Harare, December 29, 2011-President Robert Mugabe has become the latest
victim of chaos at Air Zimbabwe after he was forced to hire a private plane
to ferry him to the Far East for his annual vacation last week.
Informed sources told Radio VOP this week that one of Zimbabwe’s diamond
mining firms last week moved to avert an embarrassing situation by hiring a
plane to ferry Mugabe to the Far East for his annual holiday after Air
Zimbabwe failed to provide the service.
The sources disclosed that the diamond mining company, whose identity could
not be ascertained chipped in by hiring a plane which ferried the
octogenarian Zanu-PF leader to Singapore on Friday for his annual holiday.
About five firms are mining diamonds in Zimbabwe’s eastern province of
Manicaland including Mbada Diamonds and Chinese owned Anjin.
“It was an embarrassing situation. His (Mugabe) protocol guys had to arrange
for a private hire because Air Zimbabwe could not assist when it was
needed,” said the sources.
The diamond firm, the sources said intervened to rescue Mugabe after failing
to secure the services of Air Zimbabwe, whose long haul aircraft, a Boeing
767-200 was holed up in London after developing a technical fault.
The wide-bodied aircraft, which services Air Zimbabwe’s international routes
and which Mugabe usually charters for his local, regional and international
jaunts developed a technical fault after being impounded at Gatwick
International Airport early this month by American General Supplies over a
US$1.2 million debt.
The plane only arrived back in Zimbabwe on Sunday, two days after Mugabe’s
planned departure for his holiday after Air Zimbabwe engineers attended to
it last week.
The delays encountered by the ailing national carrier to settle the debt and
to fix the aircraft resulted in Air Zimbabwe failing to provide a plane for
Mugabe on time.
Mugabe has previously survived being a victim of Air Zimbabwe’s woes as the
national airline’s pilots suspends their work boycott to ferry the ageing
leader each time he intends to travel.
However, several passengers have had their travel plans disrupted when the
airline grounds its planes or suspends flights mainly due to industrial
action, fuel shortages and the seizure of the airline’s aircraft.
By KITSEPILE NYATHI NATION Correspondent
Posted Thursday, December 29 2011 at 17:51
A suspected bomb attack partially destroyed offices of Zimbabwe President
Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party in the city of Gweru, state media reported on
Police have refused to disclose the cause of the explosion but The Herald
newspaper said Zanu PF was blaming its political opponents for the attack.
“We are still waiting for police investigations to be completed but we
strongly suspect that this was an act of aggression by our enemies
especially the MDC (led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai,” Zanu PF
spokesman Mr Passmore Washaya was quoted as saying.
“It looks like the suspects missed their target and the explosion ended up
shattering windowpanes without causing further damage.
“We are, however, still waiting for the police to complete their
investigations so that we can ascertain the extent of the damage.”
But MDC dismissed the allegations that it was involved in the bombing,
saying it does not need to use violence against President Mugabe’s party in
urban areas because it enjoyed popular support. “These are unfounded
allegations and if the suspects were from the MDC party, by now there could
have been a number of arrests,” said MDC spokesman Mr James Tsuro.
“There is no reason why MDC would bomb empty offices and besides our party
is not violence oriented.
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“There is no point for us to resort to violence when it is a known fact that
virtually all the urban dwellers are MDC supporters.”
The incident has raised suspicions of an internal job with critics claiming
that Zanu PF is trying to justify a crackdown against opponents ahead of
elections expected next year.
Petrol bombs at Zanu PF offices and police posts followed by massive arrests
of President Mugabe’s opponents have become a common feature ahead of
elections in Zimbabwe.
However, despite the arrests no one has ever been convicted, raising
suspicions that Zanu PF would be trying to justify its claims that its
opponents were behind political violence.
What has made the latest incident more intriguing is that the Zanu PF
offices are housed in the same building as the police and the feared Central
By Own Correspondent
Thursday, 29 December 2011 10:21
MUTARE - MDC legislator for Chimanimani West Lynette Karenyi who stands
accused for insulting President Robert Mugabe was yesterday set free on bail
after the state failed to challenge its earlier application denying her
Mutare magistrate Noah Gwatidzo granted Karenyi a $200 bail after the expiry
of seven days following the state’s invocation of the “draconian” Section
(121) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act last week.
Karenyi is alleged to have described President Robert Mugabe a homosexual.
She claimed Mugabe was having a homosexual affair with serial political
flip-flopper, Jonathan Moyo.
Gwatidzo had granted Karenyi $300 bail last week with a few reporting
conditions but the state represented by Truman Joma promptly invoked Section
(121) which meant that Karenyi was to be remanded in prison for a further
seven days ostensibly to give the state time to prepare papers to oppose
The state had by yesterday afternoon not filed arguments against the accused
leaving Gwatidzo with no option but to set her free.
David Tandiri who represents Karenyi said he was happy the state had not
fought against his client’s liberty.
Karenyi, 36, was arrested on December 19 in Mutare after she handed herself
to the police in the company of her lawyer.
The legislator is charged with “undermining authority of or insulting
President” as defined in Section 33 (20) (b) of the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
Karenyi allegedly told a gathering of her party supporters that, “Zanu PF
members have been attacking MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai alleging him to
be pro-homosexuality yet Robert Mugabe was involved in homosexual activities
with Jonathan Moyo and also Canaan Banana was gay.”
Karenyi allegedly made the utterances on December 9 while addressing her
party supporters at Nhedziwa in Chimanimani on developments within the
Dozens of MDC members thronged the magistrates’ courts leaving the court
full to the brim forcing others to follow proceedings from outside the court
Chief law officer Michael Mugabe and Lloyd Kurehwatira appeared for the
AFPBy Reagan Mashavave | AFP – 13 hrs ago
They used to live on the world's richest diamond fields, but now thousands
of Zimbabweans await compensation after they had to make way for
state-linked mining companies this year.
Many of the subsistence farmers and artisanal miners who used to work the
Marange fields still have not received promised new homes and payment after
President Robert Mugabe's government evicted them.
One of those who feels cheated is Kudakwashe Muchena, 25, who says he was
short-changed on promised compensation and moved far away from the mine that
once supported his family of two wives and three daughters.
"We were told we would be given $5,000 (3,800 euros) as compensation, but we
were only given $1,000," a so-called disturbance fee, said Muchena, who now
lives at Arda Transau state farm, 140 kilometers (90 miles) away.
And yet his family is one of the luckier 500 to have been moved into new
homes by mining companies. More than 3,500 families are still waiting or
staying in temporary shelters while their new houses are being built.
Discovered only in 2006, the Marange fields -- thought to be the world's
largest alluvial diamond deposits, and located in Zimbabwe's eastern
province of Manicaland -- have a short but troubled history.
Their find quickly sparked a diamond rush that, at its peak, brought about
20,000 panners and dealers there, some from Mozambique and Sierra Leone,
others from as far as Lebanon, Pakistan and India.
For years, many local villagers had no idea what riches lay beneath their
feet. "My wife, who was pregnant then, once exchanged diamonds for small
packets of roasted peanuts," recalled Muchena.
Nonetheless, he told AFP, families such as his were soon able to make a good
living, compared to most people in Zimbabwe, as a single sale on the black
market could reach well into thousands of dollars.
"One would get $10,000 or $20,000" at a time when the Zimbabwean dollar
reached hyper-inflation levels of 231 million percent a year, said Muchena,
who now works as a cook at one of the mining companies.
Amid the scramble for riches, the crowded area quickly descended into a
chaotic world of crime, prostitution and violence, authorities said.
Then, in 2008, President Mugabe sent in the police and army to stop the
"informal" diamond panning in favour of mining companies.
Around 200 people were killed and others beaten or raped when the armed
forces chased them from the Marange fields, say rights groups.
Four mining companies cashed in on the empty fields. The state now owns one
wholly, and 50 percent of each of the other three.
The violence prompted the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), the
international blood diamond watchdog, to ban trade in Marange diamonds.
In November, however, the KPCS gave Zimbabwe the green light to sell its
Marange stock of diamonds -- a decision supported by China and India but
opposed by Western nations, rights groups and the industry.
The United States promptly slapped sanctions on two of the four mining
The US-based Rapaport Group, which represents 6,750 diamond traders
worldwide, in December announced a boycott of Marange diamonds, underlining
controversy over so-called blood diamonds in fueling conflict and abuses.
Zimbabwe expects to rake in $600 million in diamond revenues next year, and
some fear Mugabe will use part of this to fund his election campaign and
suppress his opponents. Mugabe was forced into a unity government with
political rival Morgan Tsvangirai after a contested 2008 poll.
Zimbabwe is said to have stockpiled gems estimated to be worth up to $5.0
The Marange fields are now cordoned off. Private security firms patrol the
area while police and army road blocks dot the main access road, an AFP
correspondent saw on a state-sponsored media tour in December.
Many of the villagers that were moved from Marange to Arda Transau now,
ironically, once more work in the mines -- for the state companies. Every
day they are bused a total of 280 kilometers to and from work.
"We had no choice. Sooner or later we had to move," said Barbra Mhlanga, who
has six children, adding that from her isolated new home she has to travel
10 kilometers on foot to the nearest clinic.
Farai Maguwu, the director of rights group the Centre for Research and
Development, which has been documenting the evictions, said Zimbabwean
authorities rushed to move people away without proper compensation.
"They destroyed people's houses without even making evaluations," he said.
"They only took (care of) the interest of diamond companies in the area."
by Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has promoted a controversial army general who
triggered a storm early this year after describing MDC-T leader and Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as a national security threat.
3 Infantry Brigade commander, Brigadier-General Douglas Nyikayaramba, will
now leave his Mutare base for the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) headquarters
in Harare where he becomes Chief of Staff Quartermaster.
He was promoted along with ex-Air Commodore, Michael Moyo who is now an Air
The elevations were confirmed by Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“The promotion does not come simply. You deserve to be where you are because
of hard work. There are many people in the ZDF with the same experience,
qualification and disposition but we take into consideration many aspects,”
Mnangagwa said in Harare this week.
“This is because of the hard work you have exhibited while on your previous
ranks. You have now reached the apex of your careers and this is now the
time to work harder.”
Nyikayaramba said his promotion was a sign of Mugabe’s trust in him.
“This is a sign of trust and confidence in me and I hope I will not fail,”
“We understand the challenges facing us but with collective efforts we will
find a winning formula. My elevation would not have been a success without
the contribution of men and women I worked with at various stations.”
The general triggered a storm in June this year when he declared he would
never serve under Tsvangirai, describing the MDC-T leader as a national
security threat who would not be allowed to rule the country.
"Tsvangirai doesn't pose a political threat in any way in Zimbabwe, but is a
major security threat. He takes instructions from foreigners who seek to
effect illegal regime change in Zimbabwe,” Nyikayaramba said in an interview
with the state-run Herald newspaper.
"This is what has invited the security forces to be involved because we want
to ensure we protect our national security interests.”
He also insisted that the security services would ensure that Mugabe – who
turned 87 this year – remained in office, stating: “President Mugabe will
only leave office if he sees it fit or dies.
No-one should be talking about his departure at the moment. He sacrificed a
lot for this country.
"We will die for him to make sure he remains in power. We are prepared to
stand by our commander-in-chief. Soldiers are not going to sit back and
watch, while the foreign forces want to attack us."
Tsvangirai reacted angrily to the remarks and demanded that the country’s
partisan security chiefs take-off their uniforms and openly contest for
“If you want politics, remove the uniform and we will show you what politics
is. It is not guns. Stop intimidating people, convince Zimbabweans to vote
for you,” the MDC-T leader said.
“The problem has … always been a small, parasitic clique at the helm of
these (security) institutions that is at the forefront of systemic violation
of the people’s fundamental rights and freedoms.”
The MDC-T has since demanded reform of the country’s security services as
one of a number of key conditions for participating in fresh elections
expected early next year.
Tsvangirai claims security chiefs orchestrated a campaign of terror against
his supporters during the inconclusive 2008 presidential elections, in the
process helping Mugabe retain power despite losing the popular vote.
The MDC-T leader won the first round of the election but pulled out of the
run-off claiming his supporters had been brutalised by the country’s
By Taurai Mangudhla
Thursday, 29 December 2011 10:23
HARARE - Zimbabweans failed to receive their Christmas goodies after loads
of freight were trapped at the country’s borders due to problems arising
from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra)’s chaotic customs clearing
Zimra said to be still converting to the new system for more than three
months now. In the meantime, people and companies are still being charged
duty but their goods are not being released as Zimra is still “converting”
to the new system.
Clearing agents, travellers and transport operators who spoke to the Daily
News yesterday said they had been delayed at the country’s borders due to
some “technical problems.”
Zimra recently upgraded its customs clearance management system — Automated
System for Customs Data (Asycuda) World at some of its stations in October,
but the investment appears not paying off as customers complain that the
system is slowing clearance procedures.
The innovation has proved to be a nuisance after customers and clearing
agents complained that the facility is still being set up, a situation that
might affect the country’s revenue collection.
Although the revenue collector has remained mum on the floppy system, the
International Freight Forwarders Association of Zimbabwe (Iffazim) recently
took a swipe at the poor services at the country’s borders.
Iffazim chief executive, Emmanuel Matanganidze said: “Zimra was advised to
at least introduce the system next year after the peak period which we are
in. But they still rolled it out. All imports should be treated with urgency
but that is not the case at the airport right now.
“Importers are being delayed access to their goods. Moreover, they are still
being charged storage fees for the time the goods spend in the warehouse.
Some goods have been held up at the airport for over a week now,” he said.
Matanganidze added that the more time goods spent in the warehouse meant
more costs for importation, thus affecting consumer as prices go up.
Asycuda World was supposed to offer several features which facilitate the
smooth clearance of cargo at ports of entry and exit.
In October there was chaos at Beitbridge Border post after the South African
side threatened to release haulage trucks stuck on its side of the border
following closure of the Zimbabwe side as the new system was being
Goods were taking more than a week before being cleared.
“This is terrible. They are saying the system is still being changed three
weeks down the line. Why did they adopt this new system if it they cannot
install it? Our goods which were meant to be distributed before Christmas
have been at the border for the past three weeks and there is no word from
Zimra,” an import company executive complained yesterday.
A man waiting for his goods to be cleared was complaining at the airport’s
National Handling Services (NHS) cargo warehouse area.
“My goods were supposed to have been cleared last week and I have been going
up and down and yet to this day they have not cleared them only saying the
system is down. This is unacceptable. My son sent Christmas goodies from the
UK for his kids well before Christmas but we still have not received the
parcel but we were made to pay duty when the goods arrived in the country,”
Zimra is the country’s revenue collector responsible for the collection of
Value Added Tax (VAT), customs duty, Pay As You Earn (Paye), corporate tax,
other taxes and non-tax revenue.
Zimra spokesperson, Taungana Ndoro had not responded to the Daily News
inquiries by the time of going to press.
by 20 hours 44 minutes ago
HARARE was last night plunged into darkness for close to three hours
following a system disturbance that emanated from Zambia and affected the
Kariba Power Station.
The blackout affected business in the city centre, forcing supermarkets,
pharmacies and bottle stores to close early.
Residential areas were not spared.
Zesa Holdings spokesperson Mr Shepherd Mandizvidza said the disturbance on
the system resulted in the loss of 740 megawatts. "Regional power networks
in Southern Africa are inter-linked, so there was a system disturbance in
Zambia that affected the Kariba Power Station," he said.
Mr Mandizvidza said only Harare was affected because power lines that feed
the city were disturbed.
The city was isolated from the national electricity grid to ensure adequate
supplies of power to industries and other essential services.
Mr Mandizvidza said Zesa engineers and technicians were working hard to
"Power utilities within South Africa regional power pools are
inter-networked and due to that, any disturbances in one network within one
country may result in the disturbances in a network within the other
country. This is what happened between Zimbabwe and Zambia," said Mr
"Due to the competence of our engineers and technicians, we have managed to
restore electricity in Harare."
The power outage forced many businesses to close shop with a few
enterprising ones resorting to generators.
At Roadport, stalls that sell tickets were closed except Taqwa Transport,
which was using a cellphone torch to serve customers.
"All of a sudden, business is low here as people stopped coming to buy
tickets due to black out," said Taqwa Transport services manager Mr Abraham
He added: " People have to close their business because its dangerous to
operate in darkness because criminals can pounce any time and rob you of all
the money you have."
The Chicken Inn outlet at Roadport used candles for lighting.
"It's embarrassing that a giant food outlet like you guys you don't have a
generator. You're making lots and lots of profit but you cant buy a
generator," said one traveller, who was clutching a pint of beer.
A taxi driver Freddy Gandazha said the power outage had affected his daily
earnings as people could not travel in darkness.
"People cannot come out if there is no electricity my brother they choose to
stay in doors. We just hope the problem will be rectified in time for us to
coniue with our business," said Gandazha.
However in other places such as hotels business was usual because they use
Such was the situation at Fife Avenues Shopping Centre, Holiday Inn and
Parirenyatwa Hospital they had their generators up.
Harare, December, 29, 2011-US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray has
described the country’s Human Rights organisations and journalists as heroes
for their continued courage of challenging the inclusive government to
respect rule of law and human rights.
“The heroes in the struggle for democracy, human rights, equality or any
attempt to remind government of who it serves are those organisations on the
“The real heroes today in Zimbabwe are the leaders of youth organisations
and other Human rights organisations in Zimbabwe, those who work tirelessly
to create a space for young voice and alternative voices.
“The media practitioners whose duty is that of giving information to the
nation and the world at large are unsung heroes of this nation,” Ambassador
Ray told reporters at a function in Harare Wednesday when he was receiving a
Diplomatic Defender of Human Rights Award for 2011 from a Kwekwe based
Zimbabwe Organisation for Youth in politics, ZOYP.
The year 2011 saw a number of Human Rights defenders, who include lawyers
and journalists being arrested despite the existence of the Global Political
Agreement the base of the coalition government which discourages human
Organisations like the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, Zimbabwe Lawyers
for Human Rights, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and the Zimbabwe Peace
Projects which have some of their leaders arrested for demanding democracy,
have been vocal throughout the year challenging GPA principals to quickly
implement the pact.
Commenting on his overall assessment of the year 2011 Ambassador Ray said he
predict a bright Zimbabwean economy if politicians stop bickering.
“Despite the fact that 2011 had far or less incidences of political violence
than it was in 2008 unfortunately, the biggest achievement of the nation is
the economy although it did not grow as much as it would have been despite
setbacks there was a possible positive future, “he added.
Handing over the Diplomatic Defender of Human Rights Award to Ambassador Ray
Zimbabwe Organisation for Youth in politics founder Emmanuel Moyo said they
were impressed with the US ambassador’s youth empowerment passion.
“As an organisation we were touched by your plight to uplift youths through
Youth Dialogues which you initiated throughout the country including remote
and marginalised areas such as Binga. This bravery and passion you have if
our local politicians had it our nation will be somewhere now in terms of
democracy, peace and development.
“ We also note concern and courage which you demonstrated this year when
you came to Kwekwe and some violent youths disrupted the meeting which you
had come to address through our invitation, but you did not lose heart
despite the danger which was imminent, “Moyo said.
By Everson Mushava and Thelma Chikwanha
Thursday, 29 December 2011 13:00
HARARE - As people continue to demand answers about the boat that capsized
and killed 11 children on Christmas Day, it has emerged that the killer boat
had a mechanical fault which the owner was aware of.
According to a worker at Fish Eagle, the boat owner Latif Ameer’s sanctioned
the use of the boat even though a mechanic had said it was not fit for
The labourer who preferred anonymity for fear of victimisation said the
killer boat was actually on a test drive when it ferried the 11 children to
“The mechanic advised Ameer that the boat was not fit to carry people but I
don’t know what happened because all of a sudden we saw the boat on the
water carrying many people,” the worker said.
He told the Daily News that when Ameer asked the mechanic to teach him how
to operate the boat, he flatly refused saying it was not fit for use.
The worker confirmed that the killer boat is permitted to carry five people
only but there were 17 passengers on board.
“The mechanic refused to carry passengers saying the boat was not fit for
the purpose but Enock Zulu, who once worked for Ameer volunteered to drive
Harare magistrate Kudakwashe Jarabini placed Zulu who does not have a
licence to drive a boat on $500 bail together with Ameer and two others
Joseph Abraham and Fadil Ramon Weale who were also present when the boat was
overloaded. The four are facing culpable homicide charges.
The worker said Ameer’s actions were out of character as the boat in
question was not fully equipped to operate. He said the unlicenced killer
boat did not even have life savers.
Zulu, who according to Ameer’s worker was drunk, is said to have fled as
soon as the boat capsized and never attempted to assist the children who
were held underwater by the hull after the boat tipped over.
“Initially, the boat took off from Fish Eagle heading to the Spillway but it
decided to change direction midway and headed towards Hunyani Hills probably
because Zulu realised the boat would not make it there,” said the worker.
William Kerekere who grew up along the shores of Lake Chivero castigated the
police and officials from Parks and Wildlife for not being vigilant on
occasions like Christmas Day when people were bound to be over excited.
He said the accident could have been avoided if the parks staff were not
napping on the job.
“Where were the parks’ officials when the boat was being overloaded a stone’s
throw from their offices?” Kerekere asked.
Kerekere also blamed corruption as the reason why unlicenced boat operators
were found in the parks’ waters.
Parks and Wildlife Management public relations manager Caroline Washaya-Moyo
has already admitted that the boat was not licenced to carry passengers and
said her organisation has since launched a crackdown on illegal boat
Kerekere said: “Parks now employ unqualified rangers with a limited
understanding of their duties and with vigilant workers; the accident could
have been avoided.”
This is not the first time such an accident has happened on Lake Chivero. In
1995, 22 Moleli Secondary School pupils perished under similar
enduring arts center is holding a party and cultural festival as it closes its
doors in Harare for the last time in the early hours of January 1. Twin venues,
The Book Café and Mannenberg Performing Arts Center have hosted tens of
thousands of people and shows with many local and international artists but the
landlords gave notice that they want the building in central Harare back to
expand retail trade.
Founder of the arts center Paul Brickhill said he was shocked when the landlord, Old Mutual Zimbabwe, told him that he could not renew the lease for The Book Café and Mannenberg Performing Arts Center. He and colleagues who fought to end white rule in Rhodesia began to promote free expression by opening a book shop shortly after 1980 independence.
“I and a number of other people had just come from the liberation struggle. Just before independence, discussions took place around how to address the problem of censorship and propaganda that the Rhodesians had implemented," said Brickhill. "And the answer was to open a progressive bookshop and I was deployed fairly early on, our principal from the very beginning to secure freedom of expression in the new Zimbabwe.”
He and the bookshop, funded by his comrades from the liberation war, were immediately in trouble when it launched a biography of the first post independence opposition leader Joshua Nkomo. Brickhill and his staff were arrested.
for Brickhill and the bookshop as then prime minister Robert Mugabe sent in
North Korean-trained troops who killed thousands of Mr. Nkomo’s supporters in
the Matabeleland provinces shortly after independence.
Brickhill said the bookshop had a huge collection of anti-apartheid books which were banned in neighboring South Africa and many made their way across the border.
In 1987 a South African hit squad bombed several targets in Harare. On their list, as court records revealed, was Brickhill’s bookshop. Several people were killed and Brickhill’s brother was seriously injured.
Three years before
the present ongoing political crisis began in 2000, Brickhill and colleagues
expanded the bookshop into a café and performing art center called Mannenberg,
named after the composition by legendary South African jazz pianist, Dollar
Brand, who is now known as Abdullah Ibrahim.
He played Mannenberg at its opening in Harare and said he had loaned the music to Zimbabweans.
Among the Zimbabwe
artists who play at Mannenberg is Zimbabwe musician Chiwoniso Maraire, who sings
and plays the traditional instrument the mbira. She says Zimbabwe’s artists have
a responsibility to society, even when those artists are threatened and
“We have a responsibility, we are not bankers, we are not doctors, we have another part that we play in society," said Chiwoniso. "Regardless whether the system says we are going to arrest you, it doesn’t matter, we have a responsibility.”
Brickhill, who runs the twin venues with a staff of 45 says he had no idea at the time independence was gained that one of the goals of the liberation war - free expression - would be so difficult to achieve after the end of minority white rule.
“It has been an incredibly long journey and a tough one, and a long, long struggle," said Brickhill. "I must say never in my wildest dreams as a young romantic in newly independent Zimbabwe could I have imagined such a journey and such battles and struggles for such a simple goal of freedom of expression in our country.”
He said that most artists at the venues did not support particular political parties. Book Café’s last guest was Morgan Tsvangirai, Movement for Democratic Change leader and Zimbabwe’s prime minister in the current difficult, inclusive government with Mr. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party and the smaller MDC.
launched his controversial book "At the deep end" before Christmas.
“I am telling this story in my own eyes, and especially given the larger power struggles we took part in now and for more than a century - our desire simply to be human against all odds,” said Tsvangirai.
Brickhill says the end of the present crisis is drawing closer and the number of artists grew as it intensified. He says Zimbabwe’s artists find that, despite all the threats, they do have power.
“And yes I do think we are closer now," Brickhill said. "I never imagined the battle would be so hard. But yes we are close. We have power actually. We are not powerless.”
Many Zimbabweans and beyond have appealed to Zimbabwe traders OK Bazaars and landlord Old Mutual to extend the leases for Book Café and Manneberg.
Brickhill says he and colleagues will start the new year trying to find an alternative building.
By Business Writer
Thursday, 29 December 2011 11:19
HARARE - Zimbabwe has announced formation of the country’s National Tourism
and Heritage Advisory Council at a time the tourism sector continues on a
Tourism is projected to grow by 13,7 percent in 2012, up from 10,3 percent
in 2011 and the trend is expected to continue on the back of policy and
The newly formed broad-based council is representative of all key national
constituencies, including industry players, academics, women, youths,
religious leaders, traditional chiefs as well as the disabled and will
advise the incumbent Tourism minister, Walter Mzembi, on the ideological
direction of the increasingly important development and growth of the
“Members will also be accorded the scope to input into the conceptualisation
and implementation of tourism product development, particularly
enshrinement, monument-building, and icon-construction in their own
localities throughout the provinces,” Tourism secretary Sylvester
Maunganidze said in a statement.
The body, which will have defining and analytical functions will retreat
regularly and advise the minister on the development of the sector.
“The ministry has basically broadened and deepened what should be our
perception of Zimbabwe national tourism from the narrow and shallow view
inherited from colonial times. This is where tourism is narrowly perceived
as a preoccupation that is exclusively for whites and foreigners, where the
generality of our people can only participate as servants or amusers,”
“The indigenous people can participate as tourists as well as hosts and
Zimbabwe’s tourism milestone however, comes amid fears that the country will
not be able to meet accommodation demands ahead of the 2013 United Nations
World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly to be co-hosted with
A joint technical committee comprising both Zimbabwean and Zambian delegates
recently announced that there was not enough accommodation to cater for the
Zimbabwe and Zambia won the bid to co-host the UNWTO event in Victoria Falls
after four other contenders withdrew their bids at the last minute. The
joint committee met in Harare last week to agree on resolutions in
preparation for the event that is expected to boost tourist arrivals in both
Zimbabwe and Zambia have strong tourism ties, sharing one of the Seven
Wonders of the World — the Victoria Falls.
Zimbabwe rebranded its tourism facilities and infrastructure under the theme
“Zimbabwe: A World of Wonders.”
Finance minister Tendai Biti announced in his 2012 budget that some success
towards re-branding was self-evident in the reduction of internal
disharmony over the last 3 years.
He said successful development of Zimbabwe’s tourism requires government to
address some of the major challenges in this sector, chief among them being
the absence of ICT penetration, weak state of tourism infrastructure and the
deteriorating state of Air Zimbabwe.
The Finance minister also proposed development and implementation of a
National Tourism Master Plan; review the Tourism Act to streamline the roles
of the different players as well as rehabilitation and development of
by Barry Gibson, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
Dec 28 2011
A HUDDERSFIELD man has formed a new group to increase the pressure on
Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe.
Alan Fish – who has visited the African country twice in the last three
years – wants to help oust the ageing president.
The High Flatts man set up Conservatives for Zimbabwe this month to try to
build support for change in the impoverished state.
Mr Fish, 58, who is a member of the party, said: “We’ve formed the group to
attract individual Conservatives who are interested in democracy and the
rule of law in Zimbabwe.”
He set up the group with Coventry-based Emily Madamombe, who fled Zimbabwe
because of her membership of then-opposition group the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).
Mr Fish said: “Emily has quite a few contacts with Government ministers and
people on the ground in Zimbabwe.
“We can get information from the country to people in the Conservative Party
which they might otherwise miss.
“We thought that having an organisation within the party would be more
useful than operating from the outside and trying to get individual members
Conservatives for Zimbabwe will hold its first meeting next month.
“Bob Fernandez, who campaigns for dispossessed white farmers, will speak to
about 40 of us from the Conservative Farming Group in Denby Dale,” he said.
Mr Fish first visited Zimbabwe in 2008, weeks before the MDC went into an
uneasy powersharing government with Mr Mugabe’s Zanu-PF. He visited the
country again this year.
Mr Fish told the Examiner he hopes Britain will be prepared to attack Mr
“I would like to see a policy more geared to the Arab Spring,” he said. “If
people go on to the streets in Zimbabwe will we send in the RAF?
“That’s what we did when Gaddafi threatened his own population.
“However, it’s a different ball park because there’s no oil in Zimbabwe. It
would be nice if they treated Zimbabwe the way they treated Libya.
“But we’re trying to put the pressure on for the rule of law and true
democracy – not the sham democracy there is at the moment.
“There is a lot of intimidation in Zimbabwe, about 20 incidents of political
violence every day.”
For more information on Conservatives for Zimbabwe call 0808 178 9489 or
By Staff Writer
Thursday, 29 December 2011 12:00
HARARE - Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development minister,
Nicholas Goche emerged as the worst performing minister in the inclusive
government for the 2011 year, according to the rating of government
ministers by the Daily News.
Out of a rating of 10 points, Goche scored zero owing to his failure to come
up with rescue measures for parastatals such as Air Zimbabwe, the National
Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz),
and Net One, among others.
Actually Goche stands accused of presiding over the collapse of these
He has failed to say a word on the collapse of Air Zimbabwe and is actually
accused of being behind the demise of the airline.
In one year the divided Air Zimbabwe board met only once despite the crisis.
Goche was also in the news for the wrong reasons, wrestling mandates meant
for Information and Communication Technology minister, Nelson Chamisa under
the guise that the mandates fall under his ministry.
The most embarrassing of all was the chaos that characterised Air Zimbabwe
where the parastatal was for the better part of the year locked up in a
salary wrangle with its workers.
The national airline was briefly suspended by the International Air Travel
Association (Iata) for failure to pay subscription fees to the organisation.
An Air Zimbabwe plane was also briefly confiscated following the company’s
failure to settle debts to a London-based spare parts company.
In other countries, such a feat would have seen Goche resign or get himself
sacked by the president of the republic.
But in Zimbabwe, the story was different as the President does not fire
ministers for incompetence.
Below is the rating of other cabinet ministers.
The rating is out of 10. Goche is the only minister on zero marks. In today’s
newspaper, we publish the performances of half of the ministers.
Don’t miss tomorrow’s Daily News as it will bring you the best performing
minister in 2011.
THE WORST: Nicholas Goche, Minister of Transport, Communications and
Heneri Dzinotyiwei, Minister of Science and Technology Development
Like Olivia Muchena, Dzinotyiwei has largely enjoyed the comfort of his
ministerial Mercedes Benz as well as office while doing little on the
ground. He has largely been an invisible and quiet minister, virtually
unknown to the people.
The minister needs, in the New Year, to come up with policies that will make
him known by the citizenry of the country.
Stan Mudenge, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education.
Another absolute failure!
Mudenge, who is said to be facing serious health problems, clung onto his
post despite his condition. Mudenge failed to come to the rescue of students
at institutions of higher learning who were faced with accommodation
Some of the students turned to prostitution as a way of either securing
accommodation or simply trying to make ends meet.
The University of Zimbabwe’s residential halls were shut down for the better
part of the year. Students cried out for bailout programmes but Mudenge
would have none of it.
The tertiary education sector was in serious abyss and Mudenge failed to
come to its rescue. Most students cannot afford fees and university
education is now for those who can afford not those who deserve.
Tapiwa Mashakada, Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion
The review team observed that despite the toughness of his portfolio and the
fact that Mashakada’s ministry depends on policies such as the fiscal policy
by the Minister of Finance Tendai Biti as well as the monetary policy by the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor, Gideon Gono, he has tried to come
up with his own ministry’s blueprints, which made sense to business players
and were seen as likely to spur economic growth.
His efforts were however destroyed by Mugabe and Zanu PF’s insistence on the
51 percent local empowerment drive.
Saviour Kasukuwere, Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and
Despite the controversial nature of the indigenisation policies that
Kasukuwere is championing with the blessings of President Robert Mugabe, the
minister was seen as a hardworking minister despite the wrongness of the
The general view of the review team was that Kasukuwere, despite the chaos
caused by the indigenisation policy and approach, had tried to push for the
empowerment of the people who live in areas where the resources are found.
He, however, fell short on points after it emerged that most of those said
to have been empowered were Zanu PF functionaries.
Olivia Nyembesi Muchena, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender, and Community
Highly invisible and inactive. She reportedly diverted funds meant for some
women’s projects to Zanu PF activities. She was only visible at mainly Zanu
Welshman Ncube, Minister of Industry and Commerce
While very little has been done in the ministry, Ncube managed to land
himself the credit of seeing the signing of the Ziscosteel/ Essar deal which
brought life back to the otherwise sleepy town of Redcliff.
Some jobs have been created as a result of this deal. The minister now needs
to concentrate on policy formulation for the revival of industry in general
in the country.
However, Ncube spent time concentrating on the onslaught against the private
media, especially the Daily News and the minister is better advised to stop
this misguided attack on the private media. However, despite this, he still
scored better marks than many ministers.
Tendai Biti, Minister of Finance
While Biti got kudos for his budget and other tough measures, the review
team felt the minister now needs to develop a pro-poor budget and pro poor
policies that do not affect the work of cross-border traders who earn a
living through such activities.
Biti’s budget, which re-introduced duty on basic commodities, seems to sound
sweet in the ears of some industry players who are largely Zanu PF
sympathisers while the poor, who have tried to find cheap products outside
the country’s borders, are feeling the pinch of duty on the basic
He has also caused suffering at borders by removing rebates on even one pair
Kembo Mohadi and Theresa Makone, Co-Home Affairs minister
Rating: 1 (point each)
Mohadi asserted himself as the minister of home affairs while Makone
appeared satisfied with being Mohadi’s “deputy”. Both ministers need to deal
decisively with the corruption that has manifested itself in the police
force and put a stop to this obscene act. They must also deal with human
rights abuses by the police.
The ministers need to improve the living conditions of the police as well as
addressing salary concerns raised by the law enforcement agents. They must
also improve conditions of service for the police so that the cops earn
respect in society. They must also instruct their police to investigate then
arrest not arrest to investigate.
Henry Madzorera, Minister of Health and Child Welfare
Efforts to revive the health sector through the promulgation of sound
policies earned Madzorera six points from the review team. Service provision
at major hospitals seems to have improved although Madzorera now needs to
keep check on the service provision at private hospitals which are said to
be charging exorbitant prices for services.
Bonding of nurses has also been an issue the ministry has to put a stop to
as it affects the nursing students who would have completed their studies.
Ignatius Chombo, Local Government, Rural and Urban Development
The minister was in the news for his crackdown on urban councils and
interfering in the operations of the local authorities. He fired several MDC
councillors and suspended some, with the downstream effects of his actions
being the collapse of service delivery.
The Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) also collapsed under Chombo’s
ambit. Better policies for the management of local authorities is what
Zimbabweans deserve next year minister.
Patrick Chinamasa, Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs
Chinamasa ranks among some of the failed ministers in the country as he
could not improve the situation at the country’s prisons until welfare
organisations had to intervene.
He failed to adequately represent Zimbabwe at the Universal Peer Review
(UPR) where he defended the country’s shocking human rights record. His
ministry presides over the draconian Section 121 which is being used to deny
Zanu PF opponents bail even on trumped up charges.
Joseph Made, Agriculture
Made failed to lead the revival of the agriculture sector with his flawed
agricultural mechanisation policies. The minister suffered further blow when
the review team felt he was too arrogant and selfish when dealing with
issues concerning the ministry.
He was also dealt another deadly blow by the fact that he seems to spend
most of his time at Mugabe’s farms where he reportedly supervises the
President’s farming activities.
David Coltart, Minister of Education, Arts, Sport, and Culture
Coltart was voted as having been one of the best ministerial performers for
the year after he covered vast ground in developing the education sector.
The handover of text books to schools as witnessed during the year and the
general revival of the education sector earned Coltart recognition by the
Coltart also played a crucial role in ending Zimbabwean cricket’s Pariah
status. He travelled to Australia, New Zealand and Ireland to lobby those
countries’ cricket boards to revive ties with Zimbabwe Cricket.
As a result, New Zealand agreed to tour Zimbabwe for a one-off Test match,
three ODIs and two Twenty20s, becoming the first team from predominantly
English-speaking countries to tour the country in six years.
Both Australia and New Zealand also sent their second-string teams to help
Zimbabwe with their Test return preparations. Ireland’s cricket team also
visited for an ODI series.
He was also vocal in bringing to light Zimbabwean football’s damaging
match-fixing scandal, dubbed the Asiagate. He could have been voted the best
had it not been for the poor state of schools especially in the rural areas.
Francis Nhema, Minister of Environment
Nhema made news when he announced a ban on paper bags on the basis that they
were a threat to the environment. He was also in the news for his calls for
a ban on vehicle imports, especially those vehicles that have been on the
road for five years or more.
The Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe also came under
review from the team, with its continued shooting of wildlife for Zanu PF
functions denting his performance rating.
The Chivero boat disaster would have been avoided had the Parks officials
who fall under his ministry been doing their job. For them to work, it is
Nhema who has to push them.
Walter Mzembi, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Services
Mzembi made history by leading Zimbabwe’s victory in the bid to host the
United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly in
Victoria Falls in 2013.
This feat was achieved at a time when there were differences in terms of
policy pronouncements between President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister and
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai regarding the indigenisation policy and
many other issues.
Courtesy of Mzembi’s guidance and his ministry’s policy formulation,
Zimbabwe realised a rise in tourist arrivals in the country, not only from
the East but from across the world.
Through the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), the ministry managed to lure
to the country, internationally acclaimed artists who performed in the
country under its personality management programme.
But a word of advice to the minister and ZTA: There is need to manage some
of your internal fights and disagreements with your partners such as ZTA
internally, especially the issue of models and the outcomes of the tourism