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Diamond trade watchdog criticised over Zim decision

By Alex Bell
04 December 2012

The international diamond trade watchdog, the Kimberley Process (KP), is
facing criticism for endorsing Zimbabwe’s diamond trade and lifting the
monitoring mechanisms previously in place to oversee the local industry.

The KP made this decision at the end of its annual plenary session last
week, which saw a number of civil society and human rights groups raise
concern about the Zim diamond trade. Chief among these concerns are claims
that diamond profits are funding a ‘parallel’ government in Zimbabwe, whose
main aim is to keep the ZANU PF regime in power.

But the KP has now officially endorsed the Zim trade, saying the country is
fully ‘compliant’, despite the concerns raised by civic groups. The KP said,
as a result, it would withdraw its monitoring team because Zimbabwe
fulfilled all the requirements to certify its own diamond exports.

Zimbabwe’s diamond trade has been in the media spotlight since 2008 when
hundreds of diamond panners were allegedly murdered by the military at the
Chiadzwa diamond fields. The country was later suspended from international
trade over concerns of human rights abuses. But the KP never took decisive
punitive action against the then ZANU PF government, and has continued its
lenient treatment of the subsequent ZANU PF run Mines Ministry.

Zimbabwe was granted time to improve the situation at the Chiadzwa fields,
where ZANU PF top dogs are said to be the leading beneficiaries of illicit
sales. Such sales continued, despite Zimbabwe’s suspension from trade, and
millions of dollars are said to have been pocketed.

A recent report has indicated that about US$2 billion worth of diamonds have
been siphoned out of Zimbabwe in the past four years by a network of ZANU PF
ministers and military officials.

“Conservative estimates place the theft of Marange goods at almost $2
billion since 2008,” Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) said in a report last

PAC campaigner Alan Martin told SW Radio Africa that the KP’s decision to
endorse Zimbabwe’s diamond trade is a reflection of the fact that the
monitoring body “lost political will to do anything on Zimbabwe years ago.”
He said the KP decision has been cemented in technical facts “without
looking at larger, more important issues.”

“We remain concerned about the operations of the diamond companies in
Chiadzwa, and unanswered questions like the sale of diamonds under embargo
and other issues,” Martin said.

Similar concerns have been raised by the pressure group Global Witness,
which withdrew from the KP civil society wing in 2011 because of the lack of
action on Zimbabwe. Annie Dunnebacke from Global Witness told SW Radio
Africa that the KP’s decision to endorse Zimbabwe “is a final signal for us
that the KP is not the place to go to clean up the diamond trade.”

“Their premise for lifting the monitoring arrangement is based entirely on
the wrong thing. They are focused on the technical advancements being made
while turning a blind eye to the more grievous issues at play,” Dunnebacke

She added that the onus is now on the diamond industry to adopt “due
diligence” practices to ensure that the diamonds they source do not fund
repression or election violence.

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ZANU PF demanded cash contributions for Gweru conference

By Tererai Karimakwenda
04 December 2012

The national people’s conference held by ZANU PF every year started in Gweru
on Tuesday, at a conference centre built by the Chinese for $6.5 million,
and on farm land that was reportedly stolen.

The much publicised event was also preceded by reports that the party had
problems raising the $2 million they needed to organise it successfully, and
had forced white farmers and non-party members in rural areas to contribute
to the conference fund.

According to the Independent newspaper, ZANU PF built the centre on farmland
owned by an indigenous farmer and his white partner, who bought Bertram
Winery farm from its previous white owner.

But on March 13th the white partner and his family were given 24 hours to
vacate the property after ZANU PF had identified the farm as the site for
the conference centre, which reportedly seats 5,000. The partners had
invested $50,000 to improve the property and prepare for the agricultural

Details of ZANU PF’s money problems appeared in the Standard newspaper,
which said a senior ZANU PF official “read the riot act” to white farmers at
a closed door meeting recently held at Chinhoyi Training Centre. The farmers
were ordered to “donate” cash, cattle and even maize towards the conference.

The Standard said they were told by sources in ZANU PF that senior party
officials were also being asked to contribute, but politburo members had
been reluctant to give up any funds. The report said ZANU PF reconstituted
their fundraising committee two weeks ago, when it became clear they would
not be able to raise enough funds.

SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme spoke to trusted sources and
ordinary Zimbabweans who said ZANU PF officials are collecting money for the
conference at bus terminals in Mbare, from business owners in Mutare and
from poor villagers in Binga. He said the collections usually come with a

“Residents in Binga are being ordered to pay a dollar each. The demand comes
with the threat that if you don’t pay and if you continue to support the
MDC-T, we will bring back the 2008 scenario,” Saungweme said.

At least 500 MDC activists were murdered in the run-up to the 2008
presidential runoff and tens of thousands more were abducted and severely
assaulted in a brutal campaign orchestrated by ZANU PF. The memory of that
violence is being used as a threat, ahead of the elections due next year.

Saungweme said in Mbare top ZANU PF officials, named only as Makopa and
Chirambadare, along with a one-eyed police woman known as Orripha, are known
to be forcing people to contribute one dollar each at Mbare Musika bus

Our correspondent said ZANU PF business owners in Mutare are also being
asked to contribute large amounts.

“They are actually weary of doing so. They must be because every time ZANU
PF wants to do an activity they are told to give up some money. So there is
a lot of anger, dismay and silent protest by business persons in Mutare,”
Saungweme said.

The Gweru conference centre, or ‘Hall of Shame’ as it has become known, was
built by the Chinese, allegedly in exchange for diamonds from Marange.

Many observers are criticising the ZANU PF conference as being nothing more
than an expensive, pointless, exercise. All it will do is confirm what
everyone already knows, Robert Mugabe will be their candidate for president
in elections due next year.

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Zanu PF supporters now water marshals

Tuesday, 04 December 2012 11:33
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF supporters have become illegal
water marshals at boreholes across the country as water shortages turn
political, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza) claims.

With water and electricity now erratic, the combative Woza group led by
Jenni Williams says government should put in place measures to ensure that
women who bear the brunt of the shortages are protected from “Zanu PF”

Williams told the Daily News that Woza will not stop demonstrating against
poor service delivery and poor governance until government brings back
normalcy to the troubled southern African country where basic necessities
such as water are a privilege enjoyed by a few.

As part of the 16 days against gender-based violence campaign, hundreds of
women besieged the Parliament of Zimbabwe building last week demanding that
police protect them from harassment at boreholes that have been drilled
around the country to mitigate water shortages.

“A lot of our children are now pregnant and most of them are getting a raw
deal when they go to fetch water at boreholes. We are urging our leaders
that it is our right to get water. We used to get clean and treated tap
water all the time,” said Williams.

Even though local authorities are struggling to provide water, they are
unrelenting in dispatching water bills—a thorn in the flesh for women.

“We want Parliament to resolve issues of water because it is women who are
affected the most. Women are the ones who fight with Zanu PF water marshals
and we are tired of the militarisation of services such as water,” said

Prolonged water woes in urban areas have over time ignited outbreaks of
communicable diseases such as cholera and the country is still to contain a
typhoid scourge that has led to fatalities in Harare.

A petition handed over to clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma details woes that
affect women daily such as gender-based violence.

In order to end the crisis, Woza demanded equality on the basis of gender,
right to education and also right to protest and assemble freely.

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Harare Water Barometer 25 November 2012

Water Barometer
11- 25 November 2012:

This update has been made possible by resources provided to the Harare
Residents’ Trust (HRT) by our partners who believe in our Vision, “A Free
and Prosperous Citizenry”.

Comment- Water Quality in Harare a cause for Concern for every
Stakeholder! – The quality of water that residents across Harare are
receiving over the past eight to 10 months has been a cause of concern to
every stakeholder. It has been established that the majority of the money
that Harare City Council collects comes from the water account. Reports
during the pre-budget consultations indicate that the City of Harare
collected US$64 million up to end of July 2012, and 58 percent of this money
came from the water account. The City’s proposed 2013 Budget was presented
by the Finance and Development Committee on 25 October 2012. From our
analysis of the revenues being collected by the City, the bulk of the money
is coming from the water services, confirming that water is the council’s
cash cow, which has reportedly financed most council’s operations, including
payment of salaries and administration costs. There has not been any
meaningful investment of the money accrued from water services into
infrastructure development and expansion.
Despite these facts, the senior management of council, the mayor and the
Government are not putting this at the top of their lists of projects to
pursue. The water remains dirty and largely unavailable. Unbelievably, the
council has been quick to act against residents of Rugare who owe the
council huge amounts of money. The HRT reiterates that budget formulation by
the City of Harare should always link the costing of services to the incomes
of the target people who will ultimately fund the budget priorities being
imposed on the residents by the council. Most Rugare people are pensioners
who worked for the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and have to contend
with paltry monthly incomes of US$13 from the NRZ, yet they owe the City of
Harare thousands of dollars in unpaid bills, mostly based on estimates.
If the Harare City Council has the audacity to take residents to court over
non-payment of their bills, equally, the residents have to seriously
consider taking the council to court over non-delivery of public services to
the residents yet they continue to charge them. There is the existence of a
social contract between the two parties which the council unfortunately has
breached for more than 15 years now. In the full council meeting which was
convened on the 8th of November 2012 Councillor Wellington Chikombo Ward 28
Glen Norah expressed dismay over the quality of the water which residents in
his ward are getting and described the quality of the water as ‘filthy’. He
noted that the issue is of paramount importance as residents risk
contracting medieval diseases like cholera and typhoid.
There is need for council to adopt a professional approach to the provision
of clean and portable water to the residents who have not enjoyed this basic
public service for a very long time and desist from the deliberate
marginalisation of the poor majority who have basic needs that have to be
attended to as a matter of priority. Council resources have been mainly
directed towards salaries and allowances which have continued to consume
most of the financial resources leaving public water delivery playing second
fiddle and this arrangement has to be addressed.
Below is the water situation in the various areas across Harare:
Waterfalls Derbyshire, Shortson: Water is constantly available over the past
two weeks, but largely with low pressure.

Mbare National: Water is consistently available.
Borrowdale: The water situation has not improved. They have not received
water from the council.
Greendale, Mandara, Highlands and Chisipite-Water has not been available
since last week Friday and this has been the general situation prevailing on
the ground in these areas.
Highlands –Available in most areas.
Chisipite-.Inconsistent water supplies with trickles late in the evening to
around noon but mostly there is no water, leaving residents to either
purchase water from private water suppliers or private boreholes.
Highfield-In Western Triangle the water is coming out but has low pressure.
The residents in this area spend a long time fetching water as it trickles
when coming out.
Glenview –Water is available during the whole day though they have been
experiencing low pressure from 6am to 11 am since 05 November 2012. When the
water is coming out in these areas it is brownish in colour.
Glen Norah A and Glen Norah B- water in these areas is available from 10pm
to 6 am leaving residents to rely on boreholes. In most instances residents
in Glen Norah B complained of diarrhoeal infections and stomach pains
whenever they drink city water, and the water is smelly.
Budiriro 4- Water is available from 10 pm to 6 am in the morning. The
residents rely on borehole water for drinking purposes.
Budiriro 3- There are perennial water shortages and the residents resort to
the use of the nearby borehole which is at most times overwhelmed.
Mufakose –This area has water but the water is very dirty and smelly.
Residents fetch drinking water from Budiriro 4 boreholes.
Mabvuku Tafara- In the past three days the area had no water and the
residents resorted to an open valve in Mabvuku which they used for domestic
consumption and laundry. The residents are now complaining that the area
which is the water point is very dirty as a stench smell is now prevailing
and the long distance they take from their households to the water point is
Marlborough, Good Hope-Some residents of Goodhope have not had received
council water since last year and the explanation given by Harare Water
Department Customer Services Manager Mr Mwaziya was that the area has not
been fully inspected by council and some of the structures there have not
been regularised.

(Mr) Precious Shumba
HRT Director

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Farmers Count Loses as Drought Takes Toll on Livestock

Ntungamili Nkomo

WASHINGTON DC — Communal farmers in Zimbabwe's Matabeleland region say the
drought currently ravaging much of the country is reaching alarming
proportions and is killing thousands of livestock and wild animals.

Pastures and water sources have dwindled due to poor rainfall, and farmers
say they fear for the worst if rains don’t come soon.

Though government sells subsidized stock feed through the Grain Marketing
Board (GMB), some villagers in rural areas complain they do not have access
to it due to high transport costs.

Photographs shared by one villager in Bambadzi, a community in Plumtree
District, Matabeleland South Province, shows villagers frantically trying to
extricate cattle stuck in the mud at the drying Mabhongane Dam.

Another photo depicts villagers trying to help a mid-sized elephant to its
feet. Villager Difa Dube, who captured the desperate pictures, said the
situation is so dire around Bambadzi area that elephants have also started

"We have seen drought in past years, but what is unfolding here could go
down in the books of history as one of the worst droughts this part of the
country has ever seen," said Dube.

​​Elephants are particularly vulnerable to drought due to the large volumes
of food and water they must consume everyday.

Dube - currently visiting his rural area from Britain where he works -
warned that people are also facing the same plight as the dying animals.

He urged government to step up its drought relief efforts to alleviate the
situation across the country, particularly in Matabeleland North and South,
Masvingo and Midlands - the four provinces hardest hit by drought.

Humanitarian aid organizations have already warned that the drought is
likely to cause dangerous shortages of food in the next few months.

The World Food Program (WFP) said in August that over 1.6 million
Zimbabweans will require food aid during the peak of the hunger period
starting January through March 2013.

Insiza South lawmaker Siyabonga Malandu Ncube told VOA his constituency is
also experiencing tough times, but said the government has promised to
intervene and ease the situation.

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MDC-N resolves not to boycott COPAC process

By Tichaona Sibanda
04 December 2012

The MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube has resolved to participate in the
process of finding the best and quickest route to having a referendum, its
spokesman Nhlanhla Dube said on Tuesday.

This is contrary to reports in the media that said the party will not be
part of the Cabinet Ministerial committee to iron out contested areas in the
COPAC report from the second all-stakeholders conference.

Kurauone Chihwayi, an official from the MDC-N, had told the media there was
no need to set up another committee when there was COPAC, which is mandated
to craft the new constitution.

He said his party had asked Regional Co-operation Minister Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga to communicate the party’s position.

‘We are not part of that committee that was formed by President Mugabe and
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

‘We have seconded our minister not to go and endorse the formation of that
committee, but to communicate our position that we should not renegotiate
the draft constitution,’ Chihwayi said.

However, following a meeting of the party’s standing committee on Tuesday
Dube told SW Radio Africa that they’ve decided not to boycott the process,
on the understanding that a cabinet ministerial committee is not a new body
after all.

‘This committee is a continuation of work done by COPAC, a continuation in
the sense that you have the same management committee sitting together with
the three COPAC co-chairs,’ Dube said.

ZANU PF had seconded Patrick Chinamasa to be part of the committee, while
MDC-T nominated its secretary general Tendai Biti. Misihairabwi-Mushonga
will represent her party. The COPAC co-chairs will also sit on the committee
which will be chaired by Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister
Eric Matinenga.

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MDC-T activist found dead in Zengeza pub

By Tererai Karimakwenda
04 December 2012

An MDC-T activist who had been drinking with a legislator for the area was
found dead at a pub in Zengeza 3, under unclear circumstances.

The body of Elisha Kanyama, a brother-in-law to MDC-T MP for Zengeza West
Collen Gwiyo, was discovered by another patron at the pub on Monday.

His brother Brighton told NewsDay newspaper that the family suspects the
thirty-year old was murdered for political reasons, but there is no evidence
suggesting this was the case.

Brighton told the paper: “We are known as MDC-T activists and there have
been clashes before with some ZANU PF supporters so we do not really know
what led to his death.”

Kanyama had been drinking with Gwiyo at the pub earlier on Sunday and had
actually left to go home. But for reasons not known he wound up back at the
pub again that night. Other patrons said they last saw him around 11pm. He
was found dead about an hour later, just a few metres from where he was seen

NewsDay said the body was found with a swollen shoulder, leading to
suspicions he may have been attacked with a heavy object.

The MDC-T provincial chairperson for Chitungwiza, Alexio Musingire, told SW
Radio Africa that there were no clues as to what happened to the activist.
He had not spoken to anyone else after MP Gwiyo left and it is possible that
Kanyama may have been robbed.

A post mortem will be conducted at the Chitungwiza Hospital mortuary.

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Three MDC activists abducted in Chegutu

Tuesday, 04 December 2012

Three MDC activists were abducted from their homes in Gadzema Township this
afternoon by some Zanu PF activists driving a White Nissan Elgrand. The
three are Tichaona Gombingo, Christon Banda and Masimba Madombwe.

The Zanu PF thugs, led by Judha and Giga, Zanu PF leaders in ward 21, drove
into the township this afternoon and rounded up residents in Gadzema
Township in search of MDC activists who attended an MDC provincial rally
which was held on Sunday in Chegutu East.

The whereabouts of the three are still unknown. The MDC fears for their
lives as Zanu PF has stepped up its violence activities as the nation heads
for a watershed election.

The incident comes barely a week after a group of Soldiers ran amok in
Zhombe and beat up elderly men and women for attending an MDC rally. Zanu
PF’s Jabulani Sibanda has been preaching violence in Nyanga. Lately Zanu PF
has stepped up its violent campaign against opposition leaders and members
putting prospects of a free and fair election next year into serious doubt.
It is disturbing that as the nation prepares for the watershed plebiscite
earmarked for next year, Zanu PF continues to perfect its machinery of

It is clear from these ugly scenes that Zanu PF is not committed to a
peaceful free and fair election next year. The sunset party is in a state of
panic and is determined to plunge the nation into chaos and bloodshed before
elections next year.

As MDC we remain committed to peaceful, free and fair environment before,
during and after 2013 elections. We call upon every responsible patriotic
citizen and international community to condemn these barbaric acts by Zanu
PF as we approach the all important 2013 plebiscite.

The Last Mile: Towards Real Transformation!!!

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RBZ chief Gideon Gono hospitalised

on December 3, 2012 at 12:06 pm

By Chris Chironzi

Gideon Gono, Zimbabwe’s central bank governor is recovering from a shuttered
bone on the leg after a mysterious injury he has kept under wraps for over
two weeks, Nehanda Radio can exclusively reveal.

“It is true, Dr Gono broke his leg after a mishap at night during a recent
visit to an uncle in Chipinge”, confirmed one of Gono’s close aides who
spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Avenues Clinic in Harare, where Gono was reportedly rushed to for
medical attention confirmed attending to Gono about three weeks ago but
declined to divulge any details of Gono’s ailment.

“Yes we attended to Dr Gono but as a hospital we don’t discuss patient
details with the press” replied a lady who answered the general line at the
Avenues Clinic. A director at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe also confirmed
that Gono was resting at home recovering from “a serious injury.”

“The Governor is at home. He is recovering from a broken leg but this will
not in any way affect the work of the bank”, said the male board member who
also spoke on condition of anonymity.

E-mails and phone calls to Gono’s office largely went unanswered and one of
Gono’s private secretaries by the name Denise rudely shut out this writer
when she finally picked up the phone. “Who are you? Who told you the
Governor is ill? Please stop harassing me”; Denise said before hanging up.

A medical expert who specialises in bone fractures, Dr Makoni says that for
the reported kind of injury Gono sustained, it will take at least 15-20
weeks before Gono can fully recover and actively go back to work.

“Fractures in adults take considerable time to heal due to the slow bone
tissue growth in old age. It takes 15-20 weeks to fully heal in such cases”,
Dr Makoni said. Muradzikwa, head of security at the central bank confirmed
Gono has not been coming to the office over the past three weeks.

“We have not been seeing the Governor in the bank for the past three weeks.
We understand he is not feeling well but for details better talk to his
personal assistants” Muradzikwa said.

Gono’s term of office, which ends in November 2013 seems to be closing at a
very low ebb.

It never rains but pours for Gono.

The central bank chief is battling the irreparable damage caused by a myriad
of corruption, fraud and abuse of office allegations by his former advisor
Munyaradzi Kereke who has since lodged a formal report to the Zimbabwe
Anti-corruption commission nailing Gono.

Gono, who of late has fallen out of favour with Mugabe, is also reported to
be struggling to pay off tens of millions of bank loans that have gone sour
and he is reportedly failing to pay back.

For a central bank Governor, these events could not have come at any worse
time given Zimbabwe’s current shaky banking sector against the backdrop of a
growing problem of bad assets and a crumbling manufacturing sector.

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German minister in Mujuru talks

03/12/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

GERMANY’S Development Minister has met Vice President Joice Mujuru during a
visit to Zimbabwe in an apparent climb-down after earlier signalling that he
would skirt a meeting with President Robert Mugabe and his senior aides.

Dirk Niebel, who arrived in Zimbabwe last Saturday, said he planned to use
his four-day visit to encourage what he described as "democratic forces" in
the country, adding: “I consciously did not schedule a meeting with Mugabe,
because such a meeting could be exploited.”

But on Monday, Niebel met Mugabe’s number two during which he said the
European country was “committed to restoring relations with Zimbabwe” which
have been frosty for over a decade.

Niebel is the first member of the German cabinet to visit Zimbabwe since
then-Defence Minister Volker Rühe did so in 1997.
The European Union, Germany included, imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2002
in the wake of violent land seizures from white farmers and elections which
were criticised as flawed.

The sanctions have led to Mugabe’s isolation, but critics of the measures
say they also took away Europe’s ability to influence events in Zimbabwe.

With key elections set to be held in 2013, Niebel’s meeting with Mujuru
appeared in part aimed at establishing a line of communication to Mugabe and
secure a role for Germany in the elections.

Niebel told the ZBC after the meeting at Mujuru’s Munhumutapa office he had
submitted “proposals... as we want to be part of the international

“We briefed her, and she said consultations will be underway. We would want
the elections in Zimbabwe to be conducted in a peaceful manner,” said

President Mugabe has previously insisted that Zimbabwean elections can only
be monitored by African countries. Despite demands by rivals, his Zanu PF
party is unlikely to shift from this position.

Niebel is expected to meet with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and right
groups before the end of his visit.

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Visiting German Minister Meets Prime Minister Tsvangirai

Tatenda Gumbo

WASHINGTON — Visiting German Development Minister Dirk Niebel made rounds in
Harare Monday meeting with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and pledged
continued support from Berlin to Harare on key development challenges such
as local government, water, and sanitation.

The two officials also spoke on bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and
Germany and major political issues, including preparations for the
constitutional referendum and election anticipated next year.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s acting spokesman William Bango told VOA the
meeting with Niebel was fruitful.

"The minister pledged to continue supporting the Zimbabwean people through a
variety of development projects … during his visit he did undertake a range
of tours to areas where his government is sponsoring a number of
programmes," said Bango

Niebel also paid a courtesy call on Vice President Joyce Mujuru, expressing
Germany's interest in assisting as international observers in the next
election, and also in investing in Zimbabwe.

Niebel, who is the first member of the German cabinet to visit Zimbabwe
since 1997, will meet with civil society organizations during this four-day

However, he will not be meeting with President Robert Mugabe, saying a
meeting with the president could be - in his words - “exploited.”

Niebel expressed cautious optimism that elections next year would be free
and fair, but urged transparency in the ongoing democratic reform process,
something he said Germany would support.

Germany has since 2009, supported Zimbabwe with more than $130 million in
humanitarian and developmental projects, including training of local
government officials, support on water and sanitation issues in the country’s
hardest hit areas, and rural and urban development programmes.

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Germany minister concerned over Save Valley conservancy

Tuesday, 04 December 2012 00:00

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
VISITING Germany Economic and Co-operation Minister Mr Dirk Niebel yesterday
met Vice President Joice Mujuru where he raised concerns about the safety of
Berlin’s investments in Zimbabwe, principally the Save Valley Conservancy.

Mr Niebel also met Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Finance Minister
Tendai Biti and conveyed the same message on investment. Save Valley
Conservancy has come under the spotlight in view of the country’s
indigenisation policies with villagers living around the area pushing for
enforcement of the law to the conservancies.

However, the Zanu-PF Politburo had taken a position that it should be
converted to a national park. Sources close to the VP’s meeting with the
German Minister told The Herald that Mr Niebel said his government wanted to
fund relocation of animals from the Save Valley Conservancy to the
Gonarezhou Trans Frontier Park. By doing so, the Germans wanted to be part
of the frontier park. It is understood that VP Mujuru emphasised to Mr
Niebel that Germany must not be worried about the animals but instead
improve the livelihoods of black Zimbabweans living around the conservancy
who do not seem to matter in the German scheme of things.

She said these people have been under sanctions since 2000 and struggling to
put irrigation schemes in a delicate ecological region such as Masvingo.

“VP Mujuru emphasised the need to fund the development of landless
communities adjacent to Save Valley so that they have a viable livelihood
thereby bringing a balance to the pursuits of the conservancy and the

“He (Mr Niebel) was told that until the livelihoods of landless communities
are stabilised the prospects of the conservancy remain dim,” said the

Prior to his visit Mr Niebel told the Germany press that he did not wish to
meet President Mugabe.
Reacting to his comments, Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba said
Mr Niebel was a mere minister who is not the Head of State’s equivalent.

“He is not the equivalent of the President but he is also a guest in the
country. It is not quite mannerly to make those statements about the Head of
State of Zimbabwe.

“Anyway he has met the President’s deputy which does not quite uphold his
boycott position, does it?
“Maybe the real significance of the minister’s visit does not lie in who he
has met or in who he does not want to meet. It lies in that he has visited
the country after such a long self-imposed ban,” he said.

Mr Charamba said the Germans were not doing Zimbabwe a favour by visiting
the country after such a long time.

It is understood that Germany had mining interests in Zimbabwe and it was
not happy to be a mere bystander in the lucrative diamond business booming
in Zimbabwe.

After meeting VP Mujuru, Mr Niebel said he told journalists that he
requested for Government approval to allow observers outside Sadc and the
African Union to be part of next year’s election observers. This is despite
that Zimbabwe is not being invited to observe elections in European

“We asked Government to allow international observers not only those from
Sadc and the African Union for next year’s elections,” he said.

“The Vice President told us that Government was still discussing that
However, Mr Charamba said: “Parties to the political dispute in Zimbabwe can
not observe elections. They have taken a partisan position.”

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Ben-Menashe escapes house fire

03/12/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

A FIRE has ravaged the Canadian home of Ari Ben-Menashe, the former Israeli
spy who famously tried to ensnare MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai in a plot
to assassinate President Robert Mugabe.

Ben-Menashe, a former arms broker and international lobbyist, was unhurt in
the fire which gutted his upscale Westmount home in Montreal on Sunday
evening, Canadian police said.

Montreal police spokesman Constable Daniel Lacoursière said that a passerby
noticed the flames and spotted a person fleeing.
The three-alarm blaze prompted a response from two different fire stations.
The crews arrived to find that Ben-Menashe and a woman had made their way
safely outside.

“The fire crews arrived to find the house fully engulfed on the first
floor,” said Richard Bourdeau, chief of operations for the fire department.
“The fire quickly spread to the second floor.”

The blaze at the semi-detached home was so fierce that fire crews were not
able to go inside. Another two people had to flee the adjoining house, which
is for sale.

The investigation has now been turned over to the police arson squad,
Constable Lacoursière said, though he warned the damage is so extensive it
could be difficult to learn what caused the fire.

Fire crews said Monday it was not safe for anyone to enter the house, which
was expected to be demolished later.
Ben-Menashe, an Iraqi-born Israeli, has been tied over the years to
different foreign governments including Israel, Zimbabwe and Iran.

He was charged in the United States in 1989 with trying to sell military
transport planes to the government of Iran — but was acquitted.

In 2002, Ben-Menashe was again thrust in the international spotlight, after
taking on as a client Morgan Tsvangirai. In what has been described as a
nefarious double-cross, Ben-Menashe made video and audio recordings that
purportedly revealed Tsvangirai plotting the assassination of President

He then delivered the recordings to Mugabe, a long-time friend and ally.
Ben-Menashe and Mugabe immediately signed their own consultancy deal that
was worth more than US$1 million.

Tsvangirai was charged with treason and Ben-Menashe became the prosecution's
star witness.
A verdict was rendered in 2004; Tsvangirai was acquitted. In his decision,
the trial judge called Ben-Menashe's courtroom behaviour as "very rude ...
he made gratuitous remarks ... The witness was unpleasant and continued to
exhibit contemptuous behaviour even after being warned by the court."

Ben-Menashe later said he had no regrets. "Tsvangirai is the one who
approached us," he insisted. "He asked us to do a coup and kill Mugabe. I
did not frame him. We don’t do that. He just walked in. He approached the
wrong guy."

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BAT Denies Espionage Allegations

Harare, December 04, 2012 - BAT Zimbabwe has finally denied allegations of
espionage levelled against the tobacco cigarette manufacturer by its
Zimbabwean competitors.
In a press statement the multinational company said it “strongly denies any
involvement in industrial espionage and/or illegal activity that may be
linked to other local tobacco manufacturers.”

“It should be underscored that BAT Zimbabwe does not export any cigarettes
outside Zimbabwe, and as such, our products are not exposed to the risk of
alleged hijackings of cigarette trucks while in transit to neighbouring
countries,” said the company adding that its operations does, however,
export semi-processed tobacco leaf.

The statement comes in the wake of allegations that BAT Zimbabwe is
employing industrial espionage against its Zimbabwean competitors - Kingdom,
Savanna Tobacco, Breco (Fodya), Cutrag, Trednet and Chelsea.

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe last week joined the chorus when he
threatened BAT with unspecified action after accusing the cigarette
manufacturer of blocking products of their competitor, Savanna from getting
into the market.

"I want you to straighten yourselves, it will be sad if some of you have
been taking action or engaging in activities detrimental to Savanna. That
information we have and it appears to be authentic," said Mugabe who accused
police and soldiers involvement in the sabotage without naming from which
side of the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe were the security
details involved in the sabotage.

Meanwhile a local paper The Zimbabwe Independent says it has gathered
information showing BAT’s “grimy business practices on the continent.”

According to a report by Premium Times of Nigeria, in April 2002 a legal
team from the South African city of Port Elizabeth secretly obtained urgent
court orders in three South African High Courts authorising them to raid the
offices of BAT, South African Revenue Services (Sars) and a firm of private
detectives called Forensic Security Services - the same firm believed to be
covertly running the company’s local operation with the help of a Zimbabwean
security company, Ticoz Protection Services.

The investigations came in the wake of phone-tapping and industrial
espionage allegations levelled by Pretoria-based cigarette manufacturing
company Apollo Tobacco, against BAT, Sars and Forensic Security Services.

On April 9, three High Court judges ordered searches at BAT offices in
Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria as well as the offices of the Sars and
Forensic Security Services, a private investigating firm allegedly hired by

In a 95-page court application, Apollo Tobacco accused BAT of plotting with
tax authorities and private detectives in “industrial espionage”.

Apollo alleged BAT conspired with the Sars officials using hired detectives
and bugging devices to obtain confidential information about Apollo’s
business operations.

The raids on BAT offices yielded incriminating documents from seized
computers. After a week of silence, BAT denied it had done “anything that
was aimed at undermining Apollo Tobacco’s legitimate business”, admitting
however they had sent allegations to the proper authorities - in this case
Sars. BATZ has also denied involvement in espionage activities.

According to the Premium Times extensive report, the secret surveillance of
Apollo began when BAT, which had a business presence in 180 countries and
was the market leader in 50 countries, formed BAT South Africa in 1999 as a
result of the global merger of Rothmans International and British American
Tobacco plc.

Detectives claimed in some cases the phone tapping was a prerequisite for
payments from BAT. Apollo’s phones were bugged for as long as two months -
at a time - and the tapping took place on at least three occasions. News 24

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False Mtukudzi death rumours sweep Twitter and Facebook

By Tichaona Sibanda
4 December 2012

The Internet erupted Tuesday with rumours that Zimbabwe music icon Oliver
Mtukudzi was dead after a short illness, but it has been confirmed the
reports were false.

Terence Mapurisana, an entertainment and music scribe and close friend to
Shepherd Mutamba, Mtukudzi’s spokesman, wrote on Facebook dispelling the
rumours, declaring ‘the artist is very much alive.’

On Saturday, Mtukudzi performed in the afternoon but could not do the
evening show or Sunday’s gig, as he was home resting. Quoting Mutamba,
Mapurisana said Tuku is fine now and back at work.

‘On Friday he will be in Bulawayo for a show and on Saturday he will be in
Mabvuku and on Sunday another show has been lined up for Chitungwiza before
he heads for Kenya.”

Tuku’s spokesman said that Tuku is a diabetic and sometimes the condition
induces severe exhaustion, which requires that he takes a rest.

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Zimbabwe Getting into Election Mode

Sebastian Mhofu
December 04, 2012

HARARE — In Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe’s party is holding its annual
conference ahead of next year’s polls to end the country’s fragile
three-year coalition government. No date has been set for the elections, but
Zimbabwe political parties seem to be ready for the polls, with the prime
minister indicating that he will not contest again if he loses next year.

The song urges all supporters of President Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party to
stand up and be counted.

"President Mugabe says stand up and we count our numbers," says the chorus.
It is playing at the venue where President Mugabe’s party is holding its
conference, this week. ZANU-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo says the conference
in Gweru - about 300 kilometers southwest of Harare - is most important.

“It is critical because we are going for harmonized election, early next
year, and we need to prepare our party sufficiently in order to win
handsomely," Gumbo said. "We are interested in hammering party position. We
need to come up with a manifesto that relates to the people.”

Gumbo says the 88-year-old head of state is likely to be the presidential
candidate in the polls, which are expected by June 2013. President Mugabe
claimed victory in the 2008 elections, but regional leaders nullified the
polls citing violence on Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party
supporters. The two leaders have since formed a power-sharing government at
the behest of Southern African Development Community leaders.

Now Tsvangirai and Mugabe’s parties are locked in a disagreement on the
contents of a new constitution. A new constitution is one of the conditions
set by regional leaders for Zimbabwe to have a free and fair election.
Tsvangirai has told his MDC party to start preparing for next year’s

He says he is looking for an action program for his election campaign.

But for Mugabe’s ZANU-PF, losing the next year’s election is out of its
matrix. It wants to regain the majority in parliament it lost in the 2008
elections. Spokesperson Rugare Gumbo says the party is well on the way.

“We are quite confident. The party is a well-oiled machine. The party is
very strong. There are just a few loose ends that we just need to tie up,”
stated Gumbo.

Among those "few loose ends" are condemning violence as Zimbabwe heads for
the election. The last elections in Zimbabwe were marred by deadly violence
that forced regional leaders to nullify Mugabe’s victory.

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Leave Mugabe alone - Kunonga told

By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 04 December 2012 10:23

HARARE - Defrocked clergyman Nolbert Kunonga cannot “blow hot and cold” and
hide behind issues like indigenisation and support for President Robert
Mugabe because such claims do not have a legal basis, lawyers representing
the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) have said.

Kunonga faces his waterloo today as High Court Judge George Chiweshe
presides over a matter in which he wants the court to grant him permission
to hold on to church properties despite a Supreme Court ruling declaring him
an illegal occupant.

CPCA lawyers say Kunonga is being hoodwinked by his lawyer who is out to
milk the desperate clergyman.

Responding to the controversial clergyman’s shocking claims that he should
retain Anglican Church properties on the basis of indigenisation regulations
and other pro-Mugabe laws and sentiments, CPCA lawyers described summons
“filed on behalf of the plaintiff (Kunonga) as being bad in both fact and in

“The primary relief sought in this matter is that the Plaintiff owns all
churches under its control and possession including the Anglican Cathedral
in Harare, but sets out no basis of fact or law,” reads the CPCA response.

In his affidavit, Michael Chingore, the CPCA registrar, blasts the disgraced
clergyman for failing to respect a court order directing him to vacate the
church premises.

“The applicant (Kunonga) by persisting to occupy the premises is therefore
in contempt of an order of this honourable court. Applicant cannot approach
this court for assistance before it purges its contempt,” read part of the

According to the CPCA, Kunonga’s claims that the Anglican Church supported
the imposition of sanctions on Mugabe “do not constitute grounds which in
law entitle an entity such as the Plaintiff (Kunonga) to any claim of
property properly registered in the name of or on behalf of the defendants
(CPCA) at deeds office.

“It is bad at law to allege and affords no basis for the claim made that
ownership can be transferred from the defendant to the plaintiff based on
what is termed to be just and equitable.”

Desperate to retain the Anglican Church vast properties, Kunonga last week
roped in top Harare lawyer Jonathan Samukange seeking to stop his eviction.

However, the CPCA says the matter is not urgent and “is incompetent for want
of jurisdiction” since it has already been determined by the country’s
highest court of appeal. Kunonga is seeking a provisional order to enable
him to keep the church properties but the CPCA says he fails to “establish a
clear right which is under threat”.

“In the absence of a clear right which is under threat this application
fails a basic test and should be dismissed with costs,” says Chingore.

Apart from asking the High Court to dismiss Kunonga’s application with
costs, CPCA lawyers say Samukange should foot his client’s bill.

“The defendant (CPCA) prays for an order that the plaintiff (Kunonga) legal
practitioners must not charge fees for any work rendered to the plaintiff
and if they have already done so they reimburse what they have received from
the plaintiff,” the CPCA said.

Kunonga has been flip-flopping since the five-year-old standoff between his
breakaway outfit called the Anglican Province of Zimbabwe (ACPZ) and the
CPCA over control of the Anglican Church properties was heard by the Supreme
Court last month.

During the initial hearing, he claimed to be a member of the CPCA, an
argument that was dismissed by the Supreme Court.

Now he is claiming to be the Archbishop of ACPZ and argues he should grab
the church using the indigenisation laws which state that all foreign
companies cede 51 percent stake to locals
Raymond Moyo of Gill Godlonton and Gerrans, who is representing the CPCA,
said a church cannot be indigenised since it is not owned by individuals.

“For whatever reason Dr Kunonga and his colleagues elected to secede from
the Anglican Church. They must live with the consequences of their action of

“The natural consequence is that they lost any right of occupation of the
respondent’s assets,” reads the CPCA affidavit.

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Chinese national up for diamond smuggling

Tuesday, 04 December 2012 10:18
HARARE - A Chinese national who attempted to smuggle $9 000 worth of
diamonds has appeared before a Harare magistrate.

Li Bo, 58, who is employed by Zimbabwe Shuangfeng, was nabbed on November 5,
this year at the Harare International Airport where he intended to board an
Ethiopian Airways en route to China.

The court heard Li Bo attempted to smuggle two pieces of polished diamonds
weighing 1,01 and 0,71 carats respectively.

Prosecutor Nyikadzino Machingura told the court Li Bo did not declare his
intention to export the minerals to Minerals Marketing Corporation of
Zimbabwe (MMCZ), which is the responsible authority.

The court heard Li Bo was arrested after his luggage went through a scanning
machine at the airport and an immigration official discovered that it
contained a suspicious substance.

According to state papers, two pieces of diamonds were found in the luggage.

It is alleged Li Bo failed to produce documents from MMCZ authorising the
export of the stones.

The court heard the diamonds are valued at $9 200.

According to state papers, Li Bo had no right to export diamonds without
authority from MMCZ.

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CIO, cop charged for spying for Americans

Tuesday, 04 December 2012 11:51
HARARE - A Bindura magistrate has refused to dismiss charges against an
ex-Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative and a police officer
accused in a damning leak of government secrets to an American think-tank.

The magistrate denied the defence motion for an out-of-custody remand during
a closed pre-trial hearing at Bindura Magistrates Court last week in the
bail hearing of ex-CIO operative Obediah Dodo and Collen Musorowegomo, a
police assistant inspector in Bindura.

The ruling means the hearing will continue and the trial is scheduled to
open on December 12.

The defence had filed a separate motion seeking dismissal of the serious
charge of aiding the enemy. That offence carries a maximum penalty of 20
years imprisonment.

Dodo and Musorowegomo have been jointly charged with publishing or
communicating false statements prejudicial to the state as defined in
Section 31(a)(i) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter

Dodo, who retired from the spy agency in 2008 to take up a job as lecturer
at Bindura University, is accused of sending damning documents to the
American Internal Journal of Contemporary Research.

The CIO operative and cop allegedly authored a document titled Political
intolerance, diversity and democracy: Youth violence in Bindura urban,

The two deny the charge and say the paper was an academic research paper and
had nothing to do with spying.

The document accuses state security institutions, including the CIO and
army, of playing a role in youth violence from 1999 to 2011.

The dossier, which has been posted on the Internet, names an operative as
the “overall constituency base commander” based in Chipadze township in

He is alleged to have murdered a number of political activists named in the

The report also alleged that MDC activists have been purged and many had
left Bindura fearing for their lives.

Reads the charge sheet: “Accused falsely stated that according to ZRP most
of the criminal cases (assault, arson, rape and kidnapping) went unreported
as victims feared more reprisals and the fact that during the (2008
election) period, the police force had been disempowered technically as they
could not handle any case to do with politics,” the state outline says.

“Accused state that innocent civilians were butchered, maimed and killed by
political activists supported by security agents.”

The cop and CIO operative will also be charged with slamming President
Mugabe’s clemency orders, which they alleged was the root cause of the
injustices in Zimbabwe.

“Precisely the clemency order handed down by the President in October 2000,
which declared that only those involved in political violence that resulted
in murder or rape could be prosecuted, worsened the situation in 2008,” the
cop and CIO operative allegedly wrote in their paper.

The cop and spy have been in pre-trial confinement since they were seized
at their homes in a police raid two weeks ago.

Dodo and Musorowegomo were held incommunicado for a week before they
surfaced at Bindura Magistrates Courts last Monday. The routine remand
hearing was held in a closed court, where their ill-treatment at a base
where they were kept confined in a cell were presented before the courts.

They said they feared for their safety and raised other security concerns.

In dismissing an out of custody remand, the magistrate agreed with the state
team which had argued that they two were flight risks “considering the
gravity of the offence and accused’s status in the community, they are
likely to abscond,” the court papers say.

The state also claimed the accused persons will likely interfere with

The magistrate concurred and remanded them both in custody pending the
commencement of their trial on December 12.

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Fake shooting Zimbabwe man leaves UK cops with huge bill

03/12/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

A ZIMBABWEAN man has been spared jail in the UK after sparking a major
police response by calling the emergency services line and claiming to have
been shot.

Police in Middlesbrough scrambled NINE squad cars, a HELICTOPTER, two
AMBULANCE crews and a dog unit after Brian James Maganda pretended he was a
doctor who had been shot.

He claimed on the 999 call that that he had been shot by unknown assailants
and was bleeding in a doorway.

But Teesside magistrates heard that police arrived on Cass House Road and
found the 39-year-old staggering drunk, but unharmed.
His lawyer, Andrew McGee, mitigating, said Maganda – an asylum seeker – had
developed a drink problem due to him being unable to work.

McGee said due to asylum rules, Maganda was unable to work and his alcohol
problems arose from his frustration at being jobless.

Maganda, of Mansfield Avenue, Thornaby, admitted sending a false message
over a public communication network on November 8 and was handed a 12 week
suspended sentence.

Trevor Watson, chair of the bench, told him he had narrowly escaped custody
and said: “I cannot imagine what the cost to the tax payer has been. You are
here as an immigrant looking for official status yet you are spending tax
payers’ money on stupidity.”

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Grain Bags and Proud Hearts

My heart goes out to our men and women in Zimbabwe in these long years
of toil and struggle. Every street corner, every pavement is
testimony to the Zimbabwean guts and determination to survive.

Unemployment is said to be at 98% in Zimbabwe? Who knows? I certainly
don't but I do know that the formal sector in Bulawayo is pretty
tenuous but informal sector is alive and well and keeping the spirits

There on the corner of Main Street and 8th Avenue is Tendai, he has
five "O" Levels but he is unlikely to ever find formal employment. And
so he has a "shop".

Tendai's "Shop" is a woven grain bag, spread on the bare, dirty
pavement, and the sum total of the wares in his "shop" are seven
boiled sweets, five loose cigarettes and some lollipops.....

Cigarettes sell singly at the going rate of one rand, no one buys a
whole box, just too pricey...... Buy a cigarette at 50 cents; sell it
at one rand, now that's an obscene royal profit !! But..... Tendai
will light your cigarette for free.....

How much profit will he make today I wonder? Enough to buy a loaf of
bread perhaps, if that?

Tendai takes great pride in his shop; the boiled, wrapped sweets are
laid out in regimented rows and dusted frequently on his shirttail.

Then there is quite a large "Shop" outside one of the local pharmacies
in Robert Mugabe Way. Robson has his sweets, cigarettes and lollypops
interspersed with newspapers and magazines, some old, some second
hand. If you cannot afford to buy the entire newspaper, you can read
it on site for a few cents !!

Robson sits on an empty crate, his toddler at his feet playing with an
empty sweet wrapper, and Robson says he has good days and bad days,
enough some days to contribute to his rental, enough some days to buy
a little roller meal for his family.

Confident, well educated, his "shop" is growing larger in size, grain
bag by grain bag; and he lives in hope that "things will be better
next year".

His wife works in domestic employment and Robson is in charge of the
child all day, both of them sitting patiently on a pavement, cars
roaring past, the child has learned to sit still or risk being run
over !!

Donald Moyo sells big shopping grain bags outside the OK Bazaars. His
bags are cheaper than those charged by the shop and are strong and
durable enough to make the journey home, either on someone's head or
maybe that someone is lucky enough to be able to afford a "taxi" or
"scania" to take their month end groceries home?

It's the national form of luggage in Africa, the striped multi colored
"taxi" bag with handles, strong, woven, durable to a point, but
totally not biodegradable in woven polypropylene.

Shadreck is a shoe repairer; he sits outside a shopping centre under a
tree. He will provide a new leather sole, or a heel, or even uppers
for shoes broken "on the way home". Our people do a considerable
amount of walking or 'footing it' as they say, the majority of
Zimbabweans still does not possess a motorcar or even a bicycle.

Most people will wait for their shoe to be repaired there and then, as
there is probably no way they can afford another pair, not this month
at least. Robson has a giant pile of shoes for sale "to defray
expenses". Shoes that his clients have been unable to afford to
collect, after three months, even if the cost is only one of two

Daisy Mpofu sits on a street corner in Suburbs, she has a very smart
wrought iron stand that her husband made her out of old scrap metal,
to display her sweets, cigarettes, maputi and corn curls. She also
sells tomatoes and onions that her husband grows nearby, and if they
get too ripe for purchase, the family is treated to a delicious

She does not have a vendors' license, a license is after all the
insurmountable sum of fifty dollars a year. She keeps a sharp lookout
for the police car, or "plain clothes policemen" who will swoop down
and demand to see her "tuck-shop" license and then "confiscate" her
The fine is five dollars or ten days in jail.....

Every night her husband will pass by to help her move her "shop" back
to their humble premises, where Daisy will count her pennies,
literally, and decide how much to keep for the purchase of tomorrow's
stock, and how much she needs for bread, meal or school fees.

Life is tough, extremely tough, competition is heavy, and nearly each
street corner has a vendor, all selling the same things.

Where are their toilet facilities one wonders, but then I suppose
where does every Third Worlder go to relieve himself?

But it's the "informal sector" as they are called, all charming, all
educated, all waiting patiently for "things to get better".

I wonder just how long they will have to wait?

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Gukurahundi Massacres: 5 Brigade Impact in Matabeleland North (Part 9)
on December 4, 2012 at 10:13 am

The commissioning, training and deployment of 5 Brigade has already been dealt with in detail in Part One of this report. To summarise, 5 Brigade was deployed in Matabeleland North in January 1983, coinciding with the imposition of a severe curfew in the region.

The key men behind the Gukurahundi Massacres: Robert Mugabe (President), Emmerson Mnangagwa (then State Security Minister) and Perrence Shiri (then commander of the 5th Brigade).

The key men behind the Gukurahundi Massacres: Robert Mugabe (President), Emmerson Mnangagwa (then State Security Minister) and Perrence Shiri (then commander of the 5th Brigade).

Thousands of atrocities, including murders, mass physical torture and the burnings of property occurred in the ensuing 6 weeks. 5 Brigade was withdrawn for a month in the middle of the year, then redeployed. Disappearances and detentions became more common than other offences.

Mbamba Camp in the south of Tsholotsho is frequently referred to as a detention centre. 5 Brigade was mainly deployed in Matabeleland South in early 1984, although a platoon of 5 Brigade was in Matabeleland North at this time too. However, there was no curfew in force in Matabeleland North in 1984, and 5 Brigade activities were centred on the southern half of the country.

The presence of the 5 Brigade in an area in 1983 meant an inital outburst of intense brutality, usually lasting a few days, followed by random incidents of beatings, burnings and murders in the ensuing weeks, months and years. It meant that any community which had once experienced 5 Brigade lived in a state of intense anxiety and fear, unsure where and when it might strike again, or who its next victims might be.

The terror and insecurity throughout the region also led to many hundreds of people, especially young men, fleeing to urban centres such as Bulawayo, or to Botswana. To stay in the area if you were a young man meant almost certain victimisation by 5 Brigade, who assumed that all such people were ex-ZIPRA and therefore dissidents.

Many communities suffered massive material loss in the initial onslaught, losing huts and granaries. They also lost village members who had been killed or abducted, and were frequently forced to watch others close to them dying slowly from injuries sustained from beating, burning, shooting or bayoneting. Villagers were warned not to seek medical help, and risked being shot for curfew breaking if they did seek help.

Many who were beaten were left with permanent disabilities, ranging from paralysis, blindness, deafness, miscarriage, impotence, infertility, and kidney damage, to partial lameness and recurring back and head aches. These injuries have left victims with impaired ability to work in their fields or do any of the heavy labour, such as carrying water, on which survival in the rural areas depends. Inability to work in the fields is a recurring theme in interviews.

In addition to the physical injuries, it is clear from interviews that large numbers of people in Tsholotsho suffered some degree of psychological trauma, leading in extreme cases to insanity, and in many cases to recurring depression, dizzy spells, anxiety, anger, or a permanent fear and distrust of Government officials.

Wives were left without breadwinners. Children were left without one or both parents, and with the trauma of having witnessed appalling violence against those they loved. Families were left without the consolation of truly knowing the fate of their kin, or their burial places.

Communities were left to deal with the trauma of having seen their parents, husbands and community leaders harmed and humiliated. Many families have had to face practical problems arising from the number of dead for whom death certificates were never issued.

This has meant problems gaining birth certificates for children, or drawing money from bank books in the name of the deceased. Other people who fled employment in the area, in order to protect their lives, have been denied pensions for having broken their service without notice.


Deaths have been assessed in terms of both sex and age of victims, with 3 age categories being used, for each sex:

MALE: 83% of all deaths FEMALE: 17% of all deaths

MALE: Under 20 yrs: 4% of all deaths Aged 20 – 60 yrs: 70% of all deaths Aged over 60 yrs: 9% of all deaths

FEMALE: Under 20 yrs: 4% of all deaths Aged 20 – 60 yrs: 9% of all deaths Aged over 60 yrs: 4% of all deaths

Men aged between 20 – 60 yrs are of `breadwinning age’ (ie 70% of all dead). However aprroximately 30-40% of them can be assumed to have had no dependants, as many had just returned from the war and had not yet married. Many others, at the top end of this age group, had fully grown children.

This means between 42% and 50% of all those killed can be assumed to have had dependants.

In addition, a few of the women killed were widows with dependants, whose children were henceforth orphans. Around 2% fall in this category.

Total Breadwinners killed is likely to be around 45% of total deaths.

In terms of current figures on Nyamandlovu/Tsholotsho: TOTAL Deaths: approx 900+

BREADWINNERS Dead: approx 400

The vast majority of these were self-employed farmers, who supported themselves from their fields and occasional labour on surrounding farms and in nearby towns.


This constitutes the largest category of property loss reported.

Reported burnt: 345 homesteads, with others implied. (Involves burning of 26 villages either entirely or substantially)


This is the largest category of offence, involving both isolated beating incidents and also at least 60 incidents in which most or all villagers in a village were beaten. Both men and women were beaten, with no obvious preference for beating men in the mass beatings. Preference was sometimes shown to the elderly, who would be beaten less severely or not at all.

Individual or small group assaults: 314

Mass village beatings: 70 villages

Mass railway siding beatings: 4

If approx 50 villagers is assumed per mass beating, 3 400 villagers can be estimated to have been beaten.

Most common beating technique: People would be forced to lie face down on the ground, and then would be repeatedly beaten, often for several hours, with thick sticks or gun butts.

Most common complaints:

Permanent back\arm\leg\neck\hand aches, inhibiting any heavy work.

Fractured fingers\arms and other bones

Permanent scarring of buttocks and back

Recurring headaches, dizziness and high blood pressure

Permanent eye damage and hearing disorders

Jaw damage including loss of teeth

Permanent uterine disorders

Permanent kidney damage, also male impotence

Taken from a report on the 1980’s disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands. Compiled by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe, March 1997.

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