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In rare joint appearance, Mugabe and Tsvangira vow cooperation

Dec 20, 2010, 17:15 GMT

Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai said Monday they would continue to work together to keep their
troubled coalition government from collapsing.

In a rare joint press briefing, both Mugabe and Tsvangirai said they were
happy with the way Zimbabwe's economy had improved since the two erstwhile
enemies formed a coalition government last year.

'We are different parties, we go at each other at the party level, yes,'
said Mugabe, 86.

'But let it not be said that we are dysfunctional, we are at war. No,' he
added, defending his attack on Tsvangirai at a conference of his Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) over the weekend.

Tsvanigirai said, 'This inclusive government will not collapse. We will make
sure that it does not collapse.'

Mugabe was flanked by Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara
with whom he formed a unity government last year.

That followed African regional leaders' refusal to recognize a presidential
run-off vote in which Mugabe had declared himself the winner in 2008.

Tsvangirai, who had won the first round, pulled out of the run-off election,
citing violence targeting his MDC supporters.

The coalition government has been marred by disagreements between Mugabe and
Tsvangirai, leading to calls for a new election as the only solution.

Over the weekend Mugabe told his supporters that he was tired of working
with Tsvangirai and wanted elections next year.

But at the Monday briefing both Mugabe and Tsvangirai said Zimbabweans would
go to elections once a referendum for a new constitution had been held. They
declined to name a date for the referendum.

'The inclusive government is a transitional mechanism that will lead to an
election,' Tsvangirai said, saying he hoped for a 'roadmap' pointing the way
to elections after a referendum.

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Mugabe praises coalition in about-turn

20 December, 2010 05:25:00    AP

HARARE,— Zimbabwe's president said Monday the country's fragile
power-sharing government is making some progress despite the coalition
partners being "at each other's throats."

Robert Mugabe, who has been in power for 30 years, entered into the
coalition in 2009 with longtime opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who
became prime minister.

Deep rifts in the two-year coalition have raised serious doubts about its
future. Over the weekend Mugabe said he regretted joining the coalition and
wanted early elections to bring it to an end.

But after meeting with his coalition partners Monday, Mugabe said that the
deal has given Zimbabweans "a sense of togetherness."

"Just because we go at each other's throats at party level, let people not
think we are a dysfunctional government," Mugabe said at the year-end press
conference with Tsvangirai at his side.

Mugabe said the unity government had made progress despite disputes between
its leaders over the pace of reform, the appointment of senior government
officials and the return to the rule of law after years of political and
economic turmoil.

On Monday, after about an hour of talks at Mugabe's State House office
complex, the two main coalition leaders exchanged pleasantries, despite
Mugabe's remarks that he regretted the coalition at the weekend annual
convention of his party.

Tsvangirai told reporters he wanted to convey "a positive evaluation" of the
power sharing deal but said there was still deadlock on some key political
issues in the coalition agreement.

"We have made gains" in economic reform and public services," he said. He
said shortages of money and resources had prevented further gains.

Mugabe said the power sharing deal had an official lifespan of two years
that expires in February but the rewriting of a new constitution would need
to be completed before any fresh elections can be held.

Mugabe has called for national elections in mid 2011. A new constitution is
slated to be put to a referendum before then, but public canvassing for
constitutional reform and redrafting of the new document is way behind
schedule. The completed version is unlikely to be complete by May as

The nation's coalition was formed after violence marred elections in 2008
and Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change party boycotted a
presidential runoff poll, citing torture, intimidation and illegal arrests
of his supporters.

Tsvangirai's party has called for international election observers to
monitor any future polls to deter further violence and ensure a free and
fair poll.

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No election date yet

By Reagan Mashavave
Monday, 20 December 2010 18:47

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on
Monday revealed that they have not yet agreed on when the country will hold
elections, adding a new and confusing twist on whether the polls will be
held next year.

Addressing journalists at State House, Mugabe, Tsvangirai and deputy-prime
minister Arthur Mutambara said the polls will be held in line with the road
map on the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed two years ago.

This is despite the fact that Tsvangirai and Mugabe have separately been
telling their supporters to prepare for elections in 2011, but a dispute
between the two has emerged with the latter calling for a general election
while the prime minister prefers a presidential election.

Mugabe made the announcement at his party’s conference at the weekend, a day
after Tsvangirai had also made his party’s views known.

The three leaders who formed a coalition government last year, said despite
the evident tensions among them, the coalition government remained intact.

“The next election, as far as the three of us are concerned, is a
process-driven setting. No one here can tell you we are going to have
elections on this date or that date.

“Different political parties have different interpretations, until such time
as it can be discussed, when the time for elections comes and we have one
common position, I think you have party positions and not national
positions,” said Tsvangirai while explaining the different signals on
elections coming from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and Zanu PF.

“This inclusive government has not collapsed and will not collapse - at
least we will ensure that it is there to fulfill its mandate for the
duration of the transition until an election is conducted,” he said.

Mugabe shared the same views with Tsvangirai, saying although the three main
political parties in the country have expressed their positions, the unity
government is yet to decide on the election date.

“As the Prime Minister has told you, parties may have different opinions and
these opinions naturally will be discussed, we haven’t come to that,” Mugabe

The 86 year old leader said the Constitutional Select Committee (Copac) will
announce dates of when the referendum will be conducted, giving an insight
of when the next polls would be held.

Mugabe appealed to the media to promote peace in the country in the period
towards elections.

“You play a major role and please play that role in bringing about peace,
peace, peace. Preach about peace as much as possible, no to violence,”
Mugabe said.

Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe must hold an election that will not be
characterised by violence.

“There are incidences of violence that we have witnessed and we are
committed as leaders to ensure that the next election is certainly not
characterised by a culture of violence. That demon must be ostracised
because it is a demon that no-one wants,” Tsvangirai said.

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Mutambara to lead a faction against Ncube, Coltart’s political future hanging in the balance

20 December, 2010 10:56:00    Staff Correspondent

IN a bizarre defiance, the outgoing MDC-M President Professor Arthur
Mutambara has insisted he may contest as Presidential candidate in 2011
general elections amid reports of bitter infighting and skulduggery that
have cost leading member of the MDC-W, Education Minister David Coltart his
position from the party.

For the MDC-W leadership 2011 Congress, Bulawayo Province which IS mainly
made up of Ncube’s Kitchen Cabinet, nominated: President - Welshman Ncube,
Deputy President - Frank Chamunorwa, Chairman - Goodrich Chimbaira,
Secretary General - Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga, Deputy Secretary
General- Moses Mzila Ndlovu, Treasurer General - Paul Themba Nyathi, Deputy
Treasurer General - Miriam Mushayi and there was no mention of David

Sources said Welshman Ncube intervened to get Senator David Coltart
appointed into what he called the National Executive Council along with
Nqgabutho Dube after a huge outcry from party members.

In the coalition government, Education Minister David Coltart is credited
for his hardworking efforts in reviving the dilapidated country’s education
which has suffered at the hands of Robert Mugabe’s regime.

On his Facebook profile, Welshman Ncube was attacked by his party members on
why David Coltart was being sidelined, and for more than twelve hours he
could not give a clear answer, only to come back 24 hours later to announce
that he had foisted him into a National Executive Council.

One livid party member Bekithemba Mpofu said, "So one of the most
hardworking Ministers gets overlooked? Wondering what criteria is being
used? Coltart is being overlooked by his own province.
Leen Coleen Mokoena said, "Yes why have they left Coltart out? He is by far
the most hard working Minister Zimbabwe has ever had. He is sincere and has
Zimbabwe at his heart regardless of what they continue saying of him being a
former Rhodesian."

Sources said the party’s decision to sideline or shove Coltart away from
frontline is influenced by his recent public spat with Robert Mugabe’s War
Meanwhile in Manicaland, where Mutambara comes from, violence broke out
after the province rejected the imposition of Welshman Ncube as leader.
Sources said there are now parallel structures in the province. The province
is likely to launch a Mutambara led faction in the party.

On his Facebook profile, Ncube said, "Our MDC provincial nominations in
Manicaland were disrupted by police yesterday."

The Zimbabwe Mail reporter at the scene said police were called in to
disperse rowdy mobs belonging to Ncube and Mutambara factions who fought
running battles against all day, with both factions claiming be the
legitimate provincial executive.

Nominations for Manicaland will now be carried out in Bulawayo, sources

In a dramatic twist Mutambara is now saying he may turn out to be the next
head of state even though he is stepping down as leader of the party.

Addressing a Diaspora conference in the resort town of Victoria Falls,
Mutambara left delegates bemused when he insisted he was not going anywhere.

In a clear show of bitterness over the handling of his removal from
leadership which was first reported by The Zimbabwe Mail, the Robotics
Professor said, "I took a plunge and see where that took me; I became the
president of MDC. After that I became the Deputy Prime Minister," he said.

"Muchashama ndava Head of State because I am not going anywhere,’’ Mutambara
said in defiance.

The Deputy Prime Minister however, said he was not going back on his pledge
to quit the leadership of the MDC.

But, sources said Mutambara had no choice but to throw in the towel after he
failed to gunner any support from the party’s provinces.

"I am stepping down as the leader of my party MDC. I am not running- it’s

"We are going for a congress in January and I have said that I am not
contesting for any party post but I will still be a member of the party,’’
he said.

Mutambara had to step aside when he became a pariah within his own party
after widespread accusations that he was taking the party into Robert Mugabe’s

Analysts said Mutambara is likely to lose more if he openly defies his party
and so he has to abide by Welshman Ncube’s wishes and act in a normal way
right through to the life span of the coalition government and so that he
can drive off in his free Mercedes Benz and all the packages that goes with
his position.

We could not verify other reports saying Mutambara is planning to join Zanu
PF, but those close to him are urging him to stay in MDC-W and lead his
faction to challenge Ncube’s leadership.

It has also since emerged that a majority of the party’s provincial
structures have been wiped into backing Secretary General, Professor
Welshman Ncube, to take over as leader of the party.

Ncube was not eligible to stand again for his current post, having served
the mandatory two terms allowed under the party’s constitution, a situation
which is not explained as to why Mutambara is not accorded protection by the
party’s constitution.

In true Robert Mugabe’s fashion, Ncube has wiped into line Matabeleland
North, Bulawayo, Matabeleland South, Harare, Midlands North and South and
Mashonaland East provinces to replace Mutambara.

Mutambara was invited to lead MDC in February 2006 following the split of
MDC in 2005.

He did not contest the presidential elections in 2008 preferring, instead,
to throw his weight behind Mavambo Kusile leader Dr Simba Makoni.

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"If Robert Mugabe engages in terrorism, he would go it alone" - Biti

19 December, 2010 07:34:00    MOSES MATENGA

MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti on Sunday said his party was worried
about the deployment of serving and retired members of the army in villages
around the country and called for their immediate removal.

He also said the presidential election his party was pushing for next year
did not mean a declaration of war against the people like what happened in
the disputed June 27 presidential election run- off.

Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has denied that the army has been
deployed throughout the country.

Biti was addressing hundreds of party supporters in Kuwadzana where he said
calls by Zanu PF for elections showed the party was “bloodthirsty”.

He said if Zanu PF engaged in violence this time around, President Robert
Mugabe would go it alone again.

He reiterated that if elections were held next year, they would only be
presidential polls, which were inconclusive in 2008.

He called for the freeing of airwaves to spare the people from Zanu PF
propaganda churned out on the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.

Biti described Zanu PF members as “vampires who have gone for two years
without blood”. He went down memory lane narrating how people died at the
hands of Zanu PF.

He said MDC-T saw no need to use ammunition against the people compared to
Zanu PF.

“They will kill and unleash violence but there are no brakes to real change.
We are only left with two bus stops now and these are the new constitution
and elections to deal with (President) Mugabe once and for all.”

Biti said Zanu PF leaders were too tired to bring anything new to Zimbabwe.

“The only ammunition we have is the people and let’s all register to vote
and conclude the presidential elections,” he said.

Kuwadzana East MP Nelson Chamisa, said what the MDC-T achieved in two years
was what Zanu PF failed in 30 years.

Chamisa said Zanu PF had to demilitarise the villages and stop intimidating

“The ballot should thrive over the bullet and our aim as the MDC-T is not to
fire police officers or soldiers but to do away with (President) Mugabe.” -

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MDC-M Provincial chairperson arrested in Mutare

By Tichaona Sibanda
20 December 2010

The MDC-M provincial chairperson for Manicaland province, Sondon
Mugaradziko, is still in police custody a day after he was arrested when
chairing a party meeting.

Heavily armed police pounced on a provincial council meeting in Mutare on
Sunday and disrupted proceedings. While the rest of the council members were
told to disperse, Mugaradziko was taken in by the police, facing charges of
organising a political meeting without clearance.

A member of the JOMIC from the MDC-M, Frank Chamunorwa, told us their
provincial chair was still in custody on Monday.

‘We were told the police were taking him to court today (Monday) but that
has not yet happened. ZANU PF held their conference there and nothing
happened to them and our guys were working on preparations for our own
conference and they get arrested. This is a scandal,’ Chamunorwa added.

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Jabulani Sibanda and CIO threaten villagers in Chiredzi

By Tererai Karimakwenda
20 December, 2010

War vet leader and violent ZANU PF thug, Jabulani Sibanda, who has
terrorized innocent people around the country, is reported to have brought
his campaign to the Chikombedzi area of Chiredzi. Our correspondent Lionel
Saungweme says that Sibanda was threatening elderly villagers last week,
saying their throats would be cut if they did not support ZANU PF in
elections next year.

Sibanda went through Chikombedzi last Thursday, in the company of a local
CIO official known as Matambanadzo and a war vet named Hatlani Makondo.
According to Saungweme, Matambanadzo told villagers that he is in possession
of a ‘black book’ that will have the names of all supporters of the MDC or
ZAPU. He said the names in his book would ‘catch hell’ when elections come
in 2011.

ZANU PF has been targeting areas where the MDC won heavily during the 2008
elections. Saungweme explained that ZAPU is also gaining ground in parts of
Chiredzi, and Sibanda threatened supporters of that party as well. .

The ZANU PF thug’s name is always linked to political violence and he
regularly operates ahead of elections. He has been accused of terrorizing
people in different parts of the country since Robert Mugabe announced that
he wanted elections next year.

The MDC called for Sibanda’s arrest after he traveled through Masvingo
province, assaulting and threatening MDC supporters. But as always the
police did not act and he continues his work for ZANU PF with impunity.

But he was forced to leave the Masvingo area after MDC structures organized
their youths to resist him and his thugs.

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Zanu threatens to expel diplomats

Written by Irene Moyo
Monday, 20 December 2010 06:39

HARARE – Zanu (PF) has threatened to expel “interfering” Western diplomats
as the former ruling party rolls out a campaign to crush opposition to its
quest to wrestle power lost in the last elections held in 2008. In a move
targeted at envoys from the United Kingdom, the United States, New Zealand
and Australia, President Robert Mugabe’s party said it would not countenance
any further interference by the West in Zimbabwe’s internal politics.
“The party resolves that foreign envoys who promote the West’s regime change
agenda and interfere in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe be expelled,” ZANU
PF said in a communiqué issued at the end of its annual conference held in
the eastern border city of Mutare on Saturday. This is not the first time
Mugabe has threatened to kick out the ambassadors of “hostile” Western
He issued the same threat in March 2007 after accusing Western diplomats of
supporting the opposition MDC-T party led by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai. The veteran leader said at the time that diplomats who wanted to
represent their countries in Zimbabwe had to "behave properly" or they would
be thrown out.
He again made a similar threat in August this year when, through Foreign
Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, he read the riot act to the ambassadors of
the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union for walking out
during his speech at the burial of his late sister in Harare. The diplomats
were also warned against their continued interaction
with MDC-T officials.
They were ordered to stop visiting opposition officials and attending their
court appearances and those breaking the order would face imminent
expulsions. Mugabe is particularly keen on expelling British ambassador to
Zimbabwe, Mark Canning, and his American counterpart, Charles Ray, as an
example of what he can do to the rest of the Western diplomats. The two have
been outspoken in their criticism of the Mugabe regime.
Observers however say the expulsion threats may be just that – mere rantings
of a cornered despot who wants to portray a Macho image among bewildered
supporters. “These will remain just threats because Mugabe himself knows
that such action would attract similar measures from the West, something
that he is not prepared to do at the moment,” said political analyst Donald
Cutting off ties with the rich Western nations would be suicidal for Mugabe
who is desperate to win back voters who deserted his party at the height of
an unprecedented economic crisis in 2008. “After all the political
grandstanding normally associated with Zanu (PF) meetings, even Mugabe
himself knows that completely shutting out the money-totting West would be
like signing his own death certificate. Without Western backing, there won’t
be any recovery of agriculture, health and education sectors to talk of,”
added Porusingazi.
Western nations have always bankrolled Zimbabwe’s social sectors and the
effects of their support were seen when they withdrew assistance at the
height of the country’s political crisis in the mid-2000s. The Western
pullout triggered a collapse of the education sector, with an unprecedented
exodus of qualified teachers and children not going to school for more than
a year.
Most health facilities also closed due to lack of staff and drugs while
those that remained open demanded extortionist prices before offering
services. The timing of the expulsion threats is particularly interesting as
it comes at a time when Zanu (PF) is pushing for elections next year. Mugabe
wants to silence the envoys so that they would not comment on
the cases of violence that his party is expected to unleash in the run-up to
the polls.

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Police Demanding X-mas Gifts From Motorists

20/12/2010 15:31:00

Gwanda, December 20, 2010 – Traffic cops manning road blocks along the
country’s major roads are demanding “Christmas gifts” from motorists.

Driving along the Beit-Bridge-Bulawayo road has in the past week become a
nightmare with underpaid police officers demanding bribes from travellers
who breach traffic regulations.

The highway has become a hive of activity as South African based Zimbabweans
return home for the festive season.

Officers accept anything from groceries to cash.

“These guys are stealing from us, you can hardly pass a roadblock without
having to leave something for them and they are not even ashamed to ask,
they just tell you they want something for Christmas”, said Mbonisi Fuzwayo
who was heading for Tsholotsho.

With Police officers manning roadblocks in every 20km motorists travelling
to Bulawayo from South Africa part with a fortune.

“We are just working for these police officers as they take a huge chunk of
our savings , something has to be done quickly” , said Dumiso Muleya a
commuter omnibus driver.

Overloaded and un-roadworthy motor vehicles are not impounded as long as
motorists can afford to bribe law enforcers.

This has seen a surge in road accidents over the past years as defective
vehicles are allowed on the country’s roads.

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Residents up in arms with ZBC

Written by Lovejoy Sakala
Sunday, 19 December 2010 09:19

NYANGA NORTH - Residents here have vowed not to pay radio and television
licences to the state broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC)
because they were not getting transmission.
Irate residents told The Zimbabwean On Thursday they had gone for many years
without television despite ZBC demanding exorbitant license fees. ZBC is
demanding an annual radio and television licence of US$50 from residents and
US$100 for motorists.
“We have had no ZBC signal transmission for a long time here and we are
surprised that they demanding licence fees from us. We rely on foreign
stations such as Radio de Mozambique, Studio 7, Voice of America and SW
Radio. I don’t even know any presenter on ZBC TV and radio, “said Marka
Munowenyu, a street vendor. Residents complained they were isolated from the
rest of the country and were starved of information.
“Here in Kazozo and Ruwangwe we don’t even access newspapers because the
road network is bad.  As you can see most people have invested so much in
satellite dishes,”said Rodreck Mawoyo, a local teacher. During the
inauguration of the inclusive government in 2009, Information, Media and
Publicity minister Webster Shamu promised to open the airwaves to other
private players but to date nothing has materialised.

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Zim Prisoners Share Cells With Goats

20/12/2010 12:18:00

Harare, December 20, 2010 - Prisoners at Harare Central prison have been
moved from their cells to create room for five goats which have been kept at
the prison complex for the past one week.

This means several prisoners have to share the tiny cells in an already over
congested prison.

Officers who spoke to Radio VOP were unable to say who the owner of the
goats is.

“We tried to ask the logic of keeping domestic animals in prison ...but we
were victimised for that. It’s not the first time that domestic animals have
been kept in prison. Three months ago we witnessed chickens being kept in a
cell," said a prison officer who declined to be named.

In August Harare Remand Officer in Charge Chief Superintendent Chibaya was
interrogated by senior service officials for keeping 200 chickens in a
prison cell meant for juveniles. He is alleged to have quickly removed the
chickens from the cell before the investigation team arrived.

Efforts to get a comment from Harare Central Prison Officer in Charge Chief
Superintendent Norbert Chomurenga were fruitless as his mobile phone was not

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Zims in SA plea for extension of documentation deadline

By Alex Bell
20 December 2010

Zimbabweans in South Africa are pleading for the deadline to regularise
their stay in the country to be extended, as thousands of people look set to
miss the cut off date next week.

But the December 31st deadline looks unlikely to change after South Africa’s
Home Affairs Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, announced last week that
there would be no extension. After a meeting with various rights groups
concerned about the faltering documentation process, she said that the
department would not resume deportations of Zim nationals until all
applications made before the deadline had been processed. She however warned
once again that no new applications would be considered in the New Year.

Rights groups have been calling for an extension of the deadline for
sometime, warning that thousands of people will miss out on the opportunity
to get relevant work or study permits. Getting the permits relies on having
proper identification, in the form of a Zimbabwean passport, but the
authorities are struggling to deal with the numbers requested. Only about 10
000 passports have been issued in the past two months, out of many tens of

Dlamini-Zuma has since lashed out at her Zimbabwe counterparts, blaming
their failure to produce enough passports for creating the backlog on South
Africa’s side. As a result South Africa’s Home Affairs are now prepared to
accept receipts proving that a passport application has been made, in order
for people to apply for South African permits.

This however is also having a knock on effect, with people just being issued
receipts instead of passports, even if they applied for the documents two
months ago. Some people, who risked journeying back to Zimbabwe to beat the
queues at consular offices in South Africa, are now too afraid to cross the
border with just a passport receipt.

One woman waiting in a queue at a consulate in South Africa told SW Radio
Africa on Monday that people are frustrated and angry. She explained that
most people were risking their jobs by waiting in queues all day, as some
people have only been allowed to take a single day off work.

“This is my third day in the queue, but my employers are very understanding.
This is not the same for others. All we want is the deadline to be extended,
we are praying this happens,” the woman said.

The tension in queues has been building, and last Friday assault charges
were laid against a security guard at a consular office in the Western Cape.
The guard manhandled refugee activist Braam Hanekom and some Zimbabweans
waiting in the chaotic queue. Hanekom, from the group PASSOP, told SW Radio
Africa on Monday that he was shocked by the treatment of Zimbabweans at the

“The security guards were assaulting and beating people in the queues and
when I tried to speak to people, I was basically assaulted and stopped from
speaking,” Hanekom explained.

Hanekom added that one of the people being “pushed around” by the security
guard was a man carrying his seven month old son.

“People are being charged up to R800 for a passport, even though it costs a
fraction of this to print one. We think the money could be better spent on
having more people to deal with applications and better security,” Hanekom

Hanekom continued by saying that South Africa’s Home Affairs will be making
“a dangerous and reckless move if they don’t extend the deadline.” He said
that the threat of deportations was already adding to xenophobic tensions in
the country, “because local South Africans aren’t going to know who is legal
and who isn’t, they’ll just want the foreigners gone.”

“Home Affairs is really setting South Africa up for another wave of
xenophobic violence, so it’s really crucial that they extend this deadline
and make sure the documentation process is done properly,” Hanekom said.

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Home Affairs Refuses To Budge

19/12/2010 13:30:00

JOHANNESBURG, December 19, 2010-The South African Government says it will
stick to its December 31 deadline for all Zimbabwean immigrants in the
country to get permits or face massive deportations in January.

Zimbabwe can produce only 500 passports a day. With about 40000 applications
still waiting to be processed, the backlog for passports will not be met.
South Africa proposes that all applicants for Zimbabwean passports must
attach a copy of the receipt for their passport application form.
South Africa will keep the application for regularisation aside until the
applicants have received their passports.

South Africa will probably not be able to finalise all applications by
December 31, partly because fingerprinting and verification of records take
time.The department will call people in batches for fingerprinting, but
applications must meet the deadline. Some people do not have the necessary
documents with them in South Africa to apply for passports in Zimbabwe.
They must place themselves on a list and "indicate that they have a birth
certificate and that they were registered in Zimbabwe. Or, they have an ID
document but it is not in South Africa. And maybe list their parent's

The South African government will ask the Zimbabwean government to verify
the citizenship of these people. If they are on the list, and their forms
are in by December 31, their applications will be put aside until their
citizenship is verified.
Those who are able to obtain confirmation of citizenship from the Zimbabwean
consulate or embassy but are waiting for a passport or ID, will also have
their applications set aside until they can be processed.
Although applications close on December 31, the processing will continue
beyond this date. No deportations will be done until the applications have
been processed.

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Livestock scheme to assist refugees returning from South Africa

Source: The Zimbabwean

Date: 19 Dec 2010

Written by Wallace Mawire

Sunday, 19 December 2010 09:07

CHIREDZI - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has handed
over a revolving livestock scheme to the community which was set up to
benefit Zimbabwean refugees who want to return home from South Africa.

The scheme was started in 2007 as a joint project between IOM and Chiredzi
district authorities to help re-integrate people that wanted to come back
home. According to Yukiko Kumashiro, IOM Programme Support Officer, the
project "was done to promote sustainable livelihoods through the
establishment of a community-managed livestock scheme".

"The project sought to provide a viable livelihood opportunity, offer
returnees an income generating activity, contribute to household and
community development and reduce the incidence of irregular migration,"
noted Kumashiro. Kumashiro added that with financial support from the
Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the project
targeted 200 returnees from South Africa who were assisted and registered by
the IOM Beitbridge Reception and Support Centre.

She said the beneficiaries targeted were households with orphans, unemployed
youths, the elderly and the chronically ill and also female headed
households. At inception, 201 households were assisted with 886 goats and
the goat population had risen to over 2400 goats after two years.

"By the end of the project, a total of 460 households had been assisted and
another 200 households were registered to receive goats from the third cycle
of the pass on scheme", she said. The project is reported to have also
equipped the beneficiaries and the host community to engage in commercial
goat production and offer good quality meat which could compete on the
domestic and international market.

"The revolving livestock scheme stimulated the development of a commercial
small livestock industry in Ward 9 of Chiredzi District, an indicator of the
multiplier effect of the project," she added. Also recently IOM assisted
project beneficiaries with marketing and managed to facilitate the sending
of goats to an abattoir in Masvingo. Beneficiaries who sent their goats
expressed joy at the returns realised.

The group was assisted by IOM to open a bank account for the project.
Members are required to make contributions into the Livestock Insurance Fund
Account so that there will be resources available to meet market related
costs. Throughout the project duration, IOM has been working closely with
government agencies and departments, NGOs and other stakeholders. The
support from Agritex, the Veterinary department, the Ministry of Labour and
Social Services, the District Administrator's office and the Chiredzi Rural
District Council had been instrumental to the success and sustainability of
the project. Communities have expressed interest to continue the project.

IOM will use the positive outcome of this project to develop strategies to
replicate it in other areas such as Plumtree.

"It is our hope that the Ward 9 community through the structures that were
set up in partnership with relevant government agencies will continue to
work in the same spirit and realise benefits from the revolving livestock
scheme. If managed well the scheme will be able to spearhead development in
this community and the impact will have a spill-over effect into other
sectors of the economy", said IOM Head of Programmes, Natalia Perez.

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Zim human rights group calls for fair 2011 elections

HARARE, ZIMBABWE Dec 20 2010 11:51

A Zimbabwean human rights organisation on Monday urged the country's ruling
parties to allow freedom and fairness in elections tentatively planned for
next year.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Saturday called for new elections next
year. Many opposition groups and human rights organisations fear that his
Zanu-PF party might resort to violence to stay in power after being forced
into a power-sharing agreement after the 2008 elections.

The report from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights argued that the country
could slip back into instability if elections were not fair.

It further argued that conditions on the ground have not improved since the
2008 elections that resulted in over 200 deaths, mainly of backers of Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party, which was
then in the opposition.

African leaders forced the creation of a coalition government in February
2009 after rejecting the results of a presidential election runoff boycotted
by Tsvangirai. -- Sapa-DPA

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ICSID appoints tribunal to hear land case

by Own Correspondent     Monday 20 December 2010

HARARE – The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
(ICSID) has appointed a three-member arbitration tribunal to consider the
request by a German family that is contesting the seizure of its farms by
the Zimbabwean government.

The von Pezold family sought assistance of the Paris-based ICSID in July
after its three farms –Makandi Tea and Coffee Estate, Border Timbers Estate
and Forester Estate in Manicaland – were invaded by members of President
Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) in June.

In case number ARB/10/15, Bernhard von Pezold and others are suing the
government of Zimbabwe for loss of income during the three-week-long
stand-off between the German investors and marauding gangs from Mugabe’s

The case was registered on the roll of the Paris-based tribunal on July 8, a
few days after the Harare regime bowed to pressure from the Germany embassy
to order

The ICSID appointed Canadian lawyer Yves Fortier on December 9 to head the
three-member arbitration tribunal that will hear the von Pezold application
for damages.

The former Canadian ambassador and permanent representative to the United
Nations will be assisted by Malawian lawyer Peter Mutharika and New Zealand’s
David Williams.

Mutharika is ironically the younger brother of Malawi’s President Bingu wa
Mutharika, a close ally of Mugabe.

The younger Mutharika is the current Malawian Justice and Constitutional
Affairs Minister.

The German investors are accusing the Zimbabwean government of failing to
act against the illegal occupants who claimed they were allocated the
properties under Mugabe’s controversial land reform programme.

Harare only ordered the armed and alcoholic mob off the farms after the
Germany government threatened to withhold aid to Zimbabwe, which totalled
more than US$50 million in 2009.

The illegal land occupiers are believed to have looted maize and other crops
valued at more than US$1 million since moving onto the farms on June 18.

The properties are covered by a bilateral investment promotion and
protection agreement (BIPPA) between Zimbabwe and Germany in 1995 but which
came into force in 2000.

The agreement precludes any farms owned by Germans from expropriation under
Zimbabwe’s controversial land reform programme.

This will be the second time the Zimbabwe had been dragged before the ICSID.

A group of Dutch nationals in April 2009 won its case against the Harare
regime after appealing to the ICSID for compensation for loss their

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

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

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

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

Mugabe however denies his land redistribution exercise caused hunger and
instead puts the blame on poor weather and a crippling economic crisis
responsible for shortages of seed and fertilizers for farmers to produce
enough food.

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MDC wanted cash to buy off securocrats

by Tobias Manyuchi     Monday 20 December 2010

HARARE – A close ally of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai requested US
assistance in setting up a fund to be used to entice Zimbabwe’s security
commanders into retirement, according to the latest American cable released
by WikiLeaks.

According to the cable, Elton Mangoma, a top member of Tsvangirai’s MDC
party, told a senior diplomat with the US embassy in Harare in a meeting
late last year that the Prime Minister’s party wanted Washington to
contribute to fund that would be used to buy off security chiefs.

"According to Elton Mangoma, MDC-T Minister of Economic Development and
member of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's inner circle, the MDC would
like the U.S. to contribute to a 'trust fund' to buy off securocrats and
move them into retirement," said the US cable.

It was not clear from the cable whether Mangoma, who requested support for
the proposed ‘trust fund’ in meeting with embassy chargé d’Affaires
Katherine Dhanani, had been specifically sent by Tsvangirai to ask for the
support or was merely relaying the general thinking of the MDC party.

Zimbabwe’s hardliner generals are widely seen as wielding a de facto veto
over the country’s troubled transformation process and likely to block
transfer of power to the winners of elections expected next year should the
victors not be President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF party.

"Mangoma said that a primary obstacle to political progress and reform was
the service chiefs. Unlike many ZANU-PF insiders who had stolen and invested
wisely, these individuals had not become wealthy.

"They feared economic pressures, as well as prosecution for their misdeeds,
should political change result in their being forced from office. Therefore,
they were resisting…progress that could ultimately result in fair
 elections,” cable said.

The security chiefs are Mugabe’s staunchest allies and are credited with
keeping the President in power after waging a ruthless campaign of violence
in 2008 to force then opposition leader Tsvangirai to withdraw from a second
round presidential poll that analysts had strongly tipped the former trade
unionist to win.

Tsvangirai had beaten Mugabe in the first round ballot but failed to achieve
outright victory to avoid the second round run-off poll.

The security chiefs have previously vowed to never salute a president who
did not take part in Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation struggle, in what was seen
as a clear warning they would topple any government led by Tsvangirai who
did not take part in the independence war.

The US cables, of which WikiLeaks it has nearly 3 000 on Zimbabwe alone,
have been a most welcome propaganda tool for Mugabe who has used them to
portray the Tsvangirai and the MDC as puppets of the America and the West. –

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Providing health care for peanuts in Zimbabwe

Patients barter livestock, corn for medical services at hospital run by
Santa Rosa nurse with ties to Sebastopol church


Published: Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 20, 2010 at 9:22 a.m.

CHIDAMOYO, Zimbabwe -- People lined up on the veranda of the American
mission hospital here from miles around to barter for doctor visits and
medicines, clutching scrawny chickens, squirming goats and buckets of maize.
But mostly, they arrived with sacks of peanuts on their heads.

The hospital's cavernous chapel is now filled with what looks like a giant
sand dune of unshelled nuts. The hospital makes them into peanut butter that
is mixed into patients' breakfast porridge, spread on teatime snacks and
melted into vegetables at dinnertime.

"We literally are providing medical services for peanuts!" exclaimed Kathy
McCarty, a nurse from Santa Rosa who has run this rural hospital, 35 miles
from the nearest tarred road, since 1981.

The Chidamoyo Christian Hospital is rooted in Sonoma County, where its board
members regularly meet at King Hwa Chinese restaurant in Sebastopol and
volunteers load containers full of medical supplies. McCarty's salary is
paid by the Sebastopol Christian Church, where she has been a member since

"A lot of people from our church have gone over the years," said Rosanne
Prandini, who spent a month at the hospital this summer. "And a lot of
medical people from Sonoma County, who aren't affiliated with our church,
have gone over."

The Chidamoyo hospital, along with countless Zimbabweans, turned to barter
in in 2008 when inflation peaked at what the International Monetary Fund
estimates was 500 billion percent, wiping out life savings, making even
trillion-dollar notes worthless and propelling the health and education
systems into collapse.

Sue Beckstead, a Sebastopol resident and hospital board member who collects
donations and forwards them to McCarty, said patients bring in whatever they
can to pay.

"People come into the hospital with goats, chickens and peanuts," Beckstead
said. "Kathy said if they don't have to give something, they don't think the
service is any good."

Since 2008, a power-sharing government has formed after years of decline
under President Robert Mugabe, and the economy has stabilized. Zimbabwe
abandoned its currency last year, replacing it with the American dollar, and
inflation has fallen to a demure 3.6 percent. Teachers are back in their
classrooms and nurses are back on their wards.

But a recent U.N. report states Zimbabwe is still poorer than any of the 183
countries the U.N. has income data for. It is one of three countries in the
world worse off now on combined measures of health, education and income
than it was 40 years ago.

For many rural Zimbabweans, cash remains so scarce that the 85-bed Chidamoyo
Christian Hospital has continued to allow its patients to barter. Studies
have found that fees are a major barrier to medical care in rural areas,
where most Zimbabweans live.

"It's very difficult to get this famous dollar that people are talking
about," said Esther Chirasasa, 30, who hiked 8 miles through the bush to the
hospital for treatment of debilitating arthritis. Her son, Cain, 13, walked
at her side carrying a sack of peanuts to pay for her care.

Here in this rustic outpost with no phone service and often no electricity,
the Chidamoyo hospital and the people who rely on it have entered an
unwritten pact to resist the tide of death that has carried away so many.
Life expectancy in Zimbabwe, plagued by AIDS and poverty, has fallen to 47
years from 61 years over the past quarter century.

Patients provide the the crops and the animals they raise and the hospital
tends to their wounds, treats their illnesses and delivers their babies. Its
two doctors and 15 nurses see about 6,000 patients a month and have put
2,000 people with AIDS on life-saving antiretroviral medicines.

The hospital charges $1 to see the doctor -- or a quarter bucket of
peanuts -- while a government hospital typically charges $4, in cash only.

Short of cash like the people it serves, the hospital practices a level of
thrift unheard of in the United States. Workers and volunteers steam latex
gloves in cloth bags to sterilize them for reuse, filling the fingers with
water to ensure against leaks. They remove the cotton balls from thousands
of pill bottles to swab patients' arms before injections. And they collect
the tissue-thin pages of instructions from the same bottles for use as
toilet paper.

For most of the past year, the hospital did not have enough money to stock
blood. McCarty said women who hemorrhaged after giving birth or experiencing
ruptured ectopic pregnancies were referred to bigger hospitals, but often
they had no blood either. Eight women died, she said. Just recently, the
U.N. has begun paying for blood at the hospital to improve women's odds of

Standing over an anesthetized woman before a Caesarean section, Dr. Vernon
Murenje recalled how frightening it was to operate without blood in stock.
"You're operating," he said, "but then at the back of your mind, you'll be
thinking, What if we have significant blood loss?"

As he prepared to make the incision, the hospital was in the midst of almost
two weeks without power.

Its old generator, already used when the hospital bought it 20 years ago,
lacked enough juice to run the X-ray machine or to keep the florescent
lights from flickering. It was turned on just before the Caesarean section.
The air-conditioner coughed weakly to life in the stifling room.

When Rosanne Prandini volunteered at the hospital in June, she assisted in
the operating room during such operations.

"One of which the power went out," she said. "We were running around trying
to get more light."

When she and her husband Steve returned to Sebastopol, they began working
with the Rotary Club of Sebastopol to raise money for a new generator. So
far they've raised $10,000 of the $30,000 McCarty needs, she said.

"In very difficult circumstances, Kathy just shines," Prandini said. "She is
totally committed."

Press Democrat Staff Writer Nathan Halverson contributed to this report.

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Tsvangirai’s End of Year’s Statement to the People of Zimbabwe

Monday,20 December 2010

Twenty three months ago, the MDC helped form the inclusive government in Zimbabwe. We were guided by the righteous and noble objective of stabilizing the economy and rescuing the people from the precipice of poverty, uncertainty, starvation and indignity wrought by three decades of corruption and misgovernance.

This month, we all celebrate the birth of Christ and look positively to the year ahead, well aware of the value we have brought into government and the role we have played in stopping the bleeding and making sure that Zimbabweans have every reason to hope again. We are not there yet and I have no doubt about the huge task that lies ahead in returning the country to normalcy and in laying the foundation for a great future for our children.
But over the past two years, we in the MDC have shown that it is possible to turn over a new leaf, to have some order in government and to bring Zimbabwe back to its years of glory and to earn respect from its peers in Africa and beyond.

As I take stock of the past year and look at the priorities of 2011, I am humbled by some notable achievements but at the same time aware of the great strides we would have made were it not for the needless tension in this government. Our positive impact is a matter of public record. Inflation has been tamed and we are now poised for a growth of 8,1 percent after having spent the past 24 months concentrating on stabilizing the economy.

There is food on the shelves, schools have opened and hospitals have begun functioning again. Only recently, we led an investment revolution when the ministry of Economic Planning and Development opened a one-stop shop that will enable prospective investors to have their papers processed under one roof in less than 48 hours so that we create jobs and expand our economy.

Civil servants have started receiving a salary but I am still not happy with their remuneration considering their patriotism and their great service to this country. Great work has already begun to rehabilitate national infrastructure. The dualisation of some major roads, the fibre-optic link to Mutare and the commitment of resources through the fiscus for major dams such as Mtshabezi is a departure from mere lip-service about some of these national projects.

The constituency development fund, where each constituency will receive $50 000, means that parliamentarians will have a chance to embark on major projects with the direct input of their constituents.  The elderly and the vulnerable will receive assistance through the department of social welfare. Money has also been set aside for the rehabilitation of tertiary college infrastructure such as halls of residence while government has also resumed student loans and grants to assist in laying a sound educational base for these future leaders.

In September, with the support of the United Nations and other donors, I commissioned 13 million textbooks to all the 5 575 primary schools in the country. This was the largest single investment in the education sector since independence and it ensured that every primary school child will have access to textbooks.  In October, again with the support of partners, I commissioned new medical equipment at Harare hospital as we sought to improve the health delivery system which is the bedrock of any serious government committed to real change.

For the first time since independence, we commissioned new and modern audio equipment in our Parliament and our MPs have steered the first private member’s Bill that will bring new, democratic amendments to the draconian Public Order and Security Act (POSA). Our local authorities have worked hard to mitigate three decades of misgovernance, cronyism and corruption to bring back clean water and other services to residents in the wake of needless meddling from the Minister of Local Government.

I am aware that more needs to be done to realize our full potential in bringing hospitals and schools to their former glory and in ensuring that our silent factories start working again. But we have made our positive change in this government amid renewed tension which is threatening our collective march from a dark past of uncertainty to a future of hope and progress.

However, it is also true that as I reflect on the events of the past 23 months, I have my own frustrations about many things in this government. Chief among my frustrations is the failure to implement the Global Political Agreement, the resurgence of violence in the country and President Robert Mugabe’s unilateral and unconstitutional acts which have blighted the dawn of possible progress.
I am frustrated because these things have stood between us and the great things we could have achieved as a coalition government. I am frustrated because we have taken Zimbabweans for a ride and betrayed the trust bestowed upon us by you, the people of Zimbabwe as well as SADC and the African Union as the guarantors of the Global Political Agreement.

I am frustrated because we cannot implement the 24 issues we have agreed upon for the simple reason that President Mugabe has chosen to run away from his signature and treats fellow Principals with utter disdain and contempt.

I am frustrated because the noble-constitution-making process has failed to stand the test of legitimacy after Zimbabweans were disallowed from freely expressing their views. However, we must continue with this process of crafting a new charter for ourselves while awaiting the making of a truly people-driven Constitution in a post-transitional environment.

It is a shame that 30 years after independence, we still use a Constitution given to us as an order of the Queen at Lancaster House, albeit a Constitution mutilated 19 times. And we still have the have the temerity to call ourselves a sovereign nation while at the same time subverting a noble process of crafting our own, home-grown Constitution.

I am frustrated because those who lost the election have chosen to mistake our goodwill and benevolence for a weakness.
They have deluded themselves into thinking that they invited us. But we derive comfort in that while they are soaked with the blood of innocent Zimbabweans, we remain drenched in the legitimacy bestowed upon us in a free and fair election.

We are the true repository of the people’s aspirations.  But our present frustrations must not blind us to the nightmare of the past and the prospect of a better future. We have since moved on from the indignity of a hyperinflationary environment; bags of worthless money, a non-functioning social services sector and the long winding queues where we spent days and cold nights in a desperate attempt to get a service.

We are now on the home stretch-the last mile. As we go on this last mile, we remain undaunted by the prospect of an election, as this is the only route through which a legitimate government can begin to transact the business of the people and bring about real change.

We won the Presidential, parliamentary and local government elections of 2008 and we are not afraid. The holder of the heavyweight title can never be more afraid than the challenger; the one itching to inflict revenge after being humiliated in the first round.  And we won the first round. So we are ready for an election and not a war.

We are only ready for a free and fair election, a peaceful election where violence, rigging, intimidation and a biased public media have no space; where our soldiers, our police, our central intelligence officers and our war veterans remain impartial actors that respect the Constitution of Zimbabwe. A free election where losers hand over power and winners begin urgently to transact the business of the people and to set in motion policies that will guarantee a prosperous future for us and our children.

So we will only participate in a free, fair and violence-free election. But we will not participate in a war. We are simple defenseless citizens of this country fighting for change through peaceful and democratic means. So we will not participate in a blood-soaked event masquerading as an election.

On 16 December 2010, our national council took a position that the outstanding electoral business is the unfinished Presidential election of 2008. There was no contestation on the outcome of the Parliamentary and local government elections. This means Zimbabweans should be given a chance to vote for a President of their choice in the next election. We have been forced to walk the road of violence and we are not prepared to walk it forever more.

We have lost relatives. Our homes and property have been destroyed. We have seen State agents actively engaged in shameful acts of violence and the unbridled violation of the people’s rights and freedoms. But we have all refused to be cowed and to be distracted from the urgent national assignment of fighting for democratic change in Zimbabwe.

I, like every other Zimbabwean, have personally experienced this violence and I understand the pain of brutality and indignity. As a nation, we cannot afford to slide back if we are to claim our rightful place among the civilized family of nations. There have been disturbing and treasonous statements by a parasitic minority in Zanu PF that they will not allow an election to decide the future leaders of this country. The people of Zimbabwe, with the active assistance of SADC, must ensure that the people’s will prevails if we are to entrench a new culture of democracy in our country.

A false impression has been created that the MDC and its leadership are fighting our national security institutions. We have nothing against our soldiers, our  police and our CIO officers as long as they stick to their Constitutional mandate of protecting the people of Zimbabwe. But we have a problem when the same institutions are used for partisan interest, to intimidate and mete out violence against innocent and defenceless citizens.

So we need a roadmap to a free and fair election, with clear benchmarks and time-bound milestones that will ensure the people’s views will be respected. We derive comfort in that at the SADC meeting in August in Windhoek, Namibia, regional leaders agreed to charting a clear roadmap to ensure violence-free elections in Zimbabwe. President Zuma is currently leading a regional initiative to ensure that we come up with a charter for a free and fair poll in Zimbabwe.

We need SADC to guarantee the process leading to the next election by maintaining massive presence in the country six months before and six months after the election. Our regional brothers must ensure there is no violence and that our security agents stick to their Constitutional obligations.

We need a transparent, biometric/ digitalized voters roll and a genuinely independent Zimbabwe Electoral Commission with a credible secretariat, an electoral body that ensures that the people’s will is respected, the results announced expeditiously and power transferred to the new authority. We cannot have credible election with the same secretariat that was at the centre of the chaos of 2008.

The major lesson from 2008 is that all this cannot happen without the active role of SADC and the African Union; the guarantors of the GPA. The major lesson from the spectacle in Ivory Coast is that Africa needs strong regional bodies that are ready to defend the people’s verdict. We applaud the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which has stood firm in its defence of the legitimate will of the people of Ivory Coast. Africa risks becoming a laughing stock if it continues the disturbing trend that we have seen in Kenya, Zimbabwe and lately the Ivory Coast, where losers take advantage of their incumbency to refuse to hand over power even after losing a free and fair election. The will of the people is sacrosanct and it must always be respected.

I wish to thank the people of Zimbabwe for investing their faith in us; for choosing hope over despair, peace over violence and a bright future over a troubled past. The civil servants, peasants, workers, farmers, housewives, students and everyone across the social spectrum have stood resolute in support of the peaceful foundation we have laid for a bright future.

I have traversed the length and breath of Zimbabwe and spoken to our parents, brothers and sisters. I have spoken to farmers, students, church leaders, businesspersons, cross-border traders, factory workers, bankers, investors, housewives, the youth, women and minority groups. I have been humbled by their unequivocal support for our great movement and our collective quest for real change, a new Zimbabwe and a new beginning.

So as we celebrate the birth of Christ this Christmas and look forward to a new year, we pray for peace, hope, security and prosperity in our country.
As we embark on this last mile to full democracy, I urge the people of Zimbabwe and the leadership of the church to take a leading role in committing our country and its leadership to God, submitting ourselves to the supremacy of the Almighty.

I urge all God-fearing Zimbabweans to race alongside me in this last mile as we unite in prayer and ask God the Almighty to bless our country. Join me in this last mile to pray for a peaceful election and the cursing of the demon of violence; where we allow each other to vote for a party and a leader of our choice.

Let us join hands  in this last mile as we all walk united in our collective quest for a peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe, a Zimbabwe where war and violence are alien and have no place; where we are united and celebrating our diversity and where every Zimbabwean has the freedom to pursue  and live their dreams..

Our faith in the Lord and our fortitude in waging this great struggle for democracy and real change should continue to drive us in 2011. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels. (Psalm 122, verse 7).

I wish you a merry Christmas and a prosperous 2011.

God bless Zimbabwe. God bless Africa.

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