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Flood alert as heavy rains continue in Zimbabwe

AP 7 hours 23 minutes ago

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Zimbabwe's weather department is issuing a flood alert
and says heavy rains are expected to continue.

The Meteorological Service says downpours of more than 3 inches (nearly 8
centimeters) are forecast in northern and eastern regions through Jan. 2,
accompanied by gusty winds.

In a statement Friday, the government's civil protection agency also advised
affected communities to find shelter on higher ground.

It warned that roofs could be blown off and low-cost and mud-built houses
risk collapse from water saturation.

In years of economic decline, broken drainage and sewers have led to
outbreaks of waterborne diseases worsened by rain. More than 4,000 people
died from the waterborne illness cholera in 2008.

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COPAC livid as constitution leaked

29/12/2011 00:00:00
    by VOA

THE parliamentary select committee in charge of revising Zimbabwe's
constitution says it will go to court to stop the Zanu PF-aligned,
state-controlled Herald newspaper from publishing its official logo and
constitutional materials without approval.

The threat followed the unauthorized publication of portions of the new
constitution, which is now in the critical drafting stage, by the newspaper.

Both formations of the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change were
livid at the continued publication of the select committee's unfinished work
by the newspaper with Zanu PF officials on the body refusing to take
responsibility for the leaks.

Committee Co-Chairman Douglas Mwonzora of the MDC formation of Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Zanu PF members on the panel are being used
by hard-line elements in the former ruling party to derail the
constitution-making process.

But Zanu PF’s select committee co-chairman, Paul Munyaradzi Mangwana, said
the leaks to state media have nothing to do with Zanu PF.

"I do not see why the MDC and others are pointing a finger at Zanu PF
because there are over 24 people on the select committee and anyone could
have done that," he said.
"I was surprised by the publication in the Herald just like everyone else.
It has nothing to do with Zanu PF but we will be able to deal with it,"
Mangwana said.

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Parliament Mull Suing Herald Newspaper

Harare, December 30, 2011– A committee of parliament drafting the country’s
new constitution (Copac) is contemplating taking the state owned Herald
newspaper to court for publishing constitutional material without its

Some members of the committee say the premature publication of the material
is designed to derail the constitutional making exercise.

“We are contemplating taking the Herald to court to stop it from publishing
what it purports to be Copac constitutional material,” said MDC-T Copac
representative Douglas Mwonzora.

“We will file for an interdict and we will succeed. In the meantime we will
engage the editor of the Herald and after that we will not warn him when we
go to court.”

Asked what action he will take if his colleagues refuse to cooperate on the

Mwonzora said, “We will file for an interdict alone and we will succeed.
These are matters of national interest and its work in progress and
releasing information prematurely is just not right.”

Mwonzora accused the Herald of selectively publishing constitutional
information to confuse members of the public and paint the drafters in bad

“They are seeking to rubbish the work of the drafters and accuse them of
taking information that was not in the outreach document,” said Mwonzora.

The leaking of the constitutional material is being blamed on Zanu-PF
members in Copac but Mangwana defended his party saying it has nothing to do
with it since the document was circulated to several Copac members and
anyone from any party could have leaked it.

“Zanu PF is not responsible. We wanted to keep whatever draft which was
being drafted by the drafters packed somewhere but unfortunately towards the
end of the year there was a feeling from Copac members that they wanted to
have a copy of what has been drafted and we now do not know who has actually
leaked the drafts to the public. There were initial drafts which were under
discussion and they are not binding anyone to anything,” said Mangwana.

The Copac management committee is made up of 24 members.

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Processing of passports suspended

29/12/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

TRAVELLERS keen to renew their travel documents will have to wait longer
after the Registrar General’s office suspended production of passports,
blaming a power black-out which hit Harare on Wednesday.

The development will likely hit thousands of Zimbabweans based in
neighbouring Botswana and South Africa looking to renew their travel
documents before returning to work in the new year.

Harare was plunged into darkness Wednesday evening following what officials
described as a systems failure at the Kariba Power Station.
Other cities such as Bulawayo, Gweru, Kwekwe, Masvingo and Mutare were also

Registrar-General, Tobaiwa Mudede said the black-out had damaged equipment
at his department’s Makombe Building headquarters in the capital.

"Following the blackout in the Harare Business District (on Wednesday) we
have had an electrical problem affecting our system at Makombe Building. We
do not know the cause yet," Mudede told the Herald newspaper.

"(But) we have not completely shut down. We are using alternative means to
process urgent passports only until the problem is rectified."

According to the newspaper however, the Department experienced similar
problems at the same time last year when it suspended the processing of
identification documents due to what was said to be electrical fault at its
production centre which is located at a city army base.

A ZESA official said repairs to the damaged generators at Kariba had been
completed enabling the utility to restore normal supplies.

"Supplies are back to normal,” Shepherd Mandizvidza said.
“Most of the power outages now occurring are a result of the rainy season."

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Police Charge Media Activist For ‘Denigrating’ Mugabe

Harare, December 30, 2011 ---- Zimbabwean police on Thursday charged
prominent media activist Andrew Moyse with publishing statements allegedly
denigrating President Robert Mugabe.

Moyse who is the director of the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ)
had presented himself to Gwanda police on Wednesday weeks after he was
briefly detained in Harare over the same charges.

He was ordered to return the following day in the company of his lawyers.

His lawyer Kossum Ncube of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said police
recorded a warned and cautioned statement from Moyse.

Ncube said the police said he would be summoned if they need him to help
with investigations.

When he was initially arrested on December 6, police seized documents, DVDs
and videos at the MMPZ headquarters where they were allegedly looking for
material related to the Gukurahundi atrocities in Matabeleland.

Police had also detained three MMPZ monitors, Fadzai December, Molly
Chimbanda and Gilbert Mabusa in Gwanda on charges that they distributed
subversive material during a public meeting.

They were granted US$50 bail each by Gwanda magistrate Douglas Zvenyika

But the three spent seven days at Gwanda Prison after the State invoked
section 121 which suspends bail pending an appeal to the High Court.

They were only released by Bulawayo High Court Judge, Justice Nicholas
Mathonsi after he dismissed the appeal by the Attorney General’s office.

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MDC senator died of bird flu

By Pindai Dube
Friday, 30 December 2011 10:20

BULAWAYO - Gladys Gombami-Dube the mainstream MDC senator for Mabutweni died
of bird flu, a family spokesperson told journalists at her house in Mpopoma
high density suburb on Wednesday.

Family spokesperson Samuel Gombami who is brother to Gladys’ husband Fanuel
said that postmortem results released on Tuesday in Harare shows that she
died of bird flu.

“We were finally given postmortem results and they show that she was taken
away by bird flu. We still can’t believe this as a family, we are in still
shock,” said Fanuel Gombami.

Bird flu also known as avian influenza is a contagious disease of birds,
caused by influenza (A) viruses.

The outbreak of avian influenza of most concern began in poultry in South
Korea in mid-December 2003.

The Mabutweni senator was buried at Lady Stanley Cemetery in Bulawayo. Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and dozens of MPs and senators attended the

Gombami-Dube, 48, died after complaining of disorientation and dizziness
while travelling home to Bulawayo from a funeral in Gokwe on Boxing Day.

She was rushed to a hospital in Kadoma where she died. The senator was the
deputy chairperson for the parliamentary select committee (Copac).

MDC deputy chairperson for Bulawayo province Dorcas Sibanda said the party
was shocked with the sudden death of Gombami-Dube and will give all the
assistance needed to the family.

“We are shocked and worried about the death of our respected senator for
Mabutweni because this doesn’t usually happen. We are still running around
to give our mother a descent burial,” said Sibanda who is also the
legislator for Bulawayo Central.

Gombami Dube’s Mabutweni constituency covers Mpopoma, Pelandaba, Njube and
Lobengula. Above that she has for the past two-and-a-half years been an
active member of Copac.

Gombami who is also one of the founding members of the MDC in 1999 was born
on November 21, 1963 in Bulawayo.
She did her primary education at Lukhanyiso Primary School in Mpopoma before
going to Mzilikazi High School for her secondary education.

She got married to Fanuel Gombami in 1983. She is survived by three
children, two girls and a boy.

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Prime Minister Tsvangirai Urges Tolerance, National Unity

29 December 2011

In a graveside eulogy of Mpopoma-Mabuthweni Senator Gladys Gombani-Dube in
Bulawayo, Mr. Tsvangirai said people should take the example of the late MDC

Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai called on Zimbabweans Thursday to unite and
work together to build the nation despite their political and ideological

In a graveside eulogy of Mpopoma-Mabuthweni Senator Gladys Gombani-Dube in
Bulawayo, Mr. Tsvangirai said people should take the example of the late MDC
lawmaker who he said worked well with her counterparts from President Robert
Mugabe's ZANU-PF in the constitutional revision process.

Mr. Tsvangirai did not address the issue of elections looming possibly in
2012 or the deepening divisions in the unity government.

ZANU-PF officials attending the burial also spoke highly of Gombami-Dube,
saying her death was a huge loss to the nation. She died Monday after a
short illness.

All three parties in the inclusive government were represented at her

Deputy Spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo of the Tsvangirai MDC told VOA's
Ntungamili Nkomo that the nation must shun political polarization.

"Senator Gombami-Dube was a uniting force, and she is an example that the
prime minister urged Zimbabweans to follow," Khumalo said.

Independent political analyst Effie Dlela Ncube commented that unity can
only be achieved when the leadership from all political parties make it a

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Police Bar MDC Nkayi Rallies

Bulawayo, December 30, 2011-- Police in Nkayi, Matebeleland North on
Thursday barred two rallies of the Welshman Ncube led Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) before beating up and chasing more than 200
villagers who had gathered for the party’s first rally.

Speaking to Radio VOP from Nkayi last night smaller MDC deputy secretary
general, Moses Mzila-Ndlovu who is also National Healing Minister said
heavily armed police stopped an MDC rally at Gonye business centre and fired
teargas to disperse villagers who had gathered for their  first rally.

The party’s second rally which was scheduled for today (Friday) at Subhamu
Business Centre in the same Nkayi district was also barred by police.

“Our party supporters who had gathered at the venue of the first rally at
Gonye business centre were beaten up, tear gassed and chased away by more
than 10 armed police officers in riot gear led by Nkayi Police Station
Officer in Charge, Inspector Mapurazi.

“When we approached the police together with our party President (Welshman
Ncube) to enquire why they stopped our meeting, they said they had
instructions from above to ban all MDC rallies in Nkayi,”said MzIla-Ndlovu.

Mzila- Ndovu said riot police also harassed the party leaders including
President Ncube who had gathered at Nkayi Senator Robsen Makula’s homestead
after the rally was disrupted.

“After the disruption of our rally we gathered at our Senator for Nkayi,
Makula’s homestead nearby to re-strategise but two riot police officers
accompanied by Inspector Mapurazi followed and harassed us. There are still
camped at Makula’s homestead and they want to make sure, all our leaders who
had come here for the rallies leave,” he said.

The National Healing Minister blamed the Matebeleland North Police Chief,
Assistant Commissioner Edmore Veterai for the ban of their rallies, saying
he is a Zanu-PF activist who will never allow the two MDC formations to
campaign in that province.

In October police in the same Matebeleland North province banned three
rallies for MDC-T led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for no apparent

The rallies were supposed to be held in Victoria Falls, Binga and Lupane.

After the ban of his rallies, Tsvangirai described the move as frustrating
saying police were still acting as Zanu-PF activists despite the formation
of a unity government in Zimbabwe.

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Charamba denies Mugabe speech rap

30/12/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

PRESIDENTIAL spokesman, George Charamba has denied reports he received a
verbal dressing-down by his boss after handing the Zanu PF leader the
 “wrong” speech during the party’s annual conference in Bulawayo early this

Local media reports claimed a visibly angry President Robert Mugabe
chastised Charamba in a four-minute drama after realising that his aide had
given him the “wrong” speech just before making his key-note address to the

The incident precipitated speculation that Zanu PF hardliners and security
services chiefs -- seen as having a stranglehold over Mugabe -- were trying
to carefully manage the aging leader’s public utterances.

But Charamba denied he had been dressed-down by Mugabe, insisting his boss
merely wanted to know if changes he had made to the speech were incorporated
in the final draft.

“As the press secretary, I must make sure everything for the President is in
place. Just as I got to the podium, the president asked where the speech
with hand written corrections was and he asked if they had finished
correcting it,” Charamba told the weekly Independent newspaper.

“I told him that they had finished and I told him that what he had was the
clean copy. He said that was fast and said thank you. The discussion was
very amicable.”

The influential information secretary also dismissed speculation the
military was now intercepting Mugabe’s speeches and replacing them with
their own versions.

“Speeches from the president come in three forms – they are originated by
the president himself, or by his personal staff, who include Charamba,
principal private secretary Lawrence Kamwi, his deputy or my deputy and/ or
a draft comes from the inviting organisation,” Charamba said.

Charamba also said there was nothing sinister about his increasing
association with army generals amid reports defence forces chief, General
Constantine Chiwenga is positioning himself as a possible successor to

“I have no apologies to make about being at Defence House, or at the PGHQ
(Police Headquarters) or (the army’s) KG6 -- these are the structures I work
for,” Charamba said.

“Do I work with the generals? -- Well it depends kuti it’s over what. If
Chiwenga has an important speech, he sometimes asks me to work with his
speech writers or asks me to go through his draft speech -- so do other
ministers. I have several ministers that come to me and they ask me to draft
their speeches.

“Do I have a relationship with the generals? -- Yes I do have a working
relationship with the generals as the press person of the president, the
same way I have a relationship with (other) party people.”
Mugabe – who is on holiday in the Far East – has consistently dismissed
reports of failing health.

A report by the whistle-blower website, WikiLeaks claimed the 87-year-old is
battling advanced cancer while another claimed Mugabe’s wife had let slip to
central bank chief Gideon Gono that the Zanu PF leader was “out of it” most
of the time.

Mugabe is set to take on bitter rival and current Prime Minister, Morgan
Tsvangirai in fresh polls the veteran leader insists must be held early next
year to replace the coalition government.

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Dereliction of duty caused boat disaster: ZPA

By Lloyd Mbiba, Staff Writer
Friday, 30 December 2011 10:19

HARARE - As the nation struggles to come to grips with the tragic Lake
Chivero boat disaster that claimed the lives of 11 children on Christmas
Day, the Zimbabwe Passengers Association (ZPA) has launched an unrestrained
attack on the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the
ministry of Transport for shocking dereliction of duty.

Paul Makiwa, secretary-general of ZPA said the responsible transport
authorities should stop passing the buck and own up to their failures as the
tragedy struck under their watch.

He further tore into the bodies for failing to detect unprofessional conduct
in the transport industry which has led to unnecessary loss of lives.

“As an institution we are sick and tired of deaths. The responsible
authority should enforce the rules so as to avoid accidents. Prevention is
better than cure; therefore it is always important to prevent any accident
all the time,” Makiwa said.

His call comes amid revelations that the boat which capsized in Lake Chivero
recently was not registered.

Furthermore, the boat had not been operational for some time and on the
fateful day the mechanic was actually doing a test drive when tragedy

To add salt to injury, it has emerged the boat had no life jackets, it was
overloaded and it was sailing outside the recreation time zone or in the

The ZPA implored transport operators to adhere to laid down regulations
saying human life was much more precious than money.

“It’s high time transport operators begin to respect and practise the set
regulations because we are fed up of our members dying due to negligent
driving,” Makiwa said.

“Most accidents have been caused by overloading and to that effect we call
upon operators to respect the law.”
Reports indicate that the boat crew was drunk and a cocktail of negligence,
greediness and human error all combined to cause the fatal accident.

And it is not the first time innocent lives have been lost in senseless

In 2002, 22 Moleli High School students perished in the same Lake Chivero as
a result of negligence as their overloaded boat again capsized in high

The owner of the boat put blame on the children, who he claimed were rocking
the boat in excitement.

This year’s festive season has witnessed 799 road accidents in which 72
souls have been lost and 505 injured.

The National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority public relations
manager Caroline Washaya-Moyo said Fish Eagle, the company whose boat caused
the Lake Chivero disaster, was not under their direct observation because it
was private property.

“It’s a private property and we do not have a right to maintain our presence
on such a property. It is only after we come across someone violating lake
rules that we tackle them and it is unfortunate tragedy struck when we were
not anywhere nearby,” she said.

But there are questions on how her institution enforces compliance, when it
has no direct presence on the lake.

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Chamisa minister of the year

By Staff Writers
Friday, 30 December 2011 14:00

HARARE - Information and Communication Technology (Development) minister,
Nelson Chamisa joined the league of Zimbabwe’s finest performing ministers
after he was adjudged to have performed the best during the 2011 year.

According to the rating of government ministers’ performance in 2011 by the
Daily News, Chamisa earned himself eight points for the performance at his

The ratings were done by a team of journalists from the leading daily
newspaper, the Daily News and also based on research conducted by this

He was at one time described by President Robert Mugabe in a sarcastic way
as “Supersonic minister”.

Recently, government ministers were issued with laptops each under his
ministry’s e-government programme, becoming the first government minister to
roll out such a programme.

Chamisa’s argument for the removal of duty on computers was seen as a
positive stance that would play a big role in ensuring that computers are
accessible to all and sundry and at affordable prices.

The removal of duty on SIM cards, which was pushed by Chamisa has seen the
cards not only being available but coming at a far cheaper cost that the
$100 on black market people used to pay before the suspension of duty.

With constant engagement of the players in the ICT sector, Chamisa’s star is
seen rising and it was the view of the review team that he had covered a lot
of ground in ensuring that the ICT policy, which he says should see every
school with a computer and internet connection in the very foreseeable
future, comes into fruition.

Internet usage has increased among Zimbabweans as most can now log onto
internet on their cell phones.

He was the overwhelming winner closely followed by Walter Mzembi and David
Coltart. With this, the youthful minister was rated amongst the best
performing ministers in Zimbabwe in the year 2011.

He won despite the fact that some of his key mandates were grabbed by the
Zanu PF side of government.

Below is the final rating of the other remaining government ministers.

Nelson Chamisa: Minister of Information Technology (Development)


Eric Matinenga, Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs

Rating: 5

He was active in driving the constitution making process. And the fact that
the process has moved to another stage means that all in his ministry is
well, save for lack of funding for the process.For that, Matinenga was
viewed by the review team as having done fairly well.

Gorden Moyo, Minister of State Enterprises and Parastatals

Rating: 4

The review team felt that Moyo still needs to do a lot of work in reviving
collapsed and collapsing parastatals.

With the good intentions he has, Moyo is seen as someone with a potential of
reviving these parastatals.

The minister, it was felt, now needs to move away from too much of talking
about policy issues and graduate himself into an action-oriented person.
There is room for Moyo to improve.

Paurina Mpariwa, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare

Rating: 1

Very few things can be said about this minister. The review team felt that
she did a lot of talking and very little of the things she talked about were

She, launched the food for work programme in 2011 and after that, the
programme died a natural death.

Obert Moses Mpofu, Minister of Mines and Mining Development

Rating: 3

Despite being able to wrestle and win over the Kimberly Process
Certification Scheme (KPCS) certification for the sale of Zimbabwean
diamonds, which was the highlight of his ministerial occupation, Mpofu’s
rating was affected by his failure to fully account for the diamond revenues
realised from the sale of diamonds by Zimbabwe.

Finance Minister, Tendai Biti has been crying foul over the revenues but
Mpofu has remained quiet about the issue.

Moreover, Mpofu’s second blow was the continued issuance of licences to
Chinese firms as if local firms cannot set up ventures to mine diamonds.
Mpofu must explain where the diamonds he grabbed from ACR and Core Mining
have gone.

Elton Mangoma, Minister of Energy and Power Development

Rating: 1

Mangoma’s failure to come to the rescue of the energy and power sector
earned him one point from the review team.

Industry and commerce, the private sector, and consumers cried out loud to
Mangoma to rescue them from Zesa Holdings crippling tariffs but the minister
responded by allowing the power utility to increase its tariffs by a further
31 percent.

Mangoma works hard, but as long as there is no electricity in the people
homes, he has failed in his mandate.
Next year, Zimbabweans need power.

Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Rating: 1

The minister’s portfolio was regarded as an important portfolio for the
maintenance of cordial relations between Zimbabwe and other countries.
However, the review team felt that the minister’s discharge of duties was
far below average.

More specifically, the minister’s decision to send the representatives of
the “Libyan government” packing out of Harare without the whole government’s
approval took away the minister’s rating and exposed him as more of a Zanu
PF functionary than a Cabinet minister.

Webster Kotiwa Shamu, Minister of Media, Information, and Publicity

Rating: 1

Shamu was regarded as a compassionate minister, especially at times of
bereavement of both artists and journalists.

The minister could have scored more points had he not allowed his party,
Zanu PF to rig the licensing of private radio stations.

The fact that it was Zimpapers and AB Communications, both known to be run
by Zanu PF sympathisers, that were granted licenses shows that Shamu failed
in his duties as a cabinet minister.

It exposed him for having used his influence as a Zanu PF commissar to force
the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (Baz), itself known to have more Zanu
PF functionaries, to award the two licenses to the party’s sympathisers.

The minister was also silent as state and non-state actors abused and
harassed journalists, including getting reporters and editors arrested on
flimsy grounds.

Honourable Minister, the review team is of the view that you need to support
all media organisations and journalists in their fight against harassment
and not to be seen supping with the media’s “devils”.

Sam Sipepa Nkomo, Minister of Water Resources and Infrastructural

Rating: 5

Despite the challenges faced by his ministry, Nkomo was seen as having been
an honest man in his own right. Where there were challenges, he would simply
point out.

In terms of water provision, Nkomo was adjudged to have tried to lead a
process where water is readily available in high density suburbs throughout
most parts of the country.

It is envisaged that as time goes on and with resources being readily
available, Nkomo would be able, through his ministry, to ensure that all
local authorities provide safe and clean water to ratepayers throughout the
An average performer, Nkomo was awarded five points by the review team.

This marks the end of the government ministers’ review for the 2011.

Sydney Sekeramai, Minister of State Security

Rating 2

Sekeramayi has been a minister since independence in 1980 and has simply
become part of the furniture in government offices.

Sekeramayi has largely been quite this year as usual and seems to be
enjoying the luxuries that come with being a government minister in

His ministry is in charge of the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation
(CIO) but in 2011 there were no significant reports of brutality by the
secret service.

However, he still allows the CIO to operate as a Zanu PF arm. The CIO at
times is used to pursue personalities rather than national security issues.

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2011: Makandiwa comes tops

By Staff Writers
Friday, 30 December 2011 13:35

HARARE - The curtain on the year 2011 comes down on Saturday. It has been an
eventful year for many. Pain, tears, sorrow, and happiness characterised the
year, while for some, it was a year laden with unfulfilled resolutions.

Today, the country’s popular newspaper, takes you through the year,
re-living the memories of our politicians and leaders of civic society.

We bring to you those that made news and those that made empty noise during
the year. Here are the 2011 News Makers of the Year and the Noise Makers of
the Year. Enjoy…!!!!


Emmanuel Makandiwa

The young and dynamic prophet of the United Families International Church
made news in the year drawing extraordinarily huge crowds at his services.

There were attempts to arrest him, sue him and bar him from developing his
mega church in Chitungwiza but the man of God prevailed.

He launched the airtime juice card which created problems with a private
company which claimed to have started with the idea and the Post and
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) started probing him but the
popular Makandiwa won over the situations.

He pulled the largest crowds at churches and is credited with turning
hundreds of thousands of people around the country into Christians.
Makandiwa is the Daily News’ news maker of the year.

Solomon Mujuru

The late army general’s death shocked many in the country and beyond.
Circumstances that led to his death left many with unanswered questions.

Up to this day, those questions and many others are yet to get answers.

His story was told in many platforms but few remain convinced his death was
as a result of the fire that gutted his house at the family farm in

He is among the top Daily News’ news makers of the Year for 2011.

President Robert Mugabe

He made news during the year for his repeated visits to the Far East for
which the local and international media speculated they were for medical

Mugabe visited Singapore a record eight to nine times for suspected
treatment but his officials claimed he was on government business except
once when Presidential spokesperson George Charamba confirmed that the
87-year-old had travelled for an eye review.

Finance minister, Tendai Biti at one time argued Mugabe’s trips to the Far
East were eating hard into the finances of the government.

Mugabe has tried to conceal that he is not feeling well as he appears fit
and strong in public.

For that, he is among our News Makers of the Year 2011. A year when people
discovered that Mugabe is not only fighting the likes of MDC but his close
politburo members who were exposed for plotting his ouster with foreigners.

Morgan Tsvangirai

Like his rival, Mugabe, Tsvangirai dominated front pages of newspapers for
the whole year, from the massive crowds he draws at his rallies to his
“marriage” to Locadia Karimatsenga. Tsvangirai competed with Mugabe for
front page coverage in all newspapers.

Lovemore Moyo, Speaker of Parliament

A bid by Zanu PF to have him removed from the speakership post and his
subsequent return to the same post after trouncing Zanu PF national
chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo made news locally and internationally.

He makes part of the list of the Daily News’ News Makers of the Year 2011 as
his story is still the talk in political circles.

To this day, chaos is the order of the day in Parliament as MDC legislators
are hitting back at Zanu PF and have targeted Clerk of Parliament, Austin
Zvoma for removal from his post on the basis of incompetence.

Tracy Mutinhiri

A former legislator for Marondera East, Mutinhiri made headlines during the
year when she was first accused of sympathising with the MDC.

Her farm was invaded by Zanu PF militia allegedly sent by state security
minister Sydney Sekeramayi.

She was to hit back at Sekeramayi, accusing him of causing all her problems
after she turned down his sexual advances.

Mutinhiri was eventually sacked from Zanu PF and “fired” from government
where she occupied the post of deputy labour and social welfare minister.

She is among our  News Makers of the Year for 2011.

Stephen Muzhingi

Muzhingi made international news when he won the Comrades Marathon in South
Africa early this year for the third time in a row. He was also crowned the
2011 Annual National Sports Awards (Ansa) Sports Man of the Year.

President Robert Mugabe gave him $50 000 for his achievements.

Kirsty Coventry

Now a usual phenomenon due to her exploits, Coventry swept her way to our
News Makers list after she scooped four of Zimbabwe’s six medals at the All
Africa Games that were held in Mozambique this year.

At the home front, Coventry won the third Annual National Sports Awards
Sportsperson of the Year Award after she was voted the best sportsperson for
the year 2011. Indeed a plausible achievement for the Coventry family.

Wendell Parson

Parson wrote his own piece of history in 2011 after he was crowned a
co-winner of the $200 000 prize-money at the 2011 edition of the Big Brother
Africa reality show.

Tongai “Dhewa” Moyo

Sungura maestro, Tongai “Dhewa” Moyo’s death towards the end-of-the-year
also made news as the “Samanyemba” hit-maker had waged a long and painful
battle with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma — a type of cancer that reportedly affects
the blood cells.

Rwisai Nyakauru

Nyakauru, an 82-year-old MDC activist who was arrested in Nyanga alongside
MDC spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora and several other MDC activists also made
headlines in the local and foreign media.

They were jointly charged with public violence and had to spend days on end
at Mutare remand prison after the state invoked the notorious Section 121 of
the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.

The act allows the state to detain an accused person for a further seven
days despite being granted bail by the courts.

Nyakauru subsequently died later and was laid to rest in Nyanga.

Watch out for the second instalment of this story in tomorrow’s edition of
the Daily News. This is where we will feature the Noise makers of the Year

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Heavy Toll on Zimbabwean Music as a Dozen Musicians Pass On in 2011

29 December 2011

Arts and Culture Minister David Coltart said Zimbabwe needs an independent
electronic media to promote the works of its musical artists, noting that
many are excluded from ZBC airwaves for political reasons

Violet Gonda | Washington

The death of the prominent Zimbabwean musician “Prince” Tendai Mupfurutsa
this week marked yet another sad chapter for the country's music industry.

This year has particularly been a bad one for Zimbabwean music as the
country lost at least 10 popular musicians, four of them in the month of
October alone.

Sungura music legend Tongai Moyo succumbed to cancer in that month, which
also saw the deaths of Khumulani Chaka, Takunda Mafika and Khumbulani Gibson

Other music figures who died in 2011 included Cephas Mashakada, Clement
Chinyama, Adam Chisvo, DJ Hilton Mambo and music promoter James “Jimalo”

Industry commentators say Zimbabwe lost more popular artists in 2011 than in
any other year they can remember. Even living musicians find it hard to
survive in a tough economic climate where their revenues are siphoned away
by pirates.

State media quoted Information Minister Webster Shamu as saying Tongai Moyo’s
family is wallowing in poverty “whilst pirates benefit from his music.

Zimbabwe Musicians Rights Association Director Polisile Ncube told reporter
Violet Gonda piracy is mainly to blame for destroying artists’ careers.

She said: “If people continue with piracy it means they kill the music
themselves, they kill the musicians because with the piracy the musicians
get nothing and at the end of the day if they stop composing there won’t be
any entertainment for anybody.”

Education, Sport, Arts and Culture Minister David Coltart said most
musicians live in poverty and they must therefore consider their art from a
business standpoint so that they can enjoy the fruits of their labor and
fully develop their talents.

“It’s a tragedy in our country that whilst people like Oliver Mtukudzi and
others are relatively wealthy, they are the exception. The vast majority
live in poverty," he said.

“We have to look at our tax laws and the general environment to ensure that
artists’ talents are realized and that they become wealthy and productive in

Coltart said it is important to have an independent electronic media that
can promote the music of the nation's artists. He noted that the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation, the monopoly broadcaster for now, excludes many
artists for political reasons.

The Zimbabwe Musicians Rights Association, meanwhile, says it has embarked
on capacity-building programs to empower musicians.

“We have galas to remember our heroes who died for our country. Now we also
need something like that to remember our music legends, who also inspired us
as young artists to be what we are today," said musician-producer “Dr.”
Tawanda Benson.

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Kitchen-table bloggers are today’s revolutionary heroes
Roger Boyes Diplomatic Editor – December 29 2011 12:01AM

From their kitchen tables they have transformed global politics, helping to
topple regimes, projecting women on to the public stage or, simply, making
bureaucrats behave decently. This was the year of the blogger who, in closed
societies from China to Egypt, turns out not to resemble the Western cliché
of a lonely geek but the very model of a modern revolutionary.

Take Aleksei Navalny, the Russian anti-corruption blogger recently released
from a 15-day stint in prison. The former property lawyer illustrates the
power, and perhaps some of the hidden weakness, of those who have come to
the fore in 2011. He has risen fast in the opposition ranks, not spending
years of his life arguing obscure positions in smoke-filled rooms, or for
that matter, in jail. “Navalny is an example of a new face, his political
career is just starting,” says Ilya Ponomaryov, one of the organisers of
recent anti-Putin protests. As a result, he has become a credible critic of
government corruption and a credible new leader for a young internet-savvy

Russia has more than 50 million internet users, Europe’s biggest audience,
and anyone who can master it can steer the views of a largely depoliticised
young generation.

There may be problems with choosing future leaders from the blogosphere — Mr
Navalny has been keeping strange company with ultranationalists — but he can
shape and mobilise civil society. Using Twitter, he coined the 140-character
slogans that are the stuff of all modern uprisings, branding the Kremlin-run
United Russia Party “the party of crooks and thieves”. That slogan appears
in the placards held aloft in Red Square demonstrations and has entered the
public discourse.

The influence of the blog and the social media in the Arab Spring quickly
became apparent. The choice of Tawakkol Karman, a young mother and blogger
from Yemen, as one of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winners was entirely
logical. She had become the face of the unfinished revolution in Yemen
because its driving force was made up of students from the University of
Sanaa, articulate and networked, whose voice spread through their extended
families to inspire resistance to President Saleh.

Across the Middle East the use of the internet has been expanding
exponentially, thanks in part to the availability of BlackBerrys and other

The suicide of a Tunisian fruit merchant may have sparked the revolt, but a
more typical hero was Wael Ghonim, the Egyptian-born Google marketing
executive who brought young Egyptians on to the streets using Facebook. He
has 400,000 Facebook followers. With the right political skill, that can be
turned into a civilian army.

However, the new social media leaders have done more than galvanise a
restless generation. They have blurred the distinction between private and
public space in the Arab world. In the process they stirred the political
awakening of women who are no longer confined to a tradition that put the
management of public affairs in male hands.

Egyptian female bloggers, including those aligned with the Muslim
Brotherhood, were among the first to understand they could use cyber
communication to break through patriarchal prejudice and voice the political
disdain of men. “Some write about their imprisoned fathers, posting videos
of the trials and pictures of family members,” said Omayma Abdel Latif, who
has made a study of the women in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

Just as Twitter sustained the Iranian Green revolutionaries after the
killing of the student Neda Soltan, so it is the bloggers who are set to
keep alive women’s demands in post-revolutionary Egyptian society. Since
internet usage has expanded hugely in the Middle East — even in Algeria,
which has relatively low internet penetration — the number of users has
jumped from 50,000 in 2000 to almost four million and it follows that the
political self-confidence of women is growing.
A blog gets beneath the skin of a closed society. It does not always have to
be overtly political to sow the seeds of change. Saudi Arabia has one of the
fastest-growing blogging communities after Egypt. Almost every Saudi town
has a discussion forum website; news moves fast from the capital to the
countryside. Some blog in English ( Others, such as
Khulud al-Fahd’s blog about women, are in Arabic.

In China, which has been the most repressive in its attempts to put a lid on
subversive internet use, the power of the blogger has exposed the daily
abuse of privilege and has held local officials to account. The actress Yao
Chen is now the undisputed queen of Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of
Twitter, having edged aside the previous top blogger, the former racing
driver Han Han. She exhorts her 15 million followers to back the journalists
investigating the mysterious fatal high-speed train accident in July.
With more than half a billion Chinese now online there is potential to
create and influence public opinion; to make it part of the political
process in a way that it has never been before. Residents in the village of
Wukan, which has been under police blockade, are posting information and
photos online to support their campaign for justice over land seizures.
The images of a child run down by a car and ignored by passersby created
global outrage and put pressure on society to change. This is new ground.
“Before there was no Chinese actor participating like this in public
affairs,” says Ms Yao.
The point of a blogger in a closed society is to use a moment of freedom
from censorship to state simple truths. Western bloggers seek to shock with
dubious conspiracy theories but in Cuba, for example, it is enough to give a
frank, propaganda-free description of life on the island.

Yoani Sanchez, 36, has launched Generación Y and become involved in a very
public Twitter row with Mariela Castro, the daughter of Raul Castro, the
Cuban leader. Ms Sanchez has now been denied permission to leave Cuba and
has been accused of being part of a Washington-backed cyberwar against the

Next year may become the year of blogger crackdowns. There are already many
in Russia urging a Chinese-style blitz on bloggers, the fear being that huge
crowds will be drummed up by the social media after the presidential
elections in the spring.

In Zimbabwe, a leading member of Zanu (PF), realising that seven million
people are now connected through their mobile phones, has called for
measures to head off Twitter-inspired unrest. “Just look at what happened
during the riots in the United Kingdom,” said Emmerson Mnangagwa in a
worried speech to the party faithful.

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Lethal game of cat and computer mouse
Analysis Laura Pitel – December 29 2011 12:01AM

When the first glimmers of protests appeared in Syria this year, many were
doubtful that they could last. The many sceptics said that the country’s
notorious machine of repression would come down hard, snuffing out any
chance of rebellion. However, they did not count on the innovative people
who dodge constant efforts to shut them down.
As their populations rose up against them, ailing Arab leaders took
desperate counter measures, from “switching off” the internet to creating
electronic armies to flood the web with pro-Government propaganda. They
bought surveillance software from some of the West’s less scrupulous

Bloggers and tweeters made mistakes and were arrested in droves, but learned
quickly and Middle Eastern intelligence services, more familiar with fist
and boot than keyboard and mouse, struggled. When Hosni Mubarak shut down
the broadband network, Egyptians used dial-up. Bahraini bloggers disguised
their locations to access blocked websites. In Syria, codewords caught out
online snoopers and smuggled satellite phones bypassed blackouts.

At times the intelligence services were just stupid. “They actually think
Facebook is a device,” one activist said. “They ask people: ‘Where’s your
Facebook?’” Another told of Government agents who created an online
honeytrap using a photograph of Julia Roberts.

Three tools in particular have helped to sustain the Arab uprisings. Skype,
the online telephone software, allows activists to evade phonetaps, plot
protests undetected and organise supplies. Facebook is a platform on which
to germinate protests and collate news.

Most powerful of all is YouTube, the video-sharing site. Type in “Syrian
revolution” and horrors appear: children shot by snipers, old men buckling
under torture, tanks firing into homes.

Governments can lie but a simple mobile phone can prove the deceit — and
satellite networks which beam the footage into millions of homes spur
thousands to take to the streets.

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2011: The year Jonathan Moyo may want to forget quickly

By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 30 December 2011.

If there is a year that political serial flip-flopper and arguably architect
of Zimbabwe’s media revenge laws, Jonathan Moyo would NOT like to be
reminded of, it is 2011.

The year 2011 proved the most embarrassing, stressful and frustrating to the
Zanu-pf politburo propagandist cum university professor that he wants it to
pass quickly.

This was the year when Wikileaks exposed Jonathan Moyo’s fickle Zanu-pf
loyalty as it emerged he once advised the United States on removing the
Commander-in-Chief, Head of State and Government, First Secretary and
President of Zanu-pf  Politburo Robert Gabriel Mugabe from power.

Yes, it also became abundantly clear in 2011that Jonathan Moyo hates his
past especially publications which kept reminding the public about his
previous writings critical of Robert Mugabe whom he now says is his hero.

Among the articles causing Jonathan Moyo embarrassment and stress are: ‘Why
Mugabe should go now’; ‘Mugabe now too old, too tired’; ‘Mugabe not telling
the truth’; ‘Mugabe leadership doomed to fail’; ‘Mugabe behaving like a
cornered rat’; ‘Tsvangirai defeated Mugabe’; ‘Mugabe incoherent, disoriented’
and so on.

Ironically, in 2011, Jonathan Moyo hypocritically accused his political
opponents and the independent media of being ‘British-funded political tools
of regime change’ when he failed the test of morality himself by attempting
to work clandestinely for Mugabe’s ouster with imperialist entrepreneur Sir
Richard Branson of Britain.

According to one cable 07Pretoria2443 Jonathan Moyo and Richard Branson
discussed ways to boot Mugabe out of power, during which Moyo suggested to
Branson that it would be easier to use a respected group of African leaders
who could convince Mugabe to leave power.

Incredibly, in a move seen by experts as an attempt to deter journalists
from doing their job and to throttle the Daily News financially, Moyo filed
a US$100 000 lawsuit against the editor and a reporter of the Daily News for
stories quoting comments attributed to him in the cables that are already
known to the whole world.

Jonathan Moyo confessed to losing sleep over the cables “after spending an
average of 18 hours a day between August and last Friday sifting through the
staggering record of the published cables on the Internet and enduring
uniquely Zimbabwean broadband frustrations with browsing speed and all,…”(see
Wikileaks, a blessing in disguise by Jonathan Moyo, Zimpapers,10/09/11).

Moyo was also frustrated in 2011 for his failure to have Finance Minister
Tendai Biti arrested for demanding a diamonds cash audit and to have MDC
President Morgan Tsvangirai and his key official Jameson Timba arrested on
allegations they undermined Mugabe by disputing Mugabe’s interpretation of
the outcome of the SADC Extraordinary Summit held in Sandton, South Africa.

A positive thing that Jonathan Moyo did in 2011 was his brilliant public
lecture at the University of Zimbabwe on ‘The challenges of public
administration in Zimbabwe today’ on 21 October 2011. Many would wish Moyo’s
New Year’s resolution was to return to university work fulltime where he has
undoubted and admirable skill.

Nevertheless, 2011 is the year Jonathan Moyo would like to forget quickly.
Happy New Year!!!

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,

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