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Air Zim refused ground handling services in SA

03/12/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

AN Air Zimbabwe flight to Johannesburg was refused ground handling services
at OR Tambo International Airport on Friday over unpaid debts resulting in
passengers and their luggage being ferried by a private vehicle.

Up to 70 passengers on the morning flight from Harare had to be ferried by a
private Mazda 5 vehicle resulting in further delays as the vehicle could
only carry five people at a time.
The airline only managed to complete the passenger transfers by 12 mid-day
when the plane had landed at 8 am.

“It was a bad experience, considering the car was small and it took too long
for most people to be moved from the plane to the airport terminal. Some
passengers were now becoming rowdy,” a passenger told the Daily News.

The airline is said to owe various services suppliers and had been
struggling to service the debts.

Air Zim acting chief executive, Innocent Mavhunga confirmed the company’s
failure to access ground services.

“The issue relates to challenges over non-payment and this has since been
negotiated with the ground handlers,” he said.

“The amount owed has been outstanding and we have discussed a way forward,”
the airline boss said.

Air Zim is currently saddled with a $137 million debt and records monthly
losses of $3,5 million according to recent information availed to
The airline's pilots and other staff have also gone on strike several times
this year over unpaid salaries.

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Mugabe Says Unity Gov't Has Expired, Demands Elections

02 December 2011

The 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing called for electoral,
media and other reforms to be implemented by the unity government, but
progress on all fronts has been slow

Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe says the country's constitutional
revision process must be speeded up so elections can be held next year,
arguing that the national unity government installed in February 2009 has
outlived its legal mandate and is therefore, operating illegally and

Mr. Mugabe was addressing members of his ZANU-PF Central Committee in Harare
on Thursday. Both formations of the co-governing Movement for Democratic
Change have said elections cannot be held until broad reforms are
instituted. Moreover, Finance Minister Tendai Biti has not put funds for
elections in his 2012 budget.

Spokesman Douglas Mwonzora of the MDC formation led by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai said Mr. Mugabe should be talking about reforms, not elections.
"We are ready for elections anytime, but we want reforms first," he said.

The 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing called for electoral,
media and other reforms to be implemented by the unity government, but
progress on all fronts has been slow. The MDC has been demanding reform of
the security sector including the military, police and security services,
but Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF has resisted.

Qhubani Moyo, organizing secretary of the MDC wing led by Industry Minister
Welshman Ncube commented that elections may not even be possible next year.

Elsewhere, members of yet another MDC wing led by Deputy Prime Minister
Arthur Mutambara, which broke away from the Ncube formation after Mutambara
was ousted as president in January, said Friday that Deputy House Speaker
Nomalanga Khumalo, expelled this week from the Ncube MDC, was now party vice

Correspondent Thomas Chiripasi reported on the latest MDC shuffle.

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Conf to focus on life after Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe’s failing health and its implications on the future
of Zanu (PF) will dominate the party’s 11th annual conference that kicks off
in Bulawayo on Tuesday, analysts have warned.
by Vusimusi Bhebhe

They said intense and often cut throat manoeuvring was taking place behind
the scenes ahead of the conference as factions led by Vice President Joice
Mujuru and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, as well as a host of party
functionaries, move to position themselves for life after the 87-year-old
Zimbabwean leader.

An increasingly Mugabe will be using the conference to confirm his
candidature in presidential elections expected in 2013. But, according to
South African-based thinktank, Southern Africa Report, Mugabe’s failing
health is rapidly eroding his options and could prove decisive during the
forthcoming conference.

Waiting in the wings

It said the ageing leader, who is said to be suffering from prostate cancer,
was no longer his old energetic self and tires easily.

He allegedly chaired a regular Cabinet meeting in October for just 20
minutes before dozing off. And last month he resumed his regular visits to
Singapore, where he has, in the past, received treatment for prostate cancer
and renal complications.

“The relative silence ahead of this year’s conference, in sharp contrast to
the usual chorus of endorsements of Mugabe, indicates the extent to which
party functionaries among the 6 000 delegates are looking beyond his
 tenure,” the thinktank said.

Mugabe has flirted with the idea of transforming the non-elective conference
into a mini-congress, “implying that it will include an elective component”.

The thinktank said Mugabe plans to pre-empt both Mujuru and Mnangagwa by
invoking Article 6 of the Zanu (PF) constitution to have the conference
“declare the president of the party elected at the congress as the
presidential candidate of the party”.

Depending on the delegate strength Mujuru or Mnangagwa can marshal, Mugabe
hopes to avoid a conference endorsement of either as vice-president.

A veteran of countless challenges to his leadership dating back to his
brutal years in Mozambique, Mugabe hopes to continue to play the rivals off
against each other until he is ready to nominate his successor.

Since the publication, through WikiLeaks, of a dossier of US Harare embassy
cables demonstrated the extent to which Zanu (PF) members were confiding in
the “imperialist enemy”, Mugabe has been even more reluctant than in the
past to put his faith in any of his potential successors.

Upgrading the conference

Both Mujuru and Mnangagwa are, meanwhile, lobbying to have delegates vote to
upgrade the conference to an elective congress (which constitutionally only
takes place every five years).

Either way, Mnangagwa hopes to use the congress to regain ground lost to
Mujuru at the 2004 and 2009 congresses, ideally replacing her with Women’s
League leader Oppah Muchinguri. His supporters have been at pains to
emphasise their lobbying is not directed at Mugabe himself, but only at

Mujuru’s power base has, however, been bolstered by a sympathy vote
following the death of her husband, Solomon Mujuru in a mysterious fire in

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Police Commissioner Snubs Unity Gov't Monitoring Committee

02 December 2011

Police Commissioner-General Chihuri declined the request from JOMIC for a
meeting, saying demands for security sector reform by the Movement for
Democratic Change reflect a foreign agenda meant to breed chaos

Blessing Zulu | Washington

Martin Rupiya, a retired Zimbabwe army officer at the Institute for Security
Studies in Pretoria said intransigence is a Chihuri trademark

Zimbabwean Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuru has dismissed a
request by the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, set up to
track compliance with the 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing,
for a meeting to discuss the failure of the national police to take action
against political violence.

The Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, or JOMIC, asked Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa last month to communicate with Chihuri about the
need for him to appear before the committee to discuss mounting political

But Chihuri declined the request, saying demands for security sector reform
by the Movement for Democratic Change reflect a foreign agenda meant to
breed chaos.

Speaking at a police conference in Darwendale, not far from Harare in
Mashonaland West province, Chihuri blamed political parties for violence and
said he does not want to be involved. He denied charges the police force is
biased in favor of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and against the
Movement for Democratic Change.

"We have been tagged partisan, yet far from it, we are a people's police
force," the state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Chihuri as saying.

"This accusation of a partisan police force is aimed at coercing the
leadership to agree to the so called security sector reform," he said.

Oppah Muchinguri, ZANU-PF's representative on JOMIC, referred questions
about Chihuri’s refusal to meet with the committee to her Tsvangirai MDC
counterpart, Tabitha Khumalo.

Khumalo told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that Chihuri says his staff has been
in touch with JOMIC so he does not see the necessity to meet with the panel

Martin Rupiya, a retired Zimbabwe Defense Forces officer at the Institute
for Security Studies in Pretoria said intransigence is a Chihuri trademark.

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‘Gukurahundi can’t be swept under’

By Pindai Dube
Saturday, 03 December 2011 09:23

BULAWAYO- Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu) president, Dumiso Dabengwa
says dishing out beer to victims of the infamous Matabeleland 1980s
massacres will not silence them.

Dabengwa said the simple act of giving victims beer is no panacea to many
cries for justice adding that the victims are better placed to determine a
lasting solution to close this dark chapter in the history of the country.

Addressing a press conference to mark Zapu’s 50-year silver jubilee
celebrations Dabengwa said the Gukurahundi issue needs to be handled

“As long as you have something that bothers an individual who become a
victim and you think you can just wipe it by giving them beer you are not
done yet. Zapu alone cannot also determine the solution to Gukurahundi but
the victims and people of Zimbabwe at large can. We should sit down to
discuss this issue genuinely,” said Dabengwa.

Dabengwa the former Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (Zipra)
intelligence supremo who was jailed on allegations of trying to ferment an
uprising by Zanu PF regime during the Gukurahundi era in the early 1980s
said the National Healing Ministry has not helped much to provide an answer.

The National Healing and Reconciliation organ was set up by the coalition
government to deal with the issue among many others of human rights abuse.

In 1982, President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party, in pursuit of a one party
state sought help from North Korea to train the infamous Five Brigade unit,
which was deployed to the Midlands and Matabeleland regions, according to
the Catholic Commission on Justice and Peace (CCJP) report ostensibly to
hunt down dissidents.

The report says almost 20 000 people, including children and pregnant women,
were killed during the period that Mugabe later described as “a moment of

As part of his party’s anniversary celebrations, Dabengwa said huge
celebrations will be held at the Babourfields Stadium in Bulawayo on
December 17.

According to Dabengwa, Zapu which was formed in 1961 fights for the true
freedom of every Zimbabwean irrespective of race, colour, tribe, gender or
any conceivable differences.

“In true Zapu spirit, the jubilee celebrations on December 17 will
demonstrate the freedom espoused in the Zapu DNA where all Zimbabweans and
indeed all peoples of the world who cherish and share the vision of freedom
for all will come together as one.

“The paradox that lies in true liberation for all is that even those who
would seek to deny others the freedom will benefit when at last all are
liberated,” said the Zapu president.

He added that over 40 000 people including delegates from South Africa’s
Africa National Congress (ANC), Namibia’s South West Africa People’s
Organization (Swapo) and other former liberation movements in the region
will attend the celebrations.

Disgruntled former Zapu members officially pulled out of the Unity Accord
signed between the party and Zanu PF in 1987 citing a skewed relationship
that favoured President Mugabe led Zanu PF.

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The Dollar Is Dead, Says the World's Worst Central Banker
By Jordan Weissmann Dec 2 2011, 9:00 AM ET

Zimbabwe says it's time to drop the U.S. dollar and move on to the Chinese yuan. Should you trust the folks who brought you the 100-trillion dollar bill?



You might not be a fan of Ben Bernanke's monetary policies. And you might be fed up with the European Central Bank's dawdling. But whatever their shortcomings might be, at least they're not responsible for 231,000,000% inflation.

Sadly, the same cannot be said for Zimbabwe Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono.

Gono was the man who turned on the printing presses to fund Zimbabwe's government after dictator Robert Mugabe drove its economy off a cliff. The resulting hyperinflation left the Zimbabwe dollar effectively worthless. But at the very least, everybody got some totally sweet 100-trillion-dollar bills. They even kind of looked like monopoly money.


Nowadays, Zimbabwe uses the American dollar as its main official currency. It also allows transactions in a few others, including the Euro and the British Pound. The arrangement has kept inflation low. But Gono has a concern. He thinks it's time to bail on the dollar and adopt China's yuan.

"With the continuous firming of the Chinese yuan, the US dollar is fast ceasing to be the world's reserve currency and the Euro-Zone debt crisis has made things even worse," he said earlier this week, according to New Zimbabwe. "As a country, we still have the opportunity to avoid being caught napping by adopting the Chinese yuan as part of consolidating the country's look East policy."

As Zero Hedge pointed out, it's a bit concerning that the man responsible for the world's most staggering monetary failure now sees storm clouds gathering around the greenback. On the other hand, it's the man responsible for the world's most staggering monetary failure. We may need to take his opinion with a grain of salt.

In the end, this might have more to do with trade and geopolitics than the future value of the dollar. China is Zimbabwe's largest trading partner, and promoting the Yuan as an international currency might help curry favor with Beijing. And while it's pretty debatable whether the dollar is really headed for a dramatic fall, the Yuan is appreciating. Since Zimbabwe sends so much of its roughly $1 billion to $2.5 billion of annual exports to China, it makes some sense to adopt their currency.

So the guy has a few strikes against him. But this time, he might have a point.

Image of a 100 trillion bill courtesy of

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Gono fired staff 'like used condoms'

03 December, 2011 20:26
Business Times

Retrenched  Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe employees have accused the central
bank's governor, Gideon Gono, of discarding them like "used condoms" after
they dutifully served the central bank at the height of the country's
economic turmoil - a period that was marked by world-beating inflation.

Gono laid off 1445 workers - about three-quarters of the central bank's
workforce - earlier this year in a staff rationalisation exercise that was
meant to cut costs and get the bank back to its core business after it had
ventured into peripheral projects.

The retrenched workers, who have not been paid their full severance packages
in spite of pledges by Gono, accused their former boss of condemning them
and their families to poverty.

In a letter addressed to Gono, Artwell Chipepera, a representative of the
angry retrenchees, accused the bank's management and board of being
insensitive to the plight of its former employees by reneging on guarantees
to stagger the payment of outstanding retrenchment packages by the end of

"We also feel like trashed used condoms after serving and saving the master
so well," said the letter.

"Remember governor, your farewell message when we left the bank. In any case
therefore, it is unequivocally callous and sadistic for the initiators of
the retrenchment process and the RBZ board to justify and defend our
non-payment or delay payment any further," Chipepera's letter continued.

Chipepera appealed to Gono, who has allegedly turned down a request for a
meeting with the fired workers, to act quickly to alleviate their plight and
that of about 9000 of their dependants by paying them the money they are
still owed.

"We consumed and invested what we received to date with reasonable
expectations that the balance would be received as explicitly agreed upon.
Now most of us find ourselves languishing in financial doldrums, breach of
contracts such as hire purchases, enormous opportunity costs and more
importantly crying babies and suffering dependants. We need to pay our
medical aid services especially for the terminally and chronically ill and
pregnant women, forthcoming school fees, food and rentals," said Chipepera.

The retrenchees, who the police have on two occasions dispersed as they
tried to protest publicly against the non-payment of their packages, have
also petitioned finance minister Tendai Biti to intervene and set up a new
payment plan.

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Alpha media under fire over rape case

Award winning Girl Child Network International director, Betty Makoni, has
accused Alpha Media Holdings of covering up for Dr Munyaradzi Kereke who has
been accused of raping a minor.
by Kingstone Ndabatei

Makoni said that The Standard newspaper, the Attorney General’s Office and
the police are all accomplices in the bid to cover up the case.

“Information coming from our investigations clearly show a journalist from
The Standard newspaper (name supplied) was there at Highlands police station
in August 2010 when the child gave a statement and he was privy to all
medical and police reports,” said Makoni. “We are shocked to learn The
Standard newspaper could expose Dr Munyaradzi Kereke this late when the
child has been harassed and violated.”

She said, it took the 11-year-old girl three months to leave her house after
the attack.

“The journalist could have helped the girl by linking her with other
organizations that help children. To think that a paper like The Standard
swept this case under the carpet and only exposed it when they are in a
legal row with Dr Munyaradzi Kereke needs to be explored. Under the Criminal
Codification Law, anyone who knows about the rape of a minor and does not
report is considered an accomplice,” she said.

Makoni demanded that the authorities in Zimbabwe arrest all of those
responsible for the cover up of the offence.

“My office will keep exposing rape cases of minors without fear or favour
and we have a network that gets to every case, whether high profile or not.
High profile cases that do not get to be prosecuted pose a serious danger to
other such cases. The whole aim of bringing Dr Munyradzi Kereke and his
accomplices to book is to show that our society will not tolerate the rape
of children,” said Makoni.

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Judge PM on performance: US envoy

03/12/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

UNITED States Ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray has weighed into the
‘marriage’ controversy surrounding Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai,
insisting the MDC-T leader should only be judged on his performance in

Speaking to Radio VOP in Bulawayo, Ray said Tsvangirai’s personal life which
has nothing to do with his public performance as country’s premier.

“You cannot judge his performance in government because of his personal
life. People should not spent time discussing about his personal life as it
will divert us from really pertinent issues on the country’s economic
development,” said Ray.

Ray added: “If we really want to discuss about his personal life lets also
scrutinise personal lives of all other leaders of this country.”

Tsvangirai was reported to have married Locardia Karimatsenga Tembo – who is
said to be pregnant with their twins – only for the MDC-T leader to later
issue a statement saying he was ending the relationship.

Blaming interference by the media and state security agents Tsvangirai said:
“My genuine intention has been betrayed and hearts have had to search long
and hard to the true meaning of this well-choreographed drama that has now
been hijacked to cause political damage on my person and character.

“Since the day I sent a delegation to the Karimatsenga family, everything
has been played in the press and I have become an innocent bystander in what
is supposed to be my relationship.

“This has led me to conclude that there is a greater and thicker plot around
this issue which has undermined my confidence in this relationship.”

Tsvangirai has six children with his late wife Susan, who was killed in a
car accident in 2009, and is also believed to have fathered a boy named
Ethan with a 23-year-old Bulawayo woman in March.

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PM Insists Marriage a Closed Case, But Jilted Bride Differs

02 December 2011

The family of Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo told the state-controlled Herald
newspaper that she remains married to Mr. Tsvangirai under traditional law
and will continue to reside at Mr. Tsvangirai’s rural homestead

Violet Gonda | Washington

In his statement on Wednesday, Mr. Tsvangirai said he was obliged to
terminate his relationship with Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo due to
interference by the media and the Central Intelligence Organization

The marital saga of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai continued to
grip the nation on Friday as the family of the woman Mr. Tsvangirai said in
a statement he could not marry insisted that in fact she became his wife in
a traditional ceremony.

The family of Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo told the state-controlled Herald
newspaper that she remains married to Mr. Tsvangirai under traditional law
and will continue to reside at Mr. Tsvangirai’s rural homestead in Buhera,
Manicaland province.

A Karimatsenga family spokesperson said the 39-year-old divorced
businesswoman was living at what was termed her “husband’s” home.

In his statement on Wednesday, Mr. Tsvangirai said he was obliged to
terminate his relationship with Tembo due to interference by the media and
secret police.

He claimed everything was “choreographed to inflict maximum damage on his
person and character for political gain” and indicated he did not consider
himself married.

Mr. Tsvangirai's spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka told VOA reporter Violet Gonda
that the Prime Minister has communicated his position to the Karimatsenga
family and the woman at the center of the controversy was aware of his

He said Mr. Tsvangirai now considers the matter closed.

“So we will not be responding to whatever statements are emanating from
elsewhere. The prime minister has made his position very clear and he will
not be talking about this matter in the near future,” the spokesman said.

A Karimatsenga family spokesperson, Simba Karimatsenga, told the Herald he
could not respond to the prime minister’s statement, “but what I can say is
that Locadia is with her new family. Everyone knows where Locadia is.”

Tamborinyoka was asked whether Ms. Karimatsenga as reported is pregnant.
“The prime minister says the woman claims to be pregnant.That's what he says
in his statement and I think it would be unfair for me to say whether I know
if she is pregnant or not."

Church minister and cultural expert Dr. Levy Kadenge said there is likely
more going on than what is being disclosed through statements and press

“No one actually knows what is going on … but each day as it comes we are
being led nowhere, but I am afraid we won’t get any truth from the news
outlets because really only the two of them know what’s going on," Kadenge

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Khumalo expelled for ‘intransigence’

The MDC-N has expelled Deputy Speaker Nomalanga Khumalo from the party,
accusing her of being too close to a rival MDC grouping.
by VOA

Ncube said Khumalo was expelled due to 'intransigence' over her ties to the
rival - and larger MDC formation - led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Political analysts said the move will undermine the democratic process in
the country as Khumalo stands to lose her seat in Parliament having been
expelled from the party.

Khumalo said she had only learned about her expulsion from the newspapers as
she was not even accorded a hearing by the MDC formation. However, Ncube MDC
spokesman, Nhlanhla Dube, said Khumalo expelled herself from the party by
failing to recognize Ncube’s authority.

Maxwell Zimuto of the MDC formation led by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara - formerly head of the wing now led by Ncube - called the
expulsion a non-event. Organizing secretary Nelson Chamisa of the Tsvangirai
MDC formation said Khumalo was welcome to join MDC-T.

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Mutambara’s MDC Bump-Up Khumalo To The Presidency

Harare, December 03, 2011 -The Arthur Mutambara led Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) faction has appointed deputy speaker and Umzingwane legislator
Ms Nomalanga Khumalo to the party’s vice President post .

Nomalanga Khumalo was dismissed from the Ncube-led faction for being
suspected of working in cohorts with the Tsvangirai-led MDC-T faction.

“Pursuant to the National Council resolution taken at the 16th of May 2011
Executive meeting with particular reference to the resolution that sought to
refill positions vacated by expelled members who attended the illegitimate
meeting of 11 February 2011 at Hillside, the National council has appointed
Nomalanga Khumalo as the part deputy President”, confirmed Jubert Mudzumwe,
the party’s national chairperson.

Other new executive members include Mawell Zimuto now the party Secretary
General, Garfield Makwati deputy secretary General, Kerr Mthetwa  the
Tresurer General and deputised by Godfrey Munhuwei Gumbo.

“The appointment of deputy speaker to the position of the party’s Deputy
President has relieved me as I have with immediate effect surrendered all
party issues to her, since our President Arthur Mutambara remains indicted
by the courts ,”Mudzumwe added.

Commenting of the move by the other MDC leader Welshman Ncube’s decision to
fire Nomalanga Khumalo which was protested against by legislators in
Parliament Thursday,  Mudzumwe said it shows that Ncube has lost
At least 20 legislators walked out on Welshman Ncube in Parliament yesterday
protesting against his decision to expel Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Ms
Nomalanga Khumalo from the MDC.

The walkout occurred when Ncube in his government capacity as the Industry
and Commerce Minister was presenting two treaties to the House of Assembly
for ratification.

“ We want to confirm that we have a number of MPs who have come open to say
that they belong to our party and these are Honourable Nomalanga Khumalo,
Mawell Dube, Mkandla Thandekho Zinti, Dube Kembo (Senator) and Senator
Khumalo Dalimuzi)”,Mudzumwe announced.

Ms Khumalo was elected to the House on an MDC ticket in 2008 representing
Umzingwane Constituency.
MDC-T deputy organising secretary Abedinico Bhebhe, Njabuliso Mguni and
Norman Mpofu lost their seats under similar circumstances.

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UK to review restrictions

Britain will next year February review the restrictive measures imposed on
senior Zanu (PF) politicians and their businesses, according to the
newly-appointed British Ambassador to Zimbabwe.
by Zwanai Sithole Harare

Speaking during a press briefing in Bulawayo this week, Deborah Bronnert
said the targeted measures would only be removed when the government had
fully implemented the Global Political Agreement.

“Britain and the EU will review the restrictive measures in February next
year. We want to see progress in the implementation of the GPA before we
lift the measures,” said Bronnert.

The Ambassador denied Zanu (PF) claims that the targeted measures were
affecting ordinary Zimbabweans.

“Only a small number of companies and businesses are not allowed to do
business with the United Kingdom and the rest of the European Union. In
fact, trade figures between London and Harare have grown by 85 percent” she

The Ambassador also reiterated that her country did not support the land
reform programme because of its chaotic and partisan nature.

“It was absolutely clear that there was need for land reform. The
distribution of the land was not fair. The land was not distributed to
ordinary Zimbabwean,” said Bronnert.

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Nothing for education: Gaidzanwa

The education sector will continue to experience operational challenges in
2012 because the proposed budget has allocated a paltry $6, 3 million
towards programmes, constituting only 1% of the total Education budget,
Professor Rudo Gaidzanwa has said.
by Staff Reporter

Whilst the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture remains one of the
government’s top priorities in the 2012 budget, experts have said the needs
in this sector will remain largely unmet in 2012.

Speaking at a post budget gender analysis workshop hosted by the Zimbabwe
Women’s Resource Centre and Network in Harare last week, Professor Gaidzanwa
of the University of Zimbabwe said if the bulk (89%) of the $707 325000
allocated to the ministry went towards employment costs, there would be
nothing left for education, let alone female education.

“A salary-focused budget is not sustainable and that means there is not
money for real education in 2012”, said Gaidzanwa.

Professor Gaidzanwa also said 64 percent of the education budget will go
towards current transfers, which means it is money already spent.

Meanwhile, the budget allocation for the Basic Education Assistance Module
is pegged at $16million and targeted at 160 000 secondary school pupils.
Pupils in primary education are not included in this allocation. Gaidzanwa
said the government was rescinding on its responsibility to provide basic

“Reference to primary school pupils is made where the budget states that
cooperating partners stand ready to match government’s efforts with focus on
vulnerable primary schools and this does not clearly state what government
is going to assist especially the girl child who is socially disadvantaged.”

The budget for BEAM is not gender responsive as it does not disaggregate
beneficiaries by gender. The budget’s non committal stance towards primary
education under BEAM is contradictory to the MTP objectives which include
introducing free and compulsory primary education and promoting compulsory
education for children, especially the girl-child up to secondary level.

Whilst the $30 000 allocation towards gender mainstreaming for tertiary
education is a welcome development in the 2012 budget, the amount allocated
is not commensurate with the extent of gender imbalances existing in
tertiary education. Furthermore, no budget was provided for gender
mainstreaming for education, sports and culture although the MTP provides
for gender mainstreaming in all sectors of the economy.

$1 301 000 (0, 4 %) of the total education budget has been allocated to the
Ministry of Higher Education and $25 million for the Students Grant and Loan
Scheme. However, Gaidzanwa said the current budgetary allocation did not
disaggregate the institutions and universities to reflect the gender
distribution of enrolment. Meanwhile, universities in Zimbabwe generally
enrol up to 30% female students whilst the rest are in teacher training
colleges and polytechnic colleges. The budget therefore needs to increase
funding to the colleges that have greater numbers of female students.

“Funding schemes should be structured with the purpose of strengthening
female participation in technical and scientific sector higher education,”
said Gaidzanwa.

Other participants at the ZWRCN budget analysis workshop raised concern over
the disbursement challenges faced by various ministries in 2011. They said
whilst the reintroduction of the loan scheme was noble, its implementation
was key in order to avoid a repeat of the 2011 commitment which ended on
paper. - You may send your feedback to
call +2634 700250

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Mutsvangwa a ‘Shadow MP’

Zimbabwe’s former Ambassador to China and member of the Zimbabwe Media
Council, Chris Mutsvangwa, has become the first shadow minister in President
Robert Mugabe's Zanu (PF) party.
by Ngoni Chanakira Harare

The new title was given to the staunch Zanu (PF) supporter in an
advertisement that appeared in The Herald daily newspaper on Wednesday. The
newspaper was advising Zimbabweans about a debate being held at the SAPES
Trust on the Global Political Agreement and how it had performed.

Participants in the debate included new MDC President, Welshman Ncube, Rudo
Gaidzanwa, a political scientist and lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe,
and Ambassador Mutsvangwa representing the forming ruling party, Zanu (PF).

The advertisement called Mutsvangwa the "Shadow MP for Norton".

The former diplomat has unsuccessfully tried to grab the Norton constituency
from the MDC-T led by Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai. Mutsvangwa has a
successful commercial farm in Norton, where he is in partnership with his
wife, Monica, MP for Chimanimani under Zanu (PF). The farm was allocated to
him during the controversial Land Resettlement Programme.

He is a very strong critic of the MDC-T and "Western detractors", regularly
appearing on the monopolistic national broadcaster, the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation as an "analyst". He regularly bashes the MDC-T has
already said he will stand in Norton during the next general election under
Zanu (PF).

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British taxpayers paid £8m to buy Land Rovers for Mugabe thugs

By Steve Doughty

Last updated at 12:11 AM on 3rd December 2011

British taxpayers provided Zimbabwe’s leader Robert Mugabe with £8million in
aid to buy police vehicles that were used to crush his own people, a report
found yesterday.

The tyrant’s regime was also supplied with loan guarantees worth £21million
to help him import more than 1,000 Land Rovers.

The vehicles were sent to Zimbabwe only after Mugabe promised that they
would be used ‘with due respect for human rights’. In particular he pledged
not to use them for riot control.

But within two years of their delivery, the Land Rovers were being used to
crush demonstrations and to supervise the seizure of white-owned farms by
Mugabe cronies.

The way British taxpayers’ money was used to support one of the world’s most
vicious dictatorships in the name of aid and development was set out in a
report by the Jubilee Debt Campaign, a church-led group pressing for the
cancellation of Third World debt. It said that Britain’s Export Credit
Guarantee Department backed the loan guarantees that paid for most of the

‘The UK government, driven by corporate interest, made no social impact
analysis before supporting this loan,’ the report said. ‘It gave no
consideration as to whether it was a productive project that would benefit
people and generate the resources with which to repay it.’

Campaign chief Nick Dearden said: ‘None of this excuses the responsibility
of the regime for what has taken place in Zimbabwe. But the people of
Zimbabwe also need to hold the rich world to account for the role it has
played in Zimbabwe’s economic decline.’
Powerful police: The Land Rovers were used by the tyrant as vehicles for the

The Land Rovers were supplied in the late 1990s, before Mugabe began his
land grab of white-owned farms in 1999. Britain banned further shipments of
the vehicles to Zimbabwe police in May 2000, when the country’s economy was
collapsing and its police were engaged in suppressing revolt in its towns
and cities.

Documents released to MPs have shown that 1,030 Land Rovers were supplied
before Labour Foreign Secretary Robin Cook blocked the delivery of the last
450 in spring 2000.

Zimbabwe started its programme of land seizures in 2000. Over the bloody
decade which followed, up to 90 per cent of the country’s white farmers were
forced off their land.

But although the president had promised to redistribute the wealth with his
country’s poorest, it is believed up to 40 per cent of the seized farms are
now owned by a tiny black elite comprising senior figures loyal to Mugabe.

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Review of Two Zimbabwe Novels
Review of Two Zimbabwe Novels: The Boy Next Door and The Trial of Robert Mugabe — Reviewed by James Kilgore

The Boy Next Door by Irene Sabatini, Little Brown and Company, New York, 2009, 403pp.

The Trial of Robert Mugabe by Chielo Zona Eze, Okri Books, Chicago, 2009, 158pp.

Reviewed by James Kilgore

The arrival of these two new voices on the Zimbabwe literary scene is cause for celebration.  Both authors offer a nuanced and creative effort to portray the complexities and ultimate degeneration of post-independence Zimbabwe.

Sabatini’s is the more ambitious and conventional of the two. Written in a minimalist style similar to Petina Gappah’s, Sabatini’s debut novel focuses on an unlikely love story between a young coloured girl, Lindiwe Bishop, and her white next door neighbor, the erratic Ian McKenzie.

The novel begins in the early 1980s with Lindiwe still a school girl and spans to the late 90s. Zimbabwe passes through its many twists and turns in the shade of the evolving romance.

Sabatini is at her best depicting the details of Bulawayo and the vagaries of the Fifth Brigade in Matabeleland. The writer has a passion for the charm of Zimbabwe’s second city, an appreciation of each and every storefront and stop street. The images of central Bulawayo strike wonderful chords. Her portrayal of Lindiwe’s family, with the contradictions of long hidden secrets and the brutality of neglect, also resonates.  In particular, Lindiwe’s unearthing of the liberation war treachery of an uncle who postures as a heroic guerrilla in the post-1980 years, gives us a clear glimpse into the manufacture of wartime legends. As Lindiwe unearths her uncle’s past, the reader cannot help but think of the military records of the thousands of fraudulent war vets who have climbed on the land-and -payout bandwagon in the last decade.

While she has delivered a comfortable and engrossing read, Sabatini also occasionally stumbles. Though the relationship between Lindiwe and Ian seems credible in the early stages, after Bishop completes university and develops a distinct gender awareness, her ongoing attraction to a classic Rhodesian male who continues to use racial epithets becomes less believable .  Lindiwe seems all too eager to forgive at a time in her life where such forgiveness appears out of place. In an interview the author stated that the central question of the book was whether Lindiwe and Ian would “manage to keep this connection.”  They do, which may frustrate some readers, as it appears Lindiwe should have moved on. While Lindiwe wouldn’t be the first woman to stay in a relationship long past the sell by date, I wonder how the novel would have worked if the couple had broken up. Perhaps a more authentic reflection of the racial and political tensions of the times would have emerged.

Despite these shortcomings, with The Boy Next Door, Sabatini has established herself as a promising figure among Zimbabwean writers. Though she’s not yet in the league of Vera, Dangarembga or Chinodya, Irene Sabatini is  perfectly capable of tackling a broad canvas with fluid prose and considerable insight.  Her voice is more than welcome and her ear for dialog is superb.

By contrast Chielo Zona Eze is a Nigerian whose clear cut mission is to condemn Mugabe. In a personal communication with the reviewer, Eze labeled the Zimbabwean President as “the epitome of political dysfunction in Africa,… a symptom of wider phenomena” on the continent.  The author possesses a special antipathy for Mugabe’s attempts to “silence his critics and the voice of the people” by blaming all Zimbabwe’s problems on the West. Eze believes it is the duty of African writers to “expose such lies and deception.”

In keeping with his overtly political purpose, Eze doesn’t hold back. At first The Trial of Robert Mugabe’s premise appears a little absurd. Mugabe sits in heaven at the Final Judgment Day, his fate to be determined by a range of iconic African heroes: Zimbabwean writers Yvonne Vera and Dambudzo Marechera, Steve Biko and Chief Justice Olaudah Equiano, the 18th century Nigerian writer and abolitionist.

Eze cites Ali Mazrui’s  The Trial of Christopher Okigbo as his structural inspiration but there are also resonances of Ngugi’s The Trial of Dedan Kemathi and the  transcripts of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa.  The author could have gotten into trouble with this trial setting, but he manages to make it work.

Drawing extensively on the powerful testimony by witnesses to the atrocities in Matabeleland,  Eze chronicles the Fifth Brigade’s military campaign with unforgiving frankness and extensive graphic detail.  At times, The Trial runs like a well-constructed history of Mugabe’s years in power, with the testimony serving as lively and authentic source material.

Eze’s strength lies in his international and Pan-African vision. By including Biko and Equiano among those who sit in judgment, Mugabe’s trial becomes not merely an event for Zimbabwe but one that places human rights violations under ZANU-PF into a continental and global context.

While there is much of interest in The Trial, at times the plot line does run a little thin. The conclusion is a little bit too foregone, yet for anyone who wants to get a glimpse of Mugabe’s underside, minus the self-serving diatribes of a Catherine Buckle or Eric Harrison, The Trial of Robert Mugabe is a valuable and easy read. The events of the legal proceedings flow smoothly and Eze ultimately presents an optimistic message: that justice in Africa is part of universal notions of justice and will ultimately triumph. Sadly, as Dobrota Pucherova pointed out in her review of the book, Eze’s trial may be the only one Mugabe ever faces. Perhaps that makes the work all the more worth reading.


The reviewer is an Affiliated Research Scholar at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) and the author of the 2009 novel We Are All Zimbabweans Now.


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Dirty politics

December 3, 2011, 12:05 am

This will be my last letter for 2011. I am going into hospital next week for
an operation and it’s unlikely I’ll be functioning properly again until the
New Year.

This weekly Letter from the diaspora is intended to show how affairs in
Zimbabwe look to someone who knows the country well but is no longer a
resident. Cathy Buckle’s Letter, on the other hand, comes from inside and
reflects the daily realities of life in Zimbabwe: the water and power
shortages, the vagaries of the economic situation and the effects of
politics on ordinary people’s lives. Cathy has the dubious pleasure of
hearing and seeing for herself the ZBC/ZTV coverage of events- in and
outside Zimbabwe - while people in the diaspora can only guess what ‘Idiot
News’ is saying. What Cathy can do that people in the diaspora can’t, is see
the beauty of nature in Zimbabwe: the birds, plants, trees and wide African
skies – and she does that beautifully. It is my hope that the two Letters,
taken together, give a rounded and accurate picture of life in Zimbabwe,
particularly now as the country goes into the 3rd year of a GNU.

There was general agreement that the GNU had at least succeeded in
stabilising the economy. Looking back to the economic madness of 2008, a
year before the formation of the GNU, the Zim.dollar had become the laughing
stock of the world. Now, in 2011, Tendai Biti has presented a budget which
has earned him praise as ‘the best finance minister since Independence’. His
budget was hailed as a genuine people’s budget. It was a shock to hear that
MPs from both sides of the house chose to hold up the budget until they were
given their allowances. Friday brought the news that the MPs’ action was
successful and they will be paid the arrears in their allowances.

This week the stories about Morgan Tsvangirai’s personal life reached fever
pitch and politics played its sordid part even there. This time it was the
dirtiest brand of Zanu PF politics as practised by the state controlled
media which delights in spreading scurrilous rumours about Mugabe’s
opponents. Today, Tsvangirai issued a detailed statement clarifying the
whole matter - and not before time. The story, had it been allowed to run,
was deeply damaging to Tsvangirai’s reputation. That, of course, was the
intention of the Zanu PF rumour mongers; politics at its very dirtiest!
Another example of dirty politics this week was the issuing of bags of
maize – to Zanu PF supporters only - bearing pictures of Robert Mugabe.
Whether this was intended to show that the 10kg bag of maize was the
personal gift of Robert Mugabe is not clear but it must certainly have
seemed like that to the recipients.

It was Ignatious Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, who revealed the
depths to which Zanu PF politics will sink, so desperate are they to retain
power. Chombo was addressing a meeting of village headmen about a boundary
dispute but, despite the fact that all three political parties had earlier
united to call for peace, Chombo turned his address into a violent political
rant. He told the assembled headmen that they had to support Robert Mugabe
in the next election; if they supported Tsvangirai they would face dire
consequences. No Zanu PF member would ever spend time in a cell for
defending their territory, he said! And it was then that Chombo told the
chiefs and headmen something which we have all known for a very long time –
but it was no less shocking for that: “Zanu PF controls the police,” he
said, “and tells them who to arrest and keep because they (the police) never
say no to their instructions.” To hear a cabinet minister making such an
admission is profoundly shocking. Chombo has been castigated for inciting
public violence but what he said to that group of traditional leaders goes
much further than that because it undermines the very foundations of the
democratic state which Zimbabwe claims to be.

Not a good omen for democratic politics in Zimbabwe in 2012.

With very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to all Zimbabweans, at
home and in the diaspora.

Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH.

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Chicken dinner

Dear Family and Friends,
Believe it or not, the hot topic of conversation this week was
take-away chicken portions. Shock, intrigue and controversy came with
an advert for chicken pieces that was aired on DSTV, a South African
satellite television broadcaster that is available in many countries
in Africa.

The advert came from Nando’s, a South African fast food chain which
has a Zimbabwe franchise and outlets in many centres around the
country. The advert shows Robert Mugabe standing alone at a Christmas
dinner table, holding place name cards of absent guests. To background
music of “Those were the days my friend,” and with actors playing
the characters, Mugabe is shown having a water pistol fight with
Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi, whose is using his trademark golden gun.
Then on stage he sings with China’s Chairman Mao, and later makes
sand angels in the desert with Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. Final scenes
are of Mugabe playing on swings with South Africa’s P W Botha and
then standing on top of a tank with Uganda’s Idi Amin, both with
their arms outspread in classic Titanic pose. The advert ends with the
words “No one should ever eat alone so get a Nando’s six pack
meal, for six.”

The advert was definitely a case of forbidden fruit being more
desirable as people scrambled to find a satellite TV where they could
watch the Nando’s advert. Ironically it’s only because the sole TV
channel in Zimbabwe, ZBC, is so biased and full of propaganda, that
everyone that can has satellite television. In the blink of an eye the
advert was on You Tube enabling even more people to watch it.

Within a couple of days the inevitable happened and a Zanu PF militant
group known as Chipangano warned, through ZBC radio, that Nando’s
should withdraw the advert or face punitive action. Chipangano called
for an apology for what they described as the negative portrayal of Mr
Mugabe in the advert.

The blame game and denials rapidly moved into full swing. Nando’s
Zimbabwe said they were not informed about the advert or the marketing
strategy of Nando’s South Africa. DSTV said they could not “filter
out” adverts on the satellite channels that were available to
Zimbabwean subscribers. A major shareholder of the company that holds
the Nando’s Zimbabwe franchise, who is himself and ex Zanu PF
Governor, said the advert was a ‘violation of business ethics” and
in disregard of “African values.”

Of course, anyone that hadn’t seen the advert by that stage, made
determined efforts to see it and find out what all the fuss was about.
Things reached absurd levels midweek when the Short Wave Radio Africa
broadcast was jammed just as a news report about the Nando’s advert
began. The jamming continued for the next two hours and no one was in
any doubt about who was behind the radio’s signal interference.

What had started out as a Christmas advertising campaign for a chicken
dinner had turned deadly serious. On Thursday Nando’s South Africa
announced they were removing the advert because of the :“volatile
climate and believe that no TV commercial is worth risking the safety
of Nando’s staff and customers.”

And the world thinks that everything is OK in Zimbabwe? Happy chicken
dinner. Thanks for reading, until next time, love cathy 3rd December
2011. Copyright � Cathy Buckle.

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