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Tsvangirai's Christmas Message

25th Dec 2009 17:13 GMT

By Morgan Tsvangirai

My fellow Zimbabweans,

As 2009 draws to a close, we can all be proud of what we have achieved
during the past year and excited by the future that lies ahead of us.

As a nation, we still have a long road to travel before you, the people,
have access to the jobs, healthcare, education and security that you

With the formation of the transitional Government we have taken a form this
Government was not an easy one, but in retrospect, it was and hospitals
working again and rescue our nation from certain
economic disaster.

Through the formulation and implementation of the Short Term Emergency
Programme, the 100 Day plan and now the Government Work Programme, we have
laid the foundation for stabilisation and growth as well as instilling a new
culture of transparency and
accountability within Government.

My Fellow Zimbabweans, I know that you expect a lot more from your
Government in the coming year and I hereby pledge that we will not take your
support for granted, but will continue to strive to build a nation that we
can all be proud of.

In 2010, Government will shift its focus from stabilisation to
consolidation, despite the fact that this administration has within its
ranks individuals determined to frustrate the progress to which
we are committed.

Their efforts to undermine our ability to deliver to the people has
prevented the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA),
which in turn prevents this Government from

However, thanks to the work of the negotiators and the South on the path
that will see the consummation of the GPA and an increase in the pace of
I am proud that despite the growing pains inherent in forming this new
Government, we have remained committed to our goal of delivering Dignity,
Security, Democracy and Freedom, Prosperity and Hope to every Zimbabwean.

This is reflected in the five priorities of this government, namely to:
Promote Economic Growth and Ensure Food Security; Guarantee Basic Services
and Infrastructural Development; Strengthen and Ensure the Rule of Law and
Respect for Property Rights; Advance and Safeguard Basic Freedoms; and
Re-­establish International Relations.

Central to our commitment to delivery in 2010, is the formulation of a truly
people-­driven constitution and I urge all of you to be actively involved in
this process to ensure that your voice is heard.

My fellow Zimbabweans, I salute your courage, commitment to peace, and
patriotism and pledge that this Government will continue to put your welfare
above all other considerations.

I would like to pay special tribute to the thousands of civil servants that
have shown professionalism and dedication to the new administration despite
the challenging environment they have been forced to endure.

Improving their conditions of service will be a key focus of Government's
activities next year. I also acknowledge the work of Civil Society, the
Churches and Trade Unions as we strive together to deliver real change to
the people of this great nation.

As Zimbabweans, each one of us has a role to play in building this future by
abiding by the rule of law, shunning corruption and embracing the concept of
peaceful transition within the framework laid out in the GPA.

By working together we will set an example for the region and the world that
will illustrate what can be achieved by a people united by their belief that
democracy will deliver development and that peace will bring prosperity.

I thank you for your support in 2009 and look forward to working with you in
2010 to build the Zimbabwe that we all demand and deserve.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

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Music and food characterise festivities as Xmas cheer returns to Zimbabwe

By Special APA Correspondent in Harare, Zimbabwe

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) Loud music and feasting characterised the festivities
on Friday as the Christmas cheer returned to Zimbabwe for the first time in
several years - one of the off-shoots of the new political dispensation
since the formation of a power-sharing government 10 months ago.

For a long time since the country's political crisis began in 2000, the
festive season has passed without excitement.

Long-suffering Zimbabweans have until this year found nothing to celebrate
about amid a plethora of problems highlighted by acute shortages of basic
commodities and fuel, unprecedented unemployment and world-record inflation.

A refreshing new sense of optimism is in the air this year.

"We are toasting to the new hope that has been brought about by the
formation of the inclusive government. This year's Christmas is different
because, for a change, we didn't have to travel to South Africa or Botswana
to buy groceries since everything we wanted was here," said Harare resident
Tatenda Mawisire.

Zimbabwean shops are teeming with local and imported products, thanks to an
economic stabilisation programme introduced by a power-sharing government
formed in February by President Robert Mugabe and long-time rival Morgan

Another off-shoot of the new political dispensation is the stabilisation of
prices since the launch of a multiple currency system at the beginning of
the year.

Unlike in the past when prices changed hourly, the cost of basic commodities
was more predictable this year - adding to the Christmas cheer.


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Zimbabwe assures Nestle, asks firm to reopen -report

Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:46am GMT

* Food giant given assurances over staff security

* Nestle not compelled to buy milk from Mugabe farm

By Nelson Banya

HARARE, Dec 25 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's government has asked food giant Nestle
(NESN.VX) to resume operations in the country, saying it guaranteed the
operations of the firm and its staff from interference, state media reported
on Friday.

Nestle this week temporarily shut down its factory, citing harrassment by
the authorities.

The firm said it had received an unannounced visit from government officials
and police on Dec. 19 and was forced to accept a milk delivery from
non-contracted suppliers. Two of its managers were questioned by police and
released without charge the same day. [ID:nLDE5BM087] On Friday the Herald
newspaper quoted Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube -- tasked by
President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to intervene in
the matter -- as saying a deal had been reached allowing Nestle to continue

"The parties have collectively reached an understanding to work together in
ensuring that milk produced at Gushungo Dairies is absorbed by the local
dairy processors," Ncube told the paper.

"For its part, government has given its assurance on the safety of staff and
management at both Nestle Zimbabwe and Gushungo Dairies."

Nestle officials were not immediately available to comment.

Business bodies Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, Zimbabwe National
Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Mines welcomed the news of a
resolution to the row, which Tsvangirai said on Wednesday undermined efforts
to rebuild investor confidence.

"We are relieved that due process is now under way... We wish to highlight
our concern that the fragile economic recovery under way should not be
adversely affected by perceptions of inappropriate actions to deal with
simple commercial issues," they said in a joint statement.

"It is our sincere hope that Nestle will open very soon."

In October, Nestle bowed to international pressure and stopped buying milk
from Gushungo Dairy Estates, a farm taken over by Mugabe's family under his
contrversial land reforms. [ID:nL279088]

At the time, Nestle said the farm accounted for 10-15 percent of its local
milk supply.

Nestle's decision to close shop marks a setback for the unity government
formed by Mugabe and his old rival Tsvangirai, which has actively courted
foreign investors to return and help rebuild a state ruined by a decade of
economic decline. (Editing by Mike Nesbit)

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Nestle agrees to reopen Zimbabwe factory after pact with government

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) The Swiss-based food giant Nestle has agreed to reopen
its Zimbabwean operations after hammering a deal with the government under
which the Harare regime assured the company of the safety of its local staff
in the wake of threats by President Robert Mugabe's supporters.

Nestle Zimbabwe shut down its Harare factory on Monday following weeks of
pressure from pro-Mugabe militias and empowerment groups to resume purchases
of milk from a dairy farm owned by Mugabe's wife.

The state media reported here Friday that Industry and Trade Minister
Welshman Ncube had met with officials from Nestle Zimbabwe and the dairy
industry who agreed that milk from Gushungo Dairy Estate would now be
absorbed by local processors and not the Swiss-based firm.

"As a result of those consultations, the parties have collectively reached
an understanding to work together in ensuring that milk produced at Gushungo
Dairies is absorbed by the local dairy processors," Ncube said.

Nestle stopped buying from the dairy farm in October but not before an
international protest by human rights groups which triggered calls for a
worldwide boycott of its products.

The Zimbabwean First Lady reportedly gained control of the dairy farm as a
beneficiary of her husband's controversial and internationally criticised
land-reform programme.

The decision to stop milk purchases from Mugabe's Gushungo Dairy Estate did
not go down well with local indigenous pressure groups led by the pro-Mugabe
Affirmative Action Group (AAG) which said the move was tantamount to the
company imposing sanctions on the country.

Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere and the AAG last
week led a group of protesters that allegedly threatened Nestle with closure
unless it resumed milk purchases.


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Economy lifts Zimbabwe spirits

Last year, residents of Zimbabwe were suffering with the highest rate of inflation in the world, and a chronic shortage of even the most basic goods.

But 12 months later, goods are back on the shelves of local grocers, due in part to the government's decision to replace the Zimbabwe dollar with the South African rand and the US dollar.

The improved economy has lifted spirits across the country in time for Christmas.

But as Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa reports, more than 85 per cent of the population is still unemployed, despite the improvements.

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At Rainbow's End farm, no pot of gold as Zimbabwe's farm mayhem spreads and food crisis looms

Associated Press

By Angus Shaw (CP) - 2 hours ago

CHEGUTU, Zimbabwe - Rainbow's End got its name from its bumper crops of
grain, fruit and vegetables. But now the pot of gold is empty. Most of the
land is derelict and cut off by a collapsed bridge.

Once one of the most productive farms in this troubled southern African
nation, Rainbow's End will have very little to harvest next season, even as
farmers' organizations forecast huge crop shortfalls and the U.N. says 2
million Zimbabweans - nearly one-fourth of the population - will need food
aid in January.

President Robert Mugabe's campaign to run Zimbabwe's whites off their farms
and redistribute them to the black majority continues despite the
expectation that being forced into a coalition government with the
opposition would at least partially restrain him, restore agriculture and
protect human rights.

Since the coalition was formed in February, at least 100 more white farmers
have been driven off their land. Of about 300 still farming, more than half
have been served official eviction notices. Since August, Thomas Beattie,
who farmed near Rainbow's End, has been under siege by militants and men he
calls hired thugs, and was forced to leave his home in November at the
height of the planting season.

"The attitude on the ground is still that white farmers need to go. That is
the reality," said Deon Theron, head of the Commercial Farmers' Union, most
of whose members are white. He said those in Mugabe's long-ruling ZANU-PF
party who want change "are powerless against the old guard who want to
maintain what they have been doing."

Mugabe, in power since Zimbabwe won independence from Britain in 1980,
argues that the land was plundered by the country's European colonizers and
needs to be redistributed. At his lavish 85th birthday party in February,
Mugabe declared that the "few remaining white farmers should quickly vacate
their farms as they have no place there."

Under the land seizure program he launched in 2000, more than 11 million
hectares (25 million acres) of commercial farmland have been seized from
thousands of whites. But their new occupants often are chosen not for their
farming skills but for being party loyalists, and they have failed to
replicate the highly efficient, mechanized farming system that made Zimbabwe
a breadbasket for Southern Africa.

According to satellite surveys, as much as 80 per cent of former prime land
lies uncultivated.

It already includes much of Beattie's original farm, 100 kilometres (60
miles) southwest of Harare, the capital. Unpruned tree roots are breaking up
the 16 kilometre (10 mile) irrigation canal he built. A packing shed for
citrus exports has been looted and Bright Matonga, a former minister in
Mugabe's party, uses it as a cowshed.

Power outages are frequent, and trees and brushes have been denuded for
firewood. Glum and menacing occupiers barricade the farm gate but let in
Beattie's wife, Sue, to feed the dogs.

"It's so sad. Sometimes the dogs don't seem to recognize us anymore," she

This district has seen some of the worst farm attacks this year, with
assaults on farmers and a homestead burned down.

Sue Beattie describes the tactics assailants used to force them out: They
burned tires on the porch and hurled blazing wood at the windows; she was
assaulted and threatened with an iron wrench, though neither she nor her
husband suffered serious injury; trucks surrounded the front garden and loud
reggae music was blasted at the house at night.

Although they had a court order to stop their eviction, police repeatedly
ignored calls for help, she said.

Thomas Beattie, 67, says he developed his farm on virgin land during nearly
50 years to produce livestock, grain, citrus, milk and soya.

"It was a 24/7 job. Now we've got zero," he said.

Of his 1,400 workers, most of them black, about 150 are left to look after a
few pigs and 500 cattle grazing on the lush wet-season fields, down from the
original herd of 3,000.

Had he been able to plant wheat this year, his record of past yields
indicates he likely would have grown 5,000 tons, in a country dependent on
imported wheat.

The farmers' union estimates the nation will reap 500,000 tons of corn next
year against annual consumption of 1.8 million tons.

Outside Chegutu, the town nearest to Rainbow's End, Jacob Desa trades a bag
of peanuts for soap at a store. He has a small plot and no money for seed or
fertilizer this season.

Mugabe's party is distributing subsidized fertilizer, but Desa doesn't
qualify because he doesn't have a ZANU-PF membership card and is therefore
presumed to be in sympathy with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party in
the coalition. Tsvangirai's party controls the Finance Ministry, which
blocked ruinous farming subsidies doled out in the past to Mugabe loyalists.

This year, farms, ranches and privately owned nature reserves have been
targeted for seizure in the south, west and east. The Agricultural and
Plantation Workers Union says up to 60,000 of them have been displaced along
with their families.

Justice for Agriculture, a farmers' support group, says many are migrant
workers from neighbouring countries who now roam the bush without money or
documents to get them home.

The plantation workers' union runs a program to help farmhands, many of whom
were assaulted and tortured by militants who took over their workplaces. The
farmers' group offers trauma counselling to former landowners who lost all
their property in arrests and violent assaults. One reported being beaten,
tied up and urinated on by a police commander.

Others lost all their pension benefits in Zimbabwe's world-record inflation
of last year and the economic meltdown. One works as a caretaker of school
sports fields, another grows chilies in his daughter's garden and sells them
to Asian spice shops, and a third has appeared in court more than 80 times
to defend rights to land occupied by his family for three generations.

"We are prevented from doing what we know best, producing food," said John
Worsley-Worswick, head of the support group.

In its heyday, Rainbow's End produced about eight tons of corn per hectare
(more than three tons per acre); next harvest they are expected to yield
less than an eighth of that volume to the few women and children hoeing
isolated patches of land.

"We are growing grass and weeds," said Desa.

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Reserve Bank Worker Christmas Farm Invasion

Harare, December 25, 2009 - A senior Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) official
on Thursday invaded a farm belonging to a Rusape based white commercial
farmer saying she wants to enjoy Christmas at the property.

The President of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), Deon Theron,  told
Radio VOP that the RBZ Head of Finance Winnkie Mushipe gave Raymond
Finaughty three hours to pack his things and leave his farm.

Mushipe heads the RBZ Bank financing arm. Before that she headed FISCORP
Private Limited which was in charge of its quasi-fiscal operations.

"He called me this morning and told me that his life is in danger and is
packing his things to leave his farm. He said there are people who were
camped at the farm and told him to leave to make way for Dhliwayo who should
be at the farm by tomorrow," said Theron.

Theron said Finaughty who owns Mhanda farm in Rusape is a tobacco and
chicken farmer and is a South African farmer whose farm is part of the
Bilateral Protection of Investment Agreement (BIPPA).

"He has 40 hectares under tobacco and 11 chickens which he has not been able
to look after over the last three days because of the threats that he has
been receiving," said Theron.

This latest invasion marks the return of a new wave of farm invasions just a
day after President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his
Deputy Arthur Mutambara expressed satisfaction with the political climate
prevailing in the country at the moment.

In September another Deputy Reserve Bank Governor Edward Mashiringwani
attempted to take over Friedall farm owned by Louis Fick.


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Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF and MDC Clash Over Central Bank Reform Legislation

Lawmakers of the Tsvangirai MDC formation have responded by threatening to
scrap an indemnification clause shielding RBZ Governor Gideon Gono and
senior central bank officers from prosecution for actions taken in good

Gibbs Dube | Washington 24 December 2009

Senators of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party have proposed
11 amendments to pending legislation to reform the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe,
drawing fire from the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, which introduced the bill.

Lawmakers of the Tsvangirai MDC formation have responded by threatening to
scrap an immunity clause intended to shield incumbent RBZ Governor Gideon
Gono and senior central bank staff from the legal consequences of various
actions they took on behalf of the former Mugabe government.

Gono has acknowledged diverting monies of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS,
Tuberculosis and Malaria in 2008 to fund government activities, and accounts
of many non-governmental organizations similarly tapped without permission.

The indemnification clause drafted by ZANU-PF House legislators before the
bill's passage in the lower chamber, gave partial immunity to Gono and other
RBZ employees "for anything done in good faith and without negligence."

Senator Obert Gutu, chief whip of the Tsvangirai MDC formation, said the new
amendments introduced by Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, chief whip for ZANU-PF
in the upper chamber, have thrown the bill into disarray.

Gutu said the amendments proposed by ZANU-PF were aimed at restricting
Finance Minister Tendai Biti's role in overseeing the central bank and to
ensure the retention of three deputy governors at the central bank. The
legislation as drafted would have left just one deputy governor in place.

Gutu said that if the amendments were approved by the ZANU-PF-dominated
Senate, "the proposals will completely neutralize the main thrust of the
bill to an extent that it will become a useless piece of paper which does
not address the main concerns" of Finance Minister Tendai Biti.

The Tsvangirai MDC has long demanded that RBZ Governor Gono be replaced but
President Mugabe, who reappointed him in late 2008 without consulting his
future partners in the unity government, has adamantly refused.

Gutu told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that the proposals amendments
have angered both formations of the MDC, charging that the demonstrate bad
faith on the part of ZANU-PF with respect to central bank reform.

Monica Mutsvangwa, wife of Chris Mutsvangwa, a member of the ZANU-PF
information committee who was named this week to the new Zimbabwe Media
Commission, declined to comment on the proposed amendments.

She holds the Senate seat for Chimanimani, Manicaland province.

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Compassion, Courage and Hope: Creating Peace in the New Year
December 24, 2009
Sarah McGowan

by Sarah McGowan
Features & Photo Editor, The WIP

. Photograph by Sarah McGowan, for The WIP® Internet News Service. .
I was called a prostitute, I was called a thief.I was called all sorts of names, but none of the newspapers came to call me defender of children's rights. Very ironic in a country when 10 girls are being raped per day. - Betty Makoni

For this final post of 2009, The WIP editors would like to share a podcast from our December 3rd event, co-hosted with Amnesty International's Ginetta Sagan Fund. This very special screening of the powerful new film Tapestries of Hope was followed by a conversation with Zimbabwean human rights activist Betty Makoni and Tapestries filmmaker Michealene Cristini Risley.

The WIP has published a number of articles on sexual violence against women and girls throughout the world and this event provided the unique opportunity to connect our readers with this critical issue in person. We invite you to listen to our podcast of this powerful conversation between one of Zimbabwe's preeminent child and women's rights activists and the filmmaker who documented her remarkable story by clicking the play button below. Please also visit the Tapestries of Hope website to find out where you can see the film and to make a donation to Betty Makoni's Girl Child Network.

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Zimbabwe’s Wasted Generation (1979-2009)

Written by SIMOMO TSHUMA Headlines Dec 25, 2009

A flurry of negative publicity against our own president Robert Mugabe has
been the order of the day for the most part of the past decade. Local
independent and foreign media as well as pressure groups previously deprived
of activity have suddenly found something, a lot to do in this. Western
countries have even gone as far as collectively declaring him a political
leper. Collectively he is accused of ruling reining and ruining the country
for a complete generation.

But is this by any means fair? What has this man done to deserve this
relentless bashing?

Yes the man rightful warrants more than just ridiculing and being banned
from western countries. In fact he and his cabal at least are worth of being
driven from the seat of power like revelers after a Bacchanalian orgy. At
most they need to be sent to the gallows for their sins. On the service
delivery front, Mugabe has behaved at least like a pendulum, work done at
the end of the day equals zero. At most, he has been at the ring-leader of a
relentless looting gang, shedding blood of innocent skeptics in the process.

Yet other vacuous praise singers like the late Tony Gara who once equated
him to Jesus, Emerson Mnangagwa who calls him supreme leader and a couple
others assert that their great leader merit praise and sitting tight on the
throne of power. Oppah Muchinguri has even welcomed the likes of Mnangagwa’s
praises with calls to retain Bob till his karmic recall. Why not when the
other chefs died on the throne of power- Nkomo, Mzenda, and Msika? Amongst
his achievements, they chronicle his selfless effort in bringing
independence, peace, development and reconciliation, his ruthless dealing
with dissidents.

The future is an orphan, so goes the saying. It is not the same as the past.
We were there as well to experience their president’s achievements. We had
different experiences of the same play-act probably because we were not
sitting in the same row with them as the drama was unfolding. I particularly
saw the man creating enemies left, right and centre since he took to the
reins of power. By the time ceasefire was declared, he had two skeletons in
the cupboard already. Two leading lights in his party Herbert Chitepo and
Josiah Tongogara had both died mysterious deaths. No one has actually
accused Bob of masterminding their killing but questions still linger as to
why he did not at least launch an enquiry into their deaths. To cap it, he
picked a semi-literate carpenter who had been making furniture in the
Midlands as his vice, in the process alienating the likes of Tekere,
Kadungure, and Mutasa.

Come the Lancaster House talks, he conspired with Maggie Thatcher to let the
minority whites keep the land the very subject of the fighting. The equation
was not so intricate. Mugabe would spare the white farmers of possible
eviction from the land and in return, Britain would partake in the country’s
development. The beginning point was assisting Bob win the pending election
against Muzorewa and Nkomo. Yes Maggie had to protect the interests of her
own kith. Why not protect a little dictator in the process? France was doing
the same to Gnassingbe Eyadema against the Olympios in Togo, the same to
Omar Bongo against Pierre Mbamboundou in Gabon, and the Belgium to Joseph
Mobutu against Etienne Tshishekedi in Zaire.

Maggie lived to her promise and come 1980, Bob got an unassailable majority
in the election with Nkomo and Muzorewa left to lick their wounds. This
despite the fact that those close to the poll doubted the results straight
away. Zanu had been trounced in Matabeleland, Midlands, Masvingo and
Manicaland so how could he end up winning? At that time the both the British
and Zanu refuted the rigging allegations. Now that things have fallen apart
between the two, the latter have let the cat out of the bag. Yet it is quite
easy to visualize why Zanu lost the poll. The deaths of Chitepo and
Tongogara had not yet been forgotten. The peoples of Manicaland and
Masvingo/Midlands respectively were aggrieved, they could, therefore, easily
exact their vengeance at the booth. Zapu was a broad based party with
membership nationwide. Though Mugabe wanted to discredit it as an Ndebele
only party, it boasted the likes of Joseph Msika, Josiah Chinamano, Ambrose
Mutinhiri, and Cornwell Nziramasanga to name but a few Shonas who had
willingly joined the movement. He only had Enos Nkala from the other side of
the tribal divide.

Come post-election settlement, Nkomo and company were accommodated as a
junior partner in a marriage that did not last long. In the promised Canaan,
the majority found themselves alienated. Ex-combatants found themselves
faced with a bleak future. Demobilization payouts had to trickle from above
with the majority of the grassroots often ignored in the process. The land
for which some had fought for over a decade was not coming either. A deal
had been struck at the helm to preserve the status quo as a gesture of
reconciliation. To add insult to injury, those that had dropped out of
school to join the struggle were required furnish employers with O Levels
certificates otherwise there was no deal. Yes they were foolish enough to
fight without studying concurrently. Their leader did it and emerged from
the bush with two extra degrees. Man!

The marriage of convenience with Nkomo soon became sour. The latter was
accused of propping up dissidents who wanted to destabilize the country.
Nkomo immediately left the country for Botswana for sanctuary. The
bloodletting that followed his departure is only paralleled by the
subsequent Rwanda/Burundi genocide. There is ample historical evidence to
suggest the massacre was pre-planned as early as 1978. However, since our
history is written by none other than Chigwedere some of these leads may be
lost forever. To quell the merciless slaughter of his tribesmen, Nkomo again
agreed to be swallowed by Zanu for the sake of peace. To show that their
support for Mugabe was genuine, Thatcher and company knighted him during the
height of the Matabeleland massacre, even conferring several degrees upon
him in appreciation of his leadership.

Meanwhile the army of opposition to Mugabe had been growing by the day. The
Ndebele, Karangas, Manicas, ex-combatants. All were only waiting for their
field day. The Manicas had theirs sooner. One of their own decided that
corruption in Zanu had reached unbearable proportions. Of the zebra totem,
Tekere decided he could not have his stripes disfigured. He responded by
forming Zum which was to participate in the 1990 poll. Blood was shed in the
process. Notable was the permanent maiming of Patrick Kombayi, a disaffected
erstwhile sponsor of the armed struggle who had dared join hands with

Needless to say that during all this unworthy drama of deceit and
dissimulation, infrastructural development had taken a back seat. Priority
was ensuring that the army is well equipped to fight subsequent enemies
regardless of their location. Not to say that the country was devoid of
funds, no. The white framers that had been spared of eviction were producing
world class tobacco pumping in crispy US$s. The industry was left intact by
Smith paying handsome taxes second only to Israel in the whole world.
Donations were flowing in day in out, some of them not even reaching their
intended destination. Paradza Mandebvu diverted all the money meant to
develop a tourist whilst being an MP for Chivi. Kuruneri did the same with
cement meant to construct a dam in his Mazowe constituency. They all got
away with it. The latter even kicked upstairs to head the critical ministry
of finance. Development has never been on Zanu’s agenda.

Fast forward to 1995 when one of his minders at the State House, little
Chindoti Mushohwe’s son Prince Tafirenyika dismally failed A Level at the
very same Kutama at Mugabe’s homestead. Mushohwe senior came up with a plan
to arm-twist the great leader to launch the Fort Hare presidential
scholarship (despite the fact that the money came from the ministry of
education). A bright idea indeed, after all, the leader himself is an
alumnus of the same institution. Sooner, Fort Hare was to welcome a
Munyaradzi of the Garas, also a Felix of the Charambas and some Ndlovus
there. There is nothing wrong about all this from a Zanu perspective.
Remember that this is all a bunch of rejects of the local universities who
are awarded for their failure by enrolling at a foreign university at the
expense of local education. They are not the only ones- Bona Omo is studying
with the Wus, Lis and Dengs in China; David Mumbengegwi was in the US maybe
at the Massachusetts. Meanwhile our own kids have to contend with
interruptions caused by incessant strikes at local universities. Aren’t
those pigs growing fat while lambs starve? The only University which
Mugabe strove to build is Nust. It however remains work-in-progress 20 years
on. What is more intriguing is the fact that recently launched Lupane State
is renting at WIP Nust. Ooh!

Unforced blunders were to ensue in the coming years. Without provocation, he
had to intervene in the DRC conflict in 1997. The unnecessary cost of
intervention did not even bother him. That’s when the dollar assumed an
unrestrained free-fall. Later on, the war vets of the liberation struggle
had to demand their loot. Unbudgeted for, it was squeezed out further on
Zimbabwean dollar. The disbursement of gratuities in itself was all but
transparent. Some top chefs received 100% disability gratuities yet their
disabilities were neither latent nor patent. Some like John Nkomo are still
in government though we have not heard their representing the disabled. Some
genuine war vets were left out of the whole process because their commanders
had forgotten their noms de guerre.

In the face of stiff opposition from the MDC, he decided to renege on his
promise to keep whites on their framers. With the help of grateful war vets,
he made the greatest dispossession in recent history. He just wanted to fix
the farmers for supporting the MDC. Yet he did not mind the downstream
consequences- dropping production, a rise in unemployment in the agriculture
sector and downstream industries. This did not need a doctor of economics to
realize. Teenage boys who herd cattle in the rural areas know that if water
is dirtied the source, then the whole river is affected. How then did a
geriatric of his caliber with the help of multitudes of voluble advisers
miss out on this important concept? Land reform was not wrong at all. It is
the timing that is critical. People were no longer interested in farming
having survived through kujingirisa/ukulunguza over the past 20 years, who
then would want to venture into dirty tobacco farming where only one cheque
comes annually? Needless to say that Chief Svosve and his people who had
dared occupy a white farm only in 1998 had been driven by police like a
bunch of rootless cultural bastards groping in darkness for lost identity.
What a volte face; quite expected of the political chameleon, Rwavhi Mugabe.

The crusades to win the 2000 and 2002 elections were the dirtiest and most
expensive. Apart from the war vets, there were green bombers, intellectuals
like Machos and Chivaura paid to campaign for Bob of course with taxpayer’s
money. Yes our money because does not own a factory. He is a consumer not a
producer. There were also musicians- Chimbetu, Sibanda, Tambaoga of the
Blair toilet fame, Brian Mteki and Cde Chinx. The creator quickly recalled
the former two before they could cause further havoc. Tambaoga is now as
poor as a church mouse deserted by Zanu and even his spouse. Curses are like
processions he did not know, they return to where they came from. Now he is
appealing for help from us to re-build a life that he destroyed with the
help of Zanu. Brian Mteki quickly repented but the creator snatched away his
lead vocalist Elliott Manyika anyway. As for Chinx and his three wives,
their moment of truth came with Murambatsvina. Their bungalow in Unit D of
Chitungwiza was razed to the ground.

His supporters hail for the badly planned Chitungwiza. Let’s assume that it
is true, how about the Murambatsvina that was later to follow. Didn’t  it
let to the destruction of more houses nationwide than those constructed in
Chitungwiza alone? It is a zero-sum game. At the end of the day work done by
Bob equals zero, he is pendulum period.

There are two contentious issues that seek resolution that have been doing
rounds in the court of public opinion. This is of course the only court left
whose independence and integrity is not doubted. The first issue is whether
or not Mugabe is personally corrupt. Number two that he developed
Mashonaland at the expense of Matabeleland. This judicial officer has ample
evidence to deliver judgment on both cases without the necessity of further
appeal. Mugabe is very corrupt. It is in fact difficult to be a dictator
without being concurrently corrupt. The following graphically illustrate my
point. He appointed the following relatives to positions of influence:

    * Patrick Joao- nephew, minister
    * Sabina- sister, MP
    * Leo – nephew, CEO Zifa
    * Sydney Gutter- brother- in- law , CEO Zesa
    * Saviour Katsukuviri- nephew, minister
    * Michael Bimha- brother-in-law, minister
    * Joey Bimha- brother-in-law, envoy
    * Tobaiwa Mudede- cousin, registrar-general (the man in charge of the
most shambolic voters roll in the world)
    * Innocent Matibiri- cousin, police commissioner (Chihuri too sick to
    * Reward Marufu- brother-in-law, new farmer, deported envoy
    * Shupa Mandiwanzira- brother-in-law, broadcaster, AAG president
    * Phil and Jimmy Chiyangwa- nephews, indigenes (the most successful

He owns multitudes of farms and he is hanging on to power through unorthodox
means. How then cannot he be corrupt?

On the second issue, its only north south dichotomy he created that cause
our Ndebele counterparts to assume that Mashonaland was developed at the
expense of their own area. It is a myth anyway! What Mashonaland owes Mugabe
is the Reserve Bank building along Samora Machel Avenue and the
Chinese-constructed National Sports Stadium. In Bulawayo, there is the
Mhlahlandlela Building and Nust. Of the four, only Nust is of public
significance since it is the only place where everyone’s bright kid can
enroll. The reserve bank was built with Giddy Gono in mind. He has since
entered the Guinness book of records as the world’s greatest printer to
date. There was no lack of promises as well. We were promised the
Chitungwiza railway line. It died still birth. The same goes for the
Matabeleland Zambezi Water project. Oh I had forgotten the RG Mugabe highway
in Mashonaland and the Kutama clinic. But these are private property, they
are enjoyed by a handful privileged to stay close to the chosen one. The
spin-off with Matabeleland here is the frequent interruptions we endure in
Harare when the chameleon decides to go the airport or to his rural home.
Mind you this happens at least once weekly, just imagine.

Basically the four projects enumerated above are the only deliverables that
our dear leader managed for the whole three decades he has been at the helm.
He may still be around for longer as his just ended congress endorsed yours
sincerely to continue with the good work as usual. May be there are some
invisible projects that we are not aware of. May be with Patrick at the
technology ministry we are in the process of manufacturing a rocket that may
suffer disruptions with a change in government. What Mugabe has been
systematically good at is venting his wrath on enemies; real and perceived.
I do not why none of his English friends has bothered telling him the wise
saying ascribed to Queen Elizabeth I that anger makes dull men witty, it
keeps them poor. No the nation is very poor because of his anger though he
has stashed our cash with foreign banks.

A week ago he was seen grinning in Copenhagen with an entourage bigger than
the hosts themselves. As usual his presence was wholly unwelcome and the
object of the conference, climate change, contrary to the gist of his
government. How can a government whose urban dwellers have retreated to the
traditional use of firewood as a source of energy be welcome at a climate
change summit? He became a jester when asked why he was there despite the
sanctions against him to which he replied that he is part of mankind so why
should he be isolated. Part of mankind yes but by the look of his face;
maybe a homo erectus. Yes he confirms human evolution but does not fit into
the modern world.

The more this genie remains at state house, the more enemies he will create
not development. On average, he will need seven and half years to launch and
complete the next developmental project. What a waste? This chap and his
crew owe us big time. Their balance sheet is in a mess. The only solution
available is liquidation, but even the liquidator risks losing on fees as
there are no assets both non-current and current to realize. It is an
albatross that Tsvangirai has volunteered to bear, a failed state.
Fortunately for countries unlike living organisms, there is life after


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Zimbabwe farmers demand restitution

Thulani Mpofu, Foreign Correspondent

    * Last Updated: December 24. 2009 11:59PM UAE / December 24. 2009 7:59PM

HARARE // The cash-strapped Zimbabwe government is failing to compensate
white commercial farmers whose land it took by force and redistributed to
formerly landless blacks since 2000, say farmer advocacy groups.

Justice for Agriculture (JAG), a support organisation for dispossessed
farmers estimates that 250 still own their properties, while over 4,250 were
forcibly evicted over the past 10 years.

Only 300 of the ejected farmers have been given compensation - and even
then, only a small fraction of what the land was worth, said John
Worsley-Worswick, JAG's spokesman, who lost his farm in Darwendale, north of
the capital.

"Most of these [300 farmers] were desperate to the point of destitution, so
they accepted whatever little was offered," said Mr Worsley-Worswick.

"But the bulk, more than 4,000, who owned 7,000 properties, have not been

The constitution of Zimbabwe and the Land Acquisition Act require the
government to compensate farmers for improvements they made to their
properties, but places the responsibility of indemnifying them for the land
itself on Britain, the former colonial ruler.

Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's president, has said that during the 1979 talks,
which paved the way for Zimbabwe's independence in 1980, Britain agreed to
pay for the land.

However, London has said it would pay for land only if the reform programme
was more transparent than it is now.

The land seizure campaign disrupted farm production and sparked the flight
of international investors from the country, who feared for the security of
their own assets.

Inflation started rising then, until it reached 230 million per cent in July
2008, according to official figures.

The manufacturing sector, which drew 60 per cent of its raw materials from
agriculture, declined, resulting in widespread company closures and an
unemployment rate of more than 85 per cent, according to independent

Because of the economic crisis, from which the country is only now emerging,
the government does not have enough money to compensate white farmers.

It is unclear how much in compensation the government has to pay in total,
but the Commercial Farmers' Union said recently that 400 farmers need US$5
billion (Dh18.3bn).

Herbert Murerwa, the minister of lands and land reform, said that the
government knows its obligation to pay restitution for improvements on
acquired land but accused Britain of "going back on its colonial obligation,
which they agreed to at the Lancaster House talks [the 1979 independence
talks held at Lancaster House in London], to pay for land constitutionally
acquired for resettlement."

He said a lack of money has stalled payments to the white farmers. "Land was
never bought from us when the settlers invaded Zimbabwe here in 1890," Mr
Murerwa said. "It was taken from our forefathers by military conquest.

"But, as a government, we have made some assessments and determined what has
to be paid to some farmers. Compensation is a high priority for the
government but we do not have resources. This is a matter that the inclusive
government is seized with."

Trevor Gifford, the former president of the farmers' union, told the news
website Zimonline that by evicting farmers and failing to pay them, the
government is in violation of the constitution.

"The compensation is equal to the country's present debt, about US$5
billion," Mr Gifford said. "We want it paid and paid now according to the
constitution. A large number of my constituency are saying they no longer
want to farm and want compensation," he added.

Mr Worsley-Worswick said that according to his own assessment, he hopes to
receive US$5m as indemnity - $2m for improvements he made on the farm,
another $2m for loss of income in the eight years since his ejection and
$1million for relocation, legal and other costs.

"The government must know that as time goes on before they compensate us,
the amount of compensation continues to increase exponentially because loss
of income is factored into any final claims," he said.

A report released this month by the Brooks World Poverty Institute at the
University of Mancaster urged the government to pay the dispossessed farmers
soon and end the festering land issue so the country can begin to focus on
its many serious challenges.

"An important way to help that process [economic recovery] is to compensate
many of the farmers who lost their land," said the lead researcher, Admos
Chimhowu, a Zimbabwean.

"It may be possible for the inclusive government to consider a pool of
funds, probably partly supported by donors but mostly funded from local
resources, to compensate the farmers for the land."

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When powerful men kneel before other men

December 25, 2009

By Takarinda Gomo

IN AFRICAN culture, especially in Zimbabwe, it is common practice that women
kneel down before a respected person or someone in authority. Such practice
is common especially between a woman and her in-laws.

Gender activists can tear me to pieces, or call me a male chauvinistic pig,
but they can rest assured that even the most vocal gender among them have,
at one time or another, knelt before someone like their husband, father,
grandfather, uncle and many others. This practice was certainly never
intended to denigrate our women.

However, it is certainly taboo for any man to go down on his knees before
another man, for whatever reason. It is demeaning, humiliating and certainly
an affront to traditional customary practices and norms.

Margaret Dongo, the former independent Member of Parliament for Sunningdale,
Harare, courted the ire of Retired General Solomon Mujuru and other Zanu-PF
stalwarts during parliamentary debate, when she referred to Zanu-PF
legislators as "Mugabe's wives".

Mujuru seethed with anger and itched to beat the daylights out of Dongo,
once she stepped outside the august House. That is how seriously African men
take offence if someone infers that they behave towards other men as if they
were women.

It seems Dongo's strong, if demeaning, language in Parliament had, to some
extent, a grain of truth if the recent behaviour of certain Zanu-PF
ministers is anything to go by.

New an online publication, reported last week that some Zanu-PF
Ministers had now taken to going down on their knees when greeting or
talking to President Robert Mugabe.

New Zimbabwe had this to say: "Senior ministers including Patrick Chinamasa
and John Nkomo regularly go down on all two, at cabinet meetings, in what
one MDC minister described as an astonishing demonstration of Mugabe's

The article went further to describe the dramatic and outward show of
respect for Mugabe by Zanu-PF ministers, which the MDC minister said he
found to be a 'culture shock'.

During weekly cabinet meetings, usually held on Tuesdays, Zanu-PF ministers
stand up when Mugabe enters the room.

"They are pulling us up," said the MDC Minister. "They want us to stand up
with them, but we don't stand up when (Morgan) Tsvangirai enters the room.
It's something new for us."

The MDC minister said he was shocked at the Rainbow Towers in Harare
recently, to see then National Healing Minister John Nkomo "crawling in
front of Mugabe".

Perhaps such crawling pays dividends; Nkomo soon became the Vice President
of the Republic of Zimbabwe. At the previous cabinet meeting, Patrick
Chinamasa, the Justice Minister, wanted to request President Mugabe for a
meeting to brief him on the ongoing inter-party negotiations. Chinamasa went
over and knelt down.

"You have to wonder if their wives know that they kneel for another man.
Mugabe has total power over them," the MDC minister said.

From the foregoing, one does not know whether to laugh or to cry. In this
day and age, a whole Cabinet Minister kneeling, as the members of the
Zanu-PF used to do at the airport, as they bade Mugabe farewell or welcomed
him back on arrival from the latest of his many trips abroad. That was
before he was slapped with travel sanctions by Western governments, much to
his chagrin.

Many Zimbabwean men voiced concern that their wives should treat the
President as if he was their husband. The most vocal was Chinamasa's
predecessor as Minister of Justice, Eddison Zvobgo, now late. Not given to
lowering his voice, Zvobgo often declared that his wife, now late and a
politician in her own right would never carry the head of another man on any
part of her anatomy. This was said in reference to the Zanu-PF Womens'
League uniform whose most striking feature is the face of President Mugabe
in his younger days.

Zvobgo's political career was not as straight-forward as Chinamasa's rising
to the top, as a result.

People used to think Munyaradzi Kajese, President Mugabe's Chief of Protocol
was timid and exaggerating his respect for President Mugabe. Without fail he
genuflects whenever he consults the President, even in full glare of the
cameras. Now it appears to be increasingly becoming a norm for Zanu-PF
members of the cabinet to d likewise.

I am reliably informed but have not been able to independently confirm that
at least two other ministers have taken to kneeling before President Mugabe.
It is alleged that Media, Information and Publicity Minister, Webster Shamu
and, rather astonishingly, Industry and Commerce Minister, Prof Welshman
Ncube, now also kneel before Mugabe.

I am reminded of a long-serving former Malawian Minister of Information
Malawi, Heatherwick Ntaba, who used to kneel without shame before the
self-styled Life President, the Ngwazi Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda. Both Ntaba
and Banda were swept away by the winds of revolutionary change in their
country in May 1994.

Before people criticize President Mugabe on this one, perhaps it is
pertinent to ask the following questions:

    * Has the President ordered his ministers and senior government
officials to kneel before him when consulting him or is this done out of
their own volition?
    * Does the President have a hearing problem that requires the officials
to be as close as possible to his ear, forcing them to kneel down?
    * Does the President not feel embarrassed when he sees grown up fellow
men going down on their knee before him?
    * If such high ranking members of government are forced to go down on
their knees, then surely poor Takarinda Gomo, an absolute nonentity, is
required to lie prostrate on the ground before Mugabe?
    * Does Mugabe lack the courage to order the erring ministers to rise to
their feet out of a sense of self respect?

Or is there truth once more in the old adage: "Power corrupts, and absolute
power corrupts absolutely."

It is not unusual to see tyrants going about exercising raw power as if they
were immortal. But for all we know, there is nobody on planet earth who has
signed a contract with the Lord Almighty that he/she will live for ever and

The Holy Bible (St James Version 2000) highlighted "Time for Every Season"
in Ecclesiastes 3 (Vs 1 - 4):
.    To everything, there is a season, and a time for every purpose under
the heaven.
.    A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to
pluck up that which is planted.
.    A time to kill and a time to heal; a time to breakdown, and a time to
build up;
.    A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to

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ZANU PF and the myth of power

24th Dec 2009 20:09 GMT

By Chenjerai Chitsaru

ZANU PF has now entered a dangerous stage: the stage of belief in
invincibility. Many political parties, especially those involved in the
struggle for their country's independence, have succumbed to this myth.

When, at last, the myth is broken, the parties tend to disintegrate, perhaps
never to rise again. One of the ingredients of this faith, according to some
pundits, is an utter faith in the myth of an ever-lasting existence. After
its fifth people's congress in Harare, Zanu PF seemed rejuvenated.

Some of the rhetoric at the congress was vintage Zanu PF - no party can
overtake it.

President Robert Mugabe bolstered this lie with a postmortem of the defeat
by the MDC in the 2008 elections that ignored reality.

Mugabe harped on factionalism as the cause of the debacle. If there had been
no factions in the party, it would not have lost Harare and Bulawayo: in
short, it would not have lost at all.

Fingering factionalism as the only cause of the disaster was self-serving.
It obviated the need for a full-scale analysis of why the party's support
has declined since 1999 - when the MDC was formed. It eliminated the need
for a thorough investigation of why a majority of the people of Zimbabwe
have lost faith in Zanu PF.

This loss of faith is anchored in the party's performance as a governing
party. Since perhaps as early as the late 1980s, the party's performance in
government had been patchy. There was a slow but steady decline in all
services and in the economy, climaxing in the land reform programme.

By 2008, the people were ready for a new party to take over the government.
This has been disputed by the Zanu PF praise-singers. But it is a fact of
political life. It will be confirmed in the next election. People in general
believe Zanu PF has nothing more to give them. It is running on empty and
who wants to risk hitching a ride on a bus that is going nowhere fast?

Only the naïve or gullible will believe that the transformation of the
economy - though by no means spectacular - is the direct result of anything
that any Zanu PF has done. Almost everybody else recognises that nothing
would have happened were it not for the MDC.

The Zanu PF congress, at some point, seemed to enter a world of make-belief,
in which the MDC did not exist, in which 2008 had never happened and a time
in which, for the first time in his political career, Mugabe had never been
defeated in an election.

This is dangerous because it is a denial of reality. Zanu PF's fortunes are
in decline. People don't believe this Christmas, which may be the happiest
they have had for a long time is a result of anything Mugabe or Zanu PF have
done. It is mostly because of everything the MDC has been able to do, in
spite of the hurdles placed in its path by Zanu PF.

Some of the credit must indeed go to that Zanu PF element that accepted that
the unity government would be crippled if Zanu PF did not cede some of its
powers to the MDC.

This element accepted the fact that real change had overtaken the country.

To continue to behave as if the MDC was just a flash in the pan would have
tragic consequences, not only for the country, but even for Zanu PF itself.

What many political analysts were amazed at was the willingness of the
delegates not to tamper with the leadership, particularly the status of
Mugabe. In giving him five more years at the helm, what kind of signal were
they sending to the young membership? Wasn't it that, unlike the MDC, Zanu
PF was determined not to change? It would remain mired in the period after
1975, when Mugabe took over the leadership from Ndabaningi Sithole?

There may be a tacit agreement that Mugabe should step down at a crucial
moment in the political developments in the country. For instance, if Zanu
PF loses the election - which is it is very likely to - why would anyone
wish for Mugabe to continue in leadership?

In any case, the decision to retain him was based on fear. The fear is the
disintegration of the party without Mugabe's iron fist rule. Since 1975, he
has led the party an old-style Marxist-Leninist leader - Lenin, Mao and Kim
II Sung, his idols. At a distance, the party is a pathetic caricature of
what a strong, vibrant political party ought to look like.

It is not like the ANC of South Africa. That party held an election and
ousted its leader who was subsequently removed as president of the republic.
There was an election which the ANC still won under Jacob Zuma's leadership.
That country remains as stable as it has ever been. Thabo Mbeki is not in
exile in a neighboring country, organising a countercoup or anything so
blatantly petulant.

In Malawi, the new leader, Bingu waMutarika now calls himself The Ngwazi, as
Kamuzu Banda called himself. WaMtarika obviously doesn't believe he couldend
up the way Kamuzu did, a doddering old fool who couldn't tell his right from
his left hand. Mugabe may be cooking up a surprise for us all. He could
resign when we least expect him to.

But the man has so attached his fate to that of his country this is quite

The only way he will be forced to capitulate is through an election in which
he is thoroughly trounced - as Kamuzu and Kenneth Kaunda were. After the
2008 results, he really ought to he conceded defeat, but it was so sudden he
and Zanu PF didn't know what had hit them.

What most people wonder now is the extent of Mugabe's real love for his
country. He and Joshua Nkomo must have been motivated by more than just
political one-upmanship in signing the Unity Accord in 1987. There had been
a lot of bloodshed, most of it engineered by the 5 brigade, in retaliation,
apparently, to the so-called dissident menace.

Mugabe blamed it all on Nkomo's attempt to replace him as leader of the new
republic. Nkomo always denied this. But there were dissident elements in
Zapu who may have wanted something, but were not organised enough,
politically or militarily, to stage a military coup.

It was incredible that one of those jailed as a consequence of the
"dissident menace" was Edward Ndlovu, a mild-mannered, dedicated nationalist
whose loyalty always transcended ethnic variations.

When he described Gukurahundi as a "moment of madness" Mugabe had probably
accepted, at last, that he and his government had grossly over-reacted to
the so-called threat posed by the dissident to the peace and stability of
the country.

The characterisation of captured dissident leaders as accomplished guerilla
strategists was absolutely overblown. Certainly, there were no Fidel Castros
or Che Guevaras among them.

In any case, Nkomo's decision to sign the unity accord was logical in the
sense that his party had, in the 1985 parliamentary election, retained its
hold on Matabeleland. It was as strong as ever in the region. Blaming it for
the massacre of 20 000 people in the Matabeleland and Midlands would not
wash. The people of Matabeleland did not blame Joshua Nkomo for what had
happened. They still don't.

But the celebration of Unity Day this year had such political undertones it
must have caused many people to recall that 20 000 people who died before
the accord was signed. There was not much mention of this in the speeches.

There ought to be an acknowledgement of this, a reference to Mugabe's famous
"moment of madness" speech - unless the idea is to ignore it in the
obsessive attempt to maintain Zanu PF's myth of invincibility.

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