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Mugabe's grip on defence forces main problem in power talks

 By KITSEPILE NYATHI, NATION CorrespondentPosted Sunday, December 20 2009 at

HARARE, Sunday
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's refusal to let go the Joint Operations
Command (JOC), a state security organisation that is only accountable to the
veteran ruler, has emerged as the single biggest threat to Harare's shaky
coalition government.

JOC is made up of army commanders, Central Intelligence Organisation
directors, police and prison commissioners - most of them veterans of
Zimbabwe's war of liberation.

Last year, they were accused of spearheading President Mugabe's violent
fight back after he lost the first round of the presidential election to
then arch rival and now Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

The 85 year old leader eventually won the presidential runoff election on
June 27 after Mr Tsvangirai was forced to pull out citing the deaths and
displacement of his supporters during the violence engineered by the
security forces.

But the result was rejected throughout the world forcing Mr Mugabe to form a
unity government with Mr Tsvangirai and Professor Arthur Mutambara of the
smaller Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formation.

Despite the formation of the unity government, the service chiefs have
refused to salute Mr Tsvangirai as the Prime Minister claiming that he is a
surrogate of Western powers seeking to recolonise Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Costantine Chiwenga, Police
Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri and Commissioner of Prisons Retired
Major General Paradzai Zimondi have alled refused to salute the PM saying he
did not participate in the war of liberation.

Mr Mugabe's refusal to dismantle JOC, which under the Global Political
Agreement Zanu PF signed with the MDC formations leading to the formation of
the unity government, must be replaced by the National Security Council
(NSC), is now one of the few sticky outstanding issues in the ongoing inter
party talks.

On Monday the three principals in the coalition are scheduled to make an
announcement on progress in the talks but this is unlikely to include an
agreement on the security forces and Mr Mugabe's unilateral appointment of
his cronies to head the central bank and the attorney general's office.

The outstanding issues would be referred to the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) - the guarantors of the GPA.

President Mugabe's resolve to hold on to the notorious JOC was recently
emboldened by resolutions of Zanu PF's congress, which directed the party
negotiators not to compromise on the issue of the central bank governor, the
AG and the security forces.

"Security forces are a product of the national liberation struggle, belong
to the people and are mandated to defend the country's territorial
integrity, independence and sovereignty," the resolutions read in part.

"Zanu PF as the party of revolution and the people's vanguard shall not
allow the security forces to be the subject of any negotiation for a
so-called security sector reform that is based on patent misrepresentations
of Zimbabwe's heroic history and for the mere purpose of weakening the state
so that it can be easily overthrown."

MDC negotiators told a team of facilitators appointed by South African
President Jacob Zuma to speed up negotiations between the warring parties
that they want JOC dismantled because the NSC was now in place. "Zanu PF
expressed the contrary view that JOC only dealt with operational issues
whilst the National Security Council dealt with policy issues," the
facilitators said in the report submitted to President Zuma last week.

"The MDC also raised, on the subject of security reform, the existence of a
formalised and legitimised intelligence agency."

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146 new cholera cases recorded in Zim

by Own Correspondent Monday 21 December 2009

HARARE - Zimbabwe has recorded 146 new cases of cholera that have led to
five deaths, according to a report by the Ministry of Health and the World
Health Organisation (WHO).

According to the latest epidemiological report compiled by the ministry and
the WHO, the new cases were detected in nine out of the country's more than
50 districts with report adding that there has been a decline in the number
of affected areas compared to the same period last year.

"146 cumulative cholera cases and 5 deaths were reported by 13th December
2009 to the World Health Organization (WHO) through the Ministry of Health
and Child Welfare's national health information unit," the report that was
made available to ZimOnline at the weekend.

The crude case fatality rate since the outbreak started stands at 3.4
percent. By week 50 last year, 17 908 cumulative cases and 877 deaths had
been reported, with a crude case fatality rate of 4.9 percent, the report

A cholera epidemic that coincided with a doctors strike killed 4 288 people
out of 98 592 infections between August 2008 and July 2009.

Health experts have warned that Zimbabwe's humanitarian situation remains
precarious and that the same problems that helped drive the last cholera
epidemic remained unresolved, with six million people or half of the country's
total population of 12 million people with little or no access to safe water
and sanitation.

Aid agencies last month said that they were on standby to respond to an
expected surge in cholera cases this year with the cash-strapped
power-sharing government of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President
Robert Mugabe seen struggling to cope in the event of a major outbreak.

The new Harare government has promised to rebuild the economy and restore
basic services such as water supplies, health and education that had
virtually collapsed after years of neglect and under-funding.

But the administration has found it hard to undertake any meaningful
reconstruction work after failing to get financial support from rich Western
nations that insist they want to see more political reforms before they can
loosen the purse strings. - ZimOnline

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Cash queues resurface in Harare

by Own Correspondent Monday 21 December 2009

HARARE - Long queues for cash have resurfaced in Harare as most financial
institutions were caught napping by the huge numbers of people that have
thronged banking halls over the past few days to withdraw money to prepare
for the festive season.

On Friday night, some clients could be seen sleeping outside the First
Street branch of Central African Building Society (CABS), while long winding
queues were again observed at the same branch on Saturday morning.

The liquidity crunch also hit hard Beverly Building Society along Samora
Machel avenue. Even commercial banks such as Kingdom and Stanbic were also
affected with long winding queues at the city branches.

In a statement, central bank chief Gideon Gono said the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe was not responsible for the queues and blamed lack of funding from

Gono said most of the banks did not have enough notes to cover demand
associated with the festive period. He said the central bank could no longer
perform its core function since it "was acutely under funded by treasury,
leaving the institution with no capacity to independently perform the lender
of last resort function, let alone to import currency for banks".

Finance Minister Tendai Biti, availed in his 2010 national budget statement
US$10 million to the central bank to cover it's operations.

Cash shortages were last experienced following the dumping of the
inflation-ravaged local currency in preference for other currencies such as
the United States dollar, British pound and South African Rand earlier this
year as banks struggled to pay public workers in hard cash.

But the cash shortages soon disappeared after the International Monetary
Fund offered technical support to improve Zimbabwe's payments system to
enable banks to disburse foreign currency allowances to thousands of civil
servants more efficiently.
This Christmas is the first in many years that Zimbabweans are going to be
able to enjoy after a unity government between sworn enemies President
Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai formed last February
managed to end political tensions and halt a sever recession that had
ravaged the country for the past decade.  - ZimOnline

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Army forced Mugabe to stay on- Nkala

20/12/2009 00:00:00

Zanu PF founding member and former cabinet minister, Enos Nkala claims President Robert Mugabe was ready to quit after the party's electoral setback in the March 2008 general elections but was forced to stay on by the army. Nkala who quit government in 1989 after being caught up in the Willowgate scandal dismisses allegations he was involved in the 1980s Gukurahundi massacres and says those responsible should be prosecuted. He spoke to SW Radio Africa's Violet Gonda for the programme Hot Seat.

GONDA: Let's start with getting your thoughts on the present political situation in the country.

NKALA: Yes - the present political situation is very fluid; I think I must underline that word fluid. No-one knows what will happen next year or the following year. If I'm talking in respect of Zanu-PF - Zanu-PF was formed in my house in 1963. We were the agitators of the formation of Zanu-PF from Zapu because we felt Zapu could not give us direction for the things we wanted. And what we were concerned about at that time when the split from Zapu came was the liberation of this country and everyone knows the performance of Zanu-PF as a guerrilla movement and what it did in the liberation of Zimbabwe. Its present standing is very (inaudible). You cannot pin it down to one thing because the people who are now controlling Zanu-PF. a lot of them are opportunist, men who came yesterday, men who are self-seekers, men who are not grounded in politics or even the economic administration of this country.

Robert (Mugabe) himself the leader with whom we started Zanu-PF has grown very old. 85 - he should be resting, playing with young children like some of us do with our nephews but he persists. I happen to know that he doesn't want to continue; he's being forced because the crowd of opportunists that now control Zanu-PF consist of different factions. There're two major factions - one controlled by I think Solomon Mujuru, the other controlled by Emmerson Mnangagwa. And each of these groups have assembled a number of opportunists around them - money seekers who are not concerned about the survival of the party - all they're concerned about is the existence of Zanu so that they can get whatever they can get. A lot of them are looters.

You know the country is on the floor; the economy of the country has so badly gone down that we have no industry, we have no agriculture, and we have no commerce. If we do have commercial shops, they are filled with goods from South Africa - we are no longer able to fill them with goods produced within this country because the economy has collapsed. I know no country in history, which has so collapsed that it has no currency of its own.

The lie that is being peddled by the leadership that it's because of sanctions - that's a lie. Cuba is under sanctions, there are many countries that are under sanctions - they've survived many years like Cuba, many years of sanctions - they still have their money, they still have their industry, their economy is intact, everything is in place, but Zimbabwe - nothing is in place. So Zanu-PF is no longer the Zanu-PF that I knew, that we organised, that we used to liberate this country.

Zanu-PF is on deathbed, it is in intensive care, Robert Mugabe has grown up, he is old, and I believe he is sick like I am sick - I am old. A lot of them - John Nkomo has just been appointed Vice President - he is old, he is sick, anything can happen to him. How do we expect sick people to attend to massive economic problems?

GONDA: That's what I wanted to ask you Mr Nkala, earlier on you said Mugabe doesn't want to continue but he's being forced. By who exactly? Why is it they keep nominating him for the presidency? He's been Zanu-PF leader since 1975, he's 85 years old now and if he is to stand for elections if they're held in five years time, he'll be 90 years old. So you mentioned the two factions, you mentioned Solomon Mujuru and Emmerson Mnangagwa but who exactly wields real power in Zanu-PF?

NKALA: (laughs) . No-one. When we have factions within the party there is no-one who wields the real power. When Mugabe lost initially, when he received 43% of the total vote, and Tsvangirai about 48, Tsvangirai had received more, of course he was deceived. His votes were stolen. Mugabe wanted, the information I have from within, wanted to resign, had prepared his speech, was ready to go - it was the army officers who intervened who said; 'You can't go. You remember the Gukurahundi issue?' There are many issues that are outstanding for which some of them can be tried so they said you can't leave us. If the information I collected is correct and I believe it is correct because it was given to me by people, some of whom are closer to those army officers, they said you can go to Malaysia, you can go to China but where can we go to? So that's where it was offered that the army should intervene on his behalf and organise the election, the re-run election and you know what happened. You know why Tsvangirai had to go and run and hide, you know that he remained with nobody contesting him. He didn't win that.

I know in Matabeleland less that 6000 people voted and I don't know who they voted for because people were fed up, Zanu-PF no longer exists here in Matabeleland. If Mugabe himself came here and stood as a candidate in any place he would never win. If Mugabe himself stood in Harare our capital city, he will never win. People do not like him, I think you know about that and so he was kind of politically forced to continue. Even now, this re-election (at ZANU PF congress) is a false one. It's because there is no-one to replace him and who can sustain Zanu as Zanu because if Mugabe goes, Zanu goes with him. So if he dies tomorrow, Zanu will die with him because Zanu as I know it now is in intensive care, is on the sick bed, it can die anytime.

GONDA: But what about the army, is the army aligned to any of the factions you've mentioned?

NKALA: Well ha, ha, ha, you know that there were a lot of problems in the army during the time when there was no food, no money and when inflation was going up almost every hour. You know that some army details were arrested for demonstrating or doing something, which they shouldn't do. We happened to know that the army consists, mind you don't forget, of Zipra, Zanla, former Rhodesian army and so on, it's not real weld together but those at the top are using it to support Zanu-PF. Now I don't believe that any one of the leaders of the two factions do actually control the army, the army has its own sentiments. There was a time during the re-run and after when the army officers were running this country and I believe they are still running this country because Zanu leadership spends most of the time in factional quarrels and so forth. It is no longer the Zanu that I know.

GONDA: What do you think will bring Mugabe and his Zanu-PF down eventually because the way you've explained things, you'd think that the party is really down on its knees but they're still standing? What is the most effective strategy to defeat Robert Mugabe?

NKALA: Well as an old man who has done so much for the country, both its destruction and survival during the guerrilla warfare, he's able to sustain one-legged sustenance of the party. And SADC, don't forget that SADC consists of former combatants, they support him, they sustain him, they've been raising money for him and everything, they are calling for removal of targeted sanctions and the sanctions that are being talked about are not really sanctions, are targeted sanctions, they're not economic sanctions, it's all a lie, it's all falsehood that is being said to the population that is unable to know things on its own. So wait and see what happens as we go on.

If he called for an election tomorrow, he would lose again and someone will have to intervene and sustain him or sustain Zanu-PF in power. Zanu-PF is no longer capable of sustaining itself as a political party. You know it lost the election, they had to steal the elections, they're not the legitimate party that should be ruling. Tsvangirai should be ruling but because he doesn't control the army and I think the army is frightened of him that he might bring trial to some of them - so they will do everything to prevent him. As to when Zanu-PF will collapse should be left to speculation and time but Zanu-PF is no longer the party that is ruling this country. Because if there was no inclusive government, shops would be completely empty, we would be hungry, we were hungry before the inclusive government, our own money was incapable of buying anything. Now we are using other peoples' foreign currency and so forth and the little strength that is there now is because of the inclusive government, without the inclusive government, Zanu-PF on its own cannot stand, would collapse as I see it, from within itself.

GONDA: Now Mr Nkala you were part of this party that some have described as having been historically evil, since independence. If this is the case what do you consider to be the worst evil Mugabe and Zanu-PF inflicted on Zimbabweans?

NKALA: (laughs) Well I think the worst evil apart from Gukurahundi and other things that took place is the destruction of the economy. A lot of our people are not in this country, they're where you are, they're in South Africa, they are all over, they are in total dispersion and a lot of frustration, our people do not know where they are going. So I think the worst evil is destroying the economy and causing the departure of young people. Mind you, don't forget that people who were born in 1980 are now 30 years, they don't know about the war, Zanu-PF continues to talk about the war, talk about the victories of the past, we should be talking about the victories of today, not of the past. You cannot put on your table the victory of 1980, people have no food, people are suffering. I think that's the worst kind of evil - hunger is not something anyone can be proud of. Economic collapse is not anything that anyone can be proud of so I think that is the worst evil that Mugabe has committed together with those who work with him.

GONDA: What about on the issue of rights abuses, if you were to use a scale on abuse of human rights when was it worse, in Matabeleland, the Midlands in the '80s or on MDC from 2000?

NKALA: Well it was worse in Matabeleland and in the Midlands but it is now widespread. You know the re-run, during the re-run, many people were killed in Mashonaland, homes burnt down, people whose hands were cut and so forth - in order to enable Mugabe to continue to rule. So the evil has not only been in Matabeleland, it has also been in Mashonaland. You know that during the Congress of Zanu-PF, the Manicaland chairman of Zanu-PF resigned in protest because what they expected to get they did not get. I hear even Masvingo they are very unhappy. There are very strong tribal sentiments now in Zanu-PF than in any other party or during the life of Zanu-PF when we were fighting for this country.

GONDA: Right, if we may talk a bit about what happened in the 80s with the Gukurahundi massacres, you actually served as the Minister of Defence around that time and you were involved in the notorious Gukurahundi massacre.

NKALA: Ha ha ha, my dear, have your history put straight. I left the Ministry of Finance in 1983 and was in Ministry of Supplies, National Supplies up to 1985. And after 1985 I was appointed Minister of Home Affairs and I did a lot to alleviate the massacre of my people. That's why I'm here in Matabeleland, no-one has ever come to me and said you massacred us because they know the truth and then I was appointed Minister of Defence after the Unity Accord - get that straight. And then the Gukurahundi issue had been solved when I was appointed Minister of Defence. I know there are many people who go round saying I was Minister of Defence during the massacres, that's a lie, a massive lie, an unfortunate lie.

GONDA: OK so you were the Minister of Home Affairs during that period?

NKALA: Yes - up to '85. You know the Gukurahundi issue started in 1982 right up to '85. 1985 we had elections, after those elections I was appointed Minister of Home Affairs. It was during this time that through my influence in Cabinet we made many attempts to stop what was happening, so the deployment of Gukurahundi and what instructions were given to them I was not involved in that. You better ask Mugabe, Mnangagwa and someone else. I was not involved in that.

GONDA: But who.

NKALA: You can ask me from 1985 and it was me who went around removing the curfew.

GONDA: But before we go there, who planned this and why? Why was the Fifth Brigade formed in the first place?

NKALA: Well you better ask Mugabe.

GONDA: What was your understanding?

NKALA: I was not part of the formation of the Gukurahundi. The Gukurahundi was trained and armed by the Koreans; I was not involved in that. You know defence people are not reported in Cabinet. It's the Minister of Defence, and the man in charge of the whole army Robert Mugabe. If there was to be a commission of enquiry involving the issue you are asking, then I would state my case quite clearly. I'm not frightened of anything, I am not the author and finisher of Gukurahundi. That question must be put to Mugabe and Emmerson Mnangagwa who was in charge of CIO and the late, what his name who was the Minister of State, I've forgotten his name - he's dead now. So I was not involved either in the massacre or in the instruction to carry out the massacre.

GONDA: But surely Mr Nkala as having been Home Affairs Minister and Defence Minister. (interrupted)

NKALA: Defence my dear..

GONDA: I'm not saying around that time, can I just finish the question? Since you were Home Affairs Minister and Defence Minister even after the massacre, surely you could have enquired as to why it was planned and why it happened and who was behind it because 20 000 innocent people from Matabeleland and the Midlands were slaughtered. What was your understanding of why this happened?

NKALA: Well we used to ask my dear! This is why Mugabe himself after, when I was in Home Affairs, appointed me to lead a team of Ministers to go and remove curfew and remove all the bitter things that were taking place. This was because I had been challenging him as to why it was happening because rumours were coming to me. I was not in the field to see what was going on but people used to come and tell me of what was going on and I would discuss this with Mugabe himself. So you better put that question to Mugabe whether I was involved in the massacre of my own people.

GONDA: You know I've been talking to several journalists who covered these disturbances during that period and I'm told that you, at one time, threatened Zapu at a rally in Stanley Square.

NKALA: Where?

GONDA: At Stanley Square and you are accused as having said that Zapu must be eclipsed and gave Zanla forces instructions on how to carry out that plan, and apparently this led to the Entumbane fights (the first disturbances that led to the Gukurahundi massacres). What can you say about that?

NKALA: Eh my dear, you better ask those journalists to give you the script. There are a lot of words that were put in my mouth which were not true. So what you are now asking me about is something that I am unaware of. I did talk at a meeting because I knew that there was a lot of conflict between former combatants of Zanu and Zapu, that should stop, the nonsense of those former combatants should stop and so on. But Zapu felt provoked and they were the first to attack Zanu-PF camps. I didn't command them to attack Zanu-PF camps. That's a lie that is being peddled.

GONDA: So you were not involved in plans to destroy Zapu?

NKALA: Political destruction yes but not military destruction. I wouldn't be living here in Matabeleland if that, if what you are saying is true. I am working with Zapu people here, I am working with former combatants of Zapu here, they are always at my place, and we talk. Why are they not attacking me? Why is that lie being peddled by white journalists?

GONDA: No I didn't say anything about white journalists. Actually they are black Zimbabwean journalists that I've been talking to, researching for this interview. What about the Dumbutshena Commission, Mr Nkala? Whats.(interrupted)

NKALA: Why don't you ask him?

GONDA: What happened to the Dumbutshena Commission of Enquiry into the Entumbane disturbances?

NKALA: (laughs) I didn't see it. I know there. (interrupted)

GONDA: Why wasn't it made public?

NKALA: Just a minute. I know there was a report about it, I didn't see it and Mugabe didn't publish it. Why didn't he publish it if he was free, if I was responsible for it? Why doesn't he publish it even now? That question should be put to Robert Mugabe. If there was any evil committed it was committed by Robert Mugabe. He knows, how about this issue of killing people for elections? That he wins elections by burning homes, in Mashonaland this time, Tsvangirai going to hide and so on, was it me? I think that what you are asking me my dear, it's a total lie. I'm prepared to stand anywhere.

GONDA: So you never said in Kezi, mocking Ndebeles saying that 'we can stop drought relief from coming to Matabeleland South. Lizabona. Lizakudhla UbuNdebele?' (You will see, you will eat your being Ndebele).

NKALA: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha my dear! Get that tape if it is there and repeat it to me.

GONDA: Do you have any regrets though?

NKALA: I have no regrets because I have nothing to regret about.

GONDA: Now Mr Nkala you claim to have written a book chronicling all that has happened in Zanu-PF since its inception. (interrupted)

NKALA: No, no, no let's leave the book.

GONDA: No but. (interrupted)

NKALA: Let's talk about what you want to talk about.

GONDA: No I just wanted to find out - is there a book, is there going to be a book? Are you writing a book about this?

NKALA: Ha ha ha. Why should I sing songs about it? Why does it concern anyone? Why should I be cross-questioned as if I am in court? Let me do my own things in my own way.

GONDA: We just wanted to find out if it is true that you are writing a book about what happened.

NKALA: Let's leave it. Many have been phoning me because what they want, those people who want that book - is that I should write and say Mugabe did this, Mugabe killed so and so or I killed so and so, or so and so killed so and so, that's not what I am writing about, it's all nonsensical. I would be mad to write that way.

GONDA: So what are you writing about, just briefly?

NKALA: Eh no, that's not for public debate.

GONDA: OK, there were some people who were saying that you have said the book would be published when you die. Is this true though?

NKALA: When I first announced that I was doing something in that area I said the publication will come after my death. I did say that.

GONDA: Are you scared for your life?

NKALA: No, no, no. Ha, ha if I was scared I would not be talking the way I am talking to you about Robert Mugabe. I don't fear anyone. I fear God. I am a Christian, I'm a born-again Christian. I don't fear Robert Mugabe, I don't fear anyone on earth, I fear God and that finishes the matter.

GONDA: Right but why would the book be released after your death though? Because it's pretty strange and some people will say you may be scared for your life or it's part of an insurance-thing just for your security.

NKALA: No. It's for reasons best for me, they don't have to be known to the general public, there are a lot of things I know, I have lived longer than you and longer than some of those people who want me to publish it now. I've known many things, I have gone through many difficult situations - that's for me, and it's not for public consumption. If the public wants to consume it, it will consume it when it is revealed.

GONDA: Right, and if you had a chance to talk to Mugabe today, what would you say to him?

NKALA: Why should I talk to Mugabe? I don't like him. Why should I talk to him? He's not my boss, he doesn't run my life, why should I bother talking to him? We have talked sometimes, he has called me to talk, we talk, and we know each other. I know his strengths, he knows my strengths, he knows what I like, and he knows what I don't like. Why, why, who is Mugabe? What is he to me? I was ten years in detention with him, living closely. I was with him in government, close on to ten years. I know him. I know what many people don't know about him. Why should I go talking about him? Why? I wouldn't consider ever doing that. If it meant death I would die without saying a word about him. But I don't like him. I don't like the way he administers things, I don't like his politics, and I am among the three who put him in that position when we removed Ndabaningi Sithole. Myself, Maurice Nyagumbo, Edgar Tekere - we put him there, he's a very eloquent man and he is very deceptive if you are not careful and so on but I don't like to go into his personal life, that's not my role.

GONDA: And finally Mr Nkala can you give us your thoughts on how this whole land reform programme has been handled by Zanu-PF?

NKALA: Well I think it was the worst kind of thing any human being could do. We are the only country that has done what Mugabe did - taking away people's properties without compensation, some of them were killed. A lot of them used to come here to appeal to me to intervene. I addressed 500 of them, reassuring them that not every former fighter is in agreement with the way the farms were taken and the farms were taken in a funny way, using primitive former combatants. Some of them were not combatants like this man, what's his name? - Chinotimba. He never fought any war - he's just, we don't know where he came from but he makes himself a combatant.

So if it had been me redistributing the land, I would not have gone the way Mugabe went. That one is a madman exercise, no mature and Christian person would condone that. So it's a Mugabe way of doing things and I think if he dies and Zanu-PF goes out of power, there must be another redistribution of land and compensation to those who lost their land because they had worked on them for many years. Now we have no food, we are no longer as productive as we were and sanctions, so-called sanctions, targeted sanctions have been imposed on him. And I support that they should not lift sanctions because I happen to know that the Treasury had a lot of gold, a lot of money, our currency was very strong. Once I left and he was able to run that Ministry through his appointees, things disappeared. We hear some of the gold is in Malaysia, somewhere else and so forth.

And I support the prosecution of Robert Mugabe, both for Gukurahundi, if I did do anything I would be happy to be prosecuted but Mugabe must be prosecuted with some because I know the facts of what happened and I was not given any farm, I don't need it, I don't want stolen land to be given to me, I am a Christian. I'm a born-again Christian, I don't want it. If I have no food, I will eat leaves.

GONDA: Oh you're not a beneficiary because we had, there were reports saying that you now live on your farm. So you bought that farm?

NKALA: Ha, ha, ha, ha. You know 220 acres cannot be described as a farm. I bought it when I was in government with my own money. That's the only farm I have, I don't live in the farm, I am in town. I go there to do one or two things, I am a cattle rancher, so if anyone tells you that I have a farm, please check on his intentions to because there are a lot of people just go about peddling lies which they can't prove. I have nothing.

GONDA: All right, thank you very much Mr Enos Nkala for talking on the programme Hot Seat.

NKALA: Thank you.

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Victim of political violence battles for life

December 21, 2009

Victim of political intolerance Nqobani Moyo

By Mxolisi Ncube

JOHANNESBURG - An eight-year-old boy is still battling for his life in Johannesburg, 10 months after he sustained extensive burns in a fire that killed his mother and brother during politically motivated violence in the western regions of Zimbabwe.

Nqobani Moyo (8) was the only survivor out of three family members who were the occupants of a thatched hut when it was set on fire in the Seshanke area of Nkayi in Matabeleland North in an attack allegedly launched by members of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

The boy's deceased mother - Bohle Ncube (36), was a known active supporter of the mainstream Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the district, according to MDC members who are now taking care of the boy in Johannesburg.

Nqobani is still undergoing treatment after he was smuggled out of Zimbabwe by some members of the MDC's Johannesburg district committee last week.

A neighbour in Seshanke, who had been taking care of the child since the attack on the Moyo family, says the family was attacked by known Zanu-PF members, some of them war veterans, in January this year, after several threats on Ncube for her unwavering support for the MDC.

"The mother told me that the three were sitting in their bedroom at around 7pm on January 9, 2009, when they heard a blast," said the neighbour.

"She left her children and went outside to investigate what was happening, but had to rush back when she heard her children screaming. When she got back, the whole house was on fire and when she got in, trying to rescue her children, the door closed behind her and she could not open it."

It took neighbours more than 30 minutes to chop down the door, which is said to have been secured from outside with wire.

"When we finally opened the door, we dragged out the three, who had already sustained horrific burns. Nothing could be salvaged from the house."

Ncube and her three children were ferried in donkey-drawn carts to the nearby Nesigwe Clinic. On the following day they were transferred to Bulawayo's Mpilo hospital in a car owned by a local pastor. He apparently demanded a cow upfront as payment for his service.

The elder child, Mehleli, who was 11 years old, died on the way to Bulawayo, while the mother died four days later after admission to Mpilo.

The surviving boy was, however, prematurely discharged allegedly due to a shortage of medicine in the hospital. Nqobani's burns deteriorated due to lack of proper medical care back in Nkayi.

"We had no other option but to treat him with traditional medicine, which is not suitable for such extensive burns," said the neighbour.

The chairman of the MDC's Johannesburg district, Remember Moyo, told The Zimbabwe Times that his committee took action last week after they were informed of the plight of the boy by one of their activists, who is a cross-border transport operator.

"We then met as a committee and raised money that we used to transport the boy and this lady (the neighbour) here, so that he can undergo treatment," said Moyo, himself an exiled victim of brutality.

"We were shocked to see him and are now contributing towards his medical fees and well-being here. We do not have enough and would like to appeal to the public to assist us save this innocent soul and bring his life back to normal."

Nqobani's burns are so severe that his bare skull is visible in some parts of his head.

"Bohle was a very active MDC member and taking care of her child is the little we can do for her as one of our heroes. We want him to say one day that, 'My mother and brother died for the struggle, I was injured alongside them, but the party took care of me,' instead of suffering for the rest of his life as was about to happen.

"We want him to recover from both the wounds and the trauma and be able to play and pursue his dreams like any other child."

The boy's father, who was self-employed in neighbouring Botswana when his family was attacked, is now said to be mentally disturbed, after he was traumatized by the incident, while relatives are said to be shunning the boy after they were threatened by Zanu-PF supporters.

Seshanke is said to be one of the most politically volatile areas in Nkayi District.

Moyo said that the MDC's Johannesburg district had plans to open a trust to fundraise for Nqobani's treatment, general welfare and educational needs.

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Chiadzwa villagers defy pending eviction

December 21, 2009

By Our Correspondent

MUTARE - The villagers of Chiadzwa, who face immediate relocation, have
filled an urgent chamber application in the High Court to stop the
government and companies operating in the area from evicting them from their
homes close to the diamond fields.In papers filed last week in the High
Court by lawyer George Gapu, of Scanlen and Holderness, the Chiadzwa
Community Development Trust argues that the issue of compensation has to be
negotiated and agreed to before any relocation takes place.

The villagers, who are led by the trust's chairman Newman Chiadzwa, are
arguing that the whole relocation process is not being handled in a
transparent manner and that the companies that were granted licenses to mine
the diamonds in Chiadzwa have not conducted any environmental impact

Mbada Mining Private Limited and Canadile Miners Private Limited, the
companies controversially awarded licenses to mine diamonds in Chiadzwa are
cited as first and second respondents respectively. Other respondents are
the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, Obert Mpofu, the Minister of
Mines and Mining Development  and Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Local
Government, Urban and Rural Development.

The government has announced it wants to relocate up to 1800 families from
Chiadzwa to pave the way for full-scale diamond mining operations.

"This is an urgent chamber application for an interdict seeking to stop the
respondents from evicting and relocating any individuals from the Chiadzwa
Communal area until compensation payable to the affected individuals has
been agreed and paid. Furthermore, the affected individuals should not be
evicted until the 1st , 2nd and 3rd respondents have conducted an
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in terms of Section 97 of the
Environmental Management Act (Chapter 20:27). In the same vein the 1st, 2nd
and 3rd respondents should not conduct mining operations until they have
been granted EIA licenses by the competent authority."

The Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation is the 3rd respondent. The Trust
says it is clear the respondents have "jumped the gun by rushing to arrange
transportation of the affected families from Chiadzwa". They argue that
information about the impending evictions has been haphazardly disseminated
with villagers knowing it only through soldiers and police details manning
the diamond fields.

"As the eviction of the affected families looms, there is no information
about compensation they will receive, how it will be calculated and whether
houses and other amenities will be provided for them at their destinations.
These are matters that should be agreed before any relocation is
contemplated or effected," said the villagers in the application.

They argued the affected families should not be derived of their property
and the interest they have in their communal land, which they have used for
subsistence purposes over many years, without agreements on issues of
compensation and compliance with the law.

"The applicants and affected families stand to suffer irreparable harm if
the interdict is not granted because they will lose their property in
Chiadzwa which they will be forced to abandon," said the Trust.

Gapu said all the respondents had not filed any opposing papers by the end
of day on Thursday.

They also want the High Court to declare that Mbada Mining, Canadile Miners
and the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation are operating illegally
since an environmental impact assessment has not been conducted according to
the Environmental Management Act (Chapter 20:27).

The villagers also want the court to rule that  the respondents or their
representatives shall "not evict or cause the eviction of any person from
Chiadzwa diamond fields and adjacent communal areas" unless the respondents
and the affected persons have a written agreement relating to the
compensation payable to the affected persons.

The government last month said it had finished work on 260 of the 900 plots
in Odzi where the villagers from Chiadzwa are supposed to be relocated.

The government says it has also successfully sunk 10 out of the 18
boreholes required, while work on renovating  schools and some clinics in
the area was still in progress.

The government has also promised to carry out a proper evaluation of the
properties owned by the affected villagers for them to be fully compensated.
The villagers have also been assured that they will get first preference in
getting jobs created by the discovery of the mineral.

But these offers have not fully attracted the Chiadzwa villagers who have
vowed to stay put.

Most of the villagers had built houses which the government now wants
demolished. One example is Newman Chiadzwa, who puts the value of his house
in Chiadzwa at $700 000 and wants full compensation before he can move out
of the diamond fields.

He believes the villagers should be allowed to benefit from the mineral
resources instead of being pushed out of the place.

The government is expected to start relocating the families before the end
of the year when investors mining in Chiadzwa avail  $10 million they
pledged for the exercise.

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Zimbabwean Violence Resurfaces in South Africa
Robin Hammond for The New York Times

Westenburg Township, at the western edge of Polokwane, South Africa, was the scene of recent violence against Zimbabweans.

    Published: December 20, 2009

    POLOKWANE, South Africa - Men in Westenburg Township went hunting Zimbabweans. They prowled its dirt roads by the truckload as night fell recently, brandishing clubs and throwing stones.

    Robin Hammond for The New York Times

    The Polokwane violence followed the killing of the son of Ronie and Stephaina Hamilton.

    The New York Times

    At dawn that day, the body of Steven Hamilton, a 24-year-old local man, had been found near a tavern. In a flash, word spread that drunken Zimbabweans had stabbed him in the chest. By the time people returned home from work, the township had erupted. Men shouted for the Zimbabweans to be killed, or for them to go back where they came from.

    Mike Mpofu, 34, a former high school art teacher from Zimbabwe who sells vegetables from a shed, saw the mob coming. Charneal Carelse, a South African teenager whose family had befriended Mr. Mpofu, happened to be walking by. "I told her, 'There is war coming,' " he said.

    Charneal said she told him to hide in her house, and he took off running.

    In May 2008, South Africa's image as a home to people of all races and nationalities took a hard knock as xenophobic violence leapt from city to city, victimizing poor Africans who had sought asylum and opportunity in the region's richest country.

    In the year and a half since, such attacks have flared periodically, but recent ones against Zimbabweans here, near South Africa's northern border, and at its southern tip have brought the problem to the fore again.

    Last week, South Africa's president, Jacob Zuma, pleaded with his people to "embrace especially our African brothers and sisters, who usually bear the brunt of ill-treatment more than foreigners from other continents." Navi Pillay, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights and a South African, this month called attacks on foreigners in her homeland "gravely alarming."

    The police here in the capital of Limpopo Province gathered up Zimbabweans that terrifying night two weeks ago and took them to the old Peter Mokaba stadium for safekeeping. About 30 are still there, hanging their laundry in the shadow of a spectacular new stadium built for the 2010 World Cup, where South Africa hopes to showcase itself.

    Thousands more Zimbabweans - many of them migrant farm workers and their families - were forcibly displaced from the community of De Doorns in Western Cape Province in a violent outburst in mid-November.

    South Africa had hoped the 10-month-old truce between Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, and the former opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, now prime minister, would stabilize Zimbabwe and slow an exodus in which millions have fled its poverty and repression in the past decade.

    But hundreds of Zimbabweans a day still seek asylum in South Africa at the border town of Musina, about 130 miles north of Polokwane, and uncounted others cross into the country illegally, United Nations officials say.

    "We don't want Zimbabweans anymore," said Roy Buys, as he mourned with his old friends Ronie and Stephaina Hamilton, parents of the young man whose murder set off the violence. "They kill our brothers, rape our sisters, break into our homes and take our jobs."

    Over the past decade, as Zimbabwean migrants have settled in Westenburg, they have picked up odd jobs and rented backyard hovels, working long hours at low pay. Under apartheid, Westenburg was designated for Afrikaans-speaking mixed race or "colored" people - considered a notch above black Africans by the former ruling white minority - and they still predominate 15 years after apartheid ended.

    But resentments seethe beneath the surface of township life, particularly among idle young men who see the Zimbabweans working. Their sense of grievance deepened this year as South Africa's own already staggeringly high unemployment rate rose further. After the killing of Mr. Hamilton, himself a young man who his parents said had never held a regular job, the anger boiled over in violence.

    "It was a release valve for the community's frustrations," said Larry Anderson, 64, a local ward committee member.

    Eleven people were hospitalized. A dozen people were arrested for public violence, but the charges have since been withdrawn for lack of evidence, according to Calvin Sengani, director of community relations in the provincial safety department. The police superintendent, Moatshe Ngoepe, declined to comment on whether any arrests had been made, saying charges would be filed once the investigation was complete.

    Dikeledi Magadzi, the provincial safety and security minister, said in an interview that the governing African National Congress, to which she belongs, had moved quickly to calm the situation in Westenburg.

    But advocates for migrants contend the lack of action against those who committed the violence was typical. Prosecutors have withdrawn 40 percent of the cases registered after the May 2008 violence, in which 62 people died, and only a few people have been convicted for the killings, according to Pieter du Rand, chief director of court services in the South African Department of Justice. The murder cases have proved difficult to prosecute because of insufficient evidence, he said by e-mail.

    The wounds of those attacked in Westenburg are healing. Tinashe Phiri, 20, a Zimbabwean laborer who needed stitches for a gash in his head, said he ran into a house with the mob at his heels. "I heard them tell the ladies outside, 'Give us the keys. We want to beat your husbands,' " he said. The men broke down the door and pummeled him.

    Everson Hove, 26, who came to South Africa from Zimbabwe six months ago to work, was assaulted when he returned to Westenburg from his construction job. Men hit him in the mouth with a chair, loosening a front tooth, and beat him with wooden tools.

    Mr. Mpofu made it safely to 16-year-old Charneal's house. Her mother, Bebe Carelse, 39, hid him under a mattress. She said a woman on her bus home from work that day said the Zimbabweans should be killed because of Mr. Hamilton's murder. "I said, 'It's not right,' you can't blame all of them,' " Ms. Carelse said. "They're innocent."

    For now, Mr. Mpofu is living at the stadium, but next year, when tempers cool, he plans to return to the township and reopen the vegetable stand the Carelses let him set up in front of their house.

    "I feel I am part of this family," he said. "If there was no Bebe, I could be injured or dead. It's very rare to find someone who respects a poor person like she does."

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    ZIMBABWE: Sacked academics fight back

    20 December 2009
    Issue: 0044

    Thirteen academics who were sacked for going on strike three years ago are
    battling to be reinstated and have lodged a US$46 million claim for unfair
    dismissal against their former employer, Zimbabwe's Solusi University.

    The lecturers' lawyer, Jacob Francis Mudenda, said his clients had taken the
    industrial action to press for better pay and working conditions. Mudenda
    said the labour court had since ruled in favour of his clients but the
    Seventh Day Adventist-run university last month said it would appeal against
    the judgment.

    The judgment, seen by University World News, said the university had flouted
    Zimbabwe's labour laws. "The very tenets of natural justice were flagrantly
    breached by the applicants. All they did defies what the Labour Act and the
    principles of fairness, equity and justice stand for," part of the judgment
    by Labour Court judge Mercy Moya-Matshanga reads.

    Mudenda said the university had argued that the lecturer strike was illegal
    but his clients say they gave a two-week notice to strike, as required by
    law. Several messages left for Josphat Tshuma, the lawyer representing
    Solusi University and President of the Law Society of Zimbabwe, were not

    Each year from 2004, lecturers at state-run and private institutions of
    higher learning in Zimbabwe embarked on long strikes against poor pay, as
    world record inflation that at one point hit 231 million percent made their
    salaries worthless. Last year, all academics at state universities downed
    tools for the whole year.

    To escape the crippling inflation, the government in February dumped the
    Zimbabwe dollar as legal tender and switched to the use of
    multi-currencies - the United States Dollar, the South African Rand and the
    Botswana Pula - a move that reduced inflation to less than 2%.

    The currency changeover also saw the 13 Solusi University lecturers pegging
    the amount for damages for their sacking at US$46 million.

    Meanwhile, three university students were badly injured earlier this month
    when they were arrested and tortured by state agents. Human rights abuses
    under Zimbabwe' power-sharing government are on the increase, according to
    students' unions.

    The Zimbabwe National Students Union Zinasu said a National University of
    Science and Technology student Joram Chikwadze sustained a broken arm while
    being tortured and was hospitalised. Chikwadze had been arrested in court
    while following a corruption case against the university's chief financial
    officer who is accused of embezzling university funds. He had been following
    the case to get information on how students' funds had been plundered.

    Great Zimbabwe University student representative council president Zivanai
    Muzorodzi and fellow student Godfrey Kurauone suffered injuries when state
    agents placed them under house arrest and tortured them for organising
    student elections. The students said they were accused of backing the
    political rivals of President Robert Mugabe.

    Muzorodzi told University World News he had not sought medical attention
    because he feared the state agents would act against any medical facility
    that treated him.

    Zinasu coordinator Mfundo Mlilo said last week that students continued to be
    victimised despite the formation of an inclusive government headed by Mugabe
    and long-time opponent Morgan Tsvangirai, the Movement for Democratic Change
    leader who is now Prime Minister.

    Mlilo said that last year, 367 cases of rights abuses were recorded while
    this year there had been more than 400 cases. While previously it was only
    state agents who assaulted students, a worrying new trend was emerging of
    university security personnel joining in the abuse. He blamed the violence
    against students on what he termed "residual elements" in Mugabe's ZANU-PF
    who are opposed to power-sharing.

    Last weekend, ZANU-PF passed a resolution endorsing Mugabe (85), who has
    ruled Zimbabwe since independence from British colonial rule in 1980, to
    remain as the party's leader for the next five years - a development that
    will see him contesting 2013 presidential elections.

    Analysts say Mugabe wants to die in office to avoid being tried at The Hague
    for crimes against humanity, following years of oppressive rule and violence
    against political opponents that resulted in thousands of people being
    murdered. The power-sharing government was agreed after Tsvangirai pulled
    out of last year's presidential poll, citing the murder of more than 500 of
    his supporters by ZANU-PF members and state agents.

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    Better Not Bitter Says Activist Mukoko

    Published: December 21, 2009

    By Taurainashe Manonge

    Abducted and tortured activist Jestina Mukoko, has said that the pain and
    trauma she experienced in the hands of state officials last year, has left
    her Better and not bitter.

    Speaking on December 17, 2009 at a meeting organised by the Zimbabwe Human
    rights forum to celebrate her City of Weimar Human Rights Award, Mukoko also
    director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project, said it was inner strength and the
    knowledge that people all over the world were rallying alongside with her
    that kept her going.

    "I believe there was a purpose in all this. It might have been a nasty
    experience but looking at how I now deal with people who have been tortured
    I have a different perspective to it."

    Mukoko's story broke out in news media around the world when state officials
    bundled her out from her house in December last year, blind folded her and
    took her to a secret location where she was interrogated and accused of
    being a political detractor amongst other trumped up charges.

    Whilst there she endured days of systematic torture before being moved to
    Chikurubi, Zimbabwe's maximum securities prison.

    Mukoko was then absolved of any of the charges by a Supreme Court ruling
    that proved the State had violated her human rights.

    While many have been calling for retribution for what she went through
    Mukoko's optimism and progressive outlook on life left many in the audience
    at the Human rights forum meeting in awe, as she clearly showed that event
    though she was beaten she was not broken.

    Mukoko said that as a director of an organisation which strives for peace
    and human rights in Zimbabwe sometimes you don't get to fully understand the
    magnitude of what people are going through.

    But after having been tortured continuously for hours, also seeing how her
    own family was affected, Mukoko said she now understood that a lot happens
    to those who suffer human rights abuses and each case needs to be accorded
    the attention it deserves.

    Solidarity and support was a key factor in riding the storm and for Mukoko
    recognition of unsung heroes out there whose names may never come into the
    limelight was something she learnt to appreciate during this ordeal.

    Highlighting that she will not give up in the fight for justice and peace,
    Mukoko went on to share a story of a 2-year-old boy she met at Chikurubi
    maximum-security prison.

    "Him and his mother were shackled in cast iron, yes a 2-year-old child was
    shackled. When he first met me he did not get my name so he called me
    princess. That boy gave hope to all of us in that prison cell"

    "Everyday we woke up he would say lets sing that song again- we have been
    given another chance to Serve Him and live for Him. It made me to value life
    and be thankful for the opportunities that God gives"

    However, given all the torturing and harrowing experiences Mukoko still
    insisted that she would never take a retribution stance.

    "I have been brought up as a Christian and I don't believe in revenge or
    retributive justice. I believe in forgiveness yes but more importantly in
    restorative justice where we deal with the issues in a way that is

    "The national healing platform and the current constitutional process are
    very key processes to ensure that there is restorative justice. Every time I
    was in prison I prayed to God and said You know what I have said and what I
    have not said, lord is my judge. I think the outcome was nothing less than a

    Mukoko added that the work has only but just began and there is more ground
    that now needs to be covered. Having had to sing happy birthday for her son
    on his 18th birthday behind bars in a maximum security prison early this
    year, Mukoko said this years Christmas means a lot to her and her family and
    it has changed her whole outlook on the value of life and importance of

    Communications and mediaCouncil of Zimbabwe Christian Leaders
    2nd Floor Royal London House
    22-25 Finsbury Square
    London EC2 1DX

    Phone: 02079206429

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    Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 19th December 2009

    There was a good turnout at one of the coldest Vigils ever. After several days of snow the sky was clear but even singing and dancing couldn’t keep us warm as the temperature hovered around zero. 


    We united in wishing a happy Christmas to our families and friends at home and to our supporters everywhere. We had the privilege of meeting two of them in London this week: Jestina Mukoko, the human rights activist, and Ben Freeth, the farmer targeted by Mugabe’s thugs.


    Several Vigil members attended a meeting organised by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum addressed by Jestina (see: She expressed gratitude to the Vigil for our support when she was in prison being tortured and spoke of ‘unsung heroes’. Jestina warned that the Mugabe regime had learned nothing from her case and were continuing to perpetrate atrocities.


    Other Vigil supporters spoke to Ben Freeth at a private screening at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of a documentary about his persecution ‘Mugabe and the White African’.  He also expressed thanks to the Vigil for our work in continuing to expose the absence of the rule of law in Zimbabwe. This award-winning film will be shown all over the world and will do much to puncture the Zanu-MDC propaganda that things are returning to normal in Zimbabwe. People will wonder, if this type of behaviour is ‘normal’, what kind of country Zimbabwe is.


    Well, in keeping with the season, the Vigil hopes that Christmas will bring us good news of political progress. But we know that Santa Claus often disappoints and we have no great expectations. In fact we were not surprised to read suggestions of new concessions by the MDC. One report (see: speaks of them agreeing to get SADC to approach Botswana and Madagascar to stop relays of SW Radio Africa and VOA, a joint demand for the end of targeted sanctions and moves to force NGOs to channel funds through the government – to our mind all ludicrous suggestions.


    Our wish for 2010 is that the MDC resists being incorporated by Zanu-PF and that SADC plucks up courage and orders Mugabe to implement the agreement he signed 15 months ago. But as we all know New Year wishes seldom come true.


    Our partner organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) took part in two demonstrations to mark international human rights day. The organisation’s Secretary General, Tichanzii Gandanga, spoke to a crowd of about 1,000 people in Bindura on 11th December. He said the coalition government had a long way to go to achieve a genuine spirit of inclusivity. ROHR was also one of the organisers of a meeting in Gweru the following day when singing demonstrators marched to Town House to protest at the human rights situation (see reports on:


    Some other points:

    ·       We will be meeting next Saturday as usual although it’s Boxing Day.  Be warned that transport might be affected, but many supporters are determined to gather despite everything.

    ·       We were happy to welcome again the whole of the Pedzeni family from Bedford (mother, father and their 3 grown-up children – June, Tendai, Ashley, Ada and Atipa).

    ·       A cameraman from a Polish television station spent the afternoon with us filming interviews about refugees. We explained that, despite the propaganda, Zimbabweans still suffered under a repressive regime.

    ·       One supporter gave us a harrowing account of the recent arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of her mother. We are not at liberty to divulge any further details in case of repercussions but we were horrified at her treatment.

    ·        Happy 3rd birthday to faithful attender Zizi, son of Vigil co-ordinator Dumi Tutani and his wife Gugu.

    ·       Thanks to Vigil stalwarts Gladys Mapanda and Josephine Zhuga who were there at the start, organised the setting up of the Vigil and manned the two tables.


    For latest Vigil pictures check:


    FOR THE RECORD:  152 signed the register.



    ·           Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays).

    ·           Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. For information: or contact:


    Vigil Co-ordinators


    The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.


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    Christmas boost for Zimbabwe’s CNN hero

    Published: December 21, 2009

    UK based Zimbabwean professionals give back to the community

    The Girl Child Network, was on Thursday presented with a donation of £1535
    by ZG Club, a UK based club of Zimbabwean professionals. Run by 2009 CNN
    Hero finalist Betty Makoni, the Girl Child Network rehabilitates girls who
    are victims of domestic and sexual abuse. ZGClub, an apolitical membership
    club that facilitates the development of commercial initiatives, idea
    generation and intellectual debate on business and political issues
    pertaining to Zimbabwe, held their second annual fund raising dinner in
    support of smaller Zimbabwe focused charities and this year Girl Child
    Network was the charity of choice.

    “Girl Child network have already demonstrated their ability to make a
    difference in Zimbabwe by supporting vulnerable women on the ground, so they
    were an ideal candidate for our support. We believe that growing charities
    offer immediate and visible value in the communities they are involved and
    that is why, we as a Club took the easy decision to support Girl Child
    Network this year” said Yvonne Kuimba, a board member for ZGClub.

    In early 2009, Betty Makoni worked with Priscilla Nyathi, who volunteered to
    help women who faced domestic violence. Together they set up the Girl Child
    Network Trust Fund UK with help from international partners. The GCNTF is
    fast gaining support in the UK and around the world. Many individual women
    and girls are mobilizing in small groups to determine how best to support
    each other.

    “The funding raised by ZGClub will go some way in assisting young girls in
    the marginalized areas of Zimbabwe. ZGClub have shown what can be done when
    a group of forward looking people put their efforts together. Much more can
    be done by Zimbabwean professionals who are outside the country when they
    work collaboratively.”

    The Girl Child Network donation follows on from the Club’s donation to last
    year’s selected charity, Vimba. “We realize the donations are not much but
    we hope that by targeting developing charities, the Club is making a
    diminutive but potentially big difference. We are hoping to continue being a
    source of inspiration for Zimbabwean professionals in the Diaspora and look
    forward to the day we have to stop such donations, the day when all
    Zimbabweans can give to others, when the need for such funds is no longer
    needed” said ZGClub Chair, Leslie Maruziva.

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