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Zanu-PF to campaign for Kariba Draft

July 20, 2009

By Owen Chikari

MASVINGO - Zanu-PF has allegedly deployed youths and war veterans across the
country to campaign for the adoption of the so-called Kariba Draft of the
constitution which is at the centre of a dispute between President Robert
Mugabe and the MDC.

The constitution-making process moves into the second phase which involves
the gathering of information from the general public after a constitutional
conference held in Harare early last week.

Highly placed sources within Zanu-PF told The Zimbabwe Times that the party
had deployed youths and war veterans to several parts of the country to
campaign for the adoption of the Kariba draft.

Mugabe has made it clear he was behind the adoption of the draft
constitution crafted by the MDC and Zanu-PF in the town Kariba two years
ago, albeit with minor amendments.

The MDC is vehemently opposed to the move, saying the Kariba draft should
now be used only as a reference, along with other constitutional proposals
of the past.

The conflict was played out at the constitutional conference when Zanu-PF
supporters raucously disrupted the meeting at the Harare International
Conference Centre on Monday.

Sources say the party has now mobilised its more militant supporters to
campaign for the Kariba draft.

"We have deployed youths and war veterans to campaign for the party," said
the Zanu-PF source. "Our party has a position, and that should be spread to
the grassroots level.

Zanu-PF has used war veterans and national youth service graduates in
previous election campaigns. The supporters have been accused of harassing,
assaulting and even killing opponents.

"We have been using war veterans and young graduates from the national youth
service to campaign for us in elections and we are again going to use them
during the constitutional reform process," said the Zanu-PF source.

There are strong fears that the deployed youths and war veterans will harass
and intimidate the public during the forthcoming information-gathering phase
of the constitutional reform process.

"We have told them not to beat up anyone but I cannot guarantee they will
not do so," said the source.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou on
Friday confirmed that war veterans and youths had been deployed to different
schools around the country.

"Some of our teachers have left their stations in fear of the deployed
youths and war veterans," said Zhou.

"They are telling us that the schools are going to be named 'youth friendly
centres' but to us it's plain intimidation," said Zhou.

He said the gangs had been deployed to several schools in Masvingo and

The constitutional reform process suffered a temporary setback on Monday
when Zanu-PF supporters disrupted the All-Stakeholders' Constitutional
Conference by singing, dancing, jumping onto tables and pelting the
conveners of the meeting with water bottles.

The meeting only resumed the following day on Tuesday after leaders of the
three political parties in the Government of National Unity condemned the

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Fresh intake ruled out as UZ reopens

Monday, July 20, 2009

Herald Reporter

THE University of Zimbabwe will not enrol new undergraduate students when it
opens on August 3 as there are still first-year students registered last
November who are yet to attend classes.

The decision to reopen the university follows the injection of funds by the
Government for the restoration of basic services and infrastructure at the
country's largest institution of higher learning.

In an interview last Friday, University of Zimbabwe Vice Chancellor
Professor Levi Nyagura said students would be admitted upon the payment of
tuition and other mandatory fees.

The 20-week semester will end on December 18 this year.

Students in the Faculty of Humanities will pay US$404, sciences US$504 and
veterinary science US$674.

Prof Nyagura said the university was working in partnership with the
ministries of Higher and Tertiary Education and Finance, City of Harare and
Unicef to address the water problems.

"Unicef drilled 13 boreholes at our institution - four of which have good
water output. Three were fitted with 20 000-litre tanks each, pressure
tanks, booster pumps and electrical pumps. Each will feed into the
underground supply line," he said.

The institution closed in February this year, citing water problems among
other challenges.

In April it recalled health sciences and postgraduate students to continue
with their studies.

Prof Nyagura said the institution had lost considerable time and could not
accommodate two groups of first-year students as those enrolled last
November were coming back.

He said no students would be allowed into the halls of residence as the
available water was not sufficient to cater for them.

Prof Nyagura said the fourth borehole would soon be connected to another
tank to boost water supply.

The City of Harare had shown interest in addressing the water crisis at the

Students would be admitted into halls of residence once a permanent solution
to the water problem was found, the Vice Chancellor said.

Prof Nyagura said in June, UZ received US$250 000 from the Government to
restore basic services which had already been completed.

This month, the institution again received US$250 000 from the Government to
repair the plumbing system, carpentry and electrical works as well as
repainting buildings.

"To date, the university has received a total of US$179 000 for operations.
This has enabled the university to reduce its debt and to empower faculties
and departments to commence preparations for resumption of teaching and

"With the reinstatement of salaries, we are confident that the institution
will be able to attract and retain both academic and senior non-academic
staff," said Prof Nyagura.

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'Keep political differences out aids fight'

by Norest Musvaba Monday 20 July 2009

CAPE TOWN - President Robert Mugabe and his partners in Zimbabwe's
power-sharing government have been urged to set aside political differences
and cooperate in the fight against HIV/AIDS ravaging the southern African

HIV/AIDS is a major killer in Zimbabwe claiming at least 3 000 lives
per week with the impact of the pandemic worsened by food shortages and a
public health system that remains largely dysfunctional despite spirited
efforts by international donors and the government to improve food
availability and efficiency in public hospitals.

The Harare-based Association for the Rehabilitation and Prevention of
Tuberculosis (RAPT) and the Johannesburg-based Southern Africa Treatment
Movement (SATM) on Sunday said Zimbabwe's principal political leaders should
separate politics from social service delivery if they were to make headway
in the fight against HIV/AIDS as well as in their attempts to resuscitate
the public health sector.

"What we want this unity government to do at this particular point in
times is see that social services institutions such as hospitals are
revamped," RAPT coordinator Ellen Ndimande told a press briefing on the
sidelines of the ongoing 5th International AIDS Society Conference in Cape

"When Tsvangirai (Morgan, Prime Minister) or Mugabe and Mutambara
(Arthur, Deputy Prime Minister) go out there to source for funding they
should be in a position to say we are sourcing funding for our country and
service delivery services which is very independent from party politics,"
said Ndimande.

Addressing the same press briefing, SATM regional coordinator Netsai
Dzinoreva urged international donors not to place too much on emphasis on
politics where it involved anti/HIV/AIDS projects.

"They (donors) should look beyond Mugabe, Tsvangirai and all other
politicians . . . while there are political issues to be solved they must
also begin to realise that the persons on the ground, grass roots people are
the ones who are affected most," said Dzinoreva.

Zimbabwe's unity government has promised to revive the country's once
brilliant economy and restore basic services such as health and education.

But the administration, which says it needs US$10 billion to rebuild
Zimbabwe, could fail to deliver on its promise unless it is able to unlock
vital financial support from rich Western nations that have refused to
direct financial aid to Harare until they see evidence that Mugabe is
committed to genuinely share power with his former rivals. - ZimOnline

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Zim communal farmers to get maize seed

by Own Correspondent Monday 20 July 2009

HARARE - Zimbabwean communal farmers are set to benefit from a World Bank
programme to boost food production in the southern African country that will
see a total 300 000 smallholder farmers receive seed packs for the 2009/2010

But the programme, targeting about 300 000 households most vulnerable
families in rural communities who may not be able to secure inputs for the
new farming season, will not be extended to newly resettled farmers because
the land they are occupying is under dispute.

"Higher priority will be provided to female headed households, and those
with high dependency ratios caused by HIV/AIDS or similar health problems,"
the Word Bank said in the project document.

Each household would receive 10kg of certified maize seed, and approximately
275 000 households are expected to benefit while another 250 tonnes of maize
seed will be distributed through rural retail shops in exchange for vouchers
in the bank's pilot project to rebuild Zimbabwe's national seed industry's
retail distribution systems.

"Approximately 25 000 households are expected to gain access to seed through
these vouchers," said the World Bank.

"None of the seed will be distributed in Zimbabwe's newly resettled areas
where land rights may still be contested," the bank added.

Several white farmers are contesting the seizure of their farms which
started in 2000 when President Robert Mugabe embarked on his controversial
land reform programme.

The chaotic and often violent land occupations saw thousands of white
farmers lose their land to supporters of Mugabe's ZANU PF party but a
Southern African Development Community Tribunal last year ruled in favour of
the dispossessed farmers, ordering the Zimbabwean government to let them
stay on their land.

Harare has however refused to recognise the ruling.

The seed distribution programme would be implemented by GRM International -
a private sector entity - and would distribute approximately 2 750 tonnes of
hybrid maize seed sourced from domestic and regional producers of varieties
approved for Zimbabwe.

The project would be undertaken within the framework of the British
government-funded Protracted Relief Programme (PRP), which is the largest
source of agriculture assistance and input distribution for smallholders in
Zimbabwe in the past four years. - ZimOnline

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Tekere accuses Tsvangirai of selling out

July 19, 2009

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - Veteran politician and freedom fighter, Edgar Tekere, says the two
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) parties sold out by allowing President
Robert Mugabe to retain his post as President in the inclusive government
when it was clear he had lost presidential elections held last year.

Tekere said he was praying for the success of the government of national
unity but had placed his faith in what he called "the Morgan Tsvangirai
 Trio" to dig Zimbabwe out of its current economic catastrophe.

He said the trio comprised Prime Minister Tsvangirai and his two deputies,
Arthur Mutambara, leader of the smaller MDC, and Thokozani Khuphe,
Tsvangirai's deputy in the mainstream MDC.

"I see them as a trio," Tekere said. "We must assist them. They are the ones
who are sweating to make our country come back to life."

The former Zanu-PF secretary general said he was currently not attached to
any political party in Zimbabwe.

Tekere, popularly known as Two Boy, was addressing a seminar in Harare
Friday afternoon.

The two-day seminar was convened by Mutambara's office to craft Zimbabwe's
Vision 2040 document.

It brought together politicians from different parties, leading business
personalities, church groups and representatives of civic organisations to
provide input for the document.

"Don't allow yourselves to be divided," he said. "I urge all Zimbabweans to
respect this thing I call the Tsvangirai Trio.

"Once we adopt that attitude, we shall then isolate those who have plundered
this country."

Tekere was clearly referring to President Mugabe and his top supporters in
government and the business community, who over the years have been accused
of engaging in rampant corruption.

"We have a tremendous task of reconstructing this country," he said.

"I want to put my faith in the Tsvangirai Trio. Please, please, please, Cde
Mutambara, go to your colleagues in the Tsvangirai trio and tell them Two
Boy is now on a campaign to tell the country to get them out of the way."

"But in spite of all that, I have a strong word of rebuke against you.
Professor Mutambara, makapisira (you sold out). That was very big treachery.

"If it was Mbeki who persuaded you to do that, I am sure by now you should
have learnt better. It was apparent Tsvangirai won that election even if it
was by half a vote. Mugabe lost.

"And you went on to make that mad concession that Mugabe becomes Head of
State. Haikona (It can't be)!

"Musasopisira so (You cannot sell out like that). This Tsvangirai Trio
conceded too much. Now we have a mammoth task to salvage the situation."

Tekere said the MDC should not be crying foul that President Mugabe was
unilaterally appointing his loyalists to key government posts because he
still had the powers according to the constitution to do so in spite of the
Global Political Agreement which calls for a collective approach.

"Having Mugabe as Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces
was your concession to the loser," he said.

Tekere said he was frustrated by utterances by Tsvangirai's political
opponents who have described the MDC leader as having an inferior
educational background.

"And then you have the so-called security chiefs saying they will not salute
Tsvangirai," Tekere said.

"They are indulging in a lot of treasonous advocacy and posturing. It is
treasonous to say you will not salute your Prime Minister."

He said the service chiefs should now be ashamed that Tsvangirai was
accorded the honour befitting a Head of State during his recent official
tour of Europe and the United States of America.

"If West Germany gave Tsvangirai the honour of a Head of State, who are the
service chiefs to say they will not salute him?"

Tekere however said he was impressed that Tsvangirai's did not seem worried
by the attitude adopted by the service chiefs towards him.

"Mutambara please continue to assist him to adopt that attitude," he said to
wild laughter from the delegates.

Tekere, a former ally to President Mugabe, left Zanu-PF in the early 1980s
to form the now defunct Zimbabwe Unity Movement which launched a strong
challenge against Mugabe.

He was accusing Mugabe of diverting from the values of the liberation
struggle through alleged abuse of power.

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Zimbabwe to secure $339.5 mln worth of lines of credit

     2009-07-19 18:44:15

HARARE, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe is set to secure 2.75 billion
rand (339.5 million U.S. dollars) worth of credit lines from South Africa's
private sector when the two countries meet next month to sign the Bilateral
Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA), The Sunday Mail

The BIPPA accord will outline new measures that could help
Zimbabwe secure fresh capital from Africa's largest economy following a call
by the Business Unit South Africa (Busa) for more secure guarantees last

The agreement, which was negotiated by finance and investment
ministers from the two countries in March, was "blocking capital and
leverage" in Zimbabwe's economic recovery.

The signing of the agreement between the two countries was delayed
after Zimbabwe objected to a clause in the accord referring to land and
investments on land, the weekly newspaper said.

South Africa is Zimbabwe's biggest trading partner on the
continent. Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Elton
Mangoma said the investment promotion agreement will be signed by end of
next month.

However, Minister Mangoma did not disclose further details on the
trade pact, adding that it could have been signed months ago had it not been
South Africa's April elections.

Sources revealed that in the bilateral framework agreement,
Zimbabwe undertakes to accord South African companies national treatment,
relaxed foreign equity restrictions, uphold free movement of capital, both
dividends and disinvestment proceeds and provide political risk cover for
the cross-border investments.

In April this year, South African business mogul and Busa
president Patrice Motsepe led a 22-strong delegation into meetings with
President Robert Mugabe, Finance Minister Tendai Biti and local business

The negotiations that followed focused mainly on investment
guarantees and instruments of property rights protection, resulting in the
drafting of the accord.

A number of companies from South Africa's agriculture, mining,
pharmaceutical and financial sectors, notably First National Bank (FNB),
Nedbank, Aspen Pharmacare, Netcare Limited, African Rainbow Minerals and
First Rand Limited, have revealed that they are ready to set up shops in the

Analysts contend that companies are strategically positioning
themselves to capitalise on the pent-up potential that has been locked up by
prolonged challenges that have been linked to the stand-off between the
country and international financiers.

Since the beginning of the year, Zimbabwe has taken several
measures to strengthen the local investment climate, including there moval
of sector restrictions on foreign ownership, relaxation of exchange control
regulations, the establishment of a one-stop shop for foreign direct
investment (FDI) to cut investor turnaround times, and commitment to protect
private investments.

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Zimbabwe' government won't return top MDC party official's passport

Africa News
Jul 19, 2009, 13:52 GMT

Harare - Zimbabwe's attorney general is refusing to hand back the passport
of Roy Bennett, a senior Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party
official, five months after it was confiscated when he was accused of
sabotage, MDC officials said Sunday.

The white former farmer is the No 3 in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's
MDC party and Zimbabwe's deputy agriculture minister- designate.

He is also one of about 50 MDC officials to have been prosecuted since
Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe formed a unity government in

Bennett was arrested just hours before he was due to be sworn in and held in
jail for three weeks as police and lawyers for the state ignored court
orders for his release on bail.

His passport was seized as part of his bail conditions but Bennett needed to
travel to South Africa 'on urgent private and party business,' said MDC
spokesman Nelson Chamisa.

Bennett appealed to the High Court to order the return of his passport. A
judge said he had 'a good case,' but turned the application down on the
grounds that it was 'not urgent.'

In his application, Bennett said Attorney General Johannes Tomana, an ally
of Mugabe's, was 'clearly motivated by spite,' as the administration of
justice would not be threatened by his release.

'They are playing political tricks,' said Chamisa. 'It's a clear
manifestation of their machinations to use the law to frustrate our
leadership.' No Zanu-PF officials have been prosecuted for the wave of
violence last year, according to lawyers.

The affair over Bennett's passport is expected to increase the tensions
between the MDC and Zanu-PF in the interim government, where Mugabe has
refused for five months to agree to rescind a string of unilateral
appointments, including that of Tomana, and has blocked democratic reforms.

Mugabe and his party were beaten in largely peaceful elections in March last
year but then launched a bloody campaign for the run-off presidential vote
in which about 200 MDC supporters were murdered.

He was declared the winner after Tsvangirai withdrew over the violence. Last
week Tsvangirai was loudly cheered when he said at a meeting in Zimbabwe
that he envisaged a country 'where incumbents stand down gracefully if they
lose an election.'

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Clock ticks for corrupt Chiadzwa forces

From The Sunday Mail, 19 July

Sunday Mail Reporter

The Government has warned security agents manning the 66 000 hectare
Chiadzwa diamond fields to desist from corrupt activities following reports
that some of them had formed syndicates with illegal miners. Co-Home Affairs
Minister Mr Giles Mutsekwa last week said he had received information on
alleged corrupt activities involving security agents, adding that the
ministry was going to take immediate action. "These reports have been
trickling in and they are quite worrying because they are tarnishing and
ruining the image of the country's reputable forces. Security agents are
bound by certain regulations which should be followed. Those few officers
involved in these illegal activities will be charged," said Mr Mutsekwa. He
said the security agents' main duties were to man and protect the area to
prevent illegal mining activities. "They should guard the country's precious
minerals and as Government, we are saying these few bad apples should be
removed from the basket," he said. Mr Mutsekwa said: "We are ready to assist
our counterparts in the Ministry of Mines to ensure there is proper security

The Government deployed security forces last year under the successful
Operation Hakudzokwi which saw thousands of illegal miners and buyers being
flushed out of the Marange diamond field. In a separate interview Mines and
Mining Development Minister, Cde Obert Mpofu, said the Government was on top
of the situation despite reports of continued illegal mining. "The country's
security forces are now in control of the situation as compared to the
previous scenario where the diamond field had over 30 000 illegal miners and
buyers," said Cde Mpofu. "The Kimberley Process (KP) review team which
recently visited the country has made recommendations on measures to improve
security at the diamond fields. The reports of security agents engaging in
illegal activities are of great concern and we are going to take action,"
said Cde Mpofu. The KP review team visited the country early this month to
assess the diamond industry and will soon release a report on its findings.

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'Vandalism costs public utilities US$100m'

Monday, July 20, 2009

Herald Reporter

PUBLIC utility equipment worth more than US$100 million was lost to thieves
and vandalism between 2007 and this year, Transport and Infrastructural
Development Minister Nicholas Goche has said.

Speaking at a workshop on the ban of Trade in Copper and Aluminum in Harare
last week, Minister Goche said Zesa Holdings, TelOne, the National Railways
of Zimbabwe and Zinwa had recorded more than 4 000 cases of theft and
vandalism of copper and aluminum products.

"It is undeniable that the country continues to lose huge tonnage of copper
cables to thieves who are targeting major public utilities, mainly Zesa
Holdings, TelOne, National Railways of Zimbabwe and Zinwa," he said.

"This wanton widespread vandalism and theft of copper cables and aluminum
remains a worrisome phenomenon."

He said the lost material and financial resources could have been directed
towards network expansion of these utilities for the benefit of the people.

The minister said it was "without doubt" that these nefarious activities
were causing intolerable disruptions to electric power supply, rail
transportation and telecommunications.

He said this problem was the work of well-organised syndicates of illegal
dealers in the trade of aluminum and copper.

Minister Goche said the firming of international prices of metals had made
trade in copper lucrative.

"The tragedy is that millions of people in the country are being grossly
affected by the theft and vandalism of copper cables and aluminum.

"There are many instances where train accidents have happened, owing to the
theft of cables used in signal systems and many times NRZ has been forced to
suspend services due to such thefts," he said.

He said it was "quite disturbing" to note that other utilities, such as Zesa
Holdings, faced a similar predicament as the company had lost tonnes of
copper cables, resulting in power blackouts.

In telecommunications, he said thousands of telephone users were currently
without services, compromising TelOne's ability to meet the demand for fixed
line services.

He said there were disruptions of irrigation cycles under the winter wheat
programmes owing to theft and vandalism of infrastructure.

"Indeed this catastrophe calls for urgent action from all stakeholders, as
the ramifications of these illicit activities are quite dire since they are
debilitating ongoing efforts to restore economic vibrancy," he said.

Minister Goche said the police faced numerous challenges in their concerted
efforts to combat this scourge.

He said chief among the impediments was a weak legal framework that had seen
numerous criminals capitalising on the existing loopholes to intensify their
illegal dealings.

"All our efforts remain in vain if there are no deterrent custodial
sentences given to offenders," Minister Goche said.

He said it was imperative for legislators, law enforcement agencies and
other stakeholders to ensure the urgent promulgation of legislation that
banned trade in copper and aluminum.

He said this also called for stiffer penalties.

Minister Goche said the call to ban trade in copper and aluminum required
serious and immediate consideration, especially in view of the fact that the
country had ceased the mining of copper.

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3 500 killed on roads annually - Police

Monday, July 20, 2009

Herald Reporter

Road accidents have become a major contributor to deaths in the country,
claiming an average of 3 500 people annually, police have said.

Officer Commanding police national traffic Assistant Commissioner Apollonia
Munzverengwi said the number of people perishing in road traffic accidents
was increasing by 1,8 percent annually.

Asst Comm Munzverengwi cited several incidents where people travelling in
private and public transport were killed.

She noted that pedestrians were not spared from the traffic jungle.

"People also perish as pedestrians on the roads, or as innocent bystanders
off the roads, sometimes within their private premises when a car, for some
reason, leaves the road and crashes into a fence or even a house wall," she

She was speaking at a road safety workshop in Harare last Thursday.

"This situation cannot be allowed to persist, as the traffic police we are
tasked to see to it that there is normalcy and that the traffic jungle is
tamed and made safe for the people to enter and perform their businesses
without fear," she said.

She said road carnage had become a challenge for the traffic police owing to
lack of resources.

For this reason, she said, they had looked at the inter-agency approach as
the best way of fighting road carnage.

"This approach has been in place for sometime now and the aim of this
workshop is to fine-tune its mode of operation," she said.

The two-day workshop was attended by officers from the traffic section, VID,
Zimra, CVR, Traffic Safety Council, Civil Protection Unit, Zimbabwe National
Road Authority, the business community and other Government departments.

The workshop, which brought together stakeholders in road traffic matters,
was the first of its kind since independence.

Asst Comm Munzverengwi said the workshop marked the beginning of a
long-lasting, fruitful partnership between the participants and towards the
common objective of taming the "traffic jungle".

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ZIMBABWE: HIV-Aids ignorance among female students

19 July 2009
Issue: 0033

Zimbabwe's female university students are mainly ignorant of HIV-Aids as
well as their sexual and reproductive health rights, a new survey has

The survey was conducted by a non-governmental organisation, the Women's
Trust, in conjunction with the Central Statistics Office, to establish the
levels of awareness of vulnerability and drivers of infection among the
16-24 year age group at the country's 12 institutions of higher learning.

A report of the survey of 5,000 students, including 1,000 males, noted that
levels of knowledge among female students with regard to their sexual and
reproductive health rights or HIV were low.

In Zimbabwean society, discussion and education about sexual matters is
frowned upon because it defies cultural norms and values and the belief is
that "the less young people know, the better of they are", the report said.

"Of the female students, 32% are sexually active. Of this group 28% reported
not using contraceptives. This is cause for concern considering the volume
of information in all media and life skills courses offered by tertiary
institutions. There are low levels of awareness of vulnerability to HIV and

The survey said that in the face of the country's economic crisis, some
students said they engaged in sexual activities to raise money. It added
that 297 female students out of the overall respondents said they were
married and 15% of them reported they were experiencing domestic violence in
their marriages.

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 18th July 2009

We were pleased to learn that several Vigil supporters have recently been given their papers to remain in the UK – despite the confusion caused by Morgan Tsvangirai’s remarks at Southwark Cathedral during his London visit.


Vigil management team member Patson Muzuwa told us he had attended three asylum tribunal hearings in which the judges had pointed to Mr Tsvangirai’s appeal to people to return home and also to the fact that the MDC UK Representative Hebson Makuvise (Mr Tsvangirai’s uncle), who had been given refugee status here, had returned home safely. Ironically, Patson was able to provide the tribunals with evidence from the MDC itself that human rights abuses were continuing and the judges expressed horror at the situation. 


We are also told that the Home Office has been asking asylum seekers whether they ‘bought’ support letters from the Vigil. One lady said she had been able to assure the authorities that the Vigil did not ‘sell’ letters and explained our position as laid out in our diary of 27th June. We charge a small fee to cover our administration expenses (paper, printer cartridges, phone calls, postage, expenses involved in keeping a computer record of attendance etc) as we are entirely self-funding. We published full details because we wanted our policy to be known widely to counteract malicious allegations by some (including supposedly MDC) people here. They appear to be panicking because our partner organisation, Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe, is rapidly growing in popularity.  On one recent Saturday there were 6 ROHR meetings in various parts of the UK and the recent launch of the ROHR Hatfield branch drew 80 people.  It seems our critics will stop at nothing to try and damage us. They appear to have learnt quite a lot from Zanu-PF.


Apart from our usual banners and posters calling for Mugabe to go, supporter Brian Sibanda brought a new one which everyone thought was apposite given the fuss over Mr Tsvangirai’s London speech. It said simply ’booing is also freedom of expression’.


On his 91st birthday, Vigil supporters sent their congratulations to Nelson Mandela. He asked people to spend 67 minutes (representing the 67 years he has spent serving humanity) doing something for their community to mark the occasion.  Well, we spent 240 minutes on the streets of London doing our bit for the people of Zimbabwe, as we have for the last seven years.


On a lovely warm day we were pleased to be joined by Sue, now recovered after her successful eye operation. She said how pleased she was to be back. We were doubly lucky because, no sooner had we packed up, than it started to rain.


For latest Vigil pictures check:


FOR THE RECORD:  153 signed the register.



·         Zimbabwe Vigil Forum. Saturday 25th July at 6.30 pm. Upstairs at the Theodore Bullfrog, John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

·         ROHR Brighton general meeting. Saturday, 25th July from 2.00 – 4.00 pm. Venue: The Community Base, Queens Road, Brighton. Contact Sinikiwe Dube 07824668763, Sehlaphi Mpofu 07786164808, Wellington Mamvura 07956870547 or Phylis Chibanguza 07908406069.

·         ROHR Derby general meeting. Saturday, 25th July from 1.30 – 5.30 pm.Venue: The Community Block, Pear Tree Community Junior School, Pear Tree Street, Derby DE23 8PN. Free Parking. Contact: Tsitsi Razawe 07773649330, Wonder Katurura 07858699224, Phenias Tutayi 07825524519.

·         ROHR Stoke-On-Trent general meeting. Saturday 1st August 2009 2 00 – 5 00 pm. Venue: Mandela Club Restaurant, 66-68 Piccadilly Street, Hanley, Stoke-On-Trent ST1 1HX. Contact: Pauline Mutema 07850462301, Joana Zhira 07845896347and Farirai Muchibwa 07746628397.

·         ROHR Hayes and Northolt launch meeting. Saturday 8th August from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Brookside Community Centre, Hayes UB4 0PL. ROHR President and a well known lawyer present. Contact Snodia Chihowa 07852921523, Juliet Musandiriri 07551319522, Rodah Kuhlengisa 07958205544 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.

·         ROHR Milton Keynes general meeting.  Saturday 15th August from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Old Bath House Community Centre, 205 Stratford Road, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5RL (near Tesco and 2 mins away from Wolverton train station). Contact Punish Mandere 07883071990, Martha Jiya 07727016098, Josephine S Phiri 07853572982, Diana Satumba 07737879653.

·         Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays).


Vigil Co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.




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ZIMBABWE: Confronting a credibility crisis
19 July 2009
Issue: 0033

Higher education qualifications in Zimbabwe are suffering a credibility crisis following the withdrawal of international recognition in some fields arising from plummeting standards, according to a series of working papers commissioned by the UN Development Fund.

The working papers,
Comprehensive Economic Recovery in Zimbabwe, were prepared by leading academics. The reports in the series are aimed at contributing to national debates around appropriate medium-term recovery strategies in Zimbabwe following the formation of a unity government in February.

A report titled Labour markets and the rebuilding of human capital said there had been massive expansion in higher education unmatched with resources - teaching staff and learning materials among others - resulting in poor standards that had resulted in some qualifications not being recognised internationally.

"It should also be noted that a price has been paid for the rapid expansion of tertiary education institutions. Quality has been compromised resulting in the withdrawal of international recognition of Zimbabwean qualifications in many areas in recent years, and it appears no consideration was given to the reality of limited available resources," the report said.

"Recent expansion of the country's university system to no less than nine institutions is a case in point. The situation is compounded by a recent parallel development whereby technical colleges are also offering degrees.

"The withdrawal of many donors, the downscaling of the activities of those who remained to provide humanitarian assistance after 1999, coupled with the meltdown of the economy and a concomitant shrinking of the government revenue base, resulted in serious resource constraints and deterioration in soft and hard infrastructure in the national education system. The prevailing situation which needs to be corrected is a dismal one."

It added that vocational training colleges were offering national diploma and higher national diplomas when they lacked teaching staff, equipment and infrastructure. Donors had helped build a number of institutions of higher learning but their departure, in protest at President Mugabe's repressive rule and coupled with shrinking state resources, had resulted in deteriorating infrastructure because of little maintenance.

The University of Zimbabwe, the country's oldest and leading institution of higher learning, has been closed since February because of a lack of clean drinking water, absence of functional toilets, insufficient learning resources, among a myriad of other problems.

The report said a brain drain has also taken a toll on the country, with estimates suggesting 80% of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, radiologists and therapists who were trained since Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in 1980 have left the country or their positions.

It added that Zimbabwe ranked among the top 10 emigration countries in sub-Saharan Africa, alongside Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Eritrea, Nigeria, Mozambique, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

"Migration is so widespread that at least one migrant exists per household," the report said. A recent survey of 4,700 households conducted in five destination countries showed that 44% of people who left had completed postgraduate education of some kind.

"The present education and training systems are ill-designed to satisfy the human resources requirements of the economy. Rigid planning and management, over-expansion, inadequate funding and weak linkages between institutions have hampered publicly provided and supply-driven training," the report said.

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'Zimbabwe's economic recovery relies on exports, foreign aid'

Monday, July 20, 2009

Business Reporter

ZIMBABWE'S economic recovery depends on exports and foreign aid as the
country's manufacturing industry is still operating below capacity, a local
economist has said.

Addressing members of the Institute of Directors in Harare last week,
Professor Tony Hawkins of the University of Zimbabwe predicted that the
country would soon experience an influx of foreign investors seeking
opportunities. Prof Hawkins was speaking at a workshop under the theme:
"Current economic outlook - Implications for business and public leaders".

The workshop was a forum for executives to share ideas on how best human
capital management can be used to aid the turn around of the economy.

He said that in the next couple of months, the country was going to undergo
a massive change in the domestic ownership, where most companies would
witness the exodus of foreign investors flocking into the industry,
proposing mergers in all sectors.

"Banks are like pubs without beer and once other suppliers come in you can
either expect them to take over or to merge with the already existing
markets," the economist said.

Statistics made available by the Shipping and Freight Forwarders Association
of Zimbabwe show that freight volumes in the region have increased by 30
percent during the first half of the year, compared to the same period last
year, a move that has been attributed to stable operating conditions.

Exporters are lobbying the Government to facilitate a viable operating
climate that will enable local industries to withstand competition from
other regional trading partners.

Such efforts need to be applauded as they encouraged diversification in the
economy, Prof Hawkins said.

"We need to understand that commercial agriculture will not go back to what
it was like in 1994 and therefore we need to focus on more productive
sectors which can cushion our agriculture, while creating opportunities for

"People are expecting a lot to happen within a short period of time and
therefore there is need to branch out into areas like tourism and mining
where we can expect quick results," Prof Hawkins said.

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