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Zimbabwe stops farm acquisitions
. (AP Photo, File)

The laws that allow the Zimbabwean government to acquire and redistribute farm land have been put on hold, Zimbabwe's Lands Land Reforms Ministry announces.

Zimbabwe's Lands Land Reforms and Resettlement Minister Herbert Murerwa announced that the laws that allow the government to acquire farm lands for re-distribution purposes have been put on hold. Lands Land Reforms Minister's decision came as a result of court lawsuits from foreign farm owners.

Zimbabwe had signed a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) with European nations including Germany, Malaysia, and Switzerland. BIPPA stipulates that for every piece of land the government seizes, it must pay compensation to the satisfaction of the farmer.

Zimbabwean debts

Failing to meet the agreement forced 40 Dutch farmers to successfully sue the Zimbabwean government to the International Court for Settlement of Investment Disputes at a fee of US$25 million.

Minister Murerwa told DW that his "government has taken the decision not to settle persons on farms covered by BIPPA for now.” But how the government intends to settle its debts with the Dutch farmers is yet unknown.

Black farmers in Zimbabwe find maintaining newly acclaimed farm lands difficult. 
Foto: Columbus S. Mavhunga, DW, Januar 2012
Titel: Farm workers Zimbabwe Mgutu Farm
Aufnahmeort: Mgutu Farm, Mazowe, SimbabweBlack farmers in Zimbabwe find maintaining newly acclaimed farm lands difficult.

Further litigation threats

More white farmers are threatening to file lawsuits if Harare does not change its land reforms program. Robert Mugabe's government is facing further litigations from white farmers whose lands were seized and not properly compensated.

A German farmer Heinrich von Pezold has a pending case against the government at the Washington DC based investment dispute court after Harare interrupted operations at his farm. It remains unclear however, whether this new move will be convincing enough to make von Pezold to withdraw his case.

No surprises

Pedzisai Ruhanya is a Media and democracy doctorate Student at the University of West Minster in the United Kingdom. He says it is only a matter of time before Zimbabwean government gives in to international pressure and abolishes its controversial land reforms program. Harare "needs to have talks and negotiations with the international community, the European Union, and even with Washington," he said.

Zimbabwe's agricultural-based economy took a plunge in early 2000 when President Robert Mugabe's government embarked on a chaotic and violent land reform exercise targeting white commercial farmers.

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Govt urged to ‘wake up’ after resignation of human rights chief

By Alex Bell
02 January 2013

The resignation of the head of Zimbabwe’s Human Rights Commission is being
described as a serious ‘wake up call’ for the government, which is being
urged to strengthen its human rights commitments.

Professor Reginald Austin stepped down as head of the Commission last month,
citing ‘inhibiting laws’ and a lack of resources.

“The critical reason for my resignation is the legal framework … within
which the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission is expected now and in the
future, to carry out its mandate,” Austin was quoted as saying in a

He added: “As a national human rights institution the commission must be
independent and properly capacitated.” Austin cited sections of the Zimbabwe
Human Rights Commission Act and electoral laws that he said impinged on the
Commission’s work.

The Commission was set up in 2009 after the formation of the unity
government, as part of a number of reforms needed for free and fair
elections. But years later, the Commission remains hobbled with no support
from the government in terms of either resources or respect.

The Human Rights Commission Bill was only sworn in late last year, among a
number of other bills that appeared to be rushed through parliament ahead of
elections. The Bill actively prevents the Commission from dealing with any
political violence before 2008. A clause in the Bill allows Human Rights
Commissioners only to look at rights abuses after they were sworn into
office on 13th February 2009.

Irene Petras, the head of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
group, told SW Radio Africa that she is disappointed by the resignation, but
not surprised.

“I can understand the reasons for the resignation because there are some
serious problems in terms of the Commission doing the work that needs to be
done. However, somebody who points out the challenges is to be commended, at
least so we can address these issues,” Petras said.

She explained that the move must be viewed as a wake-up call, “because we
have been seeing a real lack of will by government to make sure these
institution are properly resourced and can function independently.”

“I just hope the government won’t ignore these warnings again,” Petras said,
adding that the pressure must continue to grow on the government to
strengthen its commitments to the protection of human rights.

In a statement the ZLHR also added that Austin’s decision to step down is a
threat to the protection of human rights.

“This resignation is an unequivocal statement of the condemnation of the
current operating framework particularly the excessive powers of the
executive,” it said.

It added: “Lack of effective powers and independence of the commission to
investigate and take strong action where human rights violations have been
brought to its attention and its inability to independently investigate and
take strong action in relation to electoral-related violations.”

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Lawyers' group: Bolster rights panel ahead of polls

01/01/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

A leading advocacy group is calling on government to strengthen the
poorly-equipped Human Rights Commission ahead of elections this year so it
can effectively deal with rights violations that may arise.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) says the government should
fully address the commission’s inadequacies and inefficiencies raised by
outgoing chairman Reginald Austin who resigned in protest last Friday.

Austin, a respected law professor, quit citing the body’s lack of
independence and resources, among other reasons.
He accused government of abandoning the rights panel with “no budget, no
accommodation, no mobility, no staff and no implementing Act or corporate
legal status.”

The lawyers’ group says the government should quickly act on concerns raised
by Austin before the country goes to a constitutional referendum and a
high-stakes general election expected mid-year.

“The spotlight is now focused firmly on government to take immediate
concrete and positive measures to resource the commission, establish a
professional secretariat and ensure that it is enabled ahead of elections,”
the ZLHR said in a statement.

It added that Austin’s move was “an unequivocal statement of condemnation of
the current operating framework of the commission, in particular excessive
powers of the executive.”

"Executive interference must be minimised and legislators must act swiftly
to improve the enabling Act ahead of the constitutional referendum and

ZLHR said empowering the commission would “put perpetrators on notice that
they will not escape liability for any human rights violations during an
election period, or generally.”

Zimbabwe's successive elections since independence in 1980 have been marred
by varying levels of intimidation and violence perpetrated mainly by
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party against opposition activists.

Hundreds of MDC supporters were killed in the run-up to the 2008 run-off
vote, forcing Morgan Tsvangirai to pull out of the contest.

Rights defenders described Austin’s departure as a major setback for the
human rights agenda.

Education Minister David Coltart, a veteran lawyer, said: "I am saddened by
the resignation of Prof Reg Austin… I understand and sympathize with his

Coltart’s sentiments were shared by Deputy Justice Minister Obert Gutu who
appeared to blame Zanu PF for Austin’s quitting.
“The system has made sure that he is frustrated into resigning before the
commission even starts it's real work,” Gutu, an MDC-T official wrote on

“Austin is an international human rights lawyer of impeccable credentials.
He was the lead legal advisor to Joshua Nkomo's ZAPU at the Lancaster House
talks in 1979. I am completely gutted by his resignation.”

The rights panel was constituted in 2009 following the formation of the
unity government, but it has barely functioned four years later.

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Mugabe vacation timing scorned

By Alex Bell
02 January 2013

Robert Mugabe’s decision to take a month long break abroad is being scorned
by members of Zimbabwe’s civil society groups, who say the country is being
held in limbo because of a lack of government action.

Mugabe left Harare for Asia last week Thursday where he will spend between
three and four weeks with his family. The annual holiday has angered many,
because of the stalled nature of political progress stopping promised

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CZC) has raised concern that Mugabe’s
absence will slow down the pace of reforms expected before elections. Mugabe
has insisted the new poll will be held this year, despite a deadlock over
the new constitution and a critical absence of the necessary reforms.

“We urge the president to cut short his vacation and help resolve the crisis
at home so that Zimbabwe can make democratic progress before the next
elections,” CZC said in a statement.

CZC spokesman Thabani Nyoni told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that,
“Zimbabwe remains at a critical transitional juncture and we call upon its
leaders to prioritise implementation of the necessary reforms.”

“We felt that the country, especially government side, has lagged behind in
terms of deliverables expected of them in terms of GPA timelines and
expectations. We also felt that considering there is increase of electoral
activity, there needs to be an adjustment of government activity. In other
words we expected the president to either postpone his break or push forward
deadlines,” Nyoni said, adding that Mugabe appears to be “derailing the

“We feel the ZANU PF side of government is not taking the inclusive
government seriously,” he said.

He added that civil society groups expect that an election will be called
this year, despite the lack of reforms needed for a free and fair poll.

“We are anticipating that this time around there won’t be time to harmonise
the constitution with current laws and that elections are likely to be held
under conditions that are neither free, credible, nor fair,” Nyoni said.

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Grace Kwinjeh throws hat in ring for parliamentary elections

By Tichaona Sibanda
02 January 2013

Grace Kwinjeh, a veteran MDC-T activist who was last year honoured for
coming up with the name ‘Movement for Democratic Change,’ has announced her
intention to contest this year’s parliamentary elections.

The 38 year-old Kwinjeh told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday she will be
returning to Zimbabwe this month to take part in the internal party
processes to choose candidates for elections, expected between June and

A fierce critic of the Robert Mugabe regime Kwinjeh has lived in exile in
Brussels, Belgium for the past three years. She has been arrested several
times on various trumped-up charges and has been held in solitary

She was also one of the high profile civic and political leaders brutally
tortured on March 11, 2007 in Harare. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was
one of those tortured at this time and shocking images of this brutality
circled round the world.

After being tortured Kwinjeh and the others were hidden and held illegally
for almost 72 hours in various police stations. They were denied access to
lawyers and medical care, even though they all had serious injuries,
including head traumas and broken bones.

Kwinjeh failed to contest the 2008 elections as she was still recovering
from wounds inflicted during the torture.

‘I’m going back home to fulfil a dream and that is to represent people in
parliament. I have received numerous offers from different groups to
represent them but for now my mind is set on Makoni Central,’ Kwinjeh said.

The Makoni Central constituency is held by the MDC-T but the MP, John
Nyamande, died in a horrific car crash in November 2009. Nyamande had
wrestled the seat from ZANU PF’s Patrick Chinamasa in the 2008 elections.

There are prospects that if Kwinjeh manages to sail through the party
primaries she might face Justice Minister Chinamasa in the parliamentary

‘I’m a child of the party and I do not want any preferential treatment. I
want to go there and take part in the internal process because I don’t want
to be imposed on the people. We are a democratic party and people should
have an opportunity to choose their representatives,’ she said.

Kwinjeh, a journalist by profession, is a founder member of the MDC and has
served as deputy secretary for international affairs. She said she has
decided to give it a go because of key issues that need to be addressed in
the country.

‘Being a party committed to social justice I believe a new government led by
the MDC-T will advocate for an inclusive society in which everybody has a
chance in life,’ she explained.

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Zanu PF officials defy WikiLeaks

By Richard Chidza, Staff Writer
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 11:26

HARARE - Zanu PF has warned its bigwigs to watch their mouths when meeting
with American envoys amid revelations that party “stalwarts” last week
clandestinely met United States ambassador Bruce Wharton.

Party spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo yesterday told the Daily News that Zanu PF
has not sanctioned any meetings with American representatives “on any issue”,
yet some officials have already been holding talks with Wharton. Wharton
confirmed the meetings describing those he met as stalwarts who were “very
smart, progressive patriots”.

“As far as we are concerned we have no scheduled meetings with the Americans
and people have to be careful what they say and do. Remember the WikiLeaks
saga, a lot of our officials were fingered and reported to have said a lot
of things,” Gumbo told the Daily News.

“Sometimes it is not in the interest of the party to meet with these people
(Americans). We have not acted on the WikiLeaks saga but that is not to say
nothing will be done. It depends on what people say,” said Gumbo.

“The danger is that at the moment we do not know what they (party stalwarts)
said or did in those meetings,” he said without elaborating if Zanu PF would

Wharton literally put the proverbial cat among the pigeons by disclosing he
had met top Zanu PF officials without revealing their names.

“On the 27th, I had breakfast with two Zanu PF stalwarts. Very smart,
progressive patriots interested in looking ahead, not backwards.

“So, my Christmas week has been full of family and warmth, but also filled
with a wide range of proud Zimbabweans, people who want the best for this
country and whose skills and experiences can all serve the nation. Onward to
2013,” said Wharton in a post on his social networking site Facebook wall.

Sharon Hudson-Dean, the counsellor for public affairs at the American
embassy in Harare confirmed the Facebook account belonged to Wharton.

“I can confirm that is Ambassador Wharton’s account but I have been away and
would need to talk to the ambassador so that I can be able to comment
comprehensively,” she said.

Gumbo’s comments reveal a deep-seated fear not only of fissures but also
possible alliances between the so called “progressive and smart stalwarts”
and forces fighting to dislodge Mugabe and his former liberation movement
that has presided over Zimbabwe since independence from British rule 32
years ago.

Mugabe’s advanced age has prompted murmurings of discontent with his
candidature for the upcoming elections putting a damper on Zanu PF’s
prospects in the general election expected later this year.

Whistle blower website WikiLeaks in the past three years revealed officials
close to Mugabe including his deputy Joice Mujuru, ministers and senior
security officials met with different American envoys discussing the Zanu PF
leader’s secretive health and the emotive succession issue.

In 2011, WikiLeaks released a cable in which aides told the then American
ambassador, James Mcgee in 2008, that the octogenarian leader had been
diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Zanu PF propagandist and political chameleon, Jonathan Moyo confided in US
officials that Mugabe was fighting a deadly battle with cancer, according to
the diplomatic cables. US officials described Moyo as a “useful messenger”.

Already internal fist fights have emerged with distinct camps that Mugabe
has acknowledged exist openly fighting for control of Zanu PF.

One is reportedly headed by Mujuru and another by party legal secretary and
defence minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Gumbo has previously called on officials named in the WikiLeaks saga to
“search their conscience”.

Wharton, who is not new to Zimbabwe, seems to be enjoying a breath of fresh
air after previously admitting the WikiLeaks diplomatic leaks were affecting
efforts to meet politicians from across the spectrum.

The new US envoy ingratiated himself well with the local fraternity during
his stay in Zimbabwe as an embassy public affairs officer and spokesperson
between 1999- 2003.

But the WikiLeaks saga made Wharton’s job difficult, at a time he
desperately needed to feel the pulse in Zanu PF and the MDC-not from
kowtowing NGO leaders telling him what they know he wants to hear.

“WikiLeaks has come up in my conversations. People are concerned,” the
58-year-old diplomat said in December after failing to meet Bulawayo
governor and politburo member Cain Mathema.

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WFP to increase cash handouts

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 11:03
HARARE - The World Food Programme (WFP) is set to increase its cash handouts
to people in drought-stricken parts of Zimbabwe, country director Felix
Bamezon has said.

Currently, the UN agency is giving out $3 per person per month but is
mulling increasing the amount in light of a likely food price hike following
another poor agricultural season.

“This is likely to increase in January if market prices increase. WFP
conducts regular market monitoring and assessments,” Bamezon told the Daily
News recently.

Since its response to the current drought period, WFP says it has provided
approximately one million people with food assistance.

The cash for cereals intervention rationale was informed by the evaluation
findings of a cash transfer piloted in 2009-2010 and a market feasibility
study undertaken in late 2010.

Under the scheme, villagers receive the usual assistance in the form of
commodities such as small grains and oil and depending on the location, some
beneficiaries receive cash as well.

The cash enables villagers to buy food provisions direct from local markets.

“This modality was developed in the Zimbabwean context to blend in
donations with cash or voucher transfers, taking advantage of the
opportunity to procure maize regionally and access surpluses available in
communities and other parts of the country,” Bamezon said.

He said evaluations from the 2009-2010 cash transfer project showed that
beneficiaries preferred a combination of cash and food, and that households
which received cash only had poor dietary diversity as they spent most of
the cash transfer on cereals only.

However, Bamezon said cash was not always suitable as people in some remote
areas struggle to access markets because of poor road networks and have to
rely on food distribution.

WFP, in partnership with government, came up with the cash/food for assets
programme to curb food insecurity in the country.

This was done through a seasonal targeted assistance programme, consisting
of free food handouts or cash transfers to the most vulnerable after they
would have done some developmental jobs in their respective areas.

As identified by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Zimvac),
the worst affected areas are Matabeleland North and South, Masvingo, parts
of Manicaland, Mashonaland and Midlands.

Zimvac is a committee of government and aid agencies tasked with assessing
the country’s food needs.

WFP says over 1,6 million Zimbabweans — or one in every five — will require
food assistance during the peak of the “hunger season” between January and

The UN agency, which has been key in averting starvation in Zimbabwe since
the turn of the decade, said it will be reaching to 38 districts.

Recurrent droughts, a poorly planned land reform and lack of adequate
support for newly resettled farmers have resulted in Zimbabwe struggling
with food shortages over the past decade. - Helen Kadirire

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‘Teachers to report for duty’

Tuesday, 01 January 2013 00:00

Teachers will report for duty as normal when schools re-open next week
despite concerns about their salaries, representatives of teachers’ unions
said yesterday. Schools open for the first term on 8 January.

“For now schools will open as scheduled without our disgruntled members
going on strike over salary issues.

“We are waiting anxiously for Government to come up with a good package for
the teachers before our membership embark on an industrial action later in
January,” said the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association secretary-general, Mr
Richard Gundani.

In his budget statement, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said the Government
would award civil servants an inflation-based salary increment this year.
Zimbabwe has an annual inflation of less than five percent.

Mr Gundani said the teachers were not going to accept inflation-related
salary increment because the increment would be paltry.

He said the lowest paid worker was taking home about US$300.
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe national co-ordinator Mr Enoch
Paradzayi said recently they held a meeting and resolved to go on strike if
their plight was not addressed by pay day.
He said the inflation based salary increment, which Government intended to
award was a drop in the ocean.

He said although Minister Biti had announced that civil servants would this
month receive inflation-based salary increment, no official document had
been given to PTUZ to that effect.
“The salary increment that will be inflation related is paltry as it will
see our salaries increasing by between US$18 and US$20,” said Mr Paradzayi.

He said that in 2012 the teachers were awarded allowances of US$58.
“Government needs to be lenient and award a salary in line with the PDL,” he
“After schools closed in December, as PTUZ we had a meeting where we agreed
that if nothing is done we will engage in industrial action in January.

“We are now waiting to see what package Government will offer prior to our
national executive meeting, which will determine the way forward,” he said.

He said unlike in the past few years schools were opening for first term
without package negotiations having been concluded by Government.

Public Service Minister Ms Lucia Matibenga declined to comment referring
questions to the Public Commission chairperson Dr Mariyawanda Nzuwa.

Dr Nzuwa could not be reached for comment while repeated efforts to get a
comment from Ms Matibenga’s deputy Andrew Langa were futile as his mobile
phone went unanswered.

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Zanu PF plans to intensify campaigns in Matabeleland

Staff Reporter 2013-01-01 15:06:00

SENIOR Zanu PF officials in Matabeleland have announced plans to intensify
their election campaigns soon after the festive season as the party gears
for crunch polls expected sometime this year.
In Matabeleland North, politburo and central committee members, who include
Umguza MP Obert Mpofu, Bulawayo governor Cain Mathema, Small and Medium
Enterprises minister Sithembiso Nyoni and Bubi Senator Lot Mbambo, are
scheduled to launch campaign rallies on January 11.
“The rallies will be held in all our districts, namely Hwange, Victoria
Falls, Binga, Lupane, Bubi, Umguza and Tsholotsho,” said newly-elected
provincial chairman Richard Moyo.
“This is in preparation for next (this) year’s general elections and we will
be explaining to the people various policies like the indigenisation drive.
We also want to drum up support ahead of the elections.”
Moyo urged party members to set aside differences “as this is weakening the
party and chasing away members to join other political parties”.
Matabeleland North has in the past been rocked by confusion following the
suspension of chairman Zenzo Ncube in 2010 and acting chairperson Zwelitsha
Masuku a year later.
However, when Moyo was voted into power in November, he promised to bring
together warring factions so that they would perform better in the next
“I want to thank you for voting me, you have given me a mandate and I
promise that I won’t let you down. I will work hard and with you to serve
the party and with your assistance we will perform better in the next
elections,” Moyo said.
“Let us co-operate and work together in bringing more people to the
party.” - NewsDay

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Military Police Quiz MDC Chairman Over Army Support

By A Correspondent

Published: January 2, 2013

(Chitungwiza)Three plain clothes officers from the dreaded Zimbabwe military
intelligence a division of the Zimbabwe National Army visited Kumene
business complex in unit H, Chitungwiza owned by Movement for Democratic
Change national chairman Mr Goodrich Chimbaira of the Welshman Ncube led MDC

The military intelligence officers quizzed Chimbaira over his alleged links
with members of the army in the area.

Chimbaira said he was shocked by the strange new year visitors and vowed to
continue with his political activities in the area despite what he described
as “intimidating tactics being used by Zanu PF” to instill fear in him MDC
party supporters in the area.

“The visit and quizzing by the soldiers is all meant to instill fear in me,
my tenants and myself ahead of the mid year elections”said Chimbaira.
Most of the tenants and residents in unit H were in fear after learning
about the deployment of military intelligence officers in the area when
journalists visited the area.

Chimbaira said the army probe team was in the area to investigate what he
called false allegations that had been levelled against him by some ZANU PF
activists and soldiers in and around the Chitungwiza area.

The army probe team quizzed Chimbaira at a time President Robert Mugabe was
expected to prion the possible referendum and election dates.

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Water woes dampen celebrations

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 11:01
HARARE - Residents turned Harare into a party zone on New Year’s Eve as they
celebrated the transition into 2013.

But, no sooner had the fireworks died down did they realise nothing has
really changed on the ground.

Waking up to reality, Harare residents found taps dry, uncollected garbage
littering the streets and the threat of cholera and typhoid outbreak very
much alive.

Many had hoped that city fathers would pull up their socks in 2013, but
early signs are far from promising particularly on the water front.

Already, the town clerk is contradicting his boss, the mayor regarding the
water situation.

While Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda has said the city needs to increase its
pumping capacity to 1 200 mega litres a day to meet demand, Town clerk
Tendai Mahachi thinks otherwise.

According to Mahachi, the 2012 pumping levels are good enough for Harare’s 4
million residents — never mind that the majority of those who go for days
without running water.

Despite Harare’s water woes which led to the death of over 4 000 people in
2008 after a cholera outbreak, Mahachi claims the 620 mega litres currently
being produced are enough for consumers.

He said this after touring a South African municipality, Ethikwini in
Durban, which has a population of 4, 2 million and a bigger industry.

“Comparing to Ethekwini (Durban), what we are producing should be enough,”
Mahachi said.

Mahachi said leakages caused by high water pressure were the major hindrance
to free flowing water supplies.

“The pressure of water when leaving Morton Jeffrey waterworks is eight bars
which is too much for our obsolete pipes.

“Presently more water is being lost than used. Once we have installed the
pressure reduction valves, water shortages will be a thing of the past,”
said Mahachi.

But his explanation was rebuffed by Highlands councillor Peter Mudavanhu,
who described it as “meaningless” as most residents are currently receiving
low pressured water supply.

Mahachi told councillors he was now planning to acquire equipment to reduce
pressure which is expected to cost not less than $2 million.

“We are working on reducing it to four bars and we will stabilise the
situation,” he said.

Most residents in the capital city depend on borehole water as well as open
sources such as shallow wells as their local authority seems to be clueless
on how to solve the perennial water woes.

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Family planning for Harare's street children Radio Netherlnds

Published on : 27 December 2012 - 9:26am | By RNW Africa Desk

Information about sexual and reproductive health is hard to come by for
Zimbabwean adolescents who live on the streets. While some of these youth do
practise birth control, mostly in the form of oral contraception, they still
often lack other essential information or the basic life skills to access
it. Concerned groups in Harare are trying to change that.

By Moses Chibaya, Harare

Sixteen-year-old Chipo Manenga and her friends don’t know the names of the
contraceptives they take. But they do know that if pregnancy is to be
prevented, the pills that come in rolls are the ones they are supposed to

“I take family-planning pills but, because I am not educated, I can’t read,”
Chipo says. Dressed in tattered clothes and living on the streets, she is
already struggling to look after her two children. Her firstborn, Tapiwa, is
two years old; Tadiwanashe is a year and a month. “I know that
family-planning tablets prevent unwanted pregnancies. I buy the pills at
Mbare Msika,” adds the young mother, referring to a local agro-produce

According to a recent survey conducted in Harare and Chitungwiza, there are
about 705 children and young people living on the streets. The sexually
active among them represent an especially vulnerable group.

Respecting rights
Winidzai Rwaendipi, a child protection officer working for Cesvi, a local
non-governmental organisation, emphasizes the need to respect street
children's rights. “If they want to engage in family-planning, then we
respect their choices. We also provide condoms for free,” she says.

But among most street children, condoms gets dropped soon after boyfriends
are considered stable and reliable. Yet, males are more prone to having
multiple sexual partners than their non-street counterparts. Males are also
more likely to engage in risky sexual activities.

Take Tawanda who admits to having unprotected sex with his partner. He also
confirms that she is not using birth control pills. “Using condoms is
abortion”, he says. “It’s like masturbation. You will be killing. God does
not want anyone who kills.”

The future
What, then, can be done to ensure a better future for Zimbabwe's sexually
active street children?

“Sexual and reproductive health rights need to be integrated in an approach
that takes care of the other needs of street children pertaining to
livelihoods and security,” says SAfAIDS programme manager Juliet Mukaronda.
Her Harare-based organisation is implementing a three-year programme meant
to do just that.

Chitiga Mbanje, a peer project coordinator at the NGO Streets Ahead,
describes how his organisation aims to assist youth living and working on
the streets 'to find their way back home', a phrase used both figuratively
and literally. Youngsters who don’t know their relatives can get surrogate
help. Others can be counselled to try to solve problems that caused them to
run away in the first place, and then successfully reengage them with their
family members.

Mbanje also optimistically cites the Ministry of Health’s national
adolescent sexual reproductive health strategy. Referring to the Zimbabwe
National Family Council centre and clinic for youth living on the streets,
he notes: “It has been so effective to the point that young boys and girls
can now openly go there without fear."

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2012's best and worst performing MPs, Ministers

01/01/2013 00:00:00
by Veneranda Langa l News Day

THE year 2012 saw some of the worst performances by sitting MPs and
ministers who failed to contribute meaningfully to Parliament’s legislative
processes, question time and debate.

Parliamentarians’ main responsibility is to craft legislation and debate
issues affecting their constituents.

During the 2012 Parliamentary sittings, some of the worst performances in
the House of Assembly came from ministers who failed to turn up to answer
questions raised on the Order Paper and those without notice by MPs.

Research by NewsDay on Hansards (verbatim reports of debates in the House)
and Order Papers showed that the worst performing minister in Parliament in
terms of responding to questions on the Order Paper was Security minister
Sydney Sekeramayi (Zanu PF).

In September 2011, Sekeramayi was asked by Mazowe Central MP Shepherd
Mushonga (MDC-T) to explain to the House why Central Intelligence
Organisation operatives had been allowed to become Zanu PF central committee
members whilst they were still on the government payroll. To date, he has
not answered the question.

Other ministers who failed to turn up to take questions without notice from
MPs included Media, Information and Publicity minister Webster Shamu (Zanu

This resulted in most questions raised during Wednesday’s questions without
notice in the House of Assembly being answered by Deputy Prime Minister
Arthur Mutambara.

Home Affairs co-ministers Theresa Makone (MDC-T) and Kembo Mohadi (Zanu PF)
and Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo were the worst performers on
that front.

In terms of truancy, Tsholotsho North MP Jonathan Moyo (Zanu PF) and Mines
and Mining Development minister Obert Mpofu (Zanu PF) topped the list after
they both failed to attend Parliament for 21 consecutive days between
September 6, 2011 and March 28, 2012. Section 41 (1) (d) of the Constitution
stipulates that if an MP is absent from the House for 21 consecutive
sittings without the leave of Parliament, their seat should be declared
vacant after a resolution by half of the House.

Other contenders for the bunking title were Mount Pleasant MP Jameson Timba
(MDC-T) (29 days), Binga MP Joel Gabbuza (MDC-T) (19 days), Beitbridge East
MP Kembo Mohadi (Zanu PF) (29 days), Bulilima West MP Moses Mzila-Ndlovu
(MDC) (27 days), Mount Darwin South MP Saviour Kasukuwere (Zanu PF) (24
days), Hatfield MP Tapiwa Mashakada (MDC-T) (25 days), Mutoko South MP
Olivia Muchena (Zanu PF) (28 days), Masvingo North MP Stanislaus Mudenge
(now deceased) (Zanu PF) (28 days), Headlands MP Didymus Mutasa (Zanu PF)
(28 days), Chegutu East MP Webster Shamu (Zanu PF) (22 days) and Budiriro MP
Heneri Dzinotyiweyi (MDC-T) (26 days).

Apart from absenteeism by ministers, almost a quarter of legislators in the
House of Assembly only warmed up benches and failed to contribute
meaningfully to any debate.

Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya (MDC-T) and Mutare Central MP Innocent Gonese
(MDC-T) were the only outstanding contributors throughout the year after
they raised topical motions and private member’s Bills before the House.

Chikwinya brought before the House a motion that stirred controversy on
unconstitutional statements by the country’s service chiefs, among others,
while Gonese brought before the House a private member’s Bill to amend the
Public Order and Security Act deemed suppressive of freedom of expression.

Committees that excelled include the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on
Mines and Energy chaired by Guruve South MP Edward Chindori-Chininga (Zanu
PF), the Budget, Finance and Investment Promotion Committee chaired by
Goromonzi North MP Paddy Zhanda (Zanu PF), the Public Accounts Committee
chaired by Makoni West MP Webber Chinyadza (MDC-T) and the Media,
Communication and Information Technology Committee chaired by Chikwinya.

The list of dormant MPs from the MDC-T side included Gutu Central MP Oliver
Chirume, Matobo MP Cornelius Dube, Hwange West MP Gift Mabhena, Chipinge
South MP Meki Makuyana, Chirumanzi MP Maramba Phase Hakuna, Bikita East MP
Edmore Marima, Gokwe Kabuyuni MP Costin Muguti, Buhera South MP Naison
Nemadziva, Gweru Urban MP Rodrick Rutsvara, and Binga North MP Patrick

Zanu PF had its own warmers and these included Tsholotsho North MP Jonathan
Moyo, Hurungwe North MP Peter Chanetsa, Gokwe Nembudziya MP Flora Buka,
Chiwundura MP Kizito Chivamba, Chipinge Central MP Alice Chitima, Muzvezve
MP Peter Haritatos, Mudzi North MP Newton Kachepa, Mudzi West MP Aqualinah
Katsande, Lupane West MP Martin Khumalo, Gokwe Sesami MP Dorcus Maposhere,
Mwenezi West MP Neddie Masukume, Muzarabani North MP Luke Mushore, Maramba
Pfungwe MP Washington Musvaire, Gokwe-Kana MP Busy Ngwenya, Harare South MP
Hubert Nyanhongo, Murewa South MP Biggie Matiza, Zvimba West MP Nelson
Samkange and Gokwe Chireya MP Sindi Cephas.

The MDC (Ncube) MP who did not contribute to any Parliamentary debate
according to the index is Gwanda Central MP Patrick Dube.
In the Senate, MDC-T legislators who did not contribute anything included
John Masaba (Kariba), Samuel Tsungirirai Muzerengwa (Buhera), and Josiah
Rimbi (Chipinge).

Senators from Zanu PF who never contributed anything in the House included
Gladys Mabhiza (Chikomba Seke), Jason Machaya (Gokwe South), Henry Madzorera
(Kwekwe), Titus Maluleke (Masvingo Governor), Reuben Marumahoko (Hurungwe),
Angeline Masuku (Matabeleland South Governor), Simbarashe Mumbengegwi
(Shurugwi Zvishavane), Mashonaland East Governor Aeneas Chigwedere and
Manicaland Governor Christopher Mushohwe.

Chiefs who have been mum in the Senate since 2008 include Manicaland Chief
Revai Chiduku, Mashonaland Central Chief Daster Chisunga, Masvingo Chief
Felani Chitanga, Masvingo Chief Veterai Mabika, Matabeleland South Chief
Silandilizwe Masendu, Mashonaland West Chief Wilson Nebiri, Mashonaland
Central Chief Clemence Nembire, Midlands Chief Milton Ntabeni and
Matabeleland North Chief Jonah Shana.

Although all of the listed MPs failed to contribute to debate in both Houses
of Parliament since 2008, some of them were very active in Parliament
Portfolio and Thematic Committee business.

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