International Herald Tribune
The Associated PressPublished: July 18, 2008
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa: South African President Thabo Mbeki announced
plans Friday to work closely with the U.N. and the African Union as he
attempts to mediate a settlement in Zimbabwe.
The plan was applauded by Zimbabwe's opposition, which has criticized Mbeki
as biased in favor of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, and called for him
to be replaced or work with a second mediator.
Mbeki met in Pretoria Friday with the top African Union executive, Jean
Ping; an official of the Southern African Development Community responsible
for regional security issues, George Chikoti; and Haile Menkerios, a special
U.N. envoy on Zimbabwe. According to his office, Mbeki proposed a special
group of SADC, AU and U.N. representatives be formed with which he would
talk "on an ongoing basis." The statement said the parties agreed to set up
the so-called reference group.
Mbeki would remain the main mediator trying to find a solution to Zimbabwe's
deadly political crisis.
George Sibotshiwe, a spokesman for the Zimbabwean opposition, told The
Associated Press that the plan announced Friday met his group's demands that
Mbeki be joined by another mediator.
Sibotshiwe said the step announced Friday could open the way in coming days
to agreement on a framework for power-sharing talks between his Movement for
Democratic Change and Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, "because the AU has a role in,
and because the United Nations has a role in it as well."
He said he expected Ping and Mbeki to visit Zimbabwe as early as Monday.
SADC appointed Mbeki more than a year ago to mediate between Zimbabwe's
Since then, Mugabe ignored a previous agreement Mbeki help broker and
announced an election date without consulting with the opposition.
Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai beat Mugabe and two
other candidates in that March vote, and his party won control of parliament
and local councils.
Official results did not give Tsvangirai the simple majority needed to avoid
a presidential runoff. He at first agreed to participate in a second round
set for June 27, but pulled out days before the vote because of wide-scale,
state-sponsored violence against his supporters. Mugabe went ahead with the
vote, keeping Tsvangirai's name on the ballot and declaring himself the
Mbeki's mediation efforts are now aimed at forming a coalition government.
Both the opposition and Mugabe's party say they are open to sharing power.
But while ZANU-PF says Mugabe should lead any coalition, Tsvangirai's party
insists Mugabe should have no role in the country's political future.
Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, is accused of
hanging onto the presidency in recent years through fraud and violence, and
of destroying the economy.
At a meeting in Durban Friday, Angolan Foreign Minister Joao Miranda said
the Zimbabwe crisis threatened the unity of the Southern African Development
Community. Some members of the regional group have been sharply critical of
Mugabe as well as of Mbeki's mediation efforts, while others have kept to
the tradition of African leaders refraining from criticizing one of their
"The situation of the republic of Zimbabwe is undoubtedly very complex," the
South African Press Association quoted Miranda as saying at a ministerial
meeting of the regional bloc's security committee. "It is our duty to defend
and fight for the unity of our organization."
A small group of Zimbabweans wearing white shirts splattered with red ink
staged a protest near Durban's International Convention Center before the
conference started, SAPA reported. One of the protesters signs read: "A
Brave Africa can Save Zimbabwe."
July 18, 2008, 18:15
A small group of Zimbabweans staged a protest near Durban's International
Convention Centre before a Southern African development Community (SADC)
conference started in Durban today.
The SADC Ministers of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security are
expected to meet and discuss several issues, including the "post electoral
situation in the Republic of Zimbabwe."
The small group held up a number of posters, including a banner which read:
"A Brave Africa can Save Zimbabwe." All the protesters were wearing white
shirts splattered with red ink.
The SADC ministers are to discuss Interstate Defence and Security Committee
(ISDSC) issues, particularly on progress made by the police, defence, public
security and state security sectors. They will also discuss the SADC Brigade
that was launched on August 17 last year, and the launch of the Regional
Early Warning centre scheduled for December 2008. Malawi's political
situation and the security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
are also expected to be included in the topics.
South Africa's Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said in a
statement released earlier today: "The SADC Ministers are expected to
prepare a report for the Chair of the Organ, Angolan President Jose Eduardo
Dos Santos, who will then present it to the SADC Summit scheduled for August
in South Africa for consideration." - Sapa
Friday, 18 July 2008
TANONOKA JOSEPH WHANDE
ZANU-PF and the two factions of the MDC are meeting in South Africa again.
Can anyone believe these people? For a long time now, they have held these
"talks about talks" to find a way of agreeing on what to talk about while
people are being killed by one group participating at these talks. I think
they are all just glad to be out of Zimbabwe and being somewhere where, in
addition to their stipends, everything is available. The fact that they are
unable to build on what they agreed upon in previous meetings is an
indication that someone is playing games and is attempting to fool the world
into thinking there is a chance through negotiations.
And if there is anyone who thinks Mugabe, Chinamasa and the ZANU-PF lot are
at these talks to negotiate themselves out of power then they need to have
their heads examined.
"ZANU PF has manifested an incredible catalogue of acts of bad faith," MDC
spokesman Nelson Chamisa said. "They have clearly shown that they are not
willing to be serious about the negotiations." We could have told the MDC of
this little detail, especially since they agreed to attend these talks while
violence continues to be perpetrated on innocent people. The MDC accepted
discussions when they are under duress and to now make demands at the table
is not going to achieve much, especially from ZANU-PF.
ZANU-PF knows exactly what they are doing and what they want while the MDC
is forced to react and to complain about this and that. ZANU-PF knows how to
bog down negotiations.
Meanwhile, its propaganda machinery has gone into overdrive and is trying to
portray Mugabe as reasonable and conciliatory by backing the formation of a
Government of National Unity (GNU) and releasing MDC people who should never
have been arrested in the first place. If talking is to be a way out, the
discussions should only be centered on the issue of the establishment of a
transitional government and not on a government of national unity. How can
national unity be born when, instead of showing contrition and stopping
killing innocent people, ZANU-PF keeps the pressure on by continuing to kill
innocent people so that it can be said that some form of agreement will have
to be reached to save lives? And that kind of agreement will most certainly
favour those committing the atrocities. The perpetrators of violence are
being given leeway to dominate a GNU and to continue with their evil ways
only this time it will be worse because Mugabe and his murderers will go
after the GNU colleagues in much the same way they did with their erstwhile
compatriots during and after the war of liberation.
Close the doors on these people for goodness sake!
If we agree that something is bad, why do we keep postponing its removal?
What kind of reforms can be implemented or take root while being carried out
within a violent atmosphere, when people cannot express their true wishes
and when a government is on the rampage, killing, abducting and arresting
members of the political group that they are supposed to be negotiating
I support the stand taken by the civic society of Zimbabwe which came out in
support of a transitional government vis-^-vis a GNU. Mugabe and ZANU-PF
must not be treated as authorities nor should they be given an advantage
over those who actually won the election. The fault with a GNU is that it
elevates and keeps those who lost and those who continue to harm our
citizens. A line has to be drawn and a transitional government is the only
other alternative, unnecessary as it may be, because it pushes everybody
back a distance and says, "On your marks..."
Let's see how Mugabe would run on a level playfield, under fair conditions
and in the absence of violence.
Mugabe can only win under lopsided conditions when murder, blackmail and
violence reign. This is why Zimbabweans refuse to accept Mugabe as the
winner of not only this past 'election' but of several others before that.
The issue of power sharing is a non-starter. Establishing a power-sharing
government is just the same as planting a ticking bomb under the nation of
Zimbabwe. We cannot believe that members of a power-sharing government will
be equals in any way. Some will start as people's favourites already while
others will start out as 'those people who murdered mom during the past
elections'. Others will distinguish themselves well and prove that ZANU-PF
has no decent, able legislators, thereby arousing deadly jealousy from the
less able and less popular ZANU-PF members of the GNU.
Friends, I am talking about what I know.
Do we not recall how violently Mugabe, Ignatius Chombo and ZANU-PF bigwigs
reacted when Harare elected engineer Elias Mudzuri as the first MDC mayor
several years ago? Suddenly, garbage that had piled up for decades started
disappearing on Harare streets. Rapidly, potholes the size of swimming pools
started disappearing. Mugabe was particularly incensed when the new MDC
mayor patched up the road leading to State House before any other roads.
The success of MDC mayors across the country caused a witch hunt that
resulted in the government removing all MDC mayors and installing lazy
stooges who knew nothing about civic duty.
We have been there before and we cannot go back there. A GNU is meant to
trick us and let Mugabe and his murderers keep a foot in the door so that
these cannibals can feast on us later.
The army and the police, whose loyalties to Mugabe and ZANU-PF are more
personal than professional, will continue taking sides like they have done
since 1980. Were it not for them, the constitution of Zimbabwe could have
saved and protected its citizens like it was meant to do. Now we don't have
a constitution and we are being asked to incorporate into a new government
those rejected by the people precisely because they not only abused the
constitution but killed defenseless people and continue to do so.
Zimbabwe needs a better solution, one that banishes Robert Mugabe and his
murderers to the deepest ends of oblivion. Never again should they be
allowed to negotiate their presence within even a thousand miles of state
power. Forget about Mbeki, he is as much responsible for the deaths as
Mugabe is. Mugabe should never be tried for genocide without Mbeki as his
co-accused. We cannot accept a GNU at any cost. What will the world think
and will it ever come to our rescue again if we agree to incorporate into
government unrepentant genocidal people, especially now when they continue
with their evil ways against us the very people who are supposed to give
these talks the thumbs up?
The MDC must be reminded that people are still nursing their wounds, with
many still digging graves for their loved ones who continue being murdered
by the people they are "negotiating" with.
Being part of a GNU with Mugabe and his executioners will make the MDC
sterile and render it totally impotent to be of any use to the people who
have courageously stood by it even in the face of deaths caused by the very
people they are sitting with at that table.
The negotiations in South Africa should be about who goes to The Hague
first. Nothing more.
July 18 2008 at 07:10PM
The Southern African Development Community's (SADC) unity and cohesion
is being "fragilised and threatened" by the ongoing electoral impasse in
Zimbabwe, Angolan foreign minister Joćo Bernardo de Miranda said on Friday.
Miranda, opening a meeting in Durban of SADC Ministers of the Organ on
Politics, Defence and Security, said: "The situation of the republic of
Zimbabwe is undoubtedly very complex."
He said the fact that there were "many interpretations" of the outcome
of Zimbabwe's recent election meant that the "unity and cohesion of SADC is
"It is our duty to defend and fight for the unity of our
The SADC Ministers of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security are
expected to meet and discuss several issues, including the "post electoral
situation in the Republic of Zimbabwe".
Miranda also said that the SADC had failed to implement the "univisa",
which should have been implemented by 2008 to allow citizens of SADC
countries to travel through the region with one visa.
The Zimbabwean foreign minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi
enthusiastically greeted Miranda and South African foreign affairs minister
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma after enduring the attention of press photographers
and television cameramen.
The ministers are expected to discuss Interstate Defence and Security
Committee issues, particularly on progress made by the police, defence,
public security and state security sectors.
They would also discuss the SADC Brigade that was launched on August
17 last year, and the launch of the Regional Early Warning Centre scheduled
for December 2008.
Malawi's political situation as well as the security situation in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) were also expected to be included in
Earlier in the day, a small group of Zimbabweans staged a protest near
Durban's International Convention Centre before the conference started.
The small group displayed a number of posters, including a banner
which read: "A Brave Africa can Save Zimbabwe".
All the protesters were wearing white shirts splattered with red ink.
South Africa's Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said in a
statement: "The SADC Ministers are expected to prepare a report for the
Chair of the Organ, Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, who will then
present it to the SADC Summit scheduled for August in South Africa for
The conference is expected to finish on Saturday. - Sapa
Friday, 18 July 2008 14:49
Former South African President FW de Klerk says Zimbabwe has reached a point
of no return.
Mr de Klerk said no negotiation would succeed unless it was based on the
result of the general election which put the former opposition party, with
its coalition, into the position of a governing party.
'Any effort to impose President Mugabe as an executive president on a
parliament in which he does not have a majority can't be an acceptable
democratic solution,' the former president said.
Meanwhile, South African President Thabo Mbeki and the African Union's top
permanent official, Jean Ping, are to discuss the crisis today.
Talks in Harare stalled after opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai refused to
sign a framework for negotiations.
Both Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change and the ruling ZANU-PF
party of President Robert Mugabe are under pressure to negotiate.
Diplomats in Brussels said the EU is expected to agree to widen sanctions on
Zimbabwe, including more travel bans and asset freezes on Mr Mugabe's inner
circle and measures against firms linked to him.
July 18, 2008
HARARE - Pressure yesterday mounted on MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai to
commit himself to the ongoing inter-party talks following his last-minute
decision to withhold his signature from a Memorandum of Understanding
setting the agenda for dialogue between his party, Zanu-PF and the Arthur
Mutambara-led MDC faction.
The First Lady, Amai Grace Mugabe, yesterday said Tsvangirai had proved
beyond all doubt that he was serving the wishes of the West.
Addressing thousands of people at Mupandawana Grow-th Point in Gutu, where
she donated agricultural machinery and food hampers, Amai Mugabe said
Tsvangirai should be ashamed of being an unrepentant puppet of the country's
She reminded Tsvangirai that the talks were a result of the ruling party's
determination to resolve the country's problems.
Traditional leaders and churches urged Tsvangirai to commit himself fully to
dialogue saying this was the only way the current challenges could be
"The refusal by Tsvangirai to sign the MoU is a sad development in our
country. It is unpatriotic and 'un-African'. By not committing himself, it
means he wants to see the suffering of our people go unabated. Nyika vanhu,
zvino kana vakafa nenzara unozovatonga sei?" said President of the Chiefs'
Council Chief Fortune Charumbira.
"Pachivanhu chedu, chero parufu chaipo vanhu vanotaurirana even if emotions
are high. Talking is an element of adequate emotional intelligence."
Chairperson of the Heads of Christian Denominations, Bishop Goodwill Shana,
urged politicians across the political divide to put self-interests aside.
"Our appeal to politicians is that we need solutions to our situation
urgently. Things are not looking good for the people and there is need to
put aside our narrow interests," he said.
The Mutambara-led MDC faction urged negotiators in the inter-party dialogue
to have faith in South African President Thabo Mbeki, who is facilitating
the inter-party talks.
President Mugabe, Mutambara and Tsvangirai were expected to sign the MoU in
Harare on Wednesday.
In an interview yesterday, the spokesperson for the Mutambara-led MDC
faction Edwin Mushoriwa urged negotiators to have faith in President Mbeki.
"There is no option to the Zimbabwean crisis besides dialogue. We remain
hopeful that reason will prevail and all political parties would commit
themselves to the talks," he said.
"Our position is that the facilitator is not the person who makes things
happen. We have no problems with President Mbeki. A mediator is different
from an arbitrator. President Mbeki is just a facilitator, and solutions
should come from Zimbabweans themselves. We should continue with the
negotiations being facilitated by South Africa."
Mushoriwa was hopeful the MoU would soon be signed to pave the way for
Political analyst Dr Tafataona Mahoso said after winning the June 27
presidential election run-off, Cde Mugabe
should appoint a new Cabinet.
"People are waiting for him (President Mugabe) to appoint a new Cabinet. If
he (Tsvangirai) does not want to sign, from the position of the people as
reflected on June 27, he can get lost in the Dutch embassy."
Tsholotsho MP-elect Jonathan Moyo was quoted on online new agencies
condemning the opposition leader for continuously shifting goalposts.
Moyo said Tsvangirai's MDC "keeps jumping around, shifting the terms of the
preconditions for talks".
"Today it's this condition that must be met, tomorrow it's something else,"
"They are trying their level best to defeat the progress of mediation so
that Britain will say 'Look, no mediation . . . so what? Let's use sanctions'!"
Moyo accused British Prime Minister Gordon Brown of trying to frustrate
President Mbeki's mediation thereby destroying the Sadc-initiated dialogue
and have a basis to impose more sanctions on Zimbabwe.
"Brown appears so convinced that (President) Mbeki will fail and that leads
me to believe he will use Tsvangirai to scuttle the mediation. There is
enough evidence already that Tsvangirai's group is not co-operating. Britain
is angry with (President) Mbeki also, they want him to have egg on his face.
It is clear the British strategy is to go back to the UN via the road of
failed mediation, and people must wise up to this challenge. People must
understand where Tsvangirai's instructions are coming from."
In comments to the Star newspaper in Johannesburg, Tsvangirai confirmed he
had not yet put his signature to an agreement but wanted to wait until
African Union Commission chairman Mr Jean Ping met President Mbeki in
"It is not that we are refusing to sign, but that the processes need to be
tightened," he said.
Tsvangirai has been pushing for greater involvement from the AU, but South
Africa this week said the issue of an additional mediator was fake and a
"It is a fake issue . . . I don't know of any formal position on this,
except in the media," South African Deputy Foreign Minister Mr Aziz Pahad
told a Press briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday.
He was speaking soon after Zanu-PF and the two MDC factions had already met
on Monday and agreed on the MoU.
Mr Pahad there had been no indication - to his knowledge - that an
additional mediator was needed.
An additional mediator was diverting from the fundamental issue that talks
"I don't believe that any new body . . . simply to be sitting there is what
Mr Pahad said he had been given no proof to substantiate claims that an
additional mediator was needed, allegedly because President Mbeki was taking
He said earlier reports that Mr Ping was arriving in SA for an "urgent
meeting" were not true.
"There is no emergency. If there was an emergency Ping would have been here
President Mbeki will meet with Mr Ping today. However, this is part of a
constant briefing to liaise on any progress made in talks to resolve the
Zimbabwe issue, said Mr Pahad.
On Tuesday South Africa described as "unacceptable" suggestions by a US
ambassador at the United Nations that President Mbeki was "out of touch"
regarding Zimbabwe's issue.
"The extraordinary and unacceptable statements made will be taken up through
diplomatic channels," Mr Pahad said.
"A British representative said South African mediation efforts had come to
nought and we have achieved nothing," he added.
"The US representative made remarks about Russia not being a worthy member
of the G8 and suggested that President Thabo Mbeki is out of touch with his
"These are not acceptable statements and we will take it up with those
The United States last Friday launched a scathing attack on President Mbeki
after Pretoria's UN envoy voted against more sanctions against Zimbabwe at
the United Nations Security Council.
"We are surprised by what appears as (President) Mbeki appearing to protect
(President) Mugabe," US Ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad said.
"I think he (President Mbeki) is out of touch with the trends inside his own
country." - Herald Reporter-Sapa-AFP.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
July 18, 2008
A SADC Summit, due to meet in South Africa in August, could find itself
confronted with a serious decision to make regarding one of their member
states, Zimbabwe. Lawyers representing the Zimbabwe government walked out of
a hearing at the SADC Tribunal in Namibia on Thursday, after a group of
Zimbabwean farmers asked that the government be held in contempt, for
breaching an interim order granted by the court in December, 2007.
The order stipulated that the government would not interfere with the
farmers' operations and would halt evictions until their case has been
heard. Yet several farmers on the case have been evicted since then and
others are being beaten and harassed by government-sponsored thugs.
Lawyer Jeremy Gauntlett, representing a group of 78 Zimbabwean farmers and
their farm workers, said this was the fourth time the Tribunal had tried to
hear arguments in the case. He explained that Thursday's hearing was again
plagued by delaying tactics by the Zimbabwe government lawyers.
The head of the Tribunal, Judge Louis Mondhlane of Mozambique, appeared
clearly upset by their behavior. He is quoted as saying: "The Tribunal had
allowed the government of Zimbabwe several postponements. It has formed the
view that the government was seeking at all costs to postpone these
applications, and this while the Tribunal was trying to build a house of
justice in the region."
Gauntlett appealed to the court to refer the case to the SADC summit due to
take place in South Africa on August 15. He said if the Tribunal judges find
the Zimbabwe government in contempt and present this to SADC, the regional
leaders will have to decide on punitive measures on Zimbabwe as a member
state. This could mean sanctions or expulsion from the regional grouping.
The government's lawyers were led by the Zimbabwean Ambassador to Namibia,
Chipo Zindoga. She had been overheard earlier laughing about the brutal
attack on farmer Ben Freeth, who was recently abducted along with his
in-laws by known government thugs, and was brutally assaulted and tortured
for hours before being dumped miles from their homes. Ironically it is
evidence from this incident that she laughed about that ultimately made the
contempt case against the Zimbabwe government.
The 78 farmers are challenging the government's so-called land reform
policies, saying that they discriminate according to race. They are also
challenging Constitutional Amendment # 17, which the government introduced
to deprive the farmers of their legal right to challenge evictions in court.
Farm workers and their families are also represented in the Campbell case
because they are being evicted, beaten and harassed by the government's
youth militia and so-called war veterans.
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
By Violet Gonda
18 July 2008
38 year old Reuben Muteke who was abducted and severely tortured soon after
the controversial one-man election run off, has died from his injuries. A
relative of the deceased, Thomas Mapfumo (not the musician), said Muteke was
abducted from his home four days after the run-off in Buhera's Chief
Nyashanu area and brutally tortured at Bedza torture base, by armed ZANU PF
Mapfumo said his uncle was bludgeoned with axes and iron bars by the
militia, led by a councillor called Patrick Chimbare. Many villagers were
assaulted in the area during the run-off election.
It's reported the longtime branch chairperson for the MDC sustained deep
cuts, internal injuries, broken legs and ribs. He was left for dead after
the assault and was taken to Murambinda Hospital, where he died on Saturday.
He is expected to be buried in Buhera on Saturday.
Pishai Muchauraya, the spokesperson for the MDC in Manicaland, confirmed the
death but we could not get a comment from the police in Mutare.
The MDC say the official figure of activists who died as a result of
political violence is over 115, but in reality could be more than 500. The
party's organizing secretary, Elias Mudzuri, said recently; 'They simply
abducted people, tortured them, killed them and disposed of the bodies
either in shallow graves or just left them in the bush. The government knows
better the number of people it has killed, but it's unfortunate they might
not disclose the figures."
Pre-dialogue talks are underway between the main political parties but
violence and arrests of opponents are still continuing. The police raided
the offices of the Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (ZIMCET) and the Catholic
Development Commission in Gweru on Friday.
The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition reported that the ZIMCET director and NANGO
Midlands province representative Peter Muchengeti was also arrested during
the raid on the ZIMCET offices. The Coalition said documentation relating to
victims and perpetrators of political violence was confiscated at both
Meanwhile, the situation in Gokwe is still tense. It's reported state
security agents were still manning Gokwe General hospital and denying
medical treatment to injured MDC activists.
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
The persecution of independent Zimbabwean journalists is hotting up by the
day. The latest victim is a friend and one-time colleague of mine. I shall
call him Brian. For some years Brian has supplied western and local media
with revealing and accurate news about the evils of the Mugabe regime. This
is his story:
Things began to go bad for me back in May. I received a call from a police
superintendent, a friend of mine based in my home town of Bulawayo. He
warned me not to enter any police premises. He told me an order had been
issued to the Police Internal Security Intelligence (PISI) to have me
arrested on trumped-up charges of theft of police property.
He said: "You will be arrested and beaten until you admit the charges. You
will also be taken into custody if you are seen covering a public
demonstration. They will say you were a part of it."
Some time later I received a call from another police contact, a
superintendent in Harare. He told me my name was now on a top ten hit list,
issued by the Joint Operations Command (JOC) to all squads.
My source told me: "They've been told not to waste time arresting you. Just
abduct you and beat you to death. You must lie very low for now."
Then yet another source told me that a Central Intelligence Organisation
(CIO) squad of two men and a woman had been despatched from Harare to find
and abduct me.
Soon after that friends began telling me that strangers were asking
questions about my movements - where I hung out, which internet cafes I
used, even where I sat when watching football matches.
Then I began receiving strange calls on my cell phone. The callers promised
me a major scoop about the attempted assassination of a top Mugabe man, if I
would agree to a meeting. I wasn't tempted.
Finally my best friend, who is also a CIO agent, called me. He said he had
been given the job of pinning me down, and would phone my house later that
day to officially check that I was there. He told me to make sure my wife
answered the phone. She should pretend to be in tears, with a story that I
had been abducted in an unmarked vehicle just hours before.
This my wife did, very convincingly. But I knew it was time to go into
hiding. I sent my family to a rural area, and lived with friends, frequently
changing addresses. I also visited some traditional faith healers in
Bulawayo. They all told me I was in danger, and gave me concoctions to repel
One said to me: "You are to be killed tonight. Do not return to where you
are staying. Your friend there has betrayed you."
(He was correct. Later I spoke to the friend, who told me he had been beaten
until he admitted that I was staying with him.)
It was clearly time to go. Next day I boarded a minibus and headed for the
border with Botswana. Amazingly, actually leaving Zimbabwe was no problem. I
passed through all controls easily. Apparently even in over-policed Zimbabwe
the left hand still doesn't know what the right hand is doing.
My wife and family have now joined me in Botswana, and soon we hope to move
on to South Africa. I may not be able to live in my own country any more.
But I hope we can all live without fear soon.
Posted on Friday, 18 July 2008 at 11:13
From The Cape Argus (SA), 17 July
By Hans Pienaar and Angela Quintal
Assaults with hot metal rods at torture bases, hoe handles, iron bars and
hammers were among the case studies collected by the Pan African
Parliament's observer mission as election violence continued in Zimbabwe
after the run-off presidential vote on June 27. Extracts from the report
were made available yesterday to the Independent Foreign Service by Suzanne
Vos, a member of the PAP (Pan African Parliament) mission. She said the
report was from people with whom the mission had made contact in all the
provinces in Zimbabwe. It was consistent with many other reports relating to
post-election violence that the observer mission had received, Vos said. The
report contains names, places and details of the injuries, all suffered by
Movement for Democratic Change members who were mostly office bearers. The
mission's final report on the elections will be tabled at the next plenary
sitting of the PAP starting on October 13.
A squash attendant from Glen Norah said he was beaten with burning firewood
after a sack had been pulled over his head. Zanu PF youths took him to their
base where they continued beating him for two days, so severely that he
cannot hear in one ear anymore and cannot remember what happened to him.
Several others also lost track of time and place while they were beaten for
hours on end. They were victimised for their known MDC affiliations, on
suspicion of having voted for the MDC, and in one case, after an argument
with elderly women supporting Zanu PF. A tax consultant from Tsigo Kraal
described how he was taken from a funeral by a mob to a Zanu PF base and
beaten with burning logs while blindfolded. Upon his release the victim "had
to give them $140 billion which was money collected at the funeral. Three
goats were also demanded".
One victim was told to give up her MDC regalia and forced to wash the dishes
at a youth militia base. "The victim . was instructed to take her ID and go
to the nearest polling station . in the custody of (a) youth. She was
instructed to state at the polling station that she was blind and to have
someone vote for her. She complied." A farmer from Tewede said: "After the
votes, there were alleged to be six votes for MDC." He and his wife were
accused of voting for the MDC and assaulted "with pieces of hose pipe, logs
and sticks". Some victims resisted. A polling agent from Norton recounted:
"War vets and Zanu PF had taken two weeks looking for us, playing hide and
seek . until they caught up with me after presidential elections. Eight Zanu
PF youths caught me and beat me with electoral code (sic) on the body and
booted me on the legs and heels. I later escaped after I overpowered one of
the members who was guarding me. I slept in the bush until I sought help." A
man from Budiriro said he had been walking home when three Zanu PF youths
questioned him about his MDC T-shirt and assaulted him. His injuries were
"severe". The Zimbabwe government could not be reached for comment last
"The situation in Zimbabwe is very tough. You can't even afford to buy food
or clothes. It's serious," he told Al Jazeera. "If I stay I will die; I will starve." Food shortages and inflation in Zimbabwe have led to a steep rise in staples
- a loaf of bread now costs Zim$75bn ($7.50). Givasa left his parents' family home in Harare, the Zimbabwean capital, at
nine in the evening and travelled for 15 hours, making one stop to buy some
peanuts, in the darkness of a truck's trailer with 11 strangers. At the Limpopo River, a natural border where those seeking to sneak into
South Africa have to negotiate not just the water but also razor sharp security
fences and a criminal gang, Givasa met the maguma guma. Criminal gangs Members of the maguma guma gang "help" hundreds of "border jumpers" who try
to illegally cross into South Africa every day. They bypass immigration by paying off Zimbabwean security officers and assist
jumpers to cross the river on the underside of a disused train bridge, at the
Beit Bridge border crossing. On the South African side of the border they cut holes in the three barbed
wire fences. Using mobile phones to alert one another, they wait in the bush until army
and police vans patrolling the border have passed and give the signal for
jumpers to run through to the other side. This is all for a negotiated price – Givasa paid R120 (US$16) to the maguma
guma, plus another non-negotiable R70 ($9.30) to pay off soldiers and security
guards. For those who do not have any money or do not take the maguma guma's
"assistance", the consequences can be dire. The maguma guma, a group of Zimbabwean men numbering in the hundreds, are
known for stealing from, raping and killing those who do not use their
"services". Beatings Tinashe, 27, had planned to cross the border by himself. "They wanted my money and took my shoes, jacket and R200 ($26.70) – all of my
money. "They then beat me on my arms with knives," he said, lifting his jersey to
reveal large red swellings on his upper arms where the weapons had hit but not
penetrated. Donald, who repairs fences along the border, said "wherever there is a point
where people cross there is a maguma guma with guns and other weapons". "They cut people's feet off and leave them dead in the river. I have seen
people coming over naked and with injuries." Corpses in the water Those jumpers who evade the maguma guma try to swim across the river
border. Even if they are strong enough to traverse the crossing which is 200m wide at
some points, they still have to be wary of the crocodiles that lurk below the
water's surface. Not surprisingly, there are many accounts of corpses in the water. Despite the dangers, South African troops, speaking to Al Jazeera on
condition of anonymity, say that there are too many people trying to cross the
border for them to handle. The situation in Zimbabwe elicits sympathy from security officials. One soldier said that he sees between 60 and 100 border jumpers a day. He
signals with his hands that he will arrest only 10 of them who will be taken
back to Zimbabwe. After reaching the South African side, jumpers may hide before making their
way to roadsides for pre-arranged pick ups or run the 3km to the South
African border town of Musina where they can negotiate a lift to bigger
cities. Stable existence They hope for a more stable existence there, but that often fails to
materialise. "It depends on what skills they have and how long they can evade the law.
They do domestic work and construction, for example. The conditions are terrible
and they are horribly exploited, working for very little," he told Al
Jazeera. Vigneswaran said the fact that the immigrants provide cheaper employment than
locals "creates a lot of legitimate problems between them and South
Africans". This was demonstrated in the xenophobic violence around the country in May,
in which 62 people died. South African gangs burned foreigners' homes and beat
them – blaming them for adding to crime and unemployment – leaving hundreds of
thousands of people displaced. In Musina, however, Loumo, a local waiter said that although there are a few
who dislike the foreigners' presence "lots of people help them with food and
clothes". But if they are caught by the government, they are often sent back. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said last week that South Africa
had sent 17,000 asylum seekers back to Zimbabwe in the previous 40 days. "The only Zimbabweans who are getting asylum are those who come into contact
with the UNHCR or our partners," Camilla Kragelund, the head of the UNHCR's
office in Musina, said. International law The UNHCR says that those seeking asylum should have access to South Africa's
internationally guaranteed asylum policies, which are supposed to ensure that
people will not be returned to danger or possible persecution. Siobhan McCarthy, the chief director for communications at the Ministry of
Home Affairs, said that the government was only adhering to the national
immigration act. "In terms of refugees we are obliged to review their cases and our reception
centre is choc-a-block," she told Al Jazeera. "The challenge is that a lot of people from Zimbabwe do not fit the refugee
and asylum criteria which is narrow under the UN convention." However, McCarthy said that the cabinet was reviewing its procedure, as "the
current policy isn't seen as efficient, in that it doesn't address the issue
that people are coming in quicker than they are being returned". There are presently more than 138,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers
in South Africa from various nations. Vigneswaren says that the real number is "anyone's guess". He said that in 2006 South Africa deported more than 250,000 people, mostly
from near the border. "My hunch is that the total figures have increased quite dramatically over
the past few years and mostly from Zimbabwe." Mothers and children The UNHCR says that there is worrying trend of increased numbers of mothers
and children crossing the border since Zimbabwe's general and presidential
elections in March. The opposition led by Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from the run-off, saying
government crackdowns on the opposition made fair elections impossible, leaving
Robert Mugabe to win unopposed. Although the UNHCR has said that these refugees are fleeing political
violence and upheaval in Zimbabwe – and there is significant testimony to that
in and around Musina – what Zimbabweans complain about most now that the
elections are over is hunger. The scores of pick-ups and trucks loading up basic goods, such as oil, sugar,
flour and toilet paper in Beit Bridge in South Africa is a good indication of
the shortage in Zimbabwe. Dealers drive from Zimbabwe to pick up goods for sale back home, or charge
those with passports for trips to buy essential goods. Others walk across the border and back with what they can carry. One civil servant who had walked from the Zimbabwean border said: "People
have nothing to eat. There is nothing there." Protection permits Malusi Gigaba, the deputy minister for home affairs, recently said increased
border management was required to combat illegal immigrants. The document says that tightening security to stop people illegally crossing
the border will only increase risk to immigrants, via more hazardous and corrupt
methods of getting through. The report on human smuggling across the Zimbabwean-South African border,
says increased security will also raise the demand for smugglers' services,
augmenting their resources and numbers. It says initiatives should be made by the South African government to
re-route people away from smugglers to legitimate border channels. Without such assistance, many will continue to cross the border illegally and
end up living a clandestine and perilous existence in South Africa. Givasa, who successfully jumped the border and arrived at the South African
border town of Musina the next afternoon, now sleeps on the streets in Musina
seeking to make his way to Johannesburg. "My life is tough," he said.
Friday, July 18, 2008
16:51 Mecca time, 13:51 GMT
By Rhodri Davies in Musina, South Africa
Limpopo river is a formidable obstacle to Zimbabweans planning to cross in to
To escape a life of abject poverty in Zimbabwe, Anton Givasa, 22, made an attempt to cross the 225-kilometre Limpopo River into South Africa.
maguma guma use various weapons to intimidate and kill
border fence has been broken through by people crossing into South
Africa Zimbabwean dealers loading
trucks with goods to take back to their country
Rights groups say South
Africa must give temporary protection permits to Zimbabweans [EPA]
"The situation in Zimbabwe is very tough. You can't even afford to buy food or clothes. It's serious," he told Al Jazeera.
"If I stay I will die; I will starve."
Food shortages and inflation in Zimbabwe have led to a steep rise in staples - a loaf of bread now costs Zim$75bn ($7.50).
Givasa left his parents' family home in Harare, the Zimbabwean capital, at nine in the evening and travelled for 15 hours, making one stop to buy some peanuts, in the darkness of a truck's trailer with 11 strangers.
At the Limpopo River, a natural border where those seeking to sneak into South Africa have to negotiate not just the water but also razor sharp security fences and a criminal gang, Givasa met the maguma guma.
Members of the maguma guma gang "help" hundreds of "border jumpers" who try to illegally cross into South Africa every day.
They bypass immigration by paying off Zimbabwean security officers and assist jumpers to cross the river on the underside of a disused train bridge, at the Beit Bridge border crossing.
On the South African side of the border they cut holes in the three barbed wire fences.
Using mobile phones to alert one another, they wait in the bush until army and police vans patrolling the border have passed and give the signal for jumpers to run through to the other side.
This is all for a negotiated price – Givasa paid R120 (US$16) to the maguma guma, plus another non-negotiable R70 ($9.30) to pay off soldiers and security guards.
For those who do not have any money or do not take the maguma guma's "assistance", the consequences can be dire.
The maguma guma, a group of Zimbabwean men numbering in the hundreds, are known for stealing from, raping and killing those who do not use their "services".
Tinashe, 27, had planned to cross the border by himself.
"They wanted my money and took my shoes, jacket and R200 ($26.70) – all of my money.
"They then beat me on my arms with knives," he said, lifting his jersey to reveal large red swellings on his upper arms where the weapons had hit but not penetrated.
Donald, who repairs fences along the border, said "wherever there is a point where people cross there is a maguma guma with guns and other weapons".
"They cut people's feet off and leave them dead in the river. I have seen people coming over naked and with injuries."
Corpses in the water
Those jumpers who evade the maguma guma try to swim across the river border.
Even if they are strong enough to traverse the crossing which is 200m wide at some points, they still have to be wary of the crocodiles that lurk below the water's surface.
Not surprisingly, there are many accounts of corpses in the water.
Despite the dangers, South African troops, speaking to Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity, say that there are too many people trying to cross the border for them to handle.
The situation in Zimbabwe elicits sympathy from security officials.
One soldier said that he sees between 60 and 100 border jumpers a day. He signals with his hands that he will arrest only 10 of them who will be taken back to Zimbabwe.
After reaching the South African side, jumpers may hide before making their way to roadsides for pre-arranged pick ups or run the 3km to the South African border town of Musina where they can negotiate a lift to bigger cities.
They hope for a more stable existence there, but that often fails to materialise.
"It depends on what skills they have and how long they can evade the law. They do domestic work and construction, for example. The conditions are terrible and they are horribly exploited, working for very little," he told Al Jazeera.
Vigneswaran said the fact that the immigrants provide cheaper employment than locals "creates a lot of legitimate problems between them and South Africans".
This was demonstrated in the xenophobic violence around the country in May, in which 62 people died. South African gangs burned foreigners' homes and beat them – blaming them for adding to crime and unemployment – leaving hundreds of thousands of people displaced.
In Musina, however, Loumo, a local waiter said that although there are a few who dislike the foreigners' presence "lots of people help them with food and clothes".
But if they are caught by the government, they are often sent back.
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said last week that South Africa had sent 17,000 asylum seekers back to Zimbabwe in the previous 40 days.
"The only Zimbabweans who are getting asylum are those who come into contact with the UNHCR or our partners," Camilla Kragelund, the head of the UNHCR's office in Musina, said.
The UNHCR says that those seeking asylum should have access to South Africa's internationally guaranteed asylum policies, which are supposed to ensure that people will not be returned to danger or possible persecution.
Siobhan McCarthy, the chief director for communications at the Ministry of Home Affairs, said that the government was only adhering to the national immigration act.
"In terms of refugees we are obliged to review their cases and our reception centre is choc-a-block," she told Al Jazeera.
"The challenge is that a lot of people from Zimbabwe do not fit the refugee and asylum criteria which is narrow under the UN convention."
However, McCarthy said that the cabinet was reviewing its procedure, as "the current policy isn't seen as efficient, in that it doesn't address the issue that people are coming in quicker than they are being returned".
There are presently more than 138,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa from various nations.
Vigneswaren says that the real number is "anyone's guess".
He said that in 2006 South Africa deported more than 250,000 people, mostly from near the border.
"My hunch is that the total figures have increased quite dramatically over the past few years and mostly from Zimbabwe."
Mothers and children
The UNHCR says that there is worrying trend of increased numbers of mothers and children crossing the border since Zimbabwe's general and presidential elections in March.
The opposition led by Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from the run-off, saying government crackdowns on the opposition made fair elections impossible, leaving Robert Mugabe to win unopposed.
Although the UNHCR has said that these refugees are fleeing political violence and upheaval in Zimbabwe – and there is significant testimony to that in and around Musina – what Zimbabweans complain about most now that the elections are over is hunger.
The scores of pick-ups and trucks loading up basic goods, such as oil, sugar, flour and toilet paper in Beit Bridge in South Africa is a good indication of the shortage in Zimbabwe.
Dealers drive from Zimbabwe to pick up goods for sale back home, or charge those with passports for trips to buy essential goods.
Others walk across the border and back with what they can carry.
One civil servant who had walked from the Zimbabwean border said: "People have nothing to eat. There is nothing there."
Malusi Gigaba, the deputy minister for home affairs, recently said increased border management was required to combat illegal immigrants.
The document says that tightening security to stop people illegally crossing the border will only increase risk to immigrants, via more hazardous and corrupt methods of getting through.
The report on human smuggling across the Zimbabwean-South African border, says increased security will also raise the demand for smugglers' services, augmenting their resources and numbers.
It says initiatives should be made by the South African government to re-route people away from smugglers to legitimate border channels.
Without such assistance, many will continue to cross the border illegally and end up living a clandestine and perilous existence in South Africa.
Givasa, who successfully jumped the border and arrived at the South African border town of Musina the next afternoon, now sleeps on the streets in Musina seeking to make his way to Johannesburg.
"My life is tough," he said.
By Staff | Harare Tribune
Updated: July 18, 2008 12:16
Attack on Luke Chipiro (Manicaland)
Luke Chipiro aged 60 is the MDC chairman for Chitinha Branch. He
was abducted from Nataniel Mutetwa's house on June 24, 2008 by two soldiers,
four youth militia in police uniform and a police Inspector Gwasela of
Nyanyandazi police station. He was taken to Nyanyadzi Police Station and
handed over to militia and taken to the torture camp at Nyanyadazi Training
Centre. He was assaulted by a number of militia including Mbuya Nehanda,
Crispen Mhlaba, Joe Zvinya, Crosswell Mugombi, Mai Chabuda and many youths
from Chaimiti. Luke was beaten all over his body but mainly his back for
several days. He was transferred to Mutambara Village, another torture base.
He boarded a bus for Mutare on July 14, 2008 and is admitted to hospital
where he is recovering.
Additional Violence Report:
Fungai Sithole (old man in picture) from Nyanyadzi held under house
arrest for three days and beaten and tortured. Not sure who by because he
was so traumatised he was incoherent. I got this info from the hospital
records. He needed extensive physiotherapy. He was beaten all over but his
leg was worst of all. He had a very large bruise on his head.
Jesse Sazukwa, 19 months old, from Meikle Farm. House was burnt by
Muniya the "owner" of the farm aged over 50 and a youth called Takawanda
from ZANU PF. The information came from her mother. Jesse had malaria so
actually the experience may have saved her life because she was taken from
the MDC provincial offices to SASU and paid for by Armani Trust.
Success Changadeya, three weeks,old, she had pneumonia from sleeping
outside after her house was also burnt at Meikles Farm. She was also brought
in from Provincial headquarters.
Crispen Rambo, a car washer from Chipinge town. Taken 3 am. Joseph
Chiminya Head of CIO in Chipinge, in official vehicle, and a gang arrived at
his house and broke the door down. They beat him and hit him on the head
with a piece of angle iron. They took him in the official vehicle 40 kms
from town to a place called Holland. They beat him again and left him
unconscious. He came around at around 6 am and then started walking and
was rescued by a well wisher who recognised him as a victim. The well wisher
is called Givemore Salani. He took Crispen to the MDC offices in Chipinge.
Crispen was brought in to Mutare and admitted at SASU.
Daniel Simango aged 24 was stabbed in his left eye. On March 30 he was
celebrating the victory of Mathias Mlambo in the Musirizwi area of Chipinge
and he was attacked by 4 Zanu PF youths from Chipinge East. Noblit Muhluaga
stabbed Daniel in the eye. Daniel was also beaten but he ran into hiding in
Mozambique until he came to Chipinge and went to the MDC offices. He was
brought into the hospital at the same time as Crispen. He has been
discahgarged with Crispen and I have lost touch with them.
House burnt down and he was taken to Chikobvore school in Nyazura and
beaten for three hours by Norbert Kuwanda about 55 years old and a war vet
and a fellow by the surname of Dangirwa, first name not known, but he is a
soldier from Rusape. His kidneys failed from the beating and he needed
dialysis, There was no suitable fluid. This was sourced from Medicienes Sans
He was in the Clinic for five weeks. His wrist was very badly broken
too and he was suffering from the emotional trauma. We are very good at
treating medical and physical needs but the mental trauma is appalling.
When admitted, he had massive bruising on his upper and lower back, buttocks
and under the feet and internal bleeding as he was bleeding from his rectum.
He was hit on the forehead and had extensive soft tissue injuries consistent
with assault by a solid object. He was an Agricultural extension officer
but since fired and is working at the MDC Provincial offices.
HARARE, July 18 2008 - The Arthur Mutambara camp of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) says the People's Shops launched by President Robert
Mugabe this week will only benefit ZANU PF card-carrying members.
Renson Gasela, the Mutambara camp deputy information and publicity
secretary, said ZANU PF was using the People's Shops to politicise food
Gasela predicted the idea of People's Shops would be a monumental
"These so called shops will also fail like everything that this
so-called government has tried to do," said Gasela.
The government is selling basic commodities at these shops, which are
supposed to be launched nationally, at ridiculously low prices.
"How are they going to sell these basics? Who will qualify to have
coupons? Clearly, the way limited maize has been made available in the
rural areas, that is using ZANU PF structures, is exactly the same way that
these basics will be sold. They will be available only to their members and
also those who will join in order to survive," he said.
Zimbabwe is grappling with a serious shortage of maize meal, the
stable diet of the majority of its 12 million population, and basic
commodities such as cooking oil, salt, sugar and bread. The World Food
Programme estimates that about 5,1 million people, both in urban and rural
areas, would be queuing up for food handouts by October this year.
Institute for War & Peace Reporting
President Mugabe promises to make cheap food available to all - but where
will he get the money to pay for it?
By Mike Nyoni in Harare (ZCR No. 155, 17-Jul-08)
President Robert Mugabe this week launched an ambitious programme to provide
subsidised food to millions of hungry Zimbabweans, but there are questions
about whether his government can bear the cost and whether the distribution
process will be fair.
According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, the Basic Commodities
Accessibility Programme will provide hampers containing enough maize meal,
baking flour, cooking oil, bath soap and salt to last a family of six for
The programme will also subsidise boarding schools, clinics and household
expenses using a coupon system.
Most of the goods on offer under the scheme have disappeared from the formal
market and can only be bought at exorbitant prices on the black market.
The hampers will retail at 100 billion Zimbabwean dollars, ZWD. At the
moment, unregulated street traders are charging this sum for one loaf of
bread. A 75 centilitre bottle of cooking oil will be valued at 12 billion
ZWD compared with the current street price of 150 billion.
On July 17, the official exchange rate was 25.4 billion ZWD to the American
dollar. Illegal street traders are offering closer to 75 billion to one.
Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono said the Gono said the government
programme would show manufacturers that "goods can be produced and sold to
people at affordable prices and still make a profit".
Yet most of the goods in hampers seen by IWPR were not produced in Zimbabwe,
but imported from South Africa. The financial burden of importing these
items has led some analysts to warn that the scheme could make the economic
situation even worse.
Zimbabwean leaders are clearly suggesting that the shortage of goods is a
result of profiteering by businesses, and has nothing to do with the
government's own macroeconomic policies.
"We want to confront market failure with market instruments. which will deal
with market indiscipline by way of profiteering and side-marketing at the
expense of the real consumer," said Gono.
In what has come to typify Mugabe's strained relationship with the private
sector, he used the launch to threaten business executives who are "in the
habit of exploiting the masses" with arrest if they failed to hold down the
prices of basic commodities to benefit the poor.
"There are other ways of getting them to heed the message, but behind doors
and behind bars," he warned.
In June last year, the government launched a campaign to slash prices,
ordering businesses to adhere to a pricing structure set by the authorities
and arresting businessmen who resisted.
It was a vain attempt to address the country's inflation problem, but
instead it resulted in panic-buying which cleared shop shelves, and the
closure of many retailers and manufacturers. In summer 2007, the
year-on-year inflation rate was around 4,500 per cent. This week, Gono said
the rate had reached 2.2 million per cent, although some economists put it
An aid agency official based in Harare said the government would not be able
to sustain the low prices because it lacked the foreign currency to fund
imports. He also said it was wrong to be importing finished products rather
than buying in cheaper raw materials and thereby stimulating Zimbabwean
"This is the most shocking yet programme for this illegitimate government,"
said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, as his agency has
just been allowed to resume distribution of food on a very limited basis.
"How can they import finished goods when local industry is operating at less
than 15 per cent capacity due to a shortage of foreign currency to import
raw materials? Olivine Industries and National Foods have all but stopped
producing oil because they can't get foreign currency from the Reserve Bank.
So where is the money coming from to import the same products from South
The aid official said the fact that grassroots leaders such as chiefs and
village headmen would decide how the hampers were distributed left the
programme open to corruption and discrimination. In particular, the
government's recent record on food policy suggests that anyone perceived to
be a supporter of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, MDC, rather
than Mugabe's ZANU-PF, could be excluded.
"This would be a noble project if it was sustainable," he said.
"Unfortunately it is not. It will soon be hijacked by party officials and it
might be hard for MDC supporters to access the hampers, especially if
everyone is required to produce [ZANU-PF] party cards. In the end, it shows
you that there is no substitute for local production."
Mike Nyoni in Harare is the pseudonym of a reporter in Harare.
Email from Zim;
Sent: Friday, July 18, 2008 6:49 PM
Subject: More dire warnings on FX & usual Govt blurb from Chronicle
I have not found anyplace in past week where I can buy anything other than
Businesses warned against charging in forex
Chronicle Reporter Friday, July 18, 2008
THE Attorney-General's Office has warned the business community against
charging for basic commodities and other services in foreign currency,
saying the practise was illegal.
The AG's warning came in the wake of reports that a majority of businesses
were demanding payment for goods and services in foreign currency.
"The Attorney-Generals Office has recently become aware that several
providers of goods and services are demanding payment from their customers
either in foreign currency or in kind," said the AGs Office in a statement.
The Attorney-General's Office said the practice, that has extended to the
payment of property rentals and institutional subscriptions, defies the
Reserve Bank Act which states that Zimbabwean banknotes constitute legal
tender for any payment made within Zimbabwe.
The office said payments in foreign currency are governed by the Exchange
Control Act and Regulations, which criminalises dealing in foreign currency
without the approval of an authorised dealer.
"The Reserve Bank Act makes it abundantly clear that the tender of a
banknote issued by the Reserve Bank constitutes legal tender for any payment
made within Zimbabwe," said the AG's Office.
The Attorney General's Office warned that no businesses or individuals
should decline to accept payment in Zimbabwean banknotes as demand for
payment in foreign currency without the approval of an authorised dealer is
illegal and liable to prosecution.
Most businesses and institutions, like schools are demanding payment in
The illegal practice has spread to domestic workers, prostitutes, faith
healers and even flea market traders who are also demanding foreign currency
or the equivalent in Zimbabwean dollars.
Basic commodities reach districts
By Owen Gagare
BASIC goods acquired through the National Basic Commodities Supply
Enhancement Programme have started arriving in some districts where they
will be distributed to villagers at affordable prices.
In Matabeleland North, truckloads of food were expected to arrive in Binga
and Bubi districts yesterday while basic commodities had also been
dispatched to other provinces countrywide.
Speaking in an interview yesterday, the Governor of Matabeleland North
Province, Cde Sithokozile Mathuthu, confirmed that the commodities were
expected in Bubi and Binga, adding that the distribution modalities have
already been worked out.
In a separate interview, the Provincial Administrator for Matabeleland South
Province, Mr David Mpofu, also said they were expecting the basic
commodities although he was not sure when they would arrive in his province.
"We are expecting the goods to arrive and we want to ensure that they get to
all households. Chiefs and other traditional leaders will play a big role in
distributing the food because we want to ensure that they get to all
households. We have already compiled a database showing the number of
households in each ward and village so that everyone benefits," said Cde
She said all districts would receive their allocation of the basic
commodities but they chose to start with Binga and Bubi so as to monitor the
The Governor expressed optimism that the programme would go a long way in
fighting the black market while also ensuring that life in the rural areas
becomes more affordable.
Cde Mathuthu said the country's enemies were using prices as one of the
weapons to fight the Government, but with basic commodities being available
at affordable prices, the enemy would be defeated.
"We want to defeat the enemy by ensuring that everyone gets the basic
commodities. If we do that, even the black market will become a white
market. People are turning to the black market because basic commodities are
not available on the formal market but if they become available then no-one
will buy from there," she said.
"For people in rural areas, they will receive the goods in their villages,
so there will be no need for them to board expensive transport to get into
town and then buy from expensive shops and the black market. They stand to
benefit a lot."
Cde Mathuthu said most of the goods would be sold directly to the people in
their villages while others would be sold from people's shops.
The consumers will have cards, which are stamped when they buy to ensure
that no-one benefits more than once from the one allocation.
The Officer Commanding Police in the province, Senior Assistant Commissioner
Edmore Veterai, said the police would monitor the movement and distribution
of the goods to ensure that they are not diverted. "We will monitor the
movement of the trucks and ensure that once they reach their destination,
they are emptied and everything is sold to ensure that there is no
pilferage. We will ensure that the programme is not abused," he said.
The programme was officially launched by President Mugabe in Harare on
Wednesday, with a warning that people who will abuse the programme would be
The President said the era of unjustified price increases had come to an end
following the launch of the programme.
And a project http://www.zimfa.gov.zw/zim/maguta.htm is being phased out as
something untold obviously went wonky
http://www1.chronicle.co.zw/inside.aspx?sectid=1501&cat=1 Friday, July 18,
2008Operation Inala to be phased out
By Kamangeni Phiri
OPERATION Maguta/Inala will soon be phased out as the Government is
concerned about the number of complaints from farmers with the manner it is
being run, the Minister of Agriculture, Cde Rugare Gumbo, revealed
Addressing councillors of the Zimbabwe Farmers' Union (ZFU) at the farmers'
organisation workshop at Vashandiri Study Centre in Mkoba, Gweru, Cde Gumbo
said Maguta/Inala teams were wrapping up their work for the winter season
and would not participate in preparations for the summer crop.
Operation Maguta/Inala was started about four years ago.
"My Ministry has received a number of complaints from farmers and other
stakeholders on the manner Maguta is being managed. This is the last season
that farmers will be working with them. We are phasing out Maguta/Inala.
They are just completing their work for the winter season. We will go it
alone for the forthcoming summer season," said Cde Gumbo.
He said his Ministry was working on modalities to ensure that Operation
Maguta/Inala teams would in future, work with ARDA which had a number of
large estates that were underutilised.
"We are putting in place measures for the Maguta teams to work with ARDA,
which has a number of large estates. Some of these estates are
underutilised," said Cde Gumbo.
He could not be drawn into disclosing the nature of complaints that his
Ministry received concerning Operation Maguta/Inala.
He, however expressed his gratitude to the Maguta/Inala teams and other
Government assisted programmes meant to restore the country's status as the
breadbasket of the region.
Cde Gumbo took a swipe at farmers for forming splinter unions instead of
working together for a common goal.
"There are just too many farmers' unions in the country. Proliferation of
farmers union does not help. You need to work together and be united so that
you improve production and the food situation in the country," he said.
Cde Gumbo said following the successful farm mechanisation programme by the
Government, there was no reason for the country to fail to boost food
production when other countries that were not mechanised were doing well.
"We can learn a lot from Malawi. The farmers there do not have farming
implements, they use their hands. They do not even have silos but we are
buying maize from them," he said.
Cde Gumbo said the farm mechanisation programme faced many challenges in its
initial stages of implementation resulting in some undeserving farmers
benefiting from the scheme.
"Farm mechanisation programme is a good programme but some of the
beneficiaries are not capable of using them. We erred in the distribution of
these implements as we did not sit down with stakeholders like ZFU and
Arex," he said.
"People are abusing the tractors given to them to increase production on the
farms. I hear there are tractors that are being used for carrying beer
(scuds) while others are being used to pirate. This has affected the
programme of farming."
Cde Gumbo said following the incessant and unevenly spread rains during the
2007/2008 season, there was need to replan and come up with ways of
utilising the country's water bodies to boost irrigation schemes.
"We have a lot of water bodies in the country. We need to revamp," he said.
Farmers briefed the Minister during question time on the need to reduce the
number of players who are involved in the distribution of inputs and
implements as certain individuals were benefiting from all schemes at the
expense of others.
"There are farmers who get seed and fertiliser from Maguta, GMB and get
loans from Agribank while others have nothing. There are no clear systems to
plug these loopholes.
"We need coordination. There should be a single entry point that helps
identify and vet beneficiaries. GMB, Maguta and Agribank are working in
isolation," said one of the farmers.
Others called for the scrapping of visa requirements for farmers willing to
travel to South Africa to purchase chemicals and other inputs for their
The farmers also bemoaned the producer prices of their produce, saying the
little amounts paid to them was proof that farmers were not taken seriously.
Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Bulawayo)
18 July 2008
Posted to the web 18 July 2008
THE 14 members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) who had been arrested on 28
May during a peaceful procession were remanded to trial on 26 August in
Harare Magistrate's Court yesterday morning.
Passports that had been confiscated as part of bail conditions were returned
and all reporting conditions were removed. The trial was to have been held
on 29 July but was postponed as the State was not ready.
On 15th July, two members charged with distributing materials likely to
cause a breach of the peace in Bulawayo Magistrate's Court were remanded to
16 September as, once again, the State was not ready to proceed to trial.
By Peter Semler
Published: July 18 2008 15:08 | Last updated: July 18 2008 15:08
This article is provided to FT.com readers by mergermarket-a news service
focused on providing actionable, origination intelligence to M&A
Movement of Democratic Change (MDC), Zimbabwe's main opposition party, will
conduct a wide-ranging review of existing concession licences and ownership
issues when and if they come to power, MDC Treasurer Roy Bennett told
mergermarket. Speaking to this news service from Johannesburg, Bennett said
that the MDC review could lead to the withdrawal of natural resources
concessions and possibly the confiscation of assets.
Bennett said that the MDC has already identified a number of companies that
it plans to target and that AIM listed Central African Mining & Exploration
Company (CAMEC) is on the "top of the list." Bennett also said that the MDC
is still preparing the list of both government-linked and private companies
that it would target once in power.
CAMEC chief financial officer, Andrew Burns, and its external spokesman
declined to comment on the possible revocation of its concession license in
Once in government, Bennett said that the MDC will revoke the mining
concessions granted to CAMEC by the Zimbabwean government and than resell
the concession rights through an open tender process. He said that he has
not yet held talks with companies interested in acquiring the assets and
concession rights held by CAMEC.
In April, CAMEC acquired Lefeyer from Zimbabwe Mineral Development
Corporation (ZMDC) for USD 5m, 215m CAMEC shares and an agreement to invest
USD 200m into the operations over an 18 month period.
Lefeyer holds a 60% stake of Todal Mining, which operates the Bougai and
Kironde claims, which had formerly belonged to Anglo-American affiliate,
Bennett also said that companies operating in Zimbabwe, such as
Anglo-American, should put all their planned investment or operations "on
hold" until a new government is in place.
An insider familiar with Anglo-American said that the company has in fact
put its planned USD 400m investment in developing the Unki Mines mostly on
hold, and that it is only investing in the upkeep and maintenance of the
projected platinum mine.
The insider also said that the company is confident that it will not lose
concessions at Unki in case of regime change in Zimbabwe and that any new
government would want to keep international investors such as Anglo-American
in the country.
The insider also said that there would be a line of buyers for Unki,
possibly from Russian and China, should Anglo-American pull-out.
A market observer said the question of ownership rights in Zimbabwe should
also have a significant impact on listed companies in the country,
especially in the banking sector. The observer said that run-away inflation
in Zimbabwe has "deformalised" the banking sector in the country.
By Tonderai Kwidini
HARARE, Jul 18 (IPS) - As state violence in Zimbabwe worsens, economists in
the capital Harare have warned that cutting international economic ties with
the country will hit the average person the hardest.
Statistics from the collapsing southern African country's ministry of
finance released in May 2008 showed that Zimbabwe is in a dire foreign
currency situation. Export receipts declined from 2.2 billion U.S. dollars
in 2000 to 1,7 billion U.S. dollars in 2006 to 1,5 billion U.S dollars last
Following the disputed elections earlier this year, labelled by many
African, European and American leaders as a ''sham'', the demand for further
sanctions against Zimbabwe has grown louder.
German company Giesecke & Devrient was pressurised to stop supplying the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) with special paper used to print Zimbabwe's
bearer cheques. These are a form of promissory note introduced to try and
deal with the country's rocketing inflation rate.
British retail giant Tesco also announced that it was to stop sourcing fresh
beans and peas from Zimbabwe as long as the political crisis continued.
Moves by these international companies are part of the latest measures by
western governments to put a squeeze on President Robert Mugabe, who stands
accused of imposing himself as leader on Zimbabweans amid escalating state
The poll was judged by observers from the African Union, Southern African
Development Community and Pan-African Parliament as not free and fair.
Tesco's decision not to source farm produce from Zimbabwe will hit small
private businesses in the agricultural sector the most. Giesecke & Devrient's
decision will affect the procurement of much-needed food, fuel and other
essential imports, John Robertson, a Harare-based economist, told IPS.
''As usual, it is the consumers, not the political culprits, who will bear
the brunt,'' he said.
But Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono sought to allay fears in
an interview with the Wall Street Journal, saying the cutting of the supply
of bank paper will create hassles but ''there is no need to commit suicide.
We are basically prepared for anything that comes our way''.
It is believed that the government will turn to China for the procurement of
Despite the latest turn of events, several British companies are still doing
business in Zimbabwe.
According to company records at the deeds office in Harare, these include
Standard Chartered and Barclays Bank, British American Tobacco (BAT),
British Petroleum (BP), Rio Tinto and Falcon Gold (Falgold).
U.S. firms such as Chevron and Coca-Cola and some Canadian mining firms are
still operating in Zimbabwe, although their scale of business has
drastically been reduced.
South African companies still active in Zimbabwe, include Anglo American
Corporation, which has interests in agro-industry and mining; Impala
Platinum; Metallon Gold; Standard Bank, whose Zimbabwean subsidiary is
Stanbic; and Old Mutual, which is involved in real estate and insurance.
Others are PPC cement company; Murray and Roberts construction company;
retail concerns Truworths and Edcon ; sugar producing concern
Hulett-Tongaat, which has a stake in Hippo Valley Sugar Estates; grocery
chains Spar and Makro, and SAB Miller, which has a stake in Zimbabwe's Delta
Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell is reported to be considering pulling out of
Britain, Zimbabwe's former colonial power, is still the largest foreign
investor in Zimbabwe, according to a study done by London-based analysts
Ethical Investment Research Services.
British investment fund LonZim said in a notice last month that it will
continue putting money into Zimbabwe to finance new investments.
Zimplats, majority owned by Implats South Africa, also weighed in with
reassurances, saying it will continue developing its platinum mining assets
in Zimbabwe and playing its role in rebuilding the economy for the benefit
of the people.
Among Zimbabweans there is an argument that some of these firms have become
predators in that they are prepared to suffer losses, hoping that once
political settlement is reached they will gain.
But Luxon Zembe, a Harare-based economic commentator, described the moves by
international firms to cut ties with Zimbabwe as unfortunate as they will
only worsen the plight of ordinary Zimbabweans.
''Right now the economy is operating at about 10 percent of its capacity.
Cutting economic ties will have negative implications as it will result in a
direct loss of goods and services and employment and will affect the
country's gross domestic product negatively.
''The solution to our crisis is purely political. Politicians in this
country have to sort out the mess before the economy can start taking off
again,'' Zembe told IPS.
He said politicians in Zimbabwe have failed by not respecting fundamental
''There is no company in the world that can invest in a country where there
is no respect of people's rights. As long as there is no respect for human
life, our country will remain in this mess,'' added Zembe.
John Makumbe, a political analyst and University of Zimbabwe lecturer,
argued that companies were justified in pulling out.
''ZANU-PF politicians have failed to run the country by not ensuring
stability for the economy. Right now there is a need for the politicians to
accept their mistakes. The denial mood will not help us now,'' said Makumbe.
In recent years, gross domestic product has fallen while inflation has
soared. Zimbabwe's economic growth figures were -4.4 percent in 2002, -10.4
percent in 2003, -3.2 percent in 2004, -4.3 percent in 2005 and -4.7 percent
in 2006, according to figures from the International Monetary Fund's African
Development database, published on August 30, 2006.
Although official figures from the Central Statistical Office (CSO) put the
country's inflation at 165,000 percent, some analysts believe that it is now
well over two million percent.
Wages are not keeping pace with inflation. Barter trade has become
increasingly common. Much trade is done on the thriving black market where
even basic items are now being priced in South African rand or U.S. dollars.
As always the case, what needs to be done in Zimbabwe and elsewhere is
handed down to us from the top and we apparently have no say in our fate.
The failure of the African Union to find the moral courage that their
citizens so emphatically want to see, once again disappeared like a puff of
smoke over the flames of international anger against an arrogant tyranny out
As if the UN was not lame enough already, the Chinese and Russian
governments used our suffering to play one-upmanship (amongst other reasons
of self-interest) against the United States' putting forward a simple
Security Council resolution, calling for an arms embargo on Zimbabwe, the
appointment of a U.N. mediator, plus travel and financial restrictions on
Mugabe and 13 top military and government officials for blatantly stealing
the Zimbabwe election before a disgusted world. Then again they are merely
upholding the right to crush their own people when the need arises.
As far as Thabo Mbeki's dubious leadership is concerned when whites
persecute blacks, no number of U.N. sanctions are too many. And when blacks
persecute blacks, any number of U.N. sanctions are too many. We have never
doubted his role in the plot.
And so things remain the same, or maybe not.
They seem to have forgotten that there is a Postscript to our destiny and
that lies not only with the disenfranchised people of Zimbabwe but the
ignored masses of the region. They are us and we are them and that
solidarity has already shown (through the refusal to dock the Chinese arms
ship) how it can be effectively used to empower our will against the
travesty of injustice inflicted on our brothers and sisters by the brutal
illegitimate ZANU regime.
South Africa's trade union federation, COSATU, has already taken a lead in
this by mobilising solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe in their struggle
for democracy and human rights through conferences, demonstrations, specific
boycotts and workers' pressure.
This struggle has many fronts and if we believe, that we in the Southern
African region deserve better and have been abandoned, then our consciences
needs to arise above our leaders' failure and serve notice to the Mugabe
regime through our individual actions. We can identify those in the
Zimbabwean government and beyond who perpetuate and perpetrate intimidation
and violence on the population and hold them accountable by isolating them
through our actions beyond the country's borders.
Whether it may be:
. Refusing to serve them at airports, hotels, restaurants, and shops.
. Notifying the press and progressive organisations of their presence.
. Expose those with whom they conduct business.
. Making sure no more arms reach the regime.
as well as countless other ways to let them know that they are culpable for
the misery they have inflicted on the Zimbabwean populace who have
democratically rejected them and deserve change.
They need to be held accountable and if the likes of the Russia's and
China's of this world don't think so, then they should take note that
Peoples' Sanctions are ready to be deployed.
Some of the region's leaders may muffle our voices but our spirit can be
manifested through our actions to reflect what we believe is right and
wrong. By consolidating our efforts, progressive organisations could and
should take the lead and work collectively to inspire and disseminate
information under the common theme of Peoples' Sanctions.
It is imperative that our dissatisfaction with the political impasse over
the tragedy of Zimbabwe be known and acted on. We have it within ourselves
to speak up against those who profit through fear and oppression for the
sake of humanity and our children's future.
As an African proverb reminds us, 'when spiders' webs unite, they can tie up
18th July 2008
Today July 18 is Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday. A musician celebrating the occasion in South Africa was interviewed on the BBC this morning. He was asked what quality it was that made Mudiba so universally loved and admired. Unhesitating, the answer came back, 'His humility.'
Think of South Africa and you think of Mandela and
smile; think of Zimbabwe and you think of Robert Mugabe and weep. Yet their ages
and backgrounds are not so different. Both men have suffered imprisonment, both
men have fought unjust colonial regimes but there the resemblance ends. In fact,
the contrast between the two could not be greater: Mandela's warmth and charm
come over even on camera. You feel better just to see that beautiful smile; such
grace and dignity emanate from the man that youngsters the world over who were
not even born during apartheid love and admire him. His sympathy for young
people and children is manifest in everything he does. Of course, he has faults,
he is human after all but it is that very humanity that earns him the world's
love and respect. It is the very opposite quality in Robert Mugabe, his
inhumanity towards his own people, that has earned him the world's
For me as a former teacher and trainer of teachers, the one story coming out of Zimbabwe this week that most shocked me was the account of war veterans going systematically from school to school in Lupane (Mat North) ejecting children from their classrooms, not because their parents had not paid their school fees but because they were MDC supporters. These pro-Mugabe war vets say they will not rest until all children whose parents support the MDC stop attending 'Zanu PF schools' Could there be any greater evidence of Mugabe's inhumanity? To deprive children of their basic human right to education because of their parents' political allegiance is utterly inhuman. Anyone supporting the opposition is, in Mugabe's eyes, less than human and therefore not worthy of human rights. His thuggish war veterans and Youth Militia have totally swallowed Mugabe's philosophy; no surprise then to hear of the involvement of foreign mercenaries assisting them in the unrelenting violence in the country. The story steadily gaining credence is that a certain Major Portrais Mpiranya, a Ruandese 'genocidaire' on the run from the ICC has been given refuge in Zimbabwe along with 4000 Hutu refugees. This week certain men have been spotted in Manicaland alongside Zimbabwean militants carrying out the brutal attacks on civilians. The 'strangers' as the local people describe them, speak neither Shona nor Sindebele nor English. They travel with interpreters who give them their orders and their methods are brutal in the extreme and include gouging out eyes, burning buttocks and genital mutilation. The question has to be asked: Have the dreaded Interahamwe come to Zimbabwe and more to the point who is paying them for these crimes against humanity being committed in the name of Mugabe's 'Final battle for control'? Thugs have to be paid, more money has to be printed and, as surely as night follows day, inflation continues to rise.
This week the reserve Bank Governor himself announced that inflation in the country had risen to 2.2 million %. In response Robert Mugabe launched his National Basic Commodities Supply Enhancement Programme. At the televised ceremony Mugabe announced the programme would put an end to profiteering and 'would bring basic goods to the people at affordable prices.' Pictured in the Herald, the goods were displayed in dear little baskets strangely reminiscent of the sort of 'krisimus bokis' that Rhodesians used to dole out to their employees once a year. But this was presidential magnanimity and each basket contained, so the Herald reported, cooking oil, laundry and bath soap flour and mealie meal to the value of Zim$ 100 billion, the price of a loaf of bread presently. It goes without saying that the first port of call for Mugabe's munificence is the rural areas where the chiefs and headmen will be in charge of distribution. These same chiefs who have sold their souls to Mugabe in exchange for cars, generators, and lord knows what other benefits will have yet another opportunity to demonstrate their loyalty to Mugabe by carefully excluding opposition supporters from his benevolence. Once it was the colonial masters who exploited the traditional rulers in a policy of 'divide and rule', now it is Zimbabwe's first and only black president as he still considers himself to be. Speaking at the ceremony to launch this rescue of the economy, Mugabe said this intervention was 'part of efforts to bring relief to the people while measures were being taken to revitalise the productive sector' Exactly how dishing out food hampers is going to achieve this miracle is not clear. Where have all these goodies come from anyway? Inflation, Mugabe claims, is the fault of illegal sanctions, Britain wants regime change so that they can continue to exploit the resources that Zimbabwe is endowed with. (I thought the Chinese had already done that!)
More than anything else that Mugabe said at the
launch of his food hampers, one particular remark caught my attention. Speaking
of profiteering which he blamed along with sanctions for inflation and high food
prices, Mugabe said, 'We do not want people behind bars…we would want our
prisons to be empty than full but, alas, just now they are brimful and we do not
know what to do' There is one thing he could do. Release the thousands of MDC
activists and supporters from gaol and halt the violence, that just might help
to persuade the MDC that Robert Mugabe still has some remnants of humanity left.
What Zimbabwe desperately needs right now is a gesture of good will from Robert
Mugabe. Then the current talks about talks might really lead on to a
Yours in the (continuing) struggle. PH Click here for your copy of Countdown by Pauline Henson aka PH
By Alex Bell
18 July 2008
South African company, Globecast Satellite, whose two employees were
acquitted of reporting on the March elections without accreditation, is now
being charged with the illegal importation of broadcasting equipment.
The company's technicians, Sipho Maseko and Abdulla Gaibee, were acquitted
by an Harare magistrate after they were arrested on March 28th for
contravening the Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The pair was
rearrested outside the court under the premise that the ruling was not
"proper", but the men were later released in April.
Globecast is now in a court battle to prove it was not in violation of
Zimbabwe's Broadcasting Services Act, after it was invited to the country to
provide a satellite uplink during the controversial March elections.
The court heard on Tuesday that Globecast used its satellite uplink to air
an interview done by CNN with the Minister of Information and Publicity Dr
Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, without the knowledge of Zimbabwe's Transmedia
Corporation, who provided Globecast's operating licence.
Acting Chief Executive for Transmedia, Cloud Nyamundanda, told the court
that Globecast was in breach of the contract with his corporation as they
provided the satellite uplink in the absence of an engineer from Transmedia.
He also argued that Globecast started transmitting a day before their
contract allowed them to.
Globecast managing director, Melanie Gibb told Newsreel on Friday that the
charges came as a surprise because the company has "worked with Transmedia
on several occasions for other elections and sporting events" and the
contract over the March elections was the same as previous working
agreements. She said she was concerned because the "CEO we usually deal with
has not been heard of or seen since the elections" and the group has no
working history with the acting CEO, Nyamundanda.
Nyamundanda, during Tuesday's court proceedings, failed to explain how
Globecast would have known that they were not supposed to commence
transmission services before the 28th March when it had not been
communicated to them.
The trial is expected to continue on 22nd July when more witnesses,
including the Minister of Information and Publicity, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, are
expected to give evidence.
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
From The Star (SA), 18 July
Fiona Forde and Hans Pienaar
Pressure is mounting on President Thabo Mbeki to negotiate a speedy
settlement in Zimbabwe, with Kofi Annan calling on him to accept the Zanu PF
chief and his MDC counterpart as equals. And church leaders from Southern
Africa yesterday called for immediate sanctions on Zimbabwe. "Robert Mugabe
and Morgan Tsvangirai must be able to enter into a dialogue on an equal
footing, as two leaders," Annan, the former UN secretary-general, said last
night. He was speaking at Unisa in Pretoria, where he received an honorary
doctorate in literature and philosophy. Progress can be made only when the
conditions are right, Annan told the gathering. He said he was speaking on
behalf of The Elders - a group that includes Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu
and former US president Jimmy Carter - in calling "for a speedy and robust
mediation to resolve the political crisis" and to put an end to "this crisis
of governance, as human lives and livelihoods are at stake".
Annan also called for an end to political violence and said "the current
interim Zimbabwean government must meet its responsibility to protect its
citizens". He also appealed for the release of political prisoners. Despite
putting pressure on Mbeki to negotiate a speedy settlement in the interest
of all Zimbabweans, Annan did not criticise Mbeki for his efforts thus far,
or appeal for African Union bodies or envoys to aid him in his efforts. In a
careful turn of phrase, he said: "The mediation effort should have but one
master: the Zimbabwean people. And they in turn should know that they have
the support of the international community. They do not stand alone." His
words were delivered on the eve of Mbeki's meeting with AU Commissioner Jean
Ping, who he was expected to brief on a memorandum of understanding that was
scheduled to be signed on Wednesday, but to which Tsvangirai refused to lend
his signature at the eleventh hour. The Movement for Democratic Change
leader has said the document is flawed and biased and that the MDC will not
sign it until they are satisfied that Ping has been fully briefed on its
Church leaders from across the region were less gracious yesterday when they
called for an extra mediator to be deployed to the talks, and demanded that
sanctions be imposed on Zimbabwe. In a petition signed by several dozen
leaders, they also called for Robert Mugabe's government to be condemned as
illegitimate. In a scathing attack on Mbeki, the document appealed to him to
refrain from "making any statement that might be perceived to compromise his
impartiality" as chief facilitator. They also demanded that Mbeki recognise
the "extreme urgency" of the situation, and use his influence to halt
political violence, which they attributed to "state-sponsored intimidation".
The leaders advised Mbeki to listen to a wider range of voices, in a more
honest and transparent mediation process. The petition came at the end of a
four-day special summit on Zimbabwe by Southern African churches in the
reformed tradition. It was sponsored by the SA Council of Churches.
HARARE, July 18 2008 - A 12-member Zimbabwe squad, probably one of the
smallest teams at next month's Olympic Games, will represent the country
from 8-24 August in Beijing, China.
Zimbabwe has named a lean team because most of the most of the
athletes failed to attain the Olympic qualifying times. Australia will send
the largest team at the Games - 433 athletes.
Zimbabwe will be represented by world swimming champion Kirsty
Coventry, United States-based swimmer Heather Brand, sprinters Brian
Dzingai, Lewis Banda and Young Talkmore Nyongani, marathon runners Mike
Fokorani and Tabitha Tsatsa, middle-distance runner Cuthbert Nyasango,
mountain bike rider Antipas Kwari, triathlete Chris Felgate and female
tennis star Cara Black, among the possible medal hopes.
The last athlete to join the team is United States based long jumper
The long jumper's monstrous leap of 8.30m in the long jump finals on
12 June booked a team ticket into team Zimbabwe. The 27-year old athlete,
who set a national record, is now ranked the sixth best long jumper in the
world, after his giant leap at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Drake
Stadium, in Des Moines, Iowa. Irving Saladino from Panama is the world's
number 1 long jumper. He jumped 8.73m on 24 May.
The Zimbabwe team is set to be officially unveiled on Friday night.
The guest of honour is Minister of Education, Sports and Culture Aeneas
Local sporting apparel maker Faithwear will clothe team Zimbabwe. The
company unveiled Z$300 trillion clothing sponsorship of the team in Harare
Kirsty Coventry (swimming)
Heather Brand (swimming)
Cara Black (tennis singles)
Lewis Banda (100m and 200m)
Brian Dzingai (100m and 200m)
Young Talkmore Nyongani (400m and 200m)
Chris Felgate (triathlon)
Mike Fokorani (marathon men)
Tabitha Tsatsa (marathon women)
Cuthbert Nyasango (half marathon)
Ngonidzashe Makusha (long jumper)
Antipas Kwari (mountain bike riding)