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Zimbabwe politics not stable enough for IMF

03-Dec-2010 | Sapa |

Political conditions in Zimbabwe have not reached the level of stability for
it to qualify for financial help from the International Monetary Fund's
poverty reduction and growth trust

“A number of steps have to take place before a deeper engagement  can take
place with Zimbabwe,” the IMF’s senior resident representative Alfredo
Cuevas said in a briefing to the standing committee on finance.

“Our teams visit Zimbabwe regularly and provide advice. We are also
providing some technical assistance for the rebuilding of certain macro
economic management institutions.

“That is what our board has authorised the staff of IMF to do. It is not
until the board moves and takes a different decision that  the IMF’s staff
can go deeper into relationship with the country,” he said.

Zimbabwe still had to clear its arrears with the poverty reduction and
growth trust, which funds loans to the organisation’s  lowest-income member

“What happens is that eventually there is a political consensus at the level
of the board which facilitates a country to clear those arrears.

“It wouldn’t be expected (for a) country to do it out of its own pocket.
That will happen when the political conditions in Zimbabwe have reached a
level of stability that gives comfort to the board.”

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Countdown to deportation


In a move to alleviate the panic among those who fear losing everything if
they submit their fraudulent South African identity documents, Home Affairs
Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said Wednesday that Zimbabweans who have
been living in the country for years on fake South African IDs -- and have
bought property and started businesses -- would be legalised, if they make
the 31 December deadline.

She said Zimbabweans who have fake South African IDs with the same name and
photograph as their Zimbabwean documents, and which also correspond with
papers such as banking, business or property documents, will be assisted by
the police with an affidavit that will allow their properties and businesses
to be transferred to legal documentation.

She was accompanied by Zimbabwean Home Affairs Ministers Theresa Makone and
Kembo Mohadi, who were in South Africa to ask for help in handling the
volume of paperwork flooding their offices.

Dlamini-Zuma also said those who applied for passports in Zimbabwe but had
not received them in time for the deadline would be considered as being
"inside the shop or bank when the doors close", adding that the Zimbabwean
authorities would submit the database of passport applicants still being
processed on deadline day to the DHA. But the department isn't backing down
on the recent statement that there will be no extension for Zimbabweans who
fail to meet the December 31 deadline.

"Those who do not comply will face immigration laws -- this means we
arrest," Ronnie Mamoepa, the department of home affairs spokesperson, said.

Those who work with migrants say the policy will result in a return to mass
arrests, detention and "fruitless mass deportations".

"You'll also see a return to tens of thousands of spurious asylum claims as
people try to get a hold of some kind of documentation," said Loren Landau,
director of the African Centre for Migration and Society (ACMS).

The applications
According to home affairs, between September 20 and December 1, 99 435
Zimbabweans applied; of these there are 64 980 applications in progress and
34 455 have been finalised.

With estimates of the numbers of Zimbabweans living in SA ranging between
1,5 and 2 million there is a long way to go.

Landau said the deadline wasn't realistic and he believed only 5% of that
number would receive work and business permits.

The process is open only to those Zimbabweans who are working, studying or
doing business in South Africa says Mamoepa, and the documents they will
receive "must last at least four years".

He emphasised that the deadline, set by the Cabinet decision for the
deadline would not be extended. "What is critical is to get people to get
their applications in long before the 31st."

Zweli Mnisi, the spokesperson for the department of police, said they would
work closely with home affairs.

"It is not our stance to criminalise law-abiding foreign nationals in South
Africa," Mnisi said, but added that during police operations, and in daily
policing, they will continue to search those who were here illegally,
whether they were from Zimbabwe or any other country. But activists say
recent raids, such as the one in Hillbrow during the police's Operation Duty
Calls campaign, had raised some concern.

"The presence of the home affairs officials at the raid clearly indicates
that there was an intention to arrest, detain and potentially deport
non-citizens," said Landau. "While this raid was part of a broader
crime-fighting initiative, it's evident that the police want to send a
message to the citizenry and to foreigners that they are seen as criminals
and that their presence is not going to be tolerated."

The progress
At the home affairs offices in Plein Street in Johannesburg late on Tuesday
afternoon there was a queue of more than 80 Zimbabweans, who had already
applied for permits but were back to check on progress.

At the back of the line was a young man who has been living in the country
for two years. He had received an SMS on Friday to collect his documents,
which he submitted on October 18. He said he had applied because he had just
finished his studies and was now working.

"It was efficient but, here and there, there were delays. But we can't
really complain. We understand there's a lot of congestions, there are a lot
of ­people," he said.

Lack of procedure
However, Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, chairperson of the Consortium for Refugees
and Migrants in South Africa (Cormsa), said the process had been poorly
managed and there were no uniform procedures.

"There are no clear guidelines on what is required and different offices
have different requirements. There is no certainty in the process."

Another problem, said Ramjathan-Keogh, was the more than 30 000 applications
for passports sent to Zimbabwe.

One Zimbabwean woman, who did not want to be identified, said she had been
living in South Africa for the past five years and was working as a domestic
worker. She said she was still waiting for her passport to enable her to
apply for the special permit.

"I do have a passport, but it expires on January 5," she said. "I was told
that I need a new one because this one expires very soon. I applied for my
new passport three weeks back and they said it will take six weeks."

She said a passport cost R800 and she had not had enough money to apply for
it earlier. She said she was very scared as she did not know what will
happen next year. Many of her friends who had applied for both passports and
permits had still not received them, even those who applied six weeks ago.

"My older brother has applied for the permit and is still waiting. I do not
know anyone who has received the permit. I do not know what's going on." She
said if she had not been able to apply for a permit by the time the deadline
expired, she would have to go back home. "There's nothing I can do, I'll

The situation leaves those who work with migrants questioning the intention
behind the September decision to grant Zimbabweans the opportunity to apply
for the special permits.

Roni Amit, a senior researcher at ACMS, said: "The fact that they are so
adamant about not extending the deadline suggests that this was not really a
way to regularise the status of Zimbabweans. Instead, it seems to be a
cosmetic measure aimed at justifying the resumption of arrests and

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Zim admits serious passport issuing problems

By Alex Bell
03 December 2010

Zimbabwean authorities have admitted that they are having serious problems
issuing new passports to tens of thousands of nationals in South Africa,
just a few weeks before a deadline to get proper documents in place runs

Co-Minister of Home Affairs, Theresa Makone, said this week that they may
need to enlist the help of the South African government, because Zimbabwe is
unable to process enough passports on its own. Makone said, after holding
talks with her South African counterpart Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, that
Zimbabwe could only process 500 passports a day.

“The numbers (of passport applications) that are coming now show us that we
will obviously be behind by the 31st (of December),” Makone said, referring
to the South African authorities looming December deadline for Zimbabwean
nationals to regularise their stay in the country.

Makone added: “We are still having discussions to see if it is possible for
South Africa, even at a later stage, to come in and assist us doing the

She said Zimbabwe’s equipment for processing the documentation could not
cope with the demand. Reports have indicated that so far only 7,000
passports have been issued.

Zimbabweans, who do not have proper study, work and residency permits, have
until the end of the year to apply for the necessary documentation to obtain
those permits. From the New Year the South Africa authorities have said that
it will resume deportations to Zimbabwe, sparking fear among the many
thousands of Zimbabweans living in South Africa illegally.

Kaajal Ramjathan Keogh, from the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants of
South Africa (CoRMSA), said that the South African authorities should take
this issue on the Zimbabwe side into account and immediately extend the
application deadline into next year. “If the deadline for applications is
not extended then the process is doomed to fail,” Ramjathan Keogh told SW
Radio Africa.
She added: “We are concerned that Home Affairs is not taking into account
the serious problems people are facing getting their permits.”

Dlamini-Zuma meanwhile again insisted this week that the deadline would not
be extended. She said after her meeting with Makone that while Zimbabweans
may not have received their documentation by December 31, as long as their
applications for passports had been received by Zimbabwe's home affairs
department, before that date, they would still be processed.

But observers have commented that this directive will do little for
undocumented Zimbabweans as of the New Year, with the order already in place
for deportations to begin in January. South African police have already been
harassing Zimbabweans, mainly in Johannesburg, trying to get bribes out of
them by threatening them with deportation. There are also reports that local
South Africans have already warned they will attack Zimbabweans in the New
Year, in a feared new wave of xenophobic crime.

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Low morale erodes public health gains
Photo: WHO/Paul Garwood
A nurse attends to a child during Zimbabwe's 2009 cholera outbreak
Harare, 3 December 2010 (IRIN) - At first glance Zimbabwe's public health system has undergone a renaissance since the dire days two years ago when shortages of drugs, staff and equipment were the norm.
A public referral hospital in the dormitory town of Chitungwiza, about 25 km north of the capital, Harare, recently opened an eye clinic, jointly funded by the Chinese and Zimbabwe governments, allowing it to provide services free of charge.
At the official opening, attended by representatives from both governments and graced by the guest of honour, President Robert Mugabe, staff assisted waiting patients with courtesy and efficiency, although some were turned away and asked to come back once the ceremony was over.
But this was not the norm, said John Mushangi, 42, an insurance broker who rushed his 15-year-old son to the facility after he was hit by a car and suffered head injuries.
"We waited for more than three hours before being attended and during that time my son was bleeding heavily. There was no reason for the hospital staff to take so long because there were few patients in front of us [in the queue]," he told IRIN.
The student nurse told Mushangi that his son required an intravenous drip, but the room where the equipment was stored was locked and the staff member responsible had left for the weekend with the keys.
"It's obvious the health system has improved from what it was at the beginning of last year [2009], as hospitals have more equipment and drugs are more available, but the main problem is now with the attitude of hospital staff to their work. Juniors lack supervision and senior staff don't bother about the welfare of patients," Mushangi said.
Poor salaries

Low morale among workers at public institutions was a contributing factor. "While drugs are more available, and there are more nurses and doctors in hospitals than two years ago, service delivery in the national public health sector is still crippled by poor salaries,” said Japhet Moyo, deputy secretary general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).
"The government is paying health staff peanuts and as a result workers dedicate their time to moonlighting, are usually absent from their workstations, and tend to give flimsy excuses to be away from work," Moyo told IRIN. The labour organization is demanding a minimum salary of US$500 per month for health workers.
Although there were frequent power outages, the emergency generator at Chitungwiza stood idle because "The accounts department did not leave money to buy fuel," said a nurse who declined to be identified.

''Morale is very low due to the poor salaries … We feel that the government is failing to recognise our importance. The result is that most of us are paying lip service to our work, and it is unfortunate that the sick suffer for the sins of our employer''
A nurse at a Harare hospital that caters to low-income communities said a nurse with four years’ experience was paid less than a cleaner, and service delivery suffered because of low pay.
"Morale is very low due to the poor salaries … We feel that the government is failing to recognise our importance. The result is that most of us are paying lip service to our work, and it is unfortunate that the sick suffer for the sins of our employer," said the nurse, who declined to be identified.
A junior nurse's basic monthly salary is US$150, but even modest accommodation in the low-income suburbs costs more than that for a family of four.
In an attempt to stem the brain drain of skilled medical personnel, humanitarian organizations such as the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, introduced a monthly supplementary allowance for public-sector health staff in 2009, which ranges between US$150 and $US500.
But the Harare hospital nurse said the supplementary allowance had become irregular, and "we have not received it in the last four months".
Micaela Marques de Souza, spokesperson for UNICEF Zimbabwe, told IRIN that UNICEF had started the funding process with US$5 million in January 2009, but "funding is scarce".
Selling free medicines

After four months "It [the allowance disbursement] was then picked up by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and Global Fund, and it is still running today. Health workers still receive their allowances but are sometimes paid quarterly. The allowances should continue until early 2011," De Souza told IRIN in a written reply.

The Global Fund was not available for comment.
The Harare nurse said low wages had sometimes led to staff accepting bribes from patients for quicker treatment and hospital admission, and selling ARVs that were available for free to HIV-positive people. Such conditions were leading to growing disillusionment and a new wave of health staff searching for work in other countries.
Innocent Makwiramiti, a Harare based economist, said the economy was still performing poorly and the government did not have the resources to improve salaries for health workers.
"Civil servants, on the other hand, feel that the government has its priorities wrong and believe that they should get a bigger share of the cake," Makwiramiti told IRIN. "They protest by giving shoddy service."


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

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MDC calls for non-partisan land audit

By Alex Bell
03 December 2010

The MDC has this week urgently called for a transparent and non-partisan
land audit, calling it “paramount to national survival.”

The calls come after ZANU PF’s greed was exposed in the media this week in
reports that detailed how a select group of Mugabe’s ruling elite and other
party loyalists is in control of about 5 million hectares of Zimbabwe’s most
profitable land. According to ZimOnline after a three month investigation
into the corrupt land grab scheme, a “new well-connected black elite of
about 2, 200 people now control close to half of the most profitable land
seized from about 4 100 commercial farmers.”

The report details how top ZANU PF ministers, governors, security officials,
and even court judges have all been rewarded for keeping Mugabe in power, by
claiming large pieces of land stolen from commercial farmers under the guise
of land ‘reform’. The report says that all of ZANU PF’s 56 politburo
members, 98 Members of Parliament and 35 elected and unelected Senators were
allocated former white owned farms, all 10 provincial governors have seized
farms, with four being multiple owners, while 65 percent of the country’s
more than 200 traditional chiefs have also benefited from the land grab.
Mugabe and his wife Grace, are the chief multiple farm owners, with 14 farms
in total that measure over 16,000 hectares.

The MDC said in a statement this week that “the so-called invader-sponsored
land leases bear testimony to ZANU PF and Mugabe’s insincerity about land
reform. They knew, right from the beginning, that none of the senior
officials who now control a whooping five million hectares of choice plots
of this finite resource were ever interested in commercial agriculture –
beyond fulfilling a sucking, vacuum cleaner mindset of licking out and
pillaging anything that moves.”

The Global Political Agreement (GPA), signed by both parties, calls for a
land audit, a move that has been resisted clearly because of the corruption
that has been labelled ‘reform’. The MDC is now calling for an urgent audit
so there can be “restoration of full productivity on all agricultural land
that would have been redistributed irrespective of race, gender, religion,
ethnicity or political affiliation.”

The MDC also pointed out in its statement how Zimbabwe’s agricultural
exports have fallen drastically because of the land grab scheme.
“Lack of activity on the farms proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the
ZANU PF elite was never interested in agriculture,” the MDC said.

The destruction of agriculture at the hands of ZANU PF means the country has
been largely dependent on international food aid for many years. This week,
the United Nations (UN) once again launched a humanitarian appeal for
Zimbabwe, citing “unresolved problems in the agriculture sector.”

Announcing the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) for 2011, the UN’s Office
for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Thursday said
Zimbabwe’s humanitarian situation remained precarious despite “two years of
modest economic recovery”. It said problems in agriculture would mean
millions of Zimbabweans would continue to face hunger next year. Food
assistance makes up the largest part of the appeal, accounting for nearly
US$159 million.

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ZANU PF withdraws support for POSA amendments

By Tichaona Sibanda
3 December 2010

The former ruling ZANU PF party has withdrawn its support for changes to the
Public Order and Security Amendments Act (POSA).

POSA is a piece of legislation tightened up by a ZANU PF dominated
parliament in 2002. The draconian legislation gives untold powers to the
police, who apparently opposed changes to the Act. The Ministry of Home
Affairs and the police are responsible for the administration of the Act.

MDC-T chief whip and Mutare Central MP, Innocent Gonese, introduced a motion
to amend POSA as a Private Member's Bill, in October last year. There was
much hope that this could be the beginning of some democratic reforms in

POSA has its origins in the Rhodesian Law and Order Maintenance Act; used by
the colonial government under Ian Smith to suppress political expression and
organization by the black majority. Rather than get rid of this much reviled
law, the former ruling ZANU PF regime kept it, revised it and strengthened
it to become the POSA Bill.

Facing a serious challenge from the MDC, ZANU PF has in the last decade used
POSA to suppress basic freedoms, especially political gatherings by its
opponents. Police are in the habit of blocking MDC rallies, arguing that
they need to seek permission from them instead of simple notification.

It’s reported that legislators from ZANU PF withdrew their support for
amendments after they received a tongue lashing from Vice-President Joice
Mujuru at a party caucus meeting on November 18th for supporting the
proposed amendments

Gonese’s Bill sought to ensure that public gatherings were regulated in a
manner that would allow Zimbabweans to exercise their democratic right to
engage and to express themselves through the medium of peaceful assembly and

The Bill would also have reduced police powers, transferred the power to
prohibit meetings from police to magistrates and repealed the provision
penalizing failure to carry ID documents.

Shepherd Mushonga, the MDC-T MP for Mazowe Central in Mashonaland Central,
told SW Radio Africa on Friday that it was clear ZANU PF made a u-turn
because they continue to benefit from the abuse of POSA.

‘Since the inception of POSA no one from that party (ZANU PF) has been
arrested for violating it. It’s only the other parties, not that party,’ the
MP said.

Mushonga, a lawyer by profession, warned ‘signs are on the wall’ that
Zimbabwe will go to another election with POSA still on the statute books.
He said even if his party were to push through the Bill by a slight majority
in Parliament they would not get the necessary support in the senate. And
there would be another hurdle even if it got through the senate.

‘Even if it sails through the senate, the signature of the President might
not come. The u-turn is about ensuring they continue denying other political
players space and respect. It maintains their unbridled power to harass,
torture, kill and abuse innocent Zimbabweans without the fear of arrest from
the partisan police,’

But Mushonga said he was adamant the brutal treatment of anyone perceived to
be anti-ZANU PF will not help Mugabe win the next election.

‘Even if we go to the election, with say the minimum SADC conditions, ZANU
PF will not win. Zimbabweans are very intelligent people. They now know how
to around that.

‘If you look at our demographic graph; those who are below 30 years make up
the base of the triangle. They are educated, they are unemployed, they are
hungry and angry and longing for change,’ Mushonga added.

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MDC MP Cleared Off Kidnapping Charges

03/12/2010 08:49:00

Harare, 3 December - The High Court on Thursday overturned the conviction
and sentence of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Member of Parliament
for Mutare West Shuah Mudiwa and two of his associates who were granted a
seven year prison term for allegedly kidnapping a 12 year-old girl.

Mudiwa and his two co-accused persons Patricia Chikide Mwashuma and Takudzwa
Mudiwa were convicted and sentenced to serve seven years in prison by Mutare
Magistrate Hlekani Mwayera in 2009 for allegedly kidnapping a 12 year-old
girl and isolating her in a room without food in 2007.

Magistrate Mwayera convicted Mudiwa, Mwashuma and Takudzwa on the strength
of the girl’s claim to have positively identified the MP and his co-accused
as her alleged kidnappers.

The kidnap case arose prior to the 2008 March Parliamentary elections in
which Mudiwa was challenging ZANU PF’s Christopher Mushohwe in Mutare West
House of Assembly constituency.

But High Court Justice Ben Hlatshwayo who sat with Judge President Justice
George Chiweshe on Thursday 2 November 2010 quashed Mudiwa and his
associates’ conviction and set aside their sentence after ruling that
Magistrate Mwayera erred and misdirected herself by placing the onus on
Mudiwa, Takudzwa and Mwashuma to prove their innocence.

The ruling by the High Court Judges followed an appeal against both
conviction and sentence which was filed by Mudiwa’s lawyer Advocate Linos

Justice Hlatshwayo and Justice Chiweshe ruled that the investigating
officers in the case had failed to interview some witnesses who were
mentioned in court.

Mudiwa becomes the second MDC legislator to be acquitted in recent weeks
after High Court Judges Justice Yunus Omerjee and Justice Chiweshe annulled
the conviction and sentence of Chipinge East legislator Mathias Mlambo who
had imprisoned for 12 months for allegedly obstructing the course of justice
and inciting violence at a funeral of an MDC member.

Mudiwa was suspended from Parliament in July 2009 by the Clerk of
Parliament, Austin Zvoma, despite appealing against his conviction and

He is now expected to resume attending parliamentary sessions and executing
his duties as a Member of Parliament.

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Zimbabweans free to decide on elections - Holland

By Reagan Mashavave
Friday, 03 December 2010 18:43

HARARE - Sekai Holland, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office,
has said it is the right of every Zimbabwean to demand the postponement of
elections if they feel democratic reforms which make voting free and fair
have not been implemented.

"In our time, we would be actually telling leaders that we are not ready for
elections because who is going to vote if people don't think there are ready
for elections?

"I don't see any civil society action where people are saying we are not
ready to vote because we want this and this done, nobody is saying that, so
we are continuing the culture of  that Zimbabweans are there to obey and to
be abused,” Holland,  who is co-chair of National Healing and Reconciliation
told youths at a meeting to discuss the healing and reconciliation programme
in Harare,Thursday.

The abrasive MDC- T official who is also the co-chairperson of the Organ on
National Healing and Reconcilliation, said youths and ordinary citizens must
organize themselves to fight setbacks they are facing to achieve freedom.

"I was in the diaspora when  Ian Smith was here as Prime Minister and I
never thought our efforts to remove him were going to yield independence of
any kind because it was very difficult but people really organized
themselves and they got independence,"
Holland said.

"Change does not come from us with all the things that hold us back. We
should really know that it is courage that we need to make sure that what we
are talking about does take place."

Holland said the concept of national healing must include everyone and the
Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation becomes effective only  if
people participate in the process.

"It is work which needs people to understand national healing is everybody's
business," Holland said. "Zimbabweans must all agree that peace is an
option; it cannot be done by one group."

Human rights and pro-democracy groups have dismissed the inclusive
government’s attempt at instituting national healing and forgiveness as
cheap talk.

Victims of the 2008 political violence among them opposition supporters,
contend that for forgiveness and healing to be achieved, the state should
bring to book the culprits who  many say have Zanu-PF links.

In the run up to the 2008 June Presidential run off,  Zanu PF supporters in
the volatile provinces of Mashonaland East and Central, ran a retribution
exercise against perceived MDC supporters in a campaign that  killed
hundreds and left others maimed.

Against this background, sceptics of both President Robert Mugabe and Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, say their call for early polls in 2011 is not
out of touch with reality.

Business leaders argue that early elections would negate the gains made in
the economy by the inclusive government.

Civic society organizations that have stepped up pressure on SADC to act on
the deteriorating political environment in the country want a clear roadmap
and far reaching reforms before elections are held.

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Budget did not favour Education - Dokora

By Maxwell Sibanda
Friday, 03 December 2010 16:14

HARARE - Deputy Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Lazarous Dokora
has scoffed at suggestions that his ministry received the biggest budget
allocation from the 2011 National Budget recently announced by Finance
Minister, Tendai Biti.

Biti on 25 November unveiled a US$2.7 billion budget and gave the education
ministry US$400 million.

Dokora said: “It is not true that we received the biggest budget allocation
because the money we were given is only for salaries. The money we received
is just to cover the employment cost.”

Dokora made these remarks Thursday when he officially opened an arts
exhibition, Vhura Meso – Zimbabwean Roots in the 21st Century at the
National Art Galley of Zimbabwe.

He said the allocation meant that there was no money allocated to the
building of schools, buying of new equipment and infrastructure development.

Dokora said: “While we expected 22 percent of the total budget, we only
received 4.6 percent.”

Dokora said he had been late to the official opening of the exhibition
because he was trying to explain to some stakeholders that contrary to
popular belief that his ministry received the biggest chunk of the “I told
them that we only received money for salaries and down stream projects
received nothing,” he said.

Dokora joins a band of other Zanu PF government officials who have taken
turns to dismiss Finance Minister Biti’s budget.  The army has also attacked
Biti saying its allocation meant that they would not buy any new equipment.

Since the announcement of the budget by Biti last week, the state media has
been interviewing Zanu PF government officials who have been dismissing the

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Makone and Mohadi booed by exiled Zimbabweans in South Africa

02 December, 2010 09:07:00    By Vavudze Bvanyangu

JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe coalition government’s Home Affairs Co-ministers,
Kembo Mohandi and Theresa Makone, walked out of a meeting, after angry
Zimbabweans told them where to get off, for glossing over their ministry’s
incompetence in delivering documents to South Africa based Zimbabweans

The duo, who never ceased to shower each other with accolades and praises in
their opening remarks, attracted the wrath of their countrymen when they
claimed that the documentation process was running smoothly in South Africa.

Their presentations lacked profundity. They exhibited clear ignorance of the
documentation process. They also did not seem to have any clue of the
implications of the process. Makone’s regurgitation of the outcomes of their
meeting with SA Home Affairs Minister, Nkosazana Zuma, turned out to be an
old and tired story. Minister Zuma made the same remarks to Zimbabwean NGOs
last week during a Stake-holders' meeting.

The cabinet ministers further stunned everyone when they arrogantly refused
to answer even a single question from Zimbabweans who had paid R75 to hear
their ministers shedding light over the on-going documentation process which
is riddled with serious irregularities.

Instead they took turns to tongue lash at the attendants accusing them of
not respecting them, with Makone describing the questioning as “gutter
“I am not going to engage in gutter fighting because I am an intellectual,”
said Makone, a Food Science Nottingham University (UK) graduate. The visibly
embarassed Therersa was later on whispering to some members of the public
saying she was a fighting type, born and bred in Mbare.

Mahodi did not help the situation either, when he demanded to be respected.
“ I might be a bad person, but respect me,” said the Zanu PF hardliner, much
to the annoyance of attendants who expected a fruitful engagement with the

In rare display of Shefu mentality, the two characters, who are presiding
over the collapsing Policing ministry in Zimbabwe, fell short of telling
attendants that they should instead consider themselves as luck to be
addressed by ministers.

Typical of Zanu PF circus, the new illegitimate Ambassador of Zimbabwe to
South Africa, who Bvanyangu never bothered to ask his name, was sent off the
podium by the attendants when he tried to shield the ministers by responding
on their behalf.

When the ministers were finally forced back to the podium they surprisingly
demanded that all questions be put in writing before sending them to their
Mukwati Building offices in Harare. They tasked the new illegitimate
Ambassador to take the questions and send them to their 11th floor spacious

They also took a swipe at the organizers of the event for not sending them
the agenda in advance.

The sarcastic Mutumwa Mawere, who Mohadi initially described as a former
fugitive in his opening remarks, reminded the ministers to control their
temper and respond to questions. Mawere added that it was acceptable in
African culture to invite people for a meeting without necessarily detailing
items on the agenda.

Theirs were soliloquies of fools, full of sound bites, but literally saying
nothing new. The 60 year old Makone further incensed everyone when she
claimed that one Zimbabwe student got her ID card within five minutes. Such
claims are even too preposterous to merit even as a passing sneer, because
after paying the R150 charged for an ID, applicants have to wait for a week
for the Consulate to verify first that money was deposited in Zimbabwe
government’s account.

Bvanyangu understands that Makone is MDC-T’s funny woman. She is not a new
comer to controversy and has always attracted stinging headlines for wrong
reasons. Surprisingly, the MDC Chairlady enjoys the confidence of her boss
Morgan Tsvangirai. The Harvest House woman is powerful. She has power and
knows how to flaunt it. Ask, the suspended MDC Director General Toendepi
Shonhe. Check this with Hon. Lucia Mativenga. Nee Chigariro doesn’t seem to
have learnt anything from her Diploma in Leadership Management which she
acquired at Waco University in Texas. There is nothing ministerial or
managerial in all her escapades, except clear arrogant displays of power,
opulence and self-importance.

When asked to right her wrongs, she has always defended herself saying she
can’t make everyone happy.

She nearly split MDC-T for the second time after taking on the much fancied
and respected former National Chairlady, Lucia Mativenga from the left. She
snatched the post from her under opaque circumstances that dented the
credibility of her Master, who is a close ally of her equally powerful
husband, Ian Makone. The two occupy the epi-centre of Tsvangirai’s feared,
powerful and hated kitchen cabinet.

She threw the MDC moral compass into turmoil, when she accompanied Zanu PF
Pharisee, Dydimus Mutasa, to Mbare police station, scavenging for his son

Her first priority was Mutasa, simply because his wife, a nurse helped her
to look after her baby, Taneta, who she delivered in 1976 in UK.
Out of the hundreds of activists such as Farai Maguwu who faced what rights
groups described as political persecution, Makone elected to start her new
job by muscling in to rescue the freedom of Mutasa’s son, Martin, who was
arrested together with Zanu PF member and businessman Themba Mliswa on a
fraud charge.

Bvanyangu’s honest opinion about Theresa is that there is nothing
spectacular about the Mukwati Building bound mother of two except that
Zimbabweans took her more serious than what she deserves.

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Students disappointed with PM for pulling out of UZ tour

By Lance Guma
03 December 2010

The President of the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU), Obert
Masaraure, has expressed his disappointment with Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai for pulling out of a planned tour of the University of Zimbabwe.

The students are reeling from a myriad of problems that include exorbitant
tuition fees and an accommodation crisis caused by the closure of halls of
residence in 2006. Masaraure says they were looking forward to the PM’s
visit, because for the first time ever someone high up in government was
going to witness their challenges first hand.

Tsvangirai was meant to visit the campus on Thursday but allegedly pulled
out because the ZANU PF Higher Education Minister Stan Mudenge, told him
there were exams on campus and the PM’s visit would be inappropriate. A
furious Masaraure however said they were no such exams and the PM was
showing a lack of fighting spirit in simply accepting such dishonest

‘We know ZANU PF is in election mode and these are political games,’
Masaraure said. He said they were angry with the PM’s office for choosing to
listen to the minister instead of them. Tsvangirai’s office has ‘simply told
us that this is a government position and that the PM cannot tour if the
relevant minister has told him to stop.

Meanwhile over 500 riot police were deployed at the UZ on Thursday,
according to Masaraure. Only students who have paid their tuition fees and
have ID cards are being allowed in. He said almost three quarters of the
students would fail to write exams set for the 13th December this year.
Authorities are anticipating student protests and deployed the police all
over campus as a deterrent.

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Body of Gokwe villager still at mortuary after two years

By Tererai Karimakwenda
03 December, 2010

We have been reliably informed that the body of Moses Chokuda, a Gokwe
villager who died over 2 years ago under suspicious circumstances, has still
not been buried and is lying at the mortuary in Gokwe South.

Our correspondent Lionel Saungweme talked to families from the ‘Senga’ area
in Gokwe South about the case and discovered that Chokuda was allegedly
murdered by Farai Machaya, son of the Midlands Governor Jason Machaya.
Chokuda had been accused of being an MDC supporter.

The police never pursued the case by way of investigation and the Chokuda
family refused to bury their son until the Governor paid 50 head of cattle
as compensation.

Saungweme said Governor Machaya’s family has refused to pay the ‘damages’,
as they are known traditionally, claiming that Farai is not guilty of the

“It is amazing that the body has not decomposed yet after 2 years, given
that there has been lots of load shedding and power cuts in this area,” said
our correspondent.

Saungweme said that the police had tried to use prisoners to bury Moses
Chokuda as a pauper. But for some unknown reason they failed to lift the
coffin into a vehicle. The case is also still unresolved because the police
officer who first attended the scene of the murder was declared mentally
unstable by a doctor.

Saungweme said Chokuda was killed in a pub full of people during the day and
it is largely believed that no other witnesses have come forward due to
political interference. The corpse continues to lie at the mortuary in Gokwe
South and there seems to be no solution in sight.

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The WikiLeaks cables are rightly scathing about Morgan Tsvangirai

Zimbabwe's prime minister is brave and decent but, as the WikiLeaks cables suggest, he's also deeply flawed

Morgan Tsvangirai
The former US ambassador to Zimbabwe described Morgan Tsvangirai as 'possibly an albatross around their necks' of the opposition movement. Photograph: Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images

Zimbabwe's prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai can be forgiven for being an angry man. Not only has Robert Mugabe failed to implement the agreement that created Zimbabwe's unity government between Mugabe's Zanu-PF and Tsvangirai's MDC, the cables unleashed on WikiLeaks in recent days have revealed just what one of his key allies thinks of the prime minister. The country is abuzz with details of what America's former ambassador to Zimbabwe thinks of Tsvangirai. It is of course the view of one man, Christopher Dell, but to many, the US has spoken. As Thursday's Guardian editorial put it: "The cables were written by Americans, to be read by Americans and they form the undigested raw material of American policy."

And what the US had to say about Tsvangirai is so raw as to be downright unflattering. Tsvangirai, according to Dell, is "a flawed figure, not readily open to advice, indecisive and with questionable judgment". He is, Dell wrote, "an indispensable element for opposition success … but possibly an albatross around their necks once in power. In short … Zimbabwe needs him, but should not rely on his executive abilities to lead the country's recovery."

The Guardian pointed out that many of the diplomats' cables are "are consistently well-informed, well-sourced and well-judged". Tsvangirai's spokesman issued a bellicose response: Dell's assessment of Tsvangirai, he said, was contrary to the views of the increasing number of Zimbabweans who have been supporting him since 1999. But this is beside the point. The reality is that Tsvangirai has always been a protest choice, and not a real one. Given the choice between him and Mugabe, most voters would choose, and have chosen him. But this is not to say that he is by any means the best possible leader for Zimbabwe.

Dell's thinking chimes with what many in Tsvangirai's MDC and outside it have been whispering. There is no question at all that Tsvangirai is a brave man, a decent human being, and from all accounts, a likable one. But his actions as MDC leader have also revealed him to be all the things that Dell has said.

Tsvangirai encapsulates the dilemma of the revolution donated from abroad: for the west, he raises the question of what to do about a pro-democracy leader who is not all that he should be, but represents the best alternative to the regimeit is fighting. Dell compared him to Lech Walesa, but he is more like Hamid Karzai. Like the Afghan leader, he is a deeply flawed man whose success is nonetheless essential to the interests of the US and its allies, and who, flawed as he is, still offers a better alternative to the regime he is fighting.

But the strategy of uncritically supporting the lesser of two evils has been to the detriment of politics in Zimbabwe, and indeed, to its democratic development. Tsvangirai may be a lesser evil, but there is still much about him that causes discomfort. Supporting him has led to multiple contradictions and hypocrisies, both for the people of Zimbabwe and the MDC's western allies. So while Mugabe is castigated for hanging on to power, and refusing to let democratic processes take place both within his party and the country, Tsvangirai, who intends to stay on as MDC president beyond the constitutional limits imposed by his party's constitution, is considered essential to democracy. In effect, undemocratic means are used to advance supposedly democratic outcomes. And in pushing and supporting a man who as patently flawed as Tsvangirai, they may effectively be creating a monster.

Dell also zoomed in on Tsvangirai's apparent aversion to ideas outside his small narrow circle. Rumours abounded that he wanted to sack Tendai Biti, the finance minister who has proved to be one of the leading lights in cabinet, and who, interestingly, was lauded by Dell as one of only two quality leaders in the MDC. This, in the context of the elevation of the patently unqualified Theresa Makone to the high profile home affairs portfolio was a shocking development. A flamboyant businesswoman who started life as a beauty therapist, Makone and her equally wealthy husband are said to control party appointments in a way that many consider damaging to the party.

Dell's reflections are therefore an important trigger for a discussion of Tsvangirai and his style of leadership. The MDC has largely escaped scrutiny, as, for that matter, have other actors opposed to Mugabe. The thinking behind this lack of scrutiny is that those opposed to Mugabe must be in the right. But Mugabe himself is the best example of a revolutionary motivated by idealism who soon found himself opposed to everything that he had stood for. Dell's cables are thus important to an examination of the MDC. But considering the bellicose response to Dell from Tsvangirai and his party, this may ultimately prove to be a vain hope.

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