleland South to Bhalagwe, not just from Matobo. Women and men were separated. Different zones within the camp were designated to detainees who had been brought in from the different bases at Bulilimamangwe, Plumtree, Gwanda, Mberengwa, Sun Yet Sen and northern Matobo. There is even reference to detainees from Chipinge – these could have been potential MNR dissidents, although who they were exactly is not clear.

As well as being sorted by district, Bhalagwe survivors refer to new arrivals being sorted and designated holding rooms on the basis of their usual line of work and their employers, such as whether they worked in town or were communal farmers. At times school children were also sorted and kept separately. Detainees also refer to identity documents and letters related to employment being taken by 5 Brigade, and the latter destroyed.

Interviewees also refer to the fact that ex-ZIPRAs and ZAPU officials were kept separately from the ordinary civilians.

As detainees at any one time at Bhalagwe had been selected from a wide area, people in detention together seldom knew more than a handful of the other detainees. As most travel in the rural areas is on foot, people then (and now) did not know those who lived even a few villages away from their usual footpaths. One of the consequences was that when a person died in detention, possibly only one or two other inmates from the same village, and possibly nobody at all, would know that person’s name.

Inmates of Bhalagwe speak of daily deaths in the camp, but they are seldom able to name victims. They will merely comment how they witnessed people being beaten or shot, or how on certain mornings there would be people in their barracks who had died in the course of the night, as a result of the previous day’s beatings. The digging of graves is mentioned as a daily chore by some in early February.

However according to witnesses, at a certain point, although the date is not clear, these graves were dug up, and the bodies taken away on the trucks. The empty grave sites were still clearly visible in November 1996. Other accounts refer to the nightly departure of army trucks, carrying away the dead and dying to an unknown destination. It is now believed that these people were disposed of in local mine shafts, and in 1992, human remains were found in Antelope Mine, adjacent to Bhalagwe. Other people speak of their belief that Legion Mine, near Sun Yet Sen, also contains human remains from the 1980s.

The ex-ZIPRAs and ZAPU officials were singled out and kept in a separate area, in small buildings with low rooves and no windows, although there were ventilation slats. They were also kept shackled throughout their detentions, unlike the other detainees, and were subjected to the most brutal torture.

Turn-over at Bhalagwe was high. The length of detentions varied greatly. Most people recount having spent a few days or weeks in Bhalagwe. Approximately one to two weeks seemed a common detention period. Some interviewees claim to have spent as long as six to nine months in detention here, but these tend to be the ex-ZIPRAs and ZAPU officials.

Women were commonly held a few days, unless selected as “wives” for the soldiers, in which case their detention might stretch to a few weeks.

If two weeks was assumed as an average stay, and a conservative turnover of 1000 every two weeks was assumed, it could be estimated that around 8000 people passed through Bhalagwe in the four months it operated at its peak. The turnover could have been nearer double this figure.

Whatever the length of detention, those detained were subjected to at least one brutal interrogation experience. The majority were beaten on more than one occasion. There is reference to electric shocks being administered by the CIO.

Some witnesses report making false confessions under torture, naming invented people as dissidents, only to be caught out the next day when they failed to remember their previous day’s testimony. Interrogations always involved accusing people of being dissidents or feeding dissidents or of failing to report dissidents. This was routine, with no evidence being cited. The sexual focus of much of the torture has already been mentioned, with widespread rape, genital mutilation and forced sex with animals.

Bhalagwe survivors have referred to a wide variety of physical tortures. One pastime for the 5 Brigade was to force large numbers of detained men and women, to climb on to branches of trees, until the weight of human bodies snapped the branch, sending everyone crashing to earth. People broke limbs as a result of this. Several interviewees comment on the way 5 Brigade laughed to see them suffer.

Another form of torture was to force three men to climb into a 2 metre asbestos drainage pipe. The ones on each end would be told to come out, and as they started to leave the pipe, the 5 Brigade would begin to beat them fiercely, causing the men to spontaneously pull back in to the pipe, crushing the third man who would be crowded in the middle. On occasion, this resulted in the man in the middle being crushed and kicked to death by his two panicking companions.

Detainees were fed only once every second day, when mealie meal would be dished up on dustbin lids, with between 10 and 20 people per lid. Sometimes people would be forced to eat without using hands, for the amusement of 5 Brigade.

People were given half a cup of water a day each. Detainees had to dig toilets, wash army clothes and pots, and chop firewood in between their interrogation sessions. Interrogations used to begin at 5.30 a.m. every day.

Taken from a report on the 1980’s disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands. Compiled by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe, March 1997.

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