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Gloomy picture of unity talks emerges

By Lance Guma
01 December 2009

Talks aimed at resolving outstanding issues plaguing the coalition
government seemed headed for another deadlock on Tuesday.

South African President Jacob Zuma had dispatched a team of former cabinet
ministers, Charles Nqakula, Mac Maharaj and Lindiwe Zulu to try and help end
the impasse. On Monday this 'facilitation team' first met with Mugabe and
then later with ZANU PF and MDC negotiators in Harare, to set the agenda for
their programme. This team is expected to go back to South Africa on
Wednesday while it was speculated that Zuma himself would be in the country
either Tuesday evening or on Wednesday. The facilitators were tightlipped
about the talks only saying; 'It was a very good meeting in the sense that
we have met everyone we wanted to meet. The meetings are still on-going.'

Despite the MDC telling journalists they cannot discuss details of the
negotiations because of a memorandum of understanding that they be held in
secret, ZANU PF is disregarding this. Tuesday's Herald newspaper contained
details of the negotiations, with the paper mocking the MDC for raising what
they claim are new outstanding issues. A total of 21 issues are now said to
be up for discussion, according to the paper.

ZANU PF are sticking to their familiar arguments, saying the MDC has not
called for the lifting of targeted sanctions, an end to 'external
interference' and the closing down of so-called pirate radio stations.
Mugabe's party also insists the MDC dismantle what it calls a 'parallel
government structure' set up by the Prime Minister.

Analysts say the ZANU PF is not raising any real issues and the demands they
have listed are merely a smokescreen, to cover up for their lack of
sincerity and unwillingness to share power. For example they point out that
targeted sanctions were imposed by western countries and not by the MDC. The
same countries have already made it clear that certain benchmarks need to be
met before the measures are removed. Similarly the 'pirate radio stations'
are not run by the MDC and the party has no power to close them down.

Sources in both the MDC and ZANU PF have said enough to indicate that no
deal is going to be reached by the December 5th deadline set by the Southern
African Development Community Troika on Politics, Defence and Security last
month. Evidence that the talks will simply hit a brickwall came from ZANU PF
politburo member, Absolom Sikhosana, who gave an interview to Studio 7
(ironically one of the so-called pirate stations). He made it clear that
ZANU PF will not make any concessions until western targeted sanctions are

The MDC meanwhile want a review of the appointments of the Reserve Bank
governor and the Attorney General. The latest information is that the
negotiators have resolved to tackle these appointments last, since they are
the most fiercely contested. Tsvangirai's party also wants their Deputy
Agriculture Minister Roy Bennett sworn in and provincial governors
appointed, according to an agreed formula that reflects the March 2008
elections. The party also wants Mugabe to stop unilaterally tampering with
ministerial mandates.

The state media claim that the MDC has raised additional outstanding issues
covers media reforms, national hero status, constitutional commissions,
security sector reforms and the appointment of permanent secretaries. The
MDC refused to comment on these claims.

But a highly placed official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the
outstanding issues had simply been divided into two categories. The core
issues were classed under 'non implementation' of the Global Political
Agreement, while the 'smaller' issues fell under 'non fulfillment'. He said
they had decided to take advantage of the 'window of opportunity offered by
the South African team to tackle all the problems affecting this coalition

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SA mediation team hopeful of positive outcome in Zimbabwe

  December 01 2009
, 4:45:00

Thulasizwe Simelane, Harare

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma's newly appointed mediation team for
Zimbabwe has returned from Harare oozing with confidence. Charles Nqakula,
Lindiwe Zulu and Mac Maharaj met with the power-sharing signatories,
believing they have made headway - as the Southern African Development
Community's (SADC) imposed deadline of December 5 for a solution on the
power-sharing approaches.

However, reports suggest over 20 new disputes have surfaced between Zimbabwe's
President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. These include
a review of ministerial allocations and media and security sector reforms.

Analysts are cautiously optimistic, since the new team has the full backing
of the ruling ANC. "The ANC is the power broker in South Africa, it is the
governing party and the ANC would like the situation in Zimbabwe resolved,"
says political analyst John Makumbe.

The SADC troika will weigh its options after President Zuma presents his
report. If no solution is found, the body can recommend a full heads of
state summit.

Last week, one of Zimbabwe's leading activists criticised the SADC for what
he calls the slow response to the country's crisis. Academic Brian
Raftopoulos says the organisation has done very little to deal with alleged
human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. He was speaking at a book launch in Cape

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‘Zimbabwe a national issue for SA’

December 01 2009 , 9:50:00

Presidential advisor Lindiwe Zulu says the whole issue of Zimbabwe is no
longer just a foreign policy exercise but a national one for South Africa.
She was part of the special mediation team which was in Zimbabwe for talks
with the three signatories to the power-sharing pact.

President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime
Minister Arthur Mutambara have until Friday to implement the political
agreement. Zulu says they got the feeling that the Zimbabwean parties are
getting fatigued about the process not going forward. According to Zulu,
there really seems to be a new wave of commitment in Zimbabwe.

Touching on the issues at hand, Zulu says they have come to realise that
such are fundamental issues and not small ones. Yesterday, President Jacob
Zuma's special advisor Charles Nqakula said he was optimistic about
interactions with Zimbabwe's political leaders. Nqakula, along with Zulu and
Mac Maharaj, met the three signatories to the power-sharing pact in Harare.

Nqakula described yesterday's talks as having inspired a sense of hope.
Meanwhile, the Commonwealth has expressed its willingness to readmit
Zimbabwe as its member state. This was revealed after the conclusion of a
three-day Commonwealth Heads of Government summit which was held in Port of
Spain, the capital of the Caribbean Island state of Trinidad and Tobago.

The Commonwealth also welcomed the signing of the Global Political
agreement, which paved the way for the formation of a unity government. Zuma
pointed out that the Commonwealth's position has encouraged him to continue
his mediation role in Zimbabwe's situation.

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Lack of investment set to define 2010 budget

By Alex Bell
01 December 2009

The lack of foreign investment in the country is set to define the 2010
budget to be tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, where Finance Minister
Tendai Biti is expected to keep a tight rein on government spending.

Biti has already indicated that control of government spending is critical,
because the necessary reforms, promised by the unity government to attract
foreign donors, have not been realised. International donor governments have
understandably held off on investment, citing the ongoing farm invasions and
media restrictions as just two examples of the lack of change in Zimbabwe.

The role of Gideon Gono as the Governor of the Reserve Bank has also
remained a contentious issue with regards to foreign investment, given Gono's
reputation for siphoning off cash to line the pockets of ZANU PF. Biti
increased this year's budget by 22% to US$1.2 billion in July, after
receiving loans and aid pledges from South Africa and the International
Monetary Fund. But since then Biti has said that the government has not
managed to attract 'a cent' in budgetary support, because donors are still
wary of the central bank.

It is hoped that a new bill being debated by Parliament, to tighten
restrictions on the Central Bank, will ease some investment concerns,
despite the proposed Bill keeping Gono on as head of Monetary Policy
Committee. Critics have already argued that the Bill will leave Gono with
too much power, raising yet more doubts that investment will suddenly start
pouring into the country.

"Zimbabweans will have to understand that there is very little money and
that government is basically broke," said John Robertson, an independent
economist in Harare. "The Finance Minister is likely to present a budget
that spends only what the country earns, because there aren't any
significant signs of foreign aid on the horizon."

The country's financial crisis meanwhile has been illustrated by a World
Bank report, which has detailed that the country's power utility ZESA is
more than US$400 million in debt. The report was tabled after a request by
the Finance Ministry for technical assistance, including cash to help the
power supplier meet customers' needs.

Thousands of people have been experiencing daily power blackouts and soaring
electricity prices. In her weekly newsletter author Cathy Buckle has
described how "normal functioning has become impossible." She wrote that for
weeks the power has been out every day of every week until late in the
night, when people are lucky to have a few hours of power. Buckle also
explained that most people had expected their electricity bills to
significantly reduce because of the rolling blackouts, but instead ZESA
bills "continue to be more than most people earn in a month."

"Unexplained and incomprehensible is how you go from having a credit balance
one month to owing 700 or 800 US dollars the next. Small businesses already
struggling to stay open are getting bills ranging from 5,000 to 12,000 US
dollars a month," Buckle wrote.

ZESA is reported to need about US$385 million to optimise current
production capacity, prevent further deterioration of infrastructure and to
improve operational efficiencies. It now remains to be seen how the budget
will stretch to accommodate a utility that barely offers a service, but
still bills enough money to collect an estimated US$20 million per month
from customers.


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Gono retreated on Zimdollar after heated meeting

Written by Gift Phiri
Monday, 30 November 2009 16:31
HARARE -- Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono only agreed to
change his position on bring back the Zimbabwe dollar after a stormy meeting
last week with President Robert Mugabe and Finance Minister Tendai Biti,
according to sources.
In an embarrassing climb-down, Gono now says Zimbabwe will continue using
foreign the US dollar and other hard currencies introduced at the beginning
of the year until the economy has reached annual growth rates of at "least
seven percent" with foreign currency reserves of at least US$1.5 billion
The RBZ chief had previously suggested reviving the dead currency and
linking it to gold reserves held in the country. A highly placed official
source said Gono recanted his call for the return of the Zimdollar after a
heated meeting with Mugabe, Vice President Joice Mujuru, Deputy Prime
Minister Arthur Mutambara and Biti held after Cabinet meeting last Tuesday.
The Zimbabwean on Tuesday heard that the meeting discussed among other
issues the 2010 national budget, use of special drawing rights from the IMF,
the revival of the Zimdollar and bankrolling the agricultural season.
Biti was said to have emerged from that meeting with a ringing endorsement
from all the principals that returning the Zimdollar would be disastrous for
Zimbabwe. Gono, has differed with Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who has
declared that he will not put the local dollar back into circulation until
economic productivity is restored with and capacity utilisation in industry
has reached at least 60 percent.
The RBZ boss has enjoyed support from Mugabe who is keen to see the return
of the local currency saying the US dollar has made life difficult for rural
dwellers who have traditionally backed his Zanu (PF) party.  But Biti has
insisted that the return of local currency would render futile all efforts
undertaken to revive the economy since formation of the unity government in
Biti, who is due to present the 2010 national budget on December 2, has
insisted that he cannot return the Zimbabwe dollar unless the economy can
sustain it. ? The Zimbabwean economy, currently with exports of only nine
percent of GDP and a huge balance of payments deficit, cannot provide any
form of cover to the Zimbabwe dollar if returned back into circulation. ??
Biti has intimated that he can only return the inflation-prone currency when
exports are at least 30 percent of GDP.

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Account of atempted eviction off Wakefield farm, Selous

From JAG


12.30PM: Felix Pambukani and about 15 to 20 other men arrived at my house
gate demanding to know from me why I was still on the farm and why was I
planting tobacco and what was I doing? 2 Ministry of Lands men from
Chegutu - one of them being a Mr. Tony Makoshoni - ID number:
70-010006 G 38 and a Mr Chikadayi was also amongst these men and Kunonga
was waiting at the Selous Police station.. DESPITE being told by myself
and shown a letter from the Governor and Provisional Lands office
  - clearly stating that I have been given permission to carry on
farming for the 2009/2010 season they still demanded that I stop all
farming at once. They then left and proceeded to the house that they have
already evicted my manager from.


2.15PM:  I was called out by my guards to the house gate where I was met
by a man stating his name as Cde Jesus and a good 20 or more men claiming
to be "ex-combatants", all clearly drunk. This Cde Jesus
- claims to have been sent by the President with orders to have me
evicted! He told me to get out the house and off the farm within 30
minutes and that we were to take only personal belongings, as everything
else belongs to themhe stated that he and his men would forcibly
remove us and would "help" us pack if we did not comply. My
10 year old daughter at this stage was getting overwrought and visibly
upset at what was happening. My wife and I decided that in their best
interests we would send our 10 year old and 2 year old daughters and a
friend that was staying with them off the farm for their safety. My
eldest daughter's last tearful words to my wife were "Will I
see you again Mommy??" My driver managed to get them off the farm
to friends for safety.

I decided to carry on as normal - having phoned the police for
assistance and being told to wait as they had no police vehicle with
which to react.the "thugs" had returned to Mr
Pambukani's place of residence - my manager's house and
proceeded to drink and carry on loudly. Quite a few vehicles arrived
during the afternoon - adding up to about 15 vehicles in all.

In the meantime I was giving out rations to my labour as normal ..
my labour sensing that trouble was brewing, decided to stay in the
workshop area and near my house.

Mr Pambukani had also chased my guards away from my gates and placed his
own locks on the gates.

The "thugs" were overheard talking and saying that
"someone would die if we did not vacate the farm". They were
milling around the workshop and keeping a presence known.

8.00pm: - the police eventually arrived. The police talked to Mr
Pambukani and the men that were there and told them not to incite
violence of any nature and that they had no right in trying to evict us
from our house. The police also had words with me - asking why had
I "mobilized" my labour-force?  After a lengthy talk -
the police left at 10pm.

At midnight I was awakened by my guards as other vehicles had arrived and
this time with armed men. I was informed that these new arrivals were
guards and that they had been brought in to guard the workshop area as
this area belongs to Mr Pambukani and that we had in fact been the ones
inciting violence and that I had mobilized my labour force against them.


10am: As I write this they are still here but not doing anything. I just
do not know why they are spending all their monies playing all these
games instead of using it on production on the land they have being


I just do not know what today is going to bring.

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ZANU PF continues to politicise food

by Own Correspondent Tuesday 01 December 2009

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party continues to use food aid
as a political weapon and there were reports that party officials were
falsifying records to deny known opponents assistance from the government
and relief agencies, according to a local human rights group.

The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) said in its latest report on human rights
violations that it recorded 133 violations relating to food and humanitarian
assistance in the month of August, with cases of discriminations
constituting 87 percent of the incidents.

The group, which documents cases of politically-motivated violence and
victimisation, said party affiliation continued to determine one's chances
of accessing both government subsidised food and humanitarian assistance.

Public access to food and humanitarian assistance is being denied through
well-coordinated webs of partisan structures such as ward coordinators,
volunteers, village heads, councillors and chairpersons.

"Victims had their names removed from the lists that were submitted to NGO
officials. In yet other cases, targeted individuals were denied access on
false claims that they either had good harvests, or that their papers were
not in order," ZPP said in a report released last week.

The group said laid down procedures are rarely followed in selecting relief

It said: "For instance, while the procedure is that HIV/AIDS and TB patients
who want to be registered for NGO relief assistance have to register first
with village health workers who are required to sign the form which they
submit to NGO relief officers.

"These well laid out procedures have been politicised by ordering intending
beneficiaries to go and register first with the ZANU PF district
chairpersons who would in turn authorise the village health workers to
register the patient for relief assistance."

In Mashonaland Central and Midlands provinces, supporters of Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) allegedly had their
names removed from food registers or donors were misinformed that targeted
persons were no longer in need of food relief.

Cases of false claims were also reported in Masvingo province where
suspected MDC supporters are routinely being denied food aid under the
pretext that their papers are not in order or that they had not followed
proper channels.

Beneficiaries are also required to produce party membership cards and to
regularly attend political meetings in Mashonaland East, a ZANU PF

Politicisation of access to state food and agricultural inputs support is
reportedly widespread in Mutoko, Pfungwe, Maramba, Hwedza and Mudzi.

Most volunteers, health care-givers and ward coordinators in these districts
allegedly report directly to ZANU PF officials.

"Incidents of politically motivated human rights violations remained cause
for concern in parts of the province such as Nyanga, Buhera, Mutasa, Makoni
and Rusape, interfering with the operations of NGOs such as CADEC, FACT,
CONCERN, GOAL, among others," ZPP said about Manicaland.

ZPP reported of isolated incidents in which politically suspect NGOs had
their operations suspended in Manicaland province.

Those targeted are systematically denied access by government officials -
who are mostly ZANU PF functionaries - refusing to sign letters authorising
victims medical and other forms of assistance.

In some cases ghost names have been included on the food beneficiaries list
in a move meant to siphon humanitarian aid for the sole benefit of die-hard
ZANU PF supporters.

ZANU PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira and his deputy Ephraim Masawi were no
immediately available for comment on the matter. But Mugabe' party has in
the past denied abusing food aid and said reports by human rights groups
accusing it of denying food to opponents were fabrications meant to tarnish
the party's image. - ZimOnline

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Zimbabwe Industry Group Calls for Adoption of Rand as Sole Currency

 Updated: 8:44 UTC Monday 30 November 2009

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries noted that many businesses generate
revenues and pay workers in U.S. dollars but must source goods and materials
in South African rand

Gibbs Dube | Washington 30 November 2009

With Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti due to present his 2010 budget
this week, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries called Monday for the
adoption of the South African rand to replace a multi-hard currency monetary

In a report to Biti, the CZI said the multi-currency system is not
sustainable as most businesses pay their workers in dollars but pay rand for
most of their goods and materials - which have become more expensive in U.S.
dollar terms as the rand has appreciated in recent months.

Economist Godfrey Kanyenze said the CZI recommendation is sensible, but
noted that adopting the rand depends on Harare meeting certain South African

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MDC’s Gwezere still detained at Chikurubi prison

By Tichaona Sibanda
1 December 2009

Pascal Gwezere, the MDC transport manager facing trumped-up charges of
stealing ‘arms of war’, is still in remand prison, despite the elapse of the
seven-day appeal period by the State.

The High court granted Gwezere bail a fortnight ago, but the State
immediately invoked the draconian Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and
Evidence Act, which meant he had to stay in remand for a further seven days.

The latest edition of the MDC weekly newsletter Changing Times, said the
seven days lapsed on Friday last week. But Gwezere is still detained at
Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison. Prison officials are also denying him
access to private doctors for treatment for injuries sustained after he was
tortured by State security agents.

Meanwhile the MDC MP for Musikavanhu constituency in Manicaland province,
Prosper Mutseyami, has been acquitted of assault charges.

An elated Mutseyami said it was a great relieve to be acquitted after
spending almost a year on remand. Chipinge magistrate Samuel Zuze acquitted
the MP on charges that stemmed from an incident at Machongwa business centre
in Chimanimani on 21st February last year.

He was being jointly charged with Watson Mumwocha, an MDC activist, for
allegedly assaulting Hapson Musungo and Elisha Chikukwa.

Mutseyami told us his lawyer Langton Mhungu, from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for
Human rights, successfully applied for discharge as evidence against him was
inadmissible because it was extracted through torture.

‘According to my lawyer, the state failed dismally to advance anything, not
even a simple case against me because the evidence obtained by the state was
so unreliable that no reasonable court could act on it,’ Mutseyami said.

He added; ‘Imagine we wasted our energies on a stupid, fictitious story that
was invented by ZANU PF officials in Chipinge. The accusations were created
by ZANU PF to humiliate me and the MDC as a party.’

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PM berates MPs heckling in House

December 1, 2009

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has berated parliamentarians from
both Zanu-PF and his MDC party for turning the House of Assembly into what
he called a "shouting mass house" through continuous heckling of each
other.Tsvangirai, leader of government business in the House, said the habit
counters the spirit of the current inclusive process by the former rivals.

"This is an honourable house and not a shouting mass house," Tsvangirai said
during his address of Parliament Tuesday afternoon.

"I think that with your leadership, Honourable Speaker, we must behave in a
manner which is dignified, which is respectful of other people's opinion
without necessarily suppressing your own opinion. I think that we should
have a unity of that purpose.

"Yes, we are members of Zanu-PF; yes we are members of MDC. As I have often
said, when it comes to the national team, we are one. Although we belong to
Dynamos or Highlanders, or any other team, when we are in the Warriors, we
are Zimbabwe."

The MDC leader made the remarks after MPs from the two parties shouted at
each other continuously while making comments on issues in his speech.

Zimbabwe's legislature is still heavily polarised with MPs often choosing to
disregard the merit of issues raised to focus on lines of argument which are
viewed as favourable to their respective parties.

Tsvangirai also urged parliamentarians not to abandon their constitutional
duty of calling to account all government officials who would not be
pursuing government business.

"The people of Zimbabwe rightly expect you, their representatives, to
investigate, question and challenge their government," Tsvangirai said to
loud cheers mostly from his MDC MPs.

"It is essential that the house becomes a vibrant force for democracy and
accountability in Zimbabwe, such that all public officials recognize
Parliament's accountability to investigate.

"Every government official - whether a minister, policeman or civil
servant - who has broken the law, acted corruptly or simply incompetently -
must respect the supremacy of this house."

Tsvangirai said he was personally ready to be challenged on any government

He further challenged Parliament to track the performance of ministries
against the targets that have been set by the inclusive government and
identify problems as they arise.

"Where ministers under-perform, they must be held to account," Tsvangirai

"If state resources are misallocated, misspent or misappropriated, those
responsible should be brought to book by this House."

The MDC leader, who at the weekend said the coming of his party in the
inclusive government has helped plug corruption by government officials,
also received praise from some Zanu-PF legislators for his resolve to bring
about unity among Zimbabweans.

But MPs challenged the executive for overlooking the House of Assembly when
formulating some government programmes.

"We have a very unfortunate situation," Uzumba MP Simba Mudarikwa said.

"With the current setup of the executive and the legislature there is no

Mudarikwa, a Zanu-PF legislator, singled out the budgetary statement due for
announcement by Finance Minister Tendai Biti as one case of the executive
turning the legislature into a rubberstamping institution.

Biti is due to present the budget on Wednesday afternoon.

"The budget will not be a people's budget," said Mudarikwa, "it is an
executive budget and a budget of the civil servants who earn US$100 but live
a life of $10 000."

Mudarikwa, also accused cabinet ministers of continuously boycotting
parliamentary sessions and concentrating on private business while using
government resources and privileges.

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PM addresses more than 50,000 supporters

Written by SIMOMO TSHUMA   Dec 1, 2009

HARARE - The failure by Mr Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party to implement
the Global Political Agreement (GPA) is not only a Zimbabwean issue but
threatens the stability of the entire SADC region, President Morgan
Tsvangirai said on Sunday.

Addressing over 50 000 people at the MDC's 10th anniversary celebrations at
Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield, President Tsvangirai said South Africa
President Jacob Zuma had acknowledged that the delays in implementing the
GPA was affecting not only Zimbabwe but the entire SADC region.

President Tsvangirai's comments at the carnival atmosphere in Highfield came
as a new mediation team appointed by President Zuma jetted into Zimbabwe on
Sunday to facilitate negotiations between the ruling MDC and the two other
opposition parties in the inclusive government.

"As MDC we would like to salute the efforts by President Zuma and SADC
leaders in making sure that issues affecting the implementation of the GPA
are resolved," President Tsvangirai said.

He said in his briefings with the SADC leaders, the leaders were concerned
that the non-implementation of the GPA was affecting the whole region and
failure to resolve the outstanding issues urgently would cause instability
in the country.

"President Zuma and other SADC leaders are aware that instability in
Zimbabwe means instability in the whole of the SADC region. In the case of
South Africa, the Zimbabwean issue is not even an external issue but a
domestic issue because instability in our country will lead to people
flooding in that country," said President Tsvangirai.

He urged Zimbabweans to be patient, saying the meetings of negotiators to
try and find common ground on outstanding issues, which began two weeks ago,
were moving on smoothly.

The MDC is being represented at the talks by the secretary-general, Hon.
Tendai Biti and deputy treasurer-general, Hon. Elton Mangoma.

President Tsvangirai also vowed that Zimbabwe would not slide back to
violence that nearly tore the country apart last year.

He said the formation of the inclusive government by the MDC in February had
added value to progress and development in the country.

"However, the main objective is to have free and fair elections once we have
put in place a people-driven Constitution," said President Tsvangirai.

He said the Constitution-making process was now back on the rails and urged
Zimbabweans to input into the process so that it captures the varied
opinions in the country.

"The Constitution should do away with repressive laws such as POSA and
AIPPA. The land reform process must also be resolved and Zimbabwe should
rejoin the family of nations," he said.

President Tsvangirai said it was his mandate as the Head of Government to
make sure that the economy was once again stable after years of
mismanagement by the then Zanu PF government. The MDC has introduced
measures that have ended hyperinflation and unprecedented economic meltdown
caused by mismanagement and insane economic policies by the previous
exclusive administration.

President Tsvangirai said his office had managed to source agricultural
inputs that would be distributed to over 700 000 households across the

President Tsvangirai said as the MDC marked its 10th Anniversary, the party
was determined to make sure that the people's project was not derailed.

"The MDC has come a long way and we will not betray the people of Zimbabwe,"
he said. "It has been a hard and tortuous road but we will continue to fight
to bring democracy and real change to Zimbabwe.

"Who would have thought that after only 10 years, the MDC would have a Prime
Minister, Cabinet ministers and a Speaker of the House of Assembly?" he said
amid thunderous applause.

President Tsvangirai was accompanied by his deputy, Hon. Thokozani Khupe,
national chairman, Hon. Lovemore Moyo, secretary-general, Hon. Biti and his
deputy, Hon. Tapiwa Mashakada, national organising secretary, Hon. Elias
Mudzuri and his deputy, Hon Morgen Komichi.

Also present were national spokesperson, Hon. Nelson Chamisa, Women Assembly
chairperson, Hon. Theresa Makone, officials from the Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions, Zimbabwe National Students Union and diplomats.

The Harare rally brought down the curtain on successful 10th provincial
celebrations that were held across the country.

The rallies were being held the under the banner, "Celebrating a Decade of
Courage, Conviction and Leadership".

The main celebratory rally was held at White City Stadium in Bulawayo on 13
September. The MDC was formed on September 11, 1999.

MDC Zimbabwe Online

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Germany concerned over Zimbabwe investments after land grab bid

Posted : Tue, 01 Dec 2009 16:52:09 GMT
By : dpa

Harare - German investment in Zimbabwe continues to be under threat because
of ongoing lawlessness in the southern African country, the German
government protested in an official complaint to Zimbabwe, it emerged
Tuesday. The letter sent by the German embassy in Harare, which is dated
November 26 but was only received by journalists on Tuesday, follows an
attempt by some Zimbabweans to take over a German-owned farm near the border
with Botswana.

Members of President Robert Mugabe's nationalist Zanu-PF party have seized
thousands of white-owned farms, often without compensation, over the past
nine years.

"Once again, the German Embassy notes with great concern that property
rights of German nationals and their investments in Zimbabwe are put under
threat, which is a clear violation of international law," the letter said.

"Despite repeated confirmations of high ranking representatives of the
Zimbabwean Government about the latter's intention to honour the BIPPA
(Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement) in full, the development on the
ground so far shows few commitment to these clear announcements," the letter

Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengwegwi confirmed he had received the

"We are going to look at the concerns of the letter and communicate with the
Germans," he said.

The letter is the second official protest by Germany to Zimbabwe.

Last month, Berlin protested to Harare over the beating meted to a
51-year-old German Catholic priest by soldiers in Zimbabwe.

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ZIMBABWE: Expats not going home yet

Photo: Flikr/Umsoto
President Mugabe (left) and Prime Minister Tsvangirai. Zimbabwean expats are anxious for a 'real' deal
LONDON, 1 December 2009 (IRIN) - Zimbabwean professionals in the UK say they will need to see real change before they would even consider going home, despite South Africa's ongoing attempts to resolve the disputes between the bickering partners in Zimbabwe's unity government.

In 2000 President Robert Mugabe, leader of the ruling ZANU-PF party, embarked on a violent land-reform exercise that destroyed the country's agriculturally based economy.

After a decade of economic meltdown, Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister and leader of the main section of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and Arthur Mutambara, leader of a breakaway section of the MDC, and Mugabe became the three signatories to the Global Political Agreement (GPA), which paved the way for establishing the unity government.

"Zimbabweans here [in the UK] feel they cannot put their trust in the hands of politicians again, and unless all outstanding issues to the GPA are solved, few Zimbabweans will muster enough confidence to go back to their country," Arthur Bango, a qualified nurse who left Zimbabwe in 2000, told IRIN.

Estimates of how many Zimbabweans have fled the country's economic freefall and political violence in the last decade range from 500,000 to 4 million. Many have crossed the border to South Africa - the continent's economic powerhouse - while figures for the number in the UK, the former colonial power, vary between 100,000 and 2 million.

The GPA, signed in September 2008, led to formation of a unity government in February 2009, but any desire the expatriates might have had to return soon evaporated as the signatories failed to give the agreement any real substance. "The ZANU-PF side of the inclusive government is perceived to be dragging its feet on fully implementing the political agreement," Bango commented.

On 16 October 2009 Morgan Tsvangirai "disengaged" from the unity government in protest over Mugabe's alleged refusal to abide by the terms of the GPA, maintaining that Mugabe was stalling the swearing in of provincial governors, mainly from the MDC, and that MDC members and officials faced constant harassment by the ZANU-PF-controlled security forces.

The MDC has also said that Mugabe's unilateral appointment of the attorney general and the reserve bank governor, and their continued stay in office, is in contravention of the GPA.

In turn, ZANU-PF contends that the MDC has not done enough to persuade the US and the European Union to lift targeted sanctions against hundreds of senior ZANU-PF officials, as well as Mugabe and his family, and that the MDC has failed to stop radio stations funded by foreign governments from broadcasting into Zimbabwe.

Too late, too little

A three-man South African team - Vincent Mangwenya, President Jacob Zuma's spokesperson; Lindiwe Zulu, Zuma's international relations advisor; and former cabinet minister Charles Nqakula - has been trying to nudge Zimbabwe's political parties towards each other in the hope of kick-starting stalled negotiations, but many Zimbabweans in the UK think it might be too late.

''Nobody wants to work in a foreign land for ever - people can't wait to go back to a normal environment''
"I am a qualified teacher and came to this country in 1999. My children have already grown and are attending schools or university here," said a Zimbabwean living in London who preferred to remain anonymous. Relocating his children to Zimbabwe would not make sense because the schools and universities there "had long collapsed, while health delivery is equally bad", he said.

Tatenda Nyati, another Zimbabwean in London, commented: "Many Zimbabweans were hoping to bring back development and prosperity to Zimbabwe, but that does not seem likely anytime soon."

A 30-year-old accountant, Malvern Moyo, said he and others were prepared to return and help rebuild the country, but "The politicians are being very selfish and unfair by not coming up with a solution to our problems. Nobody wants to work in a foreign land for ever - people can't wait to go back to a normal environment." 


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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World unites to commemorate World Aids Day

By Alex Bell
01 December 2009

Dignitaries, political leaders, and even sports and films stars,, united on
Tuesday for the global commemoration of World Aids Day.

The annual event was recognised worldwide under the theme "Universal Access
and Human Rights." In America, a number of cities decked out historical
monuments in red lights while top performers, including Alicia Keyes, held
concerts to support Aids Charities. In the UK singer Bono, from the band U2,
joined up with top footballer Didier Drogba and other football stars to
launch the "Lace Up. Save Lives," campaign where proceeds from the sale of
red laces go to help combat TB, Malaria and AIDS.

World class cricketers too added their voices to the global fight, calling
on the international cricket community to continue to support calls for
greater awareness to help continue the fight against HIV.  South African
cricket captain Graeme Smith, who is also a champion for the THINK WISE Aids
awareness campaign, said: "I've seen firsthand the devastating effect that
HIV has had in my country. It is now a global issue and one which everyone
has a responsibility to address"

The head of the United Nations Aids programme (UNAIDS), Michel Sidibe,
marked World Aids Day in South Africa, where the number of people infected
is more than 5 million, the highest in the world. An estimated 1000 people
in the country die from Aids related illnesses every day, a worrying example
of the prevalence of the disease in Africa. In Zimbabwe, the picture is also
bleak, with the country having the highest number of Aids orphans in the
world, for a country of it's size.

In December 2005, the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on
HIV/AIDS (UNGASS), adopted a resolution to assist African governments, civil
society and NGOs in "scaling up HIV prevention, treatment, care and support,
with the aim of coming as close as possible to the goal of universal access
to treatment by 2010 for all those who need it." That deadline is now little
more than a year away. In most of Africa's developing countries, fallout
from the global economic crisis has cast a cloud of uncertainty over the
sustainability of treatment programmes, while prevention efforts are still
struggling to keep up with the pace of the virus.

Meanwhile to mark the day, the United Nations Secretary General, the
Executive Director of UNAIDS Secretariat and Heads of UNAIDS co-sponsors and
partners spoke out in special World AIDS Day statements.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said: "On World AIDS Day this year, our
challenge is clear: we must continue doing what works, but we must also do
more, on an urgent basis, to uphold our commitment to reach universal access
to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010."

UNAIDS head Sedibe said: "AIDS provides a powerful mechanism for creating
integrated health, human rights and development programmes. We must take
AIDS out of isolation and create a broad social movement that will
accelerate progress toward the Millennium Development Goals."

Even the Pope added his voice to the Global messages. Pope Benedict XVI

"My thoughts and my prayers go with every person who has been touched by
this illness, particulary the children, the poor and the rejected. The
Church does not cease to make every effort to combat AIDS through its
institutions and personnel dedicated to this task. I urge all people to
offer their own contributions through prayer and concrete attention, so that
those affected by the HIV virus will experience the presence of the Lord who
gives comfort and hope. In conclusion, I hope that, by multiplying and
coordinating these efforts, it will be possible to stop and overcome this


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Sally Mugabe Orphanage Abandoned

Goromonzi, December 01, 2009 -An orphanage centre, founded by the late First
Lady Sally Mugabe  in Goromonzi is lying  idle with infrastructure
dilapidating as a result  of looting  by war veterans.

The matron of the Mbuya Nehanda orphanage centre, Auxillia Chonyera, said
vandalism and neglect of   the orphanage's infrastructure after the  death
of its patron and founder, Sally Mugabe had  impacted  negatively  on the
smooth running and safe keeping of orphans. At the moment they cook with
firewood as the boiler, which was being used, packed up 10 years ago.

Sally died in 1992 from a kidney ailment.

"We wish  if  Mai Sally  was still alive because she  used to  provide  for
the orphanage  centre that  used  to provide  for  the more than 500
orphaned children we used to keep before her  death. We have tried to find
assistance from local political leaders but to no avail.

"We have a boiler which ceased to function 10 years ago, and we use firewood
to cook for more than 200 children we are currently having. We used  to have
a  truck  that used to transport children to the nearest  school, which is
13 kilometers away, and  it broke  down some  years ago  and we  are failing
to repair it, and children  are walking   26 Kilometers to and from the

"We have more than 50 teen age girls  who need sanitary wear and we are
finding it  difficult to provide  all  these basic  needs because  we do not
have  any  source  of  income," said  Chonyera.

MDC-T's Greenbate Dongo is the legislator for the area while Hebert Murerwa
of ZANU-PF is the senator.

Chonyera said as a result of them failing to provide for the orphaned
children most of the orphans were finding their way back in to the streets
of Harare.

"Its disappointing to tell you that most of the orphans are going back to
the streets were we took them because we have no food to feed them," she

Help Age Projects manager Adonis Five said his organization recently joined
hands with other NGO and mobilized food items for the orphanage centre.

"We were touched by the plight of this orphanage centre and we  have
mobilised some  food items which we think is  going to last for  few weeks,
and we hope  that our superiors are  going to  extend our proposals through
increasing the budget  they allocated  for this  project. We also challenge
other NGOs to assist in this desperate situation," he said.

If  given all the required attention the  orphanage centre, which  was a
commercial  farm, has every  infrastructure that can be  used  for self

The orphanage centre was founded in1986 by the late first lady Sally Mugabe
who had a strong passion for disadvantaged children.


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Victoria Derbyshire on Radio 5 Live – the first full BBC programme to broadcast openly out of Zimbabwe since 2001

Date: 01.12.2009
Category: 5 Live

    * Victoria Derbyshire in Zimbabwe, Wednesday 2 December, 10.00am
    * The World Cup draw Friday 4 December, 5.15pm

BBC Radio 5 Live's Victoria Derbyshire will broadcast live from Zimbabwe on
December 2 in the first full BBC programme from the country since reporting
restrictions on the corporation were lifted earlier this year.

Victoria's morning show, which was honoured this year with a Nick Clarke
Award for its journalism, will present a three-hour programme from Harare on
Wednesday 2 December.

Since the unity government was formed at the beginning of the year,
inflation has been tamed (it was 231 billion per cent in February, it's now
3 per cent), a few goods have reappeared in the shops and a little more food
is available to a hungry nation.

In recent months, the Movement for Democratic Change has reported "increased
violent" attacks on its party members.

The programme will try and find out exactly what life is like for ordinary
Zimbabweans right now. Victoria will hear from residents in Harare, trade
unionists and human rights groups – as well as interview senior figures from
MDC and Zanu-PF.

The show will also speak to political asylum seekers who have fled to the UK
and asks them how they view life now in their home country - linking them
with resident Zimbabweans.

The programme will then move to South Africa and on Friday 4 December
Victoria will present two programmes from Cape Town for the World Cup Draw.

Her regular morning programme will look at how ready the country is to host
the tournament and what sort of welcome fans can expect to get. And at
5.30pm she'll be presenting a special programme around the World Cup Draw –
opening the phone lines and inviting listeners to react.


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Zimbabwe - day 1


Victoria Derbyshire | 13:39 UK time, Monday, 30 November 2009

Robert Mugabe

No problem getting our visas on arrival in Harare - we had a letter of commission from the Ministry of Information which we've been advised to carry everywhere with us. Over each exit at the terminal was a portrait of President Mugabe hanging in a gilt frame. A constant reminder, but of what exactly?

On turning west out of the airport we drove under a bridge declaring "Zimbabwe 1980 Independence".

The road into Harare was lined with small rubbish tips and on several corners were very young children selling oranges.

We'd been told to look out for secret services opperatives in the foyer of our hotel - but unless they were disguised as Japanese businessmen or stunningly beautiful black women, I couldn't spot them.

My overall first impresssion? Hot, chaotic, and not disimilar to the capital cities of several other African nations.

UPDATE: Watch Victoria's video from a typical Harare supermarket

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The BBC and Zimbabwe: how the Corporation got back in
Olly Grant talks to Victoria Derbyshire about her first broadcast live from Harare
Radio 5 Live host Victoria Derbyshire
Radio 5 Live host Victoria Derbyshire Photo: BBC

Weekday mornings usually find Victoria Derbyshire ensconced in Wood Lane, west London. Wednesday 2 December, however, sees the 5 Live host in an altogether different locale: the Meikles Hotel, central Harare.

At 10.00am, Derbyshire will go live with the first fully fledged BBC radio show to be made in Zimbabwe in nearly a decade. It’s a broadcast rammed with political and historic significance. Eight years ago, the BBC was kicked out of Zimbabwe by Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF. Barring a few clandestine incursions, it hasn’t been back until July of this year. In the intervening years, tragedies and abuses went without official coverage by the BBC, from rampant inflation to one of the worst cholera epidemics in African history. Today the Corporation will broadcast the first extended, live radio programme featuring on-the-ground reporting from the country in nearly a decade.

“For eight years the BBC staff were there undercover,” says Derbyshire, 41. John Simpson donned a baseball cap disguise to preview the 2008 elections and Fergal Keane carried out covert interviews as a fake game park tourist.

In situ with a government permission slip in her pocket, Derbyshire will be able to turn the spotlight onto ordinary Zimbabweans. “It’s a brilliant opportunity to be there openly, talking to people openly in shops and schools and hospitals,” she says.

How the visit came about is a tale of diplomacy, politics and football. But first a recap. The BBC ban stems from July 2001, when Rageh Omaar was covering Mugabe’s land redistribution policy, which saw mostly white-run farms being seized by Zanu loyalists. The tipping point seems to have been a speech in which Mugabe reaffirmed his commitment to the seizures. A BBC report on that speech prompted the suspension of all BBC accreditation. And that, aside from sports coverage of two controversial cricket encounters in 2003 and 2004, was that.

But now there are signs of change. In January, Mugabe was forced into a unity government with Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party, and the first shoots of economic recovery have emerged. Food is back in shops. Inflation “has been tamed,” says Derbyshire. “It was 500 bn per cent. Now it’s three per cent.” In July the BBC was finally granted permission to operate freely in Zimbabwe, although up to now the Corporation has mainly only made news reports.

“We were told they were keen to open up to the media because they want to capitalise on the World Cup in South Africa in June,” says Louisa Compton, the editor of Derbyshire’s show, who realised they could combine the show with an already-planned trip to Friday’s World Cup draw in Cape Town. “A million phone calls and faxes” later, with negotiations channelled through the BBC’s Johannesburg Bureau, Compton finally got the green light from Zanu-PF, who retain control of the country’s publicity department. “It was the most difficult project I’ve ever organised,” Compton says.

Derbyshire has spent the last few days mugging up on her security skills on the BBC’s hostile environment training for war reporters. This features negotiation tips and a kidnapping scenario. “A bag goes over your face, they put a fake gun to your head and you’re led into some woods where they shout at you for an hour,” she says.

The programme will include live link-ups to listeners at home, including UK-based asylum seekers, and a tour of Mbare, a high-density Harare district that saw forced slum clearances in 2005. Derbyshire will also interview politicians on either side of the coalition. This may yet include Tsvangirai and Mugabe. Either way, Compton says, they will be hearing from those “who are critical of Zanu-PF and the unity government”.

This last point is crucial, since there’s a danger that the whole venture could imply that the country is far more open than it is. Could it be a PR stunt?

“No,” says Derbyshire firmly. “There are no restrictions. We’re going wherever we want.” Nobody has ring-fenced her lines of questioning, she adds.

She hopes the show will act as a staging post in the story of Zimbabwe’s hoped-for new dawn. ‘We want to tell our listeners what life is like there now,’ she says. “They’ve heard about the unity government. But they don’t know what life is like at the sharp end. And that’s why it’s such a fascinating opportunity to go there.”

- Victoria Derbyshire’s show from Zimbabwe is on 5 Live at 10.00am

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UN halves Zim humanitarian appeal

Monday, 30 November 2009 06:38
HARARE -The United Nations has halved the humanitarian appeal for Zimbabwe
in 2010 from the US$718 million sought this year but cautioned against
continued "structural problems" faced by the southern African country still
recovering from a decade of political strife and economic meltdown.

Zimbabwe's appeal is half as large in dollar terms as in 2009 when the UN
asked for US$718 million "because a generally good harvest has reduced the
number of severely food-insecure Zimbabweans".
According to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(OCHA), early recovery (ER) support would be a key priority for the 2010
Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) for Zimbabwe as aid agencies seek to
consolidate recent humanitarian achievements and to ensure that results are
"Direct restoration of basic social services, infrastructure and livelihood
opportunities will not be able to get off the ground without support for the
CAP's ER strategy," the UN arm said.
The UN agency said priority would be given to rehabilitation of water
facilities in urban and rural areas where an estimated six million people
have no access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene services.
Attention would also shift towards provision of livelihood support to
vulnerable groups - including female and child-headed households, people
with disabilities, internally displaced persons and people living with
HIV/AIDS - to reduce their dependency on humanitarian assistance.
"Without transitional recovery activities in place, populations risk
becoming increasingly dependent on emergency aid, losing self-reliance and
the capacity to manage their own development in the future," the UN agency
said yesterday during the launch of the humanitarian appeal.
It said more than 1.9 million people in Zimbabwe are likely to remain
food-insecure in 2010 while about 650 000 communal farmers would require
agricultural inputs.
Without these inputs, there will be little chance of reducing reliance on
outside food assistance.
Zimbabwe is experiencing a gradual shift from humanitarian crisis to
recovery following political changes that positively affected socio-economic
Following the economic downturn and political polarization that culminated
in the protracted elections of 2008, an Inclusive Government was formed in
February 2009.
This development led to greater cooperation between the international
humanitarian community and the Zimbabwean authorities, improvement in the
country's socio-economic and humanitarian situation, and improved
humanitarian access to vulnerable populations.
The world body warned that while the improvement of general conditions in
Zimbabwe has improved following the formation of the coalition government in
February, the donor community was still approaching the country's
humanitarian situation with "cautious optimism".
"It should not distract from Zimbabwe's structural problems," the agency
An estimated six million vulnerable people would continue to feel the impact
of the erosion of basic services and livelihoods over the past years.
Cholera re-emerged in October, raising fears of the resurgence of last year's
outbreak that affected 55 out of the country's 62 districts, with 98 531
cases and 4 282 deaths recorded.
Despite improvements in food security, the country still faces a substantial
national cereal deficit and an estimated 1.9 million people will need food
assistance at the peak of the 2010 hunger season from January to March.
The country has the fourth-highest crude mortality rate in Africa.
Child malnutrition is a significant challenge to child survival and
More than a third of children under the age of five are chronically
malnourished while seven percent suffer from acute malnutrition.
The HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is one of the highest in the world, despite a
recent drop to 13.7 percent.
Some 1.2 million people live with the virus and 343 600 adults plus 35 200
children under age 15 urgently need anti-retroviral treatment.
The education sector is characterised by severe shortages of essential
supplies, high staff turnover and sporadic teachers' strikes.
This particularly affects Zimbabwe's 1.6 million orphaned and vulnerable
children, including more than 100 000 child-headed households.
"The need to support 'humanitarian plus' or early recovery programmes is
highlighted by the deterioration in existing infrastructure and loss of
employment opportunities," OCHA said.

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‘Zim can licence 4 more TV, 94 radio stations’

by Nqobizitha Khumalo Tuesday 01 December 2009

REDCLIFF – Zimbabwe has the capacity to licence an additional four
television stations while 94 radio licences can be issued in both urban and
rural areas, a top government official said at the weekend.

Addressing media personnel in the Midlands town of Redcliff near Kwekwe on
the need to open up the country’s airwaves, Deputy Information Minister
Jameson Timba said an assessment done by the ministry revealed that the
country’s radio and television spectrum could still take in 31 radio
licences in urban areas and 60 country-based licences.

He said the television spectrum allowed for additional licencing of three
ultra-high frequency (UHF) television licenses and one very high frequency
(VHF) television licence.

“If Zimbabwe were to go on a full spectrum today, there is capacity for
three ultra-high frequency (UHF) television licences and one very high
frequency (VHF) television licence and what that means is that as we stand
we can have an extra four television stations, that is what the frequency
allows,” Timba said.

Turning to radio, the Deputy Minister from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s
MDC-T party said the spectrum showed that there is space to issue close to
100 licences.

“We have planned capacity to issue 31 radio licenses in urban areas and a
further 60 country-based radio licences while we also have the capacity to
also issue two national frequency modulation (FM) radio licences,” Timba

He added that the spectrum also allowed a capacity to issue two national
frequency modulation (FM) radio licences.

President Robert Mugabe, the country’s sole ruler since independence from
Britain in 1980, and his ZANU PF government have not registered any new
players in the broadcasting sector due to stringent media laws that promoted
state monopoly in the broadcasting sector.

His February unity government with Tsvangirai is supposed to implement a
raft of media and political reforms to open up democratic space and re-shape
the country’s politics before holding new elections by end of 2010 or early

But the unity government that has achieved commendable progress on economic
reforms has struggled on the political and media front where reforms have
moved at a snail’s pace, amid quarreling by coalition partners over the
extent and form of reform.

A misunderstanding over the appointment of a new Broadcasting Authority of
Zimbabwe (BAZ) last month when Information Minister Webster Shamu announced
a new board chaired by former Media Information Commission (MIC) chairperson
Tafataona Mahoso that was shot down by the MDC-T as unprocedural because
other coalition parties were not consulted, will see the coming in of new
players delayed.

In his address to the journalists at the meeting organised by the Media
Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Zimbabwe) Timba revealed that there will
be a fresh appointment of the BAZ board.

“In the coming weeks a new board for BAZ will be set up as the one announced
by the minister last month was not constituted properly,” he said.

There are no independent broadcasters in Zimbabwe and the state-owned
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) runs the country’s only television
and radio stations, all tightly controlled by Mugabe’s ZANU PF party even
after formation of the unity government. – ZimOnline

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Rigid laws force immigrants underground

by Own correspondent Tuesday 01 December 2009

HARARE - Rigid immigration laws of neighbouring countries have discouraged
Zimbabwean migrants from registering with host governments in order to
access humanitarian support and legal protection, according to a new report
released Monday.

The report by South Africa's Witwatersrand University said laws and
regulations of most neighbouring countries did not cater for Zimbabwean
migrants who it said were "forced humanitarian migrants" who fled their
country to look for jobs and other means of earning an income to support
themselves and their children.

This kind of refugee required a job to earn money and the freedom to be able
to occasionally return to Zimbabwe with supplies for family left back there.

But the report said most countries in the region except South Africa
required asylum seekers to live in isolated camps preventing them from
travelling to and from their home country.

"This makes it impossible for Zimbabweans to fulfil their main need: to send
money and goods to their families," said the report by the Forced Migration
Studies Programme at the University of the Witwatersrand.

It said as a result most Zimbabwean immigrants simply opted not to apply for
asylum and moved between countries as labourers, shoppers, visitors and
traders without any receiving any humanitarian assistance or legal
protection from the host state.

Many Zimbabweans led "precarious lives" doing menial jobs and earning low
incomes which barely covered their expenses said the report that examines
official responses to Zimbabwean migration in Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and

It said deporting Zimbabweans as is regularly done by the Botswana
authorities merely showed a lack of protection from the crisis the
immigrants sought to escape.

The report said: "All four countries criminalise unlawful entry, unlawful
work and overstaying of permits by foreigners and enforce this through
deportation and other means, Botswana regularly deports particularly large
numbers of Zimbabweans. Mozambique and Zambia also target suspected
Zimbabwean female sex workers for deportation."

Researcher Monica Kiwanuka noted that a lack of a single regional strategy
or legal instrument to respond to Zimbabwean "livelihood seeking migration"
worsened the plight of vulnerable Zimbabweans.

The economic collapse, political violence and widespread starvation in
Zimbabwe over the past decade have driven an estimated three million people
or a quarter of the country's population abroad mostly to neighbouring
countries in search for jobs and better living conditions.

While a coalition government formed by President Robert Mugabe and Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been able to stabilise the economy its
failure to win Western backing for sustainable economic recovery has
discouraged exiled Zimbabweans from returning home. - ZimOnline

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No Holds Barred: Thanksgiving in Zimbabwe

Nov 30, 2009 22:18 | Updated Nov 30, 2009 22:37


Seldom do I use the word 'life-transforming" because very few things in life
are. True change is usually something that requires diligence, effort and
often monotonous repetition. It doesn't come cheaply.

But what I did this past Thanksgiving changed my perception of the world
forever. As a volunteer with my friend Glen Megill's organization, Rock of
Africa (a Christian relief effort), I travelled to one of the poorest
villages in Zimbabwe, one of the world's poorest countries. Joining me was
my daughter Chana, my friend, the writer and radio host Dennis Prager, his
son Aaron and about seven Christian volunteers. We staged an outreach
program, preparing a Thanksgiving feast for 500 villagers, to whom we then
distributed mosquito nets and Bibles. Most importantly, we gave them seed
that can produce shima, the corn flour that is the staple diet for most of
Africa and which, for $25 a year, can literally keep a family alive. The
feast consisted of 10 slaughtered goats, giant pots of cooked cabbage and

It would be difficult to convey the appreciation of the villagers for one
good, hot, meaty meal. The people we met were gentle, beautiful and utterly
poor. The village consisted of nothing but mud huts, the chief's homestead
included. These people have virtually nothing. They live in tiny pen-sized
huts, and one which we visited housed a hospitable but infirm man in his
late 80s who reeked of urine. His 12-year-old grandson lives with him and
takes care of him; his parents died of AIDS. The only luxury in the tiny
dwelling was one mosquito net for the grandfather.

Indeed, of the hundreds who came to our feast, only a few were young mothers
and fathers; the vast majority had already been lost to AIDS. We saw scores
of young children strapped to their grandmothers' backs in the African way.
An entire generation has been wiped out by this killer disease, which is
still met by denial in Africa. Most of the people we spoke to who lost
relatives to AIDS told us that "they got sicker and thinner." They knew
exactly what caused the ailment but would never pronounce it. Strict moral
codes govern life in southern Africa, so a sexually-transmitted disease is
rarely acknowledged.

BUT AMID these serious challenges, the people exhibit unbelievable warmth.
Are they happier than we in the West? I can't say. I have never believed in
the supposedly ennobling effect of poverty, and I will not glamorize a life
with so little. But what is undeniable is that they seemed far more
satisfied, grateful and content than us. We in the West who are fortunate to
be able to translate so much of our potential into something professionally
and personally fulfilling are more often than not plagued by insatiable
material hunger, rarely finding the inner peace which they seemed to

When we Rock of Africa volunteers cooked much of the food and physically
served it, I noticed that among the villagers there was not a single finicky
eater. They ate every part of the goat served them - the stomach, the
intestines, the vertebrae; food was not a luxury, it was survival itself.
Indeed, the villagers rarely looked down at their food, which they ate with
their hands (which were washed just before the meal). There is no piping in
the village, so water is fetched from a well a kilometer away. Before and
after the meal, the women serenaded us with joyous song and dance. The chief
was a man of extraordinary humility, and took great pride in showing us his

The men and women sat apart. When the women, my daughter included, served
they curtsied, as women do by tradition before men. If a woman does not
curtsy, the man will not accept the food. The men seemed more self-conscious
than the women. I hugged every man I met - something usually not done in
Africa, but a pity because men need tactility as much as women. They all
responded warmly to the overture.

Most memorable were the children, who were wondrous in every way. Gorgeous,
extremely polite and exceptionally well-behaved. They exhibited none of
wildness that is becoming common among Western kids. Hundreds of them sat in
perfect rows on the floor, grateful to have a hot meal. They too sang and
danced for us, and we danced with them.

The most moving part of the day was when we distributed the corn seed. The
chief called out the names and as the families came forward, they were
glowing. Many of them kissed the bags as they collected them. A few bags
broke open and their recipients searched for, and found, every last seed as
if it were a diamond.

It should be mandatory to take Western kids to Africa for at least one
humanitarian mission. It would help wean them from the corrosive materialism
that is suffocating us all, and it would lead them to appreciate their
blessings and share more with others.

All this was made possible because of two angels. The first is Glen, an
American businessman who created Rock of Africa and is one of the most
righteous men I know. The second is a young woman whose courage and heroism
left me incredulous. Her name is Regina Jones. She's 30 years old and from
Detroit. She moved to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, four years ago, after a teen
life where she owned more than 200 pairs of shoes. She now lives on her own
and runs the organization. She saves orphaned street children from dying.
She teaches villagers how to become self-sustaining. For our feast, she went
at midnight to a neighboring village, negotiated the price for the goats and
rented a trailer in the morning and picked them up so the villagers could
eat meat. I personally watched her lovingly lecture a man with a white beard
to help out his wife more with their tiny farm.

No, she is not a household name and she will never be as famous as Britney
Spears. But to me she was a small reminder that the suffocating selfishness
of Western material culture can indeed be transcended.

The writer is founder of This World: The Values Network and the author most
recently of The Blessing of Enough. D`onations to Rock of Africa can be made
on its Web site,

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Tsvangirai, Hunzvi and Zanu (PF)

Written by The Zimbabwean
Monday, 30 November 2009 07:26
What does the Zimbabwe National War Veterans' Association have in common
with the Movement for Democratic (MDC)?  Or what does the late Dr Chenjerai
"Hitler" Hunzvi have in common with Morgan Tsvangirai, the founding
president of the MDC?

This sounds a silly question.  The two organizations and their leaders are
poles apart.  The war vets are an offshoot of Zanu (PF), while the MDC was
established in opposition to Zanu (PF).
On closer examination, however, the war vets and MDC have something in
common: the two organizations can be credited with giving Zanu (PF) and its
president and first secretary, Robert Mugabe, their greatest frights.
In 1988 Hunzvi and his men and women gave the Zanu (PF) government an
ultimatum: reward us for our role in the liberation struggle, or else. . .
Apparently it was no empty threat.  The former guerrillas were awarded a
one-off payment and lifelong pension and allowances.
Ten years later, Tsvangirai and the people of Zimbabwe, through the MDC, did
not threaten anything but made a strong statement about the need for change.
Their weapon: The ballot box. A complacent and over-confident Zanu (PF),
having ruled virtually undisturbed and undisputed for decades, had a rude
Even the party's most fanatical adherents and apologists will admit that
Zanu (PF) did not rule all these years by playing nice.  As often happens,
however, the more ruthless and intolerant of dissent-real or perceived-the
populace was subjected to, the more determined they became to fight on for
what they knew was not only a good cause but a right.
The people proved the seemingly formidable Zanu (PF) to be what the Chinese
(who are among Zimbabwe's known best friends) call a paper tiger.  In
English, they would speak of a toothless bulldog.  The Shona people would
sing a traditional song which goes as follows: Taiti zizi rine nyanga..
Makushe/Taiti zizi rine nyanga.. Manzeve (We thought an owl has horns/It's
actually furs, feathers and big ears).
Who ever imagined for a moment that Zanu (PF) would "humiliate or demean"
itself by being in a coalition government with "Chematama", as that part's
leader derisively called Tsvangirai?  Despite concerted frustration or
provocation, Tsvangirai soldiers on, to fulfill the promise the MDC made to
the people of Zimbabwe: better governance and the resultant freedom, peace
and prosperity.
The bulldog might have been proved to have no teeth, or to have lost them.
Its paws, however, can still inflict damage but such damage cannot be
anything near what the teeth would have done. Aluta continua.

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Money - the root of Mugabe's evil

If ever we were to sit back and look at the destruction, death and decay
caused by Mugabe's 30 year rule in Zimbabwe, there is one common denominator
in all he does.


The man has made money, riches and power his God.

Instead of being the 'liberator' of Zimbabwe, he has become the ogre that
has destroyed the jewel of Africa.

He borrows money that he fails to pay back - even when he borrows from poor
African states.

If he wants it, he takes it - and then changes the laws retrospectively. The
Zimbabwean land grab is a good example - where he forcibly takes the land
from the white commercial farmer, without compensation, and then gives the
land to his senior loyalists - who fail to continue with the production of

His wife suffers from the same avarice, filling up plane loads of food and
trinkets - which are somehow not the subject of any import duty upon arrive
in Harare.

When the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe found itself without enough money to
satisfy his greed, he instructed Gono to help himself from foreign currency
accounts - without permission or authority from the account holders - and
Mugabe says that Gono is not a thief as the taking of the money was 'in the
best interests of the nation'.

Neither Gono nor Mugabe has been brought to book for the theft, and the
money has not been replaced.

Gono and Mugabe have not explained what the money was utilised for. We are
expected to believe Mugabe claim.

Mugabe is believed to be among some of the richest people on the planet -
and his insatiable desire to have, own, control and manipulate is still

And for Mugabe to remain in power, he has had to have people killed,
abducted and imprisoned. Yes - he will deny any knowledge of such
happenings, but it happens nonetheless.

Mugabe spends his life maligning the West, and almost in the same breath he
pleads poverty and puts out the begging bowl for the free world to fill. The
free world, however, has fallen wise of his duplicity and now want a say in
where and how any aid monies be used.

And the West is not prepared to throw good money after bad any longer, and
now demand more reform and concessions. Mugabe's reply is to malign the West
even more.

Perhaps the most poignant and recent absurd claim that Mugabe has made was
over the weekend when he said that the FIFA world cup was probably made from
Zimbabwean gold - and that he was tempted to not hand it back!

Minerally, Zimbabwe is a very rich country - borne out by the recent finding
of diamond deposits in the Eastern Highlands.

Within a few weeks, the diamond fields were overrun by Mugabe's military and
there have been reports of mass shootings of illegal miners.

Control of the fields in reportedly with the Zimbabwe Mining Development
Corporation (ZMDC) who, it transpires, are in partnership with a private
concern who have been given the mining rights.

Mugabe knows how to look after his own.

Having made bucket loads of money during the war in the DRC, he is now
systematically stripping Zimbabweans of the riches that belong to the State.

Mugabe believes that he has a God-given right to rule Zimbabwe and has
claimed that 'only God can dethrone him'.

Mugabe is a very rich man - it is just a pity that his business, political
and personal ethics are nowhere near as rich.

Robb WJ Ellis
The Bearded Man

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Bill Watch Special of 1st December 2009 [ParliamentaryCommittee meetings 1st to 3rd December]


[1st December 2009]

House of Assembly Portfolio Committees and Senate Thematic Committees This Week

The meetings listed below are open to the public to attend, but please note that the only meetings in which members of the public can participate are when the committees have public hearings.  Veritas will send out separate notices of these public hearings and outline the procedure.

They also sometimes have meetings where invited stakeholders [and those who notify Parliament that they consider themselves stakeholders and are accepted as such] are able to make representations and ask questions.  These meetings will be highlighted in these notices. 

At all other meetings which are open to the public, the public are invited as observers only and cannot participate or ask questions.  Even with these meetings, members of the public wishing to attend a meeting should telephone Parliament first [on Harare 700181], to check with the relevant committee clerk.  Entry to all meetings is by the Kwame Nkrumah Ave entrance and IDs must be produced.

Portfolio and thematic committees also have meetings for deliberations which are not open to the public, and these are not listed.

Unfortunately the notice of these meetings was made available late yesterday afternoon.  The Monday schedule is included just for the record.

Monday 30th November Morning at 10 am

Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy

Oral evidence from Chamber of Mines and Ministry of Mines Official

Committee Room No. 413

Clerk: Mr Manhivi

Portfolio Committee on Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism

Briefing from CAMPFIRE Association

Committee Room No. 311

Clerk: Mr Ndlovu

Monday 30th November Afternoon at 2 pm

Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs

Oral evidence from the Law Society of Zimbabwe

Committee Room No. 413

Clerk: Ms Zenda

Portfolio Committee on Public Works and National Housing

Consultative meeting with stakeholders.

Committee Room No. 311

Clerk: Mr Mazani


Please note that all the meetings listed below will be open to members of the public, but as observers only, not as participants.

Tuesday 1st December Morning at 10 am

Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade

Presentations on the 2010 budget proposal from Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration

Committee Room No. 3

Clerk:  Ms Zenda

Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce

Briefing from David Whitehead

Committee Room No. 311

Clerk: Mr Ratsakatika

Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Rural and Urban Development

Oral evidence from City of Harare

Committee Room No. 413

Clerk: Mr Manhivi

Wednesday 2nd December Morning at 9 am

Thematic Committee on Peace and Security

Oral evidence from Ministry of Agriculture on food security

Committee Room No. 4

Clerk: Mr Daniel

Thursday 3rd December Morning at 11 am

Portfolio Committee on Education, Sport and Culture

1. Brief from the Iranian Delegation on Culture.

2. Chairman's brief on UNESCO

Committee Room No. 4

Clerk: Miss Mudavanhu

Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth, Gender and Community Development

Presentations from the Youth Forum

Committee Room No. 3

Clerk:  Mrs Khumalo


Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.



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Bill Watch Special of 1st December 2009 [Changed Timefor Budget Statement]


[1st December 2009]

New Time Announced for the 2010 Budget Statement

Parliament has announced a new time for the Budget Statement

This will now be read by Finance Minister, Tendai Biti

at 2.45 p.m. [not 3.45 p.m. as previously notified] on Wednesday 2nd December


Admission to the Speakers Gallery [for non-Parliamentarians] to hear the Budget Statement is by invitation or for ticket-holders. There are very few tickets left and these are being kept until businesses and financial institutions who requested them have been allocated their requirements. There may be a few seats left and those wish to attend may phone tomorrow morning to see if there are any tickets left. The person to phone is Major Mbewe, Director of Public Relations, Tel: 700181/2/3. There is a press gallery for accredited members of the press.


Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.



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