Sun 13 Jul 2008, 16:58 GMT
By Nelson Banya
HARARE (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe's party and the opposition failed
last week to agree a framework for talks to end Zimbabwe's crisis, the
opposition said on Sunday, but state media said negotiations would continue.
The first preliminary talks between the two sides since a disputed election
were adjourned on Friday without agreement, a spokesman for the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) told Reuters.
Election-related violence that has killed 113 MDC activists since the first
round of voting in March was continuing and this led to the talks stalemate,
MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said.
The MDC faction led by presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai and a
smaller grouping led by Arthur Mutambara began preliminary discussions on
Thursday with officials from Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF under the auspices of
South African mediators in Pretoria, the South African capital.
"There was (no agreement). The matters are still outstanding. It's not about
the table discussions in Pretoria but about what's happening on this side of
the Limpopo (river)," Chamisa said.
"We still have to clear the course for meaningful talks."
Despite Chamisa's denials, Zimbabwean state media reports on Sunday
suggested an agreement had been reached on a way forward for negotiations.
The state-owned Sunday Mail said the parties had agreed on a "working
framework" which "paved the way for serious talks".
A South African newspaper, The Sunday Independent, said the negotiating
parties would sign an agreement to guide "intensive talks" that would begin
in Harare on Wednesday and run until the end of July.
The talks would focus on the formation of an inclusive government, it
Tsvangirai defeated Mugabe in a March 29 presidential election but failed to
win the absolute majority needed to avoid the second ballot.
The MDC leader then withdrew from the June 27 runoff vote citing political
violence, and has refused to negotiate a power-sharing deal until the
government halts the bloodshed.
Chamisa accused the ruling party of continuing violence.
"Our MPs, councillors and members are being victimised. We still have
attacks targeting our sympathisers. In fact it's as if the MDC is a banned
organisation," Chamisa said.
"Under these circumstances where you have a deficit of goodwill it is
difficult to engage in meaningful dialogue."
The MDC announced on Friday what it said was the latest death in the
violence of one of its officials, Gift Mutsvungunu. His decomposing body was
found in a Harare suburb on Thursday, with eyes gouged out and severely
burned buttocks, it said.
Once prosperous Zimbabwe has the world's highest inflation rate, estimated
to be at least 2 million percent. Millions of its people have fled abroad in
search of food and work.
Tsvangirai is under intense African pressure to enter full-blown
negotiations with Mugabe, who has branded the MDC puppets of the West and
vowed to never let them take power.
Mugabe, 84, who has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980, insists
the opposition must recognise his landslide victory in the election last
Mugabe's government on Saturday welcomed the failure of a Western-backed
U.N. Security Council resolution to impose sanctions over its violent
presidential elections, calling it a victory over racism and meddling in its
Russia and China on Friday vetoed the resolution, which would have imposed
an arms embargo on the southern African country and financial and travel
restrictions on Mugabe and 13 other officials.
(Writing by Muchena Zigomo; Editing by Charles Dick)
by Susan Njanji Sun Jul 13, 12:41 PM ET
HARARE (AFP) - Zimbabwe's rival parties have moved closer to a deal to allow
fully-fledged talks on the country's crisis, state media said Sunday, after
sanctions against Robert Mugabe's regime were vetoed at the UN.
Following vetoes by China and Russia on the targeted measures at the UN
Security Council, Zimbabwean state media said negotiators from the
opposition and ruling parties had tentatively agreed on terms for detailed
"The working framework that has been agreed to so far removes the sticking
points between the negotiating parties and paves way for serious talks," the
Sunday Mail newspaper said, citing what it called highly placed sources.
The ruling ZANU-PF and opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) are
to draft a memorandum of engagement, which will be subject to approval by
the parties' leaders, according to the government mouthpiece.
It will set out terms for talks following Mugabe's widely condemned one-man
election last month, including the timeframe, the composition of the
negotiating teams and the agenda for discussions, according to the paper.
A South African newspaper reported that Zimbabwe's rival parties were set to
meet again on Wednesday in Harare and were expected to sign a deal that
would lay the groundwork for further discussions.
The agreement would likely set out guidelines for negotiations that would
occur over a 14-day period, according to The Sunday Independent.
Both parties have said little of the discussions since they resumed last
week in South Africa.
The meetings were the first between the MDC and ZANU-PF since the June 27
election and were part of South African President Thabo Mbeki's attempts to
find a negotiated solution to the crisis.
Zimbabwe deputy information minister Bright Matonga could not confirm
Sunday's reports, but said they would be a "positive development" if true.
MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa also would not comment directly on them, but
said continued attacks against party supporters were undermining attempts to
reach a resolution, "in particular the cases of violence against our MPs,
our officials and staff."
"Beating is not talking, fighting is not talking," he said. "Let the war
against the people stop, then we will start looking at the problems facing
the country from the same position."
The party said Friday a total of 113 supporters had now been killed in
politically related violence.
MDC officials have insisted substantive negotiations could only take place
if the violence is halted and over 1,500 "political prisoners" are released.
They have also called for an expanded mediation team, including an African
Union permanent envoy, and the swearing in of lawmakers as the opposition
now controls parliament.
Opponents of further "targeted" UN sanctions against Mugabe's regime,
including South Africa, have argued that the Mbeki-mediated talks need to be
supported and not scuppered by such measures.
Mbeki, however, has faced heavy criticism over his quiet diplomacy approach
and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai had previously called for him to be
stripped of his mediator role.
Mugabe's government has praised Mbeki, and on Saturday Information Minister
Sikhanyiso Ndlovu described him as a "leader par excellence" who had not
yielded to "to the machinations of the West led by Britain and United
The 84-year-old leader's regime also rejoiced in the failure of the new
US-drafted sanctions at the UN that would have imposed an assets freeze and
a travel ban on Mugabe and 13 of his associates, as well as an arms embargo.
Zimbabwe's political crisis intensified when Mugabe defied international and
regional criticism and pushed ahead with the one-man run-off election on
June 27 that handed him a sixth term as president.
MDC leader Tsvangirai pulled out of the vote five days ahead of the poll,
citing rising violence against his supporters.
Tsvangirai finished ahead of Mugabe in the March 29 first round of the
election, but with an official vote total just short of an outright
July 13 2008 at 12:39PM
By Fiona Forde
Crisis talks will resume in Harare on Wednesday when Zimbabwe's rival
parties are expected to sign an agreement that will guide a round of
intensive talks through to the end of July.
The Sunday Independent has been reliably informed that, not unlike the
Groote Schuur Minute of 1990 that paved the way for talks between the ANC
and the apartheid regime, the agreement is likely "to finalise a basis for
substantive negotiations that will take place over a period of 14 days".
This comes after three days of bilateral and joint sittings at a
secret location outside Pretoria, attended by delegates from Zanu-PF and
both factions of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which concluded
on a positive note just hours before the United Nations security council
failed to secure a majority vote to impose sanctions on Harare.
In a departure from the earlier mooted government of national unity,
the broader and more meaningful talks are now expected to focus on an
inclusive government, though the issue of who will head it has yet to be
But an early agreement is now believed to be in the interests of all
delegates as it would allow a government to finally be appointed. Since the
disputed March 29 poll, Zimbabwe has been run by a handful of men close to
the regime and not an officially appointed cabinet of ministers, scaring off
the last of the country's wishful investors.
Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the main faction of the MDC, declined
to comment on what is seen as a step in the right direction in South Africa
this week and Zanu-PF's spokesmen were unavailable for comment.
However The Sunday Independent has learnt that the talks were
adjourned on Friday evening after a day-long joint sitting which brought
delegates from Zanu-PF and both MDC factions around the same table,
following bilateral meetings with the South African facilitators earlier in
Neither Tsvangirai nor President Robert Mugabe were at the talks and
they are not expected to show in Harare on Wednesday either.
But a possible agreement then on the outstanding issues that are
currently posing obstacles to more substantive talks could well bring the
two men face to face in the not too distant future.
Tsvangirai has called for the release of the country's political
prisoners and an end to violence before he will consider any negotiations.
"All of those things are on the table for Wednesday," a source close to the
Should these issues be resolved, substantive talks on a so-called
inclusive government are expected to proceed.
While on the surface this does not appear to mark a radical shift away
from earlier talks, it is more in keeping with the language used by the MDC
in the wake of the March 29 poll. Then they argued that terminology was
everything: "A unity government suggests there was no clear winner and the
rival candidates must join forces, while in an inclusive government, the MDC
is the winner and we decide who to invite into such a government," in the
words of George Sibotshiwe, an MDC spokesperson.
Although Friday's talks steered clear of who would lead any future
formation, a source close to the talks said that, "progress is being made",
adding that all parties were ready negotiators at this point in time.
While it would be ambitious to expect a quick breakthrough, Zanu-PF
and the MDC now understand an agreement is critical to securing stability
and economic prosperity.
The proposed intensive, two-week round of talks is in keeping with the
African Union's (AU's) resolution brokered a fortnight ago in Sharm
el-Sheikh, which called for a "mechanism on the ground" to build on the
momentum for a negotiated settlement.
But contrary to earlier reports and various interpretations of that
resolution, the current Southern African Development Community delegation
will not be enhanced to include non-SADC envoys.
A SADC source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said she was of
the view that the AU would not be sending a special envoy to Zimbabwe. "You
can't add another facilitator and essentially the AU resolution endorsed the
SADC talks which Thabo Mbeki is heading."
Friday's sitting ended just hours before the security council failed
to secure the required nine votes clear of a veto to impose sanctions on
Zimbabwe. The ANC welcomed the news, saying it would have done little "to
advance the process towards a lasting and peaceful outcome in Zimbabwe".
This article was originally published on page 1 of Sunday Independent
on July 13, 2008
July 13 2008 at 12:59PM
The South African mediation effort in the Zimbabwe crisis cannot be
turned into a career for its participants and needs to move much faster to
avoid frustrated youths taking up arms, says a researcher who caused a stir
this week for warning of civil war in Zimbabwe.
Peter Kagwanja did the field research for a report on the crisis for
the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in Pretoria and the African
Policy Institute in Nairobi. Titled "Saving Zimbabwe, an agenda for
democratic peace", it was edited by Dr Kwandiwe Kondlo, the executive
director of the HSRC.
Nelson Chimasa, the spokesperson for the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), was quick to deny the most contentious allegation in the
report, that opposition supporters were arming themselves and forming
committees to resist Zanu-PF's violent crackdown against opponents of
president Robert Mugabe.
"We have been victims. And even under very extreme circumstances, we
have continued to resist the temptation of fighting fire with fire," Chamisa
Kagwanja shot back on Friday that it was "nonsense" for the MDC to
deny that there was no violent resistance. What he did grant the party was
that there was no evidence that the party itself was organising resistance.
It remained committed to non-violence and he could find no evidence of two
camps - near Pretoria and Pietermaritzburg - where MDC militants are
supposedly being trained.
But the party is fast losing control over its youthful members, who
are extremely frustrated over "having to live with the stolen election" of
June 27. They might soon be using the same political "framework" they set up
for mobilising the electorate in the election - in which they won or drew
all the sections - to mobilise violent resistance.
He said five youths who had been killed at the start of the violent
crackdown on Mugabe opponents since the March 29 first round had been
identified by Zanu-PF forces for their leadership of "democratic resistance
On Friday he admitted he didn't have first-hand evidence of such
committees - the report is based mainly on a paper crunch of media reports -
but insisted that they had been armed.
One of the report's recommendations says President Thabo Mbeki's
mediation, regional leaders and the world community should "help Zimbabwe
work towards establishing a neutral professional and disciplined military
and to pull war veterans and youth militias out of the streets and villages.
Regional and international players must equally take a bold moral stance in
condemning incipient retaliatory violence by the opposition."
Kagwanja was highly critical of the slow pace of Mbeki's mediation.
"It's all good and well sitting in the Union Buildings . and June becomes
July, July becomes August and soon we are into 2010."
The mediation "cannot be business as usual", he said. A key task is to
force Zanu-PF to the negotiating table and to get President Robert Mugabe to
renounce the violence. The MDC, on the other hand, has to accept that Mugabe
is the de facto president of the country. The timelines have now become the
important issue. The mediation also has to restore a "sense of neutrality",
which had been damaged by Mbeki's public displays of friendship with Mugabe.
The report, however, calls for an expansion of Mbeki's mediation and
not for an extra mediator, one of the MDC's demands, which has also been
endorsed by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Liberian president.
Also on Friday, Mugabe's government warned the United Nations security
council that the sanctions over which it was deliberating could push
Zimbabwe towards civil war. Zimbabwe's UN mission said in a letter that the
punitive measures proposed by the US and Britain against Mugabe's government
could turn Zimbabwe into another Somalia, a Horn of Africa nation where
warring factions have clashed for the past 17 years.
Mugabe's government acknowledged through its UN mission "some isolated
and localised cases of violence have indeed occurred in Zimbabwe" since the
March 29 vote that Tsvangirai won, but not by enough of a margin to avoid
the June runoff.
But the mission's letter accused Tsvangirai's opposition party of
"premeditation, planning, stage management and exaggeration of this
violence, with ever-increasing signs of very active British and American
encouragement and collusion, as part of a grand strategy aimed at inviting
foreign intervention in Zimbabwe". - Foreign Service
This article was originally published on page 6 of Sunday Independent
on July 13, 2008
Monday, 14 July 2008, 6:04 am
Press Release: United Nations
UN refutes claims that Ban is biased on Zimbabwe
13 July 2008 - Comments by the Permanent Representative of Zimbabwe
questioning Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's impartiality toward events in
the Southern African nation are "highly inappropriate and unacceptable," the
spokesperson for the United Nations chief has stated.
"There is nothing one-sided about defending the right of the people of
Zimbabwe to choose a legitimate government in a free and fair election,"
according to a statement issued yesterday by Mr. Ban's spokesperson.
In recent weeks, Mr. Ban has criticized the outcome of the 27 June run-off
presidential election in Zimbabwe - which went ahead despite international
appeals for a postponement given the violence and intimidation that preceded
it - as illegitimate.
"The outcome did not reflect the true and genuine will of the Zimbabwean
people or produce a legitimate result," his spokesperson said in a statement
issued following the polls. "The Secretary-General has said repeatedly that
conditions were not in place for a free and fair election and observers have
confirmed this from the deeply flawed process."
President Robert Mugabe was sworn in on 29 June for another term after being
declared the winner of the run-off, in which he was the sole candidate after
violence and intimidation directed towards the opposition forces led to the
withdrawal of Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
"The Secretary-General will continue to support efforts to promote talks
between both sides in Zimbabwe that can lead to a democratic transition and
economic recovery for the people of that country," yesterday's statement
On Friday, Security Council permanent members China and Russia vetoed a
draft resolution - along with South Africa, Libya and Viet Nam - that would
have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe, including a travel ban and assets freeze
on President Robert Mugabe and 12 other individuals.
A subdued start to the Vigil while people digested the news that the
Russians and Chinese had vetoed UN action on Zimbabwe. We had on display a
photograph of the burned, mutilated body of MDC activist Joshua Bakacheza.
It is a shocking sight but we wanted to shock. It was the photograph shown
by Gordon Brown at the G8 meting in Japan to jolt world leaders into
adopting new measures against Mugabe. Mr Brown hadn't reckoned on the
duplicity of the Russians and the cynicism of the Chinese. Next week we will
display a different picture of Mr Bakacheza - this time with the caption
"The UN Security Council does not care". Some comfort came from a Chinese
passer-by who asked us what he could do to help. He stressed he was not
from mainland China but from Taiwan. Perhaps we will ask him to write to the
Chinese government with a message that they already hold the genocide record
and perhaps they should give this particular race a miss at the Olympics
Our mood was cheered by the appearance of a spry old man with a lapel badge
saying "I am 90 today". He was pulled into the Vigil and we all sang 'Happy
Birthday'. In return he gave us his recipe for a long life ''a packet of
cigarettes a day but no alcohol!" Another visitor pulled into the eye of the
dancing was the Reverend Canon Nicholas Sagovsky from Westminster Abbey. He
dropped by to thank us for our contribution to Friday's Zimbabwe service at
St Margaret's, Parliament Square, Westminster.
We have had a positive reaction to our latest petition "A Petition to the
International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA). With the
deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe and the likelihood of unrest spreading
to South Africa we call upon FIFA to move the 2010 World Cup from South
Africa to a safer venue. By the time the World Cup takes place President
Mbeki's support of the Mugabe regime will have made the whole region unsafe
because millions more refugees will flee Zimbabwe prompting further
xenophobic violence in neighbouring countries. FIFA must ensure that World
Cup teams and their supporters are not endangered."
We know how painful it would be for Africa to have the world cup moved but
South Africa is our only hope for change and we must use every method we can
to persuade them to help us.
A group in Washington DC are planning to hold a demonstration in front of
the White House on 26th July and have asked us to copy this petition to
them. Others have asked us to post it up as an online petition. We are
grateful for the support but our policy is to have paper petitions
personally signed. We may not get millions of signatures but we have
interacted with every person who has signed. Well over 100.000 people signed
our failed petition to the UN. Other people are welcome to set up an online
For latest Vigil pictures check:
FOR THE RECORD: 135 signed the register.
FOR YOUR DIARY:
· Next Glasgow Vigil. Saturday 19th July, 2 - 6 pm Venue: Argyle
Street Precinct. For more information contact: Ancilla Chifamba, 07770 291
150, Patrick Dzimba, 07990 724 137 or Jonathan Chireka, 07504 724 471.
· Zimbabwe Association's Women's Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays
10.30 am - 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton
Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury
Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355
(open Tuesdays and Thursdays).
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place
every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of
human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in
October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair
elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.
July 13, 2008
By Raymond Maingire
HARARE - Zimbabweans may soon top the list of the world's most unwanted
nationals on American soil amid revelations the US government is planning to
further reduce the number of ordinary visas being issued to Zimbabweans by
more than 100 per cent.
Authoritative sources have revealed the US is seriously considering doubling
its 2007 visa refusal rate for Zimbabweans.
This, it is said, is intended to curb the number of dishonest Zimbabwean
visitors who immediately disappear as soon as they touch down on American
"A number of Zimbabweans will soon find it difficult of obtain visas from
the US embassy," a source close to the developments told The Zimbabwe Times
"Even those who have been legally staying in America for some time may find
it difficult to renew their visas when they expire.
"A maximum of three applicants may find themselves being issued with visas
per day after furnishing the authorities with very strong reasons why they
are seeking the visas."
Since the onset of Zimbabwe's economic meltdown some ten years ago,
Zimbabweans have become some of the most itinerant nationals in the world
while seeking economic havens among secure world economies.
According to statistics obtainable at the US embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe
recorded a refusal rate of 32, 3 per cent in 2007.
The figure is modest when compared with those of other African countries.
Said the source, "The US is considering pushing its refusal rate for
ordinary visa applications by Zimbabweans to a figure as high as 80 per
If the order is passed, Zimbabwe will surpass Laos, which has the world's
highest visa refusal rate of 72,9 percent and countries such as Uzbekistan,
Yemen and Guyana which have 70,9; 64,2 and 62,3 per cent respectively.
Nigeria, whose nationals are among the most nomadic in the world, has a
similar refusal rate with Zimbabwe.
But Mark Weinberg, assistant public affairs officer in the American embassy
in Harare played down the rumour saying every individual case was treated on
its own merit.
"It is not true," said Weinberg, "We do not have such refusal rate anywhere.
Every individual case is examined independently.
"I can assure you that if a hundred per cent of Zimbabweans have genuine
reasons of entering the States; a hundred per cent of such applicants would
duly be issued with visas."
But away from the official position, scores of applicants continue to be
denied visas everyday mostly after failing to satisfy the authorities on why
they would want to travel to the US.
Of late, the US has been tightening its visa application requirements among
nationals whose governments are hostile to the American government. A large
number of Zimbabweans living in the United States are said to be relocating
to Canada, where officials are said to be more accommodative of Zimbabweans.
Zimbabweans visa applicants are required to pay a non-refundable application
fee of $US131 to book a requisite interview with the US consular section.
According to the embassy statistics, other countries with an almost equal
visa refusal rate include Sudan which had 33, 6 percent, Malawi (36, 5
percent), Kenya (33 percent) and Egypt which had 33, 7 per cent.
In Africa, Namibia enjoyed the lowest visa refusal rate at 4, 8 percent
while South Africa's is 5, 9 percent.
The two neighbours are the only African countries whose rate is below 10
Paul Engelstad, the US embassy public affairs officer told The Zimbabwe
Times Thursday that Zimbabweans were among the biggest visa condition
An estimated four million Zimbabweans have fled their homeland to seek
refuge in economic havens such as neighbouring South Africa, Great Britain,
Canada and the US.
July 13 2008 at 01:34PM
By Joe Lauria
The surprise Chinese and Russian vetoes provoked unusually sharp words
at the staid UN security council as the tensions broke into the open.
Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States's ambassador to the UN, lambasted
South Africa as the main culprit in the failed Anglo-American bid to punish
President Robert Mugabe and his top cronies with sanctions on their travel,
finances and arms supplies.
Unprompted, he told reporters: "I want to say a word or two about the
performance of South Africa.
"It was particularly disturbing given the history of South Africa ...
where international sanctions played an important role in encouraging
transformation [from apartheid] for its representative to be protecting the
horrible regime in Zimbabwe."
Dismissing the South African argument that sanctions would derail
talks in Pretoria between Zanu-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, Khalilzad said: "There isn't anything serious going on in terms of
the negotiations. The South African effort, President [Thabo] Mbeki's
effort, so far, has been a failure."
Praising Jacob Zuma, the ANC president, and retired archbishop Desmond
Tutu for their criticism of Mugabe, Khalilzad said Mbeki was "out of touch
with the trends inside his own country".
He accused Mbeki of "protecting Mugabe and ... working hand-in-glove
with him at times while he, Mugabe, uses violence to fragment and weaken the
Dumisani Kumalo, the South African ambassador to the UN, told the
security council that African leaders at the African Union summit meeting
two weeks ago had decided against "any action that might negatively impact
on the climate for dialogue". Therefore, he said, South Africa joined
Russia, China, Vietnam and Libya in voting down the resolution. Nine
countries voted in favour; Indonesia abstained.
Marian Tupy, an analyst at the Cato Institute in Washington, said that
Khalilzad's criticism of South Africa symbolised the crisis in US-South
"It is common knowledge in the US that relations with South Africa are
at their very lowest ebb," Tupy said. "There is no love lost between these
two countries. South Africa has never missed an opportunity to contradict
and accuse the US - which did so much to help end apartheid - of wishing
The failure of African leaders to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis has
prompted the West to intervene, according to Emira Woods, an African
specialist at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington.
"I still think the solution will have to come out of an African
context," Woods said, but it would have to happen without the pressure of
international sanctions on Mugabe.
Woods predicted that Mugabe would not walk away from the negotiating
table, even after his victory over the proponents of the UN sanctions,
because he is keenly aware of the imminent international warrant for the
arrest of President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan on charges of genocide. That
acts as a sanctions substitute, she said.
"Had the sanctions been put forward by anyone other than the US and
the United Kingdom", Africa might have backed them and put pressure on
Mugabe, said Woods.
But the legacy of colonialism has made it difficult for African
leaders to recognise that their own leaders, as well as colonial ones, can
be oppressive, Tupy said.
Boniface Chidyausiku, the Zimbabwean envoy to the UN, blamed his
country's economic crisis on US and European Union sanctions, which he
called "an expression of imperialist conquest".
An exultant Chidyausiku said after the vote: "The US ambassador was
boasting about having nine votes and he is a very disappointed man tonight.
It's the arrogance of the Americans to think they can rule the world and
Zimbabwe was winning the war of independence against Britain,
Tupy said Africa's concept of victimhood and blaming the West was on
trial in Zimbabwe.
"Many African countries are run as badly, if not worse than Zimbabwe,
and these leaders have even less legitimacy than Mugabe," he said. "To speak
out against him would undermine their own legitimacy to govern."
To admit that African leaders themselves were responsible for many of
the continent's troubles could undermine the rationale for continued
international aid and debt relief measures, Tupy said. - Foreign Service
This article was originally published on page 4 of Sunday Independent
on July 13, 2008
International Herald Tribune
The Associated PressPublished: July 13, 2008
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa: Robert Mugabe's brazen power grab in Zimbabwe's
election saga has left cracks in one of African leaders' unspoken rules:
Never turn on one of your own.
The fact that even a handful of states are refusing to recognize Zimbabwe's
ruler of 28 years marks an unprecedented change in Africa that offers a
glimmer of hope for a brighter, more democratic future.
A younger generation of African leaders appears to be willing to break from
the clubbiness that has characterized the governing elites on this continent
where authoritarian rule has long been the norm.
Among the most outspoken has been Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the Liberian
president who is the continent's only female leader.
On a visit to South Africa this week, she was the first African leader to
support proposed U.N. sanctions against Zimbabwe's leaders, saying they send
a "strong message" that the world will not tolerate violence to retain
"It's important, because it's the first time that we are seeing on the
African continent that leadership has transitioned from the old
perceptions," said Chris Maroleng, a South African political analyst.
"We're seeing more leaders beginning to embrace their own democratic
notion," he added.
They include Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, a lawyer who is his country's
third leader since independence in 1964; former army commander Seretse Ian
Khama of Botswana, Africa's most enduring democracy; and Nigeria's Umar
Yar'Adua, only the third civilian leader since 1966, though he still is
fighting a court battle over his fraud-riddled election.
Mugabe's June 27 runoff "was neither free nor fair and therefore the
legitimacy of his presidency is in question. He cannot wish that away,"
Kenya's Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula told The Associated Press.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who won the most votes in March
elections, withdrew from the runoff against Mugabe after weeks of
military-orchestrated violence left dozens of his supporters dead, thousands
severely beaten and thousands more homeless as they were chased from
villages, fled attacks or had their houses burned down.
Two days after the vote Mugabe was declared the winner and flew to an
African Union summit in Egypt where he was seen hugging many leaders,
gaining the veneer of legitimacy that he sought.
"President Mugabe was accepted by his peers ... so he is legitimate,"
Congo's foreign ministry spokesman Claude Kamanga Mutond said.
But a few voices of dissent have cropped up across Africa.
"The violence that preceded the election was so intense that the results did
not reflect the wishes of the people of Zimbabwe," Sierra Leone's Foreign
Minister Zainab Bangura told the AP.
Rwanda also condemned the election, as did Senegal.
While some presidents were reported to have had harsh private words for
Mugabe, the vast majority chose the traditional path of not putting public
pressure on a fellow leader, ignoring U.N. and Western calls for tough
Many feared being seen as doing the bidding of the West. And Mugabe, despite
his destruction of his country, still is seen by many Africans as a hero who
defeated the white-minority rulers of Rhodesia and then drove whites off
land considered stolen from blacks. Mugabe's seizure of commercial
white-owned farms broke the backbone of the country's economy.
The African leaders also retained South African President Thabo Mbeki as
mediator for Zimbabwe, ignoring the Zimbabwe opposition's rejection of him
and widespread condemnation that his 8-years-long "softly, softly" approach
to Mugabe has hastened Zimbabwe's collapse.
Liberia's Sirleaf said the African Union could only maintain its credibility
if it pronounced the June 27 runoff unacceptable.
The prevailing African silence over Mugabe marks a landmark failure for the
union, set up in 2002 to replace the discredited Organization of African
Union, which had become little more than a dictators' club. The new union
was to be the flagship for an African renaissance based on democracy and
Africans solving African problems.
At its inaugural summit in 2002, leaders committed themselves to holding
fair elections at regular intervals, to allow opposition parties to campaign
freely and to set up independent electoral commissions to monitor polls.
Mugabe failed on every point.
While the old organization pledged noninterference in member states, the new
union includes a Peace and Security Council, structured on the U.N. Security
Council, that has the right to intervene when human rights are grossly
violated or crimes against humanity perpetrated.
The only African intervention has been to send troops to back Comoros
government soldiers in ousting a coup leader from the remote Indian Ocean
island of Anjouan in March - an easy target.
Associated Press writers contributing to this report include Malkhadir M.
Muhumed in Kenya, Clarence Roy-Macaulay in Sierra Leone, Jonathan
Paye-Layleh, Liberia, Sello Motsetsa, Botswana and Eddy Sango in Congo.
By Michelle Gavin
Christian Science Monitor
Published: Sunday, July 13, 2008 12:08 a.m. MDT
NEW YORK - As the crisis in Zimbabwe deepens, the international community -
and particularly African leaders - can play a significant role in saving the
important southern African country from political and economic implosion.
African governments have been reluctant to challenge Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe. For many years they seemed to prefer to defer to his
liberation leader credentials. In some quarters, this reluctance has been
amplified by a sense of discomfort with opposition standard-bearer and
former trade union leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Much of the international
dialogue is focused on the power struggle between the two.
But while it is true that the presidential runoff election brought
Zimbabwe's crisis to a boiling point, the struggle in Zimbabwe is not
actually about these two men, and the real question before the international
community is not whether to support Mr. Mugabe or Mr. Tsvangirai. It's about
acknowledging that the people of Zimbabwe have civil and political rights.
Keeping Zimbabwe's citizens at the center of the debate would buck a
disturbing trend in African elections. It can also create space for more
effective international action. Too often, African elections are discussed
as if they are held for the candidates, not for the voters.
In the lead-up to last year's flawed elections in Nigeria, I listened to a
senior election official complain about the tardiness and even the
cleanliness of voters, suggesting that they were an impediment to a
hassle-free electoral exercise. His contempt for voters was reflected in the
often chaotic conduct of the election itself, which left many Nigerians
disenfranchised and has spurred numerous ongoing legal challenges.
Just a few months ago in Kenya, extremely dubious vote-tallying procedures
marred a close election between incumbent President Mwai Kibaki and
challenger Raila Odinga, triggering serious civil conflict with regionwide
In the end, a power-sharing arrangement heroically brokered by Kofi Annan
ensured that both men and their inner circles attained positions of power,
but it's not at all clear that the Kenyan people got much beyond a respite
from explosive postelection violence.
The bloated power-sharing government certainly provides rewards for party
stalwarts, but it is ill-equipped to address the underlying grievances
relating to land tenure, income inequality and corruption that fueled the
unrest. The needs of political elites were accommodated, but the needs of
the Kenyan people may well go unmet.
In Zimbabwe, the government's long delay in announcing election results
after the March 29 elections raised the question - just whose votes were
Apparently the electoral commission, which is controlled by the ruling
party, felt that the count of the public's vote was information for private
After mobilizing and deploying the ruling party's machinery of repression
and intimidation to punish Zimbabweans for failing to hand him a victory,
President Mugabe announced that no vote tally could ever spur him to leave
The current regime seems to consider a successful electoral process as one
big, expensive government rally - a celebration of themselves, rather than
an opportunity for Zimbabweans to exercise some control over their own
Of course political leadership matters, and those contending for victory at
the ballot box usually represent real and sizable constituencies. But it's
important not to lose sight of the fact that the rights and aspirations of
the citizens are much more important than the personalities contesting the
To do the right thing, African governments and regional organizations don't
have to choose between Tsvangirai or Mugabe or any of the other politicians
waiting in the wings. After all, that's not their call to make. Instead,
they have to prioritize the dignity and rights of the Zimbabwean people.
That means that the unity government solution favored by many African Union
members must be transitional in nature, and negotiations to get there must
have at their core a clear, enforceable path to free and fair elections,
real transparency, and accountability in government.
But shifting the focus to the Zimbabwean people, as a first step, starts
with acknowledging that the current government of Zimbabwe has no legitimate
claim to power and no standing to dictate the terms of a power-sharing
negotiation, regardless of the sham runoff result.
That's not an attack on Robert Mugabe. It's a show of support for
Michelle Gavin is an adjunct fellow for Africa at the Council on Foreign
Mail and Guardian
JASON MOYO - Jul 13 2008 06:00
There's absolutely nothing new about the New Syllabus Mathematics textbook
for Zimbabwean grade fours.
It still has weird equations in it. Strange things like Z$1, and 20c and so
forth. Many Zimbabwean children have never seen that type of money.
My nine-year old niece carries Z$200-billion to school, where fees have just
been raised to more than Z$4-trillion. Quadrillion, trillions and
billions -- now, that's the kind of money she knows. Z$60-billion for the
taxi. The rest is her "just in case money".
"Just in case," her mom warms daily, "the taxi fare goes up while she is in
class." And "just in case" she stumbles across someone selling bread on her
As for cents and coins? Never heard of them. Stuff for history class, not
If only I could nail this weekend's Z$1-quadrillion lotto jackpot. I would
fold all of it in a wad of 20 000 new Z$50-billion notes and spend it
immediately. It would buy me a small patch of land in a township this week.
It might only buy me detergent next month.
Numbers don't faze us. We are experts at this: 100 Z$5-billion notes for
that pizza; 15 of those Z$25-billion notes for a kilo of beef. And, to get
rid of that pile of Z$10-million notes, give 7 000 of those beauties to the
poor barman for a pint.
You don't want to carry those notes around, but you do not want to run out
of them either. The ATM only gives out Z$100-billion at a time, enough only
for two loaves of bread from the shifty-eyed guy waiting in the back alley
behind the Spar with a hood over his head as if he is pushing herb.
This week, Barclays had trouble with its ATMs. "Data overflow", it said.
Fancy talk for "our computers can't read all these zeros".
Using your debit card is hardly an option. Whoever designed those
point-of-sale machines obviously never thought anybody could run up
Z$10-billion at the supermarket. So you have to swipe repeatedly -- that's 9
999 999 999 Zim dollars at a time -- until payment is reached for that
Z$960-billion bag of rice.
The time it takes to swipe the contents of the shopping basket can be filled
with the usual, happy Harare gossip, "What do they mean Mwanawasa is in a
'stable condition'?"; "Who knew embassies had beds to sleep in."; "What was
Grace talking about on TV last night?"
Or you can debate whether the Spar sign reading "for your convenience just
multiply all the prices by 1 000 000" is trying to be sarcastic or serious.
The maths gets worse if you are in business. Because of the size of the
numbers, you can't carry cash around.
There are limits on cheques too, which is a good thing. Try writing nine
hundred trillion eight hundred and fifty billion, six hundred and seventy
million -- the price a phone company paid for a small generator three weeks
So bank transfers are encouraged. Again things get tricky. Those dumb bank
systems are not programmed to read past Z$10-trillion. So the banks had an
idea. They now create hundreds of new accounts to allow a single big
transfer to go through -- if they didn't it would take months to clear a
Thankfully, a local computer company is now writing "homegrown software" to
deal with all the zeros.
The government statistics agency no longer bothers releasing inflation data.
The signs that this would happen have been there for some time now. Firstly
there were repeated delays in the release of the numbers, then the figures
were only leaked to media and banks, until we finally ran out of inflation.
Now, nobody bothers.
I was at a record store last weekend, swiping my card for the sixth time to
for a CD, when someone asked the question Zimbabweans love to ask: "Will we
make it to Christmas?"
Of course we will. And we will buy steaks and chicken for quintillions and
gazillions and celebrate -- and wonder how the heck we do it.
ANC steps in
ANC deputy president Kgalema Mothlanthe and secretary general Gwede Mantashe
travelled to Harare this week to meet Zimbabwean self- styled president
Robert Mugabe in his capacity as the leader of Zanu-PF.
There has been some worry within Zanu-PF about a Zuma-led ANC, and the visit
was an attempt by the ANC to "keep the channels of communication open
between the two revolutionary parties," said a Zanu-PF politburo source.
After the meeting Motlanthe said dialogue between Zanu-PF and the MDC had
produced results, noting the constitutional amendments agreed to by the
parties last year.
Motlanthe said "We have a shared history as liberation movements. Our
experiences are very similar."
Motlanthe and Mantashe first met Joyce Mujuru before holding separate
meetings with Joseph Msika and then Mugabe. They also met Didymus Mutasa,
the secretary for administration. It was agreed with Mugabe that the two
parties form a "joint committee" that would ensure there is "constant
engagement between ANC and Zanu-PF," the Zanu-PF source said.
Mugabe insists he is willing to speak to the MDC. But the source reported
that "he says the public statements of support for Tsvangirai from Western
powers are not doing their man any favours".
The politburo also met without Mugabe, to conduct a "post mortem of the
runoff", according to spokesperson Ephraim Masawi. -- Mail & Guardian
Saturday 12th July 2008
Dear Family and Friends,
In the main supermarket in my home town this weekend there were too many
empty shelves to count. In the fortnight since Mr Mugabe was sworn in as
President for his sixth term, everyday life has gone from struggle to
complete crisis. No one is coping now and in the last two weeks virtually
all foodstuffs, toiletries and household goods have completely disappeared
from stores. On what should have been a busy weekend morning in our once
thriving town, the car park was virtually empty and the only things to buy
in the cavernous supermarket were cabbages, butternut squash, lemons, fizzy
drinks and a few packets of meat.
"Where are all your goods?" I asked one shop attendant.
"There is nothing," he said, "the suppliers say they have nothing to
I stood while he weighed the butternut squash I had chosen and exclaimed in
shock at the 30 billion dollar price sticker he fixed to the vegetable.
"Can I show you something?" the man said and before I could answer he took
his most recent pay slip out of his pocket. For an entire month the shop
assistant had earned just 28 billion dollars - not even enough to buy one
single butternut squash. Eight hours a day, five and half days a week and
his entire salary was not enough to provide even one single meal. He told me
he had a wife and a child to support and said with remorse and shame in his
"I am failing them and if I do not jump the border to look for work this
month then they are surely going to die."
They are simple words stating a simple fact - people are surely going to die
here in Zimbabwe if this situation continues for much longer. Despite their
desperate determination to stay in power and retain their 28 years of
leadership of the country, Zanu PF have so far not even acknowledged the
critical shortage of foodstuffs and basic medicines let alone done anything
about resolving it.
Everywhere people have stories of such deprivation and suffering to recount
and we are a nation in a permanent state of shock. Shock that our lives have
been reduced to this. Shock that yet again the UN have been unable to find a
common voice. Shocked that the violence and brutality continues and shocked
that yet again we are hearing of talks about talks about talks. On the 29th
March the MDC won a parliamentary majority, It is long past time for them to
be sworn in and take up the reigns and lead Zimbabwe out of this hell.
Until next week, thanks for reading, love cathy.
Simply sit down
Saturday 5th July 2008
Dear Family and Friends,
It is now clear that the will of the Zimbabwean people as expressed in the
March 29th elections has been ignored and, as a result we find ourselves in
the deepest crisis. Hundreds of people: men, women and children have started
arriving at foreign embassies in Harare, begging for temporary refuge and
humanitarian assistance. First it was the South African embassy, then the
American embassy: crowds of people who are cold, tired, homeless, hungry and
frightened and who have nowhere else to go and no one to turn to. They don't
shout, scream, protest and demand, instead they simply sit down on the
roadside and wait patiently for someone to help them.
Such is the tragic image of our broken, desperate people that even for those
of us living here, the ruination of ordinary lives and the suffering that
people are enduring is utterly heartbreaking. Everyday holds tears and
trauma and the most common phrase in our lives is: "We are in God's hands."
The MDC say that a quarter of a million people have been displaced from
their homes since the end of March. It is undoubtable that thousands more
have by now fled for our borders and crossed over into Botswana, Mozambique,
Zambia and South Africa - legally and illegally. They have done this to stay
alive and unless something happens to change the situation urgently,
hundreds of thousands of others will have no choice but to follow the exodus
to our borders.
This morning, as I write this letter, hundreds upon hundreds of people are
crowded outside banks across the country desperately trying to withdraw
their own money. This is because most shops no longer accept cheques and the
Governor of the Reserve Bank has limited daily withdrawals per person to one
hundred billion dollars. With one hundred billion dollars you can, today
only, buy just three single blood pressure tablets. Or, today only, you can
buy one copy of a local weekly newspaper and and two small green onions. In
my home town, even if you had the money, there is almost no food left to
buy. In the week since Mr Mugabe was again sworn in as President, our
supermarkets have become emptier than ever. There are no dry staple goods at
all, no milk or eggs and no wheat or flour. In my home town the main bakery
is closed and we've had no bread for over a fortnight.
This is why hundreds and thousands of people now have no choice but to leave
the country. It is truly a most desperate situation and people from all
walks of life are in dire need of help - primarily for food and life
preserving medicines but also for shelter and protection. We hear the words
from abroad and from the AU, the UN and some of our neighbours but we don't
need words, we need help and we need it now, literally to save lives.
Until next week, thank you for reading, with love, cathy
Saturday, 12 July 2008 16:46
BULAWAYO - Food worth trillions of dollars meant for starving
Zimbabweans will go to waste as it will expire before reaching recipients as
a result of the government's ban on field operations by on-governmental
organisations, aid agencies warned last week.
Last month the government suspended all field operations by the NGOs
who feed almost a third of the country's population of 12 million, accusing
them of being conduits of foreign interference in Zimbabwe's politics.
But a week following the ban, the government allowed more than 400
organisations working in the HIV/Aids sector to operate amid local and
The NGOs say the circular that informed them about the ban on their
humanitarian work never gave reasons for the drastic action but President
Robert Mugabe made it clear during his campaign ahead of the 27 June run-off
that it was related to the election.
Almost a fortnight after the run-off, where Mugabe claimed a
"landslide victory" the ban has not been lifted and aid agencies say the
food rations piling up at their warehouses might not be fit for human
consumption by the time they are allowed to distribute them.
"Without going into the field to make assessments, our position is
that the suspension of humanitarian work has had a very negative impact
where the services were withheld," said John Chitekuteku, an advocacy
chairman in the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations
"The presumed suspension has particularly created problems for
organisations that had stockpiled items whose expiry date fell under the
period when their activities were curtailed."
Zimbabwe gets some of the food handouts from the World Food Programme
(WFP) which imports grain from as far as the United States.
Some of the food is bought from local producers, who are however
limited by the non-availability of grain locally due to a series of poor
"Although I cannot give statistical evidence on the extent of the
problem because individual aid organisations are the ones privy to such
information, the number of humanitarian organisations facing the problem of
expired food is significant," Chitekuteku said.
Chitekuteku said NGOs were also losing a lot of money paying idle
workers as a result of the suspension because they cannot lay them off.
He said although the presidential election run-off was over, it was
still difficult for the NGOs to ask the government to lift the suspension
because the decision was never explained to them in the first place.
The United Nations estimates that over four million Zimbabweans would
be dependent on food aid by the beginning of next year.
During the violent campaign ahead of the run-off, Zanu PF militias and
war veterans took charge of food distribution in rural areas where they made
sure that known opposition supporters were excluded.
Meanwhile, in a paper presented at a Centre for Peace Initiatives in
Africa conference to review the harmonised elections, Chitekuteku said NGOs
had a "terrible time" leading to the run-off as they faced systematic raids
and attacks and harassment of their staff.
By Kholwani Nyathi
Saturday, 12 July 2008 16:33
MORE than 80% of the country's bakers have temporarily closed shop as
flour shortages take a toll on the battered industry.
The casualties include the country's three largest bakers: Lobels,
Bakers Inn and Superbake which employs over half of the industry's 10 000
Standardbusiness heard last week that the 368 members in the National
Bakers' Association (NBA) had not received constant supplies of flour from
millers as the country runs out of wheat.
Bramwell Bushu NBA chairman painted a sorry picture on the industry.
"There is a shortage of raw materials and stoppages are continuing on
a daily basis," he said last week. "We are saying first and foremost that
there must be raw materials to make the product then everything else
He said players had tried to import flour but the move backfired after
the government added rolls and twists on the controlled products list.
The controlled retail price of bread is $440 million while bakers were
getting flour from millers at over US$35 per 50kg.
NBA executives met Callisto Jokonya, Confederation of Zimbabwe
Industries (CZI) president to air their concerns. Jokonya, who could not be
reached for comment, will take the concerns to the Ministry of Industry and
While bakers have closed shops, the country's biggest retailers have
reduced working hours after virtually running out of commodities to sell.
A snap survey showed that some retailers have reduced the number of
shelves to accommodate the few commodities in stock.
Business leaders acknowledged the hurdles faced by players and said
operating capacity had sunk to an all time low of below 20%.
"Trade terms have changed drastically. While in the past you would pay
using bank transfers, suppliers are demanding cash on delivery," said Marah
Hativagone outgoing president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce
She said some suppliers were giving discounts on cash transactions.
Hativagone said due to a shortage of goods as manufacturers are choked
by raw material constraints, "wholesalers are no longer operating as
wholesalers but as retailers".
Business leaders told Standardbusiness that the toll could have been
more but some businesses feared a crackdown from the government.
In the past government accused business of being part of a regime
"Some should have closed a long time ago but fear government
crackdown. It's is impossible to do business in this harsh economic
environment," an executive said last week.
Analysts say company closures are on the way as raw material and
foreign currency shortages persist.
A cheap loan facility provided by the central bank under the Basic
Commodities Supply Side Intervention (BACOSSI) has not filtered through to
Figures from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe show that as at 8 January a
total of US$13.5 million and $18.6 trillion had been disbursed under the
The BACOSSI intervention is a drop in the ocean compared to what the
industry requires. In an interview with Standardbusiness in February,
Jokonya said the industry needs US$2 billion to recover.
By Ndamu Sandu
Saturday, 12 July 2008 16:39
IRKED by the spiralling cost of living, the Progressive Teachers'
Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) last week served the Public Service Commission with
a position paper proposing that teachers' salaries be peggedto the United
States dollar with effect from the beginning of this month.
The militant union proposes that the commission pays a teacher a
salary equivalent to US$797 a month with effect from July 2008.
"We are not suggesting that they pay us in foreign currency," PTUZ's
National Co-ordinator Oswald Madziva said. "We are just saying that it has
become burdensome for people to sit and review salaries every now and then
and we are saying let us peg the salary to the US dollar instead."
Madziva said the US dollar figure will then be liquidated on the last
day of the first week of every month.
"Our proposal is that we use the prevailing interbank rate on that day
to determine the Zimdollar equivalent," he said. "This can still see the
value being eroded before pay-day but we feel this will be better than what
we are getting at present . . .we had to choose that day to allow for
administrative processes which require time."
Madziva said the PTUZ used the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe basket of
goods and services to come up with the figure, which, going by last week's
interbank rate, would exceed $14 trillion.
"We are saying that amount should be the lowest a teacher in an urban
area should be getting," he said. "We feel the figure is quite conservative
but closer to reality than what we are getting at the moment."
Although agreeing that teachers' salaries have since been eroded by
inflation and confirming that some teachers are failing to report for duty
due to financial constraints, Zimbabwe Teachers' Association president
Tendai Chikowore said pegging salaries to the greenback was not the
"It is true that salaries for May and June have ceased to be
significant and as usual we are engaging government in dialogue so that they
are reviewed," she said.
She said some were no longer going to school because they could not
raise bus fares.
Asked if Zimta also wanted teachers' salaries to be pegged in US
dollars, Chikowore said:
"I have not yet heard about the proposal to peg them to the US dollar
but all the same, I do not think that is the solution. . .The solution is to
have a stable economy not only for teachers but for the whole country."
The PTUZ's proposal comes at a time when many teachers are reportedly
facing hardships in travelling to work saying they have run out of money for
Parents with children attending school in Harare's Dzivaresekwa
high-density suburb last week said their children were not attending lessons
since they re-opened school after the presidential election run-off last
"I expect my daughter to write her Grade VII examinations in October
but it is just hopeless since she has not been having classes," Sharai
Mangisi said. "I hear the teacher says she does not have money to commute
from Budiriro to Dzivarasekwa."
Most teachers' salaries are around $100 billion yet commuter fares for
a return trip from one suburb to another are between $40 billion and $80
"We have received information that some of our members are not
attending classes but what else can they do with just $100 billion
salaries," Madziva said. "Salaries were last reviewed on June 18 but
everything else has gone up since that day."
He said rural teachers were failing to return to their schools as they
could not afford bus fares.
It is also understood that some teachers are enrolling their pupils
for private lessons in a bid to earn more money.
"That has been happening for sometime now," Madziva said, "but reports
show it is now on the increase. It is just part of a coping strategy on the
teacher's side and by embracing it, some parents are admitting that the
formal system has failed to offer quality education for their children."
In a statement last week, the PTUZ alleged that at least seven of its
members in various schools in Gokwe received varied politically-motivated
It alleged that suspected Zanu PF supporters told some of its members
to leave their schools "with speed" while others were accused of
contributing to the party's loss in the 29 March elections and others were
threatened with death for being PTUZ members.
Saturday, 12 July 2008 16:43
GWERU - Students at the Midlands State University (MSU), especially
those writing their final examinations, have expressed concern over the
final outcome of their studies as they are being invigilated by non-academic
staff including security guards following a strike by lecturers at the
The students told The Standard, that this simply showed how education
in Zimbabwe continues to plunge to new depths as there is no longer any
importance attached to the sector.
"Most universities are now concentrating on quantity not the quality
of graduands that are being produced," said Denzil Mushayi, a fourth year
History and Development Studies student. "Credibility of the examinations is
compromised. Some of the invigilators at times cannot even explain the
instructions to students."
Other students interviewed are worried that the papers may not even be
marked since the lecturers have vowed that they will not go back to work if
their concerns are not addressed.
"Besides being invigilated by the non-academic staff, we do not even
know what will happen to our answer sheets. We are worried that if the
impasse is not resolved timeously, our papers may also be marked by people
who are not qualified to do this," a second year student who identified
herself only as Martha said. "There was a time we experienced the same
problem and most of us got grades that we did not deserve. Can you imagine
almost half the class with 3s when as individuals we knew we deserved better
Lecturers who spoke to The Standard confirmed that the examinations
were being administered by the non-teaching staff.
Didymus Dhewa, a teaching assistant, said: "The lecturers downed tools
to pressure the employer for better salaries and working conditions. The
non-academic staff has taken over."
Other lecturers said they were not even moved by the fact that the
non-academic staff had taken over their duties. "Even if they have looked
for invigilators instead of addressing the grievances, we will watch and see
who will mark those scripts as we are not going back to work unless our
salaries are reviewed," said another lecturer who asked not to be
Examinations at MSU commenced on Monday and are supposed to run until
Lecturers at the state institution went on strike two weeks ago
demanding salary increments to cushion them against the hyper-inflationary
environment. A payslip shown to The Standard revealed that some lecturers
took home less than $200 billion dollars last month.
Economic analysts who spoke to The Standard said that the country had
reached a situation where people should actually be paid on a weekly basis
in order to make ends meet. They argued that with the spiralling cost of
commodities almost on an hourly basis, most salaries given at the end of the
month had become meaningless, turning most workers into beggars.
Even though most workers are pushing for salary adjustments at the end
of every month, the hyper-inflationary environment has out-paced the efforts
leaving most workers to either ask for groceries or plead with their
employers to be paid in stable currencies.
It is understood that civil servants want to push the government into
being paid in hard currency as most major basic commodities including sugar,
meat, maize-meal, cooking oil and rent are being quoted in foreign currency.
Meanwhile, June Ordinary and Advanced level public examinations have
been affected again following an ongoing salary dispute at the Zimbabwe
Schools Examinations Council (Zimsec).
The examinations, which are underway, were delayed last month because
of the 27 June presidential election run-off.
Mathias Guchutu, the spokesperson for the National Education Union of
Zimbabwe (NEUZ), that also covers Zimsec workers confirmed that the workers
had stopped going to work because of paltry salaries.
He said this was negatively affecting the June examinations, as there
was no one from Zimsec to send the written examinations to the marking
centres. No one was receiving scripts from headmasters so they could be
encoded for marking.
"Workers are no longer going to work because the management does not
want to award them increments," Guchutu said. "Right now workers are getting
a salary of about $90 billion, which is not enough."
The Standard heard that last week, Zimsec workers decided to down
tools after failing to reach an agreement with their management.
The workers are demanding a basic monthly salary of $10 trillion,
weekly transport allowance and monthly housing allowance of R300.
In a memorandum addressed to the Assistant Director Human Resources,
Joyman Thabete, the workers wrote: "Please be advised that we made frantic
efforts to discuss with you but failed because you were evasive. . .We as
workers' committee wanted to inform you that our members were no longer able
to come to work as from Wednesday 9 July 2008."
However Zimsec Information and Public Relations manager Ezekiel
Pasipamire denied reports that workers had stopped going to work.
"Everyone is coming to work and what I can tell you is that the
management is aware of the workers' plight and has sent a report to the
Ministry of Finance and are waiting for feedback," he said.
By Rutendo Mawere
Saturday, 12 July 2008 16:36
The government has started doling out electric generators and grinding
mills to traditional leaders as a reward for their role in President Robert
Mugabe's controversial re-election last month.
Sources told The Standard that chiefs who actively campaigned for
Mugabe by herding their subjects to polling stations on Election Day began
receiving the generators last week.
"The electric generators have been delivered at various provinces and
are set to be handed out to the chiefs anytime," said a source.
"More equipment like grinding mills will also be handed out to the
The chiefs who are also beneficiaries of the rural electrification
programme would use the generators during the regular electricity
The traditional leaders were in the forefront of preventing Tsvangirai's
MDC from holding rallies in areas under their jurisdiction and by
threatening opposition activists with eviction from their homes.
Chiefs who are supposed to be apolitical also played a crucial role in
the politicisation of food by Zanu PF militias, effectively denying MDC
supporters food aid.
The traditional leaders reportedly sanctioned the setting up of Zanu
PF campaign bases in their areas that were used as torture centres for
villagers suspected to be opposition supporters.
Zanu PF militias set up campaign bases around the country's provinces,
unleashing a wave of terror against defenceless MDC supporters.
According to the MDC, the terror campaign displaced tens of thousands
of its supporters and left over 100 others dead.
However, in the run-up to the elections, Ignatius Chombo, the Minister
of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development, urged chiefs to
vigorously campaign for Mugabe, warning that if Tsvangirai won he would take
away all their benefits.
He told chiefs attending a council of chiefs' conference in Bulawayo
to ensure a "resounding victory" for Mugabe and avoid the reversal of their
chieftainship roles and benefits.
"The traditional leaders are the entry point in government's
development endeavours," he said. "Therefore, I would like to make a strong
call upon you to intensively market the ruling Zanu PF's presidential
candidate (President Mugabe), our tried and tested cadre who has fearlessly
rebuffed the imperialist machinations being orchestrated by erstwhile
By Nqobani Ndlovu
Los Angeles Times
After a surge of reform in the 1990s, many countries have suffered setbacks,
with 'pseudo-democracies' and incumbents who refuse to cede power.
By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 13, 2008
NAIROBI, KENYA -- Election-related meltdowns in Zimbabwe and Kenya are stark
reminders of democracy's fragile foothold in Africa, experts say, despite
years of financial and diplomatic investment by the United States and other
A combination of challenges unique to the continent, including worsening
poverty and inconsistent international engagement, is blamed for fueling a
string of setbacks. After some progress in the early 1990s, once-promising
governments have regressed, particularly around election time.
"Overall, the continent has had a deflation of strong democratic leadership
in recent years," said J. Stephen Morrison, Africa director at the Center
for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "In some places we
are seeing that autocratic pseudo-democracies have formed."
In addition to disputed presidential elections in Zimbabwe and Kenya, where
longtime incumbents refused to cede power after their opponents declared
victory at the polls, last year's ruling party victory in Nigeria was widely
condemned as flawed. Uganda's president changed the country's constitution
to stay in power. Ethiopian government forces killed about 200 opposition
supporters after a 2005 vote.
Though there have been democratic success stories, such as Ghana and Sierra
Leone, some see the coming years as a crucial period in determining whether
much of Africa will move forward in embracing democracy.
"The continent right now seems caught in the middle between the good cases
and bad cases," said Chris Fomunyoh, senior associate for Africa at the
National Democratic Institute, which promotes democratic reform around the
Western interest wanes
The Bush administration has been praised for sharply stepping up spending to
combat diseases in Africa, including about $19 billion on HIV/AIDs and $1.2
billion on malaria. But it has been less vigilant when it comes to
bolstering democratic institutions, analysts say.
Efforts to promote democracy in Africa largely have been confined to Sudan,
which was torn by a north-south war and is racked by conflict in the Darfur
region, in which more than 200,000 people have died.
Indeed, after a flurry of support in the early 1990s, which helped usher in
multiparty systems and stronger institutions, the U.S. and other Western
powers have largely focused on the Middle East and Asia.
Zimbabwe's crisis is a prime example, critics say. President Robert Mugabe
long ago began leading his southern African nation toward economic ruin and
"We should have stopped Mugabe in his tracks years ago," said Johann
Kriegler, who oversaw South Africa's first democratic election in 1994 and
is leading a commission to investigate Kenya's electoral breakdown.
African leaders have long been reluctant to criticize one another lest their
own records be judged. However, the presidents of Senegal and Zambia, along
with former South African President Nelson Mandela, recently have roundly
criticized Zimbabwe's leadership.
Yet South Africa's Thabo Mbeki has continued to refuse to condemn Mugabe.
And at an African Union summit in Egypt early this month, Mugabe was met
with only muted protest.
Limited international outcry after disputed polls in places like Nigeria may
have emboldened other African leaders, such as Mugabe and Kenya's President
Mwai Kibaki, experts said.
"There's been a certain amount of serial learning that has gone on,"
Morrison said. "Incumbents realize that some pretense to a democratic
process is all you need, combined with heavy-handed intimidation of the
After the 2001 Al Qaeda attacks on New York and the Pentagon, U.S.
priorities around the globe changed, with a greater emphasis on cultivating
partners in the Bush administration's war on terrorism. Such shifts in
priorities may explain why the United States took a softer approach in
dealing with Ethiopia's crackdown in 2005, according to Fomunyoh. A year
later, Ethiopia, with U.S. support, entered neighboring Somalia to crush a
fledgling Islamic regime that U.S. officials said was linked to Al Qaeda.
"The U.S. should not get blinded by the global war on terror to the point of
overlooking other shortcomings," Fomunyoh said.
Friends with no strings
China's growing influence through investment in Africa has created another
roadblock to democracy, analysts say, providing an alternative to
governments not interested in political reform. In addition to buying
billions of dollars in oil and other natural resources, China is building
roads, bridges and other infrastructure in nearly every major African nation
without attaching Western-style conditions.
The Chinese have openly sold weapons to some of Africa's most controversial
governments, including Sudan. Early this year, a pro-government Chinese
newspaper said the violence in Kenya, in which nearly 1,000 were killed, was
proof that Western-style democracy "isn't suited to African conditions, but
rather carries with it the root of disaster."
"China's role is giving a certain confidence to those who want to pursue a
model of a strong central, nondemocratic state," Morrison said.
Chinese officials recently beefed up calls for change in Sudan amid a threat
to boycott the Beijing Olympics in August. But China joined Russia on Friday
in vetoing a U.N. Security Council resolution sponsored by the U.S. to
impose sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Some African leaders contend that despite the setbacks, democracy is far
stronger on the continent than it was in the 1970s and '80s, when dictators
ruled with an iron fist, often bolstered by Cold War enticements from the
United States or the Soviet Union.
"Although we have seen some disappointing developments, we should not lose
sight of the fact that progress has been made," said Kenya's Wangari
Maathai, the first African woman awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, in 2004.
"These are problems arising because we have raised the bar."
In Kenya, she said, free speech and an open media were unthinkable a decade
The continent and its people are still struggling to overcome the effects of
European colonialism, she said, which exacerbated tribal conflicts by
drawing arbitrary national borders and setting an example of a supreme ruler
in the form of a colonial governor.
"Most of the leaders today are part of the independence generation," said
Peter Oloo Aringo, a former Kenyan lawmaker who works as a consultant to
strengthen democratic institutions. "They are trying to imitate the people
they succeeded during the colonial period and those people held all the
power to themselves."
Maathai said it might take another generation for Africa to produce true
"So far, what Kibaki and others in the ruling elite have done is, as the
democratic winds changed, they changed with the wind," she said. "But they
didn't change in their hearts."
Mandela remains the continent's most celebrated democratic leader,
relinquishing power after just one term and working to strengthen
institutions that would check presidential powers.
"He has iconic status, but so far not many have followed him," said Babafemi
Badejo, an author and United Nations political advisor in Liberia.
"Definitely there is a leadership deficit in Africa. It's a common
denominator that has made democracy harder."
Kriegler said Africa's growing poverty was another hindrance. More than
two-thirds of the continent's people live on less than $2 a day.
"Poverty is the biggest single handicap," he said. "Democracy only functions
where there is a viable society, where people have hope and personal
"How can you have democracy in a place where people are happy to sell their
vote for [a couple of dollars]? Here, if the winners take all, the losers
Mail and Guardian
MANDY ROSSOUW | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Jul 13 2008 06:00
President Thabo Mbeki should "adapt and update his approach" to negotiations
over the future of Zimbabwe, British Foreign Secretary David Milliband told
the Mail & Guardian.
"Mbeki's mediation secured relatively peaceful elections at the end of
March, but the situation has changed now" he said in an exclusive interview.
Milliband argues that a second mediator might strengthen Mbeki's hand in the
effort to move the situation forward.
"The Zimbabwean crisis is a crisis not just for that country but also for
the whole of Southern Africa. The scale of butchering is unspeakable. This
is a real-time crisis [because people can get immediate updates through
cellphones]," he added.
Milliband was speaking during a visit to South Africa to attend the sixth
session of the United Kingdom-South Africa bilateral forum, where, according
to those close to the process, he "did his best" to get Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma to back a draft resolution that the United States is planning
to table at the United Nations this week. But Dlamini Zuma dug her heels in
and eventually the two had to agree to disagree.
Diplomats close to the process say they believe South Africa may abstain
from a voteon whether to slap travel bans and smart sanctions on the ruling
The resolution will also ask for an arms embargo on Zimbabwe.
"It is vital that the Security Council passes a resolution that recommends
sanctions for the individuals at the heart of the Zimbabwean crisis. We are
focused on building consensus at the UN about declaring the regime
illegitimate. What we know is [self- styled Zimbabwean president Robert]
Mugabe has never been weaker, his military supporters are isolated. The
country is in political limbo. This is a man-made crisis in what shouldhave
been a rich country," Milliband said.
The South African argument is that the mediation should be given time and
space to continue and it is believed that the US proposal will not help this
cause. The British position is that targeted sanctions will help put
pressure on the regime if the ruling elite is isolated from their
investments outside Zimbabwe and not allowed to travel anywhere.
Spokesperson for the department of foreign affairs Ronnie Mamoepa on
Wednesday said the question of how South Africa would react is still under
Diplomats speculate that SouthAfrica would not want to be seen to be caving
in to international pressure and supporting such a resolution. It, however,
cannot cast a vote that would be seen as favouring the Mugabe regime,
especially in the face of the strong statements by several African leaders.
The African Union resolved that for talks to take place between Zanu-PF and
MDC about the formation of a government of national unity it is critical to
reinforce the AU resolution to help the people of Zimbabwe.
Unsurprisingly Milliband dismisses Mugabe's claims of British responsibility
for Zimbabwe's crisis. "It is rubbish. There is no legitimacy to Mugabe's
claims. He's been in charge of the country for 28 years. How can we still be
held responsible? This is about two different visions for the future of
Zimbabwe -- one backed by a ruthless clique at the top of this corrupt
dictatorship and on the other hand the great mass of the Zimbabwean people
who voted for change on March 29."
Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2008 2:24 PM
VP Msika threatens to expose divisionists
By Nqaba Matshazi
VICE President, Cde Joseph Msika has threatened to expose Zanu-PF leaders in
Matabeleland who were dividing the party through gossip in the hope that
they would be appointed ministers when President Mugabe appoints his
Addressing Politburo, Central Committee and National Consultative Assembly
members at victory celebrations in Gumtree, Bulawayo yesterday, Cde Msika
said the divisive people were speaking ill of their colleagues each time
they visited Harare in an effort to ingratiate themselves and were actually
positioning themselves for cabinet posts.
"There are leaders in this region who think they will be ministers through
gossiping about others with people from Harare," Cde Msika said.
"To those unscrupulous party leaders in Harare, do not think I cannot see
you trying to put your stooges in the region. You are reckless and careless
in your thinking."
The Vice President said there were people from Matabeleland who were working
to destroy the leadership of the three provinces and they were working in
cahoots with people from outside to impose what he called their stooges.
Cde Msika said if God kept him alive he would soon expose and embarrass the
divisive elements in the party. He accused some leaders in Harare of trying
to oust the leadership in the three provinces, but he said he would work to
ensure that such machinations were thwarted.
In the run up to the March elections, Cde Msika mentioned that there were
people who were meeting clandestinely at night in Harare in an effort to
impose their own people in the region. He said he had minutes of those
meetings and was aware of the venues and the times when the people met.
Cde Msika accused the divisive elements, who he described as sellouts, of
swinging on the coattails of some people who were bent on destroying the
unity accord PF Zapu and Zanu PF signed. He said these elements were
claiming that Zanu-PF had swallowed PF Zapu.
"You can only swallow what can be swallowed, we (Zapu) are not easy to
swallow," he chided.
The Vice President said the Unity Accord of 1987, signed between President
Mugabe and the late Vice President, Dr Joshua Nkomo was not an individual
agreement but was for Zimbabweans, adding that it was sacred and should be
The Vice President said there were people from the region who said they were
pulling out of the accord, but he advised them that they would be "pulling
out at their own peril". He reiterated that Zanu-PF had not swallowed PF
Zapu, but rather the two revolutionary parties had dovetailed in unity.
He took the opportunity to advise the leadership of the three provinces to
unite in the face of adversity, as their enemies were leaving no stone
unturned in trying to have them ousted.
Cde Msika said he had called for the celebrations to discuss with leaders of
Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and South what problems they were facing, as it
seemed they were no longer holding fort, as they should.
"People of Matabeleland must be united, we are not united and our enemies
can see the cracks and they are using this to destroy us," he said.
Cde Msika said the state of the leadership was a cause for concern and if Dr
Nkomo were to arise he would be shocked by the state of affairs. "It's not
the Matabeleland I know," he said. "We need to forge ahead as a united
front, but we cannot do this if there are rumours and gossiping." Cde Msika
said people were free to disagree, but that did not mean that they should
fight, but rather those disagreements were meant to build and foster growth.
"I support President Mugabe as the head of the party and the state, but that
does not mean I agree with everything," he said.
"Sometimes we meet privately where we tell each other some home truths, but
in public we are united and we take a common stand."
Cde Msika thanked the leadership of the three provinces for ensuring that
President Mugabe was retained as the leader of the country, warning that if
MDC leader, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai had won, war could have broken out.
On the talks between Zanu-PF and the two factions of the MDC, Cde Msika said
they should allow for an all-inclusive dialogue to come up with solutions to
the problems the country was facing.
Among the guests who attended the function were the Minister of Information
and Publicity, Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, the Governors of Matabeleland North and
South, Cde Sithokozile Mathuthu and Cde Angeline Masuku, the Deputy
President of the Senate, Cde Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu, Zimbabwe's
Ambassador to South Africa, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, Zanu-PF Youth Secretary,
Cde Absolom Sikhosana and Dr Nkomo's daughter, Thandiwe.
Inter-party talks panacea to Zim problems
The on going inter-party talks between Zimbabwe's political rivals Zanu-PF
and the two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change which resumed in
South Africa last week are both positive and progressive. The nation is
currently faced with a myriad of problems both at the economic, social and
political fronts, which have taken their toll on the ordinary citizens.
While some of the problems are blamed on the drought some were caused by the
fact that during the fight for political space the opposition players in the
political equation internationalized the matter by inviting hostile
foreigners with a colonial history to help them. This development poisoned
the political playing field as some of the foreign guests came up with a
cocktail of economic sanctions sugar coated as targeted at the ruling elite.
For more than seven years the imperialist nations have been tightening their
screws on Zimbabwe's economy, demonizing its leadership at every opportunity
with their local Chihuahuas acting as cheer players in the dirty game.
Although the talks are ongoing Britain and the United States are still
continuing with their onslaught on Zimbabwe as they are reportedly crafting
more sanctions against the country. Like we have said before the two
countries appear more angry with Zimbabwe's revolutionary leadership more
than the few people that did not vote for President Mugabe in the June 27
presidential run off.
Now that the harmonised elections and the run off are over whatever
foreigners think about them, to the generality of the people of Zimbabwe
what is critical is the way forward. After his win and installation for a
five-year term President Mugabe, a tried and tested nationalist and
pan-Africanist invited the MDC formations to dialogue in order to resolve
the problems the country is facing. This is not the first time that
President Mugabe has practically demonstrated that it is important that
political leaders work together for the common good of the nation. In 1980
when he was Prime Minister, he pronounced a policy of national
reconciliation where he forgave murders and human rights abusers such as
former rebel Rhodesians prime minister Ian Smith and his Commander General
Peter Walls when his party ZANU PF formed a government of national unity
with PF ZAPU and the Rhodesian front. This saw the three armed forces the
Rhodesian army, PF ZAPU's military wing Zipra and ZANU PF's Zanla being
integrated to form the Zimbabwe National Army.
Following internal disturbances in the country in the early years of
independence President Mugabe and the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo
joined hands when they united PF ZAPU and ZANU PF in 1987.
We all have confidence in President Mugabe as a unifier as the already
aforesaid track record is there even for the blind to see. We therefore
appeal to the opposition MDC formations to put the people of Zimbabwe first
as the deliberations continue. It is not about who should rule the country
because this was decided on June 27 but about how we can together work for
the building of our country. We are not interested in academic arguments,
accusation and counter accusations and the usual blame game. The people of
Zimbabwe want the way forward and are most grateful to the President of
South African Thabo Mbeki for remaining a true mediator that he is despite
attempts by some quarters to force him to take sides against their targeted
opponent-President Mugabe. The South African leader has been accused of
being soft with President Mugabe's government. Elementary principles of
negotiations or mediation clearly state that the South African leader who
was appointed by leaders of the Southern African Development Community as
mediator cannot openly criticize any of the rival groups. It is strange what
those that are attacking President Mbeki's quiet diplomacy are talking
about. How do you accuse and then mediate?
South Africa has shown good neighbourliness against all odds in defence of
fair play and this has angered Zimbabwe's detractors. It is for this reason
that the negotiating teams partaking in the inter-party talks should
appreciate that President Mbeki is only trying to help Zimbabweans chart the
way forward. It is us Zimbabweans who can make a difference by putting the
public interest above partisan political consideration. The dear negotiators
should show leadership because they are holding the future of this nation.
This is no mean responsibility. We demand that those that do not realize the
responsibility they have to Zimbabwe and take these talks as child play
should just get out of the kitchen before they spoil the broth.
The call for a strengthened mediation team by the MDC-T to bring in someone
from the African Union is an insult to the Pan Africanist man who is
sacrificing so much for this nation. For the benefit of some who might not
be aware the AU recently endorsed Mr Mbeki's the SADC mediation efforts in
Zimbabwe. South Africa, Zimbabwe and all SADC states are members of the AU.
We would also like to commend Russia, China, South Africa, Libya, Indonesia
and all other nations that opposed the sanctions bid at the United Nations
for a job well done. Britain and the US should not be allowed to stampede
over leaders they choose to hate and getting all world leaders to help them
do that through world bodies such as the United Nations.
Once again we call upon all patriotic Zimbabweans across the political
divide to pray for the success of the on going inter-party talks and a good
rainy season this year. This is our country together we cannot afford to
continue accusing each other of everything bad under the sun.
Court on land issue expected to resume trial
Posted: Sat, 12 Jul 2008 09:12:44 +0200
The SADC Tribunal court on the land issue in Zimbabwe is expected to resume
trial on Wednesday.
The SADC Tribunal court on the land issue in Zimbabwe is expected to resume
trial on Wednesday.
The case is between 343 beneficiaries of the land reform programme and 77
white farmers who were granted an interim order by the tribunal held at
Windhoek Supreme Court.
The order stopped the evictions of white farmers and allows them to continue
occupying their farms.
It is against this background that the beneficiaries of Zimbabwe's land
reform programme are making in intervener application to the same court.
The affected beneficiaries of the land reform programme are arguing that
they were given the land through proper legal procedures following the
promulgation of section 16b of the constitution of Zimbabwe and the
attendant gazetted Land Act.
The defence team of the beneficiaries of the land reform led by Farai
Mutamangira of Messrs Mutamangira and associates want the tribunal to have a
clear understanding of the background of Zimbabwe's land issue.
Zimbabwe embarked on the land reform programme in the 2000 to address
colonial land tenure system which had given 90% of the country's prime
agricultural land to a few white farmers while land hungry majority blacks
were squeezed into rural areas with poor soils and non arable land.
Inter-party talks must end hardships - Chaibva
Posted: Fri, 11 Jul 2008 08:50:24 +0200
Former spokesperson for MDC Mutambara formation, Mr. Gabriel Chaibva says
the inter-party talks between Zanu PF and the two MDC formations must
produce a comprehensive package that will bring to an end the hardships
facing the nation.
Former spokesperson for MDC Mutambara formation, Mr. Gabriel Chaibva says
the inter-party talks between Zanu PF and the two MDC formations must
produce a comprehensive package that will bring to an end the hardships
facing the nation.
Speaking on the ZBC Face the Nation programme, Mr. Chaibva said the outcome
of the talks should resolve the negative issue of sanctions and come up with
solutions that will restore the country's infrastructure.
Mr. Chaibva who is also an executive member of MDC Mutambara said any
political leader of substance should stand up and support the inter party
dialogue without demanding any conditions.
He said Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai should swallow his pride and understand that
Cde Robert Mugabe is the President and Commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe
Mr. Chaibva noted that it takes a lot of courage to accept the reality of
June 27 but it is unfortunate that Mr. Tsvangirai has a limited capacity to
articulate issues, a weakness that has been used by the west to manipulate
He said Mr. Tsvangirai should be the last person to be president of Zimbabwe
has he lacks the quality and vision to tackle matters of national interest.
Mr. Chaibva said Zimbabweans are now aware that Morgan is a leader of no
political achievements as demonstrated by the multitude of blunders and
political miscalculations he has made and continues to commit.
The former MDC- Mutambara spokesperson said the involvement of a vicious
hidden hand or third force in the MDC saw the expulsion of national
executive member, Munyaradzi Gwisai and the eventual split of the party into
two formations during the senatorial elections.
Mr. Chaibva said the double standard nature of the west is witnessed in its
contempt to reject the outcome of the June 27 presidential election run-off
won by Cde Mugabe.
He said Zimbabweans should be left alone to solve their differences and to
determine their destiny just like any other sovereign state.
Mr. Chaibva said once the political parties play their part promoting peace
and security the west will be left with no option to act against Zimbabwe.
The former member of parliament expressed regret that neighbouring Botswana
could take a position to comment on Zimbabwe outside the SADC and African
Mr. Chaibva called on Mr. Tsvangirai to come out clear and appreciate that
it is the common people who are facing the blunt of the economic hardships
as they are struggling everyday to make ends meet because the western
He hailed South African President Mr. Thabo Mbeki for doing a sterling job
in his mediation role in Zimbabwe's inter party dialogue.
July 13, 2008
KHARTOUM (BBC) - The BBC has found the first evidence that China is
currently helping Sudan's government militarily in Darfur.
The Panorama TV programme tracked down Chinese army lorries in the Sudanese
province that came from a batch exported from China to Sudan in 2005.
The BBC was also told that China was training fighter pilots who fly Chinese
A5 Fantan fighter jets in Darfur.
China's government has declined to comment on the BBC's findings, which
contravene a UN arms embargo on Darfur.
The embargo requires foreign nations to take measures to ensure they do not
militarily assist anyone in the conflict in Darfur, in which the UN
estimates that about 300,000 people have died.
More than two million people are also believed to have fled their villages
in Darfur, destroyed by pro-government Arab Janjaweed militia.
Panorama traced the first lorry by travelling deep into the remote deserts
of West Darfur.
They found a Chinese Dong Feng army lorry in the hands of one of Darfur's
The BBC established through independent eyewitness testimony that the rebels
had captured it from Sudanese government forces in December.
The rebels filmed a second lorry with the BBC's camera. Both vehicles had
been carrying anti-aircraft guns, one a Chinese gun.
Markings showed that they were from a batch of 212 Dong Feng army lorries
that the UN had traced as having arrived in Sudan after the arms embargo was
put in place.
The lorries came straight from the factory in China to Sudan and were
consigned to Sudan's defence ministry. The guns were mounted after the
lorries were imported from China.
The UN started looking for these lorries in Darfur three years ago,
suspecting they had been sent there, but never found them.
"We had no specific access to Sudanese government army stores, we were not
allowed to take down factory codes or model numbers or registrations etc to
verify these kinds of things," said EJ Hogendoorn, a member of the UN panel
of experts that was involved in trying to locate the lorries.
China has chosen not to respond to the BBC's findings. Its public position
is that it abides by all UN arms embargoes.
China has said in the past that it told Sudan's government not to use
Chinese military equipment in Darfur.
Sudan's government, however, has told the UN that it will send military
equipment wherever it likes within its sovereign territory.
An international lawyer, Clare da Silva, says China's point that it has
taken measures in line with the arms embargo's requirements to stop its
weapons from going to Darfur is meaningless.
"It is an empty measure to take the assurances from a partner who clearly
has no intention of abiding by the resolution," she said.
Ms da Silva said the BBC's evidence put China in violation of the arms
The UN panel of experts on Darfur has said it wants to examine the BBC's
The BBC found witnesses who said they saw the first Dong Feng which the BBC
tracked down being used with its anti-aircraft gun in an attack in a town
called Sirba, in West Darfur, in December.
"When it is shooting or firing there is nowhere for you to move and the
sound is just like the sound of the rain. Then 'Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!'"
said Hamaad Abakar Adballa, a witness in the Chadian refugee town of Birak.
The lorry's powerful anti-aircraft gun fired straight into civilian houses.
The gun carries high calibre shells that explode on impact, spreading hot
shards of metal and causing terrible wounds
Witnesses saw one hut take a direct hit from the gun:
"An intense wave of heat instantly sent all the huts around up in flames,"
one witness, Risique Bahar, said. "There was a lot of screaming."
In the attack on Sirba one woman was burnt to death, another horribly
Sudan's government has been accused by the United States of genocide against
Darfur's black Africans.
Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) say war crimes by
Sudan's Arab-dominated government have included summary executions, rape and
Recently the conflict has deteriorated into more confused fighting, with
rebel and militia groups also fighting each other. Two hundred thousand
people have been displaced already this year.
Malnutrition rates are set to soar in South Darfur later this year due to
insecurity and drought.
Darfur's landscape is spotted with blackened circles representing the
hundreds of the villages that were burnt down by government forces and their
In these attacks Darfur's civilians have been hunted not just from the
ground, but from the sky.
Most civilians who tell stories of aerial attacks talk about Russian made
Antanovs and helicopter gunships.
Many also talk about fighter jets being used, but no-one has ever answered
the question of which type of fighter jets these are.
Kaltam Abakar Mohammed, a mother of seven, watched three of her children
being blown to pieces as they were attacked by a fighter jet on 19 February
in the town of Beybey in Darfur.
The BBC has established that Chinese Fantan fighter jets were flying on
missions out of Nyala airport in south Darfur in February.
Panorama acquired satellite photographs of the two fighters at the airport
on 18 June 2008, and its investigations indicate these are the only fighter
jets that have been based in Darfur this year.
When Kaltam heard the sound of fighting early that morning, she took her
children and ran.
"We start running near the well," she said. "We hid behind a big rock.
Something that looks like an eagle started coming from over there. It looked
like an eagle but it made a funny noise."
When the plane unleashed two bombs Kaltam's five-year-old daughter, Nura,
was dismembered from the chest up.
Her eight-year-old son, Adam, was killed instantly, as was her 20-year-old
Kaltam's 19-month-old grandson still has shrapnel in his head from the
fighter jet bombing. He cries a lot and often calls out for his mother, but
she was killed in the attack.
Kaltam's 13-year-old girl, Hawa, cannot grasp what she saw happen that day
to her brother and two sisters. She rarely speaks now.
The Chinese Fantan jets are believed to have been delivered to Sudan in 2003
before the current UN arms embargo was imposed on Darfur.
But the BBC has been told by two confidential sources that China is training
Fantan fighter pilots.
Sudan imported a number of fighter trainers called K8s two years ago - they
are designed to train pilots of fighters like Fantans.
"Clearly this is what they used to train for operations with the Fantans,"
said Chris Dietrich, a former member of the UN panel on Darfur.
International lawyer Ms da Silva says if China is training Fantan pilots,
this represents another Chinese violation of the UN arms embargo.
"The terms of the embargo cover not only just the supply of weapons,
military vehicles, paramilitary equipment. It also covers training any
technical assistance, so the training of pilots obviously falls within the
scope of the embargo."
There are strong economic ties between the China and Sudan.
China buys most of Sudan's oil and believes that what Sudan needs is good
business partners, help with development and a solid peace process in
Darfur, instead of confrontation and sanctions from the West.
So when China's President Hu Jintao visited Sudan in 2007 he wrote off
millions of dollars worth of debt and donated a multi-million pound interest
free loan for a new presidential palace to Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir.
In April last year, China's military leaders pledged to strengthen
co-operation with Sudan.