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Zimbabwe group reports surge in political violence as national elections loom

Associated Press

By Angus Shaw (CP) – 6 hours ago

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe has seen a surge in political violence and
intimidation as the government prepares for national elections, an
independent advocacy group said Sunday.

The Southern Africa Coalition for the Survivors of Torture said in a new
report that tensions rose markedly in January. They reported mob attacks,
threats, assaults, questionable arrests by police and at least one shooting
in the capital of Harare and its suburbs.

During one clash in a Harare township, a supporter of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's party was shot and four others were wounded, the report said.
It also said 19 people were arrested for public violence since Jan. 16.

Tsvangirai, a former opposition leader, entered a coalition with President
Robert Mugabe after violence-plagued elections in 2008. Mugabe has called
for national elections later in 2011.

Mugabe, in Ethiopia for a regular summit of the continentwide African Union,
on Sunday was quoted in state media as saying elections can be held this
year even if the rewriting of a new constitution is not complete.

The Sunday Mail newspaper, controlled by Mugabe loyalists, said Mugabe met
with Zimbabwean residents in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on
Saturday and told them that if all goes well, elections will be held under a
new constitution.

But failing that, polls would be called under existing constitutional
provisions, he said.

An all-party panel recommending constitutional reforms is scheduled to
finish its work by June, way behind schedule, ahead of a referendum on the
reforms and possible elections three months afterward.

Mugabe has described elections as the only way to bring the shaky coalition
to an end, after two years of haggling, and to create a decisive government.

Public meetings on the constitution were plagued by violence last year.
Human rights groups say Mugabe militants backed by loyalist police and
soldiers are still in place in bases across the country in anticipation of
rushed elections.

Regional mediators, including President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, the
leader of mediation efforts, have cautioned against early polls and propose
a longer-term "roadmap" that would include electoral changes and revisions
of the voters' lists.

Research has shown that as many as 27 per cent of 5.5 million listed voters
have died and many others are under voting age or are registered in more
than one voting district.

The advocacy group said Sunday a team of armed riot police watched and did
not intervene when youths and women chanting Mugabe party slogans stormed
the headquarters of the Tsvangirai-led Harare city council on Jan. 21. Five
people were injured in those clashes.

Across the city in the Budiriro township the next day, youths assaulted
patrons leaving shops and bars using "heavy sticks, fists and booted feet."

Marauding youths also went on the rampage in the Mbare township and attacked
a Tsvangirai party meeting centre, smashing windows and breaking down a
perimeter wall.

Victims in the attack were given refuge at the local Matapi police station
and then were charged with inciting public violence. They were taken to
court and freed on bail. None of the attackers were brought to court, the
group said.

Earlier, Rugare Gumbo, a spokesman for Mugabe's party, told reporters his
party leaders were holding routine meetings of their supporters at their
homes and denied they were establishing militant bases in the townships
ahead of proposed elections.

Monitors reported elsewhere across the country that villagers were having
their names and identities written in log books and were being forced to
sign a petition condemning interference in Zimbabwe by Western nations that
allegedly back Tsvangirai's party.

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Violence Intensifies As Zanu (PF) Prepares For Elections

30/01/2011 12:02:00

HARARE, January 30, 2011- President Robert Mugabe's Zanu (PF) has started
unleashing violence on the people, setting up bases throughout the country
as the ageing leader insists Zimbabwe will hold general elections this year,
according to a report published in The Sunday Times.

The militia running the bases are said to comprise members of the military,
Zanu-PF youths and war veterans. Systematic beatings of well-known
anti-Zanu-PF activists have increased in the past week, especially in
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)-controlled areas of Budiriro, Mbare and
Mabvuku in Harare.
Zanu-PF and military insiders confirmed to the Sunday Times last week that
Mugabe was under pressure from hardliners to go for elections where they
expect intimidation to coerce people to vote for them.
It is reliably understood that the military will take centre stage in
intimidating people and there are reports that at least 150 soldiers will be
deployed in every district of the country.

People in rural and urban areas have already reported spotting heavily armed
soldiers moving around their areas without explanation.
The terror campaign is reminiscent of the 2008 post-March elections
violence, in which at least 200 MDC supporters were murdered but to date no
arrests have been made.
The MDC is wary of the threat of violence, with spokesperson Nelson Chamisa
urging supporters to be vigilant. He called for intervention from SADC,
arguing that police were not taking action against the perpetrators of

"We are on our own, our people are being beaten up and when they go to make
reports at police stations, they are the ones who are being arrested. We
appeal to SADC to intervene and stop this nonsense because innocent people
will be killed. For now we have to be vigilant because the police are
failing to protect us," said Chamisa.
"We will not participate in elections where people are killed, raped and
beaten up. The elections road map must be clear so that we have a free and
fair election which produces a credible result. We can't go for elections
where our people will be killed," said Chamisa.

Zanu-PF officials have in the past been contradicting themselves on the
issue of violence. Spokesperson Rugare Gumbo last week denied setting up
bases, arguing that it was normal party business for members of Zanu-PF to
conduct mini rallies and meet at their leaders' homes.
"There is nothing like that (setting up bases). It is only that youths are
always engaged in meetings with their various leaders, campaigning. We are
always mobilising our members and educating them on various political issues
concerning the party. It is an ongoing programme that we undertake
frequently," he said.
But this contradicts assertions by Vice-President Joyce Mujuru, who recently
castigated Zanu-PF hardliners for perpetrating violence and killing people,
saying this had to stop.

The party's secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, told the Sunday
Times last year that Zanu-PF resorted to violence when provoked.
An MDC youth leader, William Mukuwari, was assaulted and shot on the leg in
Budiriro last Saturday. He alleged that Godfrey Gomwe, the Zanu-PF
chairperson, was among those who shot him.

"We were walking home on Saturday at around 5pm, when a group of known
Zanu-PF youths attacked us. As we were escaping from them, I got shot in the
left leg and I fell down," said Mukuwari, the MDC Youth Assembly Budiriro
district treasurer.
"Gomwe came and further assaulted me, together with his gang and I sustained
head injuries. He only stopped assaulting me after some of the Zanu-PF
youths restrained him," he said.

His leg was operated on and he is still having difficulty walking.
Gomwe has denied shooting Mukuwari.

"I don't know what he is talking about," he said on Friday.
In Mbare another youth leader, Barnabas Mwanaka, was also attacked by
suspected Zanu-PF youths. "Last Saturday we were at our Mbare office when
Zanu-PF youths came and attacked us," said Mwanaka.

"However, we managed to drive them out but police officers from Mbare Police
Station later came and broke down the locked door of the office and everyone
was ordered to go to the police station," he said.
The police ordered Mwanaka to remain behind guarding flea market goods and
the Zanu-PF youths returned and brutally assaulted him.
Mwanaka sustained a broken right arm and head injuries. He managed to escape
and made a report to police before he was admitted in hospital. The other 19
MDC youths were arrested and remanded at the Harare Remand Prison for a
night before being granted $50 bail each.

War veterans leader, Jabulani Sibanda, has allegedly been intimidating
villagers in Masvingo province for more than six months, allegedly forcing
people to attend rallies where they are told to vote for Mugabe or there
would be war in the country.
Sibanda told the Sunday Times last week that he was indeed in the rural
areas but claimed he was just mobilising the people "against imperialism".
In most of Harare's high-density suburbs, Zanu-PF has set up militia bases
where drunken youths are reportedly terrorising residents.

In Gokwe, in the Midlands province, Zanu-PF officials on Thursday reportedly
forced villagers to sign a petition condemning targeted sanctions against
Mugabe and his inner cabal.
Human rights groups have warned that Zimbabwe cannot hold elections now
because of violence fears, while President Jacob Zuma, the mediator in the
Zimbabwe crisis, is against early elections without a clear road map.
Trevor Maisiri, an analyst with a Harare-based think tank, said political
violence was indicative of the stereotype among local political parties -
especially Zanu-PF - on how elections need to be won: through violence.

"This violence is driven by the need to infuse psychological fear into the
populace in order to coerce their non-deliberate vote. In that case the
violence must send a message to the SADC, the AU and the world that if
nothing substantial is done in Zimbabwe the stakes are so high that there is
desperation to win the next election even if it is over dead bodies."
Reverend Useni Sibanda, the co-ordinator of the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance,
said the church was concerned about the resurgence of political motivated
violence in Harare townships and the failure by the law enforcement agents
to arrest the perpetrators.

"The failure by the Zimbabwe Republic Police to arrest the perpetrators of
the violence is encouraging a culture of impunity," said Sibanda.
Sibanda said the GPA, if implemented, would ensure that the law enforcement
agents carry out their duties without fear and favour to create a peaceful
environment for the citizens.

"As churches, we call upon the Co-Ministers of Home Affairs to ensure that
the perpetrators of the politically motivated violence in Harare are
immediately arrested. This should also include sections of the war veterans
who have been terrorising communities in Masvingo," he said.

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Mugabe being helped by diamond industry

ALEX DUVAL SMITH - Jan 30 2011 04:33

The global diamond industry has controversially cleared the way for
President Robert Mugabe's regime to raise millions of dollars from exports,
according to campaigners.

The Kimberley Process (KP) industry watchdog moved earlier this month to
legalise sales from the Chiadzwa fields in eastern Zimbabwe, which are
controlled by the military and have been described by Zimbabwean finance
minister Tendai Biti as "the biggest find of alluvial diamonds in the
history of mankind".

Diamond sales from Chiadzwa could dwarf the impact of European and American
sanctions and set the stage for Mugabe (86) to strengthen his military,
rebuild his power base and even stage elections this year.

"The agreement would allow a huge amount of diamonds from Chiadzwa to enter
the international market, despite the human rights abuses that have been
reported from the fields," said Elly Harrowell, who monitors KP for the
Global Witness lobby group.

The huge diamond wealth of Chiadzwa in the Manicaland province was
discovered in 2006 when a Zimbabwean company, backed by the military, moved
on to the site. Some geologists say the concession -- from which a British
company, African Consolidated Resources, was ousted in 2006 -- is the
largest find in a century. Amnesty International has claimed that soldiers
deployed to guard the fields have forced slaves to mine diamonds at
gunpoint. Some reports have indicated security forces may have killed miners
working illegally on the site.

Mugabe, who after disputed elections in 2008 entered an uneasy coalition
with Morgan Tsvangirai, has called on his Zanu-PF party to prepare for
elections this year. But Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
says a fair and violence-free poll cannot be held until a new constitution
is agreed. Pro-democracy campaigners are lobbying the African Union, which
meets this week in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to call for the poll
to be postponed until 2013.

The MDC says renewed persecution of its supporters suggests Mugabe is
determined, come what may, to hold elections this year. There is evidence of
Zanu-PF (Zimbabwe African National Union -- Patriotic Front) stepping up
distribution of seeds and food in rural areas, a classic sign of looming

'Underhand deals'
A University of Zimbabwe political science professor, John Makumbe, said:
"We have just seen the appearance of £20-million of farming inputs -- 
tractors, seeds, tools and fertiliser. That can only have come from
underhand diamond deals."

The KP certification scheme was set up by the diamond industry in 2003 in a
bid to reassure consumers that gems they buy have not been used to fund
illegitimate groups, such as the rebel bands which terrorised Charles
Taylor's Liberia. Rough diamonds without KP certificates fetch much less
money and can only be sold through complex, underhand networks. According to
the diamond trade press, KP legalised sales of rough diamonds from Chiadzwa
on January 18 after a written consultation process which followed deadlocked
talks in Israel last year.

KP reintroduced a ban on exports from Chiadzwa in November last year, in
response to concerns about transparency and corruption following auctions in
August and September.

The new agreement comes as the industry is clamouring for rough diamonds
amid a global shortage that has pushed up prices. It not only makes
Zimbabwean diamonds legal but considerably simplifies the process through
which the country has to go to sell them. It does away with the need for a
KP monitor to supervise shipments and provides for exports to be allowed not
only from the two companies operating at Chiadzwa but also from future mines
in the fields. Already a major Indian consortium of diamond-cutting firms
has welcomed the agreement. On Thursday, Surat Rough Diamond Sourcing
announced that it would move to buy £750-million of diamonds this year from

Zimbabwean pro-democracy campaigners are divided over KP certification. In
November, Mugabe's minister of mines, Obert Mpofu, admitted that
£100-million of diamonds had been sold to India despite the KP ban in force
at the time.

Makumbe said: "Without KP agreement Mugabe and his people sell diamonds
anyway. At least if an official KP process is in place, there is some way of
monitoring the income and there may be auctions which can be audited.

"Zimbabwe needs money desperately. At the moment, things are so tight that
the government of national unity is increasingly being seen by the people as
not succeeding in bringing about meaningful change." - ©
Guardian News and Media Limited 2011

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'Mugabe wields too much power' - Poll

30 January, 2011 12:26:00    TimesLive

President Robert Mugabe continues to wield enormous power despite the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) stipulating that he should share it with Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a survey released this week reveals.

Nearly two years after the formation of the coalition government, a number
of GPA issues remain unimplemented as squabbles take centre stage.

Survey findings on the performance of the inclusive government undertaken by
a Harare think tank, Mass Public Opinion Institute - aimed at gauging public
sentiment on the coalition - revealed that the majority of Zimbabweans felt
that the government has failed to ensure a fair distribution of power, with
Mugabe wielding excessive power compared to his counterparts in the

While a large majority, 73%, of the people surveyed, felt that the economy
had improved in the past 12 months, there were concerns that Mugabe,
Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara were very

"Power was not shared equally in this inclusive government as an
overwhelming 76% believe that the President has real executive power
compared to the prime minister," reads part of the findings of the survey
conducted between August 18 and August 23 2010.

This was before Tsvangirai wrote to SA President Jacob Zuma, the facilitator
in the Zimbabwe crisis, and the Southern African Development Community
(SADC), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations, complaining about
Mugabe's unilateralism in the coalition government, specifically his
arbitrary appointment of new judges, provincial governors and other senior
government employees. The GPA says he should first consult the premier.

Thirty-one percent of the respondents felt that the partners in government
were not co-operating, while 25% were in between and 14% felt the partners
were working together fairly well. About 16% felt that the inclusive
government was working "very well', 27% felt Zanu-PF was not committed at
all to the GNU. Public opinion showed that 11% thought that the MDC-T was
not committed at all, while 25% said the MDC-M was also not committed.

On free political activity, 35% of those polled felt the GNU performed

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Constitution-making process stalls as CIO tries to manipulate data

30 January, 2011 12:10:00    bY

ZIMBABWE's constitution-making process, already far behind schedule, is
slowly degenerating into a farce as it emerges data is being manipulated to
favour President Mugabe's Zanu-PF.

Reports emerged this week that the Central Intelligence Organisation have
seized data and manipulated it to suit Zanu-PF.

Data and files with crucial information have reportedly been stolen as the
country waits for the completion of the new constitution.

A man was arrested last Friday after he seized a laptop belonging to the
Constitution Select Committee, the parliamentary body charged with drafting
the constitution.

The constitution-making process has stalled several times due to political
haggling between Zanu-PF and the two formations of the Movement for
Democratic Change .

Mugabe told state media last Sunday that he would call for snap polls with
or without a new constitution.

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 said.

“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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Mugabe’s nephew vows to continue invading resorts

Eyewitness News | 6 Hours Ago

While top Zanu-PF officials have apologised for the invasions of lodges on
Lake Chivero last weekend, President Robert Mugabe’s nephew has vowed to

This after youths carrying portraits of the Mugabe invaded the lodges and a
bird sanctuary on Harare’s Lake Chivero last Friday. Law enforcement
officers were called to intervene over the weekend.

Tourism minister Walter Mzembi on Sunday said he felt stupid and sad when
the invasions happened last weekend, exposing huge rifts in Zanu-PF. He made
the statement in Spain, where he was promoting tourism in Zimbabwe.

But Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao has declared his support for the
attempted takeover of white-owned lodges near Lake Chivero.

He told Sunday’s Standard newspaper that Zanu-PF was determined to tackle
racists and added that they would invade again.

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Zimbabwe’s external debt approaches US$7bn, central bank says

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) Zimbabwe owes US$6.9 billion to external lenders and
has built up arrears amounting to US$4.8 billion on its foreign debt, the
central bank said here Sunday.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono said the southern
African country’s total external debt stock amounted to US$6,929 million as
at 31 December 2010, representing 103 percent of GDP.

This is way above the international debt sustainability benchmark of 60

“The bulk of the country’s external debt is owed to multilateral creditors
which account for 36 percent of the country’s total debt,” Gono said.

Bilateral and commercial creditors are owed 33 percent and 31 percent,

Central government was the largest debtor at 57 percent while parastatals
and the private sector owed 35 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

The ballooning arrears on the external debt have prevented multilateral
creditors such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank from
extending new loans to Zimbabwe, demanding that the country clears the
outstanding balances first before becoming eligible for further financial


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Central bank sounds inflation warning

30/01/2011 00:00:00

RISING fuel prices and a strengthening South African Rand will continue to
stoke inflationary pressures on the economy, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
(RBZ) has said.

Zimbabwe experienced “low and stable” inflation in 2010 on the back of
“sound macroeconomic policies and general improvement in the supply side of
the economy”, the RBZ said.

Annual inflation remained within the single digit range, peaking at 6.1
percent in May before declining to 4.2 percent in November.

However, the bank warned that rising fuel and food prices as well as the
firming of the South African Rand against the US dollar would increase
inflationary pressures on the economy.

“Reflecting increases in international oil prices, domestic fuel prices
increased in December 2010 by more than 20 percent, translating to a first
round effect on prices of between 0.15 percent and 0.20 percent,” the RBZ
said in a recent statement.

“The second round effects of the rise in fuel prices would be more
pronounced as it is expected to cascade down to the other sectors of the

The bank also expects rising food prices to add to the inflationary
pressures going forward.

“Resurging inflationary pressures have to be fought through the unfailing
armoury of increased capacity utilisation across all productive sectors of
the economy,” the bank said.

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Mutambara Is Going Nowhere-Says Mugabe

30/01/2011 16:13:00

HARARE, January 30, 2011-President Robert Mugabe says Deputy Prime Minister
Arthur Mutambara who was dethroned as leader of the smaller faction of the
MDC recently can stay on in government as long as he want.

Mutambara ceased to be one of the three principals of the Global Political
Agreement (GPA) after he was dethroned as party leader by Industry and
Commerce minister Welshman Ncube.

A meeting of the party’s national standing committee last week decided to
recall Mutambara and re-assign him to the portfolio of Regional Integration
Minister, while naming Ncube as Deputy Prime Minister in the coalition
The MDC move has sparked debate among legal experts, some of whom –
including constitutional expert Lovemore Madhuku say only Mugabe can force
Mutambara to  move, if he chooses to stay.
Ncube who is a constitutional lawyer maintains his party has the right to
recall and reassign its officers in government. Ncube points to a reshuffle
by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of his cabinet team in June last year
which saw him drop National Housing Minister Fidelis Mhashu and Energy
Minister Elias
Speaking for the first time on the MDC leadership change, Mugabe said Ncube’s
declaration that he was now Deputy Prime Minister “complicates issues”,
while taking the view that only two options existed: either Mutambara
resigns, or he fires him.

He told a luncheon hosted for him by the country’s ambassador to Ethiopia:
“It creates legal matters, it complicates issues. They were able to remove
him politically, but legally he was sworn in as a Member of Parliament. I
swore him in as Deputy Prime Minister.

“It’s up to him if he wants to resign, but if he refuses, well, we are
stuck, but the GPA will go ahead.”

Mugabe,s decision will certainly not go down well with MDC-N supporters in
the party,s political powerbase of Matabeleland.People in the region might
view Mugabe,s decision as a show of support for Mutambara and denying Ncube
the right to the post of Deputy Prime Minister.

Announcing his decision, Mugabe appeared sympathetic to Mutambara who has
openly described him as one of Africa,s greatest liberation war heroes.
Mugabe joked at the ceremony."Ah, poor Mutambara, the people who invited you
say you have overstayed," Mugabe said to laughter from the 100 guests of
Ambassador Andrew Mtetwa.Mutambara is currently in Davos, Switzerland where
he is attending the World Economic Forum together with Morgan Tsvangirai and
senior government and business leaders.

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Ncube to beg Mugabe over Mutambara

By Chengetai Zvauya
Sunday, 30 January 2011 18:37

HARARE -Professor Welshman Ncube has requested an audience with President
Robert Mugabe to try and beg him to accept the proposed recall of Deputy
Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara from his post in government.

But the signs on the ground do not look encouraging. Mugabe, who was
attending the African Union (AU) summit in Ethiopia last week, has already
signaled his intention to keep the robotics professor in government.

The smaller faction of the MDC said it will formally announce to Mugabe the
leadership changes and their bid to have Mutambara re-assigned in

In an interview with the Daily News, MDC deputy spokesperson Kuraone
Chihwayi, said his party had sent a letter to the President’s Office,seeking
a meeting with him.

''Our party leadership shall be meeting with Mugabe this week and brief him
on the leadership changes in our party. We hope that Mugabe will respect the
MDC position on the re-deployments,” said Chihwayi.

“None of the principals in the GPA should stand in our way because we
deserve respect as partners in the inclusive government.

''We were informed by his (Mugabe’s) office that upon his return from the AU
summit, we shall have the chance to meet and brief him on the new
politically developments in our party,'' he said.

Chihwayi said their congress endorsed the leadership of Ncube and they did
not anticipate any legal problems from that appointment.

''We have a new leadership that was chosen by all our provinces and
Mutambara is aware of that fact. He was voted out office and was assigned to
another ministerial post,” he said.

“He did not contest that decision. This is what we want to brief Mugabe so
that we can clear the air and confusion surrounding the Deputy Prime
Minister’s position.”

But Mugabe, while in Addis Ababa, made it clear that removing Mutambara from
his position as the DPM poses serious legal problems for him.

The veteran leader’s statement resonates sharply with legal opinion made by
constitutional law expert, Lovemore Madhuku, who has consistently said at
law, Mutambara can remain in office unless he is fired by Mugabe.

“This (removing Mutambara from his post) creates legal problems,” Mugabe
told the local media in Addis Ababa.

“Politically, they were able to remove him but legally, we swore him in a
Member of Parliament and I swore him as deputy prime is up to
him if he wants to resign and if he refuses to resign we are stuck. Bu the
GPA will move ahead.”

Instead, Mugabe questioned Ncube’s ascendancy to the position of the MDC
presidency by questioning  his party’s congress.

Said Mugabe: “I thought this is the opposition which was crying out Zanu PF
is undemocratic. I don’t know whether people really took the decision that
came out of that congress.”

Disgruntled members of the MDC have petitioned the High Court to annul
results of the elections.

Led by Joubert Mudzumwe, the members accuse Ncube of using undemocratic and
illegal means to hold the congress.

But Ncube has been unrelenting in his push to become DPM and represent his
party in government.

He has already reshuffled his team by naming Mutambara new minister of
Regional and Integration Affairs, while assigning incumbent Priscilla
Misihairambwi-Mushonga to his former post at Industry and International

Ncube’s critics blame him for playing the tribal card and have warned that
his party will suffer heavy defeats in the next polls.

The much-maligned professor of law in 2005 led a breakaway
faction,predominantly Ndebele, from the original MDC led by Prime Minster
Morgan Tsvangirai.

Ncube and Tsvangirai had clashed over the party’s participation in the
senatorial elections, resulting in the fall-out.

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MDC slams Mugabe over Mutambara

30/01/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

THE Welshman Ncube-led MDC described as “curious” claims by President Robert
Mugabe that Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara cannot be recalled from
office by his party.

The MDC wants Ncube to take over as deputy premier after he replaced
Mutambara as leader during a recent party congress. Mutambara – who has not
publicly commented on the changes -- has since been assigned the post of
Regional Integration Minister.

However, speaking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he was attending an
African Union summit, President Mugabe said Mutambara can only be replaced
if he chose to resign.

“They (the MDC) were able to remove him politically, but legally he was
sworn in as a Member of Parliament. I swore him in as Deputy Prime
 Minister,” Mugabe said.

“It’s up to him if he wants to resign, but if he refuses, well, we are
stuck, but the Global Political Agreement (GPA) will go ahead.”
But in a statement released on Sunday, the MDC said Mugabe’s reading of the
power sharing pact was inaccurate.

“President has no power or right to appoint any person into the cabinet
without the approval of (their) party through (its) leadership,” said
Nhlanhla Dube, the party’s spokesman.

“Equally clear,” he added, “is the right of each party to reshuffle,
reassign or recall any of its representatives,  the President  being
required  only  to formally make the appointments as requested by the

The party drew comparisons with a mini-reshuffle by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, leader of a rival MDC faction, in June last year when he dropped
Energy Minister Elias Mudzuri and National Housing Minister Fidelis Mhashu.
His party only communicated the changes to Mugabe, who accepted.

Dube added: “It was never suggested that the MDC-T required the consent or
resignation  of  those that  it had  reassigned or removed from cabinet

“It is curious that it is now suggested that there is one rule for the MDC-T
and Zanu PF, and another for MDC. We are left with no doubt that this is not
a legal question but a political one where some parties are more equal than
“We have no doubt that the public can’t be fooled and will definitely
understand what is happening.”

Mutambara returns this week from Davos, Switzerland, where he attended the
World Economic Forum with a crucial decision to make over his political

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Intimidation Wont Stop Me From Doing My Job: Masunda

30/01/2011 12:05:00

HARARE, January 30, 2011- The Mayor of Harare Muchadeyi Masunda says threats
by Zanu (PF) suporters wil not stop him from implementing the city,s

Masunda told the Sunday Times this week he would carry out his duties
"without fear or favour".
He was responding to scenes of violence that engulfed Town House last week
when Zanu-PF supporters besieged the council offices.

"When the 2008 harmonised election took place, the people of Harare voted
and elected 45 out of 46 democratically elected councillors of the MDC and
only one Zanu-PF councillor, Evelyn Njiri.
"She came in courtesy of the gerrymandering that took place around the
Hopley Farm during the election and that is also the reason there is one
urban Zanu-PF MP in Harare, Lieutenant-Colonel Hubert Nyanhongo," Masunda

"As a council we have no cause to be afraid because the councillors who are
there reflect the will of the people.
"We have a duty to carry out and that duty will be carried out until the
next elections. We are the duly elected authority and we will carry out our
duties without fear or favour."

More than 200 Zanu-PF supporters last week besieged the city's headquarters,
with others ransacking offices, baying for Masunda, following the slashing
of maize that had been planted in undesignated areas. They also accused the
council of charging high tariffs.
But Masunda said his council would run the city according to its by-laws.

"This is the message that needs to be carried out to a lot of those
misguided loose cannons," said Masunda. Zanu-PF supporters have often taken
the law into their own hands, sometimes grabbing council land for their own
use. They have so far managed to block some city roads and open spaces,
turning them into street markets.
Scenes of violence directed at MDC officials are on the increase as the
Zanu-PF officials up the ante on electoral rhetoric ahead of a possible
election later this year.

Last week, the co-Minister of Home Affairs, Theresa Makone, was barred from
addressing a meeting in her Hatfield constituency. And as if this was not
enough, a marketplace she built with money from her parliamentary fund was
destroyed by Zanu-PF supporters on Tuesday night.
Ironically, Makone is the co-Minister of Home Affairs responsible for the

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 29th January 2011


Vigil supporters have been watching the unfolding revolution in North Africa with fascination – but with little expectation of a similar street uprising in Zimbabwe.


Why are we different? Zimbabweans too are victims of a brutal and corrupt regime.  Perhaps the problem is the poor quality of opposition leaders . . . But then they are not opposition now are they?


Certainly it doesn’t seem so from the vacuous answers Morgan Tsvangirai gave at the Davos meeting of world movers and shakers (see: 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 minimized.” 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.”


Mr Tsvangirai’s comments were unlikely to attract investment from the assembled world bankers. But then Tsvangirai is hardly a mover and shaker. He doesn’t seem to have noticed that the cabinet has not met since December – not that it makes any difference as he has no power of any consequence. Two years in government and the shambolic constitution-making process is a year behind schedule. And (big revelation!) nothing has been done about the rotten voters’ roll with thousands of people older even than Mugabe.


As we gathered on an icy day in London, we were worried by the supine reaction of the MDC leadership to the mounting evidence that the military have already launched a terror campaign to maintain the Mugabe mafia in power. As day by day more violence is reported, a senior officer, Air Vice-Marshal Henry Muchena, has apparently told local Zanu PF leaders in Mashonaland West that soldiers are taking charge of the party’s election campaign. It is expected that some 80,000 soldiers, war veterans and youth militia – about the same number as the estimated ghost workers in the Zimbabwe civil service! – are being deployed to intimidate MDC supporters in a campaign even more bloody than the 2008 presidential run-off.


What is the MDC leadership doing to counter this? The Vigil suggests a massive demonstration during the visit to Zimbabwe planned by an African Union mission to assess the electoral conditions. If the police clamp down on this demonstration it will be in the full sight of Africa. We propose a march to the hotel to welcome the delegation.


Or will the MDC leadership follow Malawi’s example and spend their energies outlawing farting? (Check: and


Other points

·       Vigil management team member Luka Phiri was invited to an annual lunch at the Anne Frank Trust on Holocaust Memorial Day which was addressed by former South African President F W de Klerk. Check for a photo of Luka standing next to Mr de Klerk.

·       It was good to welcome Vigil supporter Richard Taruvinga’s two young sons (12 and 7 years) who have just arrived from Zimbabwe.  They start English school on Tuesday. (They were not impressed by the weather!)

·       A supporter who works for Lonrho and in the past has given us a bundle of Zimbabwean $100 trillion notes came by. He recounted a joke about the note which he was told in Harare in 2009 – ‘the pictures on the note are all symbolic: the waterfall symbolizes the direction of the economy, the big load of bull is a symbol of government policy and the balancing rocks are symbolic of what you have in your head if you think you can buy anything with this!’

·       There has been an explosion of technology at the Vigil thanks to ZimVigil TV. Supporters can watch themselves on a television screen as they dance and sing and before they leave they can pick up a DVD of the action. 

·      The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum are inviting some people from Zimbabwean civil society to the UK who are keen to visit the Vigil.  On Saturday 19th February we hope to host Okay Machisa, the Executive Director of Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), Kucaca Phulu, Chair of ZimRights and possibly Gabriel Shumba of Zimbabwe Exiles Forum and Gideon Shoko of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trades Union. We are hoping they will bring to the Vigil photos of victim of political violence which are part of Zimrights’ ‘Reflections’ photo exhibition with which they are touring Europe.

·      The television in the Zimbabwe Embassy was showing the tourism film ‘Zimbabwe: World of Wonders’- one wonder being that a holiday resort can be invaded  on the pretext of acting for the government’s policy of taking over businesses . . .

For latest Vigil pictures check: For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check  


FOR THE RECORD: 114 signed the register.


·           The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe.

·           ROHR Ashford Kent general meeting. Saturday 5th February, Venue: the Star Pub, Ashford, Kent TN24 8PA opposite Liquid Night Club off Hythe Road, 5 mins walk from Ashford International Station. ROHR executive members present. Contact Danmore Munyuki 07535213801, Munyaradzi Badze 07709317869, Egbert Mtengwa 07985592931 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.

·           ROHR West Bromwich general meeting.  Saturday 5th February from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West Bromwich B70 OHF00-1700hrs. For more info contact Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Peter Nkomo 07817096594, Diana Mtendereki 07771708800, Phylis Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.

·           ROHR Woking general meeting. Saturday 5th February from 2 – 6 pm, Venue: Woking Homes, Oriental Road, Woking, GU22 7BE. Contact, Isaac Mudzamiri 07774044873, Sithokozile Hlokana 07886203113, Saziso Zulu 07861028280 or P.Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.

·           Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum Meeting. Monday 21st February at 7.30 pm. Venue: offices of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT. Nearest tube: Old Street. Speakers: Okay Machisa and Kucaca Phulu of ZimRights.

·           Vigil Facebook page:

·           Vigil Myspace page:

·           ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to and 0send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe

·           Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust ( Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa ( if you are interested in taking part.


Vigil Co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe:

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Robert Mugabe running out of options very fast

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London 30/01/11

A closer look at the Zimbabwean situation unravels a frightening slide into
the unknown as Robert Mugabe shows he is running of out of viable options to
salvage the fragile coalition.

When Mugabe intimated that he has a “constitutional right” to dissolve
Parliament and call for elections, even if it means using a constitution
which he has amended almost 20 times since 1980, his spin doctors might have
thought that he was asserting his authority. On the contrary, it only helped
expose his Achilles heel as he would also be dissolving his own legitimacy
as President of Zimbabwe and lose all the immunities that go with his
office. Furthermore, we also learnt how it was not feasible to run a snap
election because  nearly one-third of Zimbabwe’s registered voters are dead,
and others appear to be babies or up to 120 years old.

A stunning report by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) cited a
lawmaker who found that more than 500 dead voters had all been given the
same birth date – January 1, 1901 (Associated Press, 21/01/11). Apart from
intimidation and having its research material burnt, ZESN was denied access
to the electronic version of the voters’ roll by the Registrar’s General’s
office (Zimeye, 24/01/11). Compounding the situation are claims that of the
250 000 civil servants on the government payroll, 70,000 are ‘ghost workers”
(News Day, 29/01/11). It could be argued that the ‘ghost workers’ could have
been intended as a Zanu-pf innovative fund raising scheme in wake of
declining subscriptions and a million dollar overdraft.

Mugabe might not have known it too that by dissolving Parliament he would
also lose ‘his legitimacy as President of Zimbabwe’ which is solely based on
the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that he is ‘trying to rubbish’
(NewsDay, 24/01/11). In fact, it’s like vandalizing your drip while
seriously ill and still expect to live. A timely reminder came a day after
Mugabe threatened to call for early polls from the United States ambassador
to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray who said Zimbabweans must have a say on when and
how the country should hold elections (Daily News 24/01/11). That’s
democracy as we know it.

Manufactured external enemy

Natan Sharansky aptly depicts what is prevailing in Zimbabwe under Robert
Mugabe when he says non-democratic regimes stay in power by controlling
their populations. ‘This control invariably requires an increasing amount of
repression. To justify this repression and maintain internal stability,
external enemies must be manufactured. The result is that while the
mechanics of democracy make democracies inherently peaceful, the mechanics
of tyranny make non-democracies inherently belligerent. Indeed, in order to
avoid collapsing from within, fear societies must maintain a perpetual state
of conflict’ (The Case for Democracy - The Power of Freedom to Overcome
Tyranny and Terror, 2004:88).

Similarly, Mugabe has manufactured his external enemies conveniently in the
form of colonialism, imperialism, ‘illegal’ sanctions, the Americans, the
British, the Europeans or the West in order to mask Zanu-pf repression and
buy time. Speaking at the graduation ceremeny of Joint Command and Staff
Course Number 23 at the Zimbabwe Staff College in Harare ‘last week’
(according to the Zanu-pf website accessed 30/01/11) Mugabe said:

‘This (training) is of utmost importance, moreso at this point in time when
the country is facing the Western orchestrated regime change agenda intended
to re-colonise Zimbabwe ( Regime change is a Zanu-pf
euphemism for presidential elections!

Evidence of Zanu-pf’s ‘external enemy syndrome’

Nowhere is Zanu-pf’s ‘external enemy syndrome’(EES) more painfully
pronounced than in its hostility towards a free press. For example, the
threat to dissolve Parliament was directed at the British media especially
the Daily Telegraph as if they are Zimbabwean voters. Before that, the
hiking of media fees under Jonathan Moyo’s draconian AIPPA law can be argued
as specifically targeted at international news media outlets operating in
Zimbabwe and their local correspondents.

The new fees which came into force on January 1 require an international
news outlet to pay US$6,000 for permission to operate a bureau in Zimbabwe
(triple the old rate of US$2,000) in addition to a US$1,000 application fee
for such permission (double the old rate of US$500). According to CJP,
renewal of this permission went from being free to US$5,000 (Ethiopian
Review, 18/01/11). The only logical thing for the coalition government to
do, as we have said in the past is to repeal the draconian AIPPA law
especially as a sign of inclusiveness under the GPA and to ensure genuine
freedom of the press. Other examples of the ‘EES’ manifest themselves in the
form of the planned Anti-Sanctions Bill, blackmailing foreign companies to
denounce sanctions and so on.

‘Unhappiest country in the world’

In a normal country elections don’t evoke sad memories of violence and
retribution, but excitement and lively engagement with constituents through
peaceful face-to-face meetings, posters, leaflets and electronic campaigns
via social networking websites, televised debate, phone-ins,  and
door-to-door community meetings with candidates leading to a calm and
organized voting process.

In Zimbabwe, talk of election understandably reminds people of their bad
memories especially with 2008 in mind. It’s no surprise that a survey
recently found that 7 out of 10 Zimbabweans fear political violence even
though more than two-thirds told Afro-barometer that elections should be
held this year (The Zimbabwe Mail 05/01/11). The country is officially the
poorest (unhappiest) in the world, while Norway is the world’s most
prosperous (happiest) country according to Legatum Institute, London-based
think tank.

Defying the Wind of Change

In a contribution to Defying the Wind of Change edited by Eldred V.
Masunungure (2009), Anyway Chingwete Ndapwadza and Ethel Muchena note that
Public opinion was significant in Zimbabwe’s 29 March 2008 harmonized
elections because it related directly to immediate political activity. The
authors revealed what Mugabe’s propagandists don’t want to know – the truth
about Zimbabwe’s public opinion.

‘In order to tap into public opinion and make predictions about the
elections, the Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI)1 conducted three surveys
in the first quarter of
2008…The MPOI quantitative and qualitative survey results depict a shift in
from ZANU(PF) to the larger faction of the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai
(MDC-T) and reveal consistent irregularities in the election administration,
delimitation process, voter registration and voter education’, they

Jumping the gun

However, the documented irregularities have only worsened with Mugabe’s
threat to ‘jump the gun’ by going to polls with or without a new
constitution which should be put to a referendum in accordance with the
provisions of the Global Political Agreement. There are fears that the
constitution-making process may be aborted due to growing mistrust and
alleged tempering with sensitive data apart from perennial funding woes.

Some analysts say Mugabe is under pressure from his divided party especially
in the wake of  ‘the jazzman or facebook revolutions’ sweeping Africa from
the north. In a move described as ‘vile influence’, Mugabe’s spin doctors
Jonathan Moyo and George Charamba have reportedly appeared on TV in support
of Mugabe’s election threat. Similarly, with the supreme leader reaching 87
years next month, the unresolved succession issue is also allegedly playing
a part in prompting him to speed up elections and intensify an intimidation
campaign against the opposition but it can backfire.

The level of Zanu-pf desperation has reached incredible proportions with the
recent granting of presidential amnesty by Mugabe to serial rapist Godfrey
Nzira who was seven days later deployed to campaign for Zanu-pf among the
Apostolic sect in Muzarabani. Zanu-pf seems to have a low opinion of rural
voters despite previous electoral defeats.

Stalled roadmap to elections

Hopes of a roadmap to free and fair elections elections and a clear transfer
of power have been dashed by the failure of SADC’s Troika to meet this month
as previously announced last year. However, civil society and political
activists are urging SADC and the AU to ensure the road map to elections
also reforms service chiefs.

MDC-T Marondera Urban District Youth Chairperson, Size Vhilela, recently
said that individuals in charge of state security agents should be turned
professional if ever elections in the country were to be free and fair.

“Service Chiefs must be reformed to carry out their official duties in a
non-partisan manner. This would help eliminate political violence blamed on
state security agents and members of the uniformed forces. Something urgent
should be done to ensure the service chiefs discharge their duties in the
interest of all citizens across the political divide,” said Vhilela (Great
Indaba, 08/01/11).

Zimbabwe’s ‘facebook revolution’

If, hypothetically speaking there was a ‘facebook revolution’ in Zimbabwe,
what options would the regime have?

Chinese Tiananmen Square Option

Although there are reports that the military have been deployed through-out
the country ahead of elections that are expected sometime this year if
Mugabe gets his way, it is unlikely that shooting demonstrators would be an
option from what we have seen in Tunisia and Egypt. Although the Chinese
have boosted their propaganda support for Zanu-pf by installing widescreen
jingles’ television sets in Harare’s First Street, Zimbabweans are not
gullible or just ‘urban peasants’ as Jonathan Moyo used to refer to them in
class at UZ. Equally, while there have been some fatalities in these
facebook revolutions, soldiers have been generally reluctant to shoot at the
civilians despite widespread destruction of property e.g. the burning of the
ruling party’s headquarters in Cairo. It’s hard to imagine the current
Zanu-pf Headquarters (‘Shake-shake or Chibuku’ Building) going up in smoke!

Instead, civilians have been seen handing flowers and flags to soldiers and
policemen in Tunisia celebrating their new dispensation albeit a transition
only. Military deployment to instill fear will not work in the long run in
Zimbabwe because the grievances are very deep-seated and fundamental
including Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina, farm looting, corruption, impunity,
disrespect for human rights and the rule of rule, stalled political reforms
and so on. In the event of an uprising, we have seen soldiers and policemen
being embraced by their countrymen and women and children riding tanks in
celebration in North Africa, something they never thought would happen.

Similarly Zimbabwean soldiers are unhappy due to low incomes. Some of them
especially at the lowest ranks are living rough and are fed-up. They would
benefit from restraining themselves than becoming trigger-happy.

Indeed, desperate times call for desperate measures and to that effect, Air
Force of Zimbabwe Vice Air Marshal Henry Muchena is reported to have assumed
the directorship of the Zanu PF commissariat thus confirming the
militarization of the party ahead of elections. But we all know that in the
modern world there is a difference between a military establishment and a
political party – civilians! They are free thinking and sophisticated.
Perhaps good reading for the Air Vice Marshal would be Geoffrey Regan’s
Great Military Blunders, 2000 published by Channel 4 Books. Writing about
‘underestimating the enemy’ Regan says: “Superior fire power gave European
armies an overwhelming advantage in colonial warfare, but some commanders
failed to understand that the non-European, non-white opponents did not
‘play the game’ according to the rules that said the white man always won”


If Mugabe pins his hopes on war veterans to retain power in an uprising, he
couldn’t be more wrong because there is disunity, infighting and low morale.
For example, genuine war veterans in Chipinge have declared that Zanu (PF)
will never win any future elections in Manicaland province, saying the party
has failed to fulfil its promises and has neglected them (The Zimbabwean,
25/01/11). Amidst allegations of witchcraft assassinations as if AK47shave
really been beaten into ploughshares, squabbling war veterans are likely to
do the ‘Tunisia way’ by joining the oppressed masses. Of course, it’s not
that simple. There are some diehard brainwashed veterans who would fight to
the bitter end. Mugabe’s serious opponents need to cultivate a good rapport
with the military now through praise and sympathy rather than condemn them.

Dubai or Saudi Option

This would entail doing what the North African leaders are said to have done
during the ongoing uprisings – flying to Dubai or Saudi Arabia. In line with
Zanu-pf’s Look East policy there are many other possible exile destinations
depending on the prevailing circumstances in the host country. However, in
London a Foreign Minister has today denied reports that the embattled
Egyptian President Mubarak has asked for asylum in Britain (BBC Radio4 News,
30/01/11). We hope Zanu-pf stands by its rejection of Lord Renton’s
suggestion that the UK should give Mugabe a home in the UK (Daily News,
12/11/12). It would be grossly insensitive for the UK to even to consider
the move in view of the fresh memories of looting of white commercial farms.


The United States Institute of Peace feels that Zimbabwe’s coalition
government is increasingly dysfunctional mainly due to a defeated incumbent
ruler’s unwillingness to surrender real executive authority to a popular
opposition and in its view:.
‘International actors can help to bring Zimbabwe’s transition to a peaceful
and democratic conclusion by guaranteeing power sharing, supervising
elections, and maintaining targeted sanctions’ (, accessed

In the wake of indigenization rhetoric and its repellent effect on foreign
investment, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank have
cautioned that far-reaching political reforms are a pre-requisite to
sustainable growth in Zimbabwe.

Similarly, the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) has
suggested that a comprehensive, standing presence/observer mission of SADC
and/or the AU be stationed in Zimbabwe until ‘such time as a new
Constitution has been drafted, that the draft has been submitted to
referendum and that free and fair presidential and legislative elections
have been held’ (

As Mugabe runs of out of viable options very fast, Zimbabwe remains what
Natan Sharasnky described as a ‘powder keg ready to explode’. However, that
does not mean that the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai should sleep on the job. MDC should show a more
visible presence than the military. It should respond to every statement
issued by Jonathan Moyo, George Charamba, Tafataona Mahoso and other Zanu-pf
propagandists. MDC should come up with alternative legistation to AIPPA,
POSA, Anti-Sanctions Bill even if it eventually fails to become law in the
face of Zanu-pf resistance. The message will have gone home that MDC is
paving the way forward. The MDC should turn problems into opportunities.
Nothing conceivable stops the MDC from starting their own broadcasting radio
and television e.g. on the internet where Zanu-pf has no control. I am
independent but my soul is in Zimbabwe where my parents and sister are

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,

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Learn Shona - Beginner's Lesson 8

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 discussing your home life and contact details. Read on and you will find that ‘Havana’ is not just the capital city of Cuba. 

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

Home (Kumba)


To live - Kugara

You live - unogara

Where - kupi

Where do you live? - Unogara kupi

I live in Alex Park - Ndinogara kuAlex Park

Where is that - Ndekupi ikoko?

Near - Pedyo

It is near Mount Pleasant - Iri pedyo neMount Pleasant


Marital Status


To marry - Kuroora

To be married - Kuroorwa

Are you married? - Wakaroora/wakaroorwa here?

I’m married - Ndakaroora/ Ndakaroorwa

I’m single - Handina kuroora/kuroorwa

I’m engaged - Ndakapiwa chitsidzo

I’m divorced - Ndakarambana nemukadzi/murume

I’m a widow - Ndakafirwa nemurume

I’m a widower - Ndakafirwa nemukadzi


To Have Kuva/Kuve


I have - ndine

A child - mwana

Children - vana

I have two children - ndine vana vaviri

You have - une

He/she has - ane

It has - ine / chine / rine

You have (singular or informal) – une

You have (plural or formal) - mune

We have - tine

They have - vane

I don’t have - handina

I don’t have any children – handina vana

You don’t have (singular or informal) - hauna

You don’t have (plural or formal) - hamuna

She /.He doesn’t have (singular or informal) - haana

She /.He doesn’t have - havana

We don’t have - hatina

They don’t have - havana

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