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Beitbridge border congestion gets worse

Beitbridge Border

By Tererai Karimakwenda
07 January, 2013

Traffic queues of more than 5 kilometres long were reported by Zimbabweans travelling to South Africa over the weekend, with some saying they had been stuck in queues at the border post for days.

The state run Herald newspaper described the situation as “pandemonium” as officials blamed the congestion on holiday makers now returning to South Africa to go back to work. Motorists leaving Zimbabwe were reportedly spending hours trying to be cleared through customs.

Traffic figures more than doubled from the usual 8,000 travellers that normally cross over into South Africa daily, to an estimated 20,000 per day this past weekend.

According to the Herald it is the South African side that was not able to cope with the increased volume of traffic, causing long queues to form on the Zim side. The paper quoted Patrick Moengs, spokesperson for South Africa’s Border Control Operation Coordinating Committee (BCOCC), as saying they were “reviewing plans to address congestion at their side of the border”.

The congestion was so bad for the last few days that Minister David Coltart was driven to post an angry note on his Facebook page.

“The situation at Beitbridge remains intolerable, unacceptable and a major obstruction to Zimbabwe ever attracting significant tourists from South Africa,” the Minister said.
He added: “In my view, this situation needs a massive, urgent effort by both the South African and Zimbabwean governments. If need be, we should be considering the construction of another road to South Africa – for example the most direct (as the crow flies) route is south through Kezi.”
“But in the short term, radical measures need to be introduced at Beitbridge — this is a national embarrassment and is costing Zimbabwe hundreds of millions of dollars of lost potential tourist revenue and other revenue every year,” Coltart said.
Former diplomat and political analyst Clifford Mashiri agreed with Coltart that the border congestion is embarrassing. He said he sympathises with Coltart, who seems to care enough to write about alternatives on Facebook, but has no power.
Mashiri said the situation will not be looked at or dealt with as Robert Mugabe and many of his ministers are out of the country on holiday, so no cabinet meetings can be held.

“Because of Mugabe’s leadership style nothing happens when he is not around. He is now somewhere in Asia and no minister is willing to make decisions about the congestion and face the music,” Mashiri explained.

But as the Beitbridge doesn’t affect the ruling elite, it’s very unlikely they would do anything to resolve the problem.

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Mohadi to meet SA counterpart over Beitbridge chaos

Monday, 07 January 2013 00:00

Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau

HOME Affairs co-Minister Kembo Mohadi intends to engage his South African
counterpart Mrs Naledi Pandor to avert a potentially volatile situation at
Beitbridge Border Post. Human and vehicular traffic

increased last week as Zimbabweans based in South Africa and other
holidaymakers trooped back to that country.

The slow movement of traffic has been blamed on South Africa’s Department of
Immigration which has reportedly taken a casual approach, despite the surge
in traffic.

Minister Mohadi dismissed the South Africans’ work ethics as “unneighbourly”.
Accessing South Africa has become a nightmare.

Some motorists have reportedly spent between two to three days in queues.
Queues for cars, mainly South African registered ones, stretched for over 10
kilometres outside the border post on both roads leading to Harare and

These had since been cleared by Zimbabwe officials, but were awaiting
departure to South Africa.
The Department of Immigration had to seek assistance from the police to
control restless travellers.

An average of 9 000 people cross the border per day and the figure rises to
25 000 during peak times, with an estimated 2 000 private cars and 1 500
trucks also passing the same border post, the busiest in Southern Africa.

“We are going to engage the new South African Home Affairs Minister on
Monday (today) over the chaotic situation at Beitbridge Border Post.

“The deplorable situation there is purely an administrative issue which I
believe is not South Africa’s government policy.

“We have had situations where some pedestrians have been teargassed or
watered by police on that country’s border and told to go back to Zimbabwe.

“What is also worrying is that they are inconveniencing other travellers who
are passing South Africa in transit and have planes to catch.

“You will note that these cars have been cleared in Zimbabwe in a few hours
and are only waiting to gain access to South Africa.

“Furthermore, most of them are South African passport holders and we don’t
know why they are treating their fellow countrymen this way.

“At the moment, these cars have virtually closed one lane of both highways
leading to Harare and Bulawayo.

“Such a scenario will cause unnecessary accidents as other motorists have to
share the other lane.
“As Zimbabwe, we can’t let the situation go unaddressed, we hope a solution
will be arrived at soon,” he said.

The minister said Zimbabwean border authorities have tried on several
occasions to engage the South Africans, but nothing had materialised.

He said at the start of the festive season, border authorities from both
countries had agreed to harmonise operations, but the South Africans reneged
on their promise.

“You will note that some criminals and wheeler dealers have taken advantage
of the situation, where they are duping motorists and the travelling public
under the guise they will facilitate speedy movement.

“Such criminals should be warned that the police are out in full force to
get them,” said Cde Mohadi.
Beitbridge handles traffic heading to countries north of the Limpopo and
South African authorities at times think everyone crossing to that country
must be Zimbabwean.

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Tsvangirai sweats over military

By Richard Chidza, Staff Writer
Monday, 07 January 2013 10:32

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC and other parties are
sweating over what they say is a covert military operation that could
scupper prospects of a peaceful election.

They have now demanded that a coalition government organ whose operations
are closely monitored by Sadc should investigate reports of armed forces
embarking on an offensive “to sensitise the masses and general soldiers on
the prospects of a Zanu PF loss”.

So serious are the fears that Tsvangirai’s MDC has raised an official
complaint with the Joint Monitoring and Operation Committee (Jomic), an
organ created under the power-sharing Global Political Agreement (GPA) to
monitor Zimbabwe’s healing and peace-building process in the aftermath of
the 2008 electoral bloodbath.

The MDC says the operation, which it claims is code named “nyika
yaenda/nyika haiendi”, is meant to pre-empt an election defeat that seems to
be coming Mugabe and Zanu PF’s way.

Jomic national liaison officer Lovemore Kadenge confirmed that his committee
had received the complaint from Tsvangirai’s Mashonaland East provincial
chairperson Piniel Denga.

“I can confirm that at our last meeting before Christmas, Denga reported
that senior military officials have been going around the province
addressing villagers and warning them against an anti-Zanu PF vote,” said

“We (Jomic) are on leave now and when we resume work next Monday (today)
that will be the top most item on our agenda,” Kadenge said.

Other organisations and political parties have also reported that such an
operation was underway.

In a statement late last year, a group of Zimbabwe’s liberation war veterans
going by the name Former Zipra High Command revealed an army general had
been in Bulawayo updating the army in the region on the issue.

“As the country prepares for elections in 2013, the political atmosphere
becomes emotionally charged.

Past plebiscites were marred by incidences of violence, conflict and hate

“For the people of Zimbabwe to have faith in national processes the former
Zipra High Command met on Tuesday November 27, to deliberate on matters of
welfare, peace and security in the aftermath of the recent visit to
Matabeleland and Bulawayo by General Constantine Guvheya Chiwenga, commander
of the defence forces,” the statement said.

Industry minister, Welshman Ncube’s MDC national chairperson Goodrich
Chimbaira also confirmed receiving reports of the military operation.

“I was told by our coordinators who attended one of the meetings that
Douglas Nyikayaramba was doing the talking and told everyone who attended in
no uncertain terms that the army would not fathom a Mugabe loss,” Chimbaira

The party’s policy director Qhubani Moyo said evidence of a sinister plot
against the people’s will is awash as the country hurtles towards the
much-anticipated elections later in the year.

“There is ample evidence of the military being used to intimidate the people
or preparing to subvert the will of the people. Only yesterday, members of
the military police quizzed the national chairperson over allegations of
recruiting soldiers to the party.

“We call on Sadc to remain vigilant and demand the military be made aware
that it has a duty to protect all Zimbabweans and without coercing citizens
on whom they should vote for,” Moyo said.

The military general however, denied the charges.

“I am not aware of the meetings you are talking about. I was in Mashonaland
Central and could not have been in Chikomba. Beware of getting yourself in
trouble my friend. I will call you when I address in Chikomba,” Nyikayaramba

Denga named Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (Znlwa)
Chikomba chapter officials E Choga, J Magwere, Rusero all serving or retired
personnel and Chief Mutekedza as having been part of the team that addressed
the gathering at Firimoni Business Centre.

“They said voting for the MDC is tantamount to selling out and that the army
would defend Mugabe.
I think such statements are treasonous especially coming at a time President
Mugabe has been preaching peace. We now question Zanu PF’s sincerity about
peaceful co-existence,” Denga said.

Contacted for comment, Mutekedza said nobody should question his authority.

“Iwe uri ani unobvunza mambo izvozvo. Baba havabvunzwe marara akadaro, (who
are you to ask such a question to the King, you can’t ask your father such
rubbish) so go to hell,” said Mutekedza before switching off his phone.

Zanu PF deputy provincial chairperson for Mashonaland East, Stephen Chiurayi
distanced his party from the meetings.

“That meeting was not sanctioned by the party so they were probably
expressing their personal opinions. As a party, we condemn such utterances
because the president has spoken against that more often than not. They
cannot speak for the party because they are junior members. Choga represents
the war veterans not Zanu PF,” he said.

Defence spokesperson, Overson Mugwisi while denying any knowledge of such
meetings, requested the inquiry in writing.

“I have not heard that, there has not been any such meeting as far as I am
concerned. May you please put your questions in writing so we can respond
well,” said Mugwisi.

However, Mugwisi had not responded to two emails sent in the first and
second week of December last year by the time of going to print yesterday.

Zimbabwe Peace Project director, Jestina Mukoko while not singling out the
Chikomba incidents, said reports of escalating military presence across the
country were rising.

“We have received numerous reports of military presence, drills and such
other non-civilian activities that we think are only meant to cow the

“The military belongs to the barracks particularly at a time when we are not
at war with anyone. There is no reason why Zimbabweans should be subjected
to threatening military activities that have nothing to do with them,”
Mukoko said.

Nyikayaramba has previously described Tsvangirai as a national security

Tsvangirai has laughed off the threats describing them as a pre-emptive coup
and demanded security sector reforms before elections.

Mugabe on his part has resisted such reforms arguing tempering with the army
would compromise the country’s security.

Zanu PF’s secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa has in the past said
the military has every right to support Zanu PF because they fought under
the party’s armed wing Zanla in the 70s independence war that ended white
rule in 1980, while Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told a foreign
television channel Tsvangirai will be looking for trouble from army
commanders if he beats Mugabe.

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Mugabe's plan to outsmart Zuma ahead of 2013 election

The first of a series of reports from Zimbabwe examines the testy relationship between the two strongmen of southern Africa

Jacob Zuma and Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe, right, toasts the South African president, Jacob Zuma, during a state banquet in Harare in 2009. Photograph: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP

As Zimbabwe gears up for elections later this year, Robert Mugabe's opponents are welcoming the re-election of South African presidentJacob Zuma as leader of the ANC. Unlike his predecessor Thabo Mbeki, Zuma is seen by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) parties, pro-democracy civil society groups and private media as less sympathetic to the Zimbabwean president. "Mugabe stuck with Zuma", ran one banner headline after the ANC conference in Mangaung.

Mbeki's negotiation of the 2008 power-sharing agreement that left Mugabe's powers largely intact and Morgan Tsvangirai in a poorly defined and weaker prime ministerial post was considered a betrayal of the democracy cause in Zimbabwe by critics of the former South African president. For his part, Mugabe once described Cyril Ramaphosa, the new deputy president of the ANC, as "a white man in a black man's skin". His return to top-level politics is therefore regarded by the opposition as a bonus.

Zuma's victory allows him to remain South Africa president until the 2014 elections when he will seek a second and final term, which is all but guaranteed given his party's electoral dominance. Crucially, this means he retains his role as the southern African regional facilitator of political reforms in Zimbabwe. The reforms are part of a power-sharing agreement the Southern African Development Community (SADC) brokered in 2008 to resolve the crisis that followed the controversial presidential election earlier in the year.

Zuma recently denied having any differences with Mugabe, claiming that they "were freedom fighters together". But some members of Mugabe's party, the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF), would have welcomed a Zuma defeat in Mangaung.

According to an insider, "Mbeki is a hero for protecting us from western regime change. Zuma did not oppose western regime change against (Muammar) Gaddafi (in Libya), so we know he is capable of giving us up to the west".

Moreover, Zuma is accused by some in Zanu-PF of supporting the reformation of the party's oldest rival, the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (Zapu), under the leadership of Dumiso Dabengwa. Zapu, a close ally of the ANC during southern Africa's liberation struggle years, will challenge Zanu-PF in the upcoming elections.

Conversely the Zuma camp alleges that Zanu-PF secretly aided former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema's various bids to undermine Zuma's presidency and his campaigns for nationalisation of mines and takeover of white-owned commercial land in South Africa.

These suspicions and allegations underline the testy nature of the Zuma-Mugabe relationship, despite the recent public denials by Zuma and Zanu-PF's national chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo.

Mugabe's enemies are hoping for external help to ensure an effective transfer of power in the election. The MDC trade minister, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, went as far as to claim that SADC member states would intervene in Zimbabwe if the vote was not free and fair. "I have no doubt that if things went to the worst in Zimbabwe there would be a military intervention... The mood I see in SADC summits is that they will not allow a situation where Zimbabwe will go through an election that is not free and fair again. And they will be right in order to do that intervention, which is why some of us believe that there is still hope", Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.

But, realistically, the likelihood of a SADC-led military invasion in Zimbabwe is low. Even if there was the political will, member states do not have the necessary military or financial capacity.

Zuma has insisted on the implementation of political reforms before new elections, with the adoption of a new constitution being a benchmark – much to the chagrin of Zanu-PF. However, elections are constitutionally due in June and Zuma is unable to speed up the pace of reform. Zanu-PF is counting down the clock, as an election under the old rules would suit Mugabe's party. The fear among the pro-democracy camp is that reforms guaranteeing an even campaign field will not have been completed by June.

Blessing-Miles Tendi is the author of Making History in Mugabe's Zimbabwe: Politics, Intellectuals and the Media, and a lecturer in politics in the University of Oxford's Department of International Development

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Zim targets Sadc, AU for poll funds

Monday, 07 January 2013 10:39
HARARE - Regional bloc Sadc, the African Union (AU) and the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) are the most likely to fund Zimbabwe’s
much-awaited electoral processes.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s top political advisor Alex Magaisa told
the Daily News, Finance minister Tendai Biti now has authority from
coalition government principals to borrow from external sources.

“As a country our thrust is to mobilise as much local resources as possible
to fund our electoral process but in the event that we do not raise enough
as has happened we will ask our partners to help.

“We will seek help from Sadc, AU and the UNDP. Minister Biti has been given
the nod to apply for assistance from these institutions,” Magaisa said.

Curiously the UNDP which has been funding the constitution-making exercise
has been under fire from Zanu PF hawks for pushing a regime change agenda
through the draft document produced by a parliamentary select committee
commonly referred to as Copac.

Biti confirmed that Principals to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) the
basis of a unstable coalition authority presiding over the affairs of
Zimbabwe had granted him authority to source external funding.

“We have met with the Prime Minister who has the mandate of the principals
to oversee the electoral process and I can confirm that I have been given
the government order to seek funding elsewhere.

“The government Blue Book (budget vote) has insufficient funds we had set
aside for the electoral processes and now that we have been granted the
authority we will be making applications soon,” Biti told the Daily News.

“We will soon be disbursing a million dollars to the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission (Zec) for voter registration, so that there is some movement
while we look for more funds.”

On the sticky issue of foreign observers, Magaisa said no institution has
yet set this as a formal pre-condition to availing funds.

“We will come to that when it happens but as we speak no one has demanded
that they be allowed to send observers as a pre-condition to assisting us.
However, you will understand as I said we do not have enough of our own
funding hence if any institution makes such demands, I would like to think
that it will be a price we might have to pay,” he said.

Industry minister Welshman Ncube who leads a faction of the MDC, while
confirming the principals had agreed to grant Biti the authority to borrow,
said they had not discussed the issue of observers or monitors.

“Zimbabwean law does not provide for monitors, there can only be observers.
As far as I know there has not been discussions regarding observers.

“However, I should hasten to say if as we understand it there is nothing to
hide everybody should be allowed to observe our elections, including those
perceived to be hostile to us,” Ncube said.

“There will always be governments and institutions that are hostile, some
indifferent and better still others that are friendly to any government. The
world does not operate on the basis of who you like or does not like. In
fact it is to our advantage to invite those that are hostile to us for
credibility purposes,” said Ncube.

While the UNDP has been a financial and technical partner to Zimbabwe’s
constitution making process, hawks in Zanu PF including Mugabe have at one
time or another declared their unwillingness to not only let foreigners fund
Zimbabwe’s elections but also observe the process.

Sadc and the AU are the guarantors to the coalition government formed
following a bloody one-man electoral runoff by Mugabe condemned at home and
abroad in which Tsvangirai claims 200 of his supporters were murdered.

Last December, Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo insisted that funding
would be made available at the “right” time, but could not say from which

“We are not worried about what Biti said. Biti knows that funding is
available. He is playing to the gallery and trying to show that he can
influence when elections are to be held,” said Gumbo.

Zec requires over $200 million for holding both the referendum and

Constitutional experts have argued it would be near impossible to hold
elections by March as previously demanded by Zanu PF given Sadc’s insistence
on a reform process that has been bogged down by constant bickering with
parties sticking to their positions.

Mugabe and Zanu PF were forced to eat humble pie after their resolution to
call for elections by Christmas if there was no agreed draft constitution
was thrown out the window by a Sadc resolution in the same week that
demanded strict adherence to the Global Political Agreement.

Biti argues Mines and Mining Development minister Obert Mpofu should remit
diamond revenue for the process.

The Finance minister, said lack of transparency; accountability and looting
of diamonds have made his job a nightmare.

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Teachers warn strike action still likely

(07 January 2013)

Teachers in Zimbabwe say they will return to school when the school year
begins on 8 January, despite their ongoing resentment about low salaries and
poor working conditions. They did not rule out further strike action,

The Zimbabwe Teachers' Association (ZIMTA), the largest of EI’s national
affiliates, has lined up annual general meetings at provincial level across
the country to discuss, among other things, deteriorating conditions of
service for members.

ZIMTA chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu said that any strike action
would only happen after the situation was reviewed at these meetings.

Teachers’ incomes below average

“According to a September 2012 ZIMTA report, the lowest paid teacher earns a
salary of US$230, a transport allowance of US$95, and a housing allowance of
US$94, giving a gross pay of US$419,” he underlined. “In April 2012, the GDP
per capita was given as US$500 and the inflation rate at 3.97 per cent. This
shows that most teachers’ earnings keep them among the poorest in the
country and with an income below the average per capita.”

Takavafira Zhou, President of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe,
another EI affiliate, told SW Radio Africa that “morale is very low” among
teachers and a strike is not yet out of the question.

Low morale linked to low salary

“There has been no concerted effort by the government to meet teachers and
explain the way forward,” Zhou said. “There has been a promise of a salary
adjustment but there are no more details available. Teachers want a
meaningful salary increase, and if they don't get that, then we will have to
consider further action.”

Finance Minister Tendai Biti announced late last year that civil servants
would get an “inflation-related” salary increase in January 2013. He said
the wage increase was a 'top priority' for the government, but did not
provide the actual figures for the pay rise.

EI: Decent work and living conditions for teachers

“EI urges the Zimbabwean Government to enter into negotiations with teachers’
unions concerning a pay rise,” said EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen.
“Teachers and civil servants need a meaningful increase to survive. National
authorities, in Zimbabwe, as well as worldwide, must understand that it is
not only by providing educators with quality training and but also with
decent work and living conditions that will achieve the goal of Education
for All by 2015.”

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Civil servants strike deal

Monday, 07 January 2013 00:00

CIVIL servants have implored Government to recognise the old Apex Council
led by its immediate-past chairperson Mrs Tendai Chikowore to spearhead
salary negotiations after it rejected the feuding new committee.

Government cancelled salary negotiations with its workers after disputed
elections for the leadership of the Apex Council in August last year.

The polls had brought in new leadership under College Lecturers Association
of Zimbabwe (COLAZ) president Mr David Dzatsunga.

It is against this backdrop that the old Apex Council leadership regrouped
last Friday and solicited for support from members for it to be given a
fresh mandate to initiate salary negotiations with the employer.

Mrs Chikowore told The Herald yesterday that the constituency advised the
old committee to initiate talks with the Government on an interim basis as
the situation obtaining would see the employer imposing figures.

“It’s true I met some leaders last week and all the unions agreed to appeal
to Government to have the old committee chaired by me be reinstituted for
just three months to allow for negotiations to continue while the other
parties resolve their differences.

“We submitted the letter to the Minister (of Public Service Lucia Matibenga)
on Friday and information we have says the minister got the letter. We do
not know when the minister will decide to meet us.”

Mrs Chikowore was optimistic the employer would agree to meet the old
committee because most of the unions, among them the Progressive Teachers of
Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Teachers Association, COLAZ and Teachers Union of
Zimbabwe bought the idea.

“We think legally it can be accepted. We do hope they (Government) will see
it the way we do. The Government has it own legal advisers whom we think
will see nothing wrong with the initiative.

“It is not the workers’ fault. They deserve to be represented, they should
not be held at ransom because of our dispute,” she said.
Mr Dzatsunga confirmed the development.

“That is correct. That is what we have agreed upon. We realised that we
might just be playing into Government’s hands by continuing like this,” he

TUZ president Mr Manuel Nyawo said it was important for negotiations to
He accused some elements in the Apex Council of fanning divisions by
furthering political goals of certain individuals.

“We are not happy with such people, they should be weeded out.”
Finance Minister Tendai Biti announced last year that civil servants would
be awarded an inflation-related salary increment of between US$18 and US$20
this month.

Civil servants have been agitating for an increment which would leave the
least-paid worker earning US$564 per month. — Herald Repo-rter/New Ziana.

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Zimbabwe secures $147mn road rehabilitation loan from S/African bank

Posted by: APA Posted date : January 7, 2013 at 3:59 pm In: Africa

According to Goche, the DBSA loan was secured at the end of last year and
would go a long way in bridging the gap in the financing of the dualisation
of the Norton-Kadoma highway, which is part of a major road infrastructure
project connecting the eastern border town of Mutare to Plumtree on the
border with Botswana in the west of the country.

“We have secured US$147 million from the Development Bank of Southern Africa
for the dualisation of the Norton-Kadoma highway,” Goche said during a
ceremony to commission newly acquired road works equipment in Harare.

The 820-km Plumtree-Mutare project is part of several projects to improve
Zimbabwe’s road infrastructure, which has collapsed due to more than a
decade of neglect.

Other projects seek to link the capital Harare to Beitbridge town on
Zimbabwe’s border with South Africa as well as Harare with Kariba near the
boundary with Zambia in the north.

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Wildlife regulator blasted after baby elephant dies in China
By Tererai Karimakwenda
07 January, 2013
The international body responsible for issuing trade permits for endangered species (CITES), has been strongly criticized for allowing the sale of four, wild caught, baby elephants from Zimbabwe to zoos in China, after one of them died from the trauma.
CITES went against its own regulations, which prohibit licensing the sale of endangered species for commercial purposes, by issuing permits for the wild caught baby elephants to be flown to two zoos in mainland China in November, 2012. The wildlife regulator is now being accused of turning a blind eye in Zimbabwe.
There is also a global petition going around the world, to save 14 more young elephants that are in Zimbabwe, waiting to be transported to China sometime this month. Conservation groups are trying to stop this by all means, especially through online petitions to CITES.
The three that survived the trip to China are currently being kept alone in unfamiliar surroundings. The temperature in their new home is much colder than the African climate they were born in. This constitutes “risk of injury, damage to health and cruel treatment”, which are prohibited by the CITES convention.
Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF), told SW Radio Africa he was “disgusted” and “heartbroken” by these recent developments, because elephants are “just like humans” and taking their babies is just like kidnapping.
Rodrigues confirmed that one baby elephant had already died in China in December and 14 others are awaiting transport from Zimbabwe. He stressed that this must be stopped and pleaded with the international community to help.
“CITES is supposed to be there. I don’t know how they even authorised this to happen. I mean, not so long ago they passed an appendix that said no trade in ivory , but then they give a license to export baby elephants from their own home territory to another,” Rodrigues said.
He added: “These are the guardians around the world that are supposed to be protecting these animals. Now for them to actually accept and recognise and issue an license to Zimbabwe, the way I look at it there is a lot of greed and somebody is either being paid off or it’s just things that don’t make sense to me and it’s disgusting.”
Rodrigues explained that the 14 wild caught, young elephants awaiting transport to China will most likely be flown out of Zimbabwe after the required, three-month, veterinary quarantine period ends this month.
He pleaded: “We are asking the international community and anyone who cares to help us, prevent these animals from being destroyed. If they are going to die, let them die in their own territory with family members around. Elephants are amazing animals.”
In a statement the Conservation Task Force said: “We are saddened and disgusted that these elephants have been removed from their mothers and the African bush to live alone in a cold unfriendly jail cell in a foreign country. We believe the temperature at the Xinjiang Tianshan Safari Park is less than 20 degrees Celcius below zero. It is highly unlikely the elephants will survive in the cold when they have been accustomed to temperatures of between 30 and 40 degrees.”
A petition being circulated by AVAAZ, the global protest group, can be found here.

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MDC-T youths to access National Youth Funds

Staff Writer
7 January 2013

It has been reported that youths from the MDC-T youths are to benefit from
the National Youth Fund (NYF), controlled by ZANU PF’s Youth Minister
Saviour Kasukuwere.

The daily NewsDay newspaper reported on Monday that despite the MDC-T
denouncing the scheme as a ZANU PF project, Kasukuwere last week instructed
banks administering the fund to approve loan applications by MDC-T

This was after Nelson Chamisa, the MDC-T’s national organizing secretary,
reportedly tried to ‘secretly’ liaise with financial institutions to process
the loans to appease the restive youths in his party.

It is widely known the MDC-T has been discouraging its party faithful from
participating in the scheme, describing the project as motivated by
electioneering. Analysts see this sudden change by Kasukuwere as part of
ZANU PF’s grand plan to buy votes from young voters.

NewsDay said that until recently only ZANU PF youths had benefited from soft
loans disbursed under the NYF which forms part of the former ruling party’s
indigenization policy.

The paper said Kasukuwere claimed at a rally in Mt Darwin on Friday that the
MDC-T leadership was under pressure from its youths, who were allegedly
demanding permission to access the funds to initiate their own various
self-help projects.

Chamisa is quoted by the paper saying the fund is a national project which
should not be politicized. He was backed by the party’s youth spokesman,
Clifford Hlatswayo, who said regardless of political affiliation, every
youth in Zimbabwe should have access to the fund.

‘It’s not about Kasukuwere, ZANU PF or the MDC, that fund is budgeted for by
the treasury and should benefit all youths and not only those from ZANU PF,’
Hlatswayo said.

The youth leader said it was a political gimmick by Kasukuwere to imply that
the fund was part of ZANU PF’s indigenization policy when in fact the money
came from the Ministry of Finance.

‘For the record, our members have not just woken up now and applied for the
loans. They’ve been doing so for the past year but with little success
because it has been a preserve of ZANU PF members to get the loans,’
Hlatswayo added.

ZANU PF has been on a free-spending drive to attract voters in the crucial
elections expected between June and August. Over the weekend Mines Minister
Obert Mpofu said government will soon grant mining rights to farmers on
whose land mineral deposits are discov¬ered.

Yet another blatant attempt at vote buying, according to analysts.

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3,000 workers retrenched in 2012

Staff reporter
7th January 2013

Despite some reports suggesting that Zimbabwe’s economy is improving,
statistics from the Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) show a
different picture for the average person.

According to the weekend Standard newspaper, between January and September
2012 more than 3,000 workers were retrenched across all sectors.

The director of Emcoz, John Mufukari, said: “You need to visit any
industrial area and find out for yourself that they have been turned into
shops. We have turned from a manufacturing to a supermarket economy,” he

In 2011 4,432 workers were retrenched and in 2010 6,972 were laid off. With
an estimated unemployment rate of between 80 – 90%, these figures are

The economy has improved for one small group of people of course, the ruling
party chefs and the fat cats. 10% of the population are taking it all, and
they don’t care if there isn’t a country left at the end.

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Close to half a million people infected with diarrhea in 2012

By Tichaona Sibanda
7 January 2013

Close to half a million people in Zimbabwe were infected with diarrhea in
2012, according to the weekly Ministry of Health and Child Welfare disease
monitoring report.

Released last week the report said 5 people died of diarrhoea in December
with more than 9,000 others contracting the disease in that month.

A total of 281 died from the disease in 2012 while over 460,000 others
developed the condition. Diarrhea is usually a symptom of an infection in
the intestinal tract, which can be caused by a variety of bacterial, viral
and parasitic organisms.

Infection is spread through contaminated food or drinking-water, or from
person-to-person, as a result of poor hygiene. Diarrheal disease is
treatable with a solution of clean water, sugar and salt, and with zinc

Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa said while millions of dollars have
been poured into improving access to drinking water in Zimbabwe in the last
few years, most areas still have little or no access to clean water.

Muchemwa said: ‘The report by the Ministry of health also points to a total
collapse of the water reticulation system in the country. In Harare alone,
the city council needs $3 million a month for chemicals to get rid of
pollution and raw sewage from Lake Chivero.’.

He explained that the disease usually spreads during the rainy season when
families access water from unprotected sources.

‘We are having rains now in Zimbabwe and widespread unhygienic practices
during water collection and storage, poor hand washing and limited access to
sanitation facilities perpetuate the transmission of diarrhea in the local
communities,’ he said.

Until the government and councils prioritise the basic human right of access
to clean water, people will continue to die and , with diarrhea, it’s
normally the children who die.

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Kereke divides war vets

Monday, 07 January 2013 10:32

HARARE - The body of a liberation war hero exhumed in Mudzi late last year
under former central bank advisor Munyaradzi Kereke’s “$100 000” project is
lying at a mortuary in Bikita as wrangling stalls reburial.

This follows revelations that Kereke has demanded the burial of the
provincial hero identified as Makunde be done at the deceased’s homestead in
Mashoko instead of the Masvingo provincial heroes’ shrine.

Information gleaned from Zanu PF insiders shows Kereke, who is eyeing a
senatorial seat in Bikita, particularly wants the burial in Mashoko as the
controversial businessperson wants to gain political mileage out of it.

Mashoko falls under his desired constituency where he intends to run for

Insiders say the issue has divided the Bikita district chapter of the
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association hence stalling the

Kereke has the support of the war veterans’ district chairperson Ignatius
Murindi, who is one of his campaign troops in his bid to represent Zanu PF
in the elections ahead of Claudious Makova, who is also interested in the
seat, insiders say.

The other members of the war veterans’ association led by deputy chairperson
Robson Panganai are reportedly opposing the move insisting Makunde be buried
at the provincial heroes’ acre and have demanded the donation be properly
accounted for.

The group argues the spirit of the deceased whose remains are still in a
mortuary at Silveira Mission Hospital indicated that it would want his
remains buried at the shrine.

Zanu PF insiders however, told the Daily News that Makunde’s family members
had since relocated to Angus area in Chiredzi and could not have asked for
his burial in Mashoko.

They said the figure which has been donated by Kereke had been inflated,
claiming the actual figure is $7 000. Zanu PF provincial secretary for
finance Jeppy Jaboon confirmed the $ 7 000.

“I only heard about the $100 000 in the press. What I know is that the
district got $7 000 for the reburial exercise and he is building a clinic
here (Bikita) and renovating Mungezi Primary School,” said Jaboon.

“These people should learn to respect the dead and stop politicking. Kereke
is taking advantage of the $2 000 he donated for the exhumation and Murindi
cannot fool us because we are residents here. They should stop seeking
political office using the dead,” said Jaboon.

A source said Kereke donated $2 000 for the exhumation and $5 000 for the

Kereke’s mobile number was unavailable when attempts to contact him for a
comment were made. He did not respond to questions sent to him by text

Murindi confirmed the delay at the weekend and stated the burial will take
place in Mashoko.

He rushed to defend Kereke saying the former top banker was being targeted
by political rivals to tarnish his image.

He said all the money donated would be used for the purpose for which it was
meant but refused to give figures.

Murindi said the decision to bury Makunde in Mashoko was taken by his family
whom he said would not afford to travel to Masvingo whenever they wanted to
perform traditional rituals.

“It is true we haven’t been able to bury his remains on time but maybe in
two weeks’ time we will bury him in Mashoko. Those who say the venue is
Kereke’s idea are bent on tarnishing his image because he is an aspiring
senatorial candidate. Anyone with issues about the venue should come forward
rather than going to the press.”

“The family of the deceased came up with the burial site as they wanted easy
access to his grave when they perform their traditional rituals. We agreed
as war veterans that he will be buried in Masvingo but we can’t go against
the family because we don’t own him,” said Murindi. - Mugove Tafirenyika

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‘Ignorance costing farmers’

By Ndakaziva Majaka, Staff Writer
Monday, 07 January 2013 10:38
HARARE - The lack of rain gauges is affecting efforts to disseminate weather
information to different sectors as rainfall patterns have high variability
and cannot be put in the same bracket, weather experts say.

Speaking at the presentation of a rainfall seasonal update meeting, Terrence
Mushore, the acting deputy director operations at the Meteorological
Services Department (MSD), said farmers must strive to procure personal rain
gauges to aid on seasonal predictions.

“We used to have 2 000 gauges nationally, but we now have about 300 active
ones. The Food and Agricultural Organisation donated an additional 75, but
they did not have measuring cylinders. We have since organised tenders for
the measuring cylinders,” Mushore said.

He said uncertified rain gauges cost at least $10 at local farm equipment
shops, and the only reason farmers do not have them is because they are
ignorant of the importance of the devices.

“It would be ideal to have a rain gauge at individual farms as the
variability disparities are very steep, areas can never measure the same
amount of rainfall if they are not in the same location,” he said.

“This leads to generalisation in the outlooks presented and farmers end up
crying foul, but these forecasts are also sector specific,” he said.

The MSD in its seasonal update findings said the nation should expect normal
to above normal rainfall in all areas.

“This forecast does not necessarily translate to a bumper harvest, as normal
conditions vary from one place to the other,” said Juliet Gwenzi, who was
one of the panellists.

There were marked differences between the current update and the National
Climate Outlook Forum (NARCOF) update presented last year predicting low
rainfall for region three, which is receiving normal to above normal rains.

Data collection methods by the nation’s weather department also came under
fire from independent experts at the review presentation of the station data
who said the collection method is not the most accurate.

“South Africa uses the remote sense data methods whereby they base their
findings in satellite images.

“Not only is this method more accurate, but it also produces a detailed
analysis on the area being in question,” said Barnabas Chimupindu, a local
agro meteorologist.

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Harare mayor wants second bite

Monday, 07 January 2013 10:32

HARARE - Under his watch, Harare City Council has festered into a haven for
corruption and poor service delivery. But that is not stopping mayor
Muchadeyi Masunda from dreaming of another term after five years at the

Shopped from outside party structures by the MDC council, Masunda came with
weighty credentials and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai receiving kudos for
dropping partisan political appointments to go for a man of substance.

What with Masunda’s impressive CV as an accomplished businessperson chairing
some of the top companies operating in the country.

Then, many said his appointment would help stop the rot that had
characterised successive councils and commissions appointed by meddlesome
Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo.

Few dare repeat such statements today.

For many of the four million plus residents in the former “Sunshine city”,
the only substance they see daily is raw sewerage flowing unabated on the

Lack of regular running water and attendant diseases such as cholera and
typhoid still haunting the city stamp the quality of service delivered by
Masunda’s council.

Masunda told the Daily News he believes he is doing a good job and a second
bite of the cherry won’t hurt. And, like in 2008, he will not offer himself
for judgment by the electorate.

“I did not seek office in 2008 and I am not going to seek office in 2013 or
whenever it is that the next set of harmonised elections will take place,”
he said.

“I am on the lap of the gods. The unlikely gods in this instance are the
next batch of councillors,” said the 60-year-old who sits on boards of firms
such as Lafarge, construction giant Murray and Roberts and platinum miner

“They have the unfettered prerogative of choosing a mayor from amongst
themselves or going to civic society to choose any person whom they think
will fit the bill. If they come in my direction as they did in 2008, I will
consider it,” said Masunda.

Operating under Chombo, Masunda learnt the hard way that politics is a
rugged terrain.

From politicisation of development programmes to unfettered interference in
council programmes, suspending councillors and wadding into management
issues, Chombo has loomed large in Harare and other MDC-run councils.

Still Masunda says he has weathered the storm.

“I was invited by the democratically-elected councillors to assume the
onerous responsibility of serving as mayor of Harare. I did so with
boundless energy and enthusiasm for literally no financial reward,” he said.

He says poor revenue streams heavily affected his ability to completely turn
around the city.

Local authorities do not get financial help from central government and have
to rely on taxing residents and business, many who are failing to pay their
bills to council.

Government departments are some of council’s biggest debt defaulters.

Masunda’s council has also dismally failed to mint cash from its vast
property portfolio which includes beer halls littered in almost every
suburb. Some of the beer halls have been let out to private businesspeople.

“Can you imagine what the situation would be like if we raked in the bulk of
over $230 million which is owed to us by various debtors like Chitungwiza
Town Council (over $12 million), corporate ($80 million), government
ministries and departments ($70 million) and individuals ($70 million)?”
asked Masunda.

He said his council inherited a shambolic system left by previous

“There is serious business to be done in the Mayor’s Office and, for that
reason, jokers like Sekesayi Makwavarara should not be allowed to stray
anywhere near there!” he declared. - Wendy Muperi

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China likes what it sees in Zimbabwe coal deal

Monday, January 07, 2013

China state-owned company Shandong Taishan Sunlight Group Co. Ltd plans to
invest up to US$2 billion in an advanced coal exploration project in a
western province of Zimbabwe.

A Sino-Zimbabwe joint venture agreement has been signed and has secured a
coal concession of 100,000 hectares in Matabeleland North with a Reserves of
over 2 billion tonnes of coal.

Taishan will inject up to US$2 billion to develop coal mines, coal bed
methane extraction and power projects.

An open cut mine is expected to be developed with a capacity of 3 million
tonnes of coal per year from the project.

The construction of a 600MW/h coal-fired thermal power plant will begin and
is scheduled for commissioning in 2015.

The project is also expected to have a coking coal plant with production of
300,000 tonnes of coke annually.

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Harare tops road carnage list

Monday, 07 January 2013 10:23
HARARE - The country’s holiday road carnage has risen from 200 to 210, eight
days before the end of the official festive season.

National police spokesperson Andrew Phiri yesterday said Harare province
tops the list.

The festive season is recorded from December 15 to January 15, according to
the police.

Declared the bloodiest festive season ever by the police, 1 353 accidents
have been recorded so far which left 1 053 people injured.

“As schools open, we appeal to motorists to exercise caution when driving on
our roads. We urge them not to speed but take people’s lives seriously,”
Phiri said.

He said 114 people of the 1 053 injured sustained serious injuries.

The law enforcement agents said the state of the county’s roads has also
contributed to the increase in accidents recorded, but said a high number
were caused by negligence.

This year’s figures have surpassed last year’s records which stood at 147
deaths from 1 304 accidents.

With more traffic expected this week in most highways due to the opening of
schools tomorrow, police fear more people could die if motorists fail to
adhere to road regulations. - Xolisani Ncube

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Bulawayo woman sends Mugabe nude picture via Whatsapp

Staff Reporter 22 hours 41 minutes ago

BULAWAYO - A Bulawayo woman is in trouble for sending an image of a naked
President Robert Mugabe to a friend via popular social networking platform
Shantel Rusike of Sunninghill suburb in Bulawayo has appeared before
magistrate Tawanda Muchemwa facing charges of causing hatred, contempt or
ridicule of the president as defined in Section 33(2)(a)(ii) of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act or Code Chapter 9:23.

According to State papers, Rusike sent an image depicting President Mugabe
in a nude state to a colleague identified as Precious Tshuma on Christmas
day. The picture was accompanied by the caption: "Robert Mugabe turning 87
years on 21 February, happy birthday Matibili operation."

Tshuma filed a police report leading to Rusike's arrest. The 20-year-old is
out of custody on US$100 bail and will be back in court on 11 January.
Malvern Nzombe is prosecuting.

Rusike's case comes hard on the heels of the acquittal of a former manager
at food concern Innscor, who had been slapped with criminal charges and
fired from work for allegedly coining lyrics deemed as insulting to
President Mugabe. Tendai Gumbo (33), a former shift manager at Inn Express
supermarket in Bulawayo was facing a charge of disorderly conduct in a
public place.

While Gumbo escaped the criminal charges, he has joined hordes of unemployed
Zimbabweans. Gumbo confirmed being fired after being fired following the

"I was fired after being arrested on false allegations of insulting the
president in my song. My main worry is while my case was pending at the
court, management quickly cooked up charges against me at work accusing me
of having defrauded the company of US$100. I was served with a suspension
letter on 8 November. A week later I went for a hearing, but while my case
was still in the courts, I received a dismissal letter on 22 November," said

He added: "Anyway, I know that all the management wanted to do was to
disassociate themselves from an individual accused of insulting the Head of
State," he claimed.

The State alleged that on 20 September, while on duty, Gumbo sang: "b>Zanu
yawora nemukuru wayo naye awora (Zanu PF and its leader are rotten)"

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Maternal Mortality, Obstetric Fistula on the Rise in Rural Zimbabwe

Maternal mortality has increased in Zimbabwe during the past five years.
Last year, the government waived fees for women to give birth in public
clinics and hospitals. But the waiver does not cover complications from
childbirth, such as obstetric fistula. As a result, the “urine curse” is
affecting more women throughout rural Zimbabwe.

by Chumile Jamela, Reporter
Zimbabwe News Desk
January 4, 2013

MANGWE DISTRICT, ZIMBABWE – Two years ago, deep in the rural Mangwe district
along the border of Zimbabwe and Botswana, Sabina Moyo found herself
wondering if she would die after giving birth to her baby at home.

“People say every pregnancy is different and the labor pains will not be the
same,” Moyo says. “But I knew something was wrong when after hours of
excruciating pain, nothing had happened.”

“Friends stopped visiting, neighbors avoided me, and little children laughed
at me and called me the smelly witch.”
Sabina Moyo, who has obstetric fistula after complications from childbirth

Moyo says her husband loaded her into a donkey-drawn cart and took her to
the local Plumtree Hospital more than 20 kilometers (12 miles) away.

Moyo gave birth to a stillborn baby at the hospital. Soon after, she
discovered that she was leaking urine while in the hospital recuperating.

Nurses told her that her labor had led to an obstetric fistula, a medical
condition in which a hole develops between the vagina and either the rectum
or bladder. But the staff at the small, rural hospital told her they had no
experience treating the problem. They could not do anything for her.

For two years, Moyo has suffered from constant incontinence from what’s
known locally as the “urine curse.” She must wash herself, her clothes and
her blankets continually. But says she can only go to the borehole to obtain
water after sunset to avoid being seen.

“The amount of water I collect is only enough for basic use,” she says,
which makes it difficult to maintain sanitary living conditions.

She says she was once a respected woman in her community, but now she
survives on subsistence farming and handouts from well-wishers.

“When I discovered I had the curse, I could never have predicted the amount
of prejudice I would have to deal with,” Moyo says. “I was suddenly a
pariah. Friends stopped visiting, neighbors avoided me, and little children
laughed at me and called me the smelly witch.”

She says she feels abandoned by her entire community, including her husband.
She says he left her under the guise of looking for work in neighboring

Maternal mortality has increased in Zimbabwe, especially in rural areas
where trained maternal health care professionals are rare. As a result,
complications from childbirth, such as obstetric fistula, are also on the
rise in rural provinces. Last year, the government waived fees for women to
deliver in public hospitals, but the policy does not extend to treatment for
complications, leaving many without care.

Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe lamented in an April 2012 statement
that the maternal mortality rate in Zimbabwe had increased from 725 deaths
for every 100,000 live births in 2007 to 960 deaths for every 100,000 live

Dr. Rabson Dombo, an obstetrician based in Matebeleland South province,
where Moyo lives, says her case highlights the challenges women face in
rural Zimbabwe. Poor access to water and proper sanitation exacerbate weak
maternal health care.

“These women travel distances of more than two kilometers (1.2 miles)
carrying water buckets on their heads, some pregnant and some with babies
strapped on their backs,” he says, “so the amount of water they can collect
without neglecting their other duties at home is only enough for basic use.”

The distance to health centers also prevents them from obtaining maternal

“Distances to rural health centers are long,” says one senior hospital
official, who asked to remain anonymous. “Ideally, they should be 10
kilometers (6.2 miles) and below, but it’s much more.

Cost is also an obstacle.

“Some cannot afford to come to deliver at the hospital, where there is a
waiting mothers’ shelter,” the official says, referring to shelters where
pregnant women can wait for days or even weeks.

These challenges are perpetuating home deliveries without trained
assistance, advocates say.

“It has become one of those areas where it is difficult to convince women
with strong traditional and religious beliefs about the need for adequate
reproductive health, especially here in rural areas,” says Sibatshaziwe
Khabo, a nurse and midwife based at Plumtree Hospital.

The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare’s 2007 Zimbabwe Maternal and
Perinatal Mortality Study found that women who go into labor at the homes of
traditional birth attendants and faith healers, are often in danger, as are
there infants.

Between January and August 2011, there were 310 home deliveries, 30 of which
were stillbirths later brought to Plumtree Hospital, according to hospital
records. There were 21 early neonatal deaths and seven maternal deaths in
Mangwe district alone, which the hospital official says is a microcosm of
the health care crisis nationwide.

Women and children have been the most affected by the deterioration of the
health system, according to the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare study,
which called the country’s maternal and perinatal mortality rates

For each woman who loses her life, many more will suffer injuries,
infections and disabilities from pregnancy or childbirth complications, says
Dr. Kudzai Ndebele, an obstetrician in a private practice in Bulawayo,
Zimbabwe’s second largest city.

This includes obstetric fistulas, which develop as a result of childbirth,
obstructed labor or intense sexual violence, Ndebele says.

“Women who survive such traumatic experiences will go on to continuously
leak urine or stool unless the damage is repaired,” he says.

The condition is notorious for leading to social isolation.

“These women end up completely alone because of the unbearable smell,” he
says. “They are continuously leaking urine or in some cases stools, so their
social exclusion is guaranteed.”

Fistula is one of the indicators of major reproductive health challenges in
Zimbabwe’s rural districts, Dombo says.

“The sad reality is that cases of obstetric fistula are on the increase in
rural Matebeleland South,” Dombo says.

Ndebele says obstetric fistula can be corrected, but few women come forward
because of the community’s skewed perception of the condition.

“As long as they label it ‘a curse,’” he says, “the women will suffer in
silence or go to traditional healers to try and remove the curse.”

Dombo says treatment is extremely limited in rural areas so he is forced to
refer fistula patients to United Bulawayo Hospitals for corrective surgery.
But while delivery is free in the public hospitals here, treatment of such
complications is not covered.

Moyo says she wishes to have her condition corrected. But she can’t afford
to travel to Bulawayo for the corrective surgery, let alone pay for the

She says she would also be too embarrassed to travel in a bus full of people
with the stench of her incontinence.

This is a common thought process, Dombo says.

In 2012, the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare mandated hospital
officials to stop charging maternal fees to encourage more women to deliver
outside the home. Fees previously ranged from $50 to $200 depending on the
method of birth.

“Our call for revitalizing the primary health care in general and the
removal of user fees maternal care in particular will go a long way in
addressing the unacceptably high rate of maternal and infant mortality in
our country,” Khupe said in her statement.

But this waiver doesn’t extend to fees for treating complications from
childbirth, like fistulas, Dombo says.

“In as much as the scrapping of maternity fees is a positive move for these
women,” he says, “it does no good for those with complications, as they
still have to pay for the correction of complications.”

The 2007 ministry study states that it will be difficult for the country to
meet goal five of the United Nations Development Programme’s Millennium
Development Goals, which seeks to reduce maternal mortality by three
quarters by 2015, if progress is not made.

Health professionals agree that the country has a lot to do to ensure the
safety of women before, during and after childbirth.

“There is a lot of work we need to do, especially for rural women,
concerning reproductive health,” the senior official from Plumtree Hospital

Khupe called in her statement for the improvement of reproductive and
maternal health for women.

Meanwhile, Moyo says she is no longer hopeful for the future.

“I lie on my wet bedding every night and long for death with every fiber of
my body,” she says, “and I’m always disappointed every morning when I wake

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Africa And The Succession Trap – By Tim Kelsall

Mozambique’s Samora Machel built a strong consensual party with a succession tradition. Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni has not.

Mozambique’s Samora Machel built a strong consensual party with a succession tradition. Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni has not.

2012 was a tough year for African leaders: one resigned, one was sacked, two were overthrown in coups, two were defeated in elections, and three died in office. Even in states like Angola where incumbents remained in power, the question of leadership succession was rarely far from the agenda. In 2013 we can expect the topic also to be hot in Madagascar, Kenya and Zimbabwe, all scheduled to hold Presidential elections later this year.

Succession is an inevitability of political life, and there are several ways to accomplish it, from dynastic inheritance to assassination to a competition for votes. Some states do it better than others, however, and it’s fair to say that Africa has had more than its share of disorderly successions. Even where succession does not lead directly to violence or state breakdown, uncertainty surrounding the process can damage economic growth, as happened in fast-growing states like Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire and Malawi in the 1970s and 1980s.

Economic growth and leadership succession

Since African economies are now growing strongly again, it seems pertinent to ask whether growth will once more be undermined by problems of political succession. In many cases the answer unfortunately appears to be ‘Yes’. Part of the problem is personal, or ‘big-man’ rule, sometimes called ‘neo-patrimonialism’. As I show in a book published tomorrow, these forms of governance are not necessarily obstacles to economic growth; however, growth under the purer types of personal rule rarely lasts more than one or two decades. When pro-growth policies and property arrangements are closely associated with just one man (or woman), the demise of that individual is likely to induce damaging uncertainty in investors.

So how do states avoid the succession trap? In a new Working Paper and Policy Brief for the Developmental Regimes in Africa Project, I answer this question by comparing sub-Saharan Africa with Southeast Asia, a similar, but economically more successful region. I combine historical analysis with systematic comparison to tease out the factors uniting those countries that combined high growth with succession (Laos, Malaysia, Mozambique, Thailand and Vietnam), and distinguishing those that fell into a succession trap (Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi).1

I found that high growth was more likely to be sustained through succession if leaders handed over power before the age of 75, if the country had a fairly homogenous ethnic structure, if the state had its roots in an identifiable pre-colonial political formation, and if the external economic environment was favourable. However, there were exceptions across the board, making these contributing, not crucial, conditions.

In addition, I found a combination of three conditions present across all the regimes that combined succession with high growth, and absent from those that didn’t. First, leaders were motivated to search for growth to stave off perceived threats to their survival from external aggression, popular mobilization, and/or resource scarcity. Second, all had broadly pro-market and pro-foreign investment policy packages, although all retained substantial state involvement in the economy. And third, all the successful regimes embedded policy-making in strong institutions of one or other of two types:

  • a dominant party with a tradition of consensual decision-making and leadership succession, or
  • a strong, organic bureaucracy, effectively insulated from changes in political leadership.


Mozambique provides an example of the first type. Between 1997 and 2010, the country experienced growth of 7.83 percent, despite a change of leadership in the ruling Liberation Front of Mozambique (FRELIMO). FRELIMO was formed in opposition to Portuguese rule in 1962 by an elite group of assimilated Africans. A tradition of orderly succession was established in 1969, when Eduardo Mondlane, FRELIMO’s founding president, was killed by a parcel bomb. Although party vice-president Uria T. Simango was appointed successor at a meeting of the Executive Committee, this decision was overturned by FRELIMO’s more powerful Central Committee, with Samora Machel becoming President. When Machel died in a plane crash in 1986, the Central Committee nominated Joaquim Chissano as President. In 2002, Chissano announced that he would not contest the next Presidential election, and the party congress nominated Armando Guebuza to succeed him.

Like all political parties, FRELIMO has its tensions, but these are muted by an impressive sense of mutual loyalty and internal cohesion. Forged during the liberation war, unity has been maintained even though FRELIMO has abandoned its historic commitment to socialism and taken measures to encourage private enterprise. A stream of investments has followed.

Thailand is (the only) example of the second type. Between 1961 and 1998 growth there averaged more than 7 percent, notwithstanding more than 15 leadership changes, as power oscillated between military factions and weak civilian parties. Predictability was provided by an organic bureaucracy with roots in the 19th century, in which specialized pro-growth agencies were created in the 1950s. Continuity in the mission and personnel of these agencies gave domestic and international investors confidence, despite a bewildering number of political successions.

Growth and succession in contemporary Africa

Currently there are three countries in Africa that have maintained high growth for more than a decade but have yet to experience a political succession: Angola, Rwanda and Uganda. All are ruled by dominant ‘liberation struggle’ parties. More research is needed, but it seems probable that the RPF in Rwanda has some of the same unity of purpose as FRELIMO, despite the towering presence of Paul Kagame, and the prospects for succession with growth appear good. In Angola and Uganda, however, leaders are older, external threats are less severe, and despite their post-liberation history, power is more personalised. In states like this, the prospects for combining succession with growth are poor.

To avoid the succession trap, political and economic actors need to devise institutions that can supply credible commitments for investors in a context of transition. In 17th century England, this happened when the King acceded to a range of formal checks on his power, an experience echoed in currently fashionable development thinking like Prime Minister David Cameron’s ‘golden thread’ or Acemoglu and Robinson’s ‘inclusive institutions’. Successful Asian and African countries have done things differently, however. Making strong but personalised ruling parties more collegial and consensual, or strengthening and insulating the bureaucracy where parties are weak, might be more realistic alternatives.

Tim Kelsall has taught politics at the Universities of Oxford and Newcastle, and is a former editor of African Affairs. He is currently working freelance for the Developmental Regimes in Africa Project and the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research. His latest book, Business, Politics and the State in Africa: Questioning the orthodoxies on growth and transformation, is published by Zed.


[1] I excluded countries with a population of under five million (eg Botswana) and also countries where a portion of the growth phase could be accounted for by a peace dividend (eg Ethiopia, Myanmar). I defined high growth as growth of at least 7% per annum.

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COURT WATCH 23/2012 of 31st December [Postscript on Anglican Church Court Cases]


[31st December 2012]

Postscript on Anglican Church Court Cases

Stop Press: There have been newspaper reports that at a press conference on Wednesday 19th December Dr Kunonga’s spokesperson Reverend Admire Chisango [with Dr Kunonga being present] announced that Dr Kunonga and his breakaway church would abide by the Supreme Court ruling and that they had already surrendered the to Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa [CPCA] all CPCA property that had been in their possession. Veritas, however, has ascertained from Dr Kunonga’s lawyer Jonathan Samukange that this does not mean that Dr Kunonga’s new court cases claiming the properties in the name of his breakaway church [the Church of the Province of Zimbabwe] are being dropped. [See below for details of the new court cases.]

The Story so Far: Court Watch 21/2012 of 22nd November summarised the Supreme Court’s judgment of 19th November confirming the right of the official Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa [CPCA] to possess and control its property in the Diocese of Harare. The background to this decision was that CPCA property in the Harare Diocese is administered by a Board of Trustees chaired by the Archbishop of CPCA and including the Bishop of the Diocese – at one stage this was Dr Kunonga, but he broke away to form his own “Anglican” Church of the Province of Zimbabwe, and refused to relinquish the CPCA properties and, often violently, prevented access or use by loyalist Anglicans. There were court cases between the CPCA and Kunonga camp that dragged on for five years before a judgment was obtained in the Supreme Court which ruled that Dr Kunonga, had in September 2007, voluntarily withdrawn from membership of the CPCA and, in so doing, had lost the right to possess and control CPCA properties. This confirmation of the CCPA’s position meant that the Harare Diocese led by the legitimate CPCA Bishop of Harare [first Bishop Bakare and now Bishop Gandiya] could now use the properties again.

The Supreme Court decision In the Supreme Court’s judgment, Deputy Chief Justice Malaba said that the case centred on “the question whether those people who had been members of the Board of Trustees for the Diocese of Harare” before 21st September 2007 [i.e., the then Bishop of Harare Dr Kunonga and certain other persons] withdrew their membership from the CPCA and resigned their offices as bishop and trustees, thereby relinquishing the right to control CPCA property in the diocese.

This bulletin outlines developments that have taken place since then in the Harare Diocese followed by an update on related litigation concerning the Manicaland Diocese.

Aftermath of the Supreme Court Decision

Following the Supreme Court decision some Kunonga followers and/or tenants voluntarily vacated the CPCA premises they were occupying, and the the CPCA, the official Anglican church, was able to resume possession. Others, including Kunonga himself, did not do so. The CPCA therefore had to take further legal action to give effect to the Supreme Court’s decision.

Church obtains eviction orders against Kunonga camp

The CPCA, on the basis of the Supreme Court judgement, obtained “warrants of ejectment and notices of removal” from the High Court. These authorised the Deputy Sheriff to carry out evictions, which he proceeded to do with police assistance. The Church properties concerned included the Cathedral in Harare. At the Cathedral Dr Kunonga himself was involved in a confrontation with the Deputy Sheriff, but eventually left.

Kunonga’s Second Bite at the Legal Cherry

Having switched legal firms, the Kunonga camp soon returned to the High Court in an attempt to avoid the consequences of the Supreme Court decision, but in a new guise. On 27th November Dr Kunonga’s new lawyer, Jonathan Samukange, lodged papers in the High Court commencing two fresh but interlinked legal cases in the name of Dr Kunonga’s breakaway Church of the Province of Zimbabwe:

1. An urgent application for a court order stopping the evictions

The basis of this was that a new case was being initiated by Dr Kunonga’s new Church of the Province of Zimbabwe [see 2 below] and until the High Court decided this new case the evictions should stop. This was supplemented on 29th November by a additional urgent application when the CPCA persisted with the evictions despite knowing that the urgent application had been lodged and would be heard on 4th December.

2. A summons seeking a court order that Anglican Church property is owned by the new church

This bold attempt to change the legal goalposts tries to get round the Supreme Court decision by relying on the fact that the decision was given in proceedings to which the new, breakaway Church of the Province of Zimbabwe was not a party – in other words, the fact that it was a decision against the “Diocesan Trustees for the Diocese of Harare” [Kunonga and his fellow former trustees], not against the new church, even though the new church was established by Dr Kunonga and his followers, with Dr Kunonga as its Archbishop.

Note: The claim is that the new church owns all the previous CPCA properties – which is surprising, given that up to now there has been no dispute between the CPCA and the Kunonga camp over ownership [as opposed to possession and use, which are different legal concepts]. As Justice Malaba said in his judgment: “There has been no dispute as to the ownership of the movable and immovable property.....It is common cause that the property belongs to the Church [the CPCA]. It has a right to an order for vindication of its property from possessors who have no right to have it.

Indigenisation-type argument

The basis of the new church’s claim to ownership is apparently an assertion that the churches, schools, colleges and properties concerned are part of “the natural resources of the Zimbabwean community just like land and minerals” and therefore cannot be owned by a “foreign entity” such as the CPCA.

Note: the CPCA is not governed or controlled from England or by any other church. It is an independent, autonomous African church, with its own constitution and system of governance. It is also one of 38 autonomous churches that make up the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and head of the Church of England. He is also the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, but that does not mean that the Archbishop or the Church of England can speak or act for the CPCA.

The Anglican Church of the CPCA Response

The CPCA’s response to these moves has been that the formation of the breakaway church by Dr Kunonga and his followers cannot be used to reverse the position that the Supreme Court has already finally decided; in other words, the Church relies on what lawyers call the rule of res judicata [a Latin tag which encapsulates the legal principle that a “matter decided” finally by the courts cannot be reopened].

Urgent Application to Stop Evictions Dismissed

The urgent application to stop the eviction [1. above] was heard in chambers by Judge-President George Chiweshe on 4th and 5th December He reserved judgment until 10th December.

Justice Chiweshe’s judgement [available from].

On 10th December Justice Chiweshe handed down his written judgment, in which, after outlining the background and the submissions advanced by both sides, he identified the cardinal point as whether the breakaway church was bound by the Supreme Court’s decision and if not, whether it has a right to be heard, and if so, whether in fact it should be heard. His conclusion was that that “the answer to these questions requires an interpretation of the scope and extent of the Supreme Court judgment....The High Court is not the appropriate forum for that kind of exercise.” The breakaway church should, he continued, have approached the Supreme Court for directions. He agreed with the CPCA’s argument that the matter is res judicata: “The Supreme Court has spoken ... I have no jurisdiction to entertain this application.” He therefore dismissed the application to stop the evictions. This conclusion leaves the CPCA in possession and control of Church property in terms of the Supreme Court’s decision.

Justice Chiweshe’s observations on CPCA continuing with evictions pending his decision

Justice Chiweshe referred in his judgment to the fact that the CPCA had persisted with evictions after the urgent application had been set down for hearing. He observed that “it is the practice, custom and tradition of this court that when an urgent matter has been set down, it suspends execution until the matter is heard.”

Note: Justice Chiweshe did not say the continued evictions were illegal, which they were not. From the CPCA point of view they considered the urgent application just one more delaying tactic after 5 years of waiting and, having a Supreme Court judgment in their favour, were anxious to celebrate Christmas in the restored churches.

Kunonga camp’s appeal against dismissal of its urgent application

On 13th December Mr Samukange lodged a notice of appeal in the Supreme Court against Justice Chiweshe’s dismissal of the new church’s urgent application. Once the CPCA has filed its papers in response to the notice of appeal, the case will proceed in accordance with the rules of court. It is unlikely that there will be any form of hearing before the beginning of the new Supreme Court term on 14th January.

Justice Chiweshe’s Decision Refers Only to the Urgent Application

NOT to the New Ownership Claim

Justice Chiweshe’s decision refers only to the new church’s urgent application to stop the evictions – not to the case initiated by the breakaway church’s summons seeking a court order declaring it to be the owner of all the church properties.

This case remains on the High Court’s books. It will follow the course laid down by the rules of court for the handling of cases involving disputed issues of fact and law. The rules include provision for early rejection by the High Court of claims that do not have a sound legal basis. Justice Chiweshe’s decision on the urgent application is an indication of the difficulties that may face the Kunonga camp if they choose to press on.

Manicaland: Former Bishop Jakazi Re-Applies to Supreme Court

Court Watch 21/2012 referred to the situation in the diocese of Manicaland where incumbent Bishop Josiah Jakazi followed the Kunonga lead but, unlike Kunonga, lost a High Court case against the Church of the Province of Central Africa. That was in May 2010. He appealed to the Supreme Court against this High Court decision. His appeal was due to be heard during the same week as the Church’s appeal against Justice Hlatshwayo’s decision in favour of the Kunonga camp. But Rev Jakazi’s appeal was not actually heard; instead, it was “struck off the roll” by the Supreme Court on 22nd October because it did not comply with the rules of court about appeal procedures. As this did not amount to a final dismissal of the appeal on the merits, Rev Jakazi had the right to apply to the Supreme Court for condonation of the late noting of a fresh appeal, and he promptly did so.

Judge hears application for condonation of late appeal Justice Vernanda Ziyambi heard the condonation application in chambers at the Supreme Court on Monday 10th December. After listening to lawyers for both sides, the judge reserved judgment, meaning that her decision will be given on a later date. In reaching this decision Justice Ziyambi will be weighing up not only the acceptability or otherwise of Rev Jakazi’s reasons for not complying with the rules of court, but also whether she is satisfied that his proposed appeal has a reasonable prospect of success. Meanwhile, the May 2010 High Court decision concerned, which decided that he has no rights to CPCA property or to take part in the CPCA’s affairs, is fully operational.

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

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