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S.Africa sees progress in slow Zimbabwe talks

Tue Jan 5, 2010 9:15am GMT

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's political rivals have agreed some outstanding
issues of a power-sharing deal, but the pace of negotiations is slow, a
South African official mediating in the talks said on Tuesday.

President Robert Mugabe and long-time rival Morgan Tsvangirai, now prime
minister, formed a unity government last year in February after disputed
elections, but the coalition has been hobbled by disputes over

Lindiwe Zulu, international relations advisor to South African President
Jacob Zuma, said while South Africa was not happy with the pace of talks,
there was progress on some issues.

"I don't think that we should be talking of escalating conflict at this
point in time. We are not saying that we are happy with the speed at which
they are working but we think there are a number of things they've agreed
upon," Zulu told South African Talk Radio 702.

South Africa is mediating in the Zimbabwe negotiations and Zimbabwean media
reports say Africa's biggest economy wants all outstanding issues resolved
before it hosts the soccer World Cup in June.

Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in October "disengaged"
from cabinet meetings with Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, accusing it of being an
"unreliable partner" but rejoined after mediation by the Southern African
Development Community (SADC).

Mugabe and Tsvangirai are haggling over the appointment of provincial
governors and the veteran leader's refusal to swear in Tsvangirai ally Roy
Bennett as deputy agriculture minister.

The 85-year-old president has also refused to sack allies he appointed as
central bank governor and attorney general without consulting Tsvangirai.

Mugabe says the MDC should call off Western sanctions against his party and
ask its backers in the West to shut down what he calls pirate radio stations
broadcasting into Zimbabwe from the United States and Britain.

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Zimbabwe's Power-Sharing Partners Set New Talks on 'Outstanding Issues'

Policy Coordinator Eddie Cross of the Tsvangirai MDC told reporters in South
Africa on Sunday that the inclusive government risked unraveling with "a
sharp escalation" of tensions if all outstanding issues are not resolved

Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington 04 January 2010

Zimbabwe's three power-sharing parties are gearing up for a new round of
negotiations over so-called outstanding issues troubling their government
while a senior official of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has warned of the risk of a "a sharp
escalation" in disputes over implementation of the 2008 unity agreement.

Sources told VOA that negotiations will resume January 16 or 17, focusing on
the vexed question of whether Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono
and Attorney General Johannes Tomana should be replaced as the Tsvangirai
formation of the MDC has demanded. President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF
party have adamantly refused to consider this.

Policy Coordinator Eddie Cross of the Tsvangirai MDC told reporters in South
Africa on Sunday that the inclusive government risked unraveling with "a
sharp escalation" of tensions if all outstanding issues are not resolved.

"The political, social and economic crisis is re-emerging in Zimbabwe,"
Cross was quoted as saying by the Sunday Times of South Africa. "We will
slide into a condition very quickly in the new year, where the new
government will become totally dysfunctional." The Tsvangirai formation
disengaged from its ZANU-PF partner in October-November over the re-arrest
of party Treasurer Roy Bennett, currently on trial for alleged terrorist

But Deputy Spokesman Renson Gasela of the MDC formation led by Deputy Prime
Minister Arthur Mutambara says the national unity government should be
preserved, saying his party also wants closure on all outstanding issues.

"The people of Zimbabwe have seen the benefits of the unity government and
therefore want to see the arrangement preserved. There has to be agreement
on the outstanding issues," Gasela told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili

Formed in February 2009 after a unity accord signed between long-ruling
ZANU-PF and the two formations of the MDC, the inclusive government has been
troubled by fundamental disagreements over how to share power.

Some observers say ZANU-PF hardliners resisting full implementation of the
Global Political Agreement fearing this will lead to further erosion of the
liberation party's grip on power three decades after independence.

Deputy Spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo of the Tsvangirai MDC formation said
her party expects all unresolved issues to be settled when negotiations
resume in the middle of January - a deadline which has continually slipped.

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Farm invasions continue amid fears of military deployment

By Alex Bell
05 January 2010

Farm attacks are continuing this New Year, amid very real fears that the
military is being deployed on properties across the country in an effort to
complete Robert Mugabe's so called land 'reform' programme.

This weekend, a militia led onslaught on commercial farms in Rusape saw a
local farming family come under siege, with two people being assaulted by a
mob of land invaders. Rudolf du Toit and his South African wife were both
physically attacked on Sunday after almost two days of threats and
intimidation by a mob on their farm in Rusape. The couple are now recovering
from their ordeal and are still on their land after the intervention of
South African Ambassador Mlungisi Makalima. Makalima apparently managed to
stabilise the situation after pleas from Mrs du Toit for his assistance.

This most recent incident in Rusape has followed a number of similar attacks
in the area. Last week, farmer Gavin Woest was evicted from his property by
a gang working for former lands Minister Didymus Mutasa. According to the
President of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), Deon Theron, Mutasa tried
to force Woest to sign an illegal contract to hand over 20% of his tobacco
crop from last year, and a further 20% of the coming year's crop. But Woest
refused to sign and found himself driven off his land. It is known that
Mutasa already owns more than ten farms in the area, proving once again that
the land attacks have little to do with empowerment or reform, and all to do
with greed.
The Woest's eviction came mere days after a South African farming family was
forced to flee their property on Christmas Eve. Ray Finaughty and his family
from Manda Farm, were given three hours to pack up their belongings and flee
the property, following days of intimidation and harassment by a gang of
suspected youth militia. His farming partner, Richard Harland, who remained
on the property with his wife, has faced days of intimidation and threats
since then, with thugs barricading the couple in their home. Finaughty
meanwhile was awarded a High Court order on Tuesday to safely return to the
farm, but there is no guarantee yet that the order will be enough.
Finaughty was one of more than 70 commercial farmers who took the government
to the human rights court of the Southern African Development Community
(SADC), over the land grab campaign. In 2008 SADC ruled that the land grab
was unlawful, and ordered the Mugabe government to ensure the protection of
farmers and their rights to their land. But the ruling has been openly
flouted, and land invasions, taking place under the guise of so called land
'reform', have intensified this year.

The ongoing land attacks have also left tens of thousands of people
unemployed, as farm workers and their families have also been forced to
leave the properties along with their employers. The General Agriculture and
Plantation Workers Union reported last year that more than 60 000 people
have been left destitute as a direct result of the land grab initiative in
2009, since the attacks began in earnest last February. The figure adds to
the already crippling unemployment rate of more than 94% in the country. But
despite this, there has been no effort by either the unity government or by
SADC to stop the attacks that are having such far flung implications for the

The CFU's Theron on Tuesday voiced widespread fears about military
deployment across the country, adding he cannot yet confirm if this is true.
But he explained that the possibilities are very real, with Attorney General
Johannes Tomana last week echoing previous sentiments vocalised by Robert
Mugabe that the military would be used to drive out white farmers. Some
media reports have already said that army deployment has been ordered by the
Joint Operations Command (JOC), through Tomana. Theron explained that if the
government does allow this to happen, "they are openly admitting that they
have no control and there is no rule of law in the country."
Theron continued that ZANU PF Mashonaland West land chair person Temba
Mliswa has threatened local land beneficiaries in the area with eviction if
they lease out their land to white farmers. Mliswa has also ordered war
veterans and party militia to resist a proposed land audit in the province
until targeted 'shopping' sanctions imposed by the West on ZANU PF officials
are lifted. Mliswa was addressing an agriculture meeting, which was attended
by war veterans and ZANU PF militia in Karoi on Monday. He told the meeting
that "the government must repossess all farms owned by blacks who are
leasing them out to former white commercial farmers because it is against
the law."

Mliswa is the Vice President of a business lobby group Affirmative Action,
which has previously threatened to take over white owned companies to
empower blacks. The same group issued threats to international food giant
Nestlé last year, when the company ended its commercial relationship with
the Gushungo dairy farm owned by Grace Mugabe.


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No help for Zim farmers

Article By: Micel Schnehage and Imraan Karolia
Tue, 05 Jan 2010 11:22

The Harare-based Commercial Farmers Union on Tuesday accused Zimbabwean
police of being reluctant to protect farmers from invasions.

Four farmers and their families were chased from their homes during the
festive season.

The union's Deon Theron said police drag their feet when their supposed to
intervene, especially when high profile politicians are suspected of being
behind the evictions.

Meanwhile, Special Adviser to President Jacob Zuma on International
Relations Lindiwe Zulu made assurances that progress was being made in

Zulu was part of a delegation of three, facilitating negotiations between
Zimbabwe's leaders in a bid to iron out differences in the Movement for
Democratic Change and Zanu PF power-sharing government there.

Other facilitators include African National Congress heavy weights Mac
Maharaj and Charles Nqakula.

Zulu said they are hopeful.

"We are not saying we are happy with the speed at which they are working but
we have seen progress because there are a number of things they have agreed
on," said Zulu.

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Zimbabwe Parliamentarians Briefed on Constitution Process

Sources told VOA said the three parties agreed not to adopt the
controversial Kariba draft which the ZANU-PF party of President Robert
Mugabe had been pushing, or any other draft, as the basis of the new

Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington 04 January 2010

Zimbabwe's House of Assembly and Senate on Monday held an extraordinary
parliamentary caucus in which lawmakers were briefed on the constitutional
revision process and the roles of lawmakers in an outreach process that is
beginning this week and is slated for completion in 65 days.

The Finance Ministry has funded the outreach program to the tune of US$43
million, with funds also coming from the Constitutional Affairs Ministry.

Sources told VOA said the three parties agreed not to adopt the
controversial Kariba draft which the ZANU-PF party of President Robert
Mugabe had been pushing, or any other draft, as the basis of the new

Chief Parliamentary Whip Innocent Gonese of the MDC formation of Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that
lawmakers were informed about a Tuesday orientation workshop.

ZANU-PF Chief Whip Jorum Gumbo said the purpose of Monday's meeting was to
seek lawmakers' support for constitutional outreach teams.

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ZANU PF softens stance on new const

by Patricia Mpofu Tuesday 05 January 2010

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party on Monday appeared to
backtrack on demands that a proposed new governance charter for Zimbabwe
should be based on a controversial draft constitution written by the party
and its former opposition rivals three years ago.

ZANU PF, which controls enough parliamentary seats to block passage of a new
constitution, had all along vowed to reject any draft document that is not
based on the Kariba Draft secretly drawn up in 2007 by Mugabe's party and
the two former opposition MDC formations of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
and Deputy Premier Arthur Mutambara.

But Paul Mangwana, representing ZANU PF in a three-men board heading a
select parliamentary committee leading constitutional reforms, told
ZimOnline that thematic or subcommittees of the constitutional committee
would come up with a "fresh set of questions" that will be used to solicit
the views of Zimbabweans on the proposed new constitution.

Citizens will not be asked to choose whether they wanted the Kariba Draft as
the new constitution or as the basis of a new constitution, Mangwana said.

However ZANU PF or any other political party was free to propose the Kariba
Draft or any other constitutional draft as input during formulation of
questions that shall be posed to Zimbabweans during public consultations by
the constitutional committee, added Mangwana.

Mangwana said: "Thematic committees are working on a set of questionnaires
which will help us come up with a format on how to solicit for views from
the people.

"We are creating a process which will not allow people to indicate which
draft (constitution) they want. Having said that, it is important to mention
that each political party is free to bring its own preferred draft in the
formulation of questionnaires that will assist us in our consultations."

Civic organisations and the MDC have rejected the Kariba Draft, saying the
document leaves largely untouched the wide-sweeping powers that Mugabe
continues to enjoy even after formation of a power-sharing government with
Tsvangirai and Mutambara.

In addition to the Kariba document there are two other draft constitutions,
the Constitution Commission draft that was rejected by Zimbabweans in a
referendum in 2000 and another one drawn up by civic society groups under
the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA).

According to Douglas Mwonzora - a member of Tsvangirai's MDC party and a
co-chairman of the constitutional committee -the 17 thematic committees will
be asked to develop "talking points" to be used during discussions with
citizens on the new constitution they want.

"Instead of using any draft, especially the Kariba Draft, we are using
talking points which will be developed by thematic committees," said

The thematic committees will be chaired by legislators selected from the
three main political parties who will be deputised by representatives from
civil society.

The proposed new constitution is part of a September 2008 power-sharing deal
between Zimbabwe's three main political parties that gave birth to the
country's coalition government last February.

Once a new constitution is in place, the power-sharing government is
expected to call fresh parliamentary, presidential and local government
elections although there is no specific date when the unity government
should call new elections. - ZimOnline.

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Zimbabwe's constitution-making process on course despite problems

Jan 5, 2010, 12:56 GMT

Harare - The committee tasked with redrafting Zimbabwe's constitution on
Tuesday said the process was on course despite earlier problems caused by
lack of funds.

'We are going to come out with a superior document which is people-driven,'
said Douglas Mwonzora, co-chairman of parliamentary select committee leading
the process.

'We will show the world how innovative Zimbabweans are. South Africa's
process came out with a good document; we are certainly going to have a
better and superior document. This is a historical process for the world to

The new constitution is being drawn up as part of a power-sharing deal
agreed between President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
in September 2008.

The deadline for completion was set for July but the process is running
behind schedule. 'We will ensure that data capturing teams work nights and
we should have the draft ready for a referendum by July,' Mwonzora said.

According to Mwonzora, delays had been caused mainly by the fact that the
committee had not been allocated funds in the 2009 budget and that it had no
secretariat to carry out its duties.

'All the reasons for the delays have been addressed,' he said. 'Now every
political party has a responsibility to put their heads together.'

Besides lack of funds, disagreements on the methodology had also affected
the process.

Last year, hooligans believed to be from Mugabe's Zanu-PF party violently
disrupted a conference gathered to plan the new constitution.

Zimbabwe's current constitution, which dates back to 1979, allows for the
death penalty and sweeping powers for the president.

In 2000, civic organizations rejected a draft constitution presented by
Mugabe's government.


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Nestle reopens in Zim

HARARE, ZIMBABWE Jan 05 2010 17:01

Nestle has reopened its factory in Zimbabwe after receiving assurances from
the government that its business will not be interfered with again, a
government official said Tuesday.

The Swiss food company shut its Harare factory last month, complaining of
harassment by authorities after it stopped taking milk supplies from a farm
that had reportedly been seized by
members of President Robert Mugabe's family.

The move was widely seen as a setback to efforts by the new power-sharing
government to attract foreign investors in a bid to revamp a battered

Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube said on Tuesday he had been
assigned to meet with Nestle management and assure them
that their concerns would be addressed. "We cannot afford to lose investors
at this stage when we are rebuilding the economy," he said.

Government interference
A worker at the Nestle plant in Harare meanwhile said: "I hope the
government stops affecting our operations here. It is hard to find
employment in this country these days."

Nestle last month said its decision to shut the facility had been prompted
by an unannounced visit from government officials and police on December 19,
after which the firm was forced to accept a milk delivery from
non-contracted suppliers.

Two company executives, including expatriate managing director Heath Tilley,
were questioned by police and released without charge the same day.

Nestle, has been operating in Zimbabwe for 50 years and employs more than
200 people in the southern African nation.

Last October, the company stopped buying milk from Gushungo Dairy Estate
following international criticism of a deal agreed earlier in the year. The
farm had been seized under Mugabe's controversial land reform programme
which targets mainly whites.

Farm seizures
Critics say Mugabe's seizure of white-owned commercial farms, which began in
2000 - officially to resettle landless blacks who have no farming
experience - has ruined the once-prosperous

Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, says Zimbabwe's
economic crisis is due to sanctions imposed by Western nations in response
to land reform. - Sapa

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Activist detained 'to hide Zim sexual abuses'

Jan 4, 2010 10:26 PM | By Moses Mudzwiti

A Zimbabwe rights activist has revealed that her colleague Jestina Mukoko
was abducted by state security agents to stop reports of sexual abuses
committed by army officers from being made public.

Mukoko was freed last year after "spurious" charges against her were
withdrawn. The state had accused her of recruiting a policeman to join an
armed insurgence that allegedly plotted to overthrow President Robert
Mugabe's regime.

Ropafadzo Mapimhidze, the former programmes co-ordinator of Zimbabwe's Girl
Child Network, said yesterday the real reason behind Mukoko's arrest was the
damning sexual abuse reports she was helping to compile.

Mukoko, the director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project, cannot speak on the
matter because she is suing the state agents who abducted and tortured her.

At the time of her detention security agents created the impression that
Mukoko was an enemy of the state.

But Mapimhidze said yesterday they did this to cover up the orgy of rape and
other sexual abuse that soldiers visited on supporters of Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change in the run-up to the 2008

Though the abuses took place two years ago, witnesses and victims are only
now gathering enough courage to speak publicly about their experiences.

Mapimhidze recounted yesterday how she broke down during interviews with
some of the victims.

"The abuse was terrible. A woman told us how soldiers used a broomstick to
assault her because they were tired after raping several women," said

"Another woman said she was forced to eat her own excrement by soldiers who
said it was 'Morgan's bread."

She said her team of four women interviewers would often cry for days after
the interviews.

The night before Mukoko was arrested they had exchanged notes on the rapes
and had planned to forward the information to the NGO Aids Free World, which
released a damning report on the sexual abuses late last year.

"When I heard that Mukoko was picked up, I became ill because I was so
scared," said Mapimhidze.

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Flood of false SA passports hits border posts

Published: 2010/01/05 06:17:15 AM

AS THOUSANDS of migrant workers end their annual holidays and return to SA,
an unusually large number of dubious South African passports are turning up
at the Beitbridge border post.

Home affairs officers stationed on the borders with Mozambique and Zimbabwe
were confiscating dozens of South African passports suspected to have been
fraudulently obtained with the help of corrupt officials from the

Spokeswoman Siobhan McCarthy said while the department routinely launched
major operations at Beitbridge and Lebombo during Christmas and Easter ,
this time officials were coming across about 80 dodgy South African
passports a day from Beitbridge alone. "We have to do further investigations
to establish how people got fraudulent South African passports," she said.

Many Zimbabweans were believed to have travelled home for Christmas due to
growing economic stability after years of hyper-inflation and political
turmoil there.

Since 1994, home affairs permitted the late registration of births, a
provision meant to give mainly black South Africans the opportunity to get
identity documents. However, this provided a loophole for the fraudulent
issuance of ID documents to foreigners. It is believed that having secured
such papers, many people from neighbouring countries were able to blend into
South African society, thanks to their Nguni names.

Last month, Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said the late
registration of births would be phased out this year. The department, which
is involved in a R800m turnaround project, was under pressure to clamp down
on the corruption that led last year to the UK government imposing a visa
regime on South Africans.

Yesterday, Zimbabwe's main official daily newspaper, The Herald, reported
that SA's blitz on illegal migrants had left many, including people from
countries north of Zimbabwe, stranded in Beitbridge. To escape the blitz
other travellers had opted to get to SA via Botswana.

McCarthy said at all border posts, immigration officials were always on the
lookout for suspicious passports. But the end of the festive holidays had
seen an intensification of checks at Beitbridge and Lebombo, now SA's
busiest border posts.

Those suspected of travelling on illegally issued documents had their
passports taken away. They were allowed to proceed but were given a slip
with a date on which to present themselves for an interview at home affairs'
Pretoria offices.

McCarthy said such people had to be assumed to be South African citizens
until proved otherwise. A trader had his passport and that of his child
confiscated at Beitbridge two days after Christmas. He is required to
present his parents' IDs, with a letter from his chief and church.

Last month, home affairs suspended 59 officials implicated in the fraudulent
registration of foreigners, mainly from Pakistan.


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Motorists clash with police at Beitbridge

05/01/2010 00:00:00

CLASHES broke out between motorists and police on the South African side of
the Beitbridge Border Post at the weekend as officials were overwhelming by
the huge numbers of travellers trying to cross-back into the country after
the festive holiday.

Zimbabweans returning from spending the Christmas and New Year holidays with
their families said South African Home Affairs officials temporarily shut
down their offices and many also complained that border officials were
demanding bribes.

South African police reportedly sprayed people with hot water and pepper
spray in an effort to control the crowd leading to the closure of the border
over the weekend.

"The (Border) offices are closed because (South African) Home Affairs
officials cannot deal with the crowd at the moment, they need an orderly

"That orderly queue was there until the officials started accepting money
from people to have their passports processed through the back door," one
traveller said.

Meanwhile, dozens of Zimbabweans trying to enter South Africa at the Border
Post reportedly had their passports confiscated as South Africa stepped-up a
clamp down on fraudulent travel documents.

There have been a number of crackdowns on illegal South African visa holders
lately with those found holding fraudulent papers being sent back to their
home countries.

Most of those affected are Zimbabweans who had moved to South Africa using
fraudulent documents obtained in back home.

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EU To Revise Zimbabwe Sanctions

Harare, January 05, 2010 - The European Union (EU) next month will meet to
revise targeted sanctions and travel restrictions on President Robert Mugabe
and his cronies in line with how the unity government has been implementing
outstanding issues in the Global Political Agreement (GPA), a senior
diplomat said Monday.

"The European Union will meet in February to revise its position on the
sanctions.The decision will be collective and each member country will come
up with their position," a senior diplomat told Radio VOP on condition he is
not named.

"The revision of the sanctions list will be based on the implementation of
the Global Political Agreement (GPA)."

The EU and the United States slapped Mugabe and his close to 200 cronies on
targeted sanctions for human rights abuses and unfair elections over the
years.The Brussels based EU and the US only removed travel warnings to
Zimbabwe on their citizens after the unity government was formed in February
last year.

Meanwhile the French embassy has distanced itself from a story carried in
the state controlled Herald newspaper on Friday reporting that the out-going
French ambassador Laurent Contini called for the removal of sanctions when
he bade farewell acting President Joice Mujuru.

An official at the embassy said: "I held a brief with the outgoing
ambassador and he said that he did not say that.Our position will be made in

An EU team came last year on a fact finding mission on the situation in
Zimbabwe and said the block will only fully re-engage with Harare if the GPA
has been fully implemented.

Mugabe has demanded that sanctions against him and his senior Zanu PF
officials must be removed 'as they are not serving any purpose anymore'
since the formation of the unity government.

Zanu PF at its congress early in December resolved that they will not accede
to anything in the on-going talks with the two Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) factions to resolve outstanding issues which are yet to be
resolved by the unity government.

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MDC ‘clean up exercise’ to weed out corruption in external assemblies

By Violet Gonda
5 January 2010

The entire MDC-UK provincial executive has been suspended by the MDC-T over
disturbing new reports of corruption, with £57,000 unaccounted for.
Treasurer General Roy Bennett is quoted as saying the party had uncovered
reports of financial irregularities and that ‘some of the overseas branches
are run by rogue elements that were bleeding the party dry.’

Bennett told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that the party was embarking on a
clean up exercise as part of its ideology of real change, transparency and
accountability in Zimbabwe.

National Chairman Lovemore Moyo and Deputy Treasurer General Elton Mangoma
are expected to travel to the UK to conduct investigations.

US based political commentator Professor Stanford Mukasa believes the
suspension of the MDC-UK executive is just the tip of the iceberg, saying
corruption is endemic in many of the party’s external structures.  He said
there are people in the MDC foreign offices who were tempted to make money
through the charging of party cards and charging for representing asylum
seekers. “There are many Zimbabweans who have paid money to some of these
officials and this is not only in Europe but the problem is also endemic in
North America.”

Mukasa said the biggest problem is lack of accountability in terms of the
party structure and procedures for remitting funds: “When these people sent
their membership dues it was to some individuals and there is no record of
how these transactions where ultimately submitted or remitted to the
appropriate bank accounts.”

But the UK provincial executive has denied impropriety and alleges serious
factionalism within the top echelons of the party. They are saying that the
party is divided into two main factions. One led by President Morgan
Tsvangirai, Vice President Thokozani Khupe and National Chairman Lovemore
Moyo; the other led by Secretary General Tendai Biti, Treasurer General Roy
Bennett and Deputy Treasurer General Elton Mangoma.

Speaking on condition of anonymity some of the provincial executive members
accused Biti, Bennett and Mangoma of working to ‘dislodge the structures’
that are perceived to be pro-Tsvangirai, so as to influence decisions in the
external structures.

Bennett responded by saying: “This is absolute hogwash. I have never heard
of anything more ridiculous. Things have regularised in Zimbabwe and we are
trying to clean up our house and put our house in order, whereby we have
gone into all these things and looked into them and people have been found

He added: “Nobody is doing a witch-hunt. Nobody is trying to pull anybody
down. It’s about doing things properly. It’s about having accountability and
going through the correct channels.”

There are a number of reports saying that the MDC-UK provincial executive
failed to remit money collected from the Diaspora through the proper
channels, such as through the office of the Treasurer General, especially
during the recent controversial elections. Instead, the provincial executive
is accused of sending the money directly to certain individuals, by-passing
Mangoma – who was acting Treasurer General. Bennett at the time was in exile
in South Africa.

Bennett also told the UK Independent newspaper: “I would hate to know the
amount of money that has been raised by Zimbabweans in exile purporting to
represent the MDC. They have used the MDC name and pocketed the money.”

However an email sent by the suspended MDC branch in the UK, to Tonderai
Shonhe the Chief Executive officer of the MDC, said: “The Executive was very
much aware of the procedure of sending money through the Treasurer General
or Deputy Treasurer General. However the prevailing political and economic
situation at that time needed a different strategic approach.  The Treasurer
General was based in South Africa and the Deputy Treasurer General was busy
with the harmonised elections, sometimes unavailable due to his personal
security and later busy with the coalition talks as one of the negotiators.”

MDC officials in Britain claim they could not hold the money while waiting
for the Deputy Treasurer General as there were ‘desperate victims’ in places
like Harvest House and at some churches who needed the money urgently. “We
have every record of everything, including fuel coupons sent through,” said one source.

But Bennett insists that any money that was collected on behalf of the party
should have gone through the Treasury. He said:  “None of the money came
through my office. So we must draw a fine line to understand; was the money
for the MDC or was it for individuals? What were the issues? And that is
what has failed to be explained.”

Some MDC members allege there is a longstanding grudge within the MDC
leadership that started when Lovemore Moyo was elevated to National Chairman
of the party after the death of Isaac Matongo. “This meant Moyo, who had
been Deputy Chair, became senior to Biti and was now controlling external
assemblies, making the Tsvangirai group strong. The divisions widened also
when another Biti supporter, Lucia Matibenga, was suspended and Teresa
Makoni, a Tsvangirai ally, became the women’s chair. This grudge is not
over. It’s a battle for control,” said one member.

However political analyst Professor Mukasa said expressing different points
of view does not amount to factionalism and that there is no evidence in the
MDC of two distinct entities with significant differences.

Meanwhile, the MDC-UK province says it spent money on several fundraising
campaigns to help its party reach the grassroots ahead of the March 2008
elections. They say this included sourcing 200 mobile phones for the
presidential campaign and 50 phones for aspiring parliamentarians; plus
sourcing money to buy fuel coupons for the party candidates for campaigning
purposes. The province said a ‘Twinning Project’ also saw the UK branches
raising funds and joining forces with their rural constituencies in

One senior member said there are 45 MDC-UK branches with an estimated 100
members in each branch, bringing the membership to about 4 500. The source
said people are very disappointed with what has happened and that it is not
clear how many people will stay as members. The party requires members to
buy a one-off party card for £10 and then £5 monthly subscription fees, or
£60 per year.

The district Information and Publicity Secretary for the MDC-UK North
Midlands Makusha Mugabe said: “This is all demoralising. And at the moment
you cannot get anyone to pay the subscriptions or continue funding because
they don’t know whether they are still within any party structure. We have
gone through a constitutional process where the MDC-UK and all the external
structures are now formally recognised in a constitution. That’s why members
were comfortable to support the party, but now it’s unclear.”

Corruption has been like a cancer to Zimbabwe slowly eating away at its
institutions and the social fabric. Bribes have become a way of life and
there are many examples of public officials living lives that far exceed
their salaries.

Some observers say the state controlled Herald newspaper has of course
chosen to focus on this alleged corruption in the MDC, ignoring the fact
that the MDC are attempting to weed it out. The Herald has conveniently
overlooked 30 years of blatant ZANU PF corruption, that continues unabated.


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Dabengwa labeled ‘dictator’ as divisions erupt in ZAPU

By Lance Guma
05 January 2009

Political party ZAPU, which in December 2008 officially broke away from a 21
year old unity accord with ZANU PF, is now being rocked by serious divisions
within its ranks. Only a month ago 4 party members were arrested and brought
to court on charges of assaulting fellow party members at a meeting in
Luveve. At the time ZAPU’s Bulawayo province issued a statement saying the
meeting had not been sanctioned and was disrupted by some rowdy youths.

Now it’s reported the party has suspended 6 senior members for alleged
indiscipline over a separate matter. Two of these officials, Evans Ndebele
and Smile Dube, allegedly threatened to beat up party leader Dumiso Dabengwa
two weeks ago at a meeting in Gweru at which they accused him of being a
dictator. Ndebele and Dube were eventually barred from the meeting. Others
suspended are Retired Colonel Ray Ncube, former Bulawayo councilor Charles
Mpofu, Nhlanhla Ncube and Charles Makhuya.

A statement from ZAPU read; ‘Among the reasons for their suspensions are the
following; holding and seeking to hold unauthorized meetings with the
intention of showing insubordination to the party and its leadership (and)
making statements to the press that are in contempt of the party leadership.’

Newsreel spoke to Dube on Tuesday and he told us the main problem was that
party leader Dumiso Dabengwa was refusing to hold public meetings and
campaign for the party, choosing instead to run it as a one-man band. He
said all the meetings organized so far in Luveve and Nketa have been
disrupted by youths loyal to Dabengwa.

Our correspondent in Bulawayo, Lionel Saungweme, told Newsreel the battle in
ZAPU pitted Dabengwa against senior figures from the ZAPU liberation war
military wing, ZIPRA. This is a battle for control of the party he said.
‘Dabengwa is also being accused of systematically dismantling the ZAPU
secretariat, put in place at the last congress and replacing them with
people coming from Davies Hall, the ZANU PF office in Bulawayo,’ Saungweme
told us.

The same point was confirmed by Dube, who said Dabengwa preferred to work
with his old colleagues who defected from ZANU PF. This has seen him take
the entire office staff from the ZANU PF office at Davies Hall and giving
them jobs in the ZAPU office. This meanwhile has displaced people put in
place at congress. This unilateral imposition is what is generating some of
the criticism of Dabengwa as a dictator.

Another senior party official, who spoke to us on condition of anonymity,
said some of the people suspended by the party had worked tirelessly to
revive ZAPU using their own resources but were now being mistreated. He said
no suspension letters were issued and there was only a statement being made
to the press announcing the suspensions. He also accused Mugabe’s regime of
identifying vulnerable characters in the party and ‘using them to destroy
the movement. Dabengwa given his experience should know this,’ he quipped.

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Zanu PF Land Chair Blocks Land Audit

Karoi, January 05, 2010 - Zanu PF Mashonaland west province land chair
person Temba Mliswa has ordered war veterans and party milita to resist the
government's land audit  in the  province until sanctions  imposed  by the
west  to Zanu PF officials are lifted.

Mliswa who was addressing an agriculture  meeting, which was attended by war
veterans and Zanu PF militia in Karoi on Monday said:" If we allow land
audit it means we are denying black empowerment as the process is aimed at
reversing the gains of the land reform. We are also demanding  that the
government must  repossess all  farms owned by  blacks who are leasing them
out to former  white commercial farmers ,because  it is  against  the law."

Mliswa is also the vice  President  of a business lobby group Affirmative
Action, which  has threatened to take over white owned companies to  empower

Zanu PF resolved at its national congress  in December that the land audit
should  not  start before the lifting  of sanctions. The land audit is part
of the requirements of the Global Political Agreement (GPA). So far the
three Zimbabwean leaders have not full implemented the GPA due to
outstanding issues.

The European Union on Monday said said it will meet in February to revise
its position on the sanctions. The EU and the United States slapped Mugabe
and his close to 200 cronies on targeted sanctions for human rights abuses
and unfair elections over the years. The Brussels based EU and the US only
removed travel warnings to Zimbabwe on their citizens after the unity
government was formed in February last year.

The Movement of Democratic Change (MDC) has also called for the lifting of
sanctions, saying the outstanding issues of the GPA will be resolved.

The inclusive government last year ordered a stop to all farm acquisitions
pending a comprehensive land audit to asses the needs of
resettled farmers. However land invasions still continue unabated

Zimbabwe, once a regional bread  basket, has suffered severe food shortages
largely  blamed  on the  chaotic and  violent  land invasions that began in
2 000.

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Zimbabwe Teachers Plan Strike

Masvingo, January 5, 2010 - A leading teachers' representative body has
threatened industrial action ahead of the schools opening on January 12, to
force government to award them salaries above the Poverty Datum Line (PDL).

The teachers are demanding Us 600.

In an exclusive interview with Radio VOP on Tuesday morning, the president
of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), Takavafira Zhou, said:
"We have given the inclusive government enough time and a long rope to tie
itself. It is high time they give us salries above the poverty datum line,
meaning anything not less than $600."

Zhou said they had discovered that government intended to raise salaries to
USd 300.

"The teachers told us that schools will not open unless their demands are
met. So I have to obey the people I serve," he added.

Provincial Education Director (PED) from the Ministry of Education, Arts,
Sports and Culture, Ms Clara Dube, confirmed having seen a petition from

"We did recieve the petition with the teacher's demands, and we forwarded
them to the head office," Dube said.

Another teachers organisation, ZIMTA, said it was still consulting to come
up with a position.

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Tare family exonerate Betty over fund

Published on: 5th January, 2010

By Lance Guma

Two volunteers who helped raise money for a young girl who required surgery
in the UK are being accused of 'manufacturing' false stories about the
looting of the medical fund.

Barbara Nyagomo Mambo and Munashe Moyo Godo started an internet campaign on
social networking site Facebook to help raise £10,000 required for Tare
Nomatter Mapungwana's surgery.

Later on the Girl Child Network - a charity run by Betty Makoni to help
abused and disadvantaged girls - took over the fund raising campaign. It was
then that Nyagomo-Mambo and Moyo-Godo are said to have demanded £360 in
compensation for internet charges, time spent publicizing the appeal and
phone calls.

Makoni and her network refused to pay this money and it's alleged that
because of this the aggrieved volunteers fanned the stories about missing

US$20,000 was raised in appeals run in Zimbabwe by Bishop Trevor Manhanga,
but they alleged that only £8,000 was received in the United Kingdom.

Protest musician Viomak, who is Tare's aunt, spoke to Newsreel on Monday
giving the family's side of the story. She said US$20,000 was raised in
Zimbabwe and the full amount was given directly to the family. She said this
money had nothing to do with the Girl Child Network.

Viomak said the Girl Child Network helped to raise the balance of £10,000
required to ensure Tare traveled from Zimbabwe to the UK and could pay the
bill for her operation. When the target of £10,000 was reached they asked
for the excess money to be sent directly to the family.

She said because Tare's family did not have a UK bank account she offered
them use of her bank account to use temporarily. Tare's mum was given the
bank card and pin number to use.

Barbara Nyagomo-Mambo meanwhile denied being the source of the stories
alleging that money was looted from Tare's Fund. She however admitted that
she and Munashe Moyo Godo (Makoni's childhood friend) had demanded and were
entitled to volunteer allowances under UK law.

She said it was illegal not to pay volunteers in the UK and that their
allowances should range from anything between £5 to £15 a day. She
complained that in three and a half weeks she had run up a phone bill of
£360 trying to raise money for Tare but received no compensation.

Nyagomo-Mambo also challenged the use of Viomak's private bank account,
saying members of the public were not informed that this was where the money
was deposited.

She said because the donations were going via paypal, donors did not know
the destination account and assumed it was still being handled by the Girl
Child Network. SW Radio Africa

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Lawyer appointed legal guardian at Methodist Church

Micel Schnehage | 5 Hours Ago

The South Gauteng High Court on Tuesday appointed a curator to oversee the
welfare of unaccompanied minors at the beleaguered Central Methodist Church
in Johannesburg.

Well-known children's rights lawyer Ann Skelton was named the legal guardian
of 56 Zimbabwean children.

The church's custodian Paul Verryn was accused of refusing to cooperate with
social workers trying to relocate the children to places of safety.

The DA's Jack Bloom welcomed the appointment.

"I hope that she can restore the trust that's needed between all parties,
that she can relocate them to different premises."

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Photojournalist Ufumeli detained

Written by The Zimbabwean
Tuesday, 05 January 2010 16:56

HARARE  - The Zimbabwe Independent and award winning photojournalist Aaron
Ufumeli has been detained by security officers manning the Harare Thermal
Power Station when he tried to take a picture of the defunct power
generating plant.

The security officers are now intending to charge him under the Protected
Areas Acts for attempting to take the picture without permission.
A driver who was accompanying Ufumeli said one of the security guards
confiscated the camera before asking the photographer to follow him into the
guard room.
"They are charging me with breaching the Protected Areas Act because I had
no permission to take pictures of the power station," said Ufumeli while in
the custody of the security guards adding that they were threatening to take
him to Harare Central Police Station.
Ufumeli was working on a story where the Harare City Council intends to take
over the thermal power station from Zesa in order to increase electricity
supplies for the city.
Zimbabwe Independent news editor Constantine Chimakure confirmed the
incident adding that they were doing evrything in their to ensure his
According to the Harare City Councils' minutes of 30 November 2009 it was
revealed that there were efforts which have been initiated to takeover
Harare's Thermal power station from ZESA

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Border town gets cut of diamond action

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
A rough diamond - Manica's new found wealth from Zimbabwe
MANICA, 5 January 2010 (IRIN) - Without a four-wheel drive, Manica's potholed dirt roads are a challenge, but thanks to a steady stream of illicit diamonds from neighbouring Zimbabwe, more and more people in the impoverished town in western Mozambique can afford one.

Manica is bustling with business and the newfound wealth - manifest in the latest Hummer or a high-end Toyota, always with tinted windows - is flaunted along Eduardo Mondlane Avenue, the dusty border town's only significant road.

It is a new frontier energized by diamonds: new restaurants and shops have opened and offer a wide assortment of practically anything - all imported from South Africa.

The region used to be better known for its high levels of poverty and malnutrition. Now diamond dealers, many of them foreign, watch the luxury vehicles parade from freshly whitewashed terraces and hurriedly revamped hotels.

"The diamonds enter Mozambique in an obscure and clandestine way. Nobody in Manica is permitted to [buy or sell] them because we do not have this mineral," Jose Tefula, administrator of Manica district, told IRIN.

The diamonds are believed to come from the vast Chiadzwa diamond fields in the eastern province of Manicaland, about 90km southwest of Zimbabwe's eastern city of Mutare, not far from the border. Traders use "mules", who often ingest the stones, to smuggle the diamonds into Mozambique, Tefula said.

According to Alberto Limeme, head of the border patrol at Machipanda, the main border post between Mozambique and Zimbabwe: "The diamonds cannot cross the border without proper certification but we don't have enough personnel for adequate control."

Stones worth hundreds of thousands of dollars are allegedly being smuggled in every month. In December 2009 authorities seized more than 500g of diamonds from a single smuggler.

A recent joint operation by the Mozambican Migration Services and Border Patrol to stem the flow had not managed to contain the illegal traffic of the precious stones, Limeme admitted.

Political involvement

Limeme said the Zimbabwean authorities had long been aware of the illegal diamond pipeline but "as long as the Zimbabweans do not clamp down on the illegal trafficking, it will be very difficult for us to restrain the entrance of the diamonds".

Hundreds of thousands of artisanal miners had swarmed into the Chiadzwa region and in late 2008, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe sent troops to flush them out after repeated attempts by the police to establish control failed.

A June 2009 report by the international watchdog, Human Rights Watch, accused Zimbabwean security forces of killing more than 200 miners in 2008 - an allegation denied by Mugabe's government - and recommended that Zimbabwe be suspended from the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which polices the diamond trade.

The fields are now controlled by the military and villagers are allegedly forced by soldiers to dig for stones for the benefit of senior government officials or military commanders.

A 2009 report, Zimbabwe, Diamonds and the Wrong Side of History, by Partnership Africa Canada, one of the architects of the certification scheme, states: "Zimbabwean diamonds are produced from mines that benefit political and military gangsters, and they are smuggled out of the country by the bucket-load."

Risk and reward

''People are very willing to risk their lives to carry diamonds across the border''
One Zimbabwean diamond trader in Manica, who wished to remain anonymous, told IRIN that "people are very willing to risk their lives to carry diamonds across the border".

But there were risks involved: "In Zimbabwe it is necessary to bribe the soldiers guarding the mines and then you still have to make the journey across the mountains to get to the border. But this is creating a lot of wealth in Manica."

Diamonds were sold to foreign buyers by the gram at about 1,350 Meticais (US$46.50), far below average global prices, he said. Dealers from Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, the Great Lakes, Israel and Lebanon then take them out of the country to be processed and sold on the global market. 


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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[Opinion] Lift Sanctions on Zimbabwe

Ending sanctions will help spur economic growth
Isaac Hlekisani Dziya
Published 2010-01-04 16:10 (KST)
On Thursday, December 3, 2009 while in Cape Town, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai called on global Zimbabwe community to help rebuild their
country. He did not, however, ask that sanctions be lifted.

On Thursday, Dec 24 2009 Robert Mugabe said that there had been tremendous
improvement under the Zimbabwe unity government, despite sanctions. He was
speaking at a rare joint press conference, with his one-time rival Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Theses two leaders have insisted that there was no going back on the
power-sharing arrangement, despite a yearlong dispute over a raft of
political appointments.

"There is tremendous improvement to the political environment," Mugabe said.
"People have heeded our calls for peace."

It is with this in mind that Zimbabwe now calls for an end of the imposed
sanctions. There seems to be tangible lasting peace system in Zimbabwe. The
rest of the international community should now show its good faith by
removing the sanctions which are hurting the country. The Zimbabwean
political arch rivals have now narrowed their differences.

The central task to ensure economic development in Zimbabwe is to put an end
to the hostile sanctions against the Zimbabwean people.

The Zimbabwe inclusive government has been operational, albeit with
problems, from February 2009. It is indeed a marriage of convenience,
however, without it, Zimbabwe would have slid further into the depths of

There is, therefore, a semblance of democracy. Where there are two or more
political parties involved, there are bound to be differences, and these
will be with Zimbabwe for a long time to come. It is understandable that
each party would want to promote its own interests, with or without guile.

With this in mind, it is time the sanctions were reviewed, in line with the
new political dispensation. This is a call to the European Union and to the
United States of America on behalf of the inclusive government of Zimbabwe
that sanctions imposed on country be lifted.

The "smart sanctions" which are targeted at specific persons and state
controlled organisations were intended to put pressure directly on those who
are deemed to pose a threat to human rights.

These are supposed to be formulated in such a way as to minimise their
impact upon the well-being of the civilian population, but the reality on
the ground in Zimbabwe begs a different story. It is the increasing concern
for the humanitarian welfare of the people of Zimbabwe, at home and abroad,
that the sanctions be lifted.

Sanctions are cruel because they punish solely the Zimbabwean people and
more so the weakest among them. These are largely ineffective since they do
not hit the intended persons as they find ways of circumventing the same.

The objectives of the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe were to ensure the
departure of the de facto ZANU-PF authorities and the restoration of the
legitimate institutions in Zimbabwe. The current government of Zimbabwe is
indeed legitimate, as democracy is now being openly facilitated.

The concern that a climate of fear of persecution and economic dislocation
is now decreasing, thus reducing the number of Zimbabweans seeking refuge in
neighboring states and abroad. This should have positive repercussions on
the international field and more on the southern African region as a whole.

In 2003, when the sanctions were being imposed slowly and systematically, I
was aware that the common person was bearing the brunt, rather than the
intended persons of Mugabe's government. The hardships affected Zimbabweans
from all walks of life, and continue to do so even up to this day.

There is need to have industry resuscitated so that our people can get jobs,
and get the economy ticking once again. The removal of sanctions will play a
bigger role in sustaining inclusive government and usher a period of hope
for the people of Zimbabwe.

The European Union and the United States must understand the need to bring
Zimbabwe back into the international fold, and allow and assist in the
return of those Zimbabweans who would want to go back to their motherland.
Exiles don't want to go back home only to face the wrath of sanctions.

What Zimbabwe needs is a revival of the economy, which requires an injection
of cash and foreign investment. Mugabe is no longer as belligerent as he was
in the past, certainly this should help in the quest for a long lasting

The average Zimbabwean cannot afford imported consumer goods. Some parts of
the government of National Unity have their intransigence reinforced by what
they perceive as British and American arrogance, and the conviction that the
US has no intention of removing sanctions while Robert Mugabe is in power.

It is hoped that the sanity prevailing in the Ministry of Finance at the
moment will translate into measures that ensure state-owned enterprises are
not abused by politicians.

It is accepted that there are a few disputes, which will soon be ironed out.
That said, Zimbabwe needs a break now.

Lifting of sanctions will surely be fast-track route to the long awaited
sustainable economic growth in Zimbabwe.

It is agreed that among the 4 million Zimbabweans in exile, many of them
have skills, and influence which would benefit Zimbabwe once the sanctions
are lifted. That said, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai recognizes and
values Zimbabweans in the Diaspora and the critical role they can and should
play in bolstering sustainable economic growth in Zimbabwe, but he has not
been forceful in calling for the end to sanctions. It should not be when it
suits his party, but when it suits the country.

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Eddie Cross: Reflections


It may be because I am getting on in years but I think that it is sometimes
good to reflect on what has transpired in the past as a guide to what
happened subsequently and to explain some of the vagaries. As a young
economist in Salisbury (Harare), I took a keen interest in those whom I saw
as the possible future leaders of the country once the process of transition
from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe was complete.

In 1974, when the Nationalist leadership was released from detention in
Rhodesia under the détente initiative led by the then South African
government, a colleague of mine suggested that we interview the key players
to try and determine what their views were on the longer term future.

We selected 10 of the leaders to interview and did so in a series of
meetings over several days. I recall two sessions that really stand out from
that time. The first was the interview with Ndabaningi Sithole, the first
leader of Zanu. We found him intelligent and perceptive. I especially recall
his answer to the question of what was needed to bring about black
advancement - he said that only independence under majority rule would do

We took a little known leader out to lunch during that period - he was
Robert Mugabe and a few days later he slipped over the border at Inyanga
assisted by Sister Mary Aquina from the Dominican Convent in Harare. Both my
associate and I felt that he had been the most radical of the leaders we
met - in fact we only really understood some of the views he held when in
1975, the Khmer Rouge launched their genocidal campaign in Cambodia and
murdered 3 million people before they were removed from power by the

Mr. Mugabe argued that a new "progressive" society could not be constructed
on the foundations of the past. His view was that they would have to destroy
most of what had been built up after 1900 before a new society, based on
subsistence and peasant values could be constructed. The cities were
citadels of capitalism and exploitation and a truly egalitarian society
could only be constructed if these were destroyed. For this reason he
favoured continued resistance by the white minority leading to the violent
overthrow of the society they had created. He favoured a scorched earth
policy with the liberation forces marching down the main streets of the
capital after a military victory.

In the final event Kissinger intervened and this led to Lancaster House and
a negotiated transfer of power to the nationalist forces. The subsequent
election brought the most radical of the new leaders, Mugabe, to power.
However, he came to power as a minority leader himself - he did not control
the armed forces and depended on the British for his personal security and
the final transfer of power from the Rhodesian administration. For this
reason his personal power and capacity to execute his vision of the future
was in fact curbed by his circumstances - certainly for the first decade and
once that was behind him he was less sure of his long held opinion of just
what an equitable society represented.

Rather than go the way of his Khmer precedents he slipped in the more common
mould of a typical African dictator - treating the country as a personal
fiefdom and the Reserve Bank as his personal bank. Corruption, patronage and
the ruthless execution of personal power became the norm. Poor governance
and bad policy undermined the economy and the gradual loss of international
support eventually created the conditions that in the end threatened his
hold on power.

When threatened, he retreated into the fort he had created and lashed out at
all who threatened his security. He saw the commercial farmers and their
workers as mortal enemies and like Stalin and the Kulaks, simply set out to
eliminate them. He viewed the cities as citadels of resistance to his
survival and as he had no interest in their prosperity and survival, simply
adopting policies that destroyed the modern economy - in the process
fulfilling his commitment to do so as outlined to me in 1974 at that lunch
in Harare.

Having secured power through the "barrel of a gun" Zanu had no real interest
in democracy or any of the niceties of a modern social democracy. Their goal
was simple and straightforward - hold onto power at all costs because it was
the monopoly of power that enabled them to maintain their privileges. The
fact that they had secured power through negotiations and then elections,
are lost in the translation of history.

Perhaps the most disappointing thing about our present leadership is the
loss of any pretence that they believe in the once lofty ideals that they
espoused when they were struggling to defeat an entrenched, but isolated
white minority. Instead we see them manipulating the economic and political
circumstances of the very people they purport to represent. In so doing they
undermine the democracy that brought them to power 30 years ago. The poor
majority are denied security, ownership of the assets they use and live in
and all the basic freedoms that other States take for granted today.

We are in South Africa for the Christmas holidays and are visiting family
and friends. We have travelled over much of the country and I am struck by
two things that I have seen. The first is the new sprawling areas of low
cost "RDP" housing - colourful and neat tiny boxes of houses with tin roofs
that accompany all towns and cities. The second is the fact that very little
has changed in the former "homelands" that constituted the foundations of
the apartheid state.

2,8 million of these small houses have been built since 1994 and they
provide accommodation to some 14 million people. But they are clearly not
"homes". They are rented and no self development is evident and the intent
is clearly to construct vast areas of low income housing that will make
those people dependent on the State and compliant when it comes to an
election. From our experience such communities are easily manipulated
politically, especially by a ruthless regime.

In the former homelands, the same situation prevails - the people there have
no security or independence and cannot control their own destinies. They are
very vulnerable to political pressures and violence. It was communities like
these that the Khmer strove to recreate as the foundation for a socialist
State. It is clear to me that these conditions lay the foundation of
mechanisms for political control. The fact that these same conditions
perpetuate poverty and marginalisation of the affected communities does not
matter. These are the instruments for retaining power and are not casual in

2009 has been a very disappointing year in Zimbabwe. So much was promised by
the deal signed in September 2008 and implemented in February this year, so
little has been achieved. It is clear that even with the intervention of the
South Africans and the region as a whole, Zanu remains recalcitrant and is
refusing to allow the reforms that are required to put Zimbabwe back on
track. They are holding the whole region hostage to their fears of the
future. Prospects for 2010 depend totally on changing those factors that are
retarding progress. I do not believe that we can go back on this process,
the question is can we go forward?

Eddie Cross

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Constitution Watch 1/2010 of 4th January 2010 [Revised Schedule for Training for Public Consultation]


[4th January 2010]

Outreach Programme: Revised Timetable

The training programme announced mid-December [Constitution Watch 14 of 17th December] has been revised.  The revised programme is: 

Monday 4th January:  Special “caucus” meeting of all Parliamentarians – members of the House of Assembly and Senators – to discuss their role in facilitating the consultative process in their constituencies.

Tuesday 5th January:  Training workshop for Parliamentarians.  After this Parliamentarians will disperse to their constituencies to prepare their constituents for the consultative process, returning to Harare by 10th January for the next training workshop.

Sunday 10th January:  Registration for training workshop for all outreach personnel.

Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th January:  Training workshop for all outreach personnel.

Wednesday 13th JanuaryDeployment of outreach teams to provinces.  Outreach teams will meet officials and representatives of civic society at provincial level to explain their programme before starting the consultative process.  [This is still tentative – subject to change.]

Thursday 14th January:  Consultation with the people at ward level will start.  [This is still tentative – subject to change.]

Outreach Teams

The outreach teams are composed of the 425 thematic committee members plus 135 extra members, most of whom will be Parliamentarians.  The lists of people on thematic committees and outreach teams are not yet available from the new Independent Secretariat.  We will make these available as soon as we have them.  Various lists have been prepared and some published in the press, but there were many errors [one list had 644 persons instead of 560].  The new Independent Secretariat was instructed by the new Steering Committee, who met last Thursday, to rectify the lists.  It is hoped that they will be released soon, as those involved from civil society obviously have to make arrangements for long absences from their regular work.

Ministry of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Advocacy Programme

This week and next, Minister Eric Matinenga will continue his countrywide series of "advocacy meetings" at provincial level.  The Minister's aim is to reassure the public that the inclusive government remains committed to the making of a new constitution, and to prepare the ground for the Parliamentary Select Committee's outreach programme, under which consultations with the people are due to start shortly.  The Minister has already addressed meetings in six of the country’s ten provinces.  The schedule for the Minister's meetings in the four remaining provinces – Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central, Harare and Mashonaland East – is as follows:

Chinhoyi:        Wednesday 6th January at Orange Grove Motel Hall

Bindura:          Friday 8th January at Tendai Hall, Chipadze

Harare:           Saturday 9th January at Girls High School Hall

Marondera:    Tuesday 12th January in at Mbuya Nehanda Hall

All meetings will run from 10 am to 12.30 pm.  The Minister will use the meetings to explain what is happening about the new Constitution:

·         the need for a new people-driven constitution in accordance with the GPA

·         progress made to date

·         the challenges facing the process

·         the time-frame laid out in the GPA

·         the need for all Zimbabweans to participate in the process.

Senior provincial officials, community leaders and area NGOs will receive invitations to the meetings, but the meetings are open to the general public and all interested persons will be welcome

An hour will be set aside at each meeting for the Minister to answer questions from the floor.


Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied




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