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Zim stops issuing passports

By Alex Bell
04 January 2011

Zimbabwe has indefinitely stopped issuing birth certificates, identity cards
and passports after a fire at the Registrar General’s office in Harare last
week, which has damaged key electrical systems.

Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede said at a press conference on Monday that
no key infrastructure used in the making of the identity documents had been
damaged, but electronic systems had been disrupted in the fire on New Year’s

“We wish to inform members of the public that the department is currently
unable to process computerised documents until further notice,” Mudede said.

Mudede said production computers, 18 printers and 20 scanners used in the
production of identity documents were not affected, but the fire had hit the
electronics and made it impossible to access the central information
database. Mudede said the damage was “localised”, dismissing earlier media
reports on the scale of the fire.

The fire came as thousands of Zimbabweans were desperately trying to beat a
deadline to regularise their stay in South Africa. The Zim nationals were
given until last Friday to apply for work or study permits or face
deportation from the country. South Africa’s Home Affairs department has
said that more than 200 000 applications were received by the cut off date.
But with more than a million Zimbabweans believed to be without proper
papers, there is still uncertainty about what happens next.

The announcement of the documentation deadline sparked a frenzied rush for
papers, with people queuing for days at a time to get their stay in South
Africa regularised. The whole process was hinged on the Zim nationals
proving their Zim citizenship in the form of passports. But Zimbabwe’s Home
Affairs said it was overwhelmed with the number of applications and could
not meet the demand. Home Affairs co-Ministers Theresa Makone and Kembo
Mohadi revealed last week that South Africa had offered Zimbabwe a printing
press capable of producing 100,000 passports a day, an offer that was
declined. The authorities have since come under fire for failing its own

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Cost of Living Shoots Up In Zimbabwe

04/01/2011 15:33:00

Harare, January 4, 2011 - The Cost of Living (COL) in Zimbabwe has shot up
and is now near the US$500 mark.

In an interview, a senior Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) official said:
"The cost of living has gone up to US$499.96 for a family of five. The food
basket has gone up to US$144.19 from US$142.77 in December, 2010. The items
that went up include tea leaves, bread, fresh milk, and fuel."

He said there could be other huge increases later this year as Zimbabwe
grapples with more problems.

Fuel went up by an average of eight cents last week leading to various other
increases including transport costs for people coming to work for 2011.

This, he said, thus made a mockery of the so-called low inflation now
conservatively pegged at about 5 percent in Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile the lacklustre Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), once voted the best
performing bourse in Southern Africa, has begun 2011 in a rather low mode
judging from trading that occurred on Monday, January 3, the first day after
the festive holiday.

Analysts said the ZSE would run huge losses for the year judging by the way
trading went on during the first day on January 3, 2011.

"We expect the ZSE to perform poorly in 2011," a senior stock market analyst
said in an interview. "This, however, is despite the fact that we have
dollarised in Zimbabwe and thus the money is very real. It is different from
the days of the worthless Zimbabwe dollar when the bourse beat all sorts of
record but the money was worthless then. This is real cash you are talking
about here."

High performers on the first day of trading were Colcom Holdings Limited,
Delta Corporation Limited, Seed Co Limited, Hwange Colliery Company Limited
and Econet Wireless Holdings Limited.

The major fallers included Pelhams Limited, Apex Corporation Limited, CBZ
Holdings Limited, African Sun Limited and OK Zimbabwe Limited.

On the first day of trading counters that went down included African Sun
Limited, Apex Corporation Limited, CBZ Holdings Limited and Lafarge Limited.

Those that remained the same from the last day of trading in 2010 were Art
Corporation Limited, Astra Holdings Limited, CFI Holdings Limited, and
Dairibord Holdings Zimbabwe Limited.

Zimbabwean punters are, however, still very happy because of the
dollarisation which has allowed some of them to become real millionaires at
a time when most people are cash-strapped and the world economy is snoozing.

Other major African stock markets include South Africa, Morroco, Botswana
and Kenya.

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KP okays Marange gems: Minister

by Tobias Manyuchi     Tuesday 04 January 2011

HARARE  -- The Kimberley Process has granted Zimbabwe permission to continue
conducting supervised sales of diamonds mined at the Marange fields between
2007 and 2009, a senior government official said.

Mines and mining development deputy minister Gift Chimanikire said that the
KP recently wrote to the government, confirming that it could market its
precious stones.

The issue of Zimbabwe selling the Marange diamonds has divided the KP along
political lines with Western countries led by the United States, Germany and
Australia as well as civil society groups that are members of the
organisation calling for banning of the gems citing reports of continuing
human rights abuses and rampant smuggling at the controversial diamond

But African and other countries, including Russia, have opposed the calls to
ban the diamonds, appearing to buy Harare’s claims that calls for banning of
the Marange stones are driven more by the West’s dislike of President Robert
Mugabe than by concern for human rights.

Western countries have imposed visa and financial sanctions on the
Zimbabwean leader and his top allies as punishment for stealing elections,
failure to uphold the rule of law and human rights.

“The KP wrote to us communicating that diamond sales should proceed,”
Chimanikire said on Monday.

“This relates to diamonds mined by Mbada and Canadille between 2007 and
2009.That was the situation in December, Zimbabwe was given the go ahead to
market its diamonds,” he added.

Chimanikire however said he could not provide exact figures of the
quantities to be auctioned as he was not in the office.

ZimOnline was unable to independently verify Chimanikire’s claims with the
KP’s Zimbabwe monitor, Abbey Chikane.

Before Zimbabwe conducted two supervised sales this year, it was believed to
be sitting on more than six million carats of diamonds.

The KP temporarily stopped Zimbabwe from selling diamonds from the Marange
fields, also known as Chiadzwa, in 2009 over allegations of human rights
abuses in the extraction of the gems and failure to meet minimum
requirements for trading in the precious stones.

Chikane, a South African diamond expert and founding chairperson of the KP
was appointed to monitor Zimbabwe as it implemented measures to meet
requirements of the watchdog.

After his second visit to the country to check on compliance, Chikane
certified that Zimbabwe had satisfied requirements of the KP and should be
allowed to sell its diamonds.

Zimbabwe was subsequently allowed to hold two supervised sales while
awaiting the KP to meet to discuss Chikane’s report.

The subsequent KP meetings in Israel and Russia failed to reach a decision
over the issue since the diamond trade watchdog works by consensus.

Meanwhile, DRC has taken over the KPS chair from Israel. -- ZimOnline

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Diamond group warned against setting ‘dangerous precedent’ in Zim

By Alex Bell
04 January 2011

The international diamond trade watchdog, the Kimberley Process (KP), was on
Tuesday warned against setting a “dangerous precedent” over its handling of
Zimbabwe’s diamond crisis.

Leading diamond rights activist Farai Maguwu told SW Radio Africa that the
group’s refusal to take tough action against Zimbabwe, and its
non-compliance with international trade standards, was a major concern. The
KP is still to decide on Zimbabwe’s future after member states failed to
reach consensus on whether or not to allow full exports from the country to
resume. KP members are still negotiating an agreement with the Zimbabwean
authorities, which Maguwu warned would be filled with concessions to the

“What we have seen in the Zimbabwe case is bullying. The fact that the KP
continues to tolerate this bullying and still goes to lengths to accommodate
Zimbabwe, well it’s a danger to the credibility of the KP and what it stands
for,” Maguwu said.

The activist, who heads the Mutare based Centre for Research and Development
(CRD) added: “If they don’t stand up against Zimbabwe then they (the KP) are
setting a very dangerous precedent that it cannot deal with serious

The CRD head also said that the KP in its current form is outdated,
explaining that its original mandate is limiting what action it can take
now. Maguwu said that the narrow definition of a blood diamond, as one that
supports rebel movements, needs to be changed.

“We now have a situation where legitimate governments are using diamonds to
hold onto power,” Maguwu said. “Diamonds are being used as instruments of
repression and the KP needs to change to deal with this.”

The KP has faced serious criticism for what observers have called a
‘toothless’ approach to Zimbabwe’s diamond situation. Rights groups like
Global Witness and Partnership Africa Canada have both called for a reform
of the KP, accusing it of allowing the trade in blood diamonds to continue.
There have also been online petitions by ethical jewellery groups like
Brilliant Earth, with the public adding their voice to calls for a complete
overhaul of the monitoring body.

Zimbabwe was suspended from trade in 2009 over human rights abuses at the
Chiadzwa alluvial diamond fields, where the military has been accused of
violence, forced labour, smuggling and murder. The KP, which was started to
end the trade in blood diamonds, resisted pressure to ban the country
completely. Instead, mining authorities were given a six month deadline to
fall in line with international trade standards. That deadline was
accompanied by a ‘Join Work Plan’ which included the demilitarisation of the
Chiadzwa area.

This has not happened and there have been ongoing reports of smuggling and
harassment by military officers. Despite this, the KP has continued its
lenient treatment of the Zimbabwe situation, allowing two auctions of
stockpiled diamonds last year. The sales were meant to pave the way for full
exports to resume, but KP members have not come to a working agreement with
Zimbabwe about the future. The group’s outgoing chairman Boaz Hirsch has now
sent out a revised draft of the agreement that was drafted by KP members in
Brussels in late November 2010. This original agreement was not accepted by

In a cover letter sent out with the revised version of the agreement, Hirsch
wrote that he considers the draft his last effort as KP chairman to "bring
the issue of exports of rough diamonds from (Chiadzwa) to a successful

Hirsch will be handing over Chairmanship of the KP to the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC) this year, which already has human rights groups
worried. The CRD’s Maguwu said on Tuesday that the DRC’s incoming
Chairmanship was a “disaster” for the KP.

“The DRC is a classic example of having a resource curse,” Maguwu said.
“There’s not much they can offer when it comes to Zimbabwe’s compliance when
they themselves are not compliant with trade standards.”

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Armyworm devastates crops in Zimbabwe

Harare, Zimbabwe (PANA) - Agriculture officials in Zimbabwe said Tuesday
large swarms of armyworms had invaded farms in the main cropping northern
and eastern areas of the country, threatening to severely reduce crop

They said the pests were mainly targeting the maize crop, the country's
staple food.

Godfrey Chikwenhere, a director at the Plant Protection Institute, said the
armyworm was spreading, and feared vast areas in the two regions would be
destroyed by the pests,  which were also targeting sorghum crops.

He said teams had been dispatched to the affected areas, but progress was

The pests were being sprayed, but it appeared the efforts were not enough to
control the outbreak.

Zimbabwe is often hit by outbreaks of armyworm which it fails to deal with
effectively because of lack of resources such as chemicals.

Chikwenhere said the government had enough chemicals this time, but lacked
manpower to spray the pests.

"Farmers should also participate in the control of armyworm. We have enough
chemicals, 4,000 kilogrammes of Carbaryl 85 wettable powder," he said.
-0- PANA RS/SEG 4Jan2011
04 january 2011 12:10:47

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White farmer reclaims farm

04/01/2011 00:00:00
    by Ngoni Chanakira

AGRICULTURE Minister Herbert Murerwa has confirmed that at least one white
former commercial farmer has been allowed back on his land after the
government kicked out the black beneficiary for not using the property.

The white farmer – who cannot be named as authorities want to protect him
from victimization by war veterans – had also been challenging the
government’s acquisition of the property in the courts.

“Yes I can confirm that we gave back the farm to the white commercial farmer
last year. However this was mainly because the black farmer was not farming
at all,” Murerwa said in an interview.

“I want to warn all those who are not take us seriously that we will
repossess their farms if they do not do anything on them expecting
everything from government.”

The government has been threatening to repossess land from beneficiaries of
its controversial farming reforms who are not making productive use of the

President Robert Mugabe recently said he was outraged to learn that some of
the new farmers were giving their lands back to white ex-owners in leasehold
deals under which the pairs share profits.

Some 120 evicted farmers have since returned to their properties under the
lease deals.

New farmers continue to find it difficult to put their lands to productive
use due to the lack of resources as financial institutions are largely
reluctant to provide funding.

However, Murerwa insisted that the fact that farming was a capital intensive
business was no reason to allow vast tracts of land to lie fallow.

“Yes it is very expensive to farm especially buying inputs such as
fertilizers. But I can say some black farmers are doing well.

“These include Ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa and Paddy Zhanda as well as
President Robert Mugabe. They are doing the nation proud,” he said.

After suffering a decline over the last decade due to the reforms and
droughts Zimbabwe’s agriculture is now on the recovery path.

Production of tobacco – a key export for the country – is particularly
booming with thousands of small-scale farmers joining the industry.

"If you go back 10 years, we had 8,500 growers growing on average about 10
hectares each. This year we had 50,000 growing units growing on average
one-and-a-third hectares," Andrew Matibiri, chief executive of the Tobacco
and Marketing Industry Board (TIMB) said recently.

Export earnings from the crop are this year expected to reach US$500 million
compared to the $US274 million realized last year.

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Delegates from Mashonaland threaten to boycott MDC-M congress

By Tichaona Sibanda
4 January 2011

Sharp differences have surfaced in the MDC-M over the party’s decision to
sideline incumbent President Arthur Mutambara from seeking re-election.

The party’s hardliners from the three Mashonaland provinces have declared
that the move against Mutambara is a ‘coup’ and are reportedly going to
revolt during the congress.

Delegates from the southern region, backed by some of the party’s
influential leaders, have however staunchly pushed for party Secretary
General Welshman Ncube to take over, describing last minute manoeuvres to
derail the congress as “the work of enemies.”

Panic has set in within the party after some delegates issued a threat to
disrupt or boycott the weekend congress because of “unresolved issues.”

SW Radio Africa correspondent Simon Muchemwa said on Tuesday the simmering
disgruntlements are perceived as a potential ‘flash point’ needing
correction, or there would be ‘open warfare’ during the congress.

“The generality of the delegates feel they want to know how Arthur Mutambara
was sidelined against standing for the presidency, to a point where he threw
in the towel weeks before the congress. Many of these delegates see it as a
coup against Mutambara and they are not comfortable with that,” Muchemwa

Despite being battered and buffeted by criticism from within and outside his
party, Mutambara seems to have found, at the last minute, delegates wishing
to fight in his corner.

Delegates from Masvingo province have refused to nominate Ncube, accusing
him of blocking Mutambara from standing again. This move seems to have had a
domino effect, forcing some delegates from Mashonaland to speak out, with
just three days to go before the congress.

But a pro-Ncube supporter dismissed attempts to disrupt the congress as
wishful thinking, boasting that nothing at this late hour will prevent the
former University of Zimbabwe law lecturer from his ‘coronation’ on

“I think this talk of trying to force Mutambara’s issue on the agenda at the
congress is coming from desperate people who are being hoodwinked into
believing he can do a Houdini and bounce back as president. The man has
simply lost the support and trust of many of the party supporters,” an MDC-M
official said.

The official added: “If Mutambara wants to embarrass himself let him dare
stand against Ncube and see how he would be trounced in an election.”

Mutambara will only know if his position as Deputy Prime Minister in the
unity government is secure after the election of a new standing committee on

Ncube, the frontrunner to take over the party leadership told SW Radio
Africa on Monday the deployment of party cadres in government is a matter
which is determined by the standing committee.

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WOZA plans meeting with Makone after new legal victory

by Irene Madongo
04 January 2010

Fresh from a court victory in which scores of their members were removed
from remand, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) are now seeking an audience with
Theresa Makone, the Co-Minister of Home Affairs, to present their grievances
over police misconduct.

On Monday, the Harare Magistrate’s court ruled that 83 WOZA members should
be removed from remand. The group was initially arrested in September 2010
after a peaceful protest to mark International Peace Day. They were held for
three nights in what they describe as filthy prison cells reeking with raw

On Tuesday, WOZA co-leader Magodonga Mahlangu, said that instead of
protecting the public, the police are still harassing people. The
organisation now wants to meet with Home-Affairs Co-Minister Theresa Makone
to address this issue.

“We want to show her our displeasure. We are concerned about policing in
Zimbabwe,” Mahlangu said.

After the arrest of the 83 members, WOZA’s case was postponed several times,
further adding to their frustration. WOZA has said that since the arrest of
the 83, they appeared five times in court. Many of the arrested group was
unable to travel during the Christmas period as they were waiting for their

In December 2010 the Supreme Court declared that Mahlangu and WOZA’s other
leader Jenni Williams, were wrongfully imprisoned over another demonstration
in 2008. The two described how they were also thrown into overcrowded police
cells unfit for human occupation.

“The police are using the courts system in Zimbabwe as a way of punishing
people,” Mahlangu said, adding: “It is not a joke for 83 people to be
appearing in a court on a regular basis.”

The WOZA leaders hope their meeting with Minister Makone will be better than
one they had with her predecessor Giles Mutsekwa and her current co-Minister
Kembo Mohadi last year. Mahlangu said in March 2010 WOZA had met with the
then Minister Mutsekwa and ZANU PF’s Mohadi to discuss how police were
abusing laws to make unnecessary arrests.

“Giles and Kembo both defended POSA (Public Order and Security Act) and even
their lawyers were embarrassed,” Mahlangu said.

Mahlangu said the police were using POSA to stop demonstrations being held,
even though a section within the act says that non-political organisations
can go ahead with such meetings.

“We will continue to fight for our rights. We are pushing for a referendum
on the constitution. There are a lot of violations of the current
constitution,” Mahlangu said.


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Zimbabwe prisons should be demolished-Gutu

Published: January 4, 2011

By-Nyasha Mtoko

Harare  -  Deputy Justice Minister Obert Gutu said the country’s prisons are
not suitable for human habitation and should be demolished to meet new world
class standards.

Senator Gutu’s recommendations come after his prisons tour late last year
where he went on a personal fact finding mission on the state of the country’s

“Some of our prisons were built more than 100 years ago and can no longer
cope up with high numbers of inmates now, some need to be revamped and
others deserve to be completely closed down and come up with new ones. A
very good example of such a move is what is happening at Mazoe Prison where
a new modern prison complex is being constructed,” Deputy Minister Gutu said
in an interview.

Harare-prison-copyGutu added that prisons should be transformed into
rehabilitation centres rather than the current situation where they are
being used as punishment centres.

“We need to move from conventional prisons to correctional facilities where
you have inmates who are properly rehabilitated and become useful members of
the society when they are released rather than making them die hard
criminals, “he added.

Zimbabwe prisons are characterised by congestion, with inmates at some point
resorting to having sleeping shifts.

According to prison officers at Harare Remand prison which has a holding
capacity of 600 inmates they are currently holding over 1200 prisoners.

This causes the spread of diseases such as Tuberculosis and cholera.

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Zanu (PF) MP Using Children To Campaign Against Sanctions

04/01/2011 15:27:00

Mwenezi, January 04, 2011 - Zanu (PF) legislator for Mwenezi, Kudakwashe
Basikiti, is using children here to campaign for the lifting of sanctions
imposed on his party members by the west for human rights abuses.

Basikiti early this week mobilised hundreds of mostly orphaned children in
his constituency and made them sign a petition demanding the immediate
lifting of sanctions imposed by the west on his fellow Zanu (PF) members.

“This petition by the orphans, disabled and the disadvantaged groups in
Mwenezi is a message to the British and American Governments and their
western allies that ...the sanctions you imposed on Zimbabwe and our leaders
is affecting us directly here,” he told reporters at Neshuro growth point.

The petition which Basikiti said was this week going to be forwarded to the
American and British Embassies in Harare read: “The suffering we are having
today is a result of the debilitating sanctions which led to the deaths of
our parents because they could not afford proper medication.”

Basikiti said the deaths of all parents of the children whom he used to
campaign against sanctions was a result of lack of medication due to
sanctions imposed by the west.

Zanu (PF) is using the issue of sanctions to lure support from the people
whose rights it abused over the past decade.

The west imposed sanctions on more than 200 senior Zanu (PF) members in 2002
after the liberation party violated human and property rights through the
controversial and chaotic land reform.

For the sanctions to be lifted the west has said Zanu (PF) should implement
the Global Political Agreement it signed two years ago with the two MDC
factions when the inclusive government was formed.

Zanu (PF) has refused further concessions with its rival the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) until sanctions are removed.

Addressing the Zanu (PF) people’s 11th conference in Mutare in December last
year, President Robert Mugabe threatened to seize western companies
operating in the country if sanctions remain.

Meanwhile Acting President John Nkomo said in Masvingo on Monday that the
unity government could be extended to 2013 if sanctions were removed.

Although Mugabe has hinted he wants elections to be held mid year, this week
there were reports that the polls could be delayed until a new constitution
is in place.

A parliamentary committee led committee was last year running a process to
gather views from the public on the new constitution of Zimbabwe amidst
chaos and violence.

Nkomo told an anti-sanctions meeting for his party held at the Great
Zimbabwe University (GZU): “We are now telling the MDC that they are the
ones who called for sanctions, therefore they have to undo what they did if
they do not want elections next year. We are not going to budge."

“No sanctions removal means we are going to the polls-both parliamentary and
presidential,” Nkomo said, much to the applause of the party supporters.

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Villagers alarmed by presence of soldiers

By Chengetai Zvauya
Tuesday, 04 January 2011 17:11

HARARE - The presence of soldiers from the Presidential Guard Unit based in
Domboshawa who are roaming Chinamhora communal lands has caused panic among
villagers in Pote, Runhanga, Molife, Mungate and Mutonda Villages.

The soilders, who are moving in groups, are interacting with the villagers
and sometimes join in the social activities of the villagers.

Andrew Muchenge, a villager in Domboshava, which falls under Goromonzi North
Constituency, said people  were living in constant fear of the soldiers.

''We dont understand why the soldiers are moving everyday in our area. I
dont  know whether we are in war situation. The soldiers are not beating us
but their presence here is causing a lot of alarm and panic amongst the
people. They are also attending village funerals.

This is very unwelcome as we are just peasant farmers, who want to go about
our farming peacefully.''

Many villagers refused to discuss  the presence of the soldiers for fear of
victimisation. Goromonzi North Constituency falls under Zanu PF legislator
Beatrice Nyamupinga.

The deployment of soldiers started last month when the Ministry of Defence
Forces embarked on the programme resulting in the deployment of soldiers in
Gokwe , Masvingo  Bikita and Chipinge  districts.

Most of the rural areas that were strongholds of Zanu PF were grabbed by the
MDC in the  2008 elections as the rural electorate switched their vote to
support the MDC.

MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai  has denounced the deployment of the
soldiers in the rural areas countrywide.

Defence Forces spokesperson Ben Ncube was not available for comment.

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Investigate politically motivated rape - Report

By Thelma Chikwanha
Tuesday, 04 January 2011 16:55

HARARE - Government should set up a multi-sectoral investigation into
politically motivated rape in Zimbabwe to ensure that there is no impunity
for perpetrators of the violent crime.

The call was made by the Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) and Zimbabwe
Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) in their latest report
entitled “No hiding Place : Politically Motivated Rape of Women In

A sample of 27 women who had been abused made the basis of the study which
indicated that 89 percent of the rapes occurred during the 2008 elections.
Of the 27 women, 21 were severely beaten up prior to the rape.

“More than three-quarters [21] were victims of multiple rape, with an
average of three rapists per incident. One woman reported a total of 13
perpetrators, and 14 women reported three or more perpetrators to their
rape. One woman reported three separate rape incidences in June 2008 by a
total of 13,” reads part of the report.

The spine chilling report  also narrates incidents  of women being brutally
abused by having sharp objects  like bottles and sticks inserted into their
private parts. It also points out the far reaching consequences of rape
which include HIV and AIDS and children born out of rape among other social
and health issues.

Women interviewed in the report appeared depressed while some of them said
that they had not received immediate medical attention and post trauma

The report, based on clinical data, urged government to enforce national
sexual violence laws and adhere to the Global Political Agreement (GPA)
which clearly states that violence dehumanises and engender feelings of

“Violence against women should be addressed to ensure that there are no
lingering feelings of hatred and anger in society which can be the cause of
future conflict, especially in light of the fact that there is likely to be
an election before the end of 2011.

“Talk of elections is gathering momentum with the latest utterances from
President Mugabe that we do not want to pass June 2011 without elections.
Therefore Zimbabweans should anticipate violence as this is the norm during
recent election campaign periods,” reads part of the report.

According to the report, politically motivated rape is not a new phenomenon
to Zimbabwean women who have always been used as weapons of war. The report
says that women were raped during the liberation struggle by freedom
fighters and again in the early 1980’s during Gukurahundi.

The SADC Protocol on Gender and Development which Zimbabwe is a party to,
states that the country must ensure that perpetrators of gender based
violence, rape femicide, sexual harassment, female genital mutilation and
all other forms of gender based violence are tried by a court of competent

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MDC extends "sex scandal" probe

By Reagan Mashavave
Tuesday, 04 January 2011 09:55

HARARE - The MDC has extended indefinitely a probe into alleged misconduct
by senior officials at its Harvest House offices in Harare, despite initial
promises - made two months ago - to complete the probe within a week.

Toendepi Shonhe, the MDC director general was suspended from duty in
November over allegations of engaging in an affair with a married
subordinate, Sandra Mutsimba, from the party's information department.

Mutsimba was also suspended.

The duo were suspended after widespread media coverage that suggested the
two were in an adulterous affair despite Mutsimba being married. Mutsimba
has however denied ever being married.

In November the MDC said the investigation would take eight days to
complete, but on Monday party spokesperson, Nelson Chamisa said the probe
was yet to be completed.

"The report has not yet been formally presented to the leadership,” Chamisa
said. “The investigation team has asked for more time to finish their
investigations. Once the report has been completed it will be made public.

"We have said the report will be made public, there is nothing to hide. It
is no use for us to produce a half -baked report."

The three-member investigation committee is comprised of lawyer, Innocent
Chagonda and two MDC national executive members Lucia Matibenga and Norman

MDC sources said the investigation committee was facing resistance from some
members who insist relationships were nothing new at Harvest House, saying
even the late national chairman Isaac Matongo was in a relationship with
Evelyn Masaiti, whom he later married.

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Activists Urge Zimbabwe To Do More To Support S. African Documents Drive

Activists said their biggest concern is the seeming inability of the Harare
government to produce enough passports to meet the demand from many
thousands of Zimbabweans in South Africa

Tatenda Gumbo | Washington 03 January 2011

South Africa's December 31 deadline for Zimbabweans to apply for permits to
work, study or run a business there has passed, civic activists say much
work remains to be done adding that the documentation drive missed a great
number of Zimbabweans.

The Zimbabwe Exiles Forum and a South African pressure group, People Against
Suffering, Suppression, Oppression and Poverty or Passop, said their biggest
concern remains the apparent inability of the Harare government to produce
enough passports to meet the demand from many thousands of Zimbabweans in
South Africa.

South African officials said about a quarter of a million permit
applications were received by the December 31 deadline – though it is not
clear how many of those were complete given widespread difficulties among
Zimbabwean obtaining new passports. The Harare government can only turn out
some 500 passports a day, sources have said.

The organizations said the Harare government seemed less committed to the
process than South African authorities. Passop Director Braam Hanekom said
the next phase of the documentation process will depend very much on the
response by Harare.

Civic activists said more than a million Zimbabweans remain undocumented
after they failed to meet the deadline. And with South African authorities
adamant that the deadline will not be extended, activists say they see a
large-scale deportations ahead.

South African officials said those who failed to apply will have to bear the
consequences, but have said there will be no deportations until the
documention drive is finished.

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Zimbabwe Governing Parties Divided on Elections Schedule as 2011 Opens

Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai said his party wants a presidential ballot before general
elections – and only under the right circumstances

Ntungamili Nkomo, Jonga Kandemiiri & Thomas Chiripasi 03 January 2011

Zimbabwe's 2011 political year opened with both formations of the Movement
for Democratic Change insisting no elections should be held without broad
political and electoral reforms to prevent another disputed outcome as in

President Robert Mugabe and his long-ruling ZANU-PF party have pressed for
dissolution of the inclusive government and new elections by midyear –
though a report in the state-run Sunday Mail quoted unnamed ZANU-PF sources
saying elections could be deferred to allow for the completion of
constitutional revision.

Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that his party wants
a presidential ballot before general elections – and under the right

"We should not put the cart before the horse. We need to clearly define the
conditions that are necessary for the holding of a free and fair vote
first," Chamisa said.

His sentiments were echoed by Edwin Mushoriwa, spokesman for the MDC wing of
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara who said his party wants full
consummation of the 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing before
any election.

"It's premature to talk of elections unless certain milestones provided for
in the GPA have been attained," Mushoriwa said.

But ZANU-PF Chief Parliamentary Whip Joram Gumbo told VOA Studio 7 reporter
Ntungamili Nkomo that his party insists on a general vote after the initial
two-year tenure of the unity government expires in February.

"There is no reason why we should not go for elections when the life of the
inclusive government expires," Gumbo declared.

Elsewhere, VOA Studio 7 correspondent Thomas Chiripasi reported that a
provincial branch of the Mutambara MDC formation placed the name of the
deputy prime minister in nomination for the job of secretary general though
he has said he won't seek any post.

The party's elective congress will be held in Harare at the weekend. Party
Secretary General Welshman Ncube, also Minister of Industry and Commerce, is
widely billed to be elected the next president of the formation, which has
experienced deep divisions and a number of defections to the larger MDC of
Prime Minister Tsvangirai.

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Name and shame: Charles Davy ZANU-PF sponsor, partner, hunter

Tuesday, 04 January 2011 13:26 Editor News

Investigative reporter

HARARE - When most white landowners were scurrying for cover from marauding
Zanu PF youths, one Charles Davy was enjoying himself at Matetsi Wildlife
Enterprises.  A hunter by day and a Zanu PF collaborator by night aptly
describes the man behind the name, Charles Davy.

To many, he is an animal saviour. He owns many conservatives from Matetsi to
Zambia. Charles Davy is a hunter, an animal philanthropist, is that all? Far
from it.

Six months of undercover investigations on Charles Davy revealed that he has
funded Zanu PF since 2002 and has partnered senior Zanu PF officials in
illicit rhino horn trade. The officials are Webster Shamu and Emmerson

A confidential report acquired by this reporter confirmed the above.

Circumstances are that at the beginning of Zimbabwe’s land reform program
found his vast business empire threatened. President Mugabe and Zanu PF
targeted white landowners. To this end, Davy hatched a plan to save his
land. Paying homage to the militia party that was terrorizing blacks and
whites alike became his master plan and key to his continued stay.

It marked the beginning of his marriage with Zanu PF. Despite spirited
denials by Mr. Davy, secret documents have exposed what he really is. He has
not only funded terror to save his wildlife business but he has treated his
workers worse than animals. One of his former workers had this to say, “At
one time our pay was less than US 15 cents per month and many of us slept on
bare floors without blankets. We couldn’t do anything, because he told us
that President Mugabe ‘knew’ him. We just suffered”

In July of 2009 Mr. Davy met with President Mugabe. The meeting was arranged
by Minister Mnangagwa. The report says that Webster Shamu and Mr Davy have
met several times in Chegutu, twice in July 2010. Again, Mr. Davy has
managed to meet President Rupiah Banda of Zambia and DRC Joseph Kabila in
the course of his ‘business’.

HHK Safaris surprised many when they solely landed all government owned
concessions. But the truth was Mr. Davy had paid a fortune which sources in
the state security organ peg at a whopping USD44 000 in 2001. The money was
crucial in President Mugabe’s presidential crusade that left many dead,
raped and homeless. To Davy, the money meant concessions.

His concessions covered central Midlands, Matetsi safaris, Sabi area, the
south western and south eastern of lake Kariba and some parts of Gonarezhou
in the lowveld. HHK safaris became the marketing arm on behalf of several
Zanu PF owned concessions. Famba Safaris owned by

Webster Shamu, Khanondo owned by Obert Mpofu, Unit 6 owned by General
Chiwenga among others.

Recent security reports implicate Mr. Davy and his accomplices in illegal
rhino trade. According to a secret report in our possession army
intelligence officers led by one Colonel Dube based at Defence

House in Harare provide guns and helicopter. On the other hand Ministers
Shamu and Mnangagwa cushion the groups from any prosecution and arrests.
Joceline Chiwenga, wife to Army General Constantine Chiwenga is fingered in
the secret report as part of the rhino horn racket.

According to the secret reports Chirisa is owned by Famba Safaris in which
Minister Shamu is a significant shareholder, Unit 1 and Kasibi held by
Matetsi Wildlife, Chete owned by Burmakino Travel and Tours, Omay by
National Safaris and Lemco owned by Mazunga Safari. The report further
alleges that HHK Safaris represent Famba Safaris internationally.

In the report proceeds from Famba Safaris have been managed and distributed
using Matetsi bank accounts. Zanu PF’s Shamu and Mr. Davy are approved the
transaction. Traced transactions point to international transfers handled
and destined for offshore accounts in the United Kingdom, South Africa and
Switzerland the report further alleges.

In his homage Mr Davy funded part of Mnangagwa’s 2005 election campaign and
footed all costs of Shamu’s campaign in 2005. Again, Mr Davy donated
undisclosed amounts in foreign currency to Shamu for his 2008 campaign.

The report further reveals that In May 2008 Charles Davy met Shamu at Wild
Geese lodge near Mazowe. The meeting was for his donation to Zanu PF
Mashonaland West campaign. The money was handed over to then Mash Wet
Chairman John Mafa.

The secret Intelligence report points to Charles Davy as being involved in
the smuggling of ivory to China and Vietnam using his Chinese links in Asia.
Two individuals have been involved, one Lee Hu Ming and a businessman now
with Sino Zim. Information at hand shows the involvement of army
intelligence from Harare’s Defence House as well as from 1 Commando base. At
Defense House Mr. Davy’s contact is Col Dube.

In the operation army Helicopters disguised as army Red Cross ambulances or
test flights land in Hwange National Park to pick ivory belonging to Charles
Davy and partners.  Secret details from the

National Parks show that Mr. Davy’s has sold trophies extending him into
areas under government jurisdiction. Action against him on account of orders
from Hon Mnangagwa and Shamu

The report show commandos hired from 1 Commando Barracks stay at HKK Safaris
when poaching in Hwange National. In many other cases they are given
accommodation at Matetsi or Bubye.

NB: In our next issue we will publish the secret document.

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FACTBOX-Key political risks to watch in Zimbabwe

Tue Jan 4, 2011 9:50am GMT

By Cris Chinaka

HARARE Jan 4 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe heads into a political storm in the new
year with President Robert Mugabe pushing for an early election opposed by
rivals and threatening to nationalise foreign firms in revenge for Western

Political hardliners around Mugabe are also threatening rival Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai with treason charges over leaked secret briefings with
U.S. officials.

While Mugabe and Tsvangirai agreed last month to resume discussions to
address rifts in their power-sharing government, no progress has been made
as Mugabe's ZANU-PF party beats war drums for an election it wants by

Mugabe, forced into a unity government with Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) after a disputed 2008 election, is not keen on
extending the coalition and wants a referendum on a new constitution in
early 2011 and a general election by June - two years ahead of schedule.

The MDC, which had suggested early elections to break deadlocks in the
coalition, now says the climate is not conducive for a free and fair vote
and is demanding political reforms before any polls.

So far, Mugabe has dismissed criticism that the early poll and his targeting
of foreign firms pose a serious risk to Zimbabwe's economic recovery and
social stability.


Mugabe has warned ZANU-PF will nationalise firms from countries that have
imposed sanctions over his state's suspected human rights abuses, arguing
they cannot operate freely while Western powers punish his party.

The threat adds to worries of foreign investors in the resource-rich state,
which introduced a law saying 51 percent of firms worth over $500,000 should
be owned by black Zimbabweans.

Mugabe signed an Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act in 2008 and the
government has issued regulations providing details of how foreign-owned
companies should achieve at least 51 percent blacks within five years.

There are, however, sharp differences on the policy which his rivals say
could hurt economic recovery.

What to watch:

- How Mugabe reacts to any extension of travel, investment and financial
sanctions against his associates at annual review meetings of the European
Union in February.

- Timelines and details of how the government plans to proceed with the
empowerment programme in the different economic sectors, which would address
investor fears.


Attorney-General Johannes Tomana has ordered a probe against Tsvangirai over
State Department cables released by WikiLeaks about his briefings with U.S.
ambassador Charles Ray, which some of Mugabe's officials see as "bordering
on treason".

According to another confidential U.S. cable dated October 2009 on
WikiLeaks, a senior MDC official suggested that the United States should
contribute to a fund to buy off security service chiefs to achieve regime
change in Zimbabwe.

What to watch:

- The probe gives Mugabe's camp options to pursue treason charges against
MDC leadership, but political analysts say this could be part of a
psychological war against Tsvangirai.


Attempts by backbenchers in parliament across the political divide to resist
an early election appear to have failed.

But Tsvangirai's MDC and a smaller MDC faction, which is also in the unity
government, still hope to lobby leaders in the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) to pressure Mugabe against early elections.

What to watch:

- MDC diplomatic campaign, and any reaction from influential regional
leaders, especially South African President Jacob Zuma who is the region's
mediator in the Zimbabwe political crisis.


A ZANU-PF annual conference held two weeks ago, which formally endorsed
Mugabe as candidate for elections in 2011, passed resolutions threatening to
expel foreign diplomats and to ban non-governmental organisations "meddling,
and interfering in Zimbabwe's internal political affairs".

Analysts say while Tsvangirai and his lieutenants have legitimate complaints
against Mugabe over outstanding reforms, there is growing frustration among
his supporters that he is being outwitted by Mugabe, a cunning political

White farmers who have lost their properties under Mugabe's land seizures
over the last decade say Tsvangirai has lost his voice on their case -- an
issue the MDC fears Mugabe would use to portray him as a stooge.

A traditionally supportive private media has turned increasingly critical of
Tsvangirai's leadership, calling on him to exploit public goodwill in his
fight against Mugabe.

Mugabe, 86, and in power since independence from Britain in 1980, sees the
MDC as a political puppet playing to a Western gallery. The MDC denies this
and in turn dismisses Mugabe as a power-crazy dictator.

What to watch:

- Any moves against foreign-funded civic organisations involved in election
education and monitoring work.

- Tsvangirai's supporters walking out of some government functions and
demonstrating against some of Mugabe's officials, in media stunts which
could invite police reaction.


Although a multi-party parliamentary committee leading a constitutional
review process says it will respect the wishes of ordinary Zimbabweans, the
final charter is a likely compromise between ZANU-PF and the MDC who both
lack a two-thirds majority in parliament needed to pass the new supreme law
on their own.

A referendum on a version in which there is no agreement between the two
parties could lead to violence.

Tsvangirai says Mugabe has already used his traditional political shock
troops -- liberation war veterans, party youth brigades and security
forces -- to whip up support in the countryside, which has allowed ZANU-PF
to dominate public debate on the new constitution.

ZANU-PF denies the charge and says Tsvangirai is already preparing an excuse
for his party's defeat.

What to watch:

- Compromise deal. Many Zimbabweans hope that a new charter, replacing the
pre-independence document, will strengthen the role of parliament, curtail
presidential powers and guarantee civil, political and media liberties.


The Coalition has licensed several private newspapers after establishing a
new media commission, but Tsvangirai has so far failed to push Mugabe to
open up radio and television.

Mugabe's officials say they are still looking at the issue -- nearly two
years after the power-sharing government was set up -- and analysts say this
will become more difficult as the country heads towards elections.

They have also resisted calls to repeal tough media laws barring foreign
journalists from working long-term in the country and still quietly restrict
visiting journalists.

What to watch:

- Authorities rejecting applications for private broadcast licences, raising
further friction within the coalition.


Although the unity government has set up an independent human rights
commission to handle abuses, critics say it is taking too long to start work
and an atmosphere of fear still exists in the country.

Rights groups say Mugabe's supporters have increased psychological pressure
on the MDC, and are threatening a wave of violence similar to one that
marred the 2008 elections.

Mugabe has ignored demands by Tsvangirai for security sector reforms, and in
a demonstration of his political impotence, the MDC leader has been stopped
by police or forced to postpone some meetings with supporters in township
halls in the capital.

What to watch:

- Changes to security laws but with limited impact. Parliament is debating
changes to a tough Public Order and Security Act, that calls on political
parties to obtain police clearance to hold rallies.

Still, the police may ignore the law even if it is amended. (Editing by Jon

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