The ZIMBABWE Situation
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African Union Commission to Make Case for Zimbabwe Elections Delay to 2013

Mr. Zuma is under pressure from the MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai to press President Mugabe not to call elections before a range of
fundamental reforms have been put in place

Blessing Zulu & Thomas Chiripasi | Washington & Harare  28 January 2011

Crisis in Zimbabwe coordinator Dewa Mavhinga, in Addis Ababa, said his group
wants the African Union to be directly involved in Harare in discussions on
the elections

The African Union’s Political Affairs Department of Human Rights, Elections,
Peace and Security has undertaken to lobby Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe and his former ruling ZANU-PF party to agree to put off new elections
until 2013.

The Zimbabwe Independent newspaper, citing AU commission sources, reported
that the AU department will send an envoy to Harare to assess conditions and
recommend the postponement of elections which Mr. Mugabe has urged be held
this year.

But ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo told VOA that Zimbabwe is a sovereign
state and alone will determine when to hold elections. Gumbo said the
ZANU-PF politburo met on Wednesday and reaffirmed its stance that elections
should be held this year.

AU sources say South African President Jacob Zuma, mediator in Harare on
behalf of the Southern African Development Community, with the AU a
guarantor of power-sharing in Harare, will be a key link between the
commission and Harare.

Mr. Zuma is under pressure from the Movement for Democratic Change formation
of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to press President Mugabe not to call
elections before a range of fundamental reforms have been put in place.

The MDC standing committee asked Mr. Tsvangirai to convey that view to Mr
Zuma on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. But
Zuma international relations advisor Lindiwe Zulu said that before this
could happen Mr. Zuma was obliged to head to Addis Ababa where an African
Union summit was unfolding this week.

Crisis in Zimbabwe coordinator Dewa Mavhinga, in Addis Ababa, said his group
wants the African Union to be directly involved in Harare in discussions on
the elections.

"The team to be assembled by the political affairs unit of the AU is
expected to be dispatched before March to investigate, as requested by civil
society organizations, conditions on the ground," Mavhinga said. "They will
seek to establish whether Zimbabwe has a conducive environment and
sufficient reforms to hold credible elections that are free and dfair and
withoput violence or intimidation."

Elsewhere, the parliamentary committee in charge of revising Zimbabwe's
constitution on Friday appealed to the government to provide additional
funding so it can meet the new deadline of September 30 it has set to hold a
referendum on the document.

Correspondent Thomas Chiripasi reported from Harare on the call for funds.

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Mugabe in panel to solve Ivory Coast standoff: AU

by Byo24NEWS
2011 January 29 17:44:41

The African Union has decided to appoint a panel of leaders to join Raila
Odinga of Kenya in mediating in the Ivory Coast crisis.

African Union Commission chairperson Jean Ping told a news conference Friday
night that the over six hours of deliberations by various African heads of
state meeting in the peace and security council of the AU decided that the
Ivory Coast crisis could not be mediated by one person but by a battery of
leaders who will give various perspectives towards ending the Ivorian

Ping said the multiple issues arising from the crisis require an African
approach to deal with the problem in Cote d'Ivoire.

The panel includes Presidents Jacob Zuma (South Africa),  Jonathan Goodluck
(Nigeria), Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe) and the President of Mauritania among
others and Ping said the mediation already undertaken by Kenyan Prime
Minister Raila Odinga was part of the building stones towards achieving a
realizable goal of peace in Ivory Coast.

The AU chairman said it was not in anybody's interest that Ivorians should
continue to be dragged into an unending crisis that is on the brink of a
full blown civil strife in Africa's key cocoa producer.

Earlier Friday, Raila Odinga had asked the African Union to explore other
ways of dealing with the Ivorian crisis other than the mediation talks that
seem not to be working.

Raila who spoke on the sidelines of a meeting of heads of state at the
African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa Ethiopia said in a statement read
to the press that the mission of the African Union was not about imposing
democracy or free and fair elections but "they are about avoiding a much
greater disaster."

Raila he implored the African Union to find other means of dealing with the
crisis that he now says borders on the brink strife and civil war.

However, after the second session began Raila again came out in company of
one of the protocol officers to announce that Africa would never have a
stable base unless Africans internalize the democratic culture of ceding
power after losing in a competitive electoral process.

"If one's vote does not count in determining who will lead the nation, which
is the most elemental dimension of democracy, elections will become
meaningless, democracy will lose its luster, and the future will be riddled
with widespread unrest and instability," said Raila in a one page statement.

He urged the AU to send a strong message to Ivory Coast that the incumbent
Laurent Gbagbo and his arch-rival Allasane Ouattara must have face to face
negotiations aimed at dealing with the crisis once and for all.

In an apparent reference to the closed door negotiations Raila said inaction
now poses the greatest peril in the crisis in Cote d'Ivoire.

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Civil servants demand meeting with Mugabe

By Reagan Mashavave
Saturday, 29 January 2011 17:26

HARARE - Civil servants want a meeting with President Robert Mugabe to
resolve the issue  of their salary increaments after negotiations with
government  hit a brick wall.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president, Raymond Majongwe
told the Daily News  on Saturday that negotiations between civil servants
and government over the last weeks did not yield any positive results so the
government workers resolved to meet Mugabe over the contentious issue.

“What is left is a meeting with the President. We want something reasonable
and government must show us why they can’t pay us,” Majongwe said.

Majongwe said civil servants believe that a meeting with Mugabe, a former
teacher, might provide a solution to improving their conditions of service.

“How many times have people asked the President for money and were given
since independence ? We are following that route,” Majongwe said.

No date has been set for the meeting, but Majongwe said  the civil servants
have already asked for a meeting Mugabe.

The country's  230 000 civil servants who earn between US$180  and US$250
per month are demanding a minimum salary of $500 per month.

The government has said it does not have resources to increase the salaries.

Last year civil servants went on strike demanding better salaries but called
off the job action after agreeing to continue negotiating with government.

Over the last decade skilled workers who include teachers left the country
in thousands in search of better working conditions in neighbouring
countries like Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and overseas.

The formation of the unity government about  two years ago stabilized the
economy while the free falling Zimbabwean dollar was discarded for the
stronger US dollar and the South African rand. Despite this, unemployment
continues to rise because of lack of investment.

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Robert Mugabe cows dissent at home as uprisings

Published Date: 29 January 2011

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has sent soldiers and youth militias into
townships and remote villages to cow locals into submission following the
popular uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen.
Dozens of opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters have
been shot at, stabbed, attacked with iron bars or beaten up in a wave of
"choreographed" attacks that started at the weekend in the Harare townships
of Budiriro, Mbare and Chitungwiza, the party claims.

"We have seen an escalation of intimidation tactics by ZANU-PF," MDC
spokesman Nelson Chamisa said.

Government supporters have tried to quash any attempt to draw a parallel
between Mr Mugabe's three-decade-long hold on power and the 23-year-long
rule of ousted Tunisian president Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.

"A Tunisia on Zimbabwe is not possible," former information minister
Jonathan Moyo said, while Zanu-PF columnist Alexander Kanengoni stated that
"the people of Tunisia have risen up because it has systematically excluded
and sidelined them from participation in the exploitation and ownership of
their countries' resources and wealth. Our situation is the exact opposite."

Mr Mugabe wants Zimbabweans to "own and control" their resources through a
land-grab and soon-to-be-launched foreign company seizures, Mr Kanengoni
argued in the official Herald newspaper.

Loyal to Mugabe, state-controlled media has given little coverage to the
unrest in the Middle East, delaying by a day reports that Mr Ben Ali had
fled to Saudi Arabia. Yesterday, the Herald gave no coverage to the protests
rocking Egypt.

However, for the many Zimbabweans who watch satellite TV and tune into
foreign radio broadcasts, Mr Mugabe is making it clear he will tolerate no
similar forms of dissent. Hundreds of ZANU-PF youths besieged the MDC's
offices in Mbare last week, smashing the relative calm in Zimbabwe since the
setting-up of a coalition government in February 2009. Five MDC youths were
seriously injured.

In echoes of the clampdown launched by Mr Mugabe when he lost the first
round of presidential elections in March 2008, MDC supporter William
Mukuwari was shot in the leg in Budiriro by ZANU-PF youths.

Party official Gashirai Gurure was reported abducted; his wife and son

ZANU-PF official Amos Midzi said the attacks were attempts by the MDC to
"discredit" a constitutional referendum and elections that Mr Mugabe appears
determined to hold this year, despite opposition from South African
president Jacob Zuma, the regional mediator on Zimbabwe.

Villagers in eastern Manicaland were this week terrorised into signing a
controversial "anti-sanctions petition".

A pro-Mugabe chief stated: "We shall be breaking hands and teeth."

Despite ZANU-PF denials, parallels between Mr Mugabe and 74-year-old Mr Ben
Ali are startling. Both have clamped down on the press and have a
predilection for placing their portraits in government buildings and

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Tsvangirai Says Nothing Wrong With Mideast Protesters Demanding Rights

29/01/2011 15:45:00

DAVOS, January 29, 2011- The following is a conversation between Amy Kellogg
of Fox News and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on the sidelines of the
World Economic Forum.

Tsvangirai, as the leader of the opposition party, Movement for Democratic
Change, was tortured at the hands of Mugabe’s regime and survived several
assassination attempts. In 2009 Tsvangirai’s MCD party formed a unity
government with President Robert Mugabe –who has held power in Zimbabwe for
30 years.

He talked to about anti-government riots in the Middle East,
China’s growing economic influence in Zimbabwe and his country’s struggle
for economic and social stability.

Amy Kellogg: What do you think of events in Egypt and Tunisia, and how do
they relate to Zimbabwe?
Prime Minster Morgan Tsvangirai: There are two issues. One is the general
resentment of autocratic regimes, the manner in which these governments have
stayed in power forever and ever. I think people resent that, naturally. But
there is also another aspect which I have pointed out in the last interview.
The aspect of incumbents leaving power to their children, dynasties, as we
may call it. That is very resented by the people.
So it’s like a spring. The more pressure you put on a spring, the more it
will bounce.
I think what we are witnessing here is a general suppression of the people.
People are demanding more freedoms and there is nothing wrong with that.

AK: Could that happen in Zimbabwe and is President Mugabe nervous?
MT: To me, when people take their rights, and start demanding more rights,
there is nothing wrong with that, including in Zimbabwe. That was the whole
purpose of our struggle for the last 10 years

AK: What do you think of China’s involvement in Africa? Do you think it’s
been positive? Or do you think in some cases they have been propping up
people like your President Mugabe?
MT: Whatever you can say about the Chinese, they are not missionaries. They
have business interests, they have their own national interests especially
when it comes to resources.

AK: Do you think China has been exploitative at times?
MT: They have not been exploitative. There are certain practices that I
would not subscribe to. They are not philanthropists. They are coming there
for business interests. In that regard, it’s mutually beneficial.

AK: So you think you should be tougher with them?
MT: We should be tougher. We should not be preferential to them. Of course,
we should recognize our historical linkage through the liberation struggle,
but certainly we should get the maximum advantages in whatever deals are

AK: Do you see a day when the U.S. will have investment opportunities in
MT: Definitely. I don’t see anyone excluded from the potential of the
country including business opportunities and investment opportunities. There
is energy potential, there is mining potential. There is industrial
development potential. The people are the most educated in Africa.

AK: You have been tortured and survived assassination attempts by this
government? Why did you decide to join them?
MT: It’s a difficult question but the relevant question is: was it
strategic? I think given the state of the nation and the state of the
people, it was very strategic that we join with our erstwhile opponents in
making sure we can respond to the plight of the people. The country was
facing a precipice, and we do it for the sake of that. I don’t regret that.

AK: Do you see Mr. Mugabe loosening his grip at all, becoming more
MT: Of course, I don’t subscribe to some of his activities and some of his
actions. I don’t think he’s got a grip that he’s not willing to let go. I
think because he has accepted to go through this transition, he is in
acceptance that he cannot continue to hold on.

AK: Mugabe is nearly 87. What do you think will happen when he dies?
MT: Hopefully he will die after we have managed the transition and that it
won’t be chaotic. We have always worried about the succession issue,
especially this part that he has left it too late.

AK: Have you been able to make a difference in this government?
MT: Firstly, the fact that we were able to stabilize hyper-inflation
condition from billions of dollars percent inflation to three percent.
The second thing is we have been able to revive and revitalize the social
sectors: Education has been re-opened, schools are now in form, hospitals,
they have now been reopened, water, sanitation.  We had cholera, we have
eliminated that. Generally there is peace and stability.

AK: Some people say the opposition has been silenced now that you have
joined the unity government. What do you say to that?
MT: You know, the media always want to see blood on the floor, and when
there’s no blood, no chaos, they think people have been silenced. We have
been a positive influence on the inclusive government for the sake of the
people. We are not the opposition in government. We are in government to
make a contribution for the transition and I hope that people would
appreciate that we added value in making sure we are able to deal with the
plight of our people and that we have been appreciated by our people despite
what people can say

AK: Zimbabwe’s economy still has a long way to go, in terms of improving the
standard of living for people. How do you plan to do that?
MT: We’ve got priorities. Our program is based on five key priorities. One
is to insure that we rehabilitate our infrastructure. Secondly, let’s not
forget education, health—also very important yardsticks for people’s
development. We do regard the isolation of the country as very important. We
need to remove the country from being isolated.

AK: How will you do that?
MT: Well, we are engaging the Europeans. We are engaging the Americans. We
are engaging everyone. Zimbabwe’s on the path, the irreversible path to
progress. That must be recognized.

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Police action disturbs Bishop

By Staff Reporter
Saturday, 29 January 2011 17:53

HARARE - Bishop Chad Gandiya, head of the Church Province of Central Africa
(CPCA) has expressed deep concern over a fresh order that gives the police
power to restrict CPCA members from within a 200 metre radius of any of
their Anglican church buildings.

In his latest  pastoral  letter  dated  January 21 to the Anglican
congregation , Bishop Gandiya, whose church is at war with the faction led
by Bishop  Nolbert Kunonga said he is “deeply disturbed by the prolonged
suffering of our people at the hands of the police who continue to claim to
be receiving orders ‘from above’ to prevent us from using our church

The Bishop said he was disturbed that on 16 January this year, police
accompanied by two priests from Bishop Kunonga’s faction harassed CPCA
parishioners who were attending a church service  at the St Andrews Church
in Chipadze, Bindura.

He said the priests claimed that they had court orders to evict the CPCA
church members from the church buildings but they could not produce them.

Bishop Kunonga’s faction, which defected from the main church a few years
ago, continues to defy a High Court ruling that the two factions should
share the church properties.

An interim High Court order was issued on 4 June 2010 by High Court Judge
Justice Mavangira saying the two factions must share the church properties
pending  the resolution of the matter in the Supreme Court. The Supreme
Court is yet to make its ruling.

Members of the Bishop Gandiya  faction continue to be harassed by members of
the Bishop  Kunonga faction and many are attending church services in
buildings belonging to other churches like the Catholic and Methodist for
fear of being beaten up.

Bishop  Kunonga  is a strong  Zanu PF supporter who has benefitted from the
land reform programme.

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Zimbabwean and International Authorities Watchful for Flooding, Cholera

Fernando Arroyo, United Nations Humanitarian Affairs chief in Zimbabwe, said
his office is continuing efforts to curb the cholera outbreaks, but added
that with the rainy season in progress resources could be stretched

Patience Rusere | Washington DC  28 January 2011

Global health and humanitarian organizations said cholera remains a threat
in Zimbabwe with dozens of new cases reported in recent weeks amid regional

World Health Organization sources said 71 suspected cases of cholera were
reported in early January. They said cases have surfaced in Bikita, Masvingo
province, Zvimba, Mashonaland West province and Mutare and Buhera in
Manicaland province.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said
cholera had spread to 20 districts by the end of 2010 with some 1,000 cases
causing 22 deaths.

The continued outbreaks are blamed on poor sanitation and contaminated

Fernando Arroyo, United Nations Humanitarian Affairs chief in Zimbabwe, said
his office is continuing its efforts to curb the new cholera outbreaks, but
cautioned that with the rainy season in progress resources could be

Health organizations are urging Zimbabweans to take precautions such as
boiling water or using water purification tablets. Dr. Lincoln Sarimari, a
WHO disease prevention and control officer, told reporter Tatenda Gumbo that
such steps are critical.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's Department of Civil Protection Services said there has
been no heavy flooding following the opening of Kariba Dam floodgates to
ease rising pressure from heavy rains. But the agency says the country
remains on high alert.

Civil Protection Services Department Deputy Director Sibusisiwe Ndlovu said
a buildup of water could still lead to flooding in northeastern Zimbabwe.
Neighboring Mozambique has been more heavily affect by floods, which have
caused scores of deaths. South Africa has also experienced heavy flooding
and loss of life in recent weeks.

Ndlovu told reporter Patience Rusere that her department is remaining

The International Federation of the Red Cross says it is expanding relief
efforts to the area, in particular providing clean water and water
purification tablets.

IFRC Disaster Management Coordinator Abdulkair Farid said there are concerns
that with memories still fresh of the 2008-2009 cholera epidemic which
claimed more than 4,200 lives, there are concerns flooding could promote the
spread of the disease.

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Germany protests to Zimbabwe over seizures of game conservancies

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) Germany has protested to the Zimbabwean government
over a new wave of illegal seizures of game conservancies owned by its
citizens and other foreigners in the south of the country, APA learns here

The German embassy in Harare has written to Zimbabwe’s Foreign Minister
Simbarashe Mumbengegwi asking him to provide assurances that German
interests in the Save Valley conservancy would be protected under
international law after top officials in President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF
party, the army and police muscled into conservancies and ranches in the

These include the Save Valley Conservancy Trust in which German national
Willy Pabst is one of the major shareholders.

Affected safari operators have been forced to surrender between 50 and 80
percent shareholding in their properties to ZANU PF officials, top police
and military officials, and traditional chiefs in a renewed crackdown on
white-owned businesses.

The Save Valley Conservancy is the world’s biggest private game reserve.

In a note verbal to Mumbengegwi, the embassy said the illegal seizures,
codenamed Masvingo Initiative, were allegedly being driven by Titus
Maluleke, the governor of Masvingo province where the conservancies are

"It should be noted that the concept of partnership as advocated by the
‘Masvingo Initiative’ does not seem to be based on normal business
considerations," the note said.

The embassy said the invaders have indicated that they want to take over the
properties without paying for them.

This is the second time in less than a year that the Germany has protested
to Mumbengegwi over the illegal seizure by Mugabe’s supporters of properties
owned by its nationals.

The embassy wrote to Mumbengegwi in June 2010 protesting against continued
violation of an investment protection agreement between the two countries
after farm invaders illegally grabbed three properties belonging to German


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IOM helps Zim craft anti-trafficking law

by Own Correspondent     Saturday 29 January 2011

HARARE – The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has launched a
new project to assist Zimbabwe craft comprehensive anti-trafficking
legislation in the face of an unprecedented rise in the smuggling of women
and young children out of the country by prostitution rings.

The project, titled "Building National Response Capacity to Combat Human
Trafficking in Zimbabwe", is funded by the US Agency for International
Development (USAID) and supports a government counter-trafficking strategy
focusing on raising awareness of trafficking in persons among government
officials and members of the public.

“The USAID-funded project is timely as it will allow IOM to strengthen the
government's counter-trafficking efforts, particularly as it intends to pass
counter-trafficking legislation this year," said IOM Chief of Mission in
Zimbabwe, Vincent Houver.

Other activities under the new project include strengthening of the national
referral system for protection and reintegration assistance to trafficking
victims with a special focus on children and youths.

The socio-economic deterioration in Zimbabwe in recent years has contributed
to heightened vulnerabilities of Zimbabwean nationals to human trafficking,
particularly youths.

Recent research on child trafficking, jointly conducted by IOM and the UN
Children's Fund (UNICEF), revealed that a significant number of minors in
Zimbabwe are being approached and recruited by traffickers.

The study found that children are trafficked to work in agriculture, for
sexual exploitation and for domestic servitude, both within and beyond
Zimbabwe, including in neighbouring South Africa and Botswana.

Nigerian organised crime syndicates operating from Pretoria, Port Elizabeth,
Johannesburg and Bloemfontein lure young girls into prostitution.

Boys are often lured by promises of work and end up as slaves in
agriculture, fishery, construction, mines, sweatshops and catering.

In other cases the children are held for domestic servitude, street begging
or peddling, forced military service, removal of body parts for muti
purposes while others were trafficked for adoption and forced marriage.

The US Department of State 2010 Trafficking in Persons report also lists
Zimbabwe as a source, transit and destination country for trafficking of
women and children.

Due to its geographical location, Zimbabwe is highly vulnerable to both
trafficking and smuggling in people from Asia, Europe and from other African

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Copac Hires Kenya Computer Expert

29/01/2011 15:49:00

HARARE, January 29, 2011- The Constitution Parliamentary Committee (COPAC)
the body mandated to produce Zimbabwe's first democratic constitution since
independence in 1980 has hired a computer expert from Kenya to be in charge
of information and data processing.

The move comes in the wake of allegations of too much interference by
political parties involved in the process.

“ The committee has engaged an expert to make sure that technical
errors that have occurred are corrected,” Douglas Mwonzora the
committee’s co-chairperson told Radio Vop.
“He is an undisputed expert who was in charge of the data processing during
Kenya’s constitution making process.”
The expert whose costs will be met by the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) is expected to arrive in the country next week to take
charge of the process.

He has specialised in the use of Hewlett-Packard computers that are being
used by the committee to store information submitted by the people during
the outreach exercises.
The UNDP is funding the constitution making process together with many other
donors but so far it remains the main funding partner and has since made a
commitment to do so until the completion of this important exercise.
Meanwhile the committee has moved to ally fears caused by reports of
information tampering in the country’s constitution making process. This
after Zanu (PF) officials had claimed through suggestions in the state media
that the mainstream MDC party led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai might
have tempered with information that has already been
stored in the committee’s main information server.

Paul Mangwana, the committee’s co-chairperson representing Zanu (PF) this
week briefed his party on the disappearing of information
on issues of land, natural resources and the environment.
These are the issues that Zanu (PF) strongly campaigned for during the
public outreach meetings.
Its officials immediately raised the red flag pointing fingers at MDC
officials saying they could have been responsible for the removal of the
information. However the Committee told journalists Friday that “no data had
gone missing.”

“All the data collected was verified through a tri-partite
verification process. There were just certain technical problems in
uploading information with the server,” said Douglas Mwonzora one of the
three co-chairpersons of the committee.
“There are three technical experts representing the three political
parties and they all confirmed there was a technical era in the
posting of information in the giant server and we have no cause to
disbelieve them.”

In addition the spokesperson of the Committee, Jesse Majome said,
“It’s totally impossible for information to disappear because it was
collected in various forms – physical and electronic forms such as
video and audio.”
The constitution making process is a key aspect of an election roadmap
currently being drafted by SADC appointed facilitator President Jacob Zuma
of South Africa. Other requirements of the roadmap includes the drawing up
of a new voters’ roll, ending political violence and passing of new
electoral rules by Parliament however none of these are in place.

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Security around Chiadzwa beefed up

Written by Ngoni Chanakira
Saturday, 29 January 2011 10:04

MUTARE - THE security around the diamond-rich Chiadzwa area in the
Manicaland province just after Nyanyadzi has been tightened with police
roadblocks virtually after every 500 metres along the main road leading to
the controversial diamond field.
A Zimbabwean on Sunday news team that toured the area last Wednesday
witnessed overzealous police officers thoroughly searching cars at the
roadblocks. The police appeared to mostly target vehicles bearing foreign
registration plates and high value cars driven by the rich such as Range
Rover, Toyota Land Cruiser 4X4, Mercedes Benz cars.
"You are no longer allowed to go into the area which has been cordoned off
to the public," a Mutare-based journalist told our news team.
"You are not allowed to take pictures or use your cell phone once you are
allowed into the area. As a journalist you must make a request to the police
bosses and tell them the angle of the story that you intend to publish ….
and they escort you (around the diamond field)
“But this is a very sensitive area and they do not usually want anybody
including journalists especially the white ones to go into Chiadzwa," the
journalist said. The police are said to step up patrols around the diamond
field at night when illegal dealers invade the area in search of gemstones
for sale on the illegal market for precious stones.
The Chiadzwa diamond field that is also known as 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 a
British firm that owned the deposits committed gross human rights abuses
against illegal miners who had descended on the field.
Diamonds from the Chiadzwa region are banned for exports as part of measures
to force Zimbabwe to adhere to rules and standards set by the Kimberley
Process that regulates the world diamond industry. The Zimbabwean army is
accused of alleged human rights abuses at the Chiadzwa, including engaging
in forced labour and smuggling.

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Indian Diamond Firms Say Way Clear to Buy Zimbabwe's Marange Stones

The Kimberley Process last year allowed two international auctions of
Marange diamonds but the industry watchdog in November restored a ban on
export sales amid concerns about alleged human rights abuses

Sandra Nyaira | Washington  28 January 2011

An Indian diamond consortium says it is moving to buy diamonds from the
controversial Marange field of Zimbabwe with permission from the Kimberley
Process Certification Scheme following months of wrangling over the terms
for export sales.

The Surat, India, based companies said they will buy at least six million
carats of Marange diamonds to relieve a serious shortage of rough stones.

This means an agreement between Surat Rough Diamond Sourcing India, a
diamond consortium of 1,500 firms, and the Zimbabwe Diamond Consortium to
purchase $1.2 billion worth of diamonds a year can now be implemented.

VOA was unable to confirm with Kimberly officials that Marange diamonds were
cleared to be sold internationally. But diamond industry website IDEX Online
News reported that a revised Kimberley Process agreement on Zimbabwe was
approved by 17 members and outgoing Kimberly Chairman Boaz Hirsch issued a
notification of the clearance.

Chandrakant Sanghavi, head of Sanghavi Exports in Surat, said rough diamond
prices had been rising due to the shortage, and the Kimberley Process
clearance for diamonds exported from the Marange field in the east of
Zimbabwe will ease this.

"KP's clearance on the exports from Zimbabwe will put to rest the artificial
increase and shortage of rough diamonds in the global market," he said.
"There will be more work and more wages for the diamond workers."

The Kimberley Process last year allowed two auctions of Marange diamonds but
the industry watchdog in November restored a ban on export sales amid
concerns about alleged human rights abuses and smuggling of diamonds through

"If things move in the right direction then we will import the first batch
of precious gems from Zimbabwe worth $20 million soon to start our Surat
operations," said Ashit Mehta, chairman of Surat Rough Diamond Sourcing

Zimbabwe Deputy Mines Minister Gift Chimanikire says the Kimberley move will
greatly benefit Zimbabwe, whose government is seriously strapped for
operating funds.

Political analyst Joy Mabenge said however that the Harare government should
still be pressed to address outstanding issues in Marange, including alleged
abuses of the local population so that it can fully comply with Kimberley
Process standards.

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Bulawayo set to start generating electricity in February

by Byo24NEWS
2011 January 29 14:11:12

THE Bulawayo Thermal Power Station will start generating power in February,
a development set to bring excitement to the city, popularly known as
Kontuthu ziyathunqa because of the smoke emitted by the towers.

The power station stopped generating power in 2000 owing to operational
challenges. In an interview on Thursday ZESA spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira
could not be drawn to reveal how much power would be generated from the

"I can confirm that generation will commence this quarter, thereby
contributing to the national output.

"We hope to start generating electricity mid-February 2011 if all goes
according to plan," said Mr Gwasira.

He said at the moment preparatory work to refurbish the power station was in
progress hence could not confirm when the plant could generate power.

"The activities that are currently taking place at Bulawayo Power Station
are test runs of equipment in preparation for the anticipated generation,"
said Mr Gwasira.

The revival of Bulawayo's power generation comes after the signing of a
Memorandum of Understanding between Zimbabwe and Botswana in October last

The MoU was such that Botswana would inject US$9 million, while Zimbabwe
supplied 45 megawatts of power for three years in return.

At the moment the country produces 1 200 megawatts instead of a peak demand
of 2 200 megawatts. Mr Gwasira said the only way to close this demand-supply
gap was to build extra generation capacity, which would take at least three
and-a-half years from the time funding has been secured

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Zimbabwe Central Bank Gives Golden Handshake to 1,500 Laid-Off Staff

The mass retrenchments are part of a restructuring exercise at the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe recommended by the International Monetary Fund, leaving 493
workers out of 1,948

Gibbs Dube | Washington  28 January 2011

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on Friday dismissed about 1,500 workers - 75
percent of its work force - giving each one of them a US$5,000 golden
handshake as part of a severance package double that amount for a total cost
of US$15 million.

Many Zimbabwean public servants are making less than US$200 a month.

Sources said the retrenched RBZ staff members were seen leaving the bank's
Harare offices at noon after a meeting with senior central bank officials.
Sources said the RBZ drew US$7.9 million from the Ministry of Finance to
fund the operation.

The mass retrenchments are part of a restructuring exercise at the bank
recommended by the International Monetary Fund, leaving 493 workers out of

RBZ Governor Gideon Gono told the state-controlled Herald newspaper that the
bank is being streamlined so it can better focus on its core competencies.
He said he hoped the country would not slide back into instability which he
blamed for the economic crisis that peaked in late 2008 amid roaring
hyperinflation most blamed the RBZ for causing.

Economic commentator Bekithemba Mhlanga said the RBZ layoffs will pave the
way for transformaiton of the institution. “At long last, we think that
sanity will finally prevail at the RBZ which has over the years been used by
[President Robert Mugabe's] ZANU-PF for engaging in political programs meant
to benefit its members,” Mhlanga said.

Gono was widely blamed for the bank's funding and management non-core
activities such as land reform and an ill-fated farm mechanization scheme.

Forced auctions of RBZ assets conducted last year to pay off creditors
included so-called Scotch carts - rudimentary farm implements.

Gono funded such programs by ceaselessly printing Zimbabwean dollars in
ever-larger denominations that peaked at 100 trillion dollars, debasing the
currency which was eventually abandoned in 2009 in favor of a regime of
mixed hard currencies.

The former opposition Movement for Democratic Change sought Gono's
dismissal - but he has been kept in place by President Mugabe, a close
political ally.

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Landmines still kill - 30 years after independence

Written by Lovejoy Sakala
Saturday, 29 January 2011 10:39
NGO steps in to help, Zanu (PF) blames ‘sanctions’

BUHERA - Although Zimbabwe attains 31 years of independence in April,
villagers of Buhera Central under Chief Nyashanu say they have nothing to
celebrate. They continue to live in perpetual fear of landmines planted
during the liberation struggle in the 70s.
Villagers likened their place to a war zone.  “Living in a minefield area is
no different from living in a war zone as you are always living in a fear of
being hurt or killed any day,” said a 56-year-old amputee, Maxwell Kahudya,
whose right leg and hand were amputated after he stepped on a landmine while
herding cattle two years ago. “I was born with all my body intact and I even
took part in the struggle to free the country. Now I am a victim of our
government’s failure to demine our area soon after independence in 1980.
Some people decided to misuse donor funds and made other people suffer,”
said Kahudya.
The father of three lost his leg and hand on a Monday morning while driving
his cattle to pasture. He survived by the grace of God after Good Samaritans
rushed him to a nearby hospital. “The government should channel resources
towards the demining exercise to make our places safe for farming and
inhabitation. The army should stop useless recruitment exercises because we
are not in a war situation. They should focus on demining,” said Kahudya. He
is not the only victim of landmines in Buhera. Many others have suffered
silently after being seriously injured or maimed.

Livestock killed
The landmines, which have also endangered the livestock, were planted during
the particularly Maridzakowa Hills that stretch about 150 km to the
Mozambique border. Local kraal head Jaison Gotosa said: “We need places to
do farming and pasture for our livestock but the mines have impacted heavily
on development in this area. We have to discourage people from farming
around here, because it is very risky.”
He added: “We appeal to the inclusive government, through our Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai, to expedite the demining exercise. We also lose
livestock, which is our only source of wealth.” Gotosa said villagers had
lost close to 100 cattle and several goats to landmines. Chief Nyashanu, who
controls the Maridzakohwa hills stretch, said he had appealed to government
to demine the area but nothing had ever been done about it.
The chief said it was sad that people who fought in the war of liberation
struggle continue to be victims of the mine traps they survived during the
war. “We will continue to lobby the government to do something about this
situation. We are not in a warzone and our people have a right to live
happily like any other citizens,” he said.

Help at hand
Member of Parliament for Buhera Central, Tangwara Matimba, from the MDC-T
said: “The demining exercise of landmines should be a top priority. I am
very worried that 30 years after the country attained independence some
places are yet to be demined. Mines are for war and we are not in a war so
people should live freely. We are pushing the inclusive government to
prioritise the issue of demining,” said Matimba.
The former Zanu (PF) government has not done much to improve the lives of
landmine victims. But the Landmine Victims Support Trust (LVST), an
organisation that seeks to assist the victims with income-generating
projects and counselling, has moved in to breathe a new lease of life into
victims. “These people need to survive – we are doing income-generating
projects such as poultry and horticulture so that they can fend for their
families. We believe these people still have value to our society despite
being handicapped,” said Claudius Moyo, the coordinator.

“This year we have initiated awareness programmes to educate people living
in mine infested areas on the dangers of mines and how to respond when they
discover mines in their areas,” said Moyo. He added that the trust would
also source funds from donors to procure equipment such as wheelchairs,
clutches and artificial legs. An official from the Zimbabwe National Army
(ZNA) department responsible for the demining exercise throughout Zimbabwe
declined to be named, saying he had no authority to talk to press, but said
the army had had some successes and challenges in its quest to remove
He blamed people for removing beacons and wire reflectors that are used to
warn and restrict people in areas that have not been de-mined.  During the
exhibitions events such as Agricultural Show and Trade Fairs, the army
always displays pictures of injured people and animals to remind people how
mines can be dangerous to human and animal life.
Last year on the occasion of celebrating Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day (ZDF),
President Robert Mugabe attributed slow pace of demining to restrictive
measures imposed on him and about 200 individuals of his inner circle and
companies by western countries. But, the western countries rejected this
assertion and maintained that the so-called sanctions were only targeted
against perpetrators of gross human rights abuse and vote-rigging.
Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Mine Ban Treaty, which bans the use,
production and stockpiling of landmines.

1,5 million mines scattered across the country – ZNA stats
1500 killed by mines – Oct 2010 figure

6 landmine regions - Musengezi, Burma, Sheba, Sango border, Risutu, Victoria
only 1 cleared – Vic Falls

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Africa's tin-can version of Twitter has it right

Written by The Zimbabwean
Saturday, 29 January 2011 10:24

Journalist Ezra Sibanda sits in London with lists of Zimbabwean cellphone
numbers. These are his notes for his radio show which he broadcasts to
Zimbabwe via short wave (and the internet).
From London’s East End he draws a massive rural listenership by dragging a
finger down his list of 45 000 numbers and calling Zimbabweans at random.
Sibanda speaks with a slow, intelligent accent, but for most of his show he
lets his listeners do the talking: anonymously and freely about what’s
happening in their country. They have become the country’s reporters.
Last year, when South Africa’s media was decidedly rickety, Sibanda
considered the possibility of having to double his broadcast time and offer
a similar covert radio service to South Africa. Sibanda watched media
freedom disintegrate under Robert Mugabe and though South Africa has some
durability in the basement that Zimbabwe has never had it’s hard to ignore
that Sibanda’s radio show — a mixture of personal stories and pointed
instruction — contains the crucial, often absent, elements that any country
needs from its media.
Sibanda’s early broadcasts reassured people that by voting for the
opposition they weren’t in danger. There was the rumour of cameras recording
which box you marked on your ballot.

Irresponsible reporting
Subsequently you’d be hunted down if you voted against Mugabe. This shows
the mediating level of control when running a dictatorship: you don’t need
to install actual cameras — though you feasibly could — when you can make
people believe that the cameras exist.
It isn’t like Mugabe hasn’t tried his best to shut SW Radio down. Back in
2000 the Zimbabwean government’s broadcasting monopoly was challenged in the
Supreme Court and Gerry Jackson won the right to open the country’s first
independent radio station. This was forcibly closed after six days of test
In 2002 an Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act was passed.
It’s been impossible to open an independent radio station in the country
since. The Daily News was shut down that same year. “Reporters Without
Borders” made claims of the country’s media being victim to threats,
imprisonment, censorship, blackmail, abuse of power and denial of justice.
Before SW Radio relocated to London, regional countries like South Africa
were possible options but access was denied. “Because in their own way they
have given in to Mugabe,” says Sibanda.
From these London-based broadcasts people have gradually learnt a selection
of truths. When Sibanda returned recently to Zimbabwe he stayed in rural
towns where he saw locals gathered around radio hubs — like students in the
fifties eager for pop music, but these people wanted news and debate. In
hostels owners took information from SW Radio’s website and stapled sheets
into the government-controlled daily newspaper so people could get proper
context on events.
With an increase in internet content and slashing of media budgets this idea
of a trusted mouthpiece, which SW Radio has become, is fading worldwide. In
the UK it flat out doesn’t exist.
The MRR vaccine health scare during the last decade proved that a campaign
of incorrect media can escalate into a public health concern.  When your
media coverage is causing sickness in children — through irresponsible
reporting — where are the benefits of a free press?
In the early 2000s British anti-MMR lobbyists intentionally targeted
generalist journalists, instead of health correspondents, hoping that their
information on vaccines causing autism would not be scrutinised. Once the
story became feverish the editors avoided any evidence that was contrary to
their original, incorrect stance and ran with it. “People make health
decisions based on what they read in the newspapers, and MMR uptake has
plummeted from 92% to 73%,” says Ben Goldacre. “We have already seen a mumps
epidemic in 2005, and measles cases are at their highest levels for a

Cops and robbers
Really what SW Radio has created is a tin-can version of Twitter with the
necessary bonus in that it’s mediated by a professional. In the sparseness
of Zimbabwe’s media it’s easy to see how a relied upon, comforting Fairy
Godmother like Sibanda is necessary. Unfortunately, this only occurs when
you are on the brink of a propaganda implosion.
You get a comforting “cops and robbers” simplicity and it’s easy to know
which side is right. Zimbabwe occupies a space in the frantic South African’s
imagination as a worst-case-scenario. And it is true that if SW Radio was
corrupted they could lead their listeners to eat their own children, but
their intentions are noble, rather than commercial.
Ironically, this works because they don’t have to think commercially — there
is no competition or market. There is a scant 12 million people in Zimbabwe,
but there are easily that many people who would benefit from an SW Radio
type service in South Africa or anywhere else.
SW Radio is in the same part of London as the HQ for the British National
Party. On the street there are pockets of white, thuggish kids hanging on
like barnacles as waves of black people come out every few seconds from the
train station. It is rush hour and folk are coming home from their jobs.
The rich, fatty smell of a kebab shop is why this can’t be Africa, not even
Johannesburg. There are a few words of French and a couple of Xhosa clicks
from the crowd, but that kebab shop is the smell of England. For Sibanda
there’s nothing to report here.
Broadcasting from another continent means you lose the luxury of thorough,
face-to-face investigation. And though richer, more established countries
have that kind reporting — does it matter? Not if there isn’t a media outlet
that garners an opportunity for basic trust. - Source:

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People who cannot be traced

Dear Family and Friends,
All eyes are glued on developments to the far north of Zimbabwe. First
in Tunisia and then in Egypt we have witnessed what happens when
people finally reach the end of their patience with leaders who have
been in power for too long.

In Tunisia Mr Ben Ali had been in power for 23 years and protesters
said they’d had enough of corruption, nepotism and a leader and
government out of touch with the lives of ordinary people. People
complained of high unemployment, a lack of political reforms and
impunity. Weeks of repeated protests by thousands of people in Tunis
ended with President Ben Ali fleeing the country. The people called it
the Jasmin Revolution and woke up to a new era in the country and a
new chapter in their lives.

Hardly was the revolution in Tunisia over when protests erupted in
Egypt. Multiple thousands of protesters took to the streets. They said
the wall of fear had been broken and that they were inspired by what
they had seen in Tunis. In Egypt the protesters were met by teargas,
rubber bullets and water cannons. Running in alongside the protesters
were secret police in plain clothes, wielding fists, boots and baton
sticks. Egyptian protesters kept on coming, walls and walls of them:
bold, chanting, determined and fearless. Egyptian protesters said they
want freedom, jobs, an end to corruption and a change to genuine
democracy. They kept pushing forward demanding an end to President
Mubarak’s 30 year rule. A glimpse of a news clip from Egyptian state
television caused a moment of déjà vu when the country’s leader
was described as “the President of the country and commander in
chief of the defence forces.”

Everything from the reasons for the uprisings, to the reaction by the
authorities, is chillingly familiar to Zimbabwe. Tear gas, baton
sticks and water cannons; boots, fists and rubber bullets – all are
methods of control well known to Zimbabweans. Familiar too are the
complaints of the protesters; in fact they are so similar that they
may have been describing the situation in Zimbabwe. Leaders who have
been in power for two and three decades, corruption, high
unemployment, lack of political reforms and impunity are top of the
list of protestors’ complaints.

While these dramatic events were going on in North Africa, President
Mugabe was in Addis Ababa for an AU summit and
Prime Minister Tsvangirai was in Switzerland attending a global forum
in Davos. Captured for a moment by a top BBC reporter, Mr Tsvangirai
was asked a few pertinent questions and his answers left raised
What are your feelings about a free and fair election being possible
he was asked. The Prime Minister replied that as long as the AU and
SADC played their part then the “Zanu PF dirty tricks will be
Asked about the 51% indigenisation of businesses, Mr Tsvangirai said
changes had been made to the law, plans were being drawn up and that
it was not a compulsory takeover but one of mutual agreement.
Asked about land reform and if farmers were going to be able to return
to their properties to farm, Mr Tsvangirai said : “that is gone, we
are past that.”

And, back at home while Tunisia and Egypt exploded, and while both
President and Prime Minister were out of the country,
the independent press were full of shocking headlines. In the Zimbabwe
Independent came reports headed: “Violence flares in Harare,”
“MDC T can’t stop Zanu PF abuses,” “Elections – propaganda,
lies and deception.” From NewsDay came screaming headlines: “70
000 government ghost workers exposed. Of 250,000 civil servants in
Zimbabwe, the newspaper reported that a recent audit: “has revealed
there are about 70,000 ghost workers.” These are apparently people
on the payroll who “cannot be traced.” The US$ 14 million dollars
paying ghosts every month is being swept under the carpet when it
could be used to support genuinely employed civil servants who are
continuing to pour out of the country in search of a living wage.

As I write this letter the situation in Egypt has not been resolved
and what is being described as a “political tsunami” continues.
Where to next?

Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy 29th January 2011.
Copyright � Cathy Buckle.

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Learn Shona - Beginner's Lesson 7

The following is part of a series of Shona lessons provided by The audio versions are available at  Please note that courses are designed to teach you by listening and repeating the words, as this is similar to the highly effective and proven Pimsleur technique.  As such, it will be more difficult, and much slower, to grasp by reading alone. We recommend downloading the audio course to listen and repeat.

We welcome your feedback and hope that you find this useful.

This week’s lesson is about education. Education is a significant topic in Shona, because it’s a big part of Zimbabwean culture. We’re the most literate country in sub-Saharan Africa, if not in all of Africa. School is an important part of Zimbabwean children’s lives, and adults often undertake further education. Adult education is common especially amongst City dwellers. Many people you meet will be studying for additional qualifications, even just for the challenge. Education is seen as both a necessity for career advancement, as well as a hobby.

The read (listen) and repeat formula is designed to increase your intuitive understanding of Shona sentence structures.  

Education (Dzidzo)


What school - Chikoro chipi?

To go to - Kuenda ku…….

You go to - Unoenda ku….

He/she goes - anoenda

It goes - Inoenda/chinoenda

We go - Tinoenda

They go - Vanoenda

What school do you go to?(You go to what school?) - Unoenda kuchikoro chipi?

What university do you go to?(You go to what university?) - Unoenda kuYunivhesiti ipi?

I go - Ndinoenda

I go to Hallway school - Ndinoenda kuHallway School

Which? - Ripi/ipi

Which grade? - Giredhi ripi?

Which form - fomu ipi?

Which year? - Gore ripi?

Are you? - Uri…….here?

In - mu…….

Which grade are you in? - Uri mugiredhi ripi?

Which form are you in? - Uri mufomu ipi?

Which year are you in - Uri mugore ripi/rechingani?

I am in my first year - Ndiri mugore rangu rokutanga

My final year - gore rangu rokupedzisira

To finish - kupedza

I have finished - Ndapedza

I have finished university - Ndapedza kuyunivhesiti

To graduate - Kupiwa chitupa/kugirajuweta

I graduated - Ndakapiwa chitupa

I graduated this year - Ndakapiwa chitupa gore rino

I have graduated - ndapiwa chitupa

Just - ...ngobva…

I’ve just graduated - Ndichangobva kupiwa chitupa

To study/learn - Kudzidza/kuverenga

Studying/learning - Kudzidza/kuverenga

What are you studying/learning? - Uri kudzidza chii?

I am studying/learning Shona - Ndiri kudzidza ChiShona

You studied - Wakadzidza

What did you study?( You studied what?) - Wakadzidza chii?

I studied computer science - Ndakadzidza Computer Sainzi

To want - Kuda

You want - Unoda

Do you want - Unoda here?

To do - Kuita

When - rini?

When you leave - Kana wasiya

What do you want to do when you finish school? - Unoda kuita chii kana wapedza


I want - Ndinoda

To - Ku……

To be - kuva

I want to be an (architect) - Ndinoda kuva Architect

Really? - Ho-o?

That is - Izvozvo/Zvino

Great/wonderful - zvakanaka

That is great/wonderful - Izvozvo zvakanaka

That is admirable - Zvinoyemurika

What about? - Ko………?

What about you?/And you - Ko iwe

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