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Harare descends into chaos as ZANU PF militia loot shops

By Tichaona Sibanda
7 February 2011

Harare came to a standstill on Monday when a ZANU PF mob engulfed the city
in chaos, destroying property worth thousands of dollars, mainly belonging
to foreign owned companies.

Our correspondent Simon Muchemwa told us that dozens of shops were looted
when the ZANU PF militia went on a rampage, as police details stood by
watching ordinary people and shop owners being abused and brutalised. Shops
belonging to Zimbabweans were also caught up in the crossfire.

The attacks on foreign nationals could easily be construed as xenophobic,
according to our correspondent. Muchemwa said the mob, dressed in ZANU PF
regalia, were chanting revolutionary and party songs and did not try to hide
their identity. The marchers were carrying banners aimed against foreigners.
Some of them read; ‘No to foreigners controlling our economy’ and
‘Foreigners, sanctions have destroyed our economy so we want to control our

Muchemwa went on to say; ‘They wore ZANU PF t-shirts, they were singing ZANU
PF songs and waving ZANU PF flags. The group assembled in Mbare where they
were bused to the party district offices along 4th Street.
From there they were driven through the city in trucks, passing through the
MDC-T headquarters where they chanted anti-Tsvangirai and MDC slogans.’ It
was in downtown Harare where the mob left a trail of destruction when they
besieged the Gulf shopping mall. The complex houses mainly Nigerian and
Democratic Republic of Congo businesses.

The mob also attacked newspaper vendors selling the independent daily,
Newsday, and destroyed large numbers of the paper and business in town came
to a standstill as the militia stopped a number of cars along the way and
demanded that passersby join them.

‘At the Gulf complex, the militia looted goods and property and attacked
people while the police did nothing to stop them.’Muchemwa said.

Our correspondent observed that members of the CIO were seen giving
instructions to the youth and directing which routes they should take. He
said the ‘attack on the capital’ was planned, because most of the
perpetrators were given ample time to loot their goods and escape.

‘There were vans and Kombis that whisked the looters away from the Gulf
complex. The CIO operatives held back the riot police until almost all the
mob had left,’ Muchemwa said.

The militia is using Mbare as a launching pad for most of the attacks
centered on the capital. The rowdy militia, led by the Mbare based
Chipangano youth, are housed at Carter House, a Harare city council boarding
facility that has been taken over by ZANU PF.

Meanwhile the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) also issued a
statement condemning the ZANU PF mobs which attacked newspaper vendors
selling the independent daily Newsday on Monday.

‘The VMCZ notes with serious concern that this unwarranted intimidation of
Newsday vendors is undemocratic and inimical to freedom of expression. It is
our considered view that where citizens are against contents of a
publication, or a media house, they should seek recourse either through the
Media Complaints Committee under the auspices of VMCZ,’ the statement said.

The statement added that it was important that newspaper vendors,
journalists and media publishing houses be allowed to continue their
professional duties without any hindrance.

Mondays attacks were just part of the ongoing violent campaign in Harare. On
Saturday ZANU PF youths attacked several MDC activists in Mbare and left
five of them seriously injured. The MDC MP for Mbare, Piniel Denga, said he
believes his constituency has been earmarked as the nerve centre because of
its links to all major transport routes in Zimbabwe.

On Saturday the political parties condemned the violent clashes pitting ZANU
PF supporters against MDC activists.

In a rare joint statement by rival parties, including the breakaway faction
of the MDC led by Welshman Ncube, the Harare provincial leaders called for
an end to political violence and urged the police to take action against the

‘We agreed that what is happening in Harare is not good for our country and
is completely against the spirit of the global political agreement signed by
our leaders. We believe it is within our power to stop the violence, which
poses a threat to the lives of our people,’ the joint statement said.

Last Friday, co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone told us that if Robert
Mugabe gave instructions to the police to act decisively on violence ‘it
will end instantaneously.’

‘If the Head of State was to address the nation following such serious
political disturbances and order the police to arrest the perpetrators, all
this evil will come to an end without a doubt,’ Makone said.

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Eight held after mobs hit foreign businesses in Zimbabwe

Feb 7, 2011, 16:27 GMT

Harare - Zimbabwean police said Monday eight people had been arrested in the
wake of a rampage by backers of the Zanu-PF party in Harare, targetting
foreign businesses.

In the latest violence attributed to activists of President Robert Mugabe's
party, a police official said an investigation was still going on into the

'We are still trying to see how much damage has been done. But we estimate
the group was made up of about 700 people,' the official said.

The group had marched from Zanu-PF offices in the northern part of Harare's
central business district, chanting slogans praising Mugabe.

The approved march was in protest at the awarding of city parking lots
management to a South African company by the city of Harare, police
spokesman James Sabau said.

The marchers were carrying banners aimed against foreigners, including 'No
to foreigners controlling our economy' and 'Foreigners, sanctions have
destroyed our economy so we want to control our wealth.'

Most of the demonstrators were in their 20s and 30s, wearing Zanu T-shirts.
Business came to a standstill and the marchers stopped a number of cars
along the way and demanded that passersby join them.

When the marchers got to the Gulf Complex largely run by foreigners, the
marchers began looting and beating up those who resisted.

One victim was a Nigerian businessman who sells laptops and electronic

'They said I must leave their country yet I have been here for more than
eight years,' said the man, sobbing and declining to give his identity. 'I
was even importing stuff from South Africa when their economy was on its

The attacks on the foreigners has stirred fears of an escalation of violence
as Zimbabwe gears up for elections later this year.

Mugabe is pushing for elections while his coalition partner and political
rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, is against any new elections before
a new constitution is written.

'We have had a gross increase in violence, particularly from January 1,'
said Tendai Biti, secretary general of Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic

'The violence is state-sponsored, state-led and inflicted. Of concern is the
failure by the police to stop the violence,' Biti said.

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Armed riot police on Monday arrested hundreds of internally displaced MDC members

Monday 07 February 2011

Armed riot police on Monday arrested hundreds of internally displaced MDC
members who had sought refuge at a church in Glen Norah, Harare.
Hundreds of MDC families were last week displaced from their homes in
several parts of Harare, especially in Mbare when Zanu PF youths ran riot
and destroyed and looted their property homes.

Some of the MDC members were arrested after reporting the disturbances at
Mbare Police Station while some were hospitalised. However, a number of the
affected families sought refuge at a Glen Norah church on Saturday.  Police
moved in on Monday and arrested them.  They were taken to an unknown place
and the MDC is trying to ascertain their whereabouts.

Some of those arrested are women and children as young as two weeks.
Children of school going age have had their education disrupted due to the
displacements and arrests as they are no longer unable to attend class. None
of the Zanu PF perpetrators although known have been arrested in the

Meanwhile, the three bedroomed house of Amos Tsvekese, the MDC Bindura North
chairperson was razed to the ground on Monday by known Zanu PF youths at
Selwood Farm. He made a report at the Bindura Central Police Station and a
docket CR 02.11 RRB 091935 was opened. However, later in the afternoon
police officers from the Bindura Law and Order Section came and arrested
him. At the time of going to press, Tsvekese was still in police custody but
no charges had been laid against him.

For more on these and other stories visit;

Together, united, winning, ready for real change!

MDC Information & Publicity Department

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Zanu PF activates its brutal campaign

Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe - logoVia Press Release: In preparation for the ZANU PF’s election campaign, Madzibaba Godfrey Nzira, a self proclaimed prophet and Robert Mugabe adherent who in 2003 was jailed for 32 years on seven counts of rape walked out of prison a free man last week thanks to a controversial presidential pardon from President Mugabe. And just a week after being pardoned by Mugabe, the convicted serial rapist has been deployed to the Muzarabani District, marking the start of a national campaign to coerce members of the Apostolic Sect as well as other churches to support Mugabe and ZANU PF ahead of possible elections.

In 2002 Madzibaba Nzira hit the campaign path in support of Mugabe’s presidential bid. That year Nzira claimed Mugabe was a “divinely appointed king of Zimbabwe and no man should dare challenge his office.” His release by Mugabe nearly seven years after being jailed has raised suspicion that the ZANU PF leader is bidding to hunt for support from Nzira’s followers ahead of possible elections. As such, there is everything wrong with Mugabe setting out Nzira the rapist. His freedom appears to be based upon his paying the piper, in this respect Mugabe as his rowdy party begins to deploy its hooligans around the country in anticipation of elections. The question is how many people are in jail and have received no pardon simply because they happen to support parties different from ZANU PF.

Mugabe last year attended a Johanne Marange Apostolic sect service while wearing their familiar white gowns. The move was seen by many as a campaign device. It seems Mugabe is trying to turn churches into campaign points for ZANU PF, especially in the rural areas. Mugabe’s party has bribed some church leaders to support his party, but then the same leaders relying on compelling their followers. The same explains the continuing harassment of Anglican Church parishioners by the police who are backing up the excommunicated Bishop Norbert Kunonga in campaigning for Mugabe and ZANU PF.

ZANU PF is already testing the effectiveness of its bloody election machinery in Harare. Last week there were brutal attacks against MDC supporters in Harare suburbs of Budiriro and Mbare.

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Britain funding Zimbabwe military

Monday, 07 February 2011 12:56

Britain has been funding the Zimbabwe military, which has been accused of
human rights violations and looting diamonds from Marange, over the past 12
months but the under-secretary for Defence Andrew Robathan refused to
disclose how much the British government was paying to Zimbabwe and several
other countries under its programme.

Robathan was asked last week by East Renfreswshire Member of Parliament Jim
Murphy which programmes were funded by the Defence Department in
Afghanistan, Angola,  Burkina Faso,  Burma, Burundi, Central African
Republic, Chad,  Congo, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Ethiopia,  Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Iraq,  Kenya, Liberia, Malawi,
Nigeria, Pakistan,  Somalia,  Sri Lanka, Sudan,  Uganda, Uzbekistan,  Yemen
and  Zimbabwe; and what the cost of each such programme was in the last 12

Robathan said the Ministry of Defence (MOD) had funded programmes in:
Afghanistan, Burundi, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia,
Iraq, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri
Lanka, Sudan, Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe during the past 12 months.

It had not funded any programmes in Angola, Burkina Faso, Burma, Central
African Republic, Chad, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, and Uzbekistan.

He said the programmes was aimed at enhancing bilateral relationships and
building stability overseas as part of the government's wider foreign policy
goals. They consist of a wide range of activities including:

Providing places on defence education and training courses in the UK (such
as the Army, RAF and Navy Junior Officer Training and the Joint Services
Advanced Command and Staff Course);

The deployment of UK personnel in support of permanent British Peace Support
Teams and British Military Advisory and Training Teams;

The deployment of Short Term Training Teams to deliver subject specific
training in country;

Advisory visits, Defence Staff Talks and Senior Leadership engagement either
in the UK or in country.

In addition to MOD-specific funds, some of these activities receive funding
from the tri-departmental Conflict Pool.

Robathan said it was not possible to provide a breakdown of the cost and
details of individual programmes as this disclosure would be likely to
prejudice relations between the UK and other states.

The Zimbabwe military has been accused of looting diamonds from Marange and
this has cost the country the right to freely sell its diamonds through the
regulation body, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.

The military has also been accused of harassing civilians in the
co0nstitutional making process by forcing people to support President Robert
Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union- patriotic Front.

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Makone wants a word with Chihuri over Zanu PF terrorism

07 February, 2011 12:15:00    By

HARARE – Hon. Theresa Makone, the Home Affairs Minister says she needs an
urgent meeting with her colleague, Kembo Mohadi, Police Commissioner –
General Augustine Chihuri and other senior police chiefs on the rising wave
of lawlessness in Zimbabwe.
“I am very concerned about the spate of selective arrests, violence and a
climate of intolerance that is threatening to throw us back to where we were
before the MDC stabilised the country through our entry into government,”
she said. “May I take this opportunity, unreservedly, to plead for sanity,
tolerance and unity among Zimbabweans. There must never be an occasion for a
brother to attack another brother; a sister to maul another sister and a
mother to turn on her own child or a father to harm his family for political
crumbs. We are a God - fearing nation.

“There must be some dark forces lurking in the woods, clamouring for a
return to a failed state status – a situation where there is no
accountability and decency within the usually law-abiding communities of our
beloved country. They must be flushed out as a matter of urgency. The people
have had enough of violence and intimidation and want to leave in peace.”

Hon. Makone’s efforts come as the MDC is receiving an increase in the number
of abductions, arrests and violence against its officials and members.
“Zimbabwe and the international community are worried about the sudden surge
in violence, arrests and abductions. We need to unmask the hand behind the
scourge. What is more worrying is that it is escalating at a time when the
people thought the past was now behind them as they eagerly awaited a
comprehensive, patriotic process of national healing and reconciliation,”
she said.

“As a result I am waiting for Minister Kembo Mohadi who is attending a
funeral and the ministry’s permanent secretary, Melusi Matshaya so that we
will call for an urgent crisis meeting with senior police chiefs and see how
we can deal with the issues of violence and intolerance that is threatening
to tear our society apart, once more.”

The Southern Africa Coalition for the Survivors of Torture, an advocacy
group monitoring violence in Zimbabwe, says in a new report published at the
weekend that tensions rose markedly in January. Together with the MDC, the
group has noted numerous mob attacks, threats, assaults, questionable
arrests by police and gun shootings.

Public meetings on the constitution were plagued by violence last year.Human
rights groups say Mugabe militants backed by loyalist police and soldiers
are still in place in bases, lying low in wait for a rushed election.
Violence monitors and concerned citizens says villagers were having their
names and identities recorded by Zanu PF thugs as that party prepares for
what it calls an anti-sanctions petition .

Hon. Makone’s concerns came at a time when several MDC youths were last week
made to pay US$50 bail each at the Mbare Magistrate’s Courts on public
violence charges. The assailants were identified but the police refused to
take action saying the issue is political.

In Manicaland province, Zanu PF officials led by war veterans are pressuring
villagers in Chimanimani, Makoni, Mutare and Nyanga districts to sign a
petition calling for an end to restrictive measures that were imposed on
Robert Mugabe and his close allies. The Zanu PF officials are forcing
villagers to sign the petitions under duress and are threatening those who
refuse to sign. In Chimanimani district, Janet Knight, the Zanu PF
provincial member is leading a group, which is forcing villagers to sign the
petition while in Nyanga, Zanu PF chairperson, Moses Gutu is leading the
group and Mutare South MP, Fred Kanzama is heading the campaign in Mutare
and villagers are being threatened with assault or death if they refuse.

“There is nothing like political violence, rape or murder. Rape and murder
cases should be dealt with courts as such and we should let the due process
follow,” she said. The MDC is receiving daily reports of violence, unlawful
detention harassment of MDC officials and members from across the across the

“I am not saying that people should not be arrested because they are from
the MDC, but I am shocked when people from one side only are arrested. “You
cannot have a public fight alone. It is the duty of the police to arrest
both sides engaged in brawl and not to leave the other alone,” she said.

Hon. Makone who is the Women Assembly chairperson in the MDC said the party
was concerned that the police was showing a great interest in MDC
preparations that they were attending their meetings although the meetings
are internal issues. “I am finding it very strange on why the police and
Zanu PF youths are interested in the MDC internal structures ahead of its
crucial Congress in a few months time.

“When Zanu PF and Welshman Ncube’s party were making preparations for the
events last December and January, respectively, the police did not take any
part in their preparations. So why do they want to be involved in MDC
internal issues?” she asked.

Last week, police in Marondera gate crashed into MDC Women’s Assembly
internal meeting, which Hon. Makone was chairing and started taking notes.
“They are operating as if we are in a police state. How can a group of men
force their way into an internal meeting where innocent women are gathered
to make their lives better?” she asked.

A headman in Ward 6 in Zhombe, Midlands North province, Chrispen Tazvinga on
Saturday called for a meeting where he instructed all MDC supporters to
surrender their party regalia as well as append their signatures on the
petition to ascertain whether they are Zanu PF or MDC supporters. However,
Hon. Rogers Tazviona who attended the meeting and other MDC supporters
refused to sign in the book and managed to stop Zanu PF from chanting their
slogans and forcing them to stop the signing of the petitions.

“However, I urge all MDC cadres who are contesting for any post in the party
to conduct themselves with ultimate decorum. We are a Party of Excellence
that will not engage in any physical violence,” she said.

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JOMIC to launch violence hotline

By Alex Bell
07 February 2011

The government appointed Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee is
set to launch a violence ‘hotline’, in an effort to keep track of violent
attacks in Harare.

ZANU PF’s JOMIC representative ,Oppah Muchinguri, was quoted as saying last
week that the group is setting up a “24 hour hotline to receive and act on
incidences of political violence before they happen.” She said that JOMIC
was going to meet the police with a view of discussing ways of stopping
violence before it occurs. She also praised the police for doing a “good
 job” and blamed violence on “some trigger happy people who are just

JOMIC spokesperson, Joram Nyathi, told SW Radio Africa by email on Monday
that the hotline has been proposed, but has not yet been set up. Efforts to
contact Muchinguri and the MDC-T’s JOMIC representative, Tabitha Khumalo,
were unsuccessful on Monday.

Commentators meanwhile expressed doubt that such an initiative will make any
difference, when the police have repeatedly refused to intervene in
different volatile situations.

Most recently on Monday, police in Harare were seen standing around doing
nothing while ZANU PF youths ran riot in the capital’s business district.
The gang of youths raided offices and businesses in the Gulf Complex in the
city on Monday. SW Radio Africa’s correspondent in Harare reported that the
police responded to the scene, but did nothing to prevent the youths from
their rampage.

Last week, the police’s partisan nature was clearly put on display, when a
group of MDC youths were arrested after being attacked by a ZANU PF mob. The
Zimbabwe Youth Forum said in a statement that the police “saved” the MDC
youth by arresting them. The police however did not arrest the ZANU PF
youths, despite them being the perpetrators of the attack. The Youth Forum
said that victims are afraid to report cases of political violence to the
ever-partisan police force for fear of being arrested.

We asked Dewa Mavhinga, from the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, if s violence
hot line had any hope of working.

Dewa 070211 2493/16 2:36

Dewa Mavhinga from the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition.


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Mutambara will not resign as Deputy Prime Minister

By Lance Guma
07 February 2011

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara came out with guns blazing on Monday,
vowing he will not resign as Deputy Prime Minister even though his faction
of the MDC want him to relinquish the post for new party leader, Welshman

After several weeks of silence Mutambara issued a statement saying there was
a difference between his post as party leader and his post as Deputy Prime
Minister. As Deputy Premier he said his office existed “to serve the people
of Zimbabwe regardless of race, tribe, sex, political party affiliation or
religion. For the avoidance of doubt, the office of the DPM does not serve
one political party.”

Mutambara said the distinction “was discussed, understood and agreed.” He
also said he felt betrayed, after promises made to him were broken by Ncube
and his camp. “The idea was to elect a new leadership which will concentrate
on building the Party and prepare for the next elections, and not change
leadership in order to bicker over current offices of state,” he said.

Immediately after taking over as party leader Ncube had claimed; “Professor
Mutambara will continue to be the Deputy Prime Minister. We have agreed that
we are not going to redeploy him, as we want to continue tapping from his
skills.” All that changed after a meeting of the National Standing Committee
of the party last month. This allegedly infuriated Mutambara, who felt
betrayed by the u-turn.

Mutambara’s statement this week made his feelings very clear. ‘I have no
intention whatsoever to leave the position of Deputy Prime Minister in the
Inclusive Government. I will not abdicate from my national responsibilities
in order to satisfy narrow party-political aspirations. In our national
Constitution, there is no facility for a political party to recall a sitting
DPM,” he said.

On Sunday a spokesman for Ncube’s camp released a statement saying Mugabe,
“Has no power or right to appoint any person into the cabinet without the
approval of (their) party through (its) leadership. Equally clear, is the
right of each party to reshuffle, reassign or recall any of its
representatives, the President being required only to formally make the
appointments as requested by the parties.”

Ncube’s camp also sought to draw comparisons between their recall of
Mutambara and the cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai last
year. The robotics professor however said; “While there is provision to
reshuffle Ministers after consultation among the three Principals, there is
no provision to remove a GPA principal. Neither is there an instrument to
remove a sitting DPM.”

Meanwhile several members of the MDC-N had filed a High Court application
challenging the validity of the congress that elected Ncube as President of
the party. Mutambara said until the court makes a ruling he will not
recognize Ncube as the leader of his party. He said although he attended the
controversial congress, he used the platform to stress the need for healing
in the party and to have all the grievances addressed.

“I was silent until today, because I was hoping that those claiming party
leadership would be creative and magnanimous, and follow through and heal
the Party as I had suggested. The opposite has happened. Those who are
claiming leadership started victimizing the aggrieved leaders and party
cadres (seizing party assets from them, removing them from national programs
such as COPAC, etc).”

SW Radio Africa spoke to Jobert Mudzumwe, who as national chairman under
Mutambara, is leading the court challenge. He said the reality of the matter
was that the party had split along tribal lines, with all the Shona’s based
in Harare, while the Ndebele’s were operating from Bulawayo. He blamed the
divisions on Ncube, saying he had risen to the presidency by exploiting
tribal sympathies.

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Ncube mulls pull-out

Friday, 04 February 2011 16:15

Clemence Manyukwe, Political Editor

THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Welshman Ncube is mulling
pulling out of the government of national unity (GNU) as a last resort
should President Robert Mugabe fail to swear in its newly elected leader as
one of the country’s two Deputy Prime Ministers (DPMs) after ousting
incumbent, Arthur Mutambara, in a bloodless coup last month. Ncube’s first
standing committee meeting held in Harare a fortnight ago resolved that
Mutambara be recalled from the top executive post by virtue of surrendering
the party’s presidency after declining to seek re-nomination.
But in a shocking revelation on Sunday, President Mugabe said his hands were
legally tied regarding the MDC’s recommendation for its recently elected
party leader to assume the deputy premiership, effectively passing the ball
into Mutambara’s court as to whether or not he remains as the country’s
deputy premier.
President Mugabe said he would only swear in Ncube if Mutambara decided to
resign from his position.
Referring to the embattled politician as “poor Mutambara” he said, “It
creates legal matters, it complicates issues. They were able to remove him
politically, but legally he was sworn in as a Member of Parliament. I swore
him in as Deputy Prime Minister. It’s up to him if he wants to resign, but
if he refuses, well, we are stuck, but the Global (Political) Agreement
(GPA) will go ahead.”
Sources this week said the MDC leadership would meet President Mugabe either
this week or next week over the brewing political storm threatening the GPA,
after which its standing committee would convene a decisive indaba centred
on three options — the most far-reaching one being a wholesale pull-out from
the shaky GNU should its recommendation to appoint Ncube as the DPM, be not
Insiders said, besides a crucial MDC meeting debating whether to pull all
its ministers out of the inclusive government, another option is that of
referring the matter to the facilitator of the Zimbabwean talks, South
African President Jacob Zuma.
This option is seen by some within the party as futile due to the alleged
intransigence of ZANU-PF blamed for stalling even other agreed GPA
outstanding issues.
The third option would be asking Mutambara to resign to avert a political
crisis, failure of which he would be fired from the MDC for disobeying party
orders, paving the way for the party to again approach President Mugabe to
appoint Ncube as deputy premier on grounds that the post would be vacant as
the GPA requires that one of its own members is sworn in to that post.
It also emerged that after Mutambara was recalled he pleaded with the party’s
standing committee not to be removed from the deputy premiership post, but
suggested that all the powers be vested in Ncube.
The request was however, turned down, according to impeccable sources in the
smaller faction of the MDC, who now suspect their former leader could have
cut deals with their political opponents.
“Mutambara said he should be allowed to remain as the Deputy Prime Minister
to see through two of his initiatives: rebranding Zimbabwe and the triple
Ps. He said in return for that Ncube would have all the powers and would
have the ultimate say on everything,” said a source.
Mutambara has been championing the Public-Private Sector Partnerships (PPPs)
concept, starting by reducing the country’s risk profile. He has embarked on
a comprehensive infrastructural development and rehabilitation plan, where
the State’s role is redefined as that of a facilitator with the private
sector and the civic society coming in as the doers or implementers.
In an interview with The Financial Gazette this week Ncube declined to state
the options available for his party should the impasse continue.
He added that he did not believe that President Mugabe would have an
official stand on a matter that the MDC has not officially presented to him.
“I am yet to hold a meeting with him (President Mugabe) to convey the
position of my party. Until such time that I have had that conversation with
him it would be improper for me to comment on a matter that I have not yet
presented to him,” Ncube said
“We do not believe he can have any official position before he has heard us.
If  you were a lawyer, you would understand that. A judge cannot make a
determination before the case has been formally placed and argued before
him. The President must hear our case first. We will not therefore engage in
any speculative debate. We cannot cross the bridge we have not arrived at.”
There were, however, hints that there would be further trouble for Mutambara
should he not abide by the party’s decision to step down as demanded.
Although Ncube said the DPM was yet to give the party his response on the
recalling, he declined to divulge details of his conversations with the
latter, save to stress that members are required to abide by the party’s
“Here we must always understand that loyal party cadres obey the
instructions of the party when they are given. Finally, let me say that in
our view, as a party, it’s never about an individual stepping down from this
or that post, it’s always about accepting the deployment, the command or the
instruction of the party,” said Ncube.

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Zimbabwe Marange Mines 1 Million Carats Gems a Month

February 07, 2011, 12:26 PM EST

By Carli Lourens and Brian Latham

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Production from Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond fields is
about one million carats a month, said Chaim Evan-Zohar, president of Tacy
Ltd., citing information he got from a government official.

The gems from the fields are not “blood diamonds” but are produced under the
“wrong political system,” Evan-Zohar, of the industry consultant company,
told the Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town today. Talks with the
Kimberley Process to allow their export have failed, he said.

The diamond industry “can’t afford” to ignore “issues” like the Marange
diamonds, Evan-Zohar said. “We thought the whole thing was behind us.”

Zimbabwe is in talks with the Kimberley Process, which monitors trade in
so-called conflict diamonds, on selling gems from the field in eastern
Zimbabwe, the World Diamond Council said Feb. 4, without giving further
details. The southern African nation must show how it will stop gems being
smuggled over the border to Mozambique, the Kimberley Process said in
documents sent to Zimbabwe on Dec. 29 and obtained by Bloomberg News.

Human Rights Watch, based in New York, said Dec. 29 that President Robert
Mugabe may be using diamond revenue from Marange to fund political violence
and intimidation against his opponents in the Movement for Democratic

Rights Abuses

Rights group Kubatana in Zimbabwe says the government committed repeated
abuses at Marange, an alluvial diamond field seized from U.K.-based African
Consolidated Resources Plc in 2006. No reason was given for the seizure,
which African Consolidating is challenging in the Zimbabwean courts.

Mathieu Yamba, the Kinshasa-based chairman of the Kimberley Process declined
to comment when called by Bloomberg News for comment today.

Yamba on Feb. 4 said Zimbabwe hadn’t responded to a proposal that would
allow it to resume exports of gems from Marange.

Diamonds from Marange are “out there,” Evan-Zohar said. “Diamonds are like
water, you really can’t stop them flowing,” he said.

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Broke COPAC “wasted donor funds on posh hotels”

by Irene Madongo
07 February 2011

The Constitutional Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC) has run out of
funds again, because it splashed out donor funds on expensive hotel
accommodation and paid rapporteurs exorbitant salaries, said Dr Lovemore
Madhuku of the National Constitutional Assembly.

On Monday COPAC co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T), reportedly said they
had run out of funds and need another US$10m to complete the
constitution-making process. It’s understood that since 2008 COPAC has
received over US$70m from donors to fund the process of making a new
constitution for Zimbabwe. However, this has not prevented it from running
out of money time and time again.

Having collected the views of people around the country COPAC is now
finalising the data uploading process. This will then lead to the thematic
committees stage, which alone will require US$1,5m. But on Monday Madhuku,
said all this donor money is simply being abused.

“There are people who stay in hotels, even when they are working in their
home areas. If you are a Harare-based COPAC person, you stay in Highfields
and then you are currently working on a COPAC programme, you go a few
kilometers – three kilometers – from your home and you are in Sheraton or
Rainbow Towers and so forth,” Madhuku explained.

“No-one should pay for the kind of things that these people are doing. If
you are an MP and all you are doing is go out there and talk to people. Then
(you) say that you require something like $70 a day – for doing something
you are supposed to do,” Madhuku added.

“Some people are called rapporteurs. They are paid exorbitant amounts - $100
a day. By any standard, civil servants get $200 for a whole month’s work.
Some one is paid $100 for a day’s work – it’s ridiculous,” he said.

Another commentator, economic analyst Masimba Kuchera, blamed COPAC’s woes
on poor budgeting and the effect of the ongoing political violence. ZANU PF
instigated attacks on participants at COPAC outreach meetings last year,
forcing the cancellation and rescheduling of many meetings.

“COPAC has been unable to budget properly for the programme,” Kuhera
explained, adding that, “The outreach was extended by 23 days from the
initial 68 days to 91 days. The Harare leg of the meetings had to be re-run
because of violence in Mbare, Waterfalls and other areas.”

He said that despite its financial problems, the donor community is likely
to pour in more funds as the constitutional process is considered to be in
the interest of the nation.

“Donors can continue pumping out money but they will need certainty from the
political leadership, who are able to then deal with their supporters,
especially, unfortunately, those from ZANU PF, who continue to exercise
violence on the rest of the people, especially from urban centres,” he said.

Last year it was reported that more than 600 workers demonstrated over
outstanding allowances, believed to amount to US$2,000 per person, owed to
them by COPAC. In December the organisations debt to people and services,
was pegged at US$5m.

In addition to its funding dilemmas, COPAC has been riddled with many other
problems in its two year history including, more recently, the fact that its
main computer containing important data, was hacked into and information

On Monday, efforts to reach Mwonzora for comment were not successful.

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MDC MP Barred From Constituency

07/02/2011 09:13:00

Zaka, February 07, 2011 – Zaka North Member of Parliament (MP) Ernest
Mudavanhu (MDC-T) failed to go to his constituency during the weekend after
suspected Zanu (PF) youth threatened to beat him up.

Mudavanhu who was supposed to hold various meetings on Saturday and Sunday,
had to shelf his plans fearing for his safety.

“I had to call off the meetings following the threats from Zanu (PF) in my
area. They (Zanu PF youth) phoned saying I was not supposed to enter the
constituency. At first I did not take it seriously but later it turned to be
a serious threat when several people including my mother phoned me and said
it was highly risk for me to proceed with my plans to have meetings,” said

Other MPs from Zaka West and Central constituencies said although they were
not yet barred from accessing their constituencies, they were worried about
the high level of violence against MDC-T supporters.

Festus Dumbu (MP) for Zaka West said he had to run away on Saturday when the
police in Triangle were instructed to arrest him for ‘no clear reason’.

“We also failed to hold a meeting in Zaka West during the weekend because
the police were after me, they wanted to arrest me because Zanu (PF)
District Coordinating Committee (DCC) in Chiredzi wanted me to get
 arrested,” said Dumbu.

Dumbu is planning a rally in Chipanza on Wednesday while Mudavanhu and
Harrison Mudzuri said they will wait for the dust to settle before calling
for any gathering in their constituencies.

Villagers from Zaka district told RadioVOP that they were being intimidated
day and night by officials from Zanu (PF) who call them to meetings where
they are forced to buy party cards.

However, Zanu (PF) provincial chairman Lovemore Matuke who also addressed
rallies in ward 17 of Zaka during the weekend said no one was being forced
to attend his rallies. He also labelled MDC-T MPs in the area as ‘cry babies’
who were losing support from the people.

“What do you expect from cry babies? They are no longer relevant, we are
just having meetings with the people and we are not using any force to have
meetings,” said Matuke.

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Floods threaten crops across Southern Africa

Feb 7, 2011 3:01 PM | By Sapa

Floods and heavy rain across southern Africa have damaged thousands of
hectares (acres) of farmland and more may be hit in coming weeks, raising
fears for food supplies, the UN food agency said Monday.

With the rainy season still only half way through, and with the cyclone
season due to peak in February, agricultural areas along the region's rivers
in remain at high risk of flooding, the Food and Africulture Organisation

Most countries in the region, including Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique,
Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, are affected, it said, quoting
quoted Cindy Holleman, FAO regional emergency coordinator.

"Food insecurity levels are already critical in the affected areas of some
of these countries and floods will only further worsen the ability of poor
farmers to cope and feed their families in the coming months," Holleman

The FAO is working with regional and national early warning systems to
monitor the evolution in major river basins and to assess the impact on food
crops, the statement added.

The agency is also providing governments with technical advice on flood
monitoring systems, preparedness, and measures to prevent the outbreak or
spread of animal disease, while preparing to provide aid such as seeds, and
restoring agricultural activities after flood waters recede.

In Lesotho, one of the poorest countries in the sub-region, up to 60 percent
of harvests have been lost in some areas and more than 4,700 head of
livestock, mainly sheep and goats, are dead, the FAO reported.

Localized crop losses are also reported along river banks in southern and
central Mozambique. The government has declared a red alert for central and
southern Mozambique as water flows in the major rivers are above alert

South Africa has already declared a national state of disaster in many
districts of the country due to the floods that have destroyed thousands of
hectares of crop land, and caused damages estimated in millions of dollars.

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We will rape and kill demostrators in Zimbabwe - "Cde Ngwena"

07 February, 2011 07:41:00    By

Harare, - Emmerson "Ngwena" Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe's Defence minister, and Zanu
(PF) secretary for Legal Affairs has said that Zimbabweans wishing to
emulate the demonstrations aimed at ousting the government just like in
Egypt should never attempt to do so in the country as they would be crushed.

Mnangagwa was speaking at an army function to honour retiring officers in
Harare. He said that Zimbabwe police are waiting to act on any reports of
violence and 'crush' it.

“Those who may want to emulate what happened in Egypt and Tunisia will
regret. Everybody is warned to keep peace in the country," he said. "The
Police are told that wherever violence rears its ugly head it should be

“There are some ill informed citizens who think that officers can not be
politicians, the military produces good politicians.We need more and more of
them to be involved,” he said.

Since the ouster of Tunisian president, Ben Ali demonstrators in Egypt have
demanded the ouster of their long ruling President Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak
despite protesters demonstrating for almost two weeks has refused to let go,
instead he has said he will leave power in September. Ordinary Egyptians
have continued to demonstrate.

A final push organised by then opposition leader, Zimbabwe Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai about five years ago to remove President Robert Mugabe
from power failed to materialise after Mugabe used police and the army to
prevent demonstrations.

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President Robert Mugabe Must Address Political Violence in Zimbabwe

This is the first time and maybe not the last time I would be making a
direct impress upon President Robert Gabriel Mugabe to address the issue of
the politically motivated violence that has killed and will continue to kill
innocent people in Zimbabwe unless it is stopped. If there is one person who
can put a real end to that scourge of violence it is President Mugabe.

Can anyone imagine President Mugabe going on national television during
prime time and spending just half an hour of his time telling Zimbabweans to
desist from political violence? Unequivocally and authoritatively telling
people like the self-professed “war veteran” Jabulani Sibanda to pack his
bags (if he travelled with any), and leave Masvingo immediately and return
to Bulawayo. Telling Sibanda to go back to Bulawayo to reclaim his daily job
if he had one or if he didn’t for once to get one and get a life. Can anyone
imagine what would happen if President Mugabe would punch the air in his
trademark way of emphasising a point ordering those militias to stop the
violence forth with? They would all stop it without any shred of doubt. The
problem is that President Mugabe does not want or does not think it is
necessary to do so. That is the saddest thing about the whole affair, a
President resigned to such a sorry and tragic state of affairs.

For clarity there are some issues that have divided Zimbabweans at times and
first is the issue of President Mugabe’s position with regard to the violent
political climate in Zimbabwe because there seems to be confusion about his
role in that violence. I have mentioned before but only in passing, on the
need for President Mugabe to address the issue of political violence as
passionately as he has addressed or at least approached other issues such as
his own re-election to office, the indigenous empowerment of Zimbabweans and
his generally anti-imperial or anti-west rhetoric. There are also some
people who have questioned President Mugabe’s legitimacy as president of the
country ever since the last disputed elections that brought the uneasy
Government of National Unity. These people argue that how could he address
the issue of violence when he actually stole the last election amid

I think it should be clear to every Zimbabwean that yes there have been
disputed elections that President Mugabe went on to be declared winner or at
least got a reported commanding proportion of the result, but he is the
President of the country and that is why he is still occupying that office.
If he wasn’t the President of the country then he would not be exercising
any of his executive powers. Neither would he be working from Munhumutapa
Buildings or living at State House, with Zimbabwe House serving as his
secondary residence. Personally, I actually feel that simply by virtue of
his occupation of that office and his exercising of the executive and
constitutional functions of that office, he is the undisputed president of
the country and he must deliver for Zimbabweans what is expected of the
president of the country. Until and unless President Mugabe has been removed
from power through a decisive election, or has relinquished it of his own
volition, or that due to failing health he has left the office of the
President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, then he is will remain the president
of the country. Questioning his legitimacy would actually give president a
get out clause from addressing the issue of politically motivated violence.

There is also the issue of whether President Mugabe is indeed the founding
father of the nation of Zimbabwe because there are some people who feel that
Joshua Nomo was the founding father of Zimbabwe and that is why he is still
referred to as Father Zimbabwe up to today. This issue has been prompted by
the disgruntlement of the generality of Zimbabweans with the system of
patronage that has become the hallmark of the ZANU PF government. If you don’t
belong to ZANU PF, or you are not related or connected to someone
influential in the party, or you don’t even support the party in anyway,
then there is literally nothing for you in Zimbabwe. Even some people in
business who are doing well have had to be connected to ZANU PF in one way
or another to be able to do well. There are of course some odd cases such as
Strive Masiiwa’s Econet Wireless that have actually done well in spite of
ZANU PF but there are not that many Strive Masiiwa’s who have that Midas
touch to turn ZANU PF hate into business success because most people who
have been condemned by ZANU PF have seen their private and business
enterprises crumble. This is because the generality of Zimbabweans are just
ordinary people who are struggling to make ends meet.

It is from this kind of state of affairs that allows ZANU PF and anything
that it stands for to take everything at the expense of every other
Zimbabwean that the questions of whether President Mugabe was indeed the
father of the nation emanate from. If he was indeed the father of the nation
why then wouldn’t he ensure that everyone is well catered for regardless of
their political affiliation because the independence of Zimbabwe was never
brought about for the sole enjoyment of the in ZANU PF faithful alone but
for every Zimbabwean regardless of their political affiliation ZANU PF has
also sought and very successfully so, to completely distort the history of
the liberation struggle to the extent that most people think and actually
believe that it was ZANU PF alone that spearheaded the struggle for
independence. This is why the so-called war veterans would rant that
defending President Mugabe’s tenure in office is a national issue because
they mistakenly think that anything ZANU PF including their leader were
national issues.

What ZANU PF members and supporters alike forget for their own convenience
is that even those in the MDC and any other party for that matter, also have
an equal right to citizenship. The way ZANU PF people have been given a
blank check to kill, injure and destroy the lives of other Zimbabweans who
detest the party can only be attributed to the fact that President Mugabe
has been condoning such actions. He may not have necessarily urged them on
but surely omission is just the same as commission. The President of the
country is omitting his role of ensuring that he stems out violence and also
punishes or at least urges for the punishment of those that perpetrate
violence. If the President Mugabe does not now start to be seen to be
actively and effectively dealing with violence then he will surely be viewed
as an accomplice to that violence and those calls for him to be tried as an
accessory to violence and crimes against humanity would continue to gather
momentum and credibility. President Mugabe may not have personally killed
anyone, nor menacingly pointed a gun to anyone’s head, nor burned down
anyone’s house, nor shattered anyone’s shop and looted it, nor raped anyone’s
sister or mother or grandmother, nor hacked anyone to death, nor poured
petrol anyone and lit them up, nor slashed anyone‘s face, nor kidnapped
anyone and dumped them for dead, nor threatened anyone in any way. But as
long as he, as the President of the country does not side with the victims
of these despicable acts of violence, then he will continue to be seen like
he has already been seen before by some people, as an accomplice to that
violence because it is his constitutional duty and not his charitable
volunteering to ensure he protects the people of Zimbabwe who have long
suffered from politically motivated violence.

NOW is the time for the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the
Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe defence forces Robert Gabriel Mugabe to
make a presidential decree, just like he has decreed on other quite less
significant matters, on the very important issue of political violence and
bring an end to it. Zimbabweans are tired of this violence. Many of them
have buried relatives from this political violence. Some have lost their
entire livelihoods from this politically motivated violence. Others have
lost limbs or eyes from this politically motivated violence. Yet we have a
president who happens to be one of the most powerful presidents on the
African continent. A man with so much power of state at his disposal but he
only uses it on some very trivial issues such as pardoning convicted rapists
instead of using his power to ensure that those perpetrators of such
political violence, most of whom have murdered people in cold blood but are
still roaming the streets of Zimbabwe, are brought to book.

I will continue to impress upon the president of my country to STOP the
political violence until he is visibly and evidently seen to be doing so.
Otherwise the forthcoming elections will just be another round of killings
and destruction of the property of those who don’t support ZANU PF nor
President Mugabe’s Life Presidency.

Silence Chihuri writes in his own right and can be contacted on

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No diamonds money for civil service pay raise: Biti

Monday, 07 February 2011 08:07


PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s promise to give civil servants a US$250 million
windfall might turn out to be a pipe dream after Finance minister Tendai
Biti said treasury had not received any money from diamond sales.

Biti’s statement, made in an interview with The Standard last week, has set
him on a collision course with Mines and Mining Development minister Obert
Mpofu who claims the MDC-T secretary general is not telling the truth.

Mugabe told Zimbabweans in Ethiopia last week that Mpofu told him that a
third diamond auction had been done and proceeds would be used to raise
civil servants’ salaries.

Government had told its restive employees that it did not have money to
improve their salaries despite threats of a crippling strike.
Biti said although diamonds were being sold, treasury was not getting the

“There is no money from the sale of diamonds,” he said.

“Diamonds are being sold but there is no accountability. We are not getting

Biti however could not say where the money was going.

But Mpofu shot back saying he had a written letter from Biti acknowledging
receipt of the undisclosed sums of money to be used in paying civil servants’

“I have a written letter from Biti saying he had received the money,” said
Mpofu who is a fierce Mugabe loyalist.

“If he is telling you that he didn’t receive the money, I don’t know why he
said so because I have the letter he sent me.

“I even received the letter yesterday (Thursday).

“I am finding it hard to believe that Biti said that because I have an
official correspondence with me from him.

“The president said more money is coming to beef up salaries for civil

However, Mpofu refused to show this newspaper the supposed letter.

Biti could not be reached for comment on Mpofu’s allegations as his office
on Friday said he had left the country for South Africa.

Mugabe said the 236 000 state employees were not being paid a fair wage as
they earned less than his farm workers who earned US$350 a month.

Civil servants earn an average of US$200 a month but statistics show that a
family of five needs at least US$502 a month to survive in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe had said the money would come from Mbada, a South African company
that entered a joint venture with the Zimbabwe Mining Development
Corporation to mine diamonds in the Marange district.

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Mujuru to bring Zhuwao to book over invasions

Monday, 07 February 2011 08:14


PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao will be told to stop
invading tourism facilities or face disciplinary action at a proposed crisis
meeting with Vice-President Joyce Mujuru, sources have said.

Impeccable sources told The Standard last week that Zanu PF officials told
the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) that they had
asked Mujuru to reign in the Zvimba East legislator.

This was after he openly defied Mujuru by threatening to re-invade tourist
resorts along Lake Chivero despite the fact that his supporters were chased
away by the police last month.

Jomic last week issued a hard-hitting statement on the invasions, which was
jointly signed by representatives of the three parties in the unity
government, including Zanu PF’s Oppah Muchinguri.

The body said the invasions were against the spirit of the Global Political
Agreeement (GPA) that underpins the unity government.
Jomic reportedly wanted to summon Zhuwao before Muchinguri intervened saying
they would make sure that Mujuru summoned the youthful MP for a dressing

Zhuwao issued the threats after Mujuru had apologised to the owners of the
facilities and promised that the invasions would not happen again.
MDC-T’s representative in Jomic, Elias Mudzuri, confirmed that Zanu PF had
promised that the MP would be told to respect the rule of law.

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Harare Mayor under scrutiny

Monday, 07 February 2011 10:43


THE appointment of Muchadeyi Masunda as mayor of Harare in 2008 brought hope
and confidence to most residents in the city.

This confidence was premised on the fact that Masunda, a leading lawyer and
businessman, had the right credentials to tackle the city’s collapsed
sewerage and water reticulation infrastructure.

Residents also thought that Masunda wielded political clout that would help
thaw the tension between Minister of Local Government, Urban and Rural
Development Ignatius Chombo and councillors in the MDC-T dominated council.

But two years down the line, it appears the odds are against the respected

Most tarred roads are now riddled with life-threatening potholes while
others have turned into gravel roads.

Over-grown grass remains uncut, even at major intersections, putting the
lives of both motorists and pedestrians at risk.

Most traffic lights do not work.

Collection of refuse is erratic in high-density areas while raw sewage has
formed permanent rivulets, where barefoot children “wash” their toys.

Small black “particles” ooze from the taps whenever there is running water.

“In most cases, the water smells,” said 63-year-old Regina Dube of Kambuzuma
in Harare. “This water will kill the whole city one day.”

Residents in high-density areas have now turned to water from communal
boreholes drilled by non-governmental organisations.

Suburbs of Tafara and Mabvuku have not had running water from the council
since Masunda assumed office despite assurances the problems would be
attended to.

Residents say Masunda has failed to improve services

Harare Residents Trust (HRT) co-ordinator Precious Shumba said Masunda, a
respected academic in both business and political circles, has failed
“Service delivery has deteriorated to unimaginable and unacceptable levels,”
said Shumba.

HRT claims that productive engagement of the mayor by stakeholders has been
limited “since the mayor assumes he knows everything” and is too elitist to
tackle problems affecting ordinary residents.

Shumba said council-owned properties such as Mupedzanhamo Market, green
market in Mbare, houses and community halls have become private enterprises
where city employees make more money than the council itself.

He said Masunda had succumbed to interference from Chombo, where the
minister appears to direct operations at Town House.

Shumba’s comments were echoed by Combined Harare Residents Association
(Chra) chairperson Simbarashe Moyo, who added that the mayor failed to deal
with the land saga involving Chombo and business tycoon Philip Chiyangwa.

The two politicians are accused of acquiring land from council illegally but
Chiyangwa is challenging the claims in the courts.

“He has even failed to protect the councillors who were fighting for
transparency around the whole issue of the land audit,” Moyo said.

Rome not built in a day: Masunda

While admitting that service delivery could have been better, Masunda said
it was too early to judge him considering the fact that he inherited a
totally collapsed and dysfunctional city.

“Remember, Rome was not built in one day,” he said. “There is lack of
appreciation by a number of stakeholders especially residents, of what it
takes to run a metropolitan and this extends to senior guys in the city

The mayor said he was in the process of acquiring equipment to seal potholes
and cut grass.

He, however, admitted that council was “a bit off the mark” in addressing
the issues.

But CHRA said service delivery had significantly improved although a lot of
work still needs to be done.

Moyo claimed that a recent survey by Chra revealed that 80% of the residents
had suffered from stomach ailments after drinking tap water.

He said the city got US$17 million from government for water reticulation
but 40% of the treated water is lost through leakages.

However, Masunda said the money that was drawn from Multi-donor Trust Fund
was used to relay pipes that were leaking.

Commenting on Chiyangwa’s land saga, Masunda said he wanted a panel of
retired judges to look into the matter because some of the cou-ncillors, who
were complaining, had been compromised after they made  prejudicial public

So far, Masunda has managed to revive the Harare-Munich Partnership, which
has a potential to bring more investment to Harare from Germany.
He has also reduced the once bloated workforce.

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Zanu PF, Zapu wary of secessionists

Monday, 07 February 2011 10:37


BULAWAYO — Zapu and Zanu PF have warned that if the new constitution does
not provide for the devolution of power, activists calling for the secession
of Matabeleland will gain more ground.

Dumiso Dabengwa, the Zapu president and Callistus Ndlovu, a Zanu PF central
committee member were reacting to renewed calls for Matabeleland to become a
separate state.

A new party, the Matabeleland Liberation Front (MLF) was formed last year by
South African-based Zimbabweans who are advocating for secession claiming
the region had been marginalised for too long.

The region already has two hardline parties — the Patriotic Union of
Matabeleland (Puma) and Zapu Federal Party — who want some form of autonomy
for the region.

Even some politicians in Zanu PF privately favour devolution of power.

It was revealed recently that the late Matabeleland North governor and
national hero Welshman Mabhena once sought British support for a separate
Matabeleland state, citing continued marginalisation.

Dabengwa said they feared the views of people in Matabeleland on devolution
were not properly captured during the outreach on the new constitution.

“Our fear is that if the forthcoming constitution does not address the issue
of systems of governance in a manner that satisfies all the people of
Zimbabwe, that will give impetus to those calling for the division of the
country,” Dabengwa told a recent Zapu rally in the city.

“For now we believe the government must be given the chance to correct
anomalies in the system of governance.”

Dabengwa said it was important to devolve power to the provinces so as to
address the unbalanced distribution of resources.

“When we talk about devolution of power, we mean people must benefit from
the resources that God gave them in their respective areas,” he said.
“The people of Marange must benefit from their diamonds. That is what
devolution of power will address.

“Tongas in Binga must benefit from the Kariba Dam because it was built on
their land.

“They survived from tilling the valleys of the Zambezi and were evicted to
make way for the dam and animals.”

The former Zipra commander said there were projects like the Bulawayo-Nkayi
Road, which had taken more than 20 years to complete, that gave people in
the region an impression that government was not interested in the
development of their areas.

“If there was a provincial government in Matabeleland North they would have
prioritised that project and got it finished long back because that is the
road that must bring grain from Nkayi and Gokwe to feed the people in

“It is a very critical project for the development of the whole region.”

Ndlovu said devolution had to be clearly articulated in the constitution for
it to be effective.

The two Movement for Democratic Change formations have also called for
devolution of power but distanced themselves from calls for the creation of
a Matabeleland state.

Analysts say the secessionists have been buoyed by the resent referendum
that resulted in the division of Sudan into two countries.

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Tempers flare over Bulawayo company relocations

Monday, 07 February 2011 10:35


BULAWAYO — A storm is brewing in Bulawayo over the upsurge in the number of
manufacturing companies relocating to Harare with political parties calling
on residents to start boycotting their products.

The city, once the country’s industrial hub, has been hit by serious
disinvestment at a time the country is anticipating renewed economic
activity after years of decline.

A number of companies, mainly in the manufacturing and construction sectors,
have been forced to either retrench or relocate to Harare, citing perennial
water shortages.

But activists and politicians say the companies are using the water
shortages as an excuse to continue the marginalisation of the region.

The debate has been reignited by recent reports that Hunyani Holdings, one
of the biggest employers in the city, was mulling plans to join the long
list of companies ditching Bulawayo for the capital.

Edwin Ndlovu, the regional spokesperson for the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, said
it was time Bulawayo residents started boycotting products of companies that
relocated to Harare.

“It is better for locals here to continue buying goods from neighbouring
South Africa, which have filled our shops than to support companies that
have de-industrialised Bu-lawayo,” Ndlovu said.

“It does not make sense for the companies to send their goods here when in
the first place they said there is no business in Bulawayo.”

His sentiments were echoed by Methuseli Moyo, the spokesperson for Zapu, who
said reasons being given by the companies for shifting their bases to Harare
were invalid.

“Companies are saying Harare is profitable so they should make their profits
there and not send their products down here,” Moyo said.

“These companies are turning Bulawayo into a supermarket where they just
come and dump their goods after relocating.”

Moyo claimed there was a conspirancy to de-industrialise Bulawayo, a theory
that has been peddled for many years.

“There is a conspiracy to de-industrialise the city because business
conditions are the same countrywide but shockingly when it comes to Bulawayo
the same business conditions are seen as worse off,” he said.

Relocations up unemployment, loss of revenue, says Byo Mayor

Industrialists say companies in the city are operating below 40% of their
capacity and many continue to retrench workers.
Besides worsening unemployment in the city, the relocations have reduced the
struggling local authority’s revenue base, Bulawayo Mayor, Thaba Moyo said
last week.

“We are losing a lot of investment and it has reduced our revenue,” Moyo

“These relocations are worrisome and what should be done as a matter of
urgency is start dialogue to find out why they are disinvesting so that we
try to put a stop to it.”

Henry Masuku, a civil society activist said the relocations were the main
reasons why people in the region were now calling for the devolution of
Ibhetshu LikaZulu, a local pressure group says it would soon petition the
government to stop the relocations because it believes they are not
The Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) also questioned how
the companies would overcome the challenges they cited for relocating once
they set up shop in Harare.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions president Lovemore Matombo called for an
investigation into the companies that were relocating, saying most of them
did not pay their workers terminal benefits.

“They should be investigated,” he said. “Relocation is not an arbitrary
decision of the majority shareholder, as in terms of the law they have to
discuss with trade unions concerned to find out why they are relocating.”

Efforts to establish the number of workers left redundant by the company
relocations were fruitless.

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How tennis star plunged into Egypt chaos

Monday, 07 February 2011 10:34


ZIMBABWE Davis Cup tennis player Mlandeli Ndlela will always rue the day he
defied his mother to travel to strife-torn Egypt.

Prior to his departure on Wednesday last week for the ITF Futures 1
Tournament, his mother had told him not to go because of the unrest in the
Arab country.

Egyptians have been protesting on the streets for days demanding the
resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. Hundreds of people have died
following violent clashes between rival camps.

The ITF tournament, where Ndlela was Zimbabwe’s sole representative, had to
be cancelled at the last minute because of the violence.

Had the 25-year-old listened to his mother, he would not have spent two
nights sleeping on a bench with no blankets at the airport giving his
parents sleepless nights.

However, as stubborn as men will always be coupled with a deep-seated
passion for tennis, Mlandeli along with his father Daniel, a prominent
economist, simply laughed off his mother’s fears.

“Mla”, as his father calls him, had to encounter first signs of the chaos
that now defines the North African country on his arrival at Cairo
International Airport last Thursday morning as he could not locate his
luggage because of the confusion.

He says memories of soldiers barricading roads, sleepless nights at the
airport and having to share little food with fellow travellers will always
linger in his mind.

“It was at Cairo Airport that I discovered that my luggage was missing.

“Everything was just chaotic. I had to buy some new clothes and sporting
equipment as I had enough cash on me,” he said.

“Violence was already starting, but there was too much security at the
airport and Egypt-Tennis Federation (ETF) immediately took us to the match
venue in Giza where the tournament was to begin on Saturday.

“Security was tight at the venue and the hotel owner assured us that we
would be safe.

“He also asked for more security personnel. On Sunday violence had escalated
and the tournament was cancelled.

“Everyone was now afraid as internet and phones were not working.

“I could not communicate with my parents, but I managed to get in touch with
a family friend,” he said.

“On Monday all the players were taken back to Cairo Airport to go back to
their respective countries,” he said.

The left hander, who studied for a Business and Sports Management degree at
Concodia University in the United States, says on arrival at the airport he
received a cocktail of good and bad news.

“It is a 20-minute journey to the airport from the games village, but it
took us three hours to get there as there were many soldiers on the streets.
“At the airport there were thousands of stranded passengers trying to get
out of Egypt.

“It was really a stampede to get a plane as most airlines had cancelled
their flights.

“I spent two days without bathing and we were nearly sleeping over each
other at the benches without blankets.

“I kept my nerves and continued looking for alternative planes to get me out
of Egypt.

“That is when I stumbled upon a Kenyan who advised me to use Emirates
Airlines, which was to take me to Johannesburg via Dubai.

“I paid US$750 for the ticket to Dubai which connected me to South Africa,”
he said, adding that most of the Egyptians he talked to at the airport were
in support of the unrests describing them as a revolution.

“In Dubai, I managed to get in touch with one of my brothers who is in the
United Kingdom who then let my parents know that I was safe.
“I arrived yesterday (last Thursday) at 9pm,” he said.

The smile that was on Mla’s mother, Thando, summed up the family’s mood as
she was relieved to have her son back.

“He is my last born son. The other two boys are both in the United Kingdom
and he is the one I stay with.

“Those two weeks were the most stressful period for the family. I am glad
that my son is back home alive,” she said.

For Mlandeli, it is back to training as he battles to put this horrific
experience behind him and concentrate on forthcoming ITF Futures Tours in
Asia in three weeks’ time.

Government yesterday said it would evacuate Zimbabwean nationals from Egypt
fearing the violence could escalate.

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Ncube says GNU on the brink of collapse

Monday, 07 February 2011 10:29


MOVEMENT for Democratic Change leader Welshman Ncube has warned that the
unity government faces collapse if President Robert Mugabe refuses to swear
him in as deputy prime minister.

Ncube is supposed to replace Arthur Mutambara as the second DPM after he
dislodged the robotics professor at the helm of the party last month.
But Mugabe has indicated that he would not force Mutambara to resign if he
does not want to.

State media last Friday reported that Mutambara had already told Mugabe that
he was not going anywhere.

Ncube on Saturday said he would meet Mugabe this week, probably on Tuesday,
to brief him on his party’s position, which means Mutambara would be demoted
to Regional Integration and International Cooperation minister.

“I have made a request to talk to the president. We will most likely meet
this week on Tuesday,” he said.

“We don’t believe he will refuse once we put it to him.”

The DPM designate said MDC would not allow any other party to choose a
principal for it, in the clearest indication yet that the formation is
prepared to leave the unity government if Mugabe sides with Mutambara.

“We think that to refuse to recognise a representative of our party will be
basically destroying the foundation of the government of national unity

“The GNU is a three-party coalition represented by people of each party’s
choice. Once we have people chosen by other parties it destroys the
foundation of the GNU.

“We trust that no one can possibly suggest who our representative should
 be,” Ncube said.

Mutambara has not commented publicly about his response to the MDC’s
decision to demote him.

He has been out of the country since the decision was made and is expected
back home this week. Ncube said he had not spoken to his predecessor about
the matter.

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Wetlands project row resurfaces

Monday, 07 February 2011 10:27


HARARE-based environmentalists are not happy that after “successfully”
blocking construction at an open space in Borrowdale, the land developer has
put up yet another notice expressing intention to revive the project.

A Ukranian company, Augur Investments, is said to be considering building a
multi-purpose business complex on land which activists say is unsuitable for
such a project because it is a wetland.

“We objected to the change of use of that wetland last year and we are
worried that these people have decided to defy that,” Dorothy Wakeling of
the Conservation Society of Monovale said.

“Many people, including residents and officials at neighbouring Dandaro
Retirement Village, registered their objection back then.

“This is madness; as a country, we should keep these wetlands safe as they
are good for our rivers especially considering our dry weather.”

An official at Dandaro said they were also disappointed by the planned
construction of a complex they understand will host a hospital, hotels and

A council official said the City Fathers objected to the intended change of
use because the wetland is the source of Gwebi River.

“As council, we have said that land shall remain earmarked for recreational
purposes and we do not intend to approve the change of its land-use,” the
source said.

“A full council meeting tasked an investigations committee to probe the
acquisition of that piece of land which it feels was improperly done.

“The papers we have seen made us suspicious because the developer shares an
address with Harvest Net Investments, which we know as belonging to Local
Government, Urban and Rural Development minister Ignatius Chombo.”

In an email response to questions, Augur’s managing director, Mike van
Blerk, through his assistant Kerry Stubbs confirmed that a project is under
consideration by his company and they would abide by the country’s laws in
pursuing their interests.

He would not say what project they intended to carry out and distanced his
company from Chombo and Harvest Net.

Harare mayor Muchadei Ma-sunda said he suspects the people seeking to
develop the land were merely re-submitting their proposal with the hope of
overcoming the objections raised earlier.

He said this was allowed and those with objections can still raise them.
Masunda said the city’s plan clearly indicates what type of development is
expected at each given area.

However, he said a developer is allowed to seek to change the land use.

Activists last week asked Environment and Natural Resources Management
minister, Francis Nhema to help them stop the exploitation of the Borrowdale

The environmentalists have in the past opposed projects by businessman
Phillip Chiyangwa and a local commercial bank.

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Government probes Nust degree

Monday, 07 February 2011 10:26


GOVERNMENT has set up a special committee to investigate reasons behind the
Zimbabwe Medical, Dental and Professions Council’s refusal to recognise
National University of Science and Technology’s medical degree.

The stalemate has forced Nust students to go to Malawian and Zambian
universities to complete their degrees, a development that also deprives the
country of much-needed doctors.

Nust started the programme in 2004 but the council is yet to accredit the
institution for unclear reasons, sparking a political storm in Matabeleland.

In December, The Standard revealed that some of the Nust students who had
gone to Malawi were struggling to raise money to complete their studies.
Washington Mbizvo, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Higher and
Tertiary Education confirmed the investigation saying the committee would
meet on Monday to discuss its findings.

He said government had provided US$55 000 for the students to return home
for their examinations but they turned down the offer saying they felt
cheated by Nust.

“They felt cheated by Nust which was not being honest with them concerning
its problems with the council,” Mbizvo said.

“The second option was for the students to complete their studies with the
University of Zimbabwe but they turned it down as well.

“We are thus hoping that our findings will help us identify gaps and advise
on how best to fill them so we can continue with the school, which had to
suspend intakes due to the problems,” Mbizvo said.

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Prince of Wales fundraises for Zimbabwe

Monday, 07 February 2011 08:21

THE Prince of Wales will on Tuesday preside over the first annual charity
gala for the AtoZ Trust — to be held at London’s Claridge’s Hotel.

Prince Charles will be joined by an international audience of senior
individuals in philanthropy and business to raise money for a number of
important projects in Zimbabwe including the reconstruction of the National
Gallery and Library.

The building of the Gallery in 1957 was initially made possible by a gift to
the country by James McDonald and Stephen Courtauld of the celebrated
textile dynasty.

“These historically important buildings represent something unique in Africa
as a repository of African art and European treasures.

“Our aim would be to recreate a regionally significant educational resource
that can be embraced by local Zimbabweans and visitors alike,” said Guy
Oliver, the chairman of the evening.

Prince Charles  presided at Zimbabwe’s 1980 Independence ceremony —
effectively relinquishing the last British Crown colony in Africa.

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Row over US$1 sparked violence in Mbare T/ship

Monday, 07 February 2011 08:17


SOME of the victims of last week’s political violence in Harare gathered at
the MDC-T’s Harvest House offices where they gave testimonies of how they
suffered at the hands of their attackers.

It all started with a misunderstanding over US$1 per night storage fees at
Mbare Msika, which the MDC-T supporters felt was unnecessary and

And what they thought was the end of their problems turned out to be an even
more harrowing experience at the hands of the police.
Paul Majarira (24), a vendor in Mbare who doubles up as an overnight guard
at the MDC-T’s Mbare offices, is among those who were admitted in hospital
after he was wounded on the head.

“I was hit with a stone as I tried to close the office door,” he said.

“My colleagues and I had been hiding in the office since the arrival of some
Zanu PF youths a few minutes earlier.

“They threw stones at us and we ran into the office but they continued
stoning the building hence my decision to close the door, getting wounded in
the process.”

Majarira said the youths had earlier attacked them at a flea market. “It all
started when a certain man who calls himself ‘Captain’ got two stands at the
market,” he said.

“He built what he called a cloakroom and wanted us to store our wares for
US$1 per night. We refused, prompting him to send some youths whom he gave
stands at an undesignated area near the toilets to loot our stuff.

“That was when we decided to store our goods at the party offices everyday
after business but they also followed us there.”

Majarira and other victims said the police arrived and drove them to a
police station where they were detained over night.

“We got into their car and they drove away with us, ending up at their Mbare
station, although they had earlier said they were taking us to Harare
Central,” 22-year-old Kudakwashe Usai said.

“We were puzzled when, on arrival at the station, they ordered us to remove
our shoes.

“All seven of us were still nursing various wounds suffered during the
attacks but the police, who had told us they were protecting us, would not
allow us to go for treatment.”

The seven, including Mbare councillor Paul Gorekore, on Wednesday appeared
in court facing public violence charges. They were remanded out of custody
to February 17.

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