The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Measles Claims Lives of 30 Children of Zimbabwe Sect Opposed to Vaccination

Health Minister Henry Madzorera told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira his
ministry has been frustrated by the denial of access to children for
vaccination by members of the Apostolic Faith Church and other religious

Sandra Nyaira | Washington 28 December 2009

At least 30 children have died in eastern Zimbabwe where members of the
Johanne Marange Apostolic Faith church have refused to allow their children
to be vaccinated against the deadly communicable disease.

World Health Organization Country Representative Custodia Mandhlate said it
is tragic that children are dying of a preventable disease. The outbreak is
also affecting other provinces with 340 cases of measles reported.

Health Minister Henry Madzorera told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira his
ministry has been frustrated by the denial of access to children for
vaccination by members of the Apostolic Faith Church and other religious

Dr. Madzorera said health officials will be moving into these areas to
persuade parents to allow their children to be vaccinated to avoid more

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Nestle Says Reviewing Zimbabwe Situation, No Decision on Resuming Operations

Nestlé spokeswoman Nina Backes said the company has not yet decided if it
will reopen the plant despite assurances from the government as to the
safety of its country managers and production staff

Patience Rusere | Washington 28 December 2009

Swiss-based foods multinational Nestlé said it is still reviewing conditions
in Zimbabwe following its suspension of operations last week after it came
under heavy pressure from ZANU-PF ministers to buy milk from a dairy concern
controlled by the family of President Robert Mugabe.

A Nestlé official at the company's headquarters in Geneva said the
multinational has been in regular contact with Zimbabwean authorities since
halting operations at its Harare plant over alleged official harassment and

Industry Minister Welshman Ncube announced late last week that a solution
had been reached under which milk from Mushungo Holdings, controlled by
Grace Mugabe, wife of the president, would be purchased by a cooperative
which would then supply raw milk to the Zimbabwe Nestlé unit.

But Nestlé spokeswoman Nina Backes said the company has not yet decided if
it will reopen the plant despite assurances from the government as to the
safety of its country managers and production staff. Backes declined to
spell out the company's conditions for resuming operations in Zimbabwe.

Political analyst Tinoziva Bere, who is chairman of the Zimbabwe Election
Support Network, said the Nestlé saga, which began in October when the Swiss
company severed its business relationship with the Mugabe-controlled firm,
would discourage foreign direct investment in Zimbabwe.

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Zimbabwe Government to Set Up Economic Crimes Courts to Counter Corruption

The courts will work closely with the Anti-Corruption Commission in an
effort to curb fraud, graft and other forms of corruption, according to an
economic blueprint issued last week by Finance Minister Tendai Biti

Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington 28 December 2009

The government of Zimbabwe says it will set up economic crimes courts in
four provincial towns as well as Harare, the capital, to crack down on

The courts will work closely with the Anti-Corruption Commission in an
effort to curb fraud, graft and other forms of corruption, according to an
economic blueprint issued last week by Finance Minister Tendai Biti.

"The support for the anti-corruption drive will include introduction of
programs for witness protection and the establishment of Economic Crimes
Courts," says the macro-economic plan. The document also says schools will
introduce ethics and anti-corruption lessons into the curriculum by 2012 to
boost awareness.

Decentralized anti-corruption offices are envisioned in Bulawayo, Gweru,
Mutare and Masvingo. President Robert Mugabe mooted economic crimes courts
in 2003, but the proposal was never implemented.

Transparency International ranked Zimbabwe the 11th most corrupt nation in
its 2009 Global Corruption Index, and the second most corrupt in the
Southern African sub-region after the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Bulawayo-based economist Eric Bloch told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili
Nkomo that economic crimes courts are needed, but he warned of the danger of
such powers being misused to achieve political objectives.

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Anthrax outbreak feared to be spreading in Zimbabwe

    * Source: Xinhua
    * [10:06 December 29 2009]

Anthrax is feared to be spreading in Zimbabwe as veterinary officials said
on Monday they are testing a suspected case of the deadly disease from a
rural growth point about 50 kilometers East of Harare.

 The suspected case followed an outbreak of the disease in central parts of
the country last week, which killed one person and 25 cattle.

 Veterinary Services Department deputy director Chenjerai Njagu told Xinhua
on Monday that the results of the suspected case from Juru Growth Point in
Goromonzi district would be out on Tuesday.

 He said the area is one of the few districts which were left out during
vaccination done at the beginning of the year.

"We left out Goromonzi and Seke districts because of shortage of vaccines,"
said Njagu.

 "Now these are the areas giving us problems because we had not vaccinated
them at the beginning of the year."

 The anthrax outbreak in Seke, some 40 km South-East of Harare, killed 18
cattle while one person and seven cattle succumbed to the disease which
broke out last week in Selous, 60 km North-West of the capital.

 Njagu said the disease was dangerous as one case can kill several people
who consume meat from an infected animal.

 He said the department would soon move into the affected areas to vaccinate

 The department vaccinated 1,100 cattle in Seke over the Christmas holiday
but Njagu said the turn out was very low.

"The turn out was low and we are going to repeat vaccination after the
holiday," he said.

 Anthrax is a soil-borne disease which is endemic in Zimbabwe. It is
normally recorded during the rainy season when sprouting grass brings out
the bacteria from soil.

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New ZUJ executive forced to dissolve

December 29, 2009

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - The newly elected Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) executive has
finally given in to relentless pressure from journalists to step down by
agreeing to its immediate dissolving in preparation for fresh elections
which have been slated for February 27, 2010.

ZUJ secretary general Foster Dongozi says controversial former ZUJ President
Matthew Takaona will step back to preside over the affairs of the troubled
union in preparation of fresh elections to be held in Bulawayo.

The climb-down by the new executive followed a court application filed at
the High Court in Harare in mid December by four Harare based freelance
journalists and ZUJ members Godwin Mangudya, Frank Chikowore, Conrad
Mwanawashe and Guthrie Munyuki.

The four were adamant the ZUJ elections were not conducted according to the
union's constitution, saying they were particularly irked that the elections
held at How Mine, a remote place south of the city of Bulawayo.

Also until the day of the elections, delegates, including those who were
vying for positions in the new executive were not made aware of the venue of
the ZUJ congress.

In the election, Dumisani Sibanda, news editor with the Bulawayo based
Chronicle newspaper was elected ZUJ president. He is cited as the second
respondent in court application.

Other members of his executive whose tenure is being challenged are third
respondent Dongozi, co-vice presidents Mercy Pote (fourth) and Michael
Padera Chideme (fifth), treasurer Evince Mugumbate (sixth), Jennifer Dube
(seventh), Valentine Maponga (eighth), and Godfrey Mutimba (ninth).

But Dongozi announced at a press conference in Harare Tuesday his executive
would not challenge the court action.

"We are not opposing the court application, cognizant that between 2000 and
2005, some of the worst media atrocities against journalists, were carried
out because of the absence of a viable and vibrant trade union for
journalists," said Dongozi.

"We are mindful of the fact that unnecessary court battles might result in
the trade union going into a coma, which would further compromise the
workers welfare, trade union rights and the struggle for press freedom.

"I am sure that all of us, the journalists and owners of the industry do not
want to see our union collapse.

"For that we are not apposing the court application because we believe that
doing so would only give ammunition to our detractors whose aim is to drag
the name of the union through the mud and preside over its collapse."

This application filed by the journalists also sought an order for the
holding of a new election in terms of the ZUJ constitution and "at any rate
in compliance with all civilised norms and notions of democracy".

In his submissions Mangudya, the first applicant, said in his affidavit that
he had invested a lot of time and resources in preparing for election as
president but was denied the opportunity to stand for the election.

He said details of the venue and the delegates were kept a secret by the
Takaona-led executive who went on to create the controversial post of ZUJ
"consultant" for Takaona.

Mangudya further said his aspirations of landing the post were not helped by
an advertisement which was placed in the Herald newspaper of October 29,
2009 which deliberately refrained from stating the venue of the congress.

"As a protagonist in the battle for office," said Mangudya, "I was neither
notified of the venue nor invited thereto.

"There could be no election under such circumstances of disenfranchisement.
Any process that is built on such disenfranchisement can only be doubly

"Having suffered at the hands of some of these responsible by virtue of
their disdain and wanton disregard for statutes when it suits them I would
further pray for an order that incapacitates them from abusing the appeal

He said there was a deliberate plot to stifle the dissemination of
information to people who were challenging candidates who had allegedly been
imposed by the Takaona executive.

Mangudya and the other three applicants want the result of the process
declared "void and of no force or effect".

Reads the application, "1st respondent's retiring officers shall within 30
days of the order notify 1st respondent's members of the date and venue at
which the election of 1st respondent's congress officials shall be held and
shall so hold the election inside the said 30 days."

Outside the court process, some journalists and media stakeholders were
calling for a parallel court process to oust the new ZUJ executive.

Former ZUJ secretary general Luke Tamborinyoka said the Sibanda executive,
which comprised journalists from state media, will further compromise the
affairs of the embattled union by failing to muster enough courage to
confront the state which continues to have strong influence in their media
houses. Tamborinyoka is the director for information in the mainstream MDC.

Dumisani Muleya, secretary general of the Zimbabwe Journalists for Human
Rights called for a more radical approach to the emotive matter.

He said the current executive, if it fails to relinquish its controversial
tenure and allow the reversal of the process that ushered it into power,
should be crippled financially and rendered ineffective.

"Journalists should strangle this executive financially or otherwise.
Talking to them does not help. We have got to undercut them. We have got to
outflank them in this fight to reclaim the union. Don't talk to them if they
are not interested," said Muleya.

Muleya decried what he said was the takeover of the journalists' trade union
by "reactionary forces" which were being manipulated by the state to abandon
the affairs of fellow journalists.

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Gwezere says he experienced hell in prison

December 29, 2009

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - Hell - that's how MDC employee Pascal Gwezere sums up the torture,
hunger, fear and misery that he experienced during his abduction and
detention incommunicado for two months in two remand prisons.

Released on Christmas Eve, Gwezere, the transport manager of Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party, was arrested on accusation that he underwent
military training in Uganda and stole 21 firearms from the Pomona Army
Barracks in Harare. He denies the charges, saying they are trumped up.

Gwezere ordeal started when he was abducted on October 21 from his Mufakose
home in Harare by military intelligence officers. Also in attendance,
according to him, were Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operatives,
detectives from the Law and Order Section of the police, the Police Internal
Security Intelligence (PISI) and 15 police officers who were in anti-riot.

Gwezere said he was forced into an Isuzu KB 250 twin cab truck and driven to
Marimba Police Station before being taken to various places where he was
interrogated and viciously assaulted while being interrogated about MDC
leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's strategy in disengaging from
Cabinet and Council of Ministers' meetings last October. He was transferred
to Rhodesville Police Station and Harare Central Police Station, where he
says he was severely tortured and denied food and legal representation. He
was held incommunicado.

He says he secretly appeared before Harare Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi on
Saturday a week later, with no legal representation whatsoever. He was
initially remanded in custody at Harare Remand Prison. Gwezere told The
Zimbabwe Times that his first glimpse of the other inmates and their
surroundings was shocking.

"What did I see behind the door? Almost naked prisoners in a room with a
repulsive odour caused by smoke, unprocessed tobacco, urine, faeces and
people who haven't washed for a very long time," Gwezere said. "It is just
like hell."

He says he was detained in small room, 7 by 3 metres, packed with dozens of
other prisoners. He recalls that as night fell, the conditions deteriorated
further when a can filled with urine overflowed, soaking those who slept

"There was no air," said Gwezere. "To breathe, you have to be close to the
bars but to get there you have to fight.

And the next morning brought little relief. It became clear there was no
food, water, medicine or access to healthcare despite the fact that his leg
was getting septic from the injuries sustained during torture. He described
horrific remand prison conditions and said the lucky few prisoners were
those whose families live close enough to visit regularly. He said most of
the inmates received no visitors, and therefore lacked food. He said among
the prisoners in the female section he saw women with babies.

He said inmates were allowed to visit the toilet only once a day.

Gwezere says he was fortunate to be held in civilian facilities where he
mixed with ordinary prisoners although he was facing military related

These appalling conditions are replicated throughout Zimbabwe's prison
system, prompting detainees to attempt to escape to avoid misery and
possible death. Gwezere said when he was moved to Chikurubi Maximum Security
Prison, he found the conditions equally appalling.

He was transferred to Chikurubi on the outskirts of Harare after two weeks.

"When I saw the prison wall, more than three metres high, I understood that
from then on, I was really a prisoner," he said.

Gwezere says he first saw members of his family and members of the
government watchdog, the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, who
had taken up his case for investigation.

At that time, he had gone for days without receiving medical attention. Many
Zimbabwean prisoners are denied medical attention.

The Red Cross is working with Zimbabwe's inclusive government and prison
authorities in an effort to improve conditions for the inmates.

Observers say there has been some improvement in the condition of Zimbabwe's
prisons. The Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, has pledged more money to
improve facilities in prisons. The prison system falls under his ministry.

After two months incarceration Gwezere is now in the Avenues Clinic. He was
released after a Supreme Court judge, Justice Wilson Sandura ordered the
State to release him last week.

Gwezere was initially granted bail by High Court judge Charles Hungwe but
the State resorted to the now familiar tactic of invoking Section 121 of the
Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act which bars the effect of the ruling for
seven days pending an appeal to a higher court by the State. After the lapse
of the seven days, the State sought and was granted leave to appeal in the
Supreme Court against the bail order.

But Supreme Court Judge Justice Wilson Sandura dismissed the appeal by the
State to oppose the bail granted to Gwezere by the High Court, and duly
ordered his release.

Gwezere says he is happy to be a free man once more and to reunite with his
family. He faces charges he insists are trumped up. He is expected to stand
trial in January.

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Pressure for an end to Beitbridge bottleneck

Published: 2009/12/29 06:30:22 AM

THE success of the Chirundu one- stop border post being commissioned between
Zambia and Zimbabwe, near Kariba, is putting pressure on the Southern
African Development Community (Sadc) to speed up the establishment of a
similar operation at Beitbridge.

Zimbabwean authorities at the weekend blamed inadequate parking as a reason
for congestion at the Beitbridge border post on the South African side. This
forced travellers and long-distance truck drivers to queue for hours to be
cleared before crossing the border.

Beitbridge is among the busiest border posts in the Sadc economic region,
with volumes rising to more than 12000 travellers and 3500 vehicles a day in
the festive season.

The Common Market of East and Southern Africa (Comesa) says traffic is
moving faster at the Chirundu border post.

The Chirundu system is subSaharan Africa's first. Funded by Britain's
department for international development and the Japanese International
Co-operation Agency, it is part of the North-South Corridor project to move
traffic quickly and efficiently from central and east Africa to southern

During the official commissioning ceremony at Chirundu this month , Zimbabwe's
President Robert Mugabe expressed concern that traffic moving quickly
through the Zambia-Zimbabwe border would hit a bottleneck at Beitbridge.
Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Salamao replied that Beitbridge would be the
next one-stop border operation.

According to Comesa secretary- general Sindiso Ngwenya, that will happen in
the next 12 to 18 months. "Chirundu is a Comesa project, and Sadc will be
taking the lead on Beitbridge. We will give it all possible support. With
the necessary political will, there is nothing to stop this.

"We have also identified border posts in Malawi, and on the frontiers of
Tanzania and Rwanda and Uganda with Kenya, to become one-stop operations. SA
will do the same thing on its border with Mozambique," Ngwenya said.

Home affairs spokeswoman Siobhan McCarthy said that in the past two years SA
had piloted the one- stop border concept in peak periods on the Mozambican
border, which until recently had more traffic than Beitbridge. "We're
piloting it at Lebombo with the hope that during 2010 we'd extend it to
other border posts, including Beitbridge."

Ngwenya said that with vehicle theft in the region, the problem now was to
find a faster way to get Interpol clearance when taking a car across the

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Zimbabwe Government Sees Rebound in Maize Harvests, Eyes Agriculture Revival

A Finance Ministry report said maize output rose in the 2008-2009 season
after years of decline, noting production of 1.2 million tonnes of maize in
the latest season vs. less than 600,00 metric tonnes in 2007-2008

Brenda Moyo | Washington DC 28 December 2009

Zimbabwe has made notable progress toward recovering its self-sufficiency in
the production of the national staple of maize, according to a
macro-economic report and recovery plan issued last week by the Ministry of

The report said maize output expanded in the 2008-2009 season after years of
decline with estimated production of 1.2 million tonnes of maize in the most
recent season, compared with fewer than 600,00 metric tonnes in 2007-2008
and less than 1 million tonnes in the 2006-2007 cropping season.

The macro-economic plan targets "double-digit growth" in agricultural output
in the 2010-2012 period through, among other measures, guaranteeing security
of tenure on farmland to producers "to overcome uncertainty, facilitate
access to credit, and improve investment," improved financing, market
pricing that "rewards production," mechanization and irrigation.

Zimbabwean agricultural expert Mandla Nkomo told VOA Studio 7 reporter
Brenda Moyo in an interview from Johannesburg that a great deal of planning
must be done to ensure the country regains food self-sufficiency.

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High Court dismisses Chiadzwa application

December 29, 2009

By Our Correspondent

MUTARE - The High Court has dismissed a court application filed as urgent by
the Chiadzwa Community Development Trust seeking to stop government from
evicting villagers from the diamond rich area.The government wants about
1800 families evicted from Chiadzwa and resettled in the Odzi basin to pave
the way for full scale mining.

But the villagers are resisting eviction, arguing that they should be
properly compensated first for their properties.

They filed an urgent application last week on Monday which was dismissed
this week by High Court Judge, Justice Joseph Musakwa.

According to court officials Justice Musakwa ruled that the application was
not urgent and that the legal team representing the Chiadzwa Community
Development Trust should file a normal court application. Their lawyer,
George Gapu was not immediately available for comment.

The Chiadzwa Community Development Trust, is argues that the issue of
compensation has to be negotiated and agreed to before any relocation is
takes place.

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

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

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

"This is an urgent chamber application for the interdict stopping the
respondents from evicting and relocating any individuals from the Chiadzwa
Communal area until compensation payable to the affected individuals has
been agreed and paid.

"Furthermore, the affected individuals should not be evicted until the 1st,
2nd and 3rd respondents have conducted Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
in terms of Section 97 of the Environmental Management Act (Chapter 20:27).
In the same vein the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents should not conduct mining
operations until they have been granted EIA licenses by the competent

The Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation is the third respondent.

The Trust says it was clear the respondents have "jumped the gun by rushing
to arrange transportation of the affected families from Chiadzwa". It is
argued that information about the impending evictions has been haphazardly
disseminated, with villagers knowing it only through the, military and
police details guarding the diamond fields.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But these offers have not fully satisfied the expectations of the Chiadzwa
villagers who have vowed not to move.

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

He believes the villagers should be allowed to derive full benefits from the
mineral resource instead of being pushed out of the place.

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

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Murdered MDC Activist’s Remains Found After 3 Years

Buhera, December 29, 2009 - The remains of a Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC-T) party activist suspected to have been murdered by Zanu PF militia in
2007 have been found in a mountain, police confirmed on Tuesday.

Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Makomeke said the bones
of Paul Zimunda, who died at the age of 33, were discovered on Monday by a
hunter in Unze Mountain, in Zipeya Village, under Chief Nyashanu.

Zimunda had his metal identification card on him.

His whereabouts remained a mystery after he was abducted by a gang of the
notorious militia who were violently drumming up support for ageing
President Robert Mugabe while stifling any voices of dissent.

A neighbour said Zimunda, an ardent MDC supporter, was last seen at the
village head’s place where he had gone to seek refuge from the marauding
terror gang. But they suspect he was abducted there as the village head is
also a ZANU PF loyalist.

“After the ZANU PF supporters kept on nagging him, Paul went to the village
head’s place to seek refuge. That was the last we heard of him. But other
villagers told us that his assailants were also seen at the village head’s
place,” said the neighbour, who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of

Pauls’ parents are also late. He has no other known relatives.

MDC-T Manicaland provincial chairman, Patrick Chitaka, told Radio VOP that
the Zanu PF youths also turned Zimunda’s house into a torture base after
they executed him.

“After the disappearance of Paul, his parents’ house was turned into a
torture base for suspected MDC-T supporters in the run up to last’s year’s
bloody June 27 elections. His parents are late, and nobody was left to look
after his house,” Chitaka said.

Chitaka said they expect to give Zimunda a decent burial Tuesday.

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Pro-Mugabe cleric 'continues pressure' to oust Zimbabwe Anglicans

Ecumenical News International
Dec 28, 2009

Harare Anglicans in Zimbabwe say that clerics loyal to President Robert
Mugabe have marshalled the national police to disrupt services again in the
country's capital city here.

Police went to the parishioners of St Michael's Mbare church on 6 December
and told them to   vacate their church ahead of the Sunday service, but the
parishioner refused to move and demanded to see written court documents, the
Association of Zimbabwe Journalists reported.

A report by the journalists' group said that an inspector who led the police
action stated they were acting on "orders and instructions from above" but
that he failed to produce written evidence of the instructions.

The Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Harare of the Church of the Province
of Central Africa, Chad Gandiya, who had been at St. Michael's to confirm
100 people, said rogue police officers were abusing their office instead of
maintaining law and order.

"As Anglicans it seems we have no legal recourse in this country," he said.
"The police are interfering in our church services without restraint, and
continue to defy existing court orders. The police are supposed to be
protecting us but they are the ones harassing us."

Gandiya succeeded the Rev. Sebastian Bakare, a retired cleric who served as
the diocese's interim bishop from December 2007 when Bishop Nolbert Kunonga
was deposed for installing himself as archbishop of Zimbabwe. Kunonga has
said a number of times he believed the church that excommunicated him was
too cosy with homosexuals.

As an avowed supporter of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF
party, many Anglicans say Kunonga has supported the intimidation and
persecution of Anglicans in Zimbabwe.

Gandiya became Harare bishop despite a bid by Kunonga to block the
consecration, claiming he is still the legitimate head of the Anglican
church in Zimbabwe.

Bishop Gandiya said after the police action earlier in December that the
co-ministers of Home Affairs Giles Mutseyekwa and Kembo Mohadi in Zimbabwe's
government of national unity had both acknowledged a judicial ruling that
instructed police not to interfere in the Anglican church dispute involving

Bishop Gandiya said about eight parishes in Harare were prevented from
holding services in their own buildings by the police.

"The police had no court orders to prevent people from using their
buildings. All they could tell us when we asked them was that they were
following orders from above."

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Nestlé denies re-opening its Zimbabwe factory

By Stanley-Dlodlo

Published: December 29, 2009

Harare :   Swiss-based foods multinational Nestlé has denied a Zimbabwe
government announcement last week that it has now decided to open its
factory. Speaking to reporters, a spokesperson said that the company is
still reviewing conditions in Zimbabwe following its suspension of
operations last week after it came under heavy pressure from ZANU-PF
ministers to buy milk from a dairy concern owned by President Robert Mugabe's

Contrary to what Zimbabwe's Industry Minister said last week, a Nestlé
official at the company's Geneva headquarters said that the multinational
has only been in regular contact with Zimbabwean authorities since halting
operations at its Harare plant over official harassment and intimidation
from two government ministers.

Industry Minister Welshman Ncube announced late last week that a solution
had been reached under which milk from Gushungo Holdings, owned by Grace
Mugabe, would now be indirectly purchased by Nestlé  through a local
cooperative from Mugabe.

But quoted by VOA, Nestlé spokeswoman Nina Backes said the company has not
yet decided if it will reopen the plant despite assurances from the
government as to the safety of its country managers and production staff.
Backes declined to spell out the company's conditions for resuming
operations in Zimbabwe

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Des Moines venture capitalist sees a lot to like in Zimbabwe

By LYNN HICKS . . December 29, 2009

Brian Patrick Donaghy sees a high-tech diamond in the rough in Zimbabwe.

The Des Moines venture capitalist has invested in two technology companies
in the southern African country, where runaway inflation, high debt and
political instability have left the economy in ruins despite mineral wealth
that includes diamonds.

Donaghy sees an educated, English-speaking work force with few opportunities
for employment at a time when Africa is expanding its fiber-optic networks
and other technology infrastructure.

"In five to 10 years, Harare (the capital) will be the next Bangalore,"
predicted Donaghy, who has worked in India and watched technology raise
living standards there.

Donaghy's Broadhorn Capital is a venture development firm specializing in
early- and seed- stage technology companies. A hedge fund manager introduced
him to people doing business in Zimbabwe, and he has made three trips there
this year.

His projects include Acmeis, a software hosting company. Donaghy hopes to
have 150 programmers working in Harare at the end of next year.

He also has a stake in, which Donaghy calls the "LinkedIn" for
the continent.

Donaghy, who has a passion for social philanthropy, argues that creating
jobs is better than providing aid.

Zimbabwean officials agree, he said, and they welcome public-private
partnerships in information technology.

After meeting Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who has been blamed for
destroying the economy and violating human rights, Donaghy said: "It's like
meeting Saddam Hussein," or another dictator. "He's a really smart guy. He's
not someone you want to underestimate."

Mugabe agreed to share power with an opposition party in February. The
nation's dollar was replaced, and the economy is forecast to grow 7 percent
in 2010, according to press reports.

Donaghy sees evidence of recovery, including a restocking of once-empty
stores and movement in banking, real estate and outside investment.

"Africa is the last huge emerging market," he said.

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Lost kids sowing seeds of hope

From The Star (SA), 28 December

Beauregard Tromp

Patrick didn't think he could fall asleep in this strange place. But the
blanket and soft mattress were alluring, slowly drawing him into their
restful embrace. Suddenly the blows rained down from all around, kicks and
punches finding their painful mark. His assailants pinned him down, muffling
his mouth to smother his cries. And then, just as suddenly as it had
started, the vicious attack was over. He slowly pulled back the blanket that
had covered his face. "There were many. I couldn't see a face," says the
16-year-old Patrick. He'd come to the United Reform Church (URC) shelter to
seek refuge but after one night there he decided to return to the streets of
Musina, which he regarded as safer. "Some of the new boys get attacked,"
says Georgina Matsaung, who started the shelter a year ago for unaccompanied
minors crossing the border from Zimbabwe. "We try to find out what happened
but they always say they don't know. The rules on the street follow them

Of even greater concern to Matsaung are rumours that some older boys rape
the younger ones. For her and other care workers, the disappearance of girls
crossing the border is of grave concern. "Many girls are turned into wives
or do piece jobs." Some girls who cross the border illegally fall prey to
the notorious 'gomma-gommas', gangs of Zimbabweans and South Africans near
the border, she says. "They strip a woman naked and search in their private
parts for money. If you're fortunate they'll end up searching you indecently
without raping you." The shelter, the church's 2008 Women's Day initiative,
began with a couple of boys sleeping in Matsaung's garage, and is now is
responsible for helping hundreds of children on the streets of Musina. When
the church hall could not accommodate the growing numbers of children,
Médicins Sans Fronti232res (MSF) donated tents and more double bunk-beds.

Matsaung, the principal of a local school, makes sure all the children
attend school, unless they have arrived too late in the year. Meanwhile, on
a farm outside of town, boys are planting tomato seedlings, backs arched in
the warm sun. A "drip system" of irrigation - allowing for between five and
seven minutes before it starts flooding the next freshly planted row - helps
to ensure the boys work at a quick, steady pace. Occasionally, one of the
young workers straightens and stretches, firing off a one-liner, bringing
smiles to his workmates. When the baobabs become silhouettes along the
fading Limpopo skyline, the work stops and the boys return to their home in
Campbell Location, where a letter awaits them. Staff from the department of
social welfare have visited again and the boys were not there. Again. The
four must report to the URC shelter or the adults assisting them will be in
trouble. "If they come for us, we will run away," says 16-year-old John.

Following a dusty road from Beitbridge border crossing, each of the boys has
their own story of how they arrived at the farm. 17-year-old Tafadzwa did
piece jobs for two weeks before boarding a bus that took him away from
Gweru, near the centre of Zimbabwe. "In Gweru, if you want money you have to
mine for gold. But you can die," he says. Peter, 16, from Masingo, paid R20
for the journey to the border before using "double-up" (walking) to reach
the farm. "We heard stories from other guys who said things are nice here,
that you can live here. I heard stories of people being attacked and women
getting raped. That you can get killed. But we thought we'd be lucky," he
says. Beside Peter, Samson turns away shyly when he catches me looking at
the vacant hole where his left eye once was. He lost it while playing with
wire seven years ago.

Things were so much better when Samson's father was alive, he says. But it
all changed two years ago when his father died suddenly, leaving the family
to survive off only his pension. Often there wasn't enough money for school
fees. Or even food for Samson and his four sisters. The children were all
forced to drop out of school. "I just want to work and maybe buy them some
clothes." He and Peter decided to come to South Africa "where things are
good". The boys from Campbell are territorial and the four are careful about
trying to make friends here. "Why wouldn't they be accepted? We are all
foreigners here. Banda, Phiri... from Malawi, Zambia. All over," says farmer
Godfrey Banda. When the mine closed down in 1992, Godfrey's father returned
to Malawi. "If he stayed, he may still be alive," he says.

Four years ago, with land granted to the community by the local
municipality, Banda and 24 others formed a co-op. In the first year of
operation, planting only tomatoes, the farm turned a profit of R300 000. The
next year there were only two remaining co-op members on the land.
"Everybody else chowed their money. Me, I decided I want to be a farmer."
For now, the co-op is barely making enough money to keep producing the
seedlings which will ensure another year of farming. Banda has promised the
boys a share of the profit once the cheque comes from the market in Joburg
where all the okra, tomatoes and pumpkins they produce ends up. In the
meantime, the boys are satisfied with a roof over their heads and food in
exchange for their labour. Here days run into weeks and the boys spend most
of their time in and around the farm. Saturdays are, however, a treat. For
an hour or more the boys will sit in front of a television set, transfixed
by the indestructible muscle-bound men jumping off ropes, pummelling each
other with chairs and enduring an impossible amount of punishment. "John
Cena's my favourite," says Peter. "Yes, Cena but also Undertaker," Samson
says. There's a quick debate about who's the best and the decision is
unanimous: Cena.

Elsewhere, Jerome's tyre has a flat. Even with the tyre wrapped in rubber,
Jerome will not go very far. For the half-dozen boys sheltering at the taxi
rank, the tyre is a huge problem. Temporarily taking a break from sucking at
the glue-filled juice bottle, Bheka explains that without Jerome in his
wheelchair, the group's income from begging has dwindled considerably. A
two-litre tin with rice suspended over a fire will have to do for the group
today. "Maybe we can get some money at the mall," says Bheka. The boys
grudgingly concede they will also try to buy shopping slips. Armed with
these the boys will go to the border with a valid passport holder and claim
the VAT back. A month-end till slip can yield as much as R200. The group are
adamant that living on the streets is better than the shelter. "I'll go to
Joburg and go home with money," 16-year-old Chris says.

Stealing glances at the fire, the street children assembled here are a
collection of broken bodies. There's the girl with a missing eye and scars
on her nose, a boy who smiles brightly before scratching his name on his
forearm and the two girls resting on bedding, nursing a toddler. Back at the
UCR shelter, Save the Children are leading the boys in a debate: the streets
versus the shelter. One of the older boys moderates as the debate
occasionally descends into jokes, with orators either cheered or jeered.
It's better at the shelter because you go to school and are assured of a
place to sleep and three meals a day, argues the one side. No, the streets
are better because you learn to fend for yourself and don't have to be
dependant on anyone, is the response. A decision is made and the boys, some
grudgingly, accept the result. The social worker steps in and changes the
result. "You have changed the result because you want us to stay here," says
one boy. "But we all know the streets have won."


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2009: Most politically stable year in Zimbabwe in decade

After a decade of intense, man-bites-dog tussle for power between President
Robert Mugabe and the opposition, political stability returned to Zimbabwe
in 2009.

This followed an agreement by the two sides in February to share power,
after intense pressure from the 14-nation Southern African Development
Community (SADC) regional bloc, and the African Union (AU).

Political instability, characterised by inter-party fighting by supporters
of the two sides, intensified in 2008 and early this year, after an
inconclusive general election.

In the election in March 2008, Mugabe was for the first time in 28 years
defeated in a presidential poll, but opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai -
now Prime Minister - also failed to cross the 50 percent vote thres hold to
win outright.

In the first round, Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from
Brita in in 1980, won 43 percent of the vote to Tsvangirai's 47 percent.

Under the constitution, the two had to square off in a run-off, but
Tsvangirai pulled out, citing violence against supporters of his Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) party in the run-up to the poll.

Mugabe went ahead with the election uncontested, and won, but the outcome
was widely condemned and regarded a nullity.

Both sides subsequently laid competing claims to power on the strength of
their electoral victories in the two polls - Tsvangirai for winning the
first round which was internationally recognised, and Mugabe for his victory
in the unrecognised second vote, putting the southern African nation of 11
million people on the edge of civil war and prompting the AU and SADC to
inte rvene.

The two regional groups appointed former South African President Thabo Mbeki
as mediator in the crisis, and after months of intense power-brokering, he
got the bitter rivals to agree to share power - leading to the formation of
a coalition government that was sworn in in February.

Under the coalition government, Mugabe retained the presidency and
Tsvangirai be came prime minister, a development that immediately eased
inflammed election-related political passions on both sides of the divide
and drew the cou ntry back from the brink of civil war.

Summing up the year, Mugabe said last week the coalition government had
managed to restore both political and economic stability, and expressed
optimism its partners would be able to bridge lingering differences.

"It was a very eventful year, eventful in several ways. It was a year we
launched the partnership that you see. It was about our trying to work
together, ignore the political differences of the parties, submerge those
differ ences and elevate the areas we agree on," he said.

"We belong to Zimbabwe all of us and we have a common destiny. We can't
ignore that people support all of us here because the elections of 2008
shows that. Yes, we had a responsibility which you can call onerous in a se
nse, quite a responsibility because only yesterday we were boxing each other
and calling each other names," he added.

Tsvangirai, in his own review of the year, similarly expressed optimism the
nation will consolidate unity, and heal the wounds of the past, as it forges

"The year 2010 is upon us, the expectation is that we must build on the
momentum of transformation, we must expedite the constitution-making
process, national healing and move from economic stabilisation to recovery
and growth," he said.

"We (the nation as a whole) are in the driving seat and we want to make sure
that this process is irreversible," he noted.

Although Mugabe and Tsvangirai are still squabbling over implementation of
the power-sharing deal, tensions over this are restricted to the inner
circles of the ruling elite, and are not spilling over to the rank and file
as in the past.

The premier accuses Mugabe of violating some provisions of the agreement,
for example, refusing to share some government posts.

But by and large, Zimbabweans enjoyed a normal and quiet life this year for
the first time in a decade.

Harare - Pana 29/12/2009

By Albert Charwadza, PANA Correspondent

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STERP II far from a realistic document

December 29, 2009
John Robertson

ZIMBABWE now has an updated recovery policy framework from which to obtain
guidance on what to do next. The just-issued STERP II document is a 382-page
revision of the 127-page version of the Short-Term Emergency Recovery
Programme that was issued in March 2009.

At the launch of the programme, the Deputy Prime Minister, Thokozani Khupe,
left her audience in do doubt: international assistance will be needed to
close the wide financing gap between domestic revenues and the expenditures
that will be needed to make the programme work. But missing from her
presentation and from the document itself is any attempt to argue that
Zimbabwe is now deserving of the needed assistance.

Bringing about the recovery would be challenging enough even if the country
had actually suffered from the claimed effects of sanctions, but Zimbabwe
began to suffer from self-inflicted damage long before anyone reached for
the almost entirely invalid sanctions excuse.

If this enlarged and revised document included any evidence that the
recovery proposals included efforts to repair the damage deliberately done,
assistance would almost certainly be offered much more readily and much more
generously. But no such lines appear in the text, or to address the fact
that the country's problems are as serious as they are because decisions
were taken to close down Zimbabwe's biggest business sector and to
dispossess the investors who had built this capacity.

What does appear in the statement is that, "The Framework strategies to
transform Zimbabwe's agriculture will involve a greater reliance on
efficient inputs delivery and farm output marketing systems and a smooth
integration of agriculture with the domestic, regional and international

Regrettably, the phrases suggest we will all be putting our trust in
bureaucratic procedures in the apparent belief that they can make business
acumen and talent unnecessary.

The importance of the people who had already transformed Zimbabwean
agriculture and who used to be relied upon to deliver all of the
efficiencies required is not acknowledged, not recognised and not admitted.

Consider the paragraphs under the heading Dairy Development:

602. Challenges experienced with overall livestock production have also
undermined dairy farming.

603. As a result, raw milk supply, which was 256 million litres per annum in
1990, has since fallen to current levels of 23 million litres.  This is
against national demand of 96 million litres, and an installed capacity of
350 million litres.

604. The general decrease in dairy production is also a result of viability
challenges, unavailability of stock feeds on the market in previous seasons,
as well as crippling labour shortages.

605. The Framework targets increasing dairy production to around 25 million
litres in 2010.  Supportive measures during 2010 to 2012 include support for
growth in the dairy herd, which had been depleted to around 140 000, against
an all-time high of about 1.4 million.

While a few facts can be identified in those lines, the relevant facts are
missing and some of the claims are simply dishonest. Dairy farming was not
undermined by livestock production challenges. It was undermined by the
eviction of the owners of nearly all the dairy farms in an acquisition
process that destroyed a large percentage of the dairy herds. True enough,
"livestock production challenges" did follow, but for reasons carefully
avoided in the STERP II document.

The relevant facts are that highly skilled dairy farmers used to produce
more than ten times the current volume of milk, and because this was well in
excess of national requirements, a wide variety of diary products could be
exported. Now that production is about a quarter of the country's
requirements, substantial imports are needed.

The confiscation of dairy farms, complete with the massive investments in
equipment and breeding stock, was as expensive to the country as it was
unjust to the investors who had created the businesses. The claims now
implied in the STERP II programme that the industry can be revived as if all
this never happened and as if people who acquire such farms for nothing can
run them as well as those who spent sometimes a lifetime building them is as
dishonest as it is stupid.

Choosing to redefine farming as a social or even political activity instead
of a business activity does not release the population from its need of food
or paid employment, any more that it releases food processing factories of
their need of agricultural inputs.  Equally, any attempt to claim that
farming skills are inborn, natural, inherent, intuitive or instinctive
simply denies the existence of the vast range of technical, scientific,
engineering, financial and marketing experience that farmers need in order
to survive.

In urging the international community to assist the Government in its
economic recovery and growth endeavours, the Deputy Prime Minister was
perhaps unaware of facts that are glaringly obvious to nearly everyone else:
Zimbabwe used to stand out as one of the Third World's most successful
developing countries, but it chose to impose policies that have damaged or
destroyed most of its productive capacity.

It is now asking for assistance, not to put things right by fixing what was
broken, but to meet import bills, recovery expenses and lost tax revenues
with money that taxpayers in other countries have to earn and donate to the
people of Zimbabwe. All this is necessary so that Zimbabwe's government can
pretend that it has done nothing wrong and has no need to admit making

As is the case with almost all aid, transfers of money to meet these
requests will do Zimbabwe no favours. Unless the country places its future
into the hands of competent investors and business operators who can again
base business decisions on the rule of law, on property rights and on
security of tenure over freehold property, the country will remain dependent
on aid.

Zimbabwe certainly needs aid. But it should come with the pre-condition that
steps be taken to re-engage the Zimbabweans who have the skills needed to
place the recovery onto a self-sustaining path.

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