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Gandiya church officials arrested after ‘unlawful’ Sunday service

By Alex Bell
03 December 2012

Three officials aligned to the Anglican Church under Bishop Chad Gandiya’s
leadership, were arrested on Sunday after a morning service in their
Manicaland church.

The three church members, including the Pastor, church warden and church
treasurer, were all arrested at the Bonda Mission Church following a packed
Sunday service.

The three were taken to Mutasa police station and charged for illegally
entering the property, which was recently handed back to Gandiya’s church
after being seized by the ousted Nolbert Kunonga.

Last week the Supreme Court ordered Kunonga to hand over all church
properties in his possession, ending a five-year feud that began when
Kunonga pulled out of the Church Province of Central Africa (CPCA). He
formed his own church, the Church Province of Zimbabwe, but held on to the
CPCA properties.

Kunonga has since filed a court injunction to stop the eviction of his
followers who have been occupying the properties he illegally seized, and a
decision is expected in the High Court on Tuesday.

Kumbirai Mafunda from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) told SW
Radio Africa on Monday that the arrest of the Bonda Mission church members
is linked to the ongoing fight with Kunonga. Mafunda explained that the
three church leaders were held overnight at Mutasa police station before
being brought before a magistrate on Monday.

“The prosecutors decided not to go ahead with prosecution and they
acknowledged that the police had erred in arresting the three. So they were
finally released,” Mafunda said.

He added: “We are worried by the deterioration of the rule of just law in
Zimbabwe. We have seen how the Kunonga faction has defied court orders for
years. It seems to be in their DNA. But it is part of a wider problem where
the situation continues to deteriorate in Zimbabwe.”

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Police assist Anglicans regain churches

Monday, 03 December 2012 13:20

HARARE - Anglicans across the country were led into their churches by police
as supporters of ex-communicated clergyman Nolbert Kunonga defied a Supreme
Court order directing them to leave the Church of the Central Province of
Africa’s (CPCA) properties.

According to witnesses at Daramombe Mission, Mashonaland East Province,
Anglicans were denied entry into their church and only intervention of
police from the dog section enabled them to get through.

“People were denied entrance into the church by a group of toyi-toying
Kunonga supporters who were armed.

“The police were called in and they brought dogs with them. However, that
did not stop the gang who went on to beat worshippers,” said a member of the

In Mutare, which is in the diocese of Manicaland, Anglicans in some parts
also sought assistance from the police in order to get into their churches.

Precious Shumba, Anglican spokesperson said they had managed to take most
churches across the Harare diocese which include Mashonaland East,
Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland provinces.

In central Harare, Anglicans enjoyed church services after the messenger of
court successfully sent Kunonga packing.

Last week, police arrested five bouncers in Harare who had been roped in by
Kunonga to harass worshippers and on Thursday Kunonga’s thugs severely
assaulted a reverend and only the intervention of the police saved the
day. - Staff Writer

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Kunonga hides behind Mugabe

By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Monday, 03 December 2012 12:10
HARARE - Fallen former Anglican Archbishop Nolbert Kunonga has sensationally
claimed that he deserves to retain control of the church properties because
he has fiercely supported President Robert Mugabe.

Kunonga also claims he also deserves to regain the property because he has
supported the judiciary and ministers in Mugabe’s government.

The ex-communicated and disgraced Bishop is also now playing the racial card
saying he must be awarded church property because he fought against whites.

These strange and controversial details are contained in Kunonga’s High
Court application in which he is fighting to regain control of the church.

Kunonga claims church properties across the country, including the main
Cathedral in central Harare, are “natural resources” that cannot be owned by
a foreigner.

Kunonga was left high, dry and clutching at straws following a Supreme Court
decision that ruled that the defrocked “archbishop” was no longer an
Anglican and should cede control of church properties to the Church of the
Province of Central Africa (CPCA).

“The defendant (CPCA) and its mother church supported the imposition of
sanctions against the Head of State (Mugabe) and those who supported him and
the State.

“The defendant, its officials and the mother church spoke openly against
(Mugabe), ministers, the judiciary and anyone who had equal persuasion or
shared the same political belief and would be seen actively castigating
the government of the day,” Kunonga said in court papers seen by the Daily
News on Sunday.

For the past few years, Kunonga has been used by Zanu PF in their propaganda
tactics and was also heavily protected by police in his illegal grabbing of
the Anglican Church property.

He was regularly seen at Mugabe functions but now Zanu PF seems to have
dumped the disgraced former bishop.

However, Kunonga seems to be contradicting himself.

While the former Anglican clergyman told the Supreme Court he had never left
the global communion, he now tells the High Court, his church, the Anglican
Church of the Province of Zimbabwe has been in existence since 2007.

“Plaintiff (Anglican Church of the Province of Zimbabwe) has been in
existence and recognised by the defendant since 2007 as a separate entity
and has been running all churches under a separate leadership.

“Defendant accepted the status quo and was now worshipping from different
places leaving the occupation and use of the Cathedral and other buildings
under the plaintiff,” Kunonga argues.

Kunonga then plays the race card and the controversial empowerment programme
in his court papers.

“Plaintiff is entitled to claim ownership of the church, schools, colleges
and properties as these form the natural resources of the Zimbabwean
community just like land and minerals.

“They cannot be owned by a foreign entity. Plaintiff cannot claim ownership
of a property in a foreign land such as the United Kingdom, so must the

“The Anglican Church represented by CPCA did not accept the current ideology
of the government and Zanu PF in particular.

“The plaintiff has embraced the ideology initially enunciated by Zanu PF and
adopted by the State that is the policy of indigenisation, land acquisition,
distribution and economic empowerment of the ordinary members of the
community and the distribution of natural resources,” he said.

“Re-colonisation became a major issue between plaintiff and defendant’s
mother church deliberately which advanced the interests of the former
colonial masters,” the former bishop added.

The fight for the soul of the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe is refusing to go
away and has taken in global banking giant Standard Chartered, while
violence has marred intended evictions.

The gun-toting Kunonga also threatened to shoot journalists covering his
embarrassing eviction from the main Cathedral in Harare.

Police, who have been accused of abating the renegade bishop’s four-year
reign of terror, also turned their baton sticks on Kunonga and his proxies
as they sought to kick out pockets of resistance from within the former
cleric’s scattered flock.

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Tsvangirai shocked by military brutality in Zhombe

By Tichaona Sibanda
03 December 2012

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said he learnt with great shock and concern
about the savage beatings of MDC-T activists in Zhombe, by uniformed members
of the Zimbabwe National Army last week.

The attack on the supporters left 40 injured, five of them seriously, when
soldiers went on a rampage at Samambwa business centre in Zhombe, in the
Midlands province. Tsvangirai said soldiers should not be terrorizing
citizens who they are supposed to be protecting from external attacks.

The Premier, who was in Redcliff last week Friday for a meeting with the
party’s Midlands North provincial council, was briefed about the incident by
the provincial chairman Costain Muguti. Many of those who escaped unhurt or
with minor injuries made their way to Redcliff, where some of them had an
audience with Tsvangirai.

Muguti explained that the attack seems to have united the people of Zhombe,
who ended up providing the biggest number of delegates at the provincial
council meeting.

‘The people of Zhombe united and resolved that violence will not stop or
deter their resolve to see change in Zimbabwe. Instead of staying indoors
fearful of follow-up attacks, the people from Zhombe came in their numbers
in Redcliff determined to show solidarity with their colleagues.

‘So on the sidelines of the meeting, the Premier asked to be updated on the
Zhombe incident. We explained in detail what transpired and he told us he
was bothered to learn that soldiers can beat up people old enough to be
their grandfathers,’ Muguti said.

Two of the five people now admitted at the Avenues clinic in Harare
sustained broken limbs and internal injuries in the unprovoked attack. They
are 77 year old Peter Frank and 74 year old Phineas Madhlembwa.

Muguti said Tsvangirai told them such brutality by members of the military
deserves a full investigation and their behavior cannot be tolerated at all.
The soldiers who carried out the attack were guarding farming inputs for the
Maguta project at the business centre.

Victims were made to lie down on the ground and bludgeoned with logs. Women
were stripped naked and had their T-shirts burnt. 18 cell phones and wrist
watches were also thrown into a fire.

‘We are happy that five of our supporters at the Avenues are making steady
progress, while some were treated in KweKwe and discharged. The majority of
those who received minor injuries were treated at a local clinic in Zhombe,’
Muguti added.

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Troops keep watchful eye on border with Mozambique

Staff Writer
03 December 2012

The Zimbabwe Defence Forces last week deployed troops along the Mozambican
frontier to halt possible incursions by the resurgent Renamo rebels, led by
opposition leader Alfonso Dhlakama.

Army units have been stationed along more than 1,000km of the eastern border
with Mozambique as a precaution over military instability emanating from the
uprising by Dhlakama’s troops.

Dhlakama is the leader and commander in chief of the Mozambican opposition
party and rebel movement Renamo. He said last month that his dissident army
was keen to wage war and destroy Mozambique, unless the government there met
his demands, which include political reforms and a revision of the 1992
peace accord.

Media reports in the past weeks suggest there are fears that Dhlakama’s
troops could terrorise Zimbabwean citizens in the Manicaland border province
with Mozambique. Concerns have also been raised over the possibility that
the troops could attack facilities like the Feruka oil pipeline. The 287km-
ng pipeline stretches from Beira in Mozambique to the Feruka oil refinery
outside Mutare.

Dhlakama and his nearly 800 troops are camped at the Casa Banana base on the
foot of Mount Gorongossa.

Renamo and the ruling Frelimo party government fought a bitter civil war
which raged from 1977 and ended with the signing of the Rome Peace Accord in
1992. The accord led to the formation of a unity government.

In terms of the agreement political leaders were to share government posts
equitably, while all former combatants who were not demobilised were to be
integrated into the police and the armed forces.

Dhlakama and his Renamo insist that the Freelimo government has not ever
tried to honour this agreement and its members say they also want a bigger
share of Mozambique’s expected coal and gas profits, plus an overhaul of the
electoral system to prevent alleged fraud.

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ZPF infighting intensifies ahead of Gweru conference

By Tererai Karimakwenda
03 December 2012

More infighting within the structures of ZANU PF is reported to have
surfaced in Robert Mugabe’s own rural home, just days before the party
conference in Gweru.

A report in the independent NewsDay newspaper said activists loyal to the
Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, who is also the Zvimba North MP,
have banned supporters from wearing party regalia that has Mugabe’s image.

Thousands of items with Mugabe’s portrait were reportedly sourced by Edwin
Matibiri, a close relative of Mugabe’s who aspires to be in parliament.
NewsDay said Chombo’s supporters reportedly viewed Matibiri’s actions as
part of a campaign strategy to replace Chombo in Zvimba district, before the
party announces a date for the primaries.

The regalia, which included scarfs and bandanas, has already claimed some
victims. Four ZANU PF executives in Zvimba North were reportedly suspended
by the district chairperson, Hardlife Chiwoniwoni, after they were caught
wearing the forbidden regalia supplied by Matibiri.

According to NewsDay, the four wasted no time in writing to the ZANU PF
chairman for Mashonaland West, John Mafa, asking him which regalia they
should wear “since Katawa district is now afraid to put on ZANU PF regalia”.
The letter, dated November 29, was copied to Chiwoniwoni, who had suspended

The letter read in part: “As far as the party is concerned, we feel we have
done nothing bad. We will not surrender this regalia to you since this will
be tantamount to surrendering ZANU PF. On the regalia, there is the portrait
of President Mugabe, so if I don’t put it on, whose regalia should I put

One of the suspended executives, Mercy Mutyavaviri, told NewsDay that 5,000
ZANU PF members in the district were in possession of the regalia, but were
now unsure what to do because they feared being viewed as supporters of
Chombo’s rival.

NewsDay said Matibiri admitted that he supplied the regalia, but refused to
comment further.

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Peacekeepers work to smooth Zimbabwe's rocky road to elections

'Differences do not necessarily lead to fighting' says activist as Mugabe
and Tsvangirai prepare to renew contest in 2013 poll

Mark Tran, Monday 3 December 2012 07.00 GMT

With elections scheduled for next year in Zimbabwe, human rights groups fear
a recurrence of the violence that broke out around the disputed vote in
2008, when President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party lost its parliamentary

In a report last week, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights
Defenders, an NGO network, expressed concern that human rights defenders
could become victims of a potential rise in violence and a crackdown on
civil society due, in particular, to collusion between security forces and
the presidential party.

The UK's Department for International Development (DfID) describes
Zimbabwe's political situation as "highly volatile" (pdf). DfID is providing
£80m-90m in aid to Zimbabwe this year and next, and says it is prepared to
increase aid significantly if a government is elected that "reflects the
will of the people".

This is the difficult situation in which Leo Wamwanduka, a peace activist,
is operating. Wamwanduka runs Envision, an NGO working at community and
village level to build bridges in an attempt to defuse violence before a
referendum for a new constitution, which is supposed to take place at the
end of this year, and elections in 2013.

Zimbabwe is set to hold elections by June to end the power-sharing deal
between Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai, the prime minister. The two formed a
coalition in 2009 under a "global political agreement" brokered by regional
leaders after the election in which Mugabe claimed victory over Tsvangirai
in the presidential vote.

"Our main message is that we can see things differently, but it is important
to acknowledge that differences do not necessarily lead to fighting," said
Wamwanduka, who was in London last week to discuss Envision's work with MPs
on the all-party parliamentary group on conflict and to compare notes with
people working to reduce gang violence in Newham, London.

Wamanduka said: "Having an argument can be good because it may bring the
benefit of new ideas and people get their say, but when an argument is not
handled properly it can lead to violence. It is important for people to be
able to disagree. We try to instil a culture of tolerance where there is an
appreciation of diversity of views."

Envision is working in five villages in Hurungwe district in Mashonaland
West province in northern Zimbabwe, reaching about 1,400-1,500 people. The
area saw considerable political violence in the runup to the last election.
"We work with key individuals, traditional leaders and young people, hold
training workshops in analysing and defining conflict and violence," said

So far, 22 traditional local leaders have been trained and local peace
committees set up to support their work. The other key message in these
workshops is that peace is a precondition for development and a chance at
prosperity. However, that message comes against a backdrop of the highest
level of youth unemployment in southern Africa – 59.6% in 2004, according to
the latest official figures.

"There are similarities in how underprivileged young people react to their
situations. Here [London], they form gangs and get into trouble. In my
country, they join political parties to do mischief as part of the political
game," said Wamwanduka.

One way of dealing with disaffected young people is to identify
troublemakers and ask them to join communal projects, such as "peace
gardens", where potential antagonists are brought together to grow
vegetables. If gardening seems an unlikely path to reconciliation, Envision
also organises team activities such as football, volleyball and netball,
where teams comprise members of different communities.

The test of Envision's efforts will come nearer the elections. The
Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders is not alone in its
concerns. In July, the outgoing US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray,
expressed his fears about election violence, judging by recent trends. At
his last media briefing, he said there were "disturbing signs" of the
potential for violence. Political indoctrination rallies have started, and
residents have noted increasing incidents of political violence.

Wamwanduka said the nature of the threat has changed. "It is more
intimidation rather than violence. People are being visited and given
warnings, and there have been arbitrary arrests and detention," he said. "We
are working at the grassroots level and hope that the spirit we have can
make its way higher up."

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Air Zimbabwe to launch airbus aircraft

02/12/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

AIR ZIMBABWE has said its recently acquired Airbus aircraft will go into
service in the new year as the troubled airline looks to revive its flagging

Management says acquisition of the Airbus A320 aircraft, which are being
kept at the company's Harare International Airport hangers, is part of a
plan to modernise its ageing fleet.

Acting chief executive Innocent Mavhunga said the aircraft would service the
airline’s regional routes.
“We have two A320 airbuses, which are meant for regional routes since they
cannot do long hauls," Mahunga told state media at the weekend.

"We will be announcing by mid-December when they will be taking to the
skies, but it is most probably going to be in January.”

Air Zimbabwe is battling a mountain of debt estimated at more than US$140
million and was last year forced to pull out of the lucrative London route
after its aircraft was seized by creditors.

The state-owned airline which has been offering a truncated domestic service
recently resumed flights to South Africa where another plane was also
attached last December over debts.

Mavhunga said the addition of the Airbus aircraft would help put the airline
on the path to recovery at a time competition has also increased with the
return to Zimbabwe of several global carriers and other regional airlines.

“This (acquisition of new aircraft) is a boost to the current fleet. But our
major endeavour is to return to the international scene. As we speak, an Air
Zimbabwe team is in Maputo to finalise on the code sharing deal with LAM and
we will have the full details once there are back,” he said.

The airline has also been readmitted to the global reservations system after
being kicked out some six months ago for failing to pay membership and
related fees.

“The airline is now visible and accessible online and can be booked
worldwide in all countries that we have Central Reservation Systems (CRS)
and Global Distribution Systems (GDS) agreement,” the company’s spokesperson
Shingai Taruvinga said.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has also announced plans to
help the airline regain its place on regional routes such as
Harare-Johannesburg after losing ground to rivals such as South African

ZTA boss Karikoga Kaseke said Air Zimbabwe’s international reputation had
taken a battering adding the airline should concentrate on becoming
competitive and winning back the confidence of the travelling public

“It is critical that the brand is regained and that Air Zimbabwe returns to
become a competitive airliner. There is no brand to talk at the moment; it
was lost some ten years ago so what we are now trying to do is to regain
that brand which we lost over a period spanning ten years,” Kaseke said.

“It will take some time for the airline to regain their brand and the
confidence of the travellers is what is now needed most.
“Everywhere the airline was flying its brand has been battered; the
travelling public has lost faith in the airline even in the traditional
routes such as China and the UK.

“So this confidence building initiative will take some time, give them 3-4
months, but what is needed most is for the government to chip in.”

The government has since agreed to take over the airline’s debt but wants
the company to trim its bloated workforce as part of measures aimed at
helping return the company to viability.

Efforts to bring on board technical partners from China ha however proved
unsuccessful to date with Transport Minister Nicholas Goche conceding that
the airline’s image problems and massive debts were putting off potential

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China top tobacco buyers list

Monday, 03 December 2012 00:00

Agriculture Reporter
China has continued to top the tobacco buyers’ list since last year with 52,
8 million kilogrammes so far exported to the world’s largest market. Last
year during the same period, according to the Tobacco

Industry and Marketing Board, China had bought 51, 3 million kg of tobacco
from Zimbabwe.
This year China is buying the golden leaf at US$8,83 per kilogramme, an
increase from last season’s price of US$7,27/kg.

Of the US$725 million raked in from tobacco exports this season, China has
spent US$466 million.
Latest statistics from TIMB show that China is offering the highest price
followed by India offering U$7,62/kg, Argentina and Chile US$7,30/kg while
Taiwan is offering US$7,12/kg.

In Africa, South Africa remains the major buyer for Zimbabwean tobacco
spending US$35,8 million.
TIMB chief executive Dr Andrew Matibiri recently said 40 percent of Zimbabwe’s
tobacco was exported to China.

He said that the country last year exported 57 million-kg of the golden leaf
to there as its tobacco continued to be in demand the world over.

Zimbabwean tobacco was popular because of its good smoking flavour and very
few cigarette brands globally were made without Zimbabwean components. He
also attributed the good quality to the producers’ high production skills
complemented by the good climate, soils and techniques.

Tobacco last year accounted for 26 percent of the country’s total foreign
currency earnings.
China and Zimbabwe’s trade in tobacco dates back to the 1980s when the
Chinese developed an interest in the pale to lemon coloured tobacco produced
mostly under irrigation in the Highveld areas of Marondera, Wedza, Beatrice
and Harare South.The last 10 years saw a major shift in China’s import
patterns as the Asian giant broadened its scope to include all quality
tobacco that is produced in Zimbabwe.

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Probe teams gobble $100 000

Monday, 03 December 2012 13:35
HARARE - Local government minister Ignatius Chombo has instructed Harare
City Council to fork out $100 000 as payment for two probe teams he set up
in a space of four months.

Harare, already battling to contend a typhoid outbreak in Glen View, will
have to pay the Ellen Chivaviro-led investigating team and that of Madzudzo
Pawadyira from its dry coffers.

Both teams were set up by Chombo following a delivery of sodium cyanide to
Harare water department by a local chemical distribution company.

Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda told a full council meeting last week that Chombo
wrote to his office instructing him to pay $10 000 to Ellen Chivaviro as the
leader of the probe team, and $8 000 to other team members.
“The cost of these teams will be met by council,” Masunda said.

As was revealed by the Daily News three weeks ago, all members of the two
probe teams will go to this year’s festive season smiling with rich pickings
from council while service delivery dwindles.

Both teams were set up to investigate tender issues at Town House. Each team
will get $50 000 — with their leaders getting $10 000.

The first team was headed by director of civil protection Madzudzo
Pawadyira — a civil servant and deputised by former Masvingo town clerk
Tsungai Mhangami.

According to Masunda, Pawadyira received not less than $10 000 on top of his
monthly salary from government while other members of the team pocketed not
less than $8 000 each.

The money paid to these teams can at least buy a Borehole water pump to help
residents get water, or it can be used to renovate dilapidated public
toilets which have now become an eyesore.

Other members of that team included Florence Ziyambe from the
Attorney-General’s office, Environmental Management Agency director,
Petronella Shoko, State Procurement Board member, Patrick Mushonga, Albert
Wakandigara, a consultant on hazardous substances and Comedy Piti, a mining

The team led to the suspension of Warren Park councillor, Julias Musevenzi,
who was the procurement board chairperson for council.

Two months later, Chombo assembled another team headed by Ellen Chivaviro,
the finance and administration director at Tel*One.

Masunda said each member of the team got $8 000 with Chivaviro going receive
$10 000.

Some of the members on the second team have previously featured in other
investigating teams set up by Chombo to other local authorities.

Some were members of the Chitungwiza Town Council probe team headed by
Manicaland provincial administrator, Fungai Mbetsa.

The team reportedly pocketed not less than $20 000.

But Chombo refused to divulge how much he had recommended for the team’s
stay in the dormitory town south-east of Harare.

Despite paying all these monies to the team, Chitungwiza is failing to
provide to residents due to its financial status.

Probe teams gobble $100 000Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo set up
two probe teams in Harare in a space of four months. - Xolisani Ncube

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‘Census enumerators not paid yet'

By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Monday, 03 December 2012 13:29
HARARE - Teachers who participated in the census count have not been paid
for the services they rendered more than three months ago.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) said the teachers only
received less than $200.

Just before the population census there was so much hope as promises of a
massive pay out saw even soldiers jostling to be enumerators.

Raymond Majongwe, secretary-general of Progressive Teachers Union of
Zimbabwe (PTUZ) urged teachers to employ prostitute-like tactics in order to
squeeze payment from the government.

“Teachers are themselves to blame, they always let government use them and
then dump them. Up to now teachers who participated in the population census
have not been paid yet Zanu PF is building a multi-million conference
facility in Gweru.

“I want to propose that teachers start working like prostitutes. First the
government gives them money and then they do the assignments,” said

Although the education sector received $1 billion, the highest allocation in
the 2013, $3,8-billion budget —Majongwe says the government should walk the
talk and dispatch the money to improve the plight of teachers who live below
the $600 poverty datum line.

“Both Zanu PF and the MDC do not worry about the education sector. When they
want things done their way, money is available but when it comes to paying
teachers it is a war.

“We are proposing that from now onwards teachers should be paid in advance
just as with prostitutes. You first pay and then get the services later,”
said Majongwe.

Last week some teachers desperate to earn extra cash were marking Grade
Seven examination papers and getting 30 cents per paper marked.

“It is criminal for the government to abuse teachers that way. How do you
pay a professional 30 cents and expect them to be motivated?

“The government employs the Officials Secrets Act on teachers and they
cannot complain because they have signed a contract. As teachers we are
being abused yearly,” said Majongwe.

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Zim activists urge UK Border Agency to probe ‘sedation’ reports

By Alex Bell
03 December 2012

Zimbabwean human rights activists in the UK have urged the government body
responsible for immigration there, to probe reports that people are being
drugged during deportation.

According to the London based pressure group the Zimbabwe Vigil, there are
allegations that some Zimbabwean deportees from the UK are being drugged or
threatened with sedation by security details at the UK Border Agency (UKBA)
“to ensure they do not kick up a fuss when put on a plane home.“

Vigil coordinator Rose Benton told SW Radio Africa on Monday that many
activists, when faced with deportation, have resorted to delaying tactics to
prevent being removed from the UK. She explained how “a number of airline
pilots have refused to take off when failed asylum seekers have created a
scene on board to draw attention to their plight.”

Vigil founder and former Zim trade union leader Ephraim Tapa has since
raised concern that deportees are being threatened with sedation. Tapa said
that over the weekend he’d been informed by relatives or friends of four
people who were said to have been injected with sedatives or threatened with
sedation to facilitate their deportation.

Benton said these claims are yet to be verified, but a recent incident has
supported the validity of such comments. She explained how Vigil supporter
Chipo Hazel Tafirenyika, who was deported last Thursday night, reported that
UKBA security guards threatened her with sedation if she caused any trouble
when she was put on the plane.

“We expect that there should be some kind of investigation, and if anything
people should be approaching their MPs. We would hope that the Home Office
gives their position on the situation,” Benton said.

Meanwhile the UK based Zimbabwe Association, which deals with immigration
and deportation issues of Zimbabwean nationals, has issued the following
information for asylum seekers:

Information for asylum seekers from the Zimbabwe Association (ZA)

If you get detained (and do not have a legal representative) put your name
down for an appointment with a legal aid lawyer as soon as possible. There
will be a booking system, probably in the detention centre library. Each
detention centre has legal aid firms contracted to provide legal help. These
are objective legal professionals. If you are already using a legal aid
lawyer when you are detained you should be allowed to continue with them.
Using a private lawyer can be a problem because if relatives are not able to
raise the money required the private lawyer will not be able to act for you
and may drop your case at the last minute. (Applying for a Judicial Review
is a very expensive business.)

If you are given an appointment with a legal aid lawyer that is after the
date of your flight then tell the Immigration Officer and ask for an earlier
date. Get them to prioritise your case.

If a legal aid lawyer says your case has no merit ask them to put their
reasons in writing.

If you are not in detention don’t just submit a fresh claim to try to
protect yourself. You have to build up your case and prepare all possible

If possible:

Scan all your evidence. Put Reasons for Refusal letter in one document. Put
Immigration Judge Determination in another document. Put Application for
Fresh claim in another document. Put all supporting letters together in
another document. Put all press stories in another document.

Keep a version of your evidence electronically and make sure that a trusted
friend or relative can access and produce these documents if / when you are

For further information please check the ZA website; There is a section on detention.

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You won’t kill us, Tsvangirai tells Zanu PF

Monday, 03 December 2012 13:20

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says attempts by President Robert
Mugabe’s Zanu PF to create a wedge between him and his deputy Thokhozani
Khupe were aimed at destroying his party but warned the MDC will not fall
into the trap.

In the past few weeks, there have been reports that Tsvangirai and Khupe
were at war over attempts to pull the Deputy prime minister to a hearing on
allegations of inciting violence.

Tsvangirai dismissed as false reports that he was fighting Khupe saying the
reported friction was a creation of Zanu PF which wanted to “kill” his party
ahead of elections next year.

“They have come up with a new conspiracy of trying to destroy our party from
inside. They want to cause divisions among us. I don’t see the reason why I
should put my own deputy under a disciplinary hearing. She is my deputy and
if I have problems with her, I will just call her, then we sit down and
talk,” Tsvangirai told the party’s Bulawayo provincial council meeting in
the city on Saturday.

Reports had indicated that Khupe was facing a hearing for her alleged role
in the violence that rocked MDC ahead of its congress held in Bulawayo in
April 2011.

The MDC national disciplinary committee is chaired by party chairperson
Lovemore Moyo. Tsvangirai is on a nationwide tour holding meetings with his
party structures.

Meanwhile, Tsvangirai yesterday declared he is ready to govern and was now
going around the country laying the grand strategy of how his MDC will take
Zimbabwe out of the current economic tragedy.

With unemployment standing at over 80 percent, the MDC leader told party
leadership in Lupane that he has keys to unlock the problems bedevilling
country’s rundown economy through job creation. He said he will also create
a fair environment for foreign direct investment.

Secretary in the PM’s office responsible for political affairs, Alex
Magaisa, told the Daily News from Lupane yesterday that Tsvangirai spoke of
an economic recovery strategy which included massive job creation.

“For the past years, Mugabe has proved to be a failure, He is a legend in
failure and the PM was taking a new vision for Zimbabwe to grassroots.

“The MDC leader unveiled a strategy which includes preparation to govern. He
is ready to rule. This country will come to life a minute after his victory.
He is ready to turn over the unemployment rates prevailing in the country by
affording an opportunity to serious investors to revamp our industries,”
said Magaisa.

Tsvangirai formed a coalition government with his arch rival, Mugabe four
years ago which has stabilised the economy and brought back a social service
which had disappeared.

In Lupane, the MDC leader said when he takes over as leader of the country,
infrastructural development will begin to take place a day after taking

According to Magaisa, the former trade unionist bemoaned the state of
industries in Bulawayo which he described as “museums of manufacturing”.

“He is worried about the number of closed companies in Bulawayo. The once
industrial town has now become a museum, and in his address, he told the
provincial party leadership that all this will be changed once he assumes
governance of the country,” Magaisa said.

The MDC leader was accompanied by his deputy, Khupe, party vice chairperson
Morgan Komichi, and senior officials from his office.

Before the Lupane meeting, Tsvangirai met party leadership in Bulawayo and
Gwanda and before that he was in Kwekwe taking his “new government strategy
to grassroots structures saying he was rolling out his plan for a new

The country is expected to go for elections next year and Tsvangirai says he
will triumph over his long time enemy now turned coalition partner, Mugabe,
who is also seeking to extend his 32-year rule.

The former ruling party is also campaigning on job creation through the
controversial indigenisation programme.

The MDC says indigenisation is a “smart robbery” programme which seeks to
empower a few elite individuals leaving the masses wallowing poverty.

Other contenders for the country’s top job include Welshman Ncube and Simba
Makoni but Tsvangirai says the experience he got in the coalition government
has provided him with an “insight of how to govern as well as how not to

“The president told the structures here that the decision to join the
inclusive government has helped the party to prepare itself on how best to

“The party is using experiences from the dysfunctional inclusive government
to get the best of its ability and he assured the nation that social
services and infrastructure development will becomes the hallmark of his
government,” Magaisa added. - Pindai Dube and Xolisani Ncube

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'Lazy MPs to be kicked out' - Tsvangirai

Staff Reporter 20 hours 59 minutes ago

MDC-T leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said “lazy” sitting party
Members of Parliament (MPs) will be kicked out during primary elections and
he is not going to protect anyone.
Addressing MDC-T Bulawayo provincial council meeting held at party offices
in the city Tsvangirai who was accompanied by his secretary general Tendai
Biti, Vice President Thokozani Khupe, National Organizing Secretary Nelson
Chamisa and his deputy Abedinico Bhebhe said sitting MPs who failed to
deliver during their term of office would be booted out in primary
“I am not going to protect anyone or impose anyone, if you are an MP and you
failed to hold even one meeting in your constituency to give people feedback
about what happened in parliament, you should not expect people to support
you again,” said Tsvangirai.
The MDC-T is expected to hold primary elections around the country this
month and campaigns have already started in some areas where most sitting
are seeking re- election.
Tsvangirai also called for unity within his party saying that members should
stop fighting only to get into parliament and senate as they can save the
party in many ways.
The Prime Minister also said Zanu (PF) wants to divide his party and is
happy to see the MDC-T members fighting. “You people are the ones who gave
me this team I am working with. You elected these party leaders during
congress and we should not allow Zanu PF to divide us.”
Tsvangirai is on nationwide tour holding meetings with his party structures
in preparation for the country watershed elections next year.
The Premier and his team have so far met party’s provincial structures in
Midlands South Midlands North, Matabeleland South, Harare, Chitungwiza and
Bulawayo. He is expected to meet the Matabeleland North structures on
Tsvangirai said he will stand down as leader of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC-T) if he loses elections slated for March next year, he told
supporters in Gweru on Friday.
Tsvangirai, who has led the party for 13 years, stunned supporters with the
shock declaration even as he predicted his party would win.
“2013 election tikaruza, zvakaoma [if we lose, it would be difficult],”
Tsvangirai said.

“You [should] take others and put them forward, isn’t that so?”
The former trade unionist, who became leader of the MDC at its formation in
1999, surprised supporters further by openly admitting the MDC had been an
“apprentice” of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party since 2009 when he
joined a coalition government.
Tsvangirai said the coalition government had been a blessing in disguise as
the MDC was too inexperienced to rule in June 2008 when he pulled out of the
presidential election, controversially, after more than 200 supporters were
murdered in pre-election violence.
“For the last four years, we were in transition - being shown keys, being
made apprentices, being taught how to run government,” Tsvangirai said.
“We now know the keys are here, there and there. God has a purpose. It was
God’s plan to first put us in the GPA, otherwise we would have gone into the
deep end without experience and ended up at each other’s throats.
“God wants a peaceful revolution, not a violent revolution.”
Tsvangirai presided over a damaging split in the party in 2005 when senior
figures, including his late deputy Gibson Sibanda, chairman Isaac Matongo,
secretary general Welshman Ncube, treasurer Fletcher Dulini Ncube, spokesman
Paul Themba Nyathi and elections director Esaph Mdlongwa led a break-away,
accusing him of failing to tackle violence within the party and undemocratic
Tsvangirai’s latest pronouncements could encourage rising stars within the
party, including the popular Finance Minister Tendai Biti and likeable
Nelson Chamisa, to step up their interest in the top job.
MDC-T supporters yearn for a re-unification of the party, but most accept
that this would not be possible under a Tsvangirai leadership. Tsvangirai
and Ncube, according to insiders, have a mutual hatred of each other.

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‘Zanu PF will be smarter in 2013’ - Biti

Staff Reporter 9 hours 10 minutes ago

KWEKWE – MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti has called on members of the
party to up their game ahead of the 2013 elections saying while Zanu PF will
remain violent, the party would be a lot smarter as Zimbabweans move to
their first ever issues-based election.
“We know Zanu PF never intends to have a peaceful election. They will
continue to beat us up, but they will be a lot smarter and will bring issues
to the table.
An MDC cadre should, therefore, have more game and be smarter than just
sloganeering,” Biti said.
Addressing hundreds of supporters in Torwood, Redcliff, during a provincial
consultative meeting, Biti explained that the just-launched MDC-T economic
blueprint Juice (Jobs, Upliftment, Investment, Capital and Environment)
which he said would help revive the collapsed Ziscosteel which is teetering
on the brink of an almost collapsed $750 million investment deal.
Biti blamed Zanu PF for leaving a legacy of economic destruction over its 32
years of uninterrupted stranglehold on power and thus could not be trusted
to lead the country again.
“They have even destroyed the infrastructure which was left by Ian Smith
because that is what they are good at.
“There is no better show of Zanu PF’s destructive power than Ziscosteel
which used to be the nerve centre of industry in Zimbabwe even during the
Unilateral Declaration of Independence era,” said Biti.
Biti also said the MDC-T on behalf of the people had won the constitutional
fight and vowed that the party would not bow down to allow Zanu PF a chance
to reverse the gains. - NewsDay
“The citizen issues are sealed, devolution will be in the constitution and
all those issues which have been agreed on will not be compromised. The
constitution is our baby and the MDC-T is not a baby dumper,” Biti said.

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The MDC Today - Issue 481

Monday, 03 December 2012

Over the weekend President Morgan Tsvangirai was on a whirlwind tour of some
of the provinces in the country holding Provincial Council meetings which
saw him in the Midlands and Matebeleland provinces.

On Saturday he unveiled the Jobs Upliftment Investment Capital and
Environment policy (JUICE) to party structures in Bulawayo and Gwanda
calling on all MDC members to unite and stop factionalism ahead of elections
to be held next year. President Tsvangirai said there is need for more unity
in the party and urged members to be organised and stop behaving like

Also at the weekend, Hon Theresa Makone who is the Member of Parliament for
Harare North and Minister of Home Affairs as well as the chairperson of the
MDC Women’s Assembly launched the commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism
Against Gender Based Violence in Harare at the weekend.

This year’s global theme for the 16 days campaign is: From Peace in the Home
to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against

Manicaland: The Zimbabwean government must first educate the soldiers they
are deploying in Manicaland on their actual mandate, so that they do not
stray and harass people as we approach the elections set for next year.

Whilst its crucial for the government of Zimbabwe to deploy army personnel
at our borders with Mozambique in case the Renamo bandits cause any
instability, the desperate army bosses who are an extension of Zanu PF, must
not take any advantage of the situation and send partisan soldiers to
campaign for Zanu PF and harass innocent civilians perceived to be MDC

Gutu - Recurring cases of violence and anarchy being reported across the
province will not deter the MDC party from winning the watershed polls
scheduled for next year, senior party officials said at the weekend.

Addressing party members at a district meeting held at Maungwa Business
Centre, ward 24 Gutu South Constituency on Saturday, Provincial Chairman
Wilstaff Sitemere said the MDC should focus on winning the crucial elections
expected next year, instead of jostling for party positions.

More than 20 armed soldiers from Battlefields in Kadoma deployed under the
Operation Maguta scheme in Zhombe assaulted over 50 MDC activists at a
district meeting held at Samambwa business center in Zhombe, Midlands North

The soldiers encamped at Samambwa Primary School for a week distributing
maize seed assaulted the MDC members accusing them of denouncing Zanu PF and
insulting Mugabe at their party meetings.

My voice is in: My vote is YES!!!

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Old Mutual seems unembarrassed by its links with Mugabe's Zimbabwe

Global Outlook: The company has a big reputation to look after, in the UK
and around the world


Zimbabwe's Marange mining region is so littered with diamonds you can't help
tripping over them as you walk. Thus goes the myth about the hugely valuable
resource which could fuel a boom in the country's economy.

Little wonder, then, that the London Stock Exchange-listed insurance giant
Old Mutual wanted to get a slice of the action by taking a stake.

Unfortunately for Old Mutual, and President Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwean
government, diamonds from the mine are blocked by sanctions, due largely to
his appalling treatment of white farmers as well as other human rights

The human rights group Global Witness and Peter Hain MP have described the
glittering stones plucked from Marange as "blood diamonds", claiming that
revenues from these side-deal sales are going to President Mugabe's security
forces, rather than health, education and other services needed by the
people. You can't use an AK47 or a new ministerial limousine to treat
children with HIV, the argument goes.

Are they really blood diamonds? Not all of them, no. In fact, as Old Mutual
is at pains to point out, the diamonds it has a slice of have been given the
seal of approval from the internationally recognised Kimberley Process
watchdog. That means it guarantees money goes to the Zimbabwean treasury,
and not into the pockets of politicians.

Having said that, Kimberley Process documents for 2011 show 99 people were
arrested that year for having illegal rough diamonds on them, and the Global
Witness NGO has quit Kimberley, alleging it has failed to be tough enough on

There is still some diamond money coming through to the country, though.
Trade blocks in most western countries don't mean Zimbabwe can't sell its
stones elsewhere: it simply offers them at a knockdown price in places that
will still trade with President Mugabe's henchmen, like Dubai and South

But the huge markets of the US and Europe remain out of bounds, while one of
the main companies investing in Marange, the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining
Development Corporation (ZMDC), has had its assets frozen by the UK Asset
Freeze department.

One would have thought the issue of investing in a country that has such
widespread sanctions on it from most major western governments would be a
matter of more embarrassment for Old Mutual.

The company has a big reputation to look after, in the UK and around the
world. Its British arm alone has £4.1bn under management, mostly from retail
investors. I wonder if all of those clients are aware of its involvement in

Old Mutual argues that it invests in the diamonds through a South African
subsidiary and South Africa has no trade bans on Zimbabwe. Yet Old Mutual
has invested in a business partnered up in the region with ZMDC, trashed by
a major Global Witness report earlier this year that attempted to untangle a
deliberately complicated web of companies, many of which linked back to
ministers in President Mugabe's Zanu-PF party. Only last week, a report from
a diamond trade watchdog, Partnership Africa Canada, alleged that senior
government officials have plundered more than $2bn of diamonds from the
Marange fields. The allegations have been denied.

Despite the plight of white farmers seeking compensation for having had
their farms illegally seized, Baroness Ashton, the EU's foreign policy
chief, is seeking to lift some sanctions on the government when they come up
for review in February.

White farmers' groups such as Justice Zimbabwe argue, with good grounds,
that this is a disgrace. Lady Ashton's plans would lift the travel bans
currently imposed on a large number of President Mugabe's fellow party
members, allow aid to be given direct to the government and lift the
freezing of some companies' and individuals' assets.

Whether the lifting of restrictions applies to ZMDC is in some doubt.

Word around the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is that it won't,
particularly due to the continued condemnation of goings-on at Marange by
Global Witness.

But the drift of European policy towards Zimbabwe is clearly going in the
direction of normalising its relations with the rest of the world.Lady
Ashton says she sees signs of an improvement in human rights and democracy
in the country, and there are possibly some grounds to support that.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has continued to trade throughout the sanctions period
with countries who do not ratify the trade restrictions. Nowadays, they say,
there are more Chinese than white people in Zimbabwe. Many of them are
working in the diamond industry.

Despite the plans to ease sanctions on the country, Simon Rainer, head of
the British Jewellers' Association, is in no doubt of where he stands. The
Kimberley Process, he says, may have approved the Zimbabwean mines, but that
doesn't make them clean. Under Kimberley, you can be ratified if your mines
are not being used to fund rebel attempts to overthrow a democratically
elected government. But what if a democratically elected government is using
diamond wealth to suppress indigenous populations, he asks.

Meanwhile, much of the time the profits go to China, rather than helping to
build Zimbabwe's infrastructure, he says.

"We tell our members, and they agree with us – don't touch Zimbabwe's
diamonds. We don't want anything to do with them."

That's a far cry from the message coming out of Old Mutual.

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Mines may lose Zim licences

Mon, 03 Dec 2012 11:45 AM

Zimbabwe's Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere confirmed on Sunday
that three gold mining companies are under threat to have their licences

Kasukuwere said it was because they had not complied with Zimbabwe's black
empowerment regulations, which state that 51 percent of shares of all large
foreign or white-owned companies must be in the hands of blacks.

The three firms targeted are Metallon Gold, Vumbachigwe Mines in Gwanda and
John Mack Gold Mine in Kadoma.

Metallon Gold is owned by South Africa's Mzi Khumalo and has five mines in

Kasukuwere told the Sunday Mail that Metallon had a "negative attitude"
towards the indigenisation policy.

The minister, who's fast becoming one of the most powerful in President
Robert Mugabe's cabinet, claimed the company was refusing to contribute to a
local community share ownership trust.

Kasukuwere said if they are not interested in doing business in Zimbabwe
they must leave and he has recommended Metallon and the other two mines have
their operating licences revoked.

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MISA: State of the media report launched FOR SITE

MISA-Zimbabwe Communiqué
3 December 2012

MISA-Zimbabwe in conjunction with Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung (FES) on 30
November 2012 released the 2012 African Media Barometer (AMB) report on the
state of the media and freedom of expression in Zimbabwe at a launch
ceremony held in Harare.
The AMB officially launched by MISA-Zimbabwe Chairperson Njabulo Ncube, is a
tool used to assess the state of the media and freedom of expression in
African countries. It also assesses the extent to which African countries,
Zimbabwe included, have gone in complying with the benchmarks set in terms
of the Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression in Africa.
The AMB determines how far the country has progressed towards achieving the
desired objectives as defined under the afore-mentioned Declaration by
looking at four key areas, notably: freedom of expression, the media
landscape, radio and television, and quality of journalism.
The instrument was jointly developed by Fesmedia Africa, the Media Project
of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) in Africa, and the Media Institute of
Southern Africa (MISA) in 2004.
The report compiled by an 11-member panel comprising journalists and
representatives of civic society, laments the continued retention of laws
such as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA),
Public Order and Security Act (POSA), Broadcasting Services Act, Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act, as hindrances to the enjoyment of media
and freedom of expression rights.
While freedom of expression is guaranteed in the Zimbabwe constitution,
citizens live in constant fear of being arrested and convicted for breaching
the laws in question. “To a certain extent Zimbabweans have thus been
subdued and now tend to act with caution when it comes to exercising their
right to freedom of expression,” says the report.
According to the report, corruption had also become “endemic” in the
journalistic profession notwithstanding the poor salaries and working
conditions for journalists and media workers in Zimbabwe.
Leading discussions on the findings of the report Chris Mhike, a
Commissioner with the statutory Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC), said the
issue of poor working conditions cannot be condoned as an excuse for
compromising the ethics of the profession.
“Poverty cannot be an excuse for unfair and inaccurate reporting” Mhike

Participants at the launch ceremony comprising journalists and members of
civic society agreed with the findings of the report that Zimbabwe was still
far from complying with regional and international instruments that promote
freedom of expression and media freedom.

On media professionalism, MISA-Zimbabwe Chairperson Ncube said: “This is an
issue of great concern that calls for journalists to go back to the basics
(of the profession) to ensure accuracy and fairness,” said Ncube.

Nyasha Nyakunu
Senior Programmes Officer

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Preserving trees is saving our own lives

Monday, 03 December 2012 00:00

Jeffrey Gogo Climate Change

TREES are life but whose life you may ask? Yours of course and that of the
earth’s. For this cause we will never stress enough the need for you to
plant a tree and not to cut one. If you do, replace that one by planting 10
more trees. And, do not just plant, but plant and water and see the tree
through to maturity.

There are many things that have been equalled to life, with good merit.
Water is another. These resources are perceived key atoms in the nucleus of
human life, without which, life as known to us, would be critically

Each year, therefore, for the past 30 years Zimbabwe has celebrated the
importance of trees by planting more on a day specially set aside for this
purpose, December 1.

This day is now known, as the National Tree Planting Day (NTPD) and echoes
perfectly with the United Nation’s worldwide efforts on the conservation and
protection of trees and forests.

The Forestry Commission, which is the guardian of Zimbabwe’s forests, will
this year continue to lead this effort aimed at reversing the damage caused
by humans on the country’s tree population.
It is targeting to plant 10 million trees of the indigenous red mahogany
species (muwawa or mururu in shona) between now and December 1, 2013.

President Robert Mugabe who is the patron of the NTPD was expected to
officially launch this year’s programme at Nyamandlovu Secondary School in
Matebeleland North last Saturday.

That the 2012 official launch occurred in Matebeleland was very symbolic
given this province boast Zimbabwe’s biggest plantation forests, and are
commonly and frequently destroyed by human-sponsored fires as well as

They require urgent protection. Some 1 500 trees were to be planted on the
launch day.
Forestry Commission spokesperson Ms Violet Makoto last week said that the
2012-2013 theme, “Grow and Conserve Trees-Sustain Livelihoods”, was an all
encompassing one that promotes tree growing and tree care as opposed to
simple planting.

“This year’s campaign encourages people to go further than just planting to
seeing that trees planted are taken care of and reach maturity.

“It also looks at conservation of indigenous trees, the old growth that has
been in existence even before our times,” she explained in an interview.

Every year a specific tree is declared tree of the year. The red mahogany is
for the current one.
Ms Makoto said the tree of the year is chosen based on the criteria that it
is indigenous to Zimbabwe.

It also qualifies if it possesses important food and or medicinal properties
or has potential to significantly contribute to the socio-economic
well-being of the country and if Zimbabwe can generally benefit from the
widespread propagation of the species.

Some are identified because they are rare and can possibly become extinct.
The red mahogany is a strong, robust tree, which makes ideal for furniture.

On the other side of town, leading environmental organisations Environment
Africa and the Friends of the Environment (FOTE), a coalition of corporate
entities answered (as they have done over the past years) to the call for
the need to continuously plant trees, more and more.

Environment Africa is today expected to launch its “For Every Child A Tree
Campaign” at the University of Zimbabwe.

This project targets to encourage everyone, particularly school children to
take issues of the environment seriously, as well as promote the protection
and conservation of trees.
Within the next year, Environment Africa targets to plant 14 million trees
under this project.

At least 500 red mahogany trees are expected to be planted at launch today.
Meanwhile, between Thursday and Friday last week, FOTE performed its annual
walkathon, a road walk for the trees, this time to Mtoko, a rural town
approximately 160km north-east of Harare.

Last year, FOTE walked 263km to the eastern city of Mutare from Harare
having completed another 278km walkathon from Gweru to the capital in 2010.

The group has ambitious plans of planting 500 million trees within the next
15 years, which translates to 33 million trees annually.

Such efforts are very crucial in complimenting Government’s initiatives in
replenishing local forests.
50 million trees planted, many more destroyed

Over the past 30 years, nearly 50 million trees have been planted
countrywide under the NTPD initiative.

For 2010-2011 the target was 5 million and this was exceeded by 300 000
Last year, 9,2 million trees were planted out of a targeted 10 million.
Early in the 1980s, the yearly target of one million trees was consistently

It is not clear, however, whether all these trees have/will survive to
adulthood, so to speak.
But what is clear is that Zimbabweans have shown little or no restraint at
all in cutting down trees and destroying forests.

Each year, at least 330 000 hectares (that’s the size of the whole district
of Zaka) is lost to uncontrolled forests fires, agriculture preparations and
rampant cutting.

Tobacco production alone accounts for 15 of deforestation in the country.
The actual number of trees lost is not known but spans into millions, and
cumulatively, it exceeds the number of trees planted to date by far.

The Forestry Commission says only 45 percent of forest cover is left, and at
this rate Zimbabwe will have no forest to talk of in 50 years.

The United Nations says that at least 15 hectares of forests were being lost
per minute between 1990 and 2005.

Ms Makoto said: “The number of trees planted through the national tree
planting day campaigns might seem insignificant in the face of the rate of
deforestation but it does make a huge difference.
It is the effort of every individual to at least replace a tree they have
cut down that ensures a balance between losses and gains.”

Obviously, Ms Makoto is right. Greater effort than is currently being
employed is now required.
Such effort as will concretise the transition from simply focussing on tree
planting to the actual care and conservation of those planted and existing

This transition must also be able to significantly change perceptions that
the conservation of Zimbabwe's tree life is now beyond Government’s singular
efforts, but a shared national responsibility which involves participation
by individuals, communities, the church, schools, media and corporates etc.

Saving trees is saving our own lives
Be worried when most or all of the green vegetation in your community,
particularly trees, is rapidly being replaced by emptiness, by vast spaces
of rugged earth, gullies and, well, again, nothing.

But, really in what way is a tree, life to the human being? Indeed that
tree, which does not even respond when talked to nor cry or weep when the
merciless axe arrogantly sinks into its marrow, why is it important in the
greater human scheme of things?

The reasons are plenty, the most important being trees provide oxygen, a
critical gas for human survival.

At present, however, we are predominantly concerned about the impact that
trees could have in neutralising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2)
concentrations, and thus minimising the risks of dangerous climate change.

Trees have played this carbon sink role for millenia although that has
significantly diminished over time, as a result of unrestrained global
forest loss facing too much man-made carbon emissions.
Along with numerous other factors, this has resulted in climate change and
global warming, which have made life extremely difficult especially for the

Trees can help reverse that and keep global temperatures from rising beyond
the dreaded 2 degrees Celsius limit.

Trees grown to maturity are able to soak up an average 440 tonnes of
atmospheric CO2 per hectare. That may mean that of the 330 000ha of forest
lost per year in Zimbabwe, some 145,2 million tonnes of CO2 are being
allowed to roam unchecked in our skies.

In the reverse, that much could be prevented from aiding the climate change
horror if trees the size of Zaka were planted and cared for each year.

Worldwide, tropical forests remove 4,8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from
the atmosphere per year.

So, from a climate change perspective, trees are crucial. To be effective,
however, trees must be planted on a colossal scale, nursed to maturity and
aided by a in change attitudes, which supports sustainable forest management
practices. Trees perform other important tasks. As defined by Ms Makoto,
trees and forests sustain livelihoods starting from cleaning the air that we
breathe, providing raw materials, providing food and providing habitats for

“In the crisis of global warming, trees and forests become the immediate
response in mitigating against the effects of climate change,” she said.

“In Zimbabwe many livelihoods are sustained through use of forest resources
such as the timber industry, honey production. Our lives depend on trees and
forests so saving trees is saving our own lives.”
God is faithful.

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‘Zim gems storm in a teacup'

Monday, 03 December 2012 14:10
Abbey Chikane, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) Monitor to
Zimbabwe from 2009 to 2010, says the Marange question - which nearly ripped
the global diamond watchdog apart over the past three years - was nothing
but a "storm in a tea cup".
He gave it the name "isivunguvungu", a Ndebele word for storm.
"I think the storm is over (now)," Chikane said.
"It was a wild storm in a tea cup and it wrecked all of us. I am glad it's
all over. The Kimberley Process can return to work (now)."
Acknowledging there were still some residual pockets of conflict, brewed by
parties with conflict-plus issues in diamond trade, Chikane assured the
industry that stability would be restored to the KPCS when South Africa
takes over the chairmanship of body from the US next year.
The US has been accused of using its chairmanship to sustain the "storm",
which officially ended in November 2011 when the last KPCS Plenary at its
annual session held in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo
unanimously cleared Marange diamonds as conflict-free based on successive
KPCS Monitoring Reports.
"Ideally, the effectiveness of the Kimberley Process should be measured
against its ability to ensure that participants and non-participating states
do not slide back to armed conflicts either as a result of internal crisis
or troubled regions and thus compromising legitimate diamond trade."
Chikane was appointed KP Monitor in Swakopmund, Namibia in November 2009 to
superintend over the implementation of a Joint Work Plan agreed between
Zimbabwe and the KPCS for the purpose of bringing Marange diamond mines to
full compliance with KPCS minimum requirements.
The Joint Work Plan was developed in line with the Swakopmund Administration
KPCS minimum requirements include, among other things, a record of
accounting and a system of warranties, without which a KP certificate cannot
be issued to rough diamonds.
The Joint Work Plan came on schedule as Mbada Diamonds and Canadile, now
subsumed under Marange Resources, in August 2010 carried out Zimbabwe's
first public auction of diamonds in Harare and Mutare under the supervision
of Chikane. A second auction was held a month later.
By November 2011, all diamond mines in Marange were duly certified
Reflecting on the process, Mines and Mining Development Minister, Obert
Mpofu, said the road to KPCS certification was arduous, lengthy and
stressful, for the process irked everyone who was involved, from government
and the mines involved to the KP Monitor and various other stakeholders.
"The local diamond sector has come of age and is now ready to claim its
position on the global platform with Zimbabwe being one of the top five
producers of rough diamonds by volume in the world," he said.
Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) chairperson, Juliet
Machoba, said the final battle in unlocking Zimbabwe's full diamond
potential was the freeing of the marketing and selling of the gemstones, a
critical step in moving the local diamond industry up the global value
MMCZ is the sole selling and marketing agent of government for all minerals
produced in Zimbabwe, except gold and silver.-

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Robert Mugabe will win in 2013, here is why

02/12/2012 00:00:00
by Mai Jukwa

FACTS are inconvenient things. More than that, they are stubborn. Sadly, the
interpreters of fact – humans – are not nearly as reliable. We are subject
to shifting emotions, cruel bias, and sometimes plain evil prejudices.

It is these human frailties that often lend the seemingly obvious to
imaginative interpretations. It’s a cruel world for the objective man, or

There is much more comfort in taking sides. Robert Mugabe is a demon. Morgan
Tsvangirai is Mandela. Welshman Ncube is a CIO.
I suffer the incurable curse of a scientific mind. So much so I must always
call it as it is, however inconvenient. Robert Mugabe will certainly win the
next election.

Let’s quickly touch on the Freedom House Survey. In 2010, they surveyed the
Zimbabwean generality and found that the majority wanted Mugabe to go. I
will remind you that Freedom House is a Washington-based NGO that conducts
research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights. If
Tsvangirai stood a chance of impregnating anyone, it would be these guys.
They are in love with our good Prime Minister.

It is with this view of their favourable inclination toward the MDC-T that
the results of the same survey in 2012 surprised many by offering quite a
different and unexpected set of results. Mugabe’s support was surging, far
outpacing Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai’s MDC had shed 18 percentage points whilst
Mugabe’s party had shot up a comfortable 14 points. If facts are stubborn,
then numbers are pure evil.

The MDC-T spin machine went into overdrive offering all manner of
explanations. Some more absurd that others. One that gave me a chuckle was
the assertion by one MDC-T man claiming that Freedom House was
misrepresenting the electorate, this in an effort to assist the MDC-T. The
reasoning offered was that if Zanu PF imagined victory was certain, they
would then “go to sleep”, leaving the MDC to victoriously march into the
State House. Zanu PF would never see it coming. As you can imagine, Jonathan
Moyo took great pleasure it dismissing this for the nonsense that it was.

Another desperate argument offered in an effort to contradict these
troubling numbers was the fact that 40 percent of respondents had not
disclosed their intentions. The MDC-T immediately pounced on this claiming
that this 40 percent was made up exclusively of MDC-T supporters who feared
expressing their views to the Freedom House interviewers for fear of being
beaten up by those nasty Zanu PF hoodlums.

That has a semblance of surface plausibility. But take a closer look and
see. What about the 2010 survey that found enormous support for Tsvangirai?
Were these
MDC-T supporters not afraid to express their views back then? Given the
country was just coming out of the 2008 political violence, can we be so
credulous as to believe that MDC-T supporters felt safer then than they do
now under the Unity Government? Facts are stubborn things.

The productive political question is not if the MDC is losing support, but
To fully grasp the current political dynamic, it is important to recognise
that the MDC-T electoral base is largely in the urban areas. I do not
suggest that they have a vice grip on all us city dwellers, but the fact of
it is that they previously far outpaced Zanu PF. At the same time, Zanu PF
has tended to do well with the rural vote. These are crucial points. We will
come back to this.

When the MDC-T campaigned against Zanu PF before joining government, they
had an arsenal of effective ammunition. Zanu PF personified corruption! Zanu
PF officials were living in luxury at our expense! We are a government of
the people that cares not for ourselves but for the people! We are
different. We will be different. And we will certainly have different

These were impressively eloquent and seductive slogans. The MDC-T’s support
soared. Herein lies the problem. The MDC-T is in government and the potency
of these attacks have been considerably diminished.

For example, let’s all offer a quick appreciation for David Coltart. He
refused to accept a ministerial top of the range Mercedes Benz. He is the
only minister to have taken this principled position. Other MDC ministers
jumped into those cars head first. They couldn’t wait. Such was the
acquisition frenzy that the MDC nearly tore itself apart over some used
double cab trucks that a sympathetic Gideon Gono had offered them to use in
their daily activities.

Tendai Biti ordered MDC-T MPs to return the vehicles. The hungry MDC-T MPs
showed him the middle finger. It was their time to eat. Imagine a poor man
who wins a modest US$50,000 in the lottery. His children have no clothes, no
shoes, no bed and no food. If this man immediately buys himself a 12 suits
and a US$34,000 truck before seeing to the needs of his children, we would
most certainly curse him to his grave.

In 2009 the Zimbabwean condition was similarly dire. It was a moment when
the intelligentsia expected the MDC-T assert its values and embarrass the
greedy Zanu PF looters it had previously condemned by refusing to drive
luxury vehicles whilst raw sewage flowed. Give us Mazda B1800s, they would
have said, much to the delight of a relieved electorate. But no, they jumped
in head first.

Should I speak of the corruption within the MDC ranks? Councillors who had
taken position immediately set out extensive corruption syndicates, dishing
out stands to friends and relatives. Some are currently languishing in
prison. Is this the change that Tsvangirai had preached to the point of
deafening us?

What of sanctions? All these years the MDC told us there were no sanctions
on Zimbabwe and that the only sanctions that existed were targeted at Zanu
PF elites. I wonder why Tendai Biti wrote a letter to the US Treasury
Secretary, Charles Collyns, begging him to remove sanctions. What sanctions?
I thought the MDC position was that these do not exist?

The electorate is not blind to all this. They can see very clearly that they
were lied to. Sanctions were and are real. If only it ended on the policy

Tsvangirai himself caused a great deal of damage to the MDC through his
repeated sexual indiscretions.
Let’s begin in Matabeleland. The 60-year-old bedded a 21-year-old Loretha
Nyathi without using protection. The child fell pregnant. Fearing for his
political career, Tsvangirai sent her to South Africa and demanded she
abort. She quietly kept the child.

When the baby was born, Tsvangirai refused to support it although it was his
child. It was only after the lawyers were called in that he gave in and
agreed to pay monthly support. If ever there was an example of a man lacking
in personal integrity, Tsvangirai is that man.

I am not the one who made Tsvangirai do these things. I am simply putting
the facts to paper. Those unhappy at my writing these things should rightly
direct their wrath at Tsvangirai who committed these shameful acts.

Then Locardia Karimatsenga came along. The Prime Minister swore to us that
she was a home wrecker and he had never married her but simply paid damages.
ZBC got its hands on footage of the event showing Tsvangirai’s emissaries in
great joy and indeed paying a bride price, while asking for the woman’s hand
in marriage. It was broadcast on national television.

Tsvangirai, in his signature flip-flop, performed a quick position shift and
claimed his emissaries had misrepresented him. Apparently, he had simply
instructed them to pay damages but they had taken it upon themselves to take
a wife for him. Tsvangirai can be childish at times. It was a weak argument
and the courts – after taking in all the evidence – sided with the soon to
be jilted wife.

Locardia was his wife and he dumped her through a newspaper press statement.
Those are the facts. If he expects the dignified women of Zimbabwe to
support him all the same, then he is clearly duller than he lets on.

I could go on about his other sexual exploits but that is needless. Even
Grade 7 kids know everything about Tsvangirai’s sex life. The one time
celebrated democrat is now the butt of dirty jokes. What is important is
that all this was playing out through the media. It draws us back to the
MDC-T’s strong urban base who are all in close contact with television,
radio, the internet and print.

Tsvangirai and the MDC-T were destroying the MDC brand right before the
television cameras. All this whilst his most ardent urban supporters watched
in dismay. Many were disappointed. Some were angry. Others were ashamed. A
few blamed the CIO – all too familiar an excuse.

The effect is that many MDC-T supporters have lost faith in the party they
previously believed in. Many cannot bring themselves to vote for Zanu PF and
will instead stay at home on election day, whilst Zanu PF romps to victory.
Others have been positively converted and now see the MDC-T as shameless
hypocrites, especially with regards to sanctions. These few will vote for
Zanu PF.

The rural folk remain a steadfast bastion of patriotism and can be counted
on to deliver votes for Zanu PF, come the next election. In 2008, the March
elections gave the MDC-T control of Parliament. The MDC-T called this
election free and fair. They won Parliament.

But most Zimbabweans do not know one very important fact. The BBC and CNN do
not want you to know this. Although the MDC-T won more seats in Parliament,
they lost the popular vote. In the widely considered free and fair March
Parliamentary poll, Zanu PF actually had more votes than the MDC-T.
Specifically, Zanu PF secured 1,110,649 and the MDC-T came second with
1,041,176 votes.

Imagine the economic desperation at the time, yet Zanu PF got more votes
than the MDC-T. What more now with an improved economy and a self-impaling
Tsvangirai limping into the election with sperm on his hands? Robert Mugabe’s
victory is certain, Tsvangirai’s friends at Freedom House think so too.

Mai Jukwa is a loving mother of three. She respects Robert Mugabe, is amused
by Tsvangirai and feels sorry for Mutambara

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Margaret Tredgold obituary
Margaret Tredgold
Margaret Tredgold's research led her to believe that Aesop's fables had their origins in Africa

My friend Margaret Tredgold, who has died aged 102, gave service to the people of Zimbabwe that bridged generations and transcended the race divide.

One of seven sisters, Margaret grew up in the South African country town of Aliwal North. One of her earliest memories was of watching the stagecoach, with armed outriders, passing in a cloud of dust at sunset, taking diamonds to Johannesburg. After school, she qualified as an art teacher and moved to Zimbabwe, then Southern Rhodesia, to take up a teaching post. Marriage to Bill Phear, a lawyer, in 1934 marked a turning point: she became a Zimbabwean citizen and her love affair with the country's flora began.

Margaret began making watercolour portraits of the flowers, and the 1953 edition of Robert Martineau's Rhodesian Wild Flowers was illustrated with her paintings. They caught the eye of Sir Robert Tredgold, president of the National Museum, who had been instrumental in the publication of the book. After the deaths of their respective spouses, Margaret and Robert married in 1974, united by a common interest in the flora and folklore of Zimbabwe.

Together they researched the roots of Zimbabwe's folk tales, publishing many as illustrated children's books. Her research led Margaret to believe that Aesop's fables had their origins in Africa. Margaret wrote and illustrated local African fables and a range of Bible stories to be used in schools and sold at low cost. Later, when grandchildren came along, she would write up their favourite stories for them. She was a wonderful storyteller and they loved to listen to her.

After Robert's death in 1977, Margaret finished their project on edible plants, with Food Plants of Zimbabwe appearing in 1986. A set of Zimbabwean stamps, issued in 2001, depicted six of her butterfly paintings. Other sets she illustrated featured Christmas celebrations and African folk tales for children.

In 2004 political unrest forced Margaret to leave her homeland of 70 years and relocate to Britain. One son, Patrick, predeceased her. She is survived by her son Stephen, who still lives in Zimbabwe, daughter, Shirley, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

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