The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Govt Probes Food Politicisation

Bulawayo, June 30, 2012 -Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday said
the Cabinet has set up a team of Ministers to deal with rampant food
politicisation by Zanu-PF.

“The Cabinet has already set up a team of Ministers to investigate and deal
with the issue of food politicisation.

“This food is for every Zimbabwean and we want to make sure that deserving
people in rural areas benefit from it regardless of the parties which they
support,” Tsvangirai told journalists in Tsholotsho after commissioning of a
United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)funded water sanitation and
hygiene programme.

Early this year the government announced that it has extended the grain loan
scheme to March next year to cushion villagers whose crops were wiped off by
a dry spell during this cropping season.

Under the scheme, all households facing food deficits will get maize from
state owned Grain Marketing Board. Provinces that are facing food shortages
include parts of Manicaland, Masvingo, Matabeleland South and North and some
parts of Midlands.

Recently human rights group Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) said hundreds of
hungry Zimbabwean villagers are being denied food handouts and forced to
denounce their own parties in return for assistance as marauding Zanu PF
militants continue to wage war of attrition against perceived political

The MDC accuses Zanu PF of using local councilors, village heads, and
traditional chiefs to sideline their supporters in rural areas from
government food lists that are used when distributing food.

According to statistics from the World Food Program (WFP) indicated that
more than one million Zimbabweans are currently in need of food aid
following the continuous dry spell that has been affecting the national

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Generals will be retired: PM

Written by Own Correspondent
Saturday, 30 June 2012 14:24

HARARE - Military generals dabbling in politics will be forced to retire if
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai wins the next election.

Tsvangirai, whose relations with the military top hierarchy is rocky, said
this in Bulawayo yesterday.

Tsvangirai warned uniformed forces against meddling in politics. He urged
them to stick to their constitutional mandate of safeguarding the nation
from external threats.

“I will remove one rotten tomato from the basket so that it does not spoil
all other tomatoes,” he said while addressing civic organisations and church
leaders in the country’s second biggest city.

They had asked him about the worrying trend of military generals making
public comments about elections.

The groups were concerned that the generals, by declaring that they will not
support or allow anyone other than Mugabe or a liberation war veteran to
take over the presidency, were effectively threatening a coup ahead of

The generals’ statements have also raised fears of a return to the
instability of the 2008 disputed elections when military commanders took
charge of Mugabe’s re-election campaign.

The church and civic leaders wanted assurances from Tsvangirai that the
military would be kept in check when elections are held.

The army generals have continued with their public statements despite
regional Sadc leaders also warning that such behaviour undermined democracy
and put Zimbabwe at risk of volatility.

Tsvangirai said soldiers should concentrate on their core role and desist
from interfering in other people’s duties.

“And the uniformed forces must stick to their duties while I, as a
politician, stick to my constitutional duty to the nation,” he said.

Tsvangirai told journalists at a press conference on the same day that
Mugabe’s comments about elections being held this year were empty.

He described the demand for elections this year as a pipe dream by Zanu PF
because an elections roadmap that stipulates electoral, media and security
sector reforms as agreed by coalition partners and endorsed by regional Sadc
leaders, remained unimplemented.

“Elections are process driven. They should be guided by satisfactory
implementation of media reforms and electoral reforms and the way forward
depends on a new constitution which will guarantee a peaceful transfer of
power,” he said.

He said a draft of the new constitution will be available next week after
being delayed by more than a year due to political bickering and funding

Tsvangirai added he remained unfazed by reports of defections from his party
in Bulawayo.

“We are a democratic party and it is a democratic right for every individual
to choose which party to belong to. There have been defections to our party
but should we then parade those that opt to join us each time someone does
so?” the PM asked.

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ZEC Chief in the Dark on Election Date

Harare, June 30, 2012- Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Chairperson
Simpson Mtambanengwe says he is in the dark on when the country’s next
elections will be held.

Mtambanengwe told a meeting of civic society groups this week that he is
just like many Zimbabweans in the dark about the election date.

He said his office is working on speculation in preparing for the eagerly
awaited plebiscite which President Robert Mugabe ad his Zanu PF party says
should be held this year.

“When I came from Namibia in 2010 to take up this appointment it was
envisaged that the constitutional referendum will happen in July but now two
years down the line and we are approaching another July and the
constitutional draft has not gone before the principals and even if it does
there are certain steps that has to happen and one of them is the All
Stakeholders Conference,” said Mtambanengwe.

“I can tell and my honest answer is that we don’t know when elections will
happen, we are only waiting and speculating.”

Further pressed on what he will do if his commission is forced to organise
an election in an environment which is not free and fair the former Namibian
High Court judge told the gathering that he will cross the bridge when he
gets to it.

“If it comes to a crunch time, where we say do we stand by the principle or
we succumb to being bulldozed into conducting an election you know will not
be free and fair, that choice we will make when we get to that position,”
said Mtambanengwe.

Mtambanengwe himself a war veteran also took the opportunity of the meeting
to implore the country’s liberation war heroes who have often been
implicated in acts of political violence to live by the ideals of the
country’s war of liberation by safeguarding people freedoms and democracy.

“Political violence is sometimes associated with ex-combatants or war
veterans, we forget that in bringing liberation to this country those of us
who were involved as leaders in the struggle, actually taught them (violence
perpetrators) the philosophy of violence with the slogan that power comes
from the barrel of the gun and we continued with the ideas that you want
something you must use force,” said Mtambanengwe.

“We have to start re-educating them to say if you fought for freedom and
democracy and you go and force someone to vote the way you want and not the
way he or she wants are you abiding by the principals which motivated you to
sacrifice your life for the liberation of Zimbabwe. It’s a hard lesson to
teach, it takes time.”

Mtambanengwe said he holds probably the most difficult job in the country
because of the pressure that usually comes with elections in the country.

“As chairman of ZEC I am very much at the receiving end, I include my fellow
commissioners because we have a very awful responsibility. In the context of
peace, we bear a very heavy responsibility.

“Someone at the beginning of my tour of duty as chairperson of the
commission said something very profound and that without God’s intervention
you can’t do it. I believe so, the duty that has been put on our shoulders
is a heavy duty particularly in the context of Zimbabwe,” he said.

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Zim needs new referendum law: Zec

Written by Lloyd Mbiba, Staff Writer
Saturday, 30 June 2012 14:27

HARARE - The holding of a constitution referendum hangs in balance as
Zimbabwe does not have an existing law that allows for it to take place,
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) revealed yesterday.

Justice Simpson Mtambanengwe, chairperson of Zec told journalists on the
sidelines of a workshop on election management yesterday that areferendum
cannot be held presently because the existing referendum law needs to be
amended to accommodate changes that have taken place.

He said if a new referendum law was passed, his commission is ready to hold
the referendum.

Mtambanengwe said: “However, as you may be aware the conduct of a referendum
is governed by the provisions of the Referendums Act (Chapter 2:10). The
current Referendums Act was promulgated in 2000 for the 2000 referendum and
makes reference to structures that were in place then, to conduct elections
as well as referendums that is the Registrar General of Elections.

“The conduct of referendums is now a function of the commission and there is
need for the act to be amended first before referendum can be held.

“The commission has held discussions with the minister of Constitutional and
Parliamentary Affairs responsible for administering the Referendums Act, to
discuss possible amendments to the act.”

Eric Matinenga, minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs said he
wants a new referendum law to be passed as it will not take too long to
enact if all parties involved agree on the draft.

“In the coming weeks I will pitch the draft to the Cabinet. If it is
approved by the Cabinet committee on legislation the Attorney General will
look at it before it goes to Parliament,” Matinenga said.

Lack of a legislation which permits Zec to hold the referendum further puts
hold to President Robert Mugabe’s call for early elections.

Mugabe has been calling for early elections arguing that the unity
government is dysfunctional. However, the time consuming stages that a draft
bill undergoes for it to be passed into law can further delay
the holding of elections, as the ballot vote has to take place under a new

The Referendums draft bill, after being drafted has to pass through
Parliament and be assented to by the President for it to be a law.

Mtambanengwe further said the ministry of Finance has not availedfunds for
either the referendum or the constitution.

Asked by journalists on claims that Zec consists of partisan staff
Mtambanengwe said “ This statement is not true, the Zec commission consists
of members who went through a rigorous parliamentary interview process and
were selected by the President from a list of 12 nominees submitted to him
by the parliamentary committee on standing rules and orders.”

Zec roundtable meeting on election and conflict management involved Joint
Monitoring and Implementation Committee, Organ on National Healing,
Reconciliation and Integration, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the

Delegates agreed that a peaceful environment needs to be established before
elections can take place. Zec said it will continue holding meetings with
stakeholders to get solutions of electoral-related conflict.

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Zanu (PF) abandons District elections

By Staff Reporter 22 hours 40 minutes ago

HARARE - The embattled party led by Robert Mugabe Zanu (PF) says its
Politburo has recommended to the Central Committee for the removal of
District Coordinating Committees (DCCs) from the party structures.

Addressing the Central Committee in Harare this Friday, Mugabe said they
have realised that the DCCs have been divisive and causing disharmony in the
party, hence the need to discard them.

"We are afraid that the DCCs have become a weapon that is dividing the
party," said the President.

Zanu PF Secretary for Information and Publicity, Rugare Gumbo said the
meeting came up with a resolution that the DCCs have outlived their purpose
and were causing divisions instead of unity among party members.

"We came up with a resolution that the DCC has to be disbanded with
immediate effect. There will be an amendment to the party's constitution to
enable that," said Gumbo.

He said former DCC members will be either co-opted into district or
provincial structures or should simply go home and rest and wait for
opportunities in the party.

The Zanu PF organogramme has the Congress as the supreme organ, followed by
the People’s Conference, the Central Committee, the Consultative Assembly,
the Province, the DCC, branches and cells.

During the meeting, the Mugabe also spoke of Zanu PF as a party that has the
baggage of history and success, adding that more success has been its
hallmark, as failure was never considered and option.

Central Committee members were informed to get ready for an extra ordinary
session to consider the debate on the country’s new constitution and the
management committee is said to be doing the final touches on the draft

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What sanctions?: Mujuru

Written by Fungi Kwaramba recently in Victoria Falls
Saturday, 30 June 2012 14:39

HARARE - Sanctions should not be an excuse for failure to deliver services
to the people, Vice President Joice Mujuru said on Thursday.

Speaking at the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) annual general
conference in Victoria Falls, Mujuru deviated from the usual Zanu PF mantra
that Zimbabwe is failing to progress economically because of trade embargoes
imposed by Western countries.

“Excuses that we give each other are that we have sanctions and no lines of
credit. This means that our minds are sanctioned as well. The biggest
problem is us and not sanctions which were imposed on us by some other
people,” said Mujuru.

President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party last year launched an
anti-sanctions petition which Mujuru also signed.

Mujuru admitted that as a government, the parties are failing the nation
because of constant bickering.

“Why is it that among ourselves we are working as strangers in the same
country, in the same government?” asked Mujuru.

Mujuru, who is widely regarded as sober by business and Zanu PF’s opponents
also challenged business to concentrate on its role and not to meddle in

“The business of business is to do business and make money for us. Leave
politics to us. You want to make us your masters, but we are your servants,”
said Mujuru.

Mujuru along with other top government officials, are accused by civil
society of abandoning the mandate bestowed on them by voters as they focus
more on wealth accumulation.

Mujuru admitted that, at the moment politicians are just “enjoying” and not

“We are not supposed to enjoy the golden chairs you give us, give us
responsibilities because right now we just enjoy ourselves,” said Mujuru.

As Zimbabwe heads towards elections, the former ruling party has however
upped the tempo against sanctions.

Political analysts say the former ruling party uses so-called sanctions as a
campaign tool along with its populist policies such as indigenisation.

Human rights activists say sanctions have become a blessing and not a curse
which Zanu PF politicians use as an excuse for not being transparent.

Mugabe’s partners in the troubled Government of National Unity (GNU) running
Zimbabwe have refused to be roped in the anti-sanctions hype and instead
they accuse Zanu PF and its policies of stunting economic recovery.

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Indigenisation: banks given July deadline

29/06/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

FOREIGN-OWNED banks have until July to comply with the country’s
indigenisation programme, National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment
Board chairperson, David Chapfika, has said.

And in apparent reference to Finance Minister, Tendai Bit, and central bank
Governo,r Gideon Gono, who have vowed to block implementation of the policy
in the financial services sector, Chapfika warned that any attempts to
resist the programme would be futile.

“There are no sacred cows, there is no special sector. At this point saying
the banking sector is special would be foolhardy,” Chapfika told the ZBC.

Foreign companies are now required by law to transfer control and ownership
of at least 51 per cent of their Zimbabwe operations to locals.

After forcing compliance in the key mining sector, Empowerment Minister
Saviour Kasukuwer, now says he will target the financial sector which is
dominated by British banks, Barclays and Standard Chartered as well as the
South Africa-controlled Stanbic.

The government claims foreign banks are undermining economic recovery and
growth by refusing to fund agriculture and black-owned businesses.

But Gono has warned that the indigenisation programme could destabilise a
sensitive economic sector adding he was prepared to issue new banking
licences to locals keen to start their own banks.

“We are ready to issue licences along the lines of villages, friendships and
totems should people so wish to go into banking,” Gono said recently.

“It is improper, it is not right for us to want to destabilise the financial
sector by pursuing short-term gratifications and which can only lead us to
unintended consequences.

“This is not a stance that is anti-indigenisation, definitely not. We are
simply saying let’s have order and we will not tire in insisting on the need
for order in the financial services sector.

“A bank is different from a manufacturing company, and mining. It is a
custodian of people’s confidence.”

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Tobacco prices up 39 percent

29/06/2012 00:00:00
by Roman Moyo

THE average price of tobacco went up by 39 percent from an average of
US$2,69 per kg in May 2011 to US$3,74 per kg in May 2012, the African
Development Bank (AfDB) has said.

According to the banks’ June Zimbabwe economic review released this week,
AfDB said the 2012 tobacco-selling season had continued on a positive note,
a development that had benefited the farmers.

“The average price of tobacco went up by 39 percent from an average of
US$2,69 per kg in May 2011 to US$3,74 per kg in May 2012,” said AfDB.

The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) on Wednesday said tobacco
worth US$465 million had been sold at the country’s three auction floors
compared to US$321 million sold during the same period last year.

In 2011, a total of 125 million kgs of tobacco had gone under the hammer
over the same time. The sales volume translate into a 6,32 percent increase
from the 118 million kg sold last year.

TIMB statistics show that the daily average price was US$3,52 compared to
US$3,13 per kg last year.

Premier Tobacco Floors auctioned 9 million kg worth US$32,7 million at an
average price of US$3,63 per kg.

Boka Tobacco Auction Floors handled 14,5 million kg worth US$51,2 million at
an average price of US3,53 per kg.

Millennium Tobacco Floors auctioned 8,5 million kg valued at US$30,5 million
at an average price of US$3,61 per kg.
Contract sales amounted to 76,6 million kg worth US$290,6 million at an
average price of US$3,79 per kg.

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Lack of Capital Derailing Zimbabwe's Attempts to Revive Wheat Farming

29 June 2012

Gibbs Dube | Washington

Zimbabwe's parliamentary agriculture committee says lack of state funding
and serious power outages are hampering efforts to boost wheat production
amid revelations government is spending millions of dollars on cereal
imports for domestic consumption.

Reacting to reports that the government has so far spent almost $27 million
this year on wheat imports instead of funding winter wheat production, some
members of the committee told Studio 7 that most farmers are not accessing
capital to buy the necessary inputs.

Committee member Moses Jiri said Zimbabwe’s failure to release $20 million
which was set aside this year for wheat production also indicates that the
government wants to import cheap wheat at the expense of local producers.

Indications are that farmers have so far only cultivated 10,000 hectares of
wheat instead of the projected 26,000 hectares. The country needs 400,000
tonnes of wheat annually.

Jiri said wheat imports are not even creating jobs in the agriculture
sector. “Importing wheat will not solve serious challenges being faced by
local farmers,” he said.

Independent economist Rejoice Ngwenya believes that government should stop
funding under-performing wheat farmers.

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Minister Says Zimbabwe Not Ready to Scrap Maternity Charges

29 June 2012

Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye | Washington

Zimbabwe is not yet ready to scrap charges for pregnant women, Health
Minister Dr. Henry Madzorera revealed Friday, dismissing reports in Harare
that clinics and hospitals will in the next two weeks stop asking women and
children to pay.

Madzorera said the government had adopted a policy to scrap user fees but
was not ready to implement it just yet.

The minister said a feasibility study is currently being carried out to see
whether the government can afford to scrap the user fees completely, adding
it will only be around December that he would know whether funds to allow
that would have been made available by the finance ministry.

Madzorera said the government should move quickly to bridge the gap left by
the European Union, which is pulling out of a program that assisted pregnant
women with complications to get blood transfusion for free.

He said Harare will tap into the Health Transition Fund, financed by the EU
and other partner organizations, to ensure pregnant women continue to
receive transfusion if required.

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), maternal mortality
ratio (MMR) in Zimbabwe has worsened significantly over the past 20 years.

At least eight women die everyday while giving birth. This translates to a
maternal mortality ratio of 725 deaths per 100,000 live births, according to
the Zimbabwe Maternal and Perinatal Mortality Study.

Meanwhile, the health ministry Friday launched an anti-smoking campaign in
Binga, Matebeleland North Province, hoping to convince hundreds of thousands
of tobacco smokers to quit the practice that kills about 6 million people
around the world every year.

Binga South lawmaker and State Enterprises Minister, Joel Gabuza told VOA
the anti-smoking campaign highlighted the dangers of smoking to the young
and old alike.

Smoking is associated with fatal lung and heart diseases such as heart
attacks, strokes, lung cancer and the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,
among others.

Gabuza said the campaign also seeks to appeal to tobacco companies to stop
misleading the public with glamorous advertisements that encourage the
public to smoke without pointing out the dangers of lighting up.

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Zimbabwe President Mugabe wants 100 percent local control of economy

Harare, Sat, 30 Jun 2012 ANI

Harare, June 30 (Xinhua-ANI): Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Friday
said the country wants 100 percent control over the economy by local people
while foreigners come in as partners.

Mugabe said Zimbabwe must get the lions share from the exploitation of its
natural resources, arguing the 51-49 percent ownership model was no longer
acceptable as it was leaking the country. Foreigners benefits must be
minimal, around 10 percent, he stressed.

He said this when addressing his ZANU-PF party's central committee.

Zimbabwe's Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Act, passed into law over
three years ago, says that Zimbabweans must be majority shareholders with a
minimum of 51 percent in major companies across the economy.

"It is a leakage, the 49 percent. Now we want the 100 percent to remain in
the country," Mugabe said, reiterating that Zimbabweans must be in control
of the economy while foreigners come in as partners.

"That is why we are talking of ownership and not mere participation. We are
no longer inviting outsiders to come and do business for us, we want to do
business ourselves. Outsiders must come as participants, as workers or as
employees. Even if they come as companies, we hire them to do our own
business," he added.

Mugabe said Zimbabwe with the highest literacy rate on the African continent
Zimbabwe had trained enough people to be able to run the economy. He however
said there appeared to be a "lack of zeal" among locals to run the economy.

He said professionals in various fields must form ventures that will
participate in different sectors of the economy.

Mugabe said after successful conclusion of the land reform program, it was
now time to venture into other sectors to empower locals.

He said the West had adopted covert means to take over control of the
continent's resources. "They also use, subvert and twist international law
and even twist the charter of the United Nations, " he said.

Mugabe said the West was also using 'gullible' African leaders in pushing
forward their agenda.

He warned members of his party to be wary of being used in the quest to take
over Africa by the West. (Xinhua-ANI)

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Virtual lecture hall links UZ to world

The Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) and Econet Wireless
officially launched a new Virtual Lecture Hall (VLH) at the University of
Zimbabwe (UZ) on Friday morning.
by Steve Eldon Kerr

The VLH allows lectures, complete with slideshows and video conferencing, to
be streamed into UZ from around the world with the use of a screen,
speakers, and the internet.

Speaking at the launch, Laura Broadhurst, Zimbabwe Programme Manager at
CARA, said that the project grew out of a series of consultations with
Zimbabwean academics in 2010.

“One of the critical issues raised was the brain drain of academic staff,”
said Broadhurst.

The ‘Virtual Lectures’ were therefore designed to help with teaching
shortages in the College of Health Science and the Faculties of Science and
Veterinary Science, but CARA hope the technology will also be used to engage
the diaspora in Zimbabwean academic life.

“It is hoped that this project will not only enable members of Zimbabwe’s
academic diaspora to re-engage with UZ’s future but that it will improve
standards of teaching and research, and facilitate increased networking and
collaboration with universities outside Zimbabwe,” said Broadhurst.

Trial lectures have already been successfully broadcast from Buffalo
University in New York, UNESCO-IHE in the Netherlands, and Tanzania, while
academics from King’s College London will start streaming lectures in
Anatomy and Physiology in the new academic year, as will lecturers from
Queen Mary’s School of Dentistry.

“With capacity for 200 students in this lecture hall, this project has the
potential to reach Zimbabwe’s next generation of students studying at the
CHS, FoS and FoVS: 3 extremely important areas for the future of [the
country],” said Broadhurst.

The project, funded by Econet Wireless, has been welcomed throughout the
academic community. Dr. Sue Onslow, Visiting Lecturer at The London School
of Economics offered her congratulations to the team and called the launch
of VLH “superb news”, and Prof. Midion Midion Mapfumo Chidzonga of the
College of Health Sciences at UZ said, “this is the great moment we all have
been waiting for: turning the virtual into reality.”

In response to a question from The Zimbabwean about the frequent power
outages in Harare, Broadhurst assured the paper that “there is a dedicated
generator and internet cable for the project ensuring reliable internet and

CARA was founded in 1933 to provide periods of sanctuary for academics and
support continued academic engagement worldwide in the face of unfavourable
world events.

Academics, Zimbabwean and non Zimbabwean, who wish to be involved should
contact CARA's Zimbabwe team with details of their teaching background in
the Health, Natural and Veterinary Sciences and where they are based. The
organisation’s website is

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Snakes, eels and burning maize bags

Dear Family and Friends,

Standing on a bridge, looking down into a cold mountain river, I
wondered what the chances were of seeing a trout. It was a quiet
winters morning in an uninhabited area and my patience was rewarded,
not with a fish but with a reptile. A thin green snake swam across the
river, sliding on the surface of the water, from one bank to the
other. At the far side, the snake struggled to get a grip on the
slippery bank before disappearing into the bush. It had all happened
so fast that for a moment I wondered if it had been an illusion.
Walking away from the river along a red dirt road, square chips of
mica sparkled and glistened where they lay amongst the dust and
stones. Turning off the road onto a narrow little path which wound
around tussocks of sun bleached grass and dry, scratchy shrubs,
another surprise awaited. Right there, in the middle of the path, was
a great excavation: a pile of red soil alongside a deep, angled hole
which you could not see the bottom of. This was an Antbear hole but
could just as well be hiding some other creature and its innocent
appearance was as much of a deception as the swimming snake and
shining mica sparkling in the dust.
A little later, near a pool in the river, a sudden movement in the
water caught my eye. It was an eel and within seconds disbelief was
confirmed as a few of us gathered at the water’s edge to witness
this rare sight. Over a metre long, the African mottled eel swirled
and twisted in the crystal clear, mountain water. For a few seconds
the eel lay still in a patch of sunlit water, cameras clicked madly,
capturing a memory that will long be cherished.
Back in the real world, newspapers and emails provided the contrasting
image of Zimbabwe – the one we struggle to live in and survive every
day. One news report told of Russia holding negotiations to supply us
with military helicopters in exchange for platinum mining rights in
the Darwendale area of Zimbabwe. It’s impossible to understand moves
likes this which are in direct contradiction to the incessant
propaganda about indigenisation and the mantra that Zimbabwe’s
resources, in, on and under the ground, are only for indigenous, black
skinned Zimbabweans. Another report told of 300,000 tonnes of maize
recently imported from Zambia. The irony was that the maize had been
grown in Zambia by Zimbabwean farmers who had been evicted from their
farms and had their property seized by the Zimbabwe government in the
last decade. The Zambian grain is being given out to rural Zimbabweans
by the government’s GMB (Grain Marketing Board) in a grain loan
scheme. One rural recipient described bags of grain he received which
had stickers with the name and address of the grower – a
dispossessed ex Karoi farmer now producing food in Zambia. The sad
story got worse with a statement from a source in the GMB who said
they had now been ordered to repackage the imported maize and destroy
the Zambian bags which showed the identity of the growers.
Finally, came the photograph taken recently of our town’s fire
engine. The fire department to whom all of the town’s residents are
required to each pay a monthly levy of US$ 1.82, was hard at work.
They weren’t busy extinguishing a blaze but with carrying people.
The double cab of the fire engine was so full of people that more had
perched on top. Four people, in their own clothes, are clearly visible
sitting on top of the fire engine as it stopped to cross an
intersection in the town. And this is what we are all paying a ‘fire
levy for?’
After a week of swimming snakes, antbears and eels followed by
Russians, helicopter gunships, burning maize bags and passengers
sitting on top of the fire engine – you have to wonder what is
reality and what is illusion. Until next time, thanks for reading,
love cathy. 30th June 2012. Copyright � Cathy Buckle.

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