Sources say the deployment was ordered by the Joint Operations Command,
which brings together top-level officials of the Defense Forces, Zimbabwe
Republic Police, Central Intelligence Organization and the prisons
Blessing Zulu | Washington 31 December 2009
Members of the Zimbabwe National Army have been deployed to many farms
around the country in what sources said was a push to remove the last few
hundred remaining white commercial farmers from such properties.
Sources say the deployment was ordered by the Joint Operations Command,
which brings together top-level officials of the Defense Forces, Zimbabwe
Republic Police, Central Intelligence Organization and the prisons.
The Commercial Farmers Union said that of the approximately 300 white
commercial farmers still on the land, 152 face the imminent threat of losing
their properties to politicians of the former ruling Zanu-PF party.
Zimbabwean Attorney General Johannes Tomana told VOA Studio 7 reporter
Blessing Zulu that the army is justified in deploying soldiers on the farms,
charging that the white farmers have disregarded eviction notices.
Political analyst Pedzisayi Ruhanya said the attorney general is misreading
the law and the the military should not be used for enforcement purposes.
Commentator John Makumbe of the University of Zimbabwe warned that the
latest military deployment will scare away investors, adding that Tomana
wrongly concludes white Zimbabwean farmers have no rights.
A tribunal of the Southern African Development Community in 2008 found in
favor of a group of Zimbabwean and South African white farmers who argued
that their property had been illegally seized, and that they had not been
compensated properly under the land reform program.
Zimbabwean officials initially refused to heed the order and this year said
the country did not recognize the jurisdiction of the Namibia-based
Sources close to the organization told VOA that the board of trustees of the
Girl Child Network trust recently resolved to ask Makoni to step down
pending the outcome of the police investigation
Gibbs Dube | Washington 01 January 2010
Lawyers representing the Girl Child Network Trust Fund in Britain have asked
the Zimbabwean-based organization's co-founder, Betty Makoni, to step down
as president of the non-governmental organization while British police look
into allegations funds raised for an ailing Zimbabwean girl went astray.
Sources close to the organization told VOA that the board of trustees of the
Girl Child Network Trust recently met in the U.K. and resolved to ask Makoni
to step down pending the outcome of the police investigation.
Sources said an appeal to fund life-saving surgery for Taremeredzwa Nomatter
Mapungwana, eventually treated at Bartholomew Hospital in London, raised
US$20,000 in Zimbabwe and £15,000 in the UK. Questions later arose as to the
disposition of some of those funds, the sources told VOA.
Barbara Nyagomo-Mambo, who led the campaign, confirmed that lawyers for the
Girl Child Network Trust recently wrote to Makoni asking her to step down so
as to clear the way for police to carry out their investigation.
Nyagomo-Mambo told reporter Gibbs Dube of VOA Studio 7 that Makoni, one of
Cable News Network's 10 Heroes of the Year for 2009, was unlikely to step
down because of her intimate association with the organization.
VOA was unable to reach Makoni for comment on the inquiry.
A Nestle spokeswoman said Industry Minister Welshman Ncube gave the
multinational a written assurance that the government will see to the
security of staff and prevent interference in Nestlé's activities
Patience Rusere | Washington 01 January 2010
A spokeswoman for Swiss-based Nestlé said Friday that the company's unit in
Zimbabwe had resumed operations on Thursday based on assurances from the
Harare government concerning the safety of its managers and staff.
Nestlé spokeswoman Brinda Chiniah said Industry Minister Welshman Ncube
provided the multinational with a written guarantee that the government will
ensure staff security and prevent interference in Nestlé's activities.
Nestlé suspended operations in December after coming under pressure by two
ministers of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party to take consignments of
milk from Gushungo Dairy Estate, controlled by Mr. Mugabe's wife Grace.
Nestlé terminated a supplier relationship with Gushungo in October after
coming under pressure from human rights activists over the link.
Mugabe loyalists accused Nestlé of imposing its own version of the Western
targeted sanctions which the ZANU-PF side of the Harare unity government has
been urging its power-sharing partner, the Movement for Democratic Change of
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, to help remove.
Tsvangirai last week said Nestlé had overreacted by suspending operations,
but many observers said the company had a right to choose its partners, and
was obliged to protect its international reputation from being tarnished
once its association with the Mugabe family became a sensitive issue.
Chiniah declined to provide details on the terms of the resolution, but she
said Nestlé would not be buying milk from Gushungo. Earlier reports said
Ncube proposed an arrangement under which Nestlé would purchase milk from a
cooperative whose contributors would include Gushungo.
VOA was unable to reach Ncube immediately for details on the resolution of
the Nestlé imbroglio, which political analysts said amounted to a setback in
the country's efforts to win the confidence of international investors.
Supa Mandiwandzira, president of the non-governmental Affirmative Action
Group, which has criticized Nestlé, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience
Rusere that he welcomed the move which will save scores of jobs.
January 1, 2010
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - A total of 13 students funded by the Presidential Scholarship Fund
have been expelled from Fort Hare University over the past month as a result
of their political activism.The director of the Presidential Scholarship
Fund, Christopher Mushowe has decreed the withdrawal of 13 students from
Fort Hare University in East London, South Africa, for their political
activism and alleged support for the Prime Minister.
Elisha Mutize, a second year BComm Accounting student, was among students
expelled from the university for his activism. Over the course of the year,
the student had participated and organized a series of public events
Mushowe accuses the students of forming a branch of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's MDC party at the university. The Zimbabwe Times was informed
that the university has become hotbed of politics against the funder of the
scholarship, President Mugabe, whom the students directly blame for the
appalling payouts. Most of the students are said to have resorted to vending
goods to supplement their meagre payouts.
Mushowe is said to have instructed the university that President Mugabe
would no longer pay the students' tuition. All the 13 students received
letters terminating their scholarships before the institution closed for the
The letter was from the Fort Hare registrar, one Dr N Mrwetyana and read in
part: "It has come to our attention that you have been withdrawn from the
Zimbabwe Presidential Scholarship. Since the relationship between the
sponsor and the beneficiary is governed by certain rules, the university is
not in a position to oppose your withdrawal."
There are more than 700 Zimbabwean students enrolled at Fort Hare
University. President Mugabe obtained his degree in economics, one of his
seven university degrees, at Fort Hare.
Mugabe established the Presidential Scholarship Fund to provide "an
excellent education for bright students from under-privileged families". But
his long rule of Zimbabwe has come under criticism among the student
population, including those under his scholarship programme. The fund
administrators have reacted in characteristic fashion, and sought to expel
students opposing Mugabe's long rule.
The Zimbabwe Times heard that last month, fund administrators at Fort Hare,
including Dr Abyssinia Mushunje, a junior lecturer in the university's
Faculty of Agriculture, and accounts clerk Phumula Bokwe, whom students
accuse of allegedly looting the scholarship fund, drew up a list of
"extremist" students and set aside class time to discuss counter-measures
against their activities. The expelled students were accused of "academic
failure" when all of them had "fantastic grades".
Some students on the list were accused of participating in "opposition
activism", while others had been vocal in complaining about the quantity of
their disbursements. And the 13 students were most vocal about the
inequities. A source at the university said that students who had been
expelled "do not have problems with studies and none of their teachers
expressed complaints about the quality of their knowledge."
Some of the 13 expelled students say that they periodically received phone
calls from people claiming to be from the intelligence back in Zimbabwe,
saying that serious hardships await the students back home if they don't put
a stop to their political activities.
The campaign against students dabbling in opposition politics is not the
first time Zimbabwean administrators have pressured universities to expel
student protesters. In September, The Zimbabwe Times broke the story of
Tonderai Kunyaye, a second year Bachelor of Social Science (Communication)
student at Fort Hare who was dismissed from the university after lifting the
lid on the theft of the Presidential Scholarship Fund at the same
Officially opened in 1916 as the South African Native College, Fort Hare is
one of the oldest universities in southern Africa. It was the first
university on the continent to open its doors to black students.
A number of notable students have attended Fort Hare, including the first
black Zimbabwean medical doctor, Tichafa Samuel Parirenyatwa; the historian,
novelist and politician Stanlake Samkange, Herbert Chitepo, the late lawyer
and Zanu-PF chairman who was killed in a bomb explosion in Lusaka in 1975,
By John Chimunhu
Published: January 1, 2010
Harare: President Robert Mugabe has appointed a Zanu PF functionary accused
of murder to the Zimbabwe Media Commission.
Christopher Mutsvangwa, a former ambassador to China, is facing charges
arising from the shooting deaths of Costa Matete and two other people
accused by Mutsvangwa of stealing from his Highlands home in August 2009.
Mutsvangwa was recalled from China in 2009 following his involvement in a
murky deal with private companies which wrung deals worth $8 billion from
the Zimbabwean government after claiming to represent the Chinese
government. Mutsvangwa announced the deal, which was later vehemently denied
by Beijing and finance minister Tendai Biti.
In the murder case, Mutsvangwa claims that the three dead were suspects in a
robbery at his house, who were later gunned down by officers from the
Criminal Investigations Department's Homicide Section.
Matete's widow, Saliwe Nduna has since filed a civil case against
Mutsvangwa, Commissioner-General of Police Augustine Chihuri and the
Ministry of Home Affairs. Nduna, who is represented by the Zimbabwe Lawyers
for Human Rights, denies her husband was involved in any robbery at
Sources claimed the murders were political and the dead may have been shot
by war veterans and thugs hired by Mutsvangwa. The murder case came to light
when a state lawyer Rangarirai Zvauya (38) was arrested for allegedly
demanding a US$400 bribe from
Mutsvangwa to prevent his brother Chengetai Zvauya, a journalist with
Associated Press, from publishing the matter. Through his lawyer, Chris
Mhike of Atherstone and Cook, Rangarirai Zvauya successfully applied for
bail before Harare magistrate Archie Wochiunga. He was granted US$100 bail.
Zvauya denies the bribery charges. Mutsvangwa is not new to controversy. He
has used various platforms to campaign vociferously for Mugabe and the
controversial appointment to the media commission is seen as reward for his
The move to appoint Mutsvangwa has raised eyebrows after Mugabe refused to
appoint MDC-T treasurer-general Roy Bennet saying he is facing 'serious'
treason charges that he denies.
Party Secretary General Tendai Biti, Zimbabwe's finance minister, reportedly
issued a statement saying he was suspending the UK executive over "shocking"
Sandra Nyaira | Washington 01 January 2010
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change
party is sending a high-level team to Britain to probe alleged financial
irregularities in the handling of funds raised for the 2008 elections.
Party Secretary General Tendai Biti, who is Zimbabwe's finance minister,
said in a statement that he was suspending the executive of the United
Kingdom branch over what he described as "shocking" financial
Britain's Independent newspaper quoted MDC Treasurer General Roy Bennett as
saying the MDC's overseas offices faced a "huge" corruption problem.
"They are bleeding us," Bennett said. "I would hate to know the amount of
money that has been raised by Zimbabweans in exile purporting to represent
the MDC. They have used the MDC name and pocketed the money."
Party spokesman Nelson Chamisa said the investigating team includes party
National Chairman Lovemore Moyo, who is also House speaker, and Deputy
Treasurer Elton Mangoma, currently economic planning minister.
Mr. Tsvangirai in recent weeks has gone to great lengths to underscore that
his government will not tolerate corruption at any level of government.
MDC officials in Britain said Friday that the alleged financial
irregularities had more to do with how funds were conveyed to party
officials inside the country during a difficult period when the former
opposition was under heavy pressure by the former government of President
One MDC district chairman in the southeast of England said, "The people who
were supposed to make the investigation should come here and do that
investigation. There is no evidence right now. It is only an allegation."
Spokesman Makusha Mugabe of the English Midlands district of the MDC told
VOA the investigation will show that no funds were misused.
www.chinaview.cn 2010-01-02 02:58:27
HARARE, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- Iran has said it is ready to offer
humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe in times of need and develop to the
highest level cordial relations between the two nations.
Iran's deputy ambassador to Zimbabwe Javad Dehghan was quoted by The
Herald as saying on Friday that the two countries will further expand the
already existing relations in all areas of cooperation.
Dehghan was speaking at the hand-over of 80 wheelchairs, 25 boxes of
vitamin supplementary tablets and maternity kits and food hampers to the
disabled people and representatives of the nine clinics in Mhondoro on
Iran donated food hampers comprising cooking oil, mealie meal and salt.
In addition, the embassy donated cash for the procurement of 250 kg of
maize seed for the Zunde Ramambo project under Chief Mashayamombe as part of
its efforts to assist the less privileged members of the society.
"In strengthening the brotherly relations between our nations, we have
also made donations to several constituencies in Zimbabwe and this donation
today is a further demonstration of the solidarity between our countries,"
Head of the Cultural Center of the Embassy of Iran Mr Mohammad Assadi,
who also attended the ceremony, said his country is concerned over the
adverse effects the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by Britain and her allies
are causing on the ordinary Zimbabweans.
Zimbabwe and Iran enjoy a healthy diplomatic and economic relationship,
which has seen the Islamic country donating more than 93 times towards
Iran has also helped Zimbabwe in the mechanization of the agricultural
sector, equipping the national broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Holdings and is currently eyeing partnership in tourism and other sectors of
the economy, deputy ambassador Dehghan added.
The Girl Child Network has come under scrutiny following an appeal that
raised US$20,000 in Zimbabwe and £15,000 in the U.K. to pay for an operation
for Taremeredzwa Nomatter Mapungwana, 18
Gibbs Dube | Washington 31 December 2009
British police have opened an investigation into the disposition of funds
that were raised by the Zimbabwe-based Girl Child Network of CNN Hero of the
Year Betty Makoni based on complaints the money collected to pay for an
operation for an ailing young woman may have been diverted.
Girl Child Network Co-Founder Priscilla Nyathi said Essex police and the
Southend-on-Sea Fraud Squad were asked by people who helped raise the funds
to look into the alleged misuse of an undisclosed sum.
The funds were raised to pay for surgery for 18-year-old Taremeredzwa
Nomatter Mapungwana following an international appeal that raised US$20,000
in Zimbabwe and more than £15,000 in the U.K.
Nyathi said her organization paid St. Bartholomew Hospital £18,000 pounds
for Mapungwana's s surgery, leaving a balance of £3,862 outstanding for the
operation to treat a tumor in the patient's neck.
Nyathi told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that a heated meeting was held
Wednesday between Makoni, herself and representatives of a private company
thought to have deposited some of the funds raised into its own account.
Nyathi said that although US$20,000 was raised in Zimbabwe, organizers in
the U.K. received only £8,000 pounds, raising suspicions that a substantial
sum was diverted in the course of the fundraiser sponsored by leading
Zimbabwe mobile provider Econet and Stanbic Bank.
Nyathi said she did not know how much money was unaccounted for on the
Zimbabwean end of the operation, but said her organization would cooperate
fully with the authorities carrying out the investigation.
But Barbara Nyagomo-Mambo, who led the campaign, said the Girl Child Network
founders have not been forthcoming with key information as to the funds
raised and suspected to have been diverted. She said the matter came to a
head on Taremeredzwa's Facebook page as subscribers demanded action.
"The co-founders of the Girl Child Network, Betty and Priscilla, have
different figures and are saying different things about the money raised by
members of the public and various companies. This worries me a lot since I
publicly spearheaded the fund raising campaign," she said, adding that "I
can't say a lot at this stage as this is likely to jeopardize police
Media reports said meanwhile that Makoni has left Mapungwana at the home of
an aunt in Ashford, Kent, where the family is living hand-to-mouth. The girl
is reported to have developed another tumor requiring medical attention.
Nyathi confirmed this development noting that Mapungwana's aunt, Memory
Phhiri, and the girl's mother, were unable to properly care for her.
VOA was unable to reach Makoni on Thursday for comment on her mobile or
fixed-line telephone numbers.
Published on : 1 January 2010 - 11:44am | By John Masuku
As the year winds down, I join some friends who reflect on its events and
set targets for the coming one. Unfortunately, I tend to shelve all my
wonderful plans and find myself reacting to different unplanned challenges
that come with the new year and then totally forget about my set strategies.
"As the year draws to a close, we tend to look back without conviction.
Unfortunately, for many people this means focusing on failures,
disappointments and setbacks and so they face the future with fear. Look
back at your past constructively; learn from your mistakes for your own
advantage instead of groaning under their burden. Successes of the past are
no excuse to rest on your laurels but should inspire you to reach even
greater heights" said Solly Ozrovech, my most inspirational writer.
Does this mean I should not worry about the many unresolved matters facing
my country Zimbabwe and me as an individual? For example, the pending
writing of a new people-driven constitution which will ensure true democracy
and good governance; the long awaited opening up of the airwaves which
should see experienced broadcasters, including myself, opening up our own
private radio, television stations and new daily newspapers for an
Determining our own destiny
Making concrete resolutions means that I should continue to fight for
positive change in the way I have been doing all along through tough private
initiatives such as our own Radio Voice of the People (VOP) and 'Letter from
Zimbabwe' designed to report in a fair, balanced manner. I should continue
to mobilize my fellow countrymen and women towards full participation in
determining their own destiny through a constitution authored by them and
not the current remnants from the colonial era which are strategically
amended by current rulers in order to stay in power forever.
On a personal level I want to take my young daughters' advice seriously:
"Dad, get rid of that big tummy," they always say, "We are embarrassed to
walk around with a seemingly pregnant father, besides it's not good for your
health." To their amusement I have just purchased a kit for the gym and for
regular street jogging.
Creating practical formulae
Although my wife appreciates that I am a passionate broadcaster, manager and
student, she has however often urged me to create some time for the family.
"Your body is not a machine. You need to take regular time off from your
work and studies just to relax. You have just destroyed your social life and
you need to get it back urgently" is her usual recycled piece of advice.
Come next year, I have to find a workable formula to achieve all these
targets since my bosses, donors and lecturers want their deadlines met
without fail and excuses.
Ah! I also have to set some time aside for watching the World Cup matches on
television as they happen next door in South Africa later in the year.
But if I survived the last five years of economic, social, and political
collapse and repression without fleeing to the diaspora, then what would
drive me to do so in 2010 when I can now see, feel and touch hope, recovery
and progress hovering around me?
News - Africa news
For most Zimbabweans, the re-opening of schools and health facilities, after
several years of closure due to the country's turbulent politics, were the
main social highlights of 2009.
As politicians aggressively tussled for power in the last 10 years,
Zimbabwe's economy tumbled, and with it many social services.
Over 20,000 teachers, and 15,000 nurses and doctors, among millions of
professional Zimbabweans, fled the country to neighbouring and far-flung
countries as the economy sank and political instability took root.
In the last decade, hundreds - possibly thousands - of Zimbabweans died in
political violence between supporters of the then government of President
Robert Mugabe and the opposition as the two vied for power.
As a result, an estimated three million Zimbabweans emigrated to escape the
violence and establish new livelihoods in saner climes. Most of the
emigrants were professionals, particularly teachers and medical staff, the
two main wings of the civil service.
As a result, thousands of schools as well as clinics and hospitals,
particularly in rural areas, were forced to close down, due to staff
In the health sector, the crisis was made worse by shortages of drugs in
both public and private hospitals due to under-funding and lack of foreign
currency to import medicines.
Most local manufacturers of drugs, like producers in other sectors, were
either swept under by the economic crisis, or they elected to close down.
As a result, enterprising merchants took advantage and started street
dispensaries, with all the dangers that this posed. Authorities, unable to
provide alternative service, turned a blind eye to this.
But the public paid a heavy price for widespread wrong diagnosis and
treatment, and for the crisis in the health sector as a whole.
For example, a cholera outbreak in 2008 killed more than 4,000 people and
infected over 100,000 others.
Tariro Gwenzi, a mother of two, is still traumatised by the loss of her twin
sister due to a nurses' strike in 2008. "She died on the bench at the
hospital (Harare Hospital in the capital) while doctors and nurses watched,"
The sister had malaria, but this was not picked up by the street
'pharmacist' until it developed into celebral malaria.
Gwenzi's case is far too common in Zimbabwe. And the country's high AIDS
prevailence made the situation even worse.
In the education sector, the impact of Zimbabwe's long political and
economic crisis was devastating, to say the least. Thousands of schools,
from primary to universities, closed because teachers had left and due to
lack of learning mater ials.
In rural areas, the situation was made was worse by the food crisis which
engulfed the country, forcing hungry children to give up schooling.
But it was the flight of teachers to neighbouring countries which affected
the education sector most. Zimbabwean teachers are spread throughout
southern Africa, in particular Botswana and South Africa, where they are
highly sought after.
However, when the country formed a coalition government in February 2009,
and both the political and economic crisis began to ease, both teachers and
medical staff started to come back to the country to re-join the services.
In fact, the new government made a special appeal, including in neighbouring
countries, for Zimbabwean teachers and medical staff to return home with a
promise to pay them comparable salaries.
Indeed, thousands took up the call and came back, and teachers and nurses at
home who had quit and taken up other better paying jobs also re-joined their
The government further enlisted the help of international relief agencies,
such as the United Nations Childrens' Fund, World Health Organisation and
the World Food Programme, to offer incentives to teachers and medical staff.
Donors came up with salary top-ups for both teachers and medical staff, and
have given them material asistance such as teaching and learning materials
in schools, and drugs and equipment in hospitals.
The result is that virtually all schools and health centres that had closed
in the past decade re-opened in 2009, much to the relief of Zimbabweans as a
whole, so much so that Gwenzi, though still traumatised by the death of her
twin sister, is confid ent of a safe delivery of her third child at Harare
Hospital in February.
"I think it will go well. I feel God is on my side. They (doctors and
nurses) are now committed to their work," she said.
Harare - Pana 01/01/2010
During the past decade Zimbabweans witnessed a constant, escalating
political crisis, economic contraction and collapse, social deterioration
and deadly epidemics, and massive emigration
Thabang Mathebula & Sandra Nyaira | Washington 31 December 2009
Some Zimbabweans are calling the 10-year period through 2009 a lost decade
in which political crisis, economic collapse, social deterioration and
emigration drained the country of its energy, wealth, population and
happiness, as VOA Studio 7 correspondent Thabang Mathebula reported from
For a broader persepective on the year coming to an end and the year ahead,
reporter Sandra Nyaira turned to economist Godfrey Kanyenze, director of the
Labor and Economic Development Institute of Zimbabwe and Tawanda Dube, a
middle manager in a manufacturing firm in Harare, the capital.
Kanyenze said Zimbabwe can only consolidate and build on the gains of 2009
if the unity government launched last February implements in full the 2008
Global Political Agreement for power sharing.
The political instability which characterized Zimbabwe since the formation
of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in 1999 in particular,
surged dramatically during the 2008 election period when the MDC won control
of parliament but its leader Morgan Tsvangirai failed to claim the
presidency as the Electoral Commission found he had not achieved a majority.
Tsvangirai pulled out of the resulting runoff with President Robert Mugabe
over increasingly deadly political violence mainly targeting his formation
of the MDC, and Mr. Mugabe's subsequent victory was hollow as the West and a
few African countries declared his election illegitimate.
Negotiations that followed led to the signature of a Global Political
Agreement for power sharing and the formation of a national unity government
under Mr. Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister
Arthur Mutambara of a smaller MDC formation that broke away in 2005.
Following the formation of the government international donors stepped up
humanitarian intervention to counter a major cholera epidemic and widespread
hunger. The economy has also improved with hyperinflation quelled by the
adoption of a multiple hard currency monetary regimen, which has also
increased the availability of imported and locally made goods.
But the United States and Europe have insisted on full implementation of the
Global Political Agreement and the enshrinement of human rights and the rule
of law before they will provide large-scale development assistance needed to
fully stabilize the economy and rebuild dilapidated infrastructure.