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Talks delayed again as ZANU PF negotiators fail to pitch

By Tichaona Sibanda
18 January 2010

ZANU PF negotiators Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche failed to attend
Monday's rescheduled start of the Global Political Agreement talks.

Talks were supposed to have restarted on Saturday but were postponed to
Monday because of the absence of ZANU PF negotiator Nicholas Goche who was
in Tanzania, reportedly on government business.

MDC-M lead negotiator Welshman Ncube confirmed to SW Radio Africa on Monday
that the talks were due to begin on Monday evening but ruled out any time
frame or deadline for the negotiations. Ncube told us the talks were due to
start at 6pm. But at 7pm we contacted Elton Mangoma, the co-negotiator from
the MDC-T, who told us of the no-show by Chinamasa and Goche.

'There are no talks tonight. We were supposed to have started but there is
no-one from ZANU PF,' Magoma confirmed.

Earlier on Monday Ncube had told us of the difficulties they were facing
during negotiations.'Things are not easy during these talks. We constantly
hear of deadlines or time frames from the media whenever we meet but I can
assure you that there are no such things as deadlines or time frames. The
key is to find a solution and not put ourselves under pressure to work on a
timeline,' Ncube said.

'Even if there is a deadlock or conflict we still must come up with a
solution to that problem for the sake of progress so that's why I'm saying
these talks are not easy at all,' Ncube added.

While Ncube's statement appears to be a message for Zimbabweans to be
patient, a former militant student leader, Promise Mkwananzi, told us the
three political parties lack conviction for an agreement in the prolonged

'Unfortunately the belligerents' current lack of confidence in each other
makes for slow progress in the GPA talks and for an end to hostilities in
the country,' Mkwananzi said.

The talks, supported by SADC and facilitated by South African President
Jacob Zuma, have failed to find a comprehensive resolution to the
outstanding issues in the GPA. The impasse continues to be the failure by
Mugabe and his ZANU PF party to implement in full the GPA reached with the
two MDC formations in September 2008.

Tsvangirai objects in particular to Mugabe's unilateral re-appointment of
Gideon Gono as Governor of the central bank and Johannes Tomana as
Attorney-General. Gono is regarded as being directly responsible for the
destruction of the economy and for helping to fund the repression. Tomana
has been one of the main architects of the ongoing harassment of MDC and
human rights activists.

Other issues at stake include the appointment of provisional governors, and
the delay in swearing in MDC treasurer Roy Bennett, who is the nominee for
the post of deputy Agriculture Minister.

Mkwananzi condemned the delays which have for so long blighted attempts to
resolve the remaining issues, adding that Zimbabweans were becoming
increasingly restive over the slow pace of the negotiations.

'You get a negotiator like Goche failing to turn up for the talks and yet
all the parties knew they would begin on Saturday. It exposes the reluctance
or the partial commitment on the part of ZANU PF to implement the GPA in its
true spirit and form. It also vindicates those who suspected or feared that
ZANU PF would not be willing to work alongside other political parties to
implement the GPA,' Mkwananzi said.
The former ZINASU student leader said comments attributed to Zuma, that
Morgan Tsvangirai should be flexible on some of the issues in the GPA, were
'If anything it should be Robert Mugabe who should be flexible because he
lost the elections. Tsvangirai won the elections and SADC or anyone else
should not be arm twisting him to capitulate to ZANU PF demands. It should
be the other way round,' he said.

Mkwananzi added; 'I can tell you right now that here in Zimbabwe there is a
lot of agitation, people of Zimbabwe have become impatient and restive. All
they want is a speedy implementation of the GPA and if this is done it would
open a lot of doors in terms of economic opportunities and economic
prosperities for Zimbabweans.'
Zuma is reportedly now pushing for the holding of fresh elections in
Zimbabwe as the only way out of continuous disagreements by the parties.
Media reports over the weekend said Zumas plan was already at an advanced
stage and that he would propose that Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara
'park' some of the outstanding issues and concentrate on those that would
affect the holding of elections.
Zuma is reportedly now convinced that the only way out is an election, to
be held in 2011, as agreed when the inclusive government was formed in 2008.

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Woza Members Arrested

Harare, January 18, 2010 - Three members of Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise
(WOZA) including a journalist were on Monday arrested in Harare after
marching to the Ministry of Education to hand over their report on the
education system in Zimbabwe entitled - Looking Back to look Forward.

The report covers recommendations and a list of demands that parents want
addressed by the Minister of Education, Senator David Coltart.

"Police interrupted the peaceful demonstration, arresting three people, a
woman and two men. One of the men is an accredited journalist that was
covering the march. It is possible that there may be more arrests however as
at the time of this release, riot police were still actively stopping any
group of people walking together in central Harare and interrogating them,"
said a statement by WOZA.

"As is standard WOZA practice, three separate demonstrations started
simultaneously and converged on the Ministry of Education offices. Two of
the groups, approximately 250 people, managed to reach the Ministry offices;
the third demonstration was broken up by riot police before it could arrive
at the Ministry. It is still unclear how many people, if any, were arrested
during this process."

"On arrival at the Ministry, a small delegation went to meet with the
Minister, Senator David Coltart, to give him a copy of the report. Before he
could come downstairs to address the peaceful group outside, a truckload of
riot police arrived, beating their baton sticks on their shields. The
journalist and the man were arrested at this point and the rest of the group
dispersed. The woman who is currently under arrest was arrested near
Parliament, over a block away from the Ministry of Education," continued the

Lawyers had been informed and were expected to go to Harare central Police

Teachers have threatened a strike, with some having been on go-slow last
week. They are demanding a salary increase of USD 600. The government says
it is in the red and cannot afford such salaries.


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Journalist arrested for filming WOZA demo

By Violet Gonda
18 January 2010

Freelance photo-journalist Shadreck Andrison Manyere, plus two other people,
were arrested in Harare on Monday after police broke up a peaceful
demonstration organised by the pressure group Women of Zimbabwe Arise. WOZA
was protesting against exorbitant school fees and the crumbling education

Previously Manyere was among a group of individuals, including activists and
civic leaders, abducted from their homes by state agents in 2008. The
political detainees spent several months in detention on charges of plotting
to destabilise the former ZANU PF government. He is currently out on bail
together with six other co-accused, including MDC officials Ghandi Mudzingwa
and Chris Dhlamini.

This time around, the photo-journalist is being accused of filming the WOZA
demonstration. The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said in a
statement: "The police are also accusing Comfort Nyakura, who is employed by
Jameson Hotel, of taking pictures using his mobile phone during the
demonstration, while Tabeth Chatanda, who claimed to have been on her way to
Parirenyatwa Hospital is accused of taking part in the demonstration."

Members of Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise had marched to the Ministry of
Education to deliver their report on the failing education system in
Zimbabwe entitled: Looking Back to look Forward.

Such is the level of decay in education even the state controlled Sunday
Mail had no choice but to report that rural schools recorded a zero percent
pass rate for Grade Seven exams. It is not known how the bankrupt government
is going to achieve the mammoth task of resuscitating what used to be one of
the best education systems in Africa.

WOZA says it wanted to present the report on the crisis in the education
sector (containing recommendations and a list of demands from parents) to
Education Minister David Coltart, but riot police disrupted the
demonstration. The pressure group said:  "On arrival at the Ministry a small
delegation went to meet with the Minister Senator David Coltart, to give him
a copy of the report. Before he could come downstairs to address the
peaceful group outside, a truckload of riot police arrived, beating their
baton sticks on their shields. The journalist and the man were arrested at
this point and the rest of the group dispersed. The woman who is currently
under arrest was arrested near parliament, over a block away from the
Ministry of Education."

The media watchdog, MISA-Zimbabwe, said the disturbing development 'comes
barely three days after a senior freelance journalist Stanley Kwenda fled
the country after he was allegedly phoned and threatened with death by a
senior police officer'. It is reported the journalist fled the country after
he was called on his mobile by the police officer, over a story published in
The Zimbabwean newspaper.

The arrests and intimidation of journalists and activists are in gross
violation of the Global Political Agreement signed in September 2008 by ZANU
PF and the MDC formations, which guarantees freedom of assembly and
association, and all parties also promised to provide a free media

Kumbirai Mafunda, the communications officer for Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights, told SW Radio Africa that like most media practitioners in Zimbabwe,
photo-journalist Manyere holds expired accreditation, issued by the now
defunct Tafataona Mahoso led, Media and Information Commission. The MIC fell
away with the signing of the GPA in 2008 and it has taken well over a year
to appoint the Zimbabwe Media Commission to replace it. The list of
commissioners was only confirmed on 22nd December 2009 and they are still to
be sworn in.  Nonetheless Mafunda said the police were asking Manyere why he
was moving around with an expired card, even though the new accreditation
process has not started and journalists have no option.

A WOZA statement issued late Monday said Manyere had been released with a
caution, but the other two will spend the night in police custody at Harare
Central Police Station. The group said it is unclear what the two will be
charged with.

In other news, the terrorism trial of MDC Treasurer General Roy Bennett
continued in the High Court on Monday, where the prosecution is making moves
to impeach its own key witness, Peter Michael Hitschmann, for allegedly
making contradicting statements. Hitschmann is saying there are no
inconsistencies as he was tortured into implicating the MDC official. High
Court Judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu deferred a ruling on the matter to


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Journalist released; two detained overnight

Written by The Zimbabwean
Monday, 18 January 2010 17:15
WOZA can confirm that one woman and one man, arrested earlier today after a
peaceful protest to the Minister of Education, will spend the night in
police custody at Harare Central Police Station.

The woman, Thabita Taona, is a WOZA member. The man, Comfort Nyakura, was
arrested after taking a photograph of the demonstration with the camera on
his mobile phone. The third person arrested, journalist Andrison Manyere,
was released earlier this afternoon with a caution. Lawyers from Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) are in attendance. It is unclear at this
stage what the two will be charged with.
It is not the first time that WOZA members have been arrested for asking for
a better education for their children. The last time WOZA protested
peacefully at the Ministry of Education in February 2009, they were brutally
beaten by riot police and five members arrested. Nor is it the first time
that a bystander has been arrested for merely observing a WOZA
As with the demonstration in Bulawayo last week, the peaceful protestors
received great encouragement from bystanders, both along the route and
outside the Ministry. In fact, it is believed that Ministry officials were
on their way to join the demonstration when the riot police arrived. Even
the soldiers outside the Ministry of Defence next door to the Ministry of
Education were vocal in their encouragement to the demonstrators. As the
group sang 'tinoda dzidzo' (we want education), bystanders were overheard
congratulating the WOZA members for speaking out about this issue that is
close to the heart of every Zimbabwean.

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Invaded Rusape farming family in crisis

By Alex Bell
18 January 2010

Concerns have been raised about the welfare of a Rusape commercial farming
family, barricaded inside their home by land invaders who have also cut off
the farm's electricity and water supplies.

Koos Smit and his family have faced a worsening crisis on their De Rust
tobacco farm after it was invaded by a mob of youths, reportedly working for
a ZANU PF official known only as Mr Mukomo. The youths were bused onto the
property last Tuesday to forcibly evict the family, beating up the family's
workers as well as the twin Smit sons. The mob also threatened a news crew
from the Standard newspaper, who were on the property trying to interview
the workers. The news service reported this weekend how the news crew was
also "at the mercy of the marauding invaders."

"In an episode reminiscent of the violent 2000 land invasions, the group
advanced towards the news crew threatening violence," the Standard reported.

The Smit family meanwhile has been barricaded inside their house, with no
electricity or running water, dwindling food supplies, and no access to
their livestock, which is also suffering. The MDC's Manicaland MP, Pishai
Muchauraya, expressed his fears to SW Radio Africa on Monday, explaining how
the family is still trapped inside their home. He said that he has been
unable to visit the family or intervene to try help them "because the whole
area is being guarded by youth militia."

"I am very concerned because this cannot go on much longer," Muchauraya

Muchauraya explained that the land attacks in his constituency have been
masterminded by Temba Mliswa, the ZANU PF secretary for lands in Mashonaland
West, as well as former lands Minister Didymus Mutasa. It is well known that
Mutasa already has more than 10 farms in the Rusape area, while Mliswa
recently led an invasion on Pete Landos' farm, which reportedly has been
earmarked for Mliswa's brother. Landos meanwhile has remained voluntarily
locked away in his property for fear of land invaders.

"People must be aware now that these land attacks have nothing to do with
land reform or redistribution," Muchauraya said. "This is only about ZANU PF
officials looting and stealing."

The Smits are the latest family to come under siege in the Rusape area,
where in recent weeks a number of mainly South African farming families have
been forcibly evicted from their land. Dolf du Toit and his family left
their property recently after days of violence and intimidation. Their
forced eviction came in the wake of two other evictions, including that of
Manda Farm's Ray Finaughty, who fled his home with his family on Christmas
Eve amid increasing violence by land invaders.

The evictions have come just weeks after South Africa and Zimbabwe signed a
bilateral investment protection agreement, meant to offer the farmers some
form of protection against invasion. Pressure group AfriForum had originally
tried to stop the signing of the document, over fears it would fail those
South African farmers whose land had already been expropriated under the
land grab campaign. But the South African government made assurances that it
would protect its citizens in Zimbabwe, and as a result the investment pact
was eventually signed. Both governments have since argued that the document
is not yet valid because it hasn't been ratified in the Zimbabwe parliament,
leaving the South African farmers with no protection.

The Zimbabwe government is now set to be sued by Afriforum over the illegal
and ongoing seizure of South African owned land. Last week, the group won a
high court bid to serve papers on Zimbabwe, in an effort to enforce a 2008
regional ruling declaring the Robert Mugabe's land 'reform' exercise as
unlawful. The ruling was passed by the human rights court of the Southern
African Development Community (SADC), which ordered the government to
protect white farmers and the rights to their land. But the ruling has been
ignored in Zimbabwe where land attacks are once again intensifying, and
AfriForum is seeking to have the ruling enforced from within South Africa.

On Sunday, the South African government confirmed that it was in contact
with Zimbabwean authorities over "issues raised by the South African
citizens residing in Zimbabwe." A statement from the Department of
International Relations and Cooperation explained that it will continue to
offer consular assistance to all South African citizens "who might have been
affected by any unfortunate circumstances that are beyond their control."
The statement does not refer directly to the ongoing farm attacks that have
left the farming community reeling, but it does call for 'patience', asking
"those who have been affected to remain calm as we progressively address
their plight in light of these prevailing circumstances until things return
to normality." It is an extremely carefully worded document.

Meanwhile, a new wave of farm invasions has also hit Matabeleland North,
where there have been at least 12 evictions and widespread theft of farming
equipment. According to the Southern African Commercial Farmers Alliance
(SACFA), Zimbabwe chapter, at least 12 properties have been targeted in the
past week: in Nyamandhlovu, Dilkosch, Shirville and Kennellys; in Inyathi
the farms targeted are Oscardale, Nanhurst, Riverside and Riverbank, and in
Bulawayo Central constituency, Kloof Farm.

SACFA's Chairman Chris Jarrett told SW Radio Africa that a certain 'modus
operandi' is being followed with each eviction. He explained how each
affected property was visited by a Mr Dube from the Ministry of Lands,
accompanied by various civil servants with the back-up of police. The
officials advise the farm owners to vacate their properties because they
have been 'acquired by the state.' They then immediately take an inventory
of what equipment and machinery they can find and tell the owner that he may
not remove any of it as the "government will pay for it."  Jarrett explained
that this statement alone is 'ludicrous', because "the government cannot
even pay civil servants their proper wages let alone pay for farmers

"It is becoming abundantly clear that this power-sharing government is
unwilling or incapable of abiding by many of their domestic laws and
international obligations," Jarrett said.


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Police arrest and assault student leaders

January 18, 2010

By Our Correspondent

BULAWAYO - National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Student
Representative Council (SRC) president, Brian Mtisi was arrested and
brutally assaulted by officers from Bulawayo Central Police's Law and Order
section last week.

Mtisi was arrested after leading a group of students to court where the
trial of the university's principal accountant, Roy Ndlovu was underway.
Ndlovu is charged with defrauding NUST of US$19000, comprising fees paid in
by students.

Mtisi spent three days in police custody along with another student
representative member Joram Chikwadze. They were released on Friday nursing
broken arms and head injuries.

"We had just gone to court with other 10 students to follow proceedings in
Ndlovu's case since the money which he is alleged to have stolen is from
student's fees. On arrival at the court an overzealous Sergeant Ngwenya from
Police's Law and Order section accused us of trying to incite violence at
the courts before telling other police officers in riot gear to arrest  us
and disperse our colleagues," said Mtisi.

Mtisi said after the arrest they were taken to a dark room at the Bulawayo
Central police station where they were assaulted continuously for three
hours by Ngwenya and his team.

"We were then thrown into a filthy police cell without food or water for two
days," he said.

The two students were released after they paid a US$10 fine each.

Doctors' reports shown to The Zimbabwe Times indicate that Mtisi sustained
serious head injuries during the assault, while Chikwadze sustained a
fractured arm.

When contacted for comment Bulawayo police spokesperson Mandlenkosi Moyo
confirmed that "the two students' leaders were arrested a breach of the
peace" but refused to say anything about their assault by police.

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Foreign Investors Welcome Only As Partners - Mugabe

Harare, January 18, 2010 - President Robert Mugabe on Monday said Zimbabwe
is willing to have foreign investors in the country to invest and develop
the country but only as "partners."

Mugabe was speaking at the burial of Mrs Sunny Ntombiyelanga Takawira, the
late wife of the late veteran nationalist Leopold Takawira at the national
heroes acre in the capital Harare.

"We need (outsiders) but only to the extent that they are partners who would
partner us to exploit the country's resources for the development of the
country," Mugabe told mourners at the national shrine.

"As is the case with every nation in the world the interests of the nation
comes first and Zimbabweans must be prepared to defend those interests.The
country's sovereignty is not negotiable, its non negotiable."

Mugabe also appealed for Zimbabweans to unite for the country's development
adding that the country needs peace to develop.

"The unity of our people remain important.It is indeed paramount in all our
endeavours. Equally peace, the peace of our country must continue to prevail
in-order to ensure that development will occur uninterrupted," Mugabe said.

"Let us honour our heroes by ensuring that each one of us wherever we are
promote unity, harmony and peace in our country as indeed also promote the
ideal of the sovereignty of our nation."
1"Sure sherlock" by Fred at Monday, 18 January 2010 13:03
Well, that statement has sorted out any problems that may incur should
foreign investors wish to come into Zimbabwe!!!

I guess there will be no foreign investors now.

Mugabe will just have to rely on illegally selling "his" diamonds!
2"Note-Chief Plunder-a-lot" by Sahan Jogi at Monday, 18 January 2010 13:20
To our own Fuehrer (The Chief Kleptomaniac) a foreign investor is an entity
or person to target for plundering by his Gestapo agents as seen in the CIO;
the Militia; the AAG; the so-called war veterans (now last audited as being
76 000); and the biased incompetent purported Judiciary.
Remember that our self-proclaimed Pol-Pot emulator says that investors are
profiteers who should not be allowed to remit their earned profits. Anyone
who invests in Mugabe's tyrannical regime is either stupid, or in cahoots
with a corrupt Zanu PF looting comrade.
3"Grabmore Gushongo" by A Con Warning at Monday, 18 January 2010 15:27
The unwise need to understand Mugabe's aberrations of the English language
called ZanuLish or MuggaCrap.
A Hero is a half-witted looter; killer or other class of criminal that
supports Zanu PF.
A veteran is a terrorist who is on the Zanu PF state sponsored gravy train.
There is no age restriction to qualify.
An Economic Saboteur is anyone intelligent and anyone who is not a Zanu PF
The chant 'Illegal Sanctions' is an illustration of how widespread Mental
Paraplegics are in Zanu PF.
A State media "Professional Journalist" is as big a political whore as are
Zanu PF Senators / Parliamentarians.
The Judiciary are actually Zanu PF brown-nosing acolytes who are unfit for
purpose and who would only qualify as street-sweepers in the civilized
The Politburo members are actually Mugabe's gangsters similar to those found
in the Mafia.

A PARTNER is a sucker who invest human capital, skills, material in a
project only to find non-contributory Zanu PF extortionists and looters on
the doorstep wanting it all for nothing.
Zimbabwe has no hope until MuggaBuggers are permanently incarcerated or
strung up.

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Zimbabwe Journalist Flees After Death Threat

Harare, January 18 2010 - Artist for Democracy in Zimbabwe Trust (ADZT)
director and senior freelance journalist Stanley Kwenda last week fled the
country after he was allegedly phoned and threatened with death by a known
senior police officer.

Kwenda, a freelance journalist, who once worked for The Financial Gazette
before resigning in 2008 reportedly fled the country last Friday night after
he was phoned on his mobile phone by the alleged senior police officer over
a story reportedly published in The Zimbabwean newspaper. The police officer
allegedly told him that he would not survive the weekend.

Kwenda, is a member of MISA-Zimbabwe's Harare Advocacy Committee.

In a statement released Monday MISA-Zimbabwe condemned the threat on Kwenda
as yet another serious threat to media freedom and the right of journalists
to conduct their lawful professional duties without fear or hindrance from
any quarters.

"MISA-Zimbabwe urges the inclusive government and the Police Commissioner
General to unequivocally guarantee the safety of journalists and to assure
Kwenda of his security pending full investigations into the alleged
 threats," MISA-Zimbabwe said in a statement.

Zimbabwean journalists have over the past decade battled with arrests,
intimidation and harassment for writing stories, which government
authorities deem as critical.


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Manicaland shows Mutasa the red card

January 18, 2010

By Our Correspondent

MUTARE - Didymus Mutasa's political base in his home province of Manicaland
has been shaken to its roots after his political lieutenants failed to
secure crucial positions  during an exercise to co-opt members into the
party's provincial structures.

Mutasa's loyal supported experienced humiliating rejection during the
exercise held in the provincial capital of Mutare over the weekend. His
sworn political nemesis, Mike Madiro, was overwhelmingly chosen as Zanu-PF
provincial chairman ahead of Chris Mushowe, the provincial governor. Mushowe
withdrew from the race after it became clear he could not marshal the
popular vote.

Upon realizing that Mushowe had developed cold feet Mutasa then attempted to
impose Guy Mutasa, his nephew and chairman of the Makoni Rural District
Council but his candidacy was vehemently resisted and he also withdrew from
the race.

This left Madiro to romp to victory as provincial chairman unopposed.
Sources said Mutasa, a close confidante of President Mugabe, was
disappointed by developments over the weekend as he no longer can control
political events as happened before.

"Nyati is finished," said one senior Zanu-PF official. Mutasa is normally
referred to as Nyati, his totem in Zanu-PF circles.

"He was used to dictating the course of events and imposing candidates. Now
he is being resisted and he realized this at the weekend when everyone
opposed his choice of candidates. This never used to happen in the past."

Mutasa remained defiant despite the setback, telling journalists that any
individuals who were under such impression that he had been defeated were

"Tell the people that have told you this that they do not have brains. I
know the person who has told you. That is a disgruntled and brainless

He refused to take any further questions.

Madiro was co-opted into the restructured executive on a wave of popular
support much to Mutasa's chagrin. During the Zanu-PF central committee
elections in December Madiro beat Mushowe but Mutasa intervened and threw
Madiro's victory out, allowing Mushowe to be confirmed despite losing the

But this time around Mutasa could not do anything to overturn Madiro's

"This was a true expression of the will of Manicaland Province because the
decision was unanimous," said Zanu-PF deputy spokesman in the province,
Charles Samuriwo.

Mutasa's woes have been aggravated by his infamous bid to become Zanu-PF
national chairman ahead of Zimbabwe's former ambassador in South Africa,
Simon Khaya Moyo, during last year's Zanu=PF congress in Harare.

Mutasa's attempt to elbow Moyo was unpopular with the Zanu PF provinces who
felt it was aimed at undermining the 1987 Unity Accord between Zanu-PF and
the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo's PF-Zapu. Mutasa's bid was rejected by
all the Zanu-PF provinces except Manicaland leaving Moyo to land the
influential post with ease.  Mutasa's star has been on the decline in
Manicaland where he is the most senior politician because of his alleged
dictatorial tendencies.

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Zimbabwe minister urges resolution of debt crisis

(AFP) - 2 hours ago

HARARE - Zimbabwe's enormous foreign debt is hampering efforts to mend the
economy, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said, urging the government urgently
to resolve the debt crisis.

"Zimbabwe is suffering as a result of its debt overhead," Biti told
journalists after meeting with representatives of the African Development

"We have to resolve our debt crisis as a matter of urgency."

Zimbabwe owes 5.4 billion dollars to multilateral donor agencies, an amount
slightly large than the size of the national economy last year.

"Without the debt overhead, we can grow (the economy) by up to 15 percent,"
Biti said. "We hope the government of Zimbabwe will take a bold decision and
do what is best for the economy."

African Development Bank vice-president for operations, Aloysius Uche Ordu,
commended efforts by the government to revive the economy.

"On the economic side, progress has been made," Ordu said. "We believe this
progress on the economic front will help."

He said Zimbabwe had asked the ADB to "help in its process of re-engaging
multilateral finance institutions."

"Arrears clearance is so important because it's the only way to re-engage
the multilateral finance institutions."

A government report seen by AFP in December said various options were being
considered for paying off the external debt, including asking for debt
cancellation in a move to secure new financing from lenders.

Biti said the country will need 45 billion dollars to restore its economic
performance to levels seen in 1996.

President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled since independence in 1980, was
forced into a power-sharing arrangement with Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai following disputed elections in 2008.

The deal remains shaky due to disagreements over the allocation of key jobs,
but the new government has stopped Zimbabwe's economic freefall.

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African Development Bank: Zimbabwe must clear its debts

Jan 18, 2010, 15:00 GMT

Harare - The African Development Bank (ADB) on Monday said Zimbabwe must
clear its arrears with international lending institutions before it can
benefit from available funds.

ADB deputy president Aloysius Ordu told journalists that Zimbabwe's debt of
about 6 billion US dollars was too huge to allow the troubled southern
African country to access new money.

Harare owes the international donor community about 3.2 billion dollars and
owes around 1.3 billion to institutions such as the ADB, International
Monetary Fund and the Word Bank.

Zimbabwe, having seen a decade of political turmoil and economic decline, is
still largely dependent on donor support.


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Zim faces famine disaster

Mon, 18 Jan 2010 18:03

Crops are wilting in many parts of Zimbabwe, threatening food security in
the troubled country.

The US funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network, Fewsnet, said over two
million Zimbabweans would require food aid between now and March because of
the poor rains.

Tens of thousands of Zimbabwean families face disaster this year for the
ninth year running.

Rains have fallen in Harare but other parts of the country have had very

Only a few areas in the three central Mashonaland provinces have had good

Fewsnet said maize is wilting in eastern, southern and some south-western
districts, like Bulawayo and Gwanda.

If the crops fail, few farmers will be able to afford to buy seed and
fertilizer to replant.

Aid agencies say funding for food aid is short which could see many people
going hungry.

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Govt abandons cloud seeding

Written by Natasha Hove
Monday, 18 January 2010 12:37
BULAWAYO - Plans by the government to conduct a cloud seeding exercise to
induce rain have been shelved owing to lack of finances.
Sources in the Meteorological Services Department told The Zimbabwean that
the government had failed to begin the process owing to lack of funds to
purchase chemicals needed for the process. "We were initially supposed to
start last week in Masvingo, but due to lack of funds, the process is being
postponed," sources said.
The development raises fears of another poor farming season as it comes on
the back of fertilizer shortages and a prolonged dry spell. The Zimbabwean
could not independently confirm how much the cloud seeding exercise would
cost. But nearly all government departments are cash strapped and are
failing to execute their duties. Agriculture Minister, Herbert Murerwa, was
not available to comment on prospects for the 2009 to 2010 farming season.

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Moyo planted MDC corruption story

Published on: 18th January, 2010

HARARE - The front page story alleging the MDC investigating its Ministers
published by The Zimbabwe Independent was planted by Tsholotsho North MP
Professor Jonathan Moyo as part of his petulant retribution over a story The
Zimbabwe Mail broke about Tsholotsho Part II, a source at the publication

The MDC has rubbished the front page story in last Friday's issue of The
Zimbabwe Independent newspaper that alleges three MDC ministers are being
probed for corruption.

Energy and Power Development Minister Elias Mudzuri, co-Home Affairs
Minister Giles Mutsekwa, and Mines Deputy Minister Murisi Zwizwai were named
by the weekly as the three ministers under a corruption probe by a 14-member
MDC committee for corruption.

But, a source working for the business weekly, told a Zimbabwe Mail reporter
in Harare that Mr Moyo e-mailed the article with the fiction to the editor
of The Zimbabwe Independent, Nevanji Madanhire last week for publication.

Moyo is a close friend of Trevor Ncube, the owner of the weekly Publication
and he was best man at his wedding and hence he wields enough sporading
power suffice to unsettle editors.

A few years ago, the pair, Moyo and Ncube were linked to the failed
political movement "The Third Force" which was set to become the third
political party, outside Zanu PF and the MDC. The project was engineered by
former South African President Thabo Mbeki before he made a break through in
splitting the MDC.

When Moyo was Robert Mugabe's Information and Publicity Minister, he kept
the Zimbabwe Independent intact as he went on a frenzy, closing down and
bombing newspapers percieved to be reporting in favour of the opposition.

Sources said, during Zimbabwe's economic turmoil, the the Zimbabwe
Independent owed its survival to its links to Zanu PF who provided support
through the basic commodity supply side intervention (BACCOSI) scheme which
was one of several looting ventures undertaken by the rogue Reserve Bank
Governor Gideon Gono. Gono's deputy at the Central Bank, Nicholas Ncube is a
close ally of Trevor Ncube and Professor Jonathan Moyo.

In his statement to the website, Jonathan Moyo issued a
number of threats against the Zimbabwe Mail, The Zimbabwean, its reporters,
and its founder Mr Wilf Mbanga.

Moyo said: "Maybe they do not know this but the MDC T idiots and the British
counter intelligence agents behind Wilf Mbanga's desperately false Christmas
story are playing a dangerous disinformation game which can be played in far
better ways by revolutionary comrades to the devastation of corrupt and
incompetent MDC T ministers, councillors and politicians including Wilf
Mbanga and some Zimbabwean website operators whose cupboards are full of
shocking skeletons.

"With its British and Rhodie roots so naked, the MDC T is a sitting duck for
counter intelligence games that others can also play and even better. If
they doubt this, they should continue their dirty tricks and see what will
happen to them as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow!"

The embattled former Information and Publicity Minister Tsholotsho North MP
Professor Jonathan Moyo is struggling shake off claims that he organised a
secret meeting in Gweru now dubbed Tsholotsho Part II to map out strategies
for a Zanu PF break away political party to be led by the Defence Minister
Emmerson Mnangagwa.

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa angrily dismissed the story penned by the
newspaper's political editor, Faith Zaba, at a press briefing held at
Harvest House, the party's headquarters in Harare soon after the paper hit
the streets on Friday.

Chamisa rubbished the claims and described the alleged probe as a figment of
Zaba's imagination.

"We would like to state and place it on record that there are reports that
are disturbing, reports that are malicious and mendacious that have been
carried in The Independent that the party is carrying out a probe on certain
ministers belonging to the MDC," Chamisa said.

"What I wish to state as a matter of fact is that no such committee has been
put in place by the party to probe ministers. And there is no such probe
that is targeting ministers, and that our ministers do not have any
allegations levelled against them."

Chamisa said what was correct, however, was that the party through its
leadership in the National Executive and the National Council, had indeed
set up a committee headed by deputy secretary general Tapiwa Mashakada, who
attended the press briefing, together with other members of the National
Executive, to target illicit and corrupt activities in all local

"Because this is where we have received certain reports on the violation of
what we call the citizen charter as the MDC, which is the contract between
the councillor and the citizen and the residents,' the MDC spokesman said.
"We are supposed to have professionalism, accountability, transparency in
the way in which council business is transacted.

We have had problems in Chitungwiza, Bindura, and those challenges have all
been put under the spotlight through this committee and there has to be no
confusion between this committee which is dealing with the local authorities
and the so-called committee which has been formed in the Independent which
is probing ministers."

Zaba's story was based on information supplied by unnamed sources,
purportedly sitting in the National Council and National Executive.

Chamisa said the MDC respected the independence of the media, but urged
journalists to write the truth.

"Yes, we have zero tolerance on corruption, we also want zero tolerance on
falsehoods," Chamisa said. "We would appreciate it if those facts are
anchored on substance. As we are moving forward we are clear that our party
has done more than any other political party to target people who are
corrupt. In fact, more than any political party in this country, we have
managed to deal with corruption with finality and conclusion."

Chamisa, who is also a minister himself in the inclusive government, said
there were no sacred cows in the National Executive, National Council, in
Parliament, government or in the local authorities, "but it's not correct to
say that certain ministers have been probed".

Meanwhile police and Robert Mugabe's secret agents on Friday last week,
attacked and ransacked the home of our news reporter in Harare in search of
the 200-page document believed be authored by Professor Moyo. The document
carries detailed plans for a Zanu PF break away movement to be led by
Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The reporter has since gone into hiding but the "colourful" and
professionally done 200-page document is now in safe hands and it will be
published at the most appropriate time as the political events in Zimbabwe
unfolds in the coming days, weeks and months. Zimbabwe Mail

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'If they return, we'll braai them'

    January 18 2010 at 01:13PM

By Esther Lewis
Staff Reporter

Two months since xenophobic attacks left De Doorns divided, the locals are
adamant that they will chase the Zimbabweans out should they try to return.

Breede Valley mayor Charles Ntsomi said continuing tensions in the area
meant re-integrating the Zimbabweans was not possible at this stage..

The residents of Stofland and Ekuphumleni say they don't want their
Zimbabwean neighbours to return. Thousands of them have been living in tents
on the town's only sports field since November.
'We will braai them and turn them into KFC'

Those who live in Stofland, an informal settlement outside De Doorns, told
the Cape Argus during a visit to the area yesterday that they did not, under
any circumstances, want the immigrants back.

"We will braai them and turn them into KFC if they come back. There's no
place for them here," said Pastor Frans Henke on his return from a church
service yesterday afternoon.

Other residents called the Zimbabweans dirty, accused them of practising
witchcraft and said they offered themselves as cheap labour, leaving locals

"They are a different nation with different cultures. I'm not angry with
them, but they must go back to their own country," said Henke.

Moses Masimini, a labour broker who lives in the area, denied that
xenophobia had anything to do with the fact that more than 2 000 people had
been driven from their homes.
'It's got nothing to do with xenophobia'

"It's got nothing to do with xenophobia. It's all about work and resources.
There's no space here for them. They were never part of this community, and
would never stand with us," he charged.

Those living in the tented camp on the De Doorns rugby field have accused
the government of not informing them of what will happen to them. .

Mike Moyo, chairman of the committee for the displaced, said that since they
were moved to the field on November 14, government and other officials had
left them in the dark.

He said it was rumoured that the government had been in meetings with
Stofland residents, and that reintegration had been discussed.

Besides interacting with the site manager, Moyo said, there had been no
feedback from the authorities on the outcome of any meetings.

But Ntsomi said he does not know what to tell the Zimbabweans.

"What can I tell the people? It seems that reintegration is simply not
possible. There is still a lot we have to do to educate locals on why the
refugees are here. So we can't force them back to communities. What if
people are killed?"

Ntsomi is also under pressure to find alternative accommodation for the
Zimbabweans. The camp is costing the municipality R71 000 a month. And
because the refugees' temporary home is the only sporting facility in the
area, the sports forum is angry because the field cannot be used.

Moyo claimed conditions in the camp are fast deteriorating.

"The only thing that has changed here is that things have worsened," said
Moyo. He said the ill spent their days lying in unbearably hot tents,
getting sicker.

When they are weak enough, an ambulance is called and they are taken to
hospital for treatment.

He said several people have contracted tuberculosis.

The Zimbabweans, said Moyo, were also too scared to venture out to the
clinic for fear of further victimisation by Stofland residents. So they left
their illnesses - many of which were contagious - untreated.

Many were also too weak to walk to the clinic.

Moyo said most of the workers have families in Zimbabwe whom they support
financially. But because of the untreated illnesses spreading through the
camp, work days are lost.

The camp is divided into sections for single women, single men and families.

Despite the attacks two months ago, people still go to work each day.

"Zimbabweans work. They don't depend on anybody. Even old ladies go to work,
unlike the locals," said Moyo.

He denied they offered themselves as cheap labour to undermine local

"The fees are not up to us. Labour brokers meet with farmers and agree on
the amount to be paid, which we adhere to. It was like this before we
arrived; we just fell in with the way things were being done," Moyo

During the visit yesterday, two groups were having church services. Moyo
said despite everything that had happened to them, people still held on to
their faith.

"We are starting to recover from the trauma. We just want to get on with our
lives," he said.

          o This article was originally published on page 4 of Cape Argus on
January 18, 2010

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