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Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF Vows to Block Land Audit Until Western Sanctions Are Lifted

The September 2008 Global Political Agreement provides for a land audit to
be carried out, but ZANU-PF official Temba Mliswa says such an inventory
will hinder black empowerment and reverse the gains of land reform

Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington 06 January 2010

A senior official of Zimbabwe's former ruling ZANU-PF party in Mashonaland
West province said the government cannot carry out a land audit proposed by
the office of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai until Western sanctions on
top ZANU-PF officials including President Robert Mugabe are lifted.

Though the September 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing
between ZANU-PF and the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change
provides for a national land audit to be carried out, ZANU-PF official Temba
Mliswa said such an inventory will hinder black empowerment and reverse the
gains of land reform in Zimbabwe.

Mliswa said his party will resist any government moves to carry out a land
audit in the province, a traditional ZANU-PF stronghold, until sanctions are

The party resolved at a December congress to resist the land audit until the
Mr. Tsvangirai's MDC has prevailed upon its supposed Western allies to lift
travel and financial sanctions, accusing the West of trying to undo land
reform. The MDC says it is not responsible for imposing or lifting the

Mliswa told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the proposed land
audit won't help revive the national economy as proponents say.

Lands Secretary Vincent Gwaradzimba of the Tsvangirai MDC formation said
ZANU-PF is not telling the truth about the land audit which he said will
expose the shortcomings and inequities of the land distribution initiative.
Critics say much land has fallen into the hands of top ZANU-PF officials.

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Foreign investors allowed to keep 100% shareholding in Zimbabwe 2010-01-07 07:26:25

    HARARE, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Foreign investors can own up to 100 percent
shareholding of their companies, depending on the merit of their proposals,
a Zimbabwean cabinet minister said on Wednesday.

    Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister Elton Mangoma told
Xinhua in an interview that Zimbabwe was open to foreign investment in all
sectors of the economy, and will continue to lure more investors into the

    "In terms of our investment laws we will allow investors to come in
including in areas where they can have 100 percent shareholding," Mangoma

    "We welcome foreign investment in this country. Chinese investors should
know that if they don't come in quickly, someone else will take these

    He said Zimbabwe had vast investment opportunities in such sectors as
infrastructure development, energy, mining and manufacturing.

    "It's free for them (Chinese investors) to come in. We don't have
reserved areas where we don't think we will benefit," he added.

    Zimbabwe's Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Act promulgated in
2007 limits foreign investment in local companies to 49 percent, but the
government can waive the requirement depending on each case.

    Recently, the Zimbabwean government approved the acquisition of a
controlling stake in a local financial institution by two foreign investors.

    A German-based financial group, the African Development Corporation and
KMG of Mauritius recently bought a combined 54 percent equity in Zimbabwe's
Premier Finance Group (PFG) in a deal worth six million U.S. dollars.

    An indigenization and empowerment pressure group initially raised
objections to the deal for undermining the Indigenization and Economic
Empowerment Act, but the group has since approved it after noting some
positive elements.

    According to the agreement between PFG management and the two investors,
PFG would list on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in the next three to five

    Through public listing, foreign shareholders will reduce their stake by
selling part of their equity to local investors.

    If no listing takes place, part of the foreign shareholding would be
sold to locals within the same period. The bank's management will also be
dominated by locals.

    Youth Development, Indigenization and Empowerment minister Saviour
Kasukuwere defended the transaction, saying it would boost the financial
capacity of the nation.

    "We will be positive on this one for the nation requires financial
capacity," he said.

    The minister said the deal was in the best interest of the financial
services sector, currently in need of capital inflows.

    The arrangement represents one of the few investment deals Zimbabwe has
sealed since promulgation of the Act.

    The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce applauded the deal, saying it
was in the interest of both Zimbabwe and investors.

    "We have always wanted a situation where investors can come in and have
confidence to do business with us," ZNCC president Obert Sibanda told

    "We believe the deal will create quite a lot of confidence among foreign

    Mangoma said Zimbabwe's inclusive government was on record stating that
it would treat each investment case differently, with a provision for
surpassing the equity thresholds if need arose.

    China has been eying investment in Zimbabwe in recent years,
particularly in agriculture and mining.

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SA to brief SADC ministers on Zim

by Own Correspondent Thursday 07 January 2010

HARARE - South Africa will today brief regional foreign ministers on the
progress of talks to resolve a power-sharing dispute threatening Zimbabwe's
coalition government.

Southern African Development Community (SADC) foreign ministers meet in
Mozambique today to coordinate the region's support for Malawi's bid for the
chair of the African Union.

Pretoria officials said on Wednesday that international relations minister
Mait Nkoana-Mashabane will use the occasion to brief her regional colleagues
on the dialogue between President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party and the
former opposition MDC formations led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and
his deputy Arthur Mutambara.

South Africa brokered a 2008 power-sharing deal that gave birth to Zimbabwe's
coalition government last February and was last November asked by regional
leaders to step in to help resolve a host of disagreements between the
Zimbabwean parties and save the unity administration from collapse.

A team of facilitators appointed by President Jacob Zuma to mediate in the
Zimbabwean dialogue earlier this week said that the pace of negotiations has
been slow but said it was however happy with the progress achieved so far.

Negotiators have to date reached agreement on 16 of the 27 issues tabled for
discussion. None of the issues at the core of the power-sharing dispute have
yet been resolved.

The 11-month old government has done well to stabilise Zimbabwe's economy
and end inflation that was estimated at more than a trillion percent at the
height of the country's economic meltdown in 2008.

As a result living conditions for ordinary Zimbabweans have greatly improved
compared to 12 months ago when the country battled shortages of cash, fuel
and every basic survival commodity.

But unending bickering between ZANU PF and MDC as well as the coalition
government's inability to secure direct financial support from rich Western
nations have held back the administration's efforts to rebuild the economy.

The MDC accuses Mugabe of flouting the power-sharing agreement after the
veteran leader refused to rescind his unilateral appointment of two of his
allies to the key posts of central bank governor and attorney general.

Mugabe has also refused to swear in Tsvangirai ally Roy Bennett as deputy
agriculture minister and to appoint members of the MDC as provincial

On its part ZANU PF insists it has done the most to uphold the power-sharing
deal and instead accuses the MDC of reneging on promises to campaign for
lifting of Western sanctions on Mugabe and his top allies. - ZimOnline.

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Road network now non-existent

Written by The Zimbabwean
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 17:32
The nation's haphazard and divided approach to road construction and
maintenance is a crucial issue that the new roads authority must tackle
urgently, writes MORGEN KULARE.

Zimbabwe's roads are some of the worst in the SADC region. Our major
highways are now characterized by potholes - some of them enormous. Our
roads have become a death trap and many precious lives, including that of
the wife of Zimbabwe's Prime Minister, have been claimed by our roads.
Many rural roads are impassable and can best be accessed by ox drawn carts.
Zimbabwe's road network has suffered years of neglect from the outgoing
Mugabe regime with some rural roads going for over a decade without being
graded. It is now technically wrong to call our rural roads a "network"
because it's impossible to link one point to another.
The situation was compounded by the chaotic land grab, which began in 2000,
resulting in well-maintained private roads in commercial farming areas being
handed over to Rural District Councils (RDCs) which clearly had no capacity
to maintain them.

The major fault of the previous regime is that it had a disintegrated
approach to the management and maintenance of the country's 90 000 km road
network. Recent efforts by the government to constitute the Zimbabwe
National Road Authority (ZINARA) as the country's sole road authority are
most welcome, but more can still be done to rectify the current haphazard
approach of the three players involved in national road construction and

It is critical to briefly look at how these players have performed before
proffering possible solutions. The largest player is the Ministry of
Transport, which is in charge of the country's trunk roads and some of the
major rural roads. It is largely under-funded and its rural roads are some
of the worst and can best be compared to Mozambiquean roads during that
country's civil strife. It manages approximately 14 000 km of surfaced
roads, most of which were constructed during Ian Smith's reign or during the
Federation Period.

The District Development Fund (DDF) manages over 20 000 km of the country's
rural roads. Although their roads are not in the best condition, they are at
least passable and arguably they are the best managed rural roads in
Zimbabwe. The Fund was adversely affected by the pulling out of Germany from
its commitment to bankroll the rural road maintenance program after the
chaotic and often violent land grab.

The third authority consists of the RDCs and the Urban Councils. These have
failed utterly to manage and maintain the road networks in their care,
mainly due to corruption and incompetence.

The proposed MTP must encompass a raft of new ideas in the country's
approach to road maintenance. Its encouraging to note that on page 78 of the
Zero Draft-MTP, the authors recognize that the greatest challenge is, "lack
of an integrated approach in the transport policy formulation", thus the
ongoing nationwide consultations must be seen as a golden opportunity to
address once and for all this pertinent issue.

Zimbabwe can adopt two possible options in solving the national roads
crisis. Firstly, all roads should be divided into two; the rural earth roads
and all weather roads commonly referred to as dust roads and surfaced roads
which are referred to as tarred roads. All surfaced roads can be given to
the Ministry of Transport and the dust roads be managed by DDF. This option
leaves the city and town councils in charge of construction and maintenance
of  roads which fall in their domain  but removes this burden from the RDCs,
which should hand over their road maintenance and construction equipment and
staff to DDF. ZINARA will then play an oversight roll of supervising and
funding these two bodies.

The other option is to create a single body responsible for the construction
and maintenance of all the country's roads. This could either be the
Ministry of Transport or ZINARA itself. This option entails the disbanding
of the DDF and RDCs roads divisions in favor of the new single roads
authority. Their equipment and personnel will in turn have to be transferred
to this new body. The major disadvantage of this option is that this new
authority will encounter a cumbersome burden due to the magnitude of the
work involved.

Private sector participation in road maintenance is an obvious solution to
government's lack of funding.  The inclusive government has already made
indications that it is willing to engage the private sector in the
dualisation of the nearly 1 000 km Beitbridge- Chirundu highway on a build,
operate and transfer agreement. This is a noble idea and the nation can even
go a step further by identifying other critical highways where the private
sector can dualise the roads on the same conditions.

The government can also harness its current efforts in collecting revenue on
the tollgates by construction of tollgate infrastructure and the
introduction of  computerized accounting system for accountability and
effective monitoring of the funds.

Since all of Zimbabwe's rural roads require labour-intensive maintenance
such as verge clearance and pothole filling, it is only wise for the
inclusive government to engage in sustainable community participation in
road maintenance through properly planned and monitored food for work
programmes. Previous efforts in this regard hit a brick wall when the
outgoing Zanu (PF) government politicized this program by selecting its
youths at the expense of the spirit of productive community participation. -
Morgen Kulare is the National Research and Advocacy Officer for Youth of
Zimbabwe for Transparency and Progress (YZTP). He can be contacted by email:

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More Infighting in Zimbabwe's Former Ruling ZANU-PF Party Following Congress

The Masvingo branch of the party is embroiled in a factional dispute with
some members of the provincial executive, said by sources to be led by
Higher Education Minister Stan Mudenge, seeking Mzembi's recall

Blessing Zulu | Washington 06 January 2010

Factional differences continue to roil Zimbabwe's former ruling ZANU-PF
party with senior members in eastern Masvingo province said to have urged
Vice President Joice Mujuru to suggest that President Robert Mugabe carry
out a mini-Cabinet reshuffle to drop Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi.

The Masvingo branch of the party is embroiled in a  factional dispute with
some members of the provincial executive, said by sources to be led by
Higher Education Minister Stan Mudenge, seeking Mzembi's recall.

Masvingo ZANU-PF Chairman Lovemore Matuke told VOA Studio 7  reporter
Blessing Zulu that no one has approached Mujuru

Political sources said the Mudenge-led group is bitter because Mzembi backed
Mujuru's reappointment at a December party congress when the provincial
leadership was supporting rival Oppah Muchinguri. Analysts said the Mzembi
imbroglio is linked to the ZANU-PF succession dispute - President Mugabe
will turn 86 in February with no clear successor lined up, though Defense
Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa is believed to have the inside track.

Mzembi's adversaries in Masvingo say he has become too close to Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, founder of the former opposition Movement for
Democratic Change. Mzembi traveled with Mr. Tsvangirai's delegation to the
United States in Europe in June on a re-engagement mission.

Political analyst John Makumbe of the University of Zimbabwe said divisions
in Masvingo are symptomatic of continuing fractures in the larger party.

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Senior cop admits 2008 rigging, violence

Written by Mxolisi Ncube
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 16:33
JOHANNESBURG - The nation-wide bloody reign of terror unleashed against MDC
supporters after that party's March 2008 electoral victory was conducted by
senior police officers because junior officers could no longer be trusted to
support the defeated Zanu (PF) leader Robert Mugabe, according to leaked
police documents.

The mainstream MDC and its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, had overturned Zanu
(PF)'s 28-year-old parliamentary stranglehold at the polls and given Mugabe
his first ever personal electoral defeat.
Documents in our possession, backed by statements from reliable sources
within the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), indicate that Police
Commissioner, Augustine Chihuri, chose senior police officers, ranking
superintendent and above, to lead the gory retribution operation because so
many officers in the lower ranks had begun to support the MDC.
Although it could not be ascertained how much they were given for taking
part in the bloody campaign, the senior officers are said to have earned a
lot of money and been rewarded with subsequent promotion.
During the reign of terror, between 200 and 500 MDC supporters were murdered
in cold blood, while some were left with horrific injuries and thousands of
others were displaced during the bloody "Operation Mavhotera Papi? (Who did
you vote for?)" which also involved war veterans, soldiers and Mugabe's
youth militia.

New Mazdas
Junior officers also revealed that superintendents and trusted inspectors,
especially war veterans, were given brand new Mazda B1800 and Mitsubishi
pick-up vehicles without registration numbers, which they used on their
terror campaigns.
"They went about threatening people with war if they continued to vote
Tsvangirai, saying that they would not stand and watch while this country
was given back to the whites," said another police officer. "Some even went
to the extent of abducting people and torturing people who were deemed to be
MDC supporters."
The junior officers said that the superintendents were taken to provinces
where they were not known, so that they would not be easily identified by
members of the public, while PISI details were always at hand to record all
the campaigns and note them down, after which they would transmit their
records to Chihuri.

Shifting loyalties
Chihuri is said to have accused junior officers of having connived with
members of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to engineer Mugabe's
defeat, as they had allegedly shifted their allegiance from Zanu (PF) to the
"We were accused of being sell-outs who were determined to see Mugabe being
toppled by Tsvangirai, whom the superiors said was an agent of the West,"
said a Bulawayo-based Assistant Inspector, who cannot be named.
"They even supervised our postal ballots because they knew that most of the
junior officers would vote Tsvangirai, as had happened in the earlier round
of voting. Several junior officers were either dismissed or frustrated into
leaving their jobs, after they were followed by members of the PISI (Police
Internal Security Intelligence) everywhere they went and everyone they spoke
to was scrutinised."
The junior officers said that Chihuri wrote several signals to all police
officers in Zimbabwe, in which he accused junior officers of having
 "watched" while elections were being "rigged" in favour of the MDC and
Tsvangirai. One of the signals in our possession was written by Faustino
Mazango, the then Chief Staff Officer (Operations).

Written on May 2, 2008, when he was still a Senior Assistant Commissioner,
Mazango (now Commissioner responsible for Human Resources), claimed that the
widely-recognised March 29, 2008 elections were "fraught with irregularities
and discrepancies that occurred right in the presence of our police officers
who were deployed at all polling stations throughout the country."
In the signal, titled, "Security of voting process" and whose reference
number is 326/1/1, Mazango gives an indication that the ZRP was under fire
from Zanu (PF) authorities, who blamed its officers for the party's and
Mugabe's electoral embarrassment.
Mazango, who signed the signal in his capacity as the ZRP's Commander for
Harmonised Elections, addressed the signal to Chihuri and copied it to all
police provincial, district and station commanders.
This was after Chihuri and other members of the Joint Operations Command
(JOC) - comprising commanders of the army, police, air force and the
much-despised Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) - had demanded an
explanation of what had gone wrong during the elections and a strategy that
would resuscitate Mugabe's then failing political life.

Police blamed
"This poor record in the history of Zimbabwean elections has been blamed on
the police who were docile and unpalatably passive throughout the whole
voting process," said Mazango in the 10-page signal, also identified as
Circular number 17/2008.
"It is hereby directed that for the forthcoming run-off elections, ZRP shall
have a tacit responsibility to monitor as well as take charge of the whole
voting process at every stage."
Mazango said that in the run-off, the police would, among other things, take
over the responsibility of checking prospective voters' names against the
voter's role and assisting those who could not vote on their own.
"The discrepancies and irregularities that consist of serious electoral
fraud as well as silly errors could have been avoided had deployed police
officers taken a keen interest in their job and properly followed the
proceedings at their respective polling stations," said the senior police
officer, who is also one of Chihuri's close confidants.

ZEC rigging
Mazango also blamed Mugabe's defeat and what he termed police's "flaccid and
resigned approach to the voting process" on lack of training for police
officers and their willingness to allow ZEC officials to rig elections.
He also went on to give some statistics of alleged vote rigging, deflation
and inflation of results in a bid to rob Mugabe of victory. He claimed that
at some polling stations, unregistered people were allowed to vote, while
some of those registered, including police officers, were turned away.
"It was also exposed during the recounting exercise that some unregistered
persons were allowed to vote in the harmonized elections," said Mazango. "In
one such alarming case of electoral fraud, a police officer at a polling
station in Bikita South Constituency connived with the presiding officer and
allowed nine (9) unregistered persons to vote. The two officers were
subsequently arrested and charged with electoral fraud."

Living hell
Last month we published a story detailing how junior ZRP members were
subjected to a "living hell" by their commanders in the run-up to the sham
June 27, 2008 presidential election run-off.
Their freedom of movement was curtailed, leave and time-off cancelled, their
visitors barred from camps, while they were threatened with either dismissal
from their jobs or firing squads if Mugabe lost to Tsvangirai again in what
would have been the decisive presidential poll.
They also revealed that they were hauled to Zanu (PF) campaign meetings,
presented as "Police Projects" and harangued by their superiors, who would
denounce the MDC and order the officers and their dependents to vote Mugabe
back into power.

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Mhashu shocked at Vic Falls destruction

Written by Paul Ndlovu
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 17:27
VICTORIA FALLS - Hundreds were left homeless here during the holiday period
when the town council and the Zimbabwe Republic Police destroyed more than a
hundred unlicensed houses.

The   Minister of National Housing, Fidelis Mhashu has said that the
Victoria Falls town council acted without his knowledge and ministerial
approval. Mhashu  said it was disturbing that some town council officials
were inconsiderate of the plight of residents.
He said he could not understand why the Victoria Town Council had embarked
on such a destructive programme when the government was working desperately
to secure enough houses for all Zimbabweans.
"This action is not a directive from government because my ministry did not
issue any instruction ordering them to destroy all houses that were not
licensed. What the council is doing is against our plans and objectives and
we discourage and condemn such actions," said Mhashu.
He said the era of Murambatsvina lapsed in 2005 and no one has the authority
to continue destroying residents' houses because of their appearance.
"The policy is clear, if there are any houses that are below required
standards, the responsible authorities should first build proper ones and
then allocate them to the needy residents before destroying their shelter,"
he said.
Contacted for comment the Victoria Falls Town Mayor, Councillor Nkosilathi
Jiyani, defended the stance by his council arguing that residents were given
enough grace period to clear all unfit houses and build standard ones.
"Actually we are really surprised by the residents who are complaining about
the clean up. People were given stands and were expected to develop and
build them over a certain period but surprisingly some did well and others
haven't done anything. Before we launched our operation we even advised them
to put down their shacks. A number complied and a certain figure did not and
as result we resorted to force," said Jiyani.
He said the move was meant to bring sanity in the resort town, which he said
was the best place for tourist and visitors.
"As you are aware that Victoria Falls is a resort town, cleanliness is
supposed to be maintained so that when foreigners come they are not
discouraged by some funny houses. Besides we want to build a good image of
our country," he said.
However,  Mhashu said he was working on the issue and towns such as Victoria
Falls were the ministry's first priorities in the five-year housing plan.
"Their operation was done at a critical time, the rains are upon us and when
you destroy someone's house during this season it means a double blow. Many
are complaining about their property which was destroyed and this is not
good to struggling residents," said Mhashu.
The operation comes after the recent housing convention, which was held in
the resort town.
"You will remember that there was a housing convention held in Victoria
Falls. So when the town council starts destroying houses, a negative message
is going to be sent to foreigners who will start thinking that Zimbabwe is
not a safe place to visit," said Mhashu.
He encouraged residents to develop their stands to assist the local
authorities bring sanity and cleanliness in big cities and towns.

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Auditor General complicit in govt looting

Written by Editor
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 18:25
Late last year the Auditor-General of Zimbabwe released a report showing
large-scale looting of government equipment, supplies and assets. Among
these were vehicles, large sums of money, computers and other office

The office of the Auditor-General exists to unearth such theft and publicise
any fraudulent abuse, mismanagement or looting of government assets. The
ministers and civil servants do not own these assets, the taxpayers do!
Following the release of her findings, the Auditor-General refused to name
the departments and officials responsible for the looting. This woman has
clearly been threatened and intimidated by the offending government
What is the point of retaining an official who is too afraid to carry out
their job? Why do the people of Zimbabwe continue to employ a gatekeeper who
watches thieves walk out of our houses with our assets and then refuses to
give us the names of these looters?
Most companies employ an auditor who is expected to release his/her findings
and alert the owners of any misdeeds. The people of Zimbabwe are the owners
and we demand a report on how and by whom our tax dollars have been abused
and stolen!
The Auditor-General alerted us to the wanton looting but has failed to name
the culprits. She therefore now ceases to be a gatekeeper working in the
best interests of all Zimbabweans. Furthermore, her silence makes her,
complicit with this kleptocracy.
The Auditor-General must be allowed, nay compelled, to complete the mandate
for which she is employed - name and shame the culprits for the benefit of
all Zimbabweans.
The political gravy train is a phenomenon that has been lamented for years.
When politicians in the UK were accused of the same form of mismanagement
they resigned in shame and their political careers ended overnight. In
Zimbabwe we have lamented the mismanagement of our funds by government
officials at every level and even have a control system in place - one
established to prevent this kind of abuse.
Now we see that the controller, our 'night watchman' was not merely asleep,
but is  complicit in the crimes.
Government assets are entrusted to ministers for the benefit of the country.
They are not to be used for personal gain, nor are they to be abused by
those entrusted with their proper usage for the good of the country. The
Auditor-General is the custodian of these assets and can never be
intimidated into refusing to name the abusers of this system.
A fearless individual of honour and strength needs to hold the office of
Auditor-General - one who will indeed serve the interests of all Zimbabweans
and be a good steward of our nation's assets. How long shall we stand by and
allow this sham to continue?

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Chihuri in desperate hunt for ghost cops

Written by The Zimbabwean
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 13:22

HARARE  - The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner, Augustine
Chihuri, who blocked government auditors from accessing police records
earlier this month, is said to be busy issuing Force numbers to non-police
officers in a desperate bid to cover up the existence of ghost workers.

Police sources told Radio VOP last week: "The exercise started when the
audit process was announced. So far even cleaners and a lot of
constabularies have been given force numbers. Most of these officers who are
being given force numbers, are just getting new uniforms but they have been
told that they have no arresting powers."
Just before Christmas, The Zimbabwean broke the story that Chihuri had
instructed senior officers to deny government auditors access to police
records, in a move seen as an attempt
at covering up for the huge number of ghost workers.
"There is a huge discrepancy, the last official statics put the number of
trained police officers at 35 000 but now a figure of 50 000 is being
announced," said our sources.
The Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti, is said to have told Chihuri to
justify why he wanted him to release money from the budget to cater for 50
000 officers if he did not want to co-operate with the auditors.
"He is using the delay to put his house in order," said the source.
The Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment recently
admitted to have hired 10 000 ghost workers.
The Ministry of Public Service has embarked on an audit of the civil service
and its payroll, in a bid to rid the system of massive corruption.
The audit was expected to disclose tens of thousands of "ghost" workers. It
involved a physical count of all civil servants, excluding the army, which
is not classified under the Public Service.
Although the audit was approved by cabinet, it met strong resistance from
Zanu (PF), which is being accused of paying a big chunk of the taxpayers'
money to its youth militia, most of whom are too under-qualified to be civil
servants and are only used to terrorise voters at election time.
For one to be a police officer, one is required to be a holder of minimum
educational requirements of five O level passes, including Maths and
When contacted for a comment the Minister of Public Service, Eliphas
Mukonoweshuro, said, "We are looking into the matter but we will publicise
everything once we are through with the audit."

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Mugabe resorts to parallel government

Written by MDC Media Release
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 17:54
The announcement by Zanu PF's Robert Mugabe that Zanu PF had sourced more
than US$10 million from donors, which it would use to purchase agricultural
inputs for distribution to various parts of the country, is a clear
indication that Zanu PF continues to run an illegal parallel government.

Mugabe's disclosure at the just ended Zanu PF congress gives further weight
that Zanu PF is working against the success of the inclusive government by
its attempts to create parallel structures, which is clearly against the
Global Political Agreement (GPA).
Despite the Zanu PF propaganda that the Prime Minister's office is running a
parallel government, Zanu PF continues to confirm every week that it has a
parallel agenda outside the government framework. Only last week another
senior Zanu PF official, Saviour Kasukuwere admitted before a parliamentary
portfolio committee that Zanu PF had wrongly recruited over 13 000 Zanu PF
youths into government structures.
Mugabe cannot use a party platform to announce a serious matter such as food
inputs without compromising the manner in which those inputs will be
distributed. His announcement is a clear signal that Zanu PF would like to
use the distribution of agricultural inputs this rainy season in a partisan
manner that will leave out those who are perceived to be MDC members.
What is good for the geese is good for the gander. Zanu PF has failed to
reveal its anonymous donors but it is on the forefront of frustrating the
free operations of the donor community in Zimbabwe and accusing the MDC of
being "donors-funded."
The MDC remains concerned that Zanu PF as a partner in the inclusive
government, continues to disregard and break the regulations that guide and
chart the operations of the government in favour of party and not national
The MDC is a party of excellence. We believe in delivering real change to
all the people regardless of their political affiliation. We believe in
providing Zimbabweans with hope, dignity, freedom, security and prosperity.
Together to the end, marching to a new Zimbabwe.

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Zimbabweans Fight AIDS

The Following is an Editorial Reflecting the Viewss of the US Government
06 January 2010
From left Health Minster, Henry Madzorere, US Ambassador Charles A. Ray, actress Debra Messing, Karen Freeman of USAID and Chris Sambo.
From left Health Minster, Henry Madzorere, US Ambassador Charles A. Ray, actress Debra Messing, Karen Freeman of USAID and Chris Sambo.
Five Zimbabwean HIV and AIDS activists - filmmaker Hopewell Chin'ono, the Batanai Support Group in Masvingo, football administrator Chris Sambo, pediatrician Rose Kambarami and Barclays Bank Zimbabwe Limited - were honored at the 2009 Auxillia Chimusoro Awards ceremony held in Harare on Thursday. The 5 were recognized for their outstanding contribution in mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS in the fields of communications, community participation, leadership, sports and corporate social responsibility respectively.

The awards ceremony - financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) - was attended by members of various HIV/AIDS support groups, senior government officials, diplomats and Emmy Award winning actress and Population Services International (PSI) Ambassador Debra Messing.

U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles A. Ray, told delegates that his country would continue its strong partnership with Zimbabwe to contain HIV/AIDS. "We are expecting another $46 million in 2010. In Zimbabwe, in 2009, the U.S. Government supported anti-retroviral therapy for 40,000 Zimbabweans in need of care and, in 2010, we will increase that number by nearly 50 percent," said Ambassador Ray.

Since 2000, the US has provided over $200 million in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe where the pandemic has been devastating. Ambassador Ray said over the next 5 years, the United States will partner with other nations - including Zimbabwe - to build the long-term sustainability of their national HIV/AIDS responses.

Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr. Henry Madzorera, had earlier noted that "while HIV prevalence has been declining, the number of people accessing anti-retroviral therapy has been increasing."

Ms. Messing noted that, "In a region ravaged by HIV, Zimbabwe has made extensive strides to stem the spread of this disease."

Her sentiments were echoed by USAID Director, Karen Freeman, whose organization has taken a lead in implementing the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) strategy. This strategy complements Zimbabwe's own National Plan, aiming to strengthen the will and capacity of all to take effective action against HIV/AIDS.

"There is growing evidence in Zimbabwe that our joint efforts are starting to make a difference where it counts the most - a decreasing trend in the number of people who are becoming infected," said Karen Freeman, Director of USAID.

"We are working together, with all of our local partners, in support of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, to create a new vision for Zimbabwe - one where there are fewer people infected and affected with the disease," said Freeman.


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New Year in Vic Falls – a tentative return to former glory

Written by Martin
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 13:01
It has been 10 years in decline for the Zimbabwe tourism industry. The gross
mismanagement of Zimbabwe’s image as a tourist destination was impossible to
combat effectively in the face of national mis-governance under Zanu (PF)
that lasted a decade.

Although the elusive tipping point is nowhere nearer in sight, the fact of
the matter is that the shaky credibility of the unity government has meant
Zimbabwe now seems to be considered a safer destination in the eyes of
foreign tourists. This was nowhere more prevalent than in Victoria Falls as
2010 was ushered in with over 1,200 revellers at the Vic Falls Rest Camp
where the inaugural Falls Fest welcomed in the New Year.

Organiser of the Falls Fest 2009, Martin Vaughan, confirmed on the night,
‘Our intention was to put Vic Falls back on the map. For years we have lost
a stream of visitors to Zambia and for good reason. Now it’s time to show
what we can offer again!’

South African award-winning band Watershed were inspired to come to the
Falls. hich Craig Hinds, the lead singer, confirmed on the night, ‘We do 30
gigs a year in Cape Town which is a two hour flight for us and Vic Falls is
only an hour and half – we can’t believe its taken us this long to get here’.
The band has enjoyed phenomenal success with their hit single Indigo Girl
which was greeted by a roar from the sweaty, heaving crowd cheering towards
the stage.

Vaughan further confirmed that Falls Fest 2010 is cast in stone with three
bands already confirmed. Although he remained tight lipped about who they
were he could confirm that Falls Fest 2010 was going to be three times
bigger and would play out over a three-day music festival. ‘We’re going to
put on a show similar to V-fest or Coke Fest in South Africa where a number
of up and coming bands as well as established bands come together to offer
an unrivalled musical journey in one of the world’s most adventurous
destinations,’ he said.

Operators of the popular river rafting confirmed that December 30, 2009 was
one of the busiest they had experienced in years, reminiscent of the ‘good
old days’ when Zimbabwe’s tourism industry was a major foreign currency
earner for the country.

Over the years Victoria Falls has taken shape into a world class adventure
destination. High Wire Adrenalin, The Foofie Slide, Gorge Swing, Abseil, Rap
Jump, The Flying Fox and the well known Bungee jumping that started it all
are only some of the air activities on offer today. Para sailing, helicopter
rides and micro-lighting are other ways to get airborne, while the raging
torrents of the mighty Zambezi now offer boogie boarding, canoeing, fishing
and the world famous white water rafting.

For more leisurely pursuits the options also seem endless with sunset
cruises, wine routes, dinner cruises, elephant rides, lion walks and game
viewing to name a few.

The Falls Fest has proved once again the tenacity and iron will to succeed
of Zimbabwean tour operators. The waiters, performers, accommodation owners,
curio crafters, taxi drivers and were also given a helping hand this year to
bring more visitors to the area and Falls Fest is set to become Victoria
Falls, and possibly Zimbabwe’s, watershed moment.  -

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Economy Crippled By Political Uncertainty

By Stanley Kwenda

HARARE, Jan 7 (IPS) - The Zimbabwean government has been working hard to
attract international investors to revive the country's failing economy.
Success on this front in 2010 may hinge on the coalition government
convincing investors their capital will be secure.

Investor interest in recent years has been in portfolio investment (the
passive holdings of securities such as foreign stocks, bonds and other
financial assets) on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and in mining.

Currently most businesses are in need of recapitalisation to boost
production and restore viability. The proposed privatisation of potentially
profitable parastatals such as Air Zimbabwe, the National Railways of
Zimbabwe, Cold Storage Company and Tel One offers significant investment

Many investors are making limited investments and waiting to see if the
coalition government remains in place to implement a sustainable economic

Reforms in the financial sector such as the removal of cash movements
controls; price controls; and the introduction of multiple currencies such
as the U.S. dollar and the South African rand have seen a number of big
international companies committing themselves to doing business in Zimbabwe.

Investors returning

Companies from South Africa, the European Union, the United States, and
Australia are already looking at projects in mining, agriculture and the
manufacturing of primary products.

Canadian corporation Caledonia Mining announced that it would double gold
production from its Zimbabwe mines, while steel maker ArcelorMittal's South
African unit is reportedly interested in taking over state-owned Zimbabwe
Iron and Steel Company.

Agro-processing firm Tongaat Hulett plans to inject 20 million dollars in
its sugar mills in Zimbabwe. Anglo American, the London-based mining giant
with the largest foreign investment portfolio in Zimbabwe, is investing $400
million to build a platinum mine.
"We are in it, and in it for the long run. The secret is timing and being
the first to move and get the best opportunity," said Geoff Goss, Country
manager for London Stock Exchange-listed conglomerate Lonrho.

In 2008 and 2009, Lonrho invested $60 million in telecommunications,
pharmaceuticals and drug manufacturing interests over the past two years.

"If investors are waiting for the resolution of political issues then they
might miss real business opportunities," Goss said.

He is, however, worried about the continued existence of laws that hamper
affect business operations such as strict requirements controlling work
permits for expatriates.

He said the country's new government now "needs to finish what they
started". Munyeza was referring to outstanding political issues affecting
the government, including the long-delayed appointments of a central bank
governor and an attorney general.

"If the politics is sorted then investors will flock to this country in two
years time," said Tsuyoshi Thomas Ueda, manager of Metals and Minerals at
Sumitomo Corporation of Japan.

Prominent businesswoman and chair of the government's Zimbabwe Investment
Authority, Marah Hativagone agrees that political stability is the only
thing standing between investment and disinvestment in Zimbabwe.

"It's important to have an ongoing political and economic stability coupled
with a highly de-regulated economy where investors are the masters of their
own destination," Hativagone told IPS.

Gilberto Rodrigues, an executive with Portuguese firm Motaengil, shares
Hativagone's view. "There are more complicated countries, like the DRC,
which are still experiencing political problems. But people go and invest
there," Rodrigues said.

"The government of Zimbabwe is aware that the foundation for any investment
is a commitment by government to guaranteeing that the rule of law is
applied and adhered to without fear or favour. If business is the engine of
economic growth, then the rule of law is the fuel that drives that engine,"
Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told IPS at an investment
conference held in Harare in July 2009.

A Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement signed with South
Africa in November is expected to boost confidence amongst investors. But so
far, the agreement has offered little protection to South African farmers
who have been displaced from farms by squatters, with the tacit support of
the police.

A recent incident involved one of the 79 farmers who last year won a case
heard by the Southern African Development Community Tribunal, which ruled
that the Zimbabwean government for illegally seizing their land; squatters
gave South African citizen Ray Finaughty was given just hours to leave his
farm, and police refused to intervene, telling Finaughty that the matter was

"Investors are very mindful of the security of their investment. If we don't
stop continuing farm invasions no investors will come into the country,"
said Henrick Olivier, chief executive officer of Zimbabwe's Commercial
Farmers Union, a grouping dominated by mostly white farmers with significant
land holdings.

Control of Zimbabwe's security forces, and direction of its legal services
are among the vital, but unresolved aspects of the Global Political
Agreement that created the present government, which unites the Zimbabwe
African National Union-Patriotic Front of President Robert Mugabe, with its
bitter rival, the Movement for Democratic Change led by Prime Minister
Tsvangirai and a smaller MDC faction under Arthur Mutambara.

The appointment of an attorney-general and a central bank governor, as well
as the reform of the police, army and intelligence services are at the top
of the agenda when negotiators from the three parties resume discussions on
Jan. 16. The government is yet to appoint provincial governors and new
ambassadors; or to set up new media, human rights, electoral and
anti-corruption commissions.

Should these issues remain unresolved, South African president Jacob Zuma
would be called upon to intervene in his capacity as SADC facilitator for
Zimbabwe's political crisis. If investors are to feel secure enough to put
money directly into Zimbabwean businesses, the new year will need to be
marked by new momentum in power-sharing talks that have dragged on since
September 2008.

*Terna Gyuse in Cape Town contributed to this report.

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STERP II – a far from realistic document

Written by The Zimbabwean
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 13:51
Zimbabwe began to suffer from self-inflicted damage long before anyone
reached for the almost entirely invalid “sanctions” excuse, writes respected
Zimbabwean economist JOHN ROBERTSON.

ZIMBABWE now has an updated recovery policy framework from which to obtain
guidance on what to do next. The just-issued STERP II document is a 382-page
revision of the 127-page version of the Short-Term Emergency Recovery
Programme that was issued in March 2009.
At the launch of the programme, the Deputy Prime Minister, Thokozani Khupe,
left her audience in no doubt: international assistance will be needed to
close the wide financing gap between domestic revenues and the expenditures
that will be needed to make the programme work. But missing from her
presentation and from the document itself is any attempt to argue that
Zimbabwe is now deserving of the needed assistance.
Bringing about the recovery would be challenging enough even if the country
had actually suffered from the claimed effects of “sanctions”, but Zimbabwe
began to suffer from self-inflicted damage long before anyone reached for
the almost entirely invalid “sanctions” excuse.
Deliberate damage
If this enlarged and revised document included any evidence that the
recovery proposals included efforts to repair the damage deliberately done,
assistance would almost certainly be offered much more readily and much more
generously. But no such lines appear in the text, or to address the fact
that the country’s problems are as serious as they are because decisions
were taken to close down Zimbabwe’s biggest business sector and to
dispossess the investors who had built this capacity.
What does appear in the statement is that, “The Framework strategies to
transform Zimbabwe’s agriculture will involve a greater reliance on
efficient inputs delivery and farm output marketing systems and a smooth
integration of agriculture with the domestic, regional and international
Regrettably, the phrases suggest we will all be putting our trust in
bureaucratic procedures in the apparent belief that they can make business
acumen and talent unnecessary.
The importance of the people who had already transformed Zimbabwean
agriculture and who used to be relied upon to deliver all of the
efficiencies required is not acknowledged, not recognised and not admitted.
Dairy development
Consider the paragraphs under the heading Dairy Development:
602. Challenges experienced with overall livestock production have also
undermined dairy farming.
603. As a result, raw milk supply, which was 256 million litres per annum in
1990, has since fallen to current levels of 23 million litres.  This is
against national demand of 96 million litres, and an installed capacity of
350 million litres.
604. The general decrease in dairy production is also a result of viability
challenges, unavailability of stock feeds on the market in previous seasons,
as well as crippling labour shortages.
605. The Framework targets increasing dairy production to around 25 million
litres in 2010.  Supportive measures during 2010 to 2012 include support for
growth in the dairy herd, which had been depleted to around 140 000, against
an all-time high of about 1.4 million.
Simply dishonest
While a few facts can be identified in those lines, the relevant facts are
missing and some of the claims are simply dishonest. Dairy farming was not
undermined by livestock production challenges. It was undermined by the
eviction of the owners of nearly all the dairy farms in an acquisition
process that destroyed a large percentage of the dairy herds. True enough,
“livestock production challenges” did follow, but for reasons carefully
avoided in the STERP II document.
The relevant facts are that highly skilled dairy farmers used to produce
more than 10 times the current volume of milk, and because this was well in
excess of national requirements, a wide variety of diary products could be
exported. Now that production is about a quarter of the country’s
requirements, substantial imports are needed.
The confiscation of dairy farms, complete with the massive investments in
equipment and breeding stock, was as expensive to the country as it was
unjust to the investors who had created the businesses. The claims now
implied in the STERP II programme that the industry can be revived as if all
this never happened and as if people who acquire such farms for nothing can
run them as well as those who spent sometimes a lifetime building them is as
dishonest as it is stupid.
Choosing to redefine farming as a social or even political activity instead
of a business activity does not release the population from its need of food
or paid employment, any more that it releases food processing factories of
their need of agricultural inputs.  Equally, any attempt to claim that
farming skills are inborn, natural, inherent, intuitive or instinctive
simply denies the existence of the vast range of technical, scientific,
engineering, financial and marketing experience that farmers need in order
to survive.
Glaringly obvious
In urging the international community to assist the Government in its
economic recovery and growth endeavours, the Deputy Prime Minister was
perhaps unaware of facts that are glaringly obvious to nearly everyone else:
Zimbabwe used to stand out as one of the Third World’s most successful
developing countries, but it chose to impose policies that have damaged or
destroyed most of its productive capacity.
It is now asking for assistance, not to put things right by fixing what was
broken, but to meet import bills, recovery expenses and lost tax revenues
with money that taxpayers in other countries have to earn and donate to the
people of Zimbabwe. All this is necessary so that Zimbabwe’s government can
pretend that it has done nothing wrong and has no need to admit making
As is the case with almost all aid, transfers of money to meet these
requests will do Zimbabwe no favours. Unless the country places its future
into the hands of competent investors and business operators who can again
base business decisions on the rule of law, on property rights and on
security of tenure over freehold property, the country will remain dependent
on aid.
Zimbabwe certainly needs aid. But it should come with the pre-condition that
steps be taken to re-engage the Zimbabweans who have the skills needed to
place the recovery onto a self-sustaining path.

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Rescuing Zimbabwe's lost generation

Independent Appeal:

They are trained to be the stormtroopers of political violence - but now a veteran of Zimbabwe's freedom struggle is working to redeem them, writes Basildon Peta

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Basildon Peta

They are popularly known as Border Gezi camps. They are named after the man who, as Zimbabwe's Minister of Youth, was put in charge of recruiting young supporters of Robert Mugabe into the militia which is implicated in violent attacks on the political opponents of the Zimbabwean President.

Border Gezi was a firebrand who unashamedly agitated for the use of violence against the opposition. He has since died in a car crash, but the training camps he set up live on - and have become a breeding ground for Zimbabwe's now-entrenched culture that prescribes violence as the only way of settling political differences.

But one extraordinarily brave woman has set up a project to offer an alternative vision to the impoverished youths who have passed through the Border Gezi camps, and who are set to visit the camps' poisonous message of intolerance and intimidation on Robert Mugabe's enemies.

Fay Chung is 68 and a veteran of Zimbabwe's Seventies war of independence from white colonial rule. Born into a Chinese family and suffering the racial segregation of what was then Southern Rhodesia, she gave up a plum job at the University of Zambia to join the liberation struggle.

Having survived the war and seen Mr Mugabe emerge victorious, she went on to oversee the setting up of schools to educate thousands of children in UN refugee camps, which were regularly bombed by the white regime.

After independence she was rewarded with a cabinet position, but quit the Mugabe government in frustration in 1993. "When I left I saw disaster coming but was unable to prevent it," she now recalls. She took up senior jobs with the United Nations in New York and Addis Ababa.

Now at an age when she ought to be ripe for retirement, Ms Chung has instead opted to embark on another titanic struggle: this time to try to help reclaim the youths who have been routinely abused as pawns for political violence in Zimbabwe.

Ms Chung is depressed about the state of her country today. "One could have predicted it," she says of Zimbabwe's descent into its current economic crisis and political stalemate. "What we have now are short- term solutions that cannot last," she adds, alluding to recent unity deals reached by Mr Mugabe and the opposition after disastrous violence-plagued elections.

A brighter future for Zimbabwe can only be secured by the younger generation, she is convinced. "It is going to be the next generation of leaders, the under 35s, who will be able to work out longer-term solutions for the country," she says. And that is why, she insists, it is so important to break the country's culture of violence.

Backed by a women's organisation named Envision she is running a project called Cool Heads. It is aimed at youths between the ages of 14 and 19 from the Border Gezi training camps, many of whom have suffered abuse during their indoctrination in the use of violence against critics of the Mugabe regime.

Philemon Rusere, 23, is one of those who was abducted into a youth militia training camp before fleeing to Johannesburg in 2008. Today he recalls the "abominable and wicked practices I was taught to mete out on Mugabe opponents". Fay Chung's organisation, he feels, is perhaps the "most important project" around to secure a better future for Zimbabwe.

The scale of the problems Envision is addressing is daunting. Every year 190,000 children drop out of primary school in Zimbabwe due to the country's weakened economic state. Many of them end up in the militia camps "just to have food and a place to stay", Ms Chung says.

The Cool Heads project works by helping the youths to greater self-knowledge. They explore their values, problems, aspirations and come to understand their potential.

"We need to get youths to understand that if we disagree, the solution is not to kill each other," says Ms Chung. "We want to build a movement of youths who cannot be used as cannon fodder in political games." The project walks a diplomatic tightrope in Zimbabwe's volatile political climate. But Fay Chung is utilising her contacts with her former comrades in the liberation struggle to persuade them to embrace her conflict resolution and peace building programme.

She does so because in part she attributes the abuse of youth and the use of violence to the structural and institutional framework inherited from the colonial era and perpetuated under the current system.

She does not to go directly to the militia camps but reaches the camps' graduates, using churches and faith-based groups to identify and contact them. Her project tackles domestic as well as political violence.

Her work is backed by the Envision Zimbabwe Women's Trust, which draws women from across the political divide, and works in partnership with Peace Direct - one of the charities for which funds are being raised in The Independent's Christmas Appeal, which remains open until Saturday.

It is also backed by a youth organisation called the Young Voice network which recently organised a grassroots campaign called Not In My Community!

"In a country ravaged by political intolerance, economic mismanagement and social deterioration, Zimbabwean youth have become pawns of political violence," says Diana Patel, one of Envison's trustees. "They have been denied educational and economic opportunities and have had their lives destroyed by poverty, HIV and forced migration."

One of Cool Heads' graduates spells out the problems they face. "The only jobs we can find," he said, "are as cotton pickers, maids, prostitutes, thieves, street vendors and other jobs open to street kids."

The frighteningly large numbers of youths who have fallen and who keep falling victim to political violence in Mugabe's Zimbabwe means that Fay Chung's venture needs all the support the world can muster.
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