APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) Zimbabwean football fans will not have the opportunity
to watch the 2010 African Cup of Nations amid revelations that the country's
sole broadcaster is unable to meet the broadcasting fees demanded by the
tournament's broadcast right holder, APA learns here Saturday.
The cash-strapped Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation announced Saturday that
it could not afford the US$6.5 million demanded by the Confederations of
African Football on behalf of the broadcast rights holder AFNEX.
A ZBC spokesman said the broadcasting fees were too high for the public
broadcaster which is struggling to replace obsolete equipment.
This will be the first time that Zimbabwean soccer fans have failed to enjoy
watching the biennial football showcase.
The 22-day tournament kicks off Sunday with a match pitting hosts Angola and
APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) Zimbabwe's parliament is expected to ratify an
investment protection agreement with South Africa when it resumes sitting
next month, an official said here Saturday.
Investment Promotion Minister Elton Mangoma said both Houses of Parliament
would ratify the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement
(BIPPA) which was signed with South Africa in November 2009.
The agreement was signed despite protestations by some white commercial
farmers who wanted the deal to be blocked in South Africa.
The farmers, who are South African citizens but who own farms in Zimbabwe,
wanted guarantees that their properties would not be expropriated under the
Harare government's land reform programme.
By Gerald Chateta
Published: January 9, 2010
Harare: MDC-The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party has condemned
the government and the Attorney General’s office for ignoring to respond to
its comprehensive report it submitted to the Attorney General naming more
than 200 MDC supporters who were murdered by known ZANU-PF activists in the
country’s controversial June 27 2008 presidential run off election.
The party’s Head of Administration Toendepi Shonhe told ZimEye in an
exclusive interview that they were worried by the AG’s office’s
reluctance to respond to the allegations they submitted last year.
“We have not yet received any response to the dossier which has names
of perpetrators of political violence despite concerted efforts to do so.
“We thought our issue was serious and needed urgent attention by the
Attorney General Mr. Johannes Tomana to whom we addressed the matter to. We
also blame the government and the Joint monitoring and Implementation
Commission as well as the negotiators in the inclusive government for
failing to realise the urgency of the case. We do not understand the
reason why JOMIC which is supposed to monitor the implementation of GPA is
silent over this matter.
“We wonder how the programme of national healing is going to be
accepted by the people when justice has failed to take its course in
the first place,” said Shonhe.
MDC Director of security Kisimusi Ndhlamini who compiled the dossier which
implicates hundreds of ZANU-activists, uniformed soldiers and the
revolutionary party’s senior members in the murder of over 200 MDC
supporters after the country’s March 2008 harmonized elections in which
President Mugabe lost to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said was
disappointed by the state actions of trying to silence him from pushing
for the prosecution of perpetrators of June 27 2008 political violence.
“Threats by the police and the Attorney general to prosecute me for exposing
political violence cases are not going to silence. I am still waiting to
get the response to the report I made direct to AG Mr. Tomana. What has
happened is only a nine hour long uncomfortable interview with the police
threatening and nothing else,” said Ndhlamini.
Contacted through the phone for comment on the progress in the matter
Attorney General Johannes Tomana professed ignorance over the matter.
“What are you talking about? I am not aware of such a report coming to
my attention,” said Tomana before terminating the call.
A political analyst who declined to be named said Government should not
proceed with any programme before addressing important issues such as
national healing and prosecution of June 27 2008 political violence
“The inclusive government is not being honest to the people. There is need
to address issues like national healing before anything else as clearly
stated in the GPA. There were so many false starts in this coalition
government and such things need to rectified, because there is no need for
moving forward when we are having a shacking foundation,” said the
by Own Correspondent Saturday 09 January 2010
HARARE – Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party on Friday
again ruled out leaving a coalition government it formed nearly a year ago
with once long time rival President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF party,
saying any differences will be solved.
The announcement by the MDC comes ahead of the resumption of inter-party
talks between the coalition partners next Saturday, nearly three weeks after
the parties failed to resolve a power-sharing dispute threatening their
“The government is not going to collapse, the inclusive government is not
going to collapse,” said MDC deputy chief negotiator Elton Mangoma.
“As far as the MDC is concerned, we are not going to pull out. We are the
people who won the election, it's up to ZANU PF if they want to pull out of
government, but we will not pull out.
“The weekend of the 16th we will resume the dialogue process we were engaged
in and we hope that we will then be ready to give full report to our
principals and the facilitators to take whatever additional action is
The 11-month old government has done well to stabilise Zimbabwe’s economy
and end inflation that was estimated at more than a trillion percent at the
height of the country’s economic meltdown last year.
As a result living conditions for ordinary Zimbabweans have greatly improved
compared to 2008 when the country battled shortages of cash, fuel and every
basic survival commodity.
But unending bickering between ZANU PF and MDC as well as the coalition
government’s inability to secure direct financial support from rich Western
nations have held back the administration’s efforts to rebuild the economy.
The MDC accuses Mugabe of flouting the global political agreement that gave
birth to the unity government after the veteran leader refused to rescind
his unilateral appointment of two of his allies to the key posts of central
bank governor and attorney general.
Mugabe has also refused to swear in MDC treasurer Roy Bennett as deputy
agriculture minister and to appoint members of Tsvangirai’s party as
On its part ZANU PF insists it has done the most to uphold the power-sharing
deal and instead accuses the MDC of reneging on promises to campaign for
lifting of Western sanctions on Mugabe and his top allies.
Mangoma however downplayed the differences saying these can easily be
“Politically, to expect that there will not be disagreements will be naive,
but I don't think we are going to have disagreements which are beyond
The Southern African Development Community that facilitated the
power-sharing agreement in Zimbabwe is expected to step in to save the unity
government from disintegrating should the Harare parties formally declare a
deadlock in negotiations. – ZimOnline
by Own Correspondent Saturday 09 January 2010
JOHANNESBURG – International trade watchdog Global Witness on Friday
welcomed the cancellation of a planned diamond auction by Zimbabwe’s
government but warned that the country must demonstrate commitment to clean
up its diamond sector.
"We are pleased that the auction has been suspended but disappointed that
the Zimbabwean authorities did not communicate their plans in advance to
KPCS (Kimberley Process Certification Scheme) bodies,” said Global Witness
diamond campaigner Annie Dunnebacke in a statement.
The Zimbabwe government on Thursday blocked mining firm Mbada Investments
from auctioning diamonds from the country’s Marange claims saying no germs
from the controversial field could be sold without certification by the
"If rough diamonds from Marange had been exported from Zimbabwe without
prior inspection by a Kimberley Process monitor, then Zimbabwe would have
been in clear violation of the action plan they agreed to at the plenary
session in November,” Dunnebacke said.
“We are deeply concerned at Zimbabwe's complete lack of engagement with the
Kimberley Process since last year's plenary session. Their silence
jeopardises the success of the action plan and the viability of a clean
future for the Zimbabwean diamond industry."
Mbada Investments, a joint-venture between the government’s Zimbabwe Mining
Development Corporation and little-known South African company Core Mining,
had planned to auction 300 000 carats of diamonds from Marange which is also
know as Chiadzwa.
But mines ministry officials halted the sale because the diamonds had not
been certified by the KP which regulates the world diamond trade.
Marange is one of the world’s most controversial diamond fields with reports
that soldiers sent to guard the claims after the government took over the
field in October 2006 from London-based mining company – African
Consolidated Resources (ACR) – committed gross human rights abuses against
illegal miners who had descended on the field.
On Thursday ACR, which holds right of title to claims on the Marange diamond
field, warned international diamond traders against buying Marange germs
saying they are “stolen”.
International rights groups have been pushing for a ban on Zimbabwean
diamonds but in November, Zimbabwe escaped a KP ban despite calls for the
country to be suspended over abuses in Marange, with the global body giving
Harare a June 2010 deadline to make reforms to comply with its regulations.
Global Witness fights corrupt exploitation of natural resources and
campaigns against resource-linked conflict as well as human rights and
environmental abuses. – ZimOnline
Sources in Harare said the diamond auction was halted after Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai raised concerns in a letter sent to Acting Mines Minister
Emmerson Mnangagwa, instructing him to halt the sale
Gibbs Dube | Washington 08 January 2010
Many questions remained on Friday following the cancellation this week of a
proposed auction of 300,000 carats of diamonds from the Marange field in the
east of the country where human rights abuses have been alleged triggering
action by the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme.
Sources in Harare said the auction was halted on Thursday after Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai raised concerns in a letter sent to acting Mines
Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, instructing him to halt the sale.
VOA was unable to obtain further comment from Mnangagwa on Friday, but he
said Thursday that that the government was not informed about the sale until
press reports brought it to light.
Lawmaker Pearson Mungofa, who sits on the Parliamentary Committee on Mines,
Energy, Tourism and Minerals, said all sales of Zimbabwean diamonds should
be halted until it has been confirmed that Kimberly Process rules for export
of the gems are being observed.
Mungofa, a House member for Highfield, Harare, and a member of Mr.
Tsvangirai's formation of the Movement for Democratic Change, said his
committee was surprised to hear of the auction called by Mbada Diamonds, a
firm authorized by Harare to exploit the Marange field.
The legislator said the circumstances surrounding the proposed auction
remained unclear but it seemed that it was intended to benefit certain
people in the government and not Zimbabwean taxpayers.
Mungofa told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that Mbada should not be
allowed to sell diamonds until all Kimberly procedures are in place.
"We need the Kimberley process to be followed because if we don't do that
Zimbabweans will not benefit from these illegal deals," said Mungofa.
Human rights advocacy group Global Witness welcomed Harare's decision to
cancel the diamond auction, but said Zimbabwe must take concrete steps to
show it is committed to cleaning up the diamond sector or risk suspension
from the Kimberly Certification Process. The Kimberly process has raised a
red flag in the matter, though it declined in November to suspend Zimbabwe.
Deputy Mines Minister Murisi Zwizwai said Zimbabwe was supposed to ask the
Kimberly Process to appoint a monitor for export sales when the country was
ready to sell Marange output, but this had not been done.
Zwizwai said it was still premature to hold an auction in light of all the
issues surrounding diamonds coming out of the Marange alluvial field.
The deputy minister said it has been problematic to pull the military out of
the area as private companies lack the means to seal off diamond deposits.
Global Witness campaigner Anne Dunnebacke told VOA Studio 7 reporter
Blessing Zulu that the army was continuing to perpetrate human rights abuses
in Marange. Human Rights Watch issued a report several months ago charging
that the military had killed some 200 people in the district, among other
abuses including the alleged use of forced labor to extract diamonds
Harare, January 09, 2010 - Mbada Diamonds officials say villagers displaced
by their mining venture will be compensated through provision of better
accommodation and health facilities in Odzi and will not be given money.
Mbada Diamonds Chairman Robert Mhlanga told Radio VOP: "The villagers are
going to be occupying better facilities compared to where they are staying
now. We are taking them to a place where there will be better school, health
facilities and they will be having access to irrigable land."
The company, which was stopped to sell its diamonds by auction this week by
the government, is facing stiff resistance from the villagers who are
demanding compensation before they can be relocated. Some of the villagers
argue that they have built very expensive houses in the area and they cannot
have them destroyed without getting paid.
Newman Chiadzwa who represented the villagers at the High Court challenging
the evictions put the value of his house in the rural diamond rich areas at
Mhlanga said the facilities that they were putting up were much better
compared to the huts the majority of the villagers were staying in. The
company is building five-roomed houses for the villagers at ARDA-Transau
farm near Mutare for the 1 800 families who are affected by the mining
operations. About 200 houses will be built a month.
"The company has also undertaken a massive housing project and crop input
scheme for the relocated families from the Chiadzwa and Marange areas worth
millions of dollars," said Mhlanga adding that villagers who have had their
farming period affected by the relocations would be provided with food aid.
"We are going to make sure that the villagers do not starve as we will be
providing grain to the need."
Johannesburg - Zimbabwe's military still appears to control large swaths of
a major diamond field, where soldiers are accused of forcing civilians to
mine the gems, a rights group said on Friday.
Global Witness, a British-based group that monitors the exploitation of
natural resources, welcomed Zimbabwe's decision to halt a diamond auction on
Thursday, saying the sale would have violated international rules meant to
stem the trade in "blood diamonds".
Elly Harrowell, a campaigner on conflict diamonds, said that Global Witness
did not believe statements by Zimbabwe's mines minister Obert Mpofu who said
that soldiers and police had withdrawn from the fields in November.
"We would not take as credible as the statement made by minister Mpofu," she
"Our information shows that that is not true. What we think is likely that
the military has withdrawn from two small areas," she said.
The eastern Marange diamond fields cover some 66 000 hectares, but the gems
were only discovered there in 2006.
"Given its past history, it's very likely that the military is still there,"
Harrowell said. "It's very likely that they're still forcing local people
into mining syndicates."
Global Witness had pushed for a ban on Zimbabwe's international sales over
the abuses at Marange, after a Kimberley investigation documented
"unacceptable and horrific violence against civilians by authorities",
including forced labour, torture and beatings by soldiers against villagers.
Instead, Zimbabwe was given until June to comply with Kimberley's
The government says two South African firms now run Marange. The companies
had tried to begin auctioning the diamonds on Thursday, until the government
suspended the sale.
Written by John Chimunhu
Saturday, 09 January 2010 17:12
GOROMONZI -- Auxillia Chonyera breaks down in tears as she relates the dire
state of affairs at Mbuya Nehanda orphanage, set up by the late Sally Mugabe
24 years ago. (Pictured: Sally Mugabe - Was touched by the plight of street
Chonyera, the assistant matron of the orphanage, relates vividly the horrors
she and more than 100 children faced in 2008 after the government failed to
provide assistance as expected. The orphanage degenerated into a
Dickens-style homeless centre where the children would go for days without
food and many died due to nutrition-related complications and other
"There was no food and we used to fight a lot. Some of the bigger boys would
beat you and take the little food that you were given and you would go to
bed hungry," said one of the children.
Chonyera said: "Sometimes a well-wisher would provide some vegetables but
there was no mealie meal and the children would go to bed after eating
vegetables only. It was heart-rending."
She said many of the children coming to the home had already been weakened
by living on the streets, which is why they succumbed to diseases. Many were
emotionally unstable after suffering sexual and other forms of abuse on the
A lot of them did not trust or respect authority and were sure they had been
brought here to be starved to death as punishment for their crime of
"vagrancy" and begging on the streets of Harare. Many of the children fled
back onto the dirty streets to scavenge for scraps of food, even if that
meant losing a roof over their heads.
Hastily set up as a children's home some 35 kilometres east of Harare in
1986 by the former First Lady and former Harare mayor Charles Tawengwa to
rid the streets of homeless children ahead of an international conference,
the orphanage initially received widespread condemnation from rights groups.
Many suspected the children were being taken to a labour farm similar to
those set up in the Soviet Union during the days of communism. A lot of the
children rounded up fled soon after being deposited at home set up on a farm
previously used by demobilised female combatants of Zimbabwe's 1970s
The official version of events, still touted to this day, is that out of
compassion, the then First Lady decided to host a Christmas Party for the
children. It is claimed that many of the children who attended the party
decided to stay on at the farm as they had nowhere else to go.
That is far from the truth. The correct version, verified by experts at the
time, was that the government was nervous about the ugly state of Harare as
it prepared to host an international conference.
According to this version of events, officials were worried that foreign
dignitaries would be exposed to beggars, thieves and vagrants, giving a bad
impression of the Mugabe and his government. Tawengwa, it is said, then
masterminded a clean-up of the capital's streets. This resulted in dozens of
children being arrested in a joint city council-police operation.
However, following protests that the children's rights had been violated as
they had been removed to a place far from their original location, churches
were allowed to take part in running the institution. They provided food,
counseling and education. But most of groups that used to assist the
children's home have long since stopped.
According to a recent UN World Food Programme report, the orphanage was able
then to sustain itself through farming operations.
The report says: "From the time the institution started operating as a
children's home in 1997, it was self-sufficient, operating lucrative
piggery, poultry and cattle-rearing.
"Crop production was also a major source of food and income since the
institution is sitting on a 12-hectare farm that was donated to the First
Lady at the time by a white commercial farmer. Proceeds from the farm's
diversified activities were enough to cover all the requirements for the
institution, from salaries for employees to food, fees and clothes for the
inmates amongst other costs."
The situation changed drastically in 2000 after the government initiated its
controversial land reform programme.
"Activities took a downturn after the departure of the British-born farm
manager during 2000 land seizures. Production ceased, farming equipment and
animals were stolen and vandalised and considerable donations stopped since
the farm manager was also instrumental in sourcing funding from donors. On
the other hand, contributions from central government were eroded by
inflation," the WFP report says.
The relief agency adds that unfavourable weather conditions in combination
with lack of technical farming skills, shortage of agricultural inputs
worsened the situation as crop yields were drastically reduced.
The home had to rely on a market riddled with shortages for supplies. When
the food supply situation improved, they still faced shortages of hard
currency to buy food.
"The home survived on begging from local farmers, churches and well-wishers
but donations were not enough to feed over 100 people housed in the home
whilst employees went for months without salaries. As a result, food
security at the home continued to deteriorate, justifying the intervention
by WFP through its co-operating partner Help Age Zimbabwe," the report said.
World Food Programme
The WFP working with partner organisations has since stepped into to assist
the 115 children staying at the Nehanda home. Each of the children at
Nehanda receives a monthly ration of cereals, pulses, vegetable oil and corn
soya blend, an enriched flour used to make nutritious porridge.
Although food shortages now appear to be a thing of the past at the centre,
the home is still saddled with numerous problems. Deaths and illness remain
the biggest concern, with officials saying many of the children are already
infected with diseases by the time they move into the home.
"Many of the children are sick when they come here. You know how it is on
the street. Some are living with HIV/AIDS. Two boys who died here had been
sodomised and they were very sick when they came," Chonyera said.
Adonis Faifi, an official with the Help Age group said the children,
especially girls, lacked things that could make their lives more
comfortable, such as clothes and sanitary pads which food donors could not
provide, but which were essential for life.
Rodwell Chitewe, a worker at the farm for 19 years and now employed by the
orphanage showed this correspondent the horrific carnage caused by war
veterans and senior Zanu (PF) officials.
"We used to grow maize, beans and vegetables for our own consumption and for
sale. In 2002 we used to have 38 cattle, mostly dairy cows. We could sell
the milk and buy vaccines and other supplies. Today we are left with four
cows producing only 10 litres of milk a day. Many of our calves die because
we cannot afford vaccines," said Chitewe.
Saturday, January 09, 2010
By Felex Share and Lloyd Gumbo
Shops in Harare have raised prices of school uniforms and other school items
claiming manufacturers hiked prices but the manufacturers deny this.
Most parents buying school uniforms ahead of the opening of schools on
Tuesday, were surprised to find prices had gone up after the festive
Shopping around can, however, get round the price rises and some parents now
want to buy direct from the manufacturers.
On average, manufacturers are selling to retailers a full set of primary
school uniforms for both boys and girls for between US$5 and US$8 while a
complete secondary school uniform cost between US$10 and US$12.
But a survey by The Herald this week showed a set of uniforms for Grade One
boys, which cost less than US$20 before Christmas, had since gone up between
US$20 and US$25.
Retailers buy shorts for US$4 and pay US$7 for a pair of trousers to
School jerseys were going for between US$20 and US$25 while sports T-shirts
and shorts cost US$10 in most shops.
Blazers, which shops buy from manufacturers at US$26 each, are costing
Sales staff at OK, Enbee and Bays yesterday blamed the price increases on
"Prices are going up because our suppliers have also increased their prices.
They are saying importing the fabric was expensive, so we have had to
increase our prices as well," said a worker at OK.
However, manufactureres denied the claims saying the retailers were still
living in the era of profiteering.
"Despite the fact that we are importing fabric for school uniforms, our
prices have remained the same for the past eight months because fabric
prices are determined by world cotton prices, which have been constant of
late," said an official at Spinweave, who declined to be named.
David Whitehead spokesperson Mr Partson Ndlovu accused those manufacturers
who were importing fabric from Asian countries of "milking" customers of
their hard-earned cash.
"We have not been producing school prints of late because of the
deregulation of the cotton industry by the Government. This led to fabric
materials from Asia flooding the market and the consumers are being milked.
"This has resulted in these price distortions which are now affecting our
people," said Mr Ndlovu.
An official from the Enbee public relations department yesterday
acknowledged that some prices had been adjusted upwards.
"The trend has always been that whenever demand for such products increases
prices also go up. But if you take a closer look, you'll notice that most of
our prices have remained static," he said in a telephone interview.
The prices of some goods imported from South
Africa or those containing a high percentage of South African inputs might
have legitimately gone up because the rand has been strengthening against
the US dollar.
But it appears from manufacturers' comments that such cases are now rare
Parents and guardians who spoke to The Herald this week said the price
distortions defied logic, prompting some of them to deal directly with the
manufacturers to beat the price increases.
Investigations also revealed that some manufacturers were not producing the
entire range of uniforms because of the unavailability of material after
David Whitehead stopped producing to water shortages in Kadoma.
Despite the outcry over prices, parents and guardians were yesterday still
buying uniforms, groceries and educational materials for their children.
Parents also decried the fact that some schools were putting pressure on
them to buy uniforms from specific shops, which charged higher prices.
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe director Ms Rosemary Siyachitema said the
consumer rights watchdog was disturbed by the sudden increase in the prices
of school uniforms and urged parents to shop around.
"We conducted a quick survey in uniform shops among them Enbee, Metro,
Barbours and Bays and we found that the prices of blazers had gone up
compared to last year. Last year blazers were costing US$30, but they are
now at US$40.
"The same applies to school shoes, which we believe have unrealistic prices.
For instance, a pair of shoes is costing about US$35 with shop owners
arguing that the shoes are being imported from South Africa.
"We can only urge parents to shop around before settling for a product. They
should check other shops because they might be cheaper there," said Ms
Harare, January 08, 2010 - Immigration officials at Beitbridge are arresting
an average 80 people a day, mostly Zimbabweans, at the border post for using
South African fake passports.
A spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs, Siobhan McCarthy said
they had intensified the investigations in which they were mainly targeting
Beitbridge and Lebombo border posts with Mozambique, which are reportedly
the busiest entry points.
"We are getting about 80 dubious South African passports a day at Beitbridge
Border Post alone," she said.
Those suspected of travelling on illegally acquired travel documents had
their passports taken while those allowed to proceed were given a slip with
a date on which to present themselves for an interview at Home Affairs' head
offices in Pretoria.
"We have stationed more officers on our borders with Mozambique and Zimbabwe
and we have intensified checks at those border posts in which we continue to
confiscate dozens of South African passports suspected to have been
fraudulently obtained with the help of corrupt officials from the
department. We have to do further investigations to establish how people got
fraudulent South African passports," she said.
However, Ms McCarthy said while the Home Affairs department routinely
launched major operations at the main border posts during Christmas and
Easter, this time officials were coming across an unusually large number of
dubious South African passports at the Beitbridge Border Post.
Ms McCarthy said such people had to be assumed to be South African citizens
until proven otherwise.
The blitz is part of that government's turnaround strategy to deal with
corruption, which has rocked its Home Affairs department. The Minister of
Home Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has since suspended 59 officials
from her department after they were implicated in the fraudulent
registration of foreigners, mainly from Pakistan.
Scores of Zimbabweans working in South Africa commonly known as injiva, who
had travelled home for the festive season, were left stranded at Beitbridge
Border Post after having been denied entry into South Africa for allegedly
using fraudulently acquired passports. Some had to resort to border jumping
while others opted to use the Botswana- South Africa route.
Harare, January 08, 2010 - A top Nestle official, Brinda Chiniah, quietly
sneaked into Zimbabwe this week as the Swiss multinational firm resumed
production after shutting down its production plant in Harare.
The visit coincided with the re-opening of the food manufacturer's factory.
Chiniah, who is based in Kenya where her office, the Nestlé Equatorial
African Region oversees the food giant's operations in 20 countries in
Africa, told this reporter that the visit was a standard visit to one of
"We very often conduct routine market visits and this is the purpose of my
current visit to Zimbabwe," Chiniah said to Radio VOP.
Nestle, which has operated in Zimbabwe for the past 50 years suspended
operations at its Harare factory as normal business was no longer possible
and the safety of its employees could not be guaranteed.
The multinational company which employs more than 200 people only resumed
operations last week following written assurances given by Industry and
Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube to guarantee the security of Nestlé
management and staff and not to interfere in the company's operating
The Swiss headquartered food manufacturer has since it established operation
in the country been working with the population of Zimbabwe and striving to
maintain a long-term viable operation in often challenging conditions.
USAID Harare Mission Director Karen Freeman said the grant reflects the U.S.
commitment to helping rebuild Zimbabwe's struggling agricultural sector
following a decade of land reform and a severe economic downturn
Patience Rusere | Washington 08 January 2010
The United States Agency for International Development has made US$14
million in grants available to Zimbabwean farmers to help them obtain the
inputs they need as well as extension services and training.
The USAID grant targets some 52,000 farmers in Zimbabwe and will be
distributed through seven non-governmental organizations.
USAID Mission Director Karen Freeman told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience
Rusere that the grant reflects the U.S. commitment to helping rebuild the
country's struggling agricultural sector.
The planting season for Zimbabwe's staple maize crop is well advanced, but
many small farmers are still putting in crops and applying fertilizer, which
has often been in short supply or out of reach for cash-strapped growers.
Written by STAFF REPORTER
Saturday, 09 January 2010 17:01
HARARE - More than 314 000 illegal Zimbabwean migrants were assisted at the
Beitbridge reception centre run by the International Organisation for
Migration (IOM) between 2006 and 2009 after being deported from South
This works out to an average of 7 300 individuals deported from South Africa
every month for the 43 months since the inception of the facility.
IOM also revealed last week that another 57 000 Zimbabwean migrantshave been
assisted between June 2008 and June last year at a similar centre it
operates at the Plumtree border with Botswana.
The figures reveal the stark reality of a nation in motion - thousands
of people leaving Zimbabwe daily in search of economic refuge in
The exodus has not relented despite the formation of a government of
national unity by the country's three main political parties 11 months
The IOM said the change in South African government policy allowing
for visa-free entry into the country resulting in an end to forced
returns has however reduced the number of deportations, forcing the
organisation to shift focus on assistance at Beitbridge to
information-dissemination, developing options for the sustainable
voluntary return of vulnerable migrants from South Africa and
assisting unaccompanied minors.
More than three million Zimbabweans have left the country for
neighbouring and Western countries since 2000 and most of them are
based in South Africa and Botswana.
Most of the migrants have no proper documentation and are often
deported back to Zimbabwe.
The Netherlands government came to the aid of IOM last week when it
unveiled new US$1.5 million funding to support the organisation's
humanitarian activities in Zimbabwe for a year.
The new funding would support activities carried out at the Beitbridge
and Plumtree reception and support centres where IOM offers returned
migrants with basic health care and referrals, information on safe
migration and the risks of HIV/AIDS as well as meals and
transportation assistance to final destinations home.
The funds would also support mobile clinics providing free medical
services and access to essential drugs in urban and peri-urban
settlements as well as the rehabilitation of water and sanitation
infrastructure in Zimbabwe which was badly hit by cholera in 2008.
"This new funding from the Dutch government will go a long way to
improving the quality of life for many people in need of assistance,"
said IOM chief of mission in Zimbabwe, Marcelo Pisani.
Harare, January 09, 2010 - Continued farm invasions as well as human and
property rights abuse by Zanu PF officials and their sympathisers are
frustrating international investors to Zimbabwe said the Commercial farmers
The Union's Vice President Deon Theron told Radio VOP: "We have not seen
much change in the farms since the inclusive government was formed. We
thought the formation of the coalition government was the beginning of
democracy in terms of respect of property rights and rule of law, but
the opposite is what is happening. This is counterproductive in a country
that was beginning to show positive move in its economy and has a negative
impact in the re-engagement with the international community.
"Investors now doubt to risk their investment in a country that has no
respect to property rights. We are disturbed very much to see that ...there
is no prosecution to such people who are violating the law."
Farm invasions by senior Zanu PF officials have continued with the latest
case being that of the Land Reform and State Security, Didymus Mutasa, who
together with his wife threatened a white commercial farmer, Gavin Woest,
with death telling him to leave in minutes last Saturday.
In Mashonaland West, Zanu PF chairman for land Temba Mliswa demanded
that black farmers leasing out land to whites should have their land
repossessed by the government.
Movement for Democratic Change party recently released a comprehensive
2009 report on the harassment of white farmers in the country despite the
formation of the inclusive government which guarantees respect to rule of
law and property rights. The report says 1400 cases of harassment of white
farmers were recorded and also indicates the names of senior Zanu PF
officials who have been driving the farm invasions.
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Written by Editor
Saturday, 09 January 2010 16:19
News that the main MDC formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has
launched a crusade to weed out corrupt elements within its ranks is most
welcome. It is the correct thing to do.
But the mere fact that people to whom denouncing President Robert Mugabe and
his corrupt Zanu (PF) party has become second nature would, within months of
getting into power, find themselves entangled in a web of allegations of
corruption involving some of their most senior cadres will - to say the
least -- come as a shock to Zimbabweans.
Granted, it is not everyone in the MDC-T who is being accused of corruption
and the fact that the party leadership has swiftly moved to probe suspects
is a good sign the larger organisation does not condone corruption.
But we were expecting that the MDC-T would be too busy at this point in time
probing Zanu (PF)'s corrupt activities of the past three decades and
gathering all the evidence for future reference.
We were wrong! It is the MDC-T legislators, councilors and ministers who
need to be investigated for taking bribes, flouting government tender
procedures and "falling for this culture of corruption", to use party's
spokesman Nelson Chamisa's words. What a shame!
Of course, in an organisation that in terms of support can easily claim to
be the largest political party in Zimbabwe there were always going to be
some crooked elements there and there.
But that is not a nearly good enough excuse for "the party of excellence"
that has built much of its support by opposing and speaking out against
corruption and misrule by Zanu (PF), the military and hangers-on of Mugabe's
Now the MDC-T must carry through its promise to act against corrupt elements
within its ranks. Those found guilty of corruption must be named, shamed and
dismissed or Tsvangirai and the MDC-T risk forfeiting the trust of
by Mutumwa Mawere Saturday 09 January 2010
OPINION: In Marxian political economy, class power, under a capitalist
system, refers to a situation where a minority in society controls the means
In colonial Africa, the control of resources was vested in the white settler
community and, therefore, the majority of the native population was forced
to eke a living from marginal resources that they were condemned to by the
The social classes that have evolved over the years in Africa have been
caused by the fundamental structure of work and property.
The social classes with greater power naturally attempt to cement their own
ranking above the lower classes in the social hierarchy.
It may also be argued that the stratification of societies is not
necessarily a bad development but is intrinsic to the structure of any human
society and to that extent is ineradicable.
Social classes with a great deal of power are usually viewed as "the elites"
within their own social formations.
The post-colonial era has generated a new class of natives whose values,
beliefs and principles are no different from those held by the former setter
Although classified as black, this new breed of powerful Africans to whom
the majority looks for leadership is less cohesive and organised as the
founding fathers of colonial Africa.
Knowledge of the interplay between race and class is critical in informing
choices about what kind of Africa we want to see.
Even in post-colonial Africa, class is a key feature of life and one's life
can be determined and shaped by it.
We often assumed that race alone determined one's class position.
Although race-based social stratification was rejected as a basis of a
sustainable social organisation, the post-colonial era has failed to
diminish the inherited class differences.
On the contrary, the poor remain poor with no significant movement in terms
of reducing the frontiers of poverty.
What kind of Africa do we want to see? A non-stratified society where every
individual has a roughly equal social standing in most situations? Would it
be healthy for Africa to have no classes?
What would be the incentive for people to excel if at the end of the day
they will occupy the same ground?
Class differences are healthy and inevitable in any human civilisation.
Poverty will not be reduced simply by eliminating the affluent classes.
Class power that is a consequence of a social contract that allows for
mobility is not necessarily a bad outcome.
As we look back at our past, we have no choice but to put ourselves in the
minds of the white settler class. What occupied their minds? Was it hate?
Even the naïve settler would have known that one day the natives would rise
up? If this were common cause, why then would they have bothered to build an
infrastructure to support a lifestyle that was not sustainable?
We have to understand our heritage in its proper context and content. At the
time of colonialism, natives were not sufficiently organised to defend
rights that were not legally defined.
The concepts of property and work during the pre-colonial era were
completely different from the ones the settlers were accustomed to.
If native civilisation was organised in a similar manner to the one the
settlers were used to, it would have been difficult to displace natives.
The mineral resources remained in their native form with little or no
organisation to explore and exploit them.
Education did play a part in attempting to bridge the gap between native and
white settler civilisations.
However, access to education was not universal and the few who managed to
access it automatically assumed new power positions in society.
Although education can play a critical role in removing class barriers it is
not a perfect instrument.
The white settler community was homogenous but had its own drivers of
change. These drivers of economic change understood that the source of their
power had to be underpinned by a market system. They had no one to look up
to as a guarantor of a life style they were accustomed to.
Such a system could not guarantee a seamless transfer of power as each
generation had an obligation to prove itself.
A market system can be rewarding for the daring and innovative.
Class power in a market system has its own peculiar features.
It must be based on market performance and on the cardinal principle of
exchange based on the participation of willing parties.
Such power can be transmitted from generation to generation as long as value
is exchange through a system intermediated by cash.
If the market is willing to pay for the goods produced and sold then the
seller becomes rich. In doing so, the seller becomes powerful because he/she
has more degrees of freedom in terms of choices.
An Africa that works for all has to inspire those that are less fortunate.
This can best be done through the intermediation of the market.
Human history has not produced any better system than one that ensures that
resources are allocated through a market system.
Although class has a direct consequence on lifestyle i.e. tastes,
preferences and a general style of living, there is nothing inevitable in a
A poor person can scale the heights in as much as an affluent person can
If the market system cannot guarantee anything to participants, it must
necessarily be a system that should inform our choices as move forward.
Property only has meaning in an environment in which the rule of law is
respected. Equally, human beings can sell their time in a system that
respects the law.
As a founding member of Africa Heritage Society
www.africaheritagerivonia.com, I knew that Africa's better days could only
come if we invested in the kind of society that we want to see.
This can only be best done if we take time to understand the human mind and
what inspires it.
We knew that if the powerful people behaved as if they were powerless then
the powerless would have no hope. The powerful must use their power so that
those who do not have power can feel the difference.
Class difference can, therefore, be healthy for any society. What is needed
is that we invest in transparent systems that allow people to move up and
down the opportunity ladder of life. - ZimOnline