By Tichaona Sibanda
20 December 2011
The MDC-T legislator for Chimanimani West, Lynnette Karenyi, was on Monday
arrested by the police in Mutare for allegedly branding Robert Mugabe ‘a gay
who sleeps around with Jonathan Moyo.’
Karenyi, who is also the MDC’s Women’s Assembly organizing secretary, denies
the charge. Police allege the MP uttered the words when she addressed a
rally in her constituency two weeks ago. The event was at Nhedziwa business
The MDC-T organising secretary for Manicaland and Musikavanhu constituency,
legislator Prosper Mutseyami, told SW Radio Africa that the police phoned
Karenyi when she was attending the party’s council meeting in Harare,
‘She duly reported to the police at Mutare and she was immediately placed
under arrest. She appeared in court on Tuesday and was granted a $200 bail
by a Mutare magistrate,’ Mutseyami said.
However, the state invoked the notorious Section 121 of the Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act, to deny her bail. She has been remanded to 28th
December, meaning she will spend Christmas in police cells.
A statement by the MDC said the decision by the State to invoke Section 121
showed that the Attorney-General’s office continues to be used by ZANU PF
for persecuting and not prosecuting MDC officials and supporters.
‘It vindicates the MDC’s position that cases against MDC members are 100
percent politics and zero percent law. MP Karenyi’s case is just but one of
the several instances where the national institutions, such as the AG’s
office have been abused by the sunset party, ZANU P,F to achieve its
political ends,’ the statement said.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
20 December, 2011
The holiday season looks set to be grim for municipal workers in the town of
Chitungwiza, who have gone on strike hoping to force council authorities to
pay salaries, which have not been paid for two months.
Reports said salaries for November and December are outstanding and the town
clerk, Godfrey Tanyanyiwa, is being blamed for the financial chaos. The
workers are reportedly calling for his dismissal and accusing him of
corruption and incompetence.
On Tuesday SW Radio Africa spoke to a resident in Chitungwiza whose husband
works for the council, and she confirmed that he had not been paid since
The resident, who did not want to be identified, visited the council offices
and reported that angry and frustrated workers were gathered outside without
any access to council officials. The town clerk was also not available to
provide any information as to when the funds would be released.
“They were given a court order to pay the workers but they are ignoring it,”
our contact said. She explained that the two unions that represent the
council workers took the matter to court and won. But nothing has changed.
“Some people were trying to bury their dead ones and there is nobody at the
cemetery,” our contact said, adding: “There’s refuse all over the place and
we do not have water from September. We drink water from the rain.”
She said residents in Chitungwiza have been digging boreholes to access some
water but the levels are very shallow. They only improved recently after
heavy rains fell, she added.
A report prepared by the Chitungwiza Residents and Ratepayers Association in
September criticized the municipality for providing poor service delivery to
It said: “The roads are potholed, sewage bursts are frequent and water
shortages are spread out in the community. Some parts of Chitungwiza have
gone for years without water. Other problems in the area include illegal
structures which are clustered all over and inconsistent billing which has
brought untold frustration and suffering to the rate payer.”
The municipal workers currently have no idea when their salaries for
November and December will be paid.
We were unable to contact the town clerk Godfrey Tanyanyiwa for comment. But
according to the state run ZBC news, he refused to answer questions, saying
he was in Bulawayo.
19 December 2011
The former ruling party charged that the drafters were 'tampering' with
views gathered during a turbulent 2010 public outreach process, and that
ZANU-PF had consequently lost faith in the drafters
Violet Gonda | Washington
The parliamentary committee in charge of revising Zimbabwe's 30-year-old
constitution held crisis talks in Harare on Monday amid reports that
President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF unilaterally instructed drafters to halt
the constitution-writing process.
The former ruling party charged that the drafters were "tampering" with
views gathered during a turbulent 2010 public outreach process. Paul
Mangwana, ZANU-PF co-chairman of the parliamentary select committee in
charge of the process, told the pro-ZANU-PF Herald newspaper that his party
had lost confidence in the drafters.
Ironically, ZANU-PF and Mr. Mugabe have been telling those in charge of the
process of constitutional revision to pick up the pace so elections can be
held in 2012.
Sources told VOA that the drafters had so far written four sections of the
new basic document on principles, citizenship, a bill of rights and
But Mangwana was quoted calling for new drafters, charging that the present
team seems to be pushing the positions of the two formations of the Movement
for Democratic Change, for instance on the issue of dual citizenship for
The three principal drafters are former High Court justice Moses Chinhengo,
and constitutional experts Priscilla Madzonga and Brian Crozier.
Select committee deputy chairperson Gladys Dube-Gombami of the MDC formation
of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said the meeting was heated and was to
continue on Tuesday in an effort to iron out the disagreements. But she said
her party is not going to allow ZANU-PF to disrupt the constitution-making
“We cannot allow ZANU-PF to run with the ball to say we no longer want the
drafters, and remember these drafters were appointed by the (unity
government) principals in agreement. ZANU-PF as a party cannot unilaterally
then say we want new drafters, we don’t want these drafters,” the MDC-T
She said the objective Tuesday is for the committee to find a way of
communicating with the drafters to prevent individuals from hijacking the
Chairman Lovemore Madhuku of the National Constitutional Assembly, a civil
society organization opposed to the parliamentary-led revision process, said
the latest crisis is not surprising and shows why politicians should not be
writing the constitution.
He said the only way forward is for an independent commission to take over.
“All that ZANU-PF wants is to try and cripple the constitution making
process so as to call for an election in the absence of a (new) constitution
in 2012," Madhuku said.
By Lance Guma
20 December 2011
Several activists, particularly victims of the Gukurahundi massacres, have
said they welcomed the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il on Saturday.
Kim Jong-il had been in power since the death of his father Kim Il-sung in
1994 and it was under his father that Korean instructors trained the
notorious Fifth Brigade in Zimbabwe. Deployed by Mugabe the unit went to
massacre an estimated 20,000 people in the Matabeleland and Midlands
Predictably ZANU PF has taken a different approach. Secretary for
Administration Didymus Mutasa told the Daily News that they were “grateful”
to Kim Jong-iI for training the Zimbabwean military. Mutasa said Mugabe and
Zanu PF “has nothing to be ashamed of” for associating with Kim Jong-il and
his father Kim II Sung.
“We got a lot of help from him as his country trained our army and they also
built our Heroes Acre that we are very proud of. It was a very good
relationship that we shall always cherish. We worked together well,” said
Mutasa. He also claimed that Kim Jong-il “was a lovely man whom we
However the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU), whose supporters were
targeted by the Fifth Brigade, said they had “no option but to welcome” the
demise of the dictator. ZAPU spokesman Methuseli Moyo, told the Daily News:
“We have no doubt that people with the Fifth Brigade background are the ones
who continue to torture and kill ZANU PF’s political opponents even to this
day, as such, the Korean dynasty is responsible for ZANU PF’s militant and
violent approach to politics.”
Moyo also said: “The year 2011 is certainly a bad year for dictators. We
pray that God also calls to heaven the few remaining ones.”
Harare, December 20, 2011 - President Robert Mugabe's Zanu (PF) party has
described the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il who died Saturday as a
"lovely" man who was a joy to work with.
“He was a lovely man whom we associated with,” said Zanu (PF) Secretary for
Administration Didymus Mutasa who spoke on behalf of his party."He was our
great friend and we are not ashamed of being associated with him," he said
“We got a lot of help from him as his country trained our army and they also
built our Heroes Acre that we are very proud of. It was a very good
relationship that we shall always cherish. We worked together well,” said
The North Koreans trained a special armed force known as the Fifth Brigade
which carried out the Matebeleland massacres infamously known as Gukurahundi
in the 1980s. The massacres left over 20 000 people dead in Matebeleland and
Midlands regions according to the Catholic Commission for Peace and Justice
While most of the world looked at the North Korean leader as a dictator who
ran his country with an iron fist for the past 17 years, Mutasa said: “He
was not a dictator. He was a popular leader who was chosen by his people and
regularly conducted elections."
by Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe was the only foreign head of state present as Joseph
Kabila was sworn-in for a new term as president if the Democratic Republic
of Congo on Tuesday.
The state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) claimed Mugabe was
joined by other heads of state and government but international news
agencies covering the event said other African countries were only
represented by ministers.
Mugabe – who sent troops to back Kabila's father, Laurent, during the
country’s conflict – travelled to the DRC on Monday evening accompanied by
defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and other senior government officials.
Regional powerhouse, South Africa said it would send its Foreign Minister,
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, after describing the elections as "generally OK".
Opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi maintains he won the poll and says he
will swear himself in on Friday, raising fears of renewed street violence in
the capital Kinshasa where he is popular.
Kabila's inauguration went ahead after the country's Supreme Court upheld
his victory in the disputed election.
Speaking after his swearing-in, Kabila said that the electoral process
represented the first time in Congo's history that a presidential mandate
had ended without a crisis, and praised Congolese for their discipline.
"You were asked to choose on the one hand between an illusory promise based
on incendiary language, and on the other hand the consolidation of peace and
stability,” he said.
He promised to improve the business climate and rebuild infrastructure
destroyed during decades of conflict.
"We are going to pursue an improvement of the business climate to better
serve investors. We are also going to pursue and accelerate the
reconstruction of the country."
The November 28 poll marked the second presidential contest since a
1998-2003 war that killed more than 5 million people, and was seen as key to
cementing gains in a country that lies on the bottom of the U.N. index for
human development - a measure of average wealth, education and life
20 December 2011
Harare bound Air Zimbabwe passengers, who have been stranded at Gatwick airport for over a week, were on Monday night chucked out of their hotel for non payment of bills.
For two days over
hundred passengers were refusing to vacate the 4 star Hilton hotel. They had
been staying there while the airline was trying to settle the $1.2 million debt
to have one of its long haul aircraft released.
But on Monday night hotel management and security moved door to door, evicting the passengers as Air Zimbabwe had not paid the hotel bill.
The Boeing 767, which was impounded by American General Supplies (AGS) when it landed from Harare at Gatwick a week ago, is still being held at the airport. The aircraft was seized via a US court injunction by the aircraft parts suppliers, for the unpaid debt for spares delivered to the airline. Lawyers representing AGS insist the plane will not be released until the money Air Zim says they have paid, appears in their account.
Engineers at the airport have also told passengers that even if the money was to reach the American company this week, it would take some days to service the plane as it has remained on the ground for more than 36 hours.
On Monday, Air Zimbabwe officials at Gatwick were giving out cheque refunds to some of the passengers who had booked direct with them. But those who had booked via travel agencies were being told to approach the agents for refunds. Stranded passenger and SW Radio Africa presenter, Ezra Sibanda, said: ‘I’ve since deposited my cheque, so if it clears maybe I might make other travel arrangements, but I’ve heard from some people that the last time this happened, passengers’ cheques bounced.’
He denied that some passengers were rebooked onto other airlines. Air Zimbabwe was in May this year suspended from international financial and flight booking services over a US$280,000 debt by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
‘We were informed these airlines needed cash before accepting the passengers. Air Zimbabwe did not have a cent. So if there are passengers who have travelled, they probably used their own money,’ Sibanda.
The popular radio DJ said passengers sharply criticized the Zimbabwe embassy staff in London for failing to help them. Most felt they were let down by their embassy because it did not provide moral support to passengers who were sick, travelling home for funerals or the young. A letter written by the passengers last week Friday said they were being let down by their embassy and their Ambassador.
‘Having paid our hard earned money in good faith in exchange for a flight back home, we find ourselves reduced to destitutes, a class no one is prepared to listen to, let alone help,’ the letter said. It was copied to the Transport Ministry and Embassy in London.
‘At least someone at the Embassy should have come to talk to the passengers because the reputation of the country was at stake. All what the embassy staff told us was that someone will come to Gatwick to see what is happening. But nobody came and they forget they are in London to serve both the government and Zimbabweans in the UK. Other embassies seem to take care of the interests of their people, but ours don’t seem to care,’ Sibanda added.
Harare, December 20, 2011 - An Air Zimbabwe plane which was impounded in
London last week could be holed up for some time before it is recovered
after it emerged that it suffered some technical fault.
Insiders at Air Zimbabwe disclosed to Radio VOP that the long haul aircraft,
a Boeing 767-200 which was expected back in the country on Tuesday morning
could not leave London’s Gatwick International Airport on Monday evening as
was expected after developing some technical fault.
The aircraft which was seized by American General Supplies upon landing at
London’s Gatwick International Airport over a US$1.2 million debt was
scheduled to arrive at Harare International Airport on Tuesday after the
ailing national airline settled the debt.
But informed sources revealed that the planned repossession had suffered a
major setback after the aircraft experienced some technical problems which
foiled its planned release.
Last week’s embarrassing impounding of the Air Zimbabwe aircraft follows the
seizure of one of Air Zimbabwe’s plane, a Boeing 737-500 which was
confiscated by South Africa’s Bid Air Services three weeks ago over a $500
000 debt for ground handling services.
The seizure of Air Zimbabwe’s aircrafts is one of several woes affecting the
national carrier. Once rated as one of the best airlines on the continent,
Air Zimbabwe has been run down due to successive years of mismanagement and
The detention ordeal of Bindura human rights lawyer, Ernst Jena, who was
accused of undermining the authority of or insulting President Robert Mugabe
finally ended on Monday 19 December 2011 when he was granted bail by Bindura
Magistrate Charles Murove.
by ZLHR Legal Monitor
Magistrate Murove granted bail to Jena when he was finally brought to court
on Monday morning after spending five days in police custody since his
arrest and detention on Wednesday 14 December 2011.
Jena, who was represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) member
lawyers, Chris Mhike of Atherstone and Cook Legal Practitioners and Tarisai
Mutangi of Donsa, Nkomo&Mutangi Legal Practitioners was charged with
contravening Section 33 (2) (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and
Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 for allegedly making an unlawful, intentional and
abusive statement about Mugabe. Jena was also charged with contravening
Section 177 (a) (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act
Chapter 9:23 for allegedly undermining police authority.
State prosecutor Emmanuel Muchenga alleged that Jena insulted Mugabe on 9
December 2011 while enjoying some refreshments at Kimberley Reef Hotel in
Bindura, Mashonaland Central Province when he stated that; “Mugabe mudenga,
Mugabe mudenga, muroverei pasi” which the State translated to mean “Mugabe
up in the air, Mugabe up in the air, smash him on the ground.”
In the second charge, Muchenga alleged that the human rights lawyer
unlawfully and intentionally made a false statement at Kimberley Reef Hotel
in the presence of Tinashe Zisengwe, a police officer, who was on duty, with
the intention of engendering feelings of hostility towards the police
officer or the police force or exposing Zisengwe or the police force to
contempt, ridicule, or disesteem.
According to Muchenga, Jena reportedly told Zisengwe that; “Ndinoziva kuti
iwe uri muC.I.D weku Law and order. Ndinoda kuti undisunge izvozvi kana pane
mhosva, Mugabe mudenga, Mugabe mudenga. Muroverei pasi. MaPP arimuno anaDeya
ava ngavabve vandiprosecutor izvozvi,”
which was translated to mean that; “I know that you are a detective attached
to CID Law and order. I want you to arrest me now if there is an offence.
Mugabe up, Mugabe. Smash him down. Prosecutors are here the likes of Mr Deya
let him prosecute me.”
The matter was remanded to Tuesday 10 January 2012.
In Mutare, Magistrate Noah Gwatidzo on Monday 19 December 2011 postponed to
Tuesday 20 December 2011, a ruling on a bail application filed by
Chimamimani West Member of Parliament, Hon. Lynette Karenyi, who was also
charged with undermining the authority of or insulting Mugabe.
Hon. Karenyi, who is represented by ZLHR member lawyer, David Tandiri and
who was detained when she reported at Mutare Central Police on Monday 19
December 2011, allegedly insulted Mugabe at a rally held in Nhedziwa, in
Manicaland Province on 9 December 2011. State prosecutor, Truman Joma
claimed that Hon. Karenyi accused Mugabe of double standards by criticizing
her Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party for allegedly supporting
homosexuality practices and yet the octogenarian leader’s party together
with former Media, Information and Publicity Minister, Jonathan Moyo had
endorsed gay rights in some of the country’s laws.
Meanwhile, High Court Judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi on Friday 16 December
2011 dismissed an appeal filed by the State seeking to overturn a bail order
granted in favour of two Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ)
employees, Fadzai December and Molly Chimhanda and MMPZ member, Gilbert
Mabusa Gwanda Magistrate Douglas Zvenyika.
State prosecutor Blessing Gundani had on Friday 9 December 2011 invoked the
notorious Section 121 of the Criminal Evidence and Procedure Act (CPEA) to
suspend the bail order which had been granted to December, Chimhanda and
Mabusa, who are accused of contravening some provisions of the draconian
Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and the Criminal Law (Codification and
But Justice Mathonsi dismissed the State’s appeal which came after the
admission of the MMPZ employees’ to bail. December, Chimhanda and Mabusa
were arrested on Monday 5 December 2011 after they attended at Gwanda Police
Station in the company of their lawyer, Kossam Ncube of Kossam Ncube and
Partners, who is a board member of ZLHR.
Press statement On behalf of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
WOZA leaders Jennifer Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu appeared in
Magistrates Tredgold Regional Court A on trial facing Kidnapping and Theft
charges on 19 and 20 December. The matter was before Magistrate Goodluck
Sangweni with Prosecutor is Mr Goodwill Katenaire and Zimbabwe Lawyers for
Human Rights Kossam Ncube defending the two accused. The Trial continues on
21 December at 9am.
The Trial had been postponed from 12 December 2011 as the key witness Emma
Mabhena did not come to court. Once again on 19 December she was not in
court so the trial began with 2nd witness Bokani Nleya.
After the state case was presented, the defence attorney cross examined the
witness Bokani Nleya. She made three different statements than those
recorded by the police. When challenged that she was contradicting her own
signed statement. In her evidence she has said Nolwandle Simunyu had
searched with Jennifer Williams but in her statement it alleged that
Magodonga Mahlangu had accompanied Williams.
When pressed, she said that the Police officer recording the statement had
altered the name in her statement. She also said that the police officer had
not asked her the value of the torch but just inserted 300 South African
Rand. She said the torch was bought for 40 Rand and she was to sell it for
Day two began with 75year old Emma Mabhena taking the witness stand.
She is the main state witness and is said to have been kidnapped by Williams
and Mahlangu. Upon cross examination she stated emphatically that she was
never physically forced into the vehicle and that none of the accused
persons ever threatened her or kept her against her will
in the vehicle. Her signed statement reads – “the other lady who was
in this vehicle opened the rear passenger door and pulled me inside the
vehicle while this slim lady pushed me from outside.” She continued “The
lady with light complexion warned me that if I wanted peace I should keep
quiet and just direct them to where my grandson’s girlfriend was staying”.
Although the statement was signed by Emma Mabena in her verbal evidence in
court she refuted this part and other parts of her statement that implied
kidnapping or use of force by any of the accused. As with state witness,
Bokani Nleya, Emma Mabhena disassociated herself with most of the statement
penned in her named by police officers.
The final state witness took the stand and lead evidence but will be cross
examined at 9am tomorrow.
Events in court where both state witnesses have disassociated themselves
with statements penned on their behalf by George Levison Ngwenya of CID Law
and Order Department point to his long term threats against Williams and
Mahlangu to fix them with criminal charges.
By Tendai Kamhungira, Court Writer
Tuesday, 20 December 2011 15:19
HARARE - University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Vice Chancellor Professor Levi Nyagura
has been implicated in a case involving two employees from the learning
institution who were accused of stealing over $71 000 worth of fuel.
Magistrate Lazarus Murendo acquitted the duo of Thomas Nyaganga, 37 and
James Manja, 33, of the charges but not before they implicated Nyagura.
The two were employed by UZ as fuel attendant and director of works and
They were discharged at the close of the state’s case after magistrate
Murendo adjudged that the state’s case was “porous”.
“Both accused have alleged improper use of fuel by the vice chancellor.
“The vice chancellor was not called to dispute allegations,” said magistrate
Murendo. Murendo further said: “The accused seem to have been made the
sacrificial lambs of an administrative bungling in which the authorities
failed to address the issue of old pumps but sought to use the two as
“Overally the state’s case is so porous that it would not be judicial
exercise of the court’s decision to put the accused on their defence in the
hope that the accused’s evidence might plug the loopholes in the state
In his defence Manja had told the court that: “The chief internal auditor
deliberately wrote a falsified report with a clear agenda of protecting the
vice chancellor since he reports directly to his office.
“Since I was not controlling the vice chancellor’s fuel, chances are very
high that he took more than what he had stored.”
Prosecutors had alleged the two were arrested by police after the
institution had carried out a fuel audit which showed fuel shortages on
January 26 last year.
The audit was carried out between January 1 and December 31, 2009.
The court heard that the two who were the custodians of fuel could not
account for 49 415,79 litres of petrol.
The court was further told that the two could not account for a further 22
065, 32 litres of diesel, leading to their arrest.
According to state papers, the fuel was valued at $71 581,11.
Tuesday, 20 December 2011
Councillor Charles Kawadza and an MDC activist, Mike Masekesa of Ward 23 in
Makoni South, Manicaland province were this morning arrested by the police
on allegations of illegally distributing the Presidential maize seed in the
area on Sunday.
The two have since been taken to Rusape Police Station. According to the MP
for the area and the MDC Manicaland provincial spokesperson, Hon. Pishai
Muchauraya, the two were arrested by police officers who said they were from
the Rusape Police Law and Order Section.
On Sunday, Councillor Kawadza called every villager in his area to come and
collect maize seed that is being distributed under the Presidential scheme
across the country.
However, this did not go down well with Zanu PF members in the area who
claimed that the maize seed should only benefit those from Zanu PF. But the
councillor informed them that money to purchase the seed was coming from
government coffers and therefore the distribution should benefit everyone.
The Zanu PF members reported this to the police leading to the arrest of the
two this morning.
The people’s struggle for real change: Let’s finish it!!
MDC Information & Publicity Department
By Pindai Dube
Tuesday, 20 December 2011 15:14
BULAWAYO - Welshman Ncube the leader of the smaller faction of the MDC says
he will continue criticising Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai whether he
likes it or not.
Addressing 700 of his supporters at Stanley Square in Makokoba in Bulawayo
on Sunday, Ncube said Tsvangirai should not complain when being criticised,
because in his book “At the Deep End” he also attacked him.
“Why is he afraid of being criticised when he is a leader in national
“I always attack Mugabe but he never complains, why then when I just mention
his name, Tsvangirai jumps.
“As long as you are in the ring of politics, I will continue criticising you
until you pack your bags and follow Locadia (Karimatsenga) to Buhera,” said
Locadia Karimatsenga is Tsvangirai’s former girlfriend whom he wanted to
marry but changed his mind at the last minute with the Tsvangirai family
accusing her of being used by state agents.
She is reported to be staying at Tsvangirai’s rural home in Buhera.
Last week in Plumtree, Tsvangirai said he was surprised that Ncube continues
to attack him personally, instead of marketing his party policies to the
people of Zimbabwe.
Ncube also said Zanu PF has run out of ideas by endorsing Mugabe as its
candidate for next elections when he has passed retirement age.
“I was shocked when Mugabe said he won’t go because he is afraid of leaving
Zimbabweans in mess.
“Which messes can he clean up, when he failed to do that in the past 30
years he has ruled this country.
“After all, he is the one who also created that mess,” he said.
The smaller MDC leader added that whoever votes for Mugabe in next elections
will be “mad.”
Last week Zanu PF endorsed Mugabe who will be 88 next year as their
presidential candidate in the next election.
Dates for Zimbabwe’s next elections are yet to be announced. But Zanu PF
says it wants the polls next year.
Tsvangirai says polls should be held only after full implementation of
reforms agreed to under the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
The Ncube-led MDC says it is impossible to hold elections next year,
indicating that the polls can only be held in 2013 at the ealiest.
Andrew Topf | December 20, 2011
Concerned about the un-taxed export of byproducts refined from platinum, the
Zimbabwean government is considering drafting laws that would force platinum
mining companies to set up refineries.
News Day reports that the government is taking action as a way to stem the
loss of revenue and jobs to South Africa:
“They should start setting up refineries before we force them to do so,”
said (Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert) Mpofu. “If they don’t do
it on their own then I will be formulating laws that will stop the
exportation of concentrates to South Africa.”
Platinum byproduct minerals for export, such as gold and vanadium, are not
taxed by the government.
Zimbabwe recently tried to stop raw chrome from being moved out of the
country, mostly by Chinese mining companies, according to News Day.
by Staff Reporter
ZIMBABWE and South African border officials say they have put in place
measures to deal with congestion at Beitbridge border post as numbers begin
to increases ahead of the festive season.
Regional immigration manager, Charles Gwede said meetings had been held with
South African counterparts in recent days to prepare for the large number
people expected to transit the border post over the Christmas and New Year
"We have various systems in place to co-ordinate and see how best we can
tackle congestion during the festive period,” Gwede told local media.
“We need to work together with the South African authorities because the
issue of congestion on either side has an impact on both the sides of the
The border post, one of Africa’s busiest, handles more than 12,000 travelers
and 3,500 vehicles a day. Annually, this amounts to four million people, one
million vehicles and millions of tons of freight.
However, numbers spike dramatically over the Christmas and New Year holidays
as thousands of Zimbabweans based in South Africa travel back home to spend
the holidays with their families.
Gwede said numbers had already started to increase in recent days.
"Other nationals, such as Zambians and Malawians, also use the Beitbridge
Border Post, resulting in pressure on our personnel. Therefore, we are
working on various strategies to ensure that we speed up the clearance of
travelers,” he said.
The border post is set for a US$97 million facelift which promoters say will
cut by up to 75 percent transit delays that currently last as long as four
In august, Standard Bank -- lead financiers of the upgrade – said the
project would see an upgrade of Post’s main access road which will be
widened from a single lane to multi-lane, the provision of a new weighbridge
facility for north and south traffic, development of more parking space and
increased staff accommodation.
“The strategic significance of the BBP to the government of Zimbabwe should
not be underestimated. South Africa is a critical source of imports to
Zimbabwe and any initiative that reduces the cost of transport between the
two countries is desirable from both governments’ perspective,” a bank
official said then.
“Similarly, there are obvious benefits in Zimbabwe improving the transit
efficiency of the NSC. These include of revenue generation, trade and
By Ignatius Banda
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Dec 20, 2011 (IPS) - Duduzile Sibanda takes a break from
preparing her long stretch of land for her maize crop in rural Mberengwa, in
Zimbabwe’s Midlands province. She wipes her brow under the scorching sun and
looks upwards. The sparse clouds are a cause of concern as she studies the
sky and wonders aloud when the "heavens will weep."
A smallholder farmer all her life, the 57-year-old grandmother is worried
about the late rainfall this planting season. Even the indigenous knowledge
she has used all her life to study the seasons has failed her. Planting
season here usually begins in October with the rains, but in early December
they are yet to fall.
"We are headed for another drought," she muses with palpable frustration.
After last year’s poor harvest Sibanda does not wish to contemplate another
year of low crop yield, especially here in the rural areas where villagers
grow their own food.
Sibanda finds herself at the centre of growing climate change concerns that
have altered cropping seasons, turning long-followed planting cycles on
their head. Traditionally planting season in Zimbabwe begins in early
"We have always studied the sky to know when the season starts. We do not
know anymore," Sibanda tells IPS.
Jennifer Nkomo, Sibanda’s neighbour, says she is all too aware about the
threat of poor harvests and fears the delayed rains could mean she will be
lining up for food assistance.
"What we have always wanted is to be able to feed ourselves but without the
rains this won’t happen and we cannot afford to curse the skies," Nkomo
says, expressing the frustration that has become palpable here among
"We only want the skies to open," she says.
But when the rains do come, the levels are not the same as they have been in
the past. According to the Zimbabwe Meteorological Service Department,
"below normal to normal" rainfall began in Midlands province on Dec. 18,
more than two months after they were expected to start.
The Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), which is working with
the Zimbabwean government to formulate a climate change policy, says early
research on the impact of climate change suggests the country will have to
cope with changing rainfall patterns, temperature increases and more extreme
weather events, like floods and droughts.
CDKN says that longer and more frequent droughts could substantially reduce
crop yields, including that of maize – the country’s staple crop.
Sobona Mtisi, a climate change expert leading the CDKN research in Zimbabwe
says, "The changing climate is adversely affecting production."
"This is in view of the discernable shifts in climate, a shift also marked
by frequent droughts," Mtisi says.
The Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union (ZCFU) says smallholder farmers
across the country have seen reduced yields of between 50 and 75 percent
this year as compared to the yield in 2000. Years of interrupted farming
activities after the launch of the land reform programme in 2000, coupled
with climatic shifts, have seen Zimbabwe experiencing successive poor
This year only 800,000 tonnes of crop was harvested against an expected 1,2
million tonnes, according to the ZCFU.
It has raised concerns about the need for alternative agricultural methods
to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Today, Zimbabwe is a major importer of maize from its neighbours, paying 270
million dollars to import one million tonnes of maize this year.
"Smallholder farmers have especially been affected by climatic shifts as
they have no clue about when not to plant and when to plant, as the
knowledge systems they use are proving useless," says Josh Manyora, of
environment watchdog Environment Africa.
"In the absence of programmes that teach people in the most remote of rural
areas about the weather, the climate and new agriculture techniques that
respond to climate change challenges, I think we will have these problems
each year," Manyora says.
The Famine Early Warning System Network, the United States-based food
security monitor announced in November that more than one million
Zimbabweans will require food assistance in the coming year amid signs that
the country will not be able to grow enough food to feed itself.
Food security remains tied to the challenges presented by climate change,
says the University of Cape Town’s Climate Systems Analysis Group, which has
noted that rain-fed agro-systems in Africa are bearing the brunt of climate
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) says, "for hundreds of
millions of people in Africa, climate change is not about lowering smoke
stack emissions or turning off electric lights. It is about whether or not
they will have enough to eat."
Sibanda and Nkomo know this only too well. But they are just two of the more
than 70 percent of Africans – the majority of whom are women – who AGRA says
rely on farming for survival.
By Everson Mushava, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 20 December 2011 11:06
HARARE - The year 2011 has proved to be a bad year for dictators.
Five dictators have left power since the beginning of the year either
through death or resignations under pressure as protests against their
tyrannical methods of ruling intensified.
Others like former Lybian dictator, Muammar Gaddafi were captured and killed
by their own people.
One fact remains — they are all gone one way or the other and its victory
North Korean communist leader Kim Jong-il died on Saturday due to heart
This followed the ouster of Tunisia’s Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, Egypt’s Hosni
Mubarak and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi in the popular Arab uprising that hit
the North African states at the beginning of the year.
Jong-il had been in power since 1994 when he took over from his father as a
communist leader. His father had been President of North Korea since 1954
when Korea slit into North and South Korea.
But for North Korea, the woes of autocratic rule is not yet over as the late
Jong-il had already named his son as a perfect replacement and is preparing
to take over from his father, extending the dynasty that has been running
North Korea for more than half a century.
It started with the Arab uprising in Tunisia at the beginning of the year
when a vendor set himself alive in protest over police brutality, sparking
an uprising that ended Tunisia’s Ben Ali’s 23-year rule in just 29 days.
From Tunisia, the wave of change swept over Egypt where Mubarak’s 30 year
rule was toppled by 18 days of peaceful protests. Mubarak resigned from his
post in February and fled Cairo.
The departure of the 82-year-old Mubarak, a close ally of the West was
pivotal to end the Arab world’s most enduring dictatorships.
The popular protests were peaceful and resilient despite numerous efforts by
Mubarak’s security apparatus to try to suppress the uprising.
Some Arab countries tried to simply ignore what happened in Egypt and
Tunisia. While there were no official statements from Algeria or Morocco,
other Arab states said they respected the wishes of the people in Tunisia
and Egypt while trying to deny that they were never like Egypt and Tunisia.
The winds of change headed towards Libya where Gaddafi responded violently,
describing protestors as “rats and dogs” and unleashed the military on
unarmed civilians, forcing the protests to cascade into a civil war. Gaddafi
was captured and killed like a rat in Sirte, his home town.
Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo becomes the first former head of state to
appear at the International Criminal Court in The Hague after he was
arrested upon capture when he refused to hand over power to presidential
rival Alassane Ouattara after losing an election in November 2010, forcing a
fierce civil war in the cocoa rich country.
December 20th, 2011
A RAU REPORT – December 2011
December 2011Women’s participation in the political life of a country has always faced an uphill struggle. Beginning with the fight for the right to vote, which was granted very late even in such well-developed countries as Switzerland, a major hurdle has been the underlying patriarchy of many nations. The struggle for equal pay and rights in the work place is still ongoing, and, even where these rights are apparently protected by law, there remain the attitudes of men to overcome. However, in addition to patriarchy, women seeking to participate in politics must often not merely overcome the credibility gap imposed by patriarchal attitudes, but face even greater problems, and, in many countries, this is the danger of political violence, especially in countries where the contest for political power is intense and violent. Zimbabwe is such a country.
Women and Elections:
There is no doubt that women in Zimbabwe have a strong interest in the political life of their country. Based on the findings of a national poll of 2158 women, drawn from all 10 Provinces, in mid-November to early-December 2009, Zimbabwean women indicated this interest.
This report discusses the findings of the national poll of 2009.