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Zanu-PF reveals its cards


    July 25 2008 at 12:43PM

By Nelson Banya

Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's ruling party will not
accept a power-sharing deal that fails to recognise his re-election or seeks
to reverse his land reform programme, a state-owned newspaper said on

The conditions, which the Herald newspaper said were agreed at a
Zanu-PF politburo meeting earlier this week, could dim prospects for a deal
at negotiations between Mugabe's party and two factions of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change.

The talks began on Thursday under South African mediation. They aim to
break the deadlock about Mugabe's victory in a June 27 run-off election,
boycotted by MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai because of violence and condemned
by Western nations.

"The meeting noted that there has to be a figure who appoints the
all-inclusive government envisaged in the Memorandum of Understanding signed
by the three parties on Monday," the Herald said.

"And that figure is President Mugabe who won the run-off."

The newspaper also said Zanu-PF would never agree to a national unity
government that sought to reverse Mugabe's controversial seizure of
thousands of white-owned firms to give to landless blacks.

Critics say the farm seizures helped wreck the once prosperous economy
and bring food shortages and inflation now running at 2-million percent, but
the opposition has said it would not go back on the land seizures.

African governments see a national unity government as the only way to
reverse the economic meltdown and avert an escalation of political violence
in Zimbabwe.

Tsvangirai withdrew from the election run-off after attacks on his
supporters by pro-Mugabe militia in which he says 120 activists were killed.
Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, blames the
opposition for the bloodshed.

Tsvangirai won a first round vote in March but failed to win the
absolute majority required to avoid a second round.

The MDC leader had demanded that the government recognise his victory
in the March poll and halt all violence against the opposition as
pre-conditions for talks. He agreed on Monday to go ahead with negotiations
without any iron-clad guarantees.

A spokesperson for Tsvangirai's MDC on Friday said the party would not
accept any negotiations based on the June 27 result.

"We have a pact not to talk to the media, but if that is their
(Zanu-PF) position, it is unfortunate for the country. Our position is clear
that June 27 is controversial and it, therefore, falls away," the MDC's
Nelson Chamisa told Reuters.

"It is not admissible as a parameter guiding the engagement," Chamisa

South African President Thabo Mbeki, who has been mediating the
Zimbabwe crisis since 2007, has said the Zimbabwean parties face a tight
two-week deadline to conclude the talks, which are expected to be tense.

The parties sharply disagree over how long a national unity government
should remain in power. Tsvangirai's MDC wants fresh elections held as soon
as possible, while Mugabe wants to carry on with his new five-year mandate.

Laurence Caromba, a researcher at the Centre for International
Political Studies at the University of Pretoria, said the idea of allowing
Mugabe and his Zanu-PF to remain in power may be unacceptable to many

"South African mediators hope to square this circle by advocating for
a government of national unity, but this idea flatly ignores the wishes of
the Zimbabwean people," Caromba said in an analysis of the crisis.

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Zimbabwe talks go well though many Zimbabweans feel betrayed and some violence continues

International Herald Tribune

The Associated PressPublished: July 25, 2008

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa: Power-sharing talks between Zimbabwe's rival
political parties were proceeding well Friday, a South African official
said, although violence continued and hundreds of opposition supporters
remained jailed.

Both sides are under pressure: the opposition from fear of more
state-sponsored violence and longtime President Robert Mugabe from widening
Western sanctions. The United States on Friday broadened its sanctions
against targeted Zimbabweans and their companies, calling Mugabe's an
"illegitimate" and "brutal" regime.

South African presidential spokesman Mukoni Ratshitanga said the Zimbabwean
talks got "fully under way" on Thursday and were "continuing and they are
proceeding well"

Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party and Morgan Tsvangirai's opposition Movement
for Democratic Change have committed themselves to negotiating "an inclusive
government" within two weeks.

The Zimbabwe parties also agreed to negotiate a slew of other issues,
including revival of the shattered economy and a new constitution - but most
points already had been negotiated at talks that broke off in January, ahead
of presidential and legislative elections.

The biggest obstacle is agreeing on who will lead a new government.
"The opposition wants to be in the driving seat. The only way for the
economy to be handled is for Mugabe to withdraw altogether, and I don't see
that happening," said John Makumbe, a political analyst at the University of
Zimbabwe. "I see the whole thing collapsing or, if a deal is reached, it
will look so bad no one will accept it."

But the resilient Mugabe, who has survived years of attempts to oust him
even by his own party, insists that he should head any government.

Tsvangirai says he won the most votes at the only legitimate election in
March. But he did not win enough to avoid a runoff, from which he belatedly
withdrew because of mounting state violence against his supporters.

Mugabe ran alone in the June runoff and declared himself victor, though most
of the world sees that election as a sham.

Under immense pressure, with even some African leaders declaring they did
not consider him Zimbabwe's elected president, Mugabe on Monday signed an
agreement with the opposition to hold talks.

Makumbe, the analyst, said Monday's handshake between Mugabe and Tsvangirai
has left militant followers of both leaders feeling betrayed. Victims of
violence feel Tsvangirai is "supping with the devil," and should not have
signed before all his supporters were released.

Tsvangirai's party says some 2,000 of its activists remain jailed on trumped
up charges of violence and inciting violence. Three newly elected
legislators are out on bail on various charges, including the opposition's
chief negotiator at the talks, secretary-general Tendai Biti. He is accused
of treason, a charge that carries the death sentence. Seven other opposition
legislators are in hiding, on a wanted list for spurious allegations
including rape and fraud.

Makumbe said the prospect of Mugabe and Tsvangirai sharing power is bitterly
opposed by military commanders backing Mugabe and militants responsible for
attacks on the opposition, who now fear retribution.

Monday's agreement also calls for an end to the political violence in which
more than 150 people have been killed. Doctors who have been documenting the
deaths and injuries say it's too early to tell: Most violence is committed
in rural areas and, with roadblocks and other difficulties, it is taking
victims up to two weeks to reach hospitals in Harare, the capital.

One opposition supporter who arrived at the Avenues Clinic in Harare this
week, suffering complications from a beating perpetrated in rural Zimbabwe
two weeks ago, died on Friday, according to the doctors, who spoke on
condition of anonymity for fear of attacks.

An opposition official admitted to the clinic this week had been beaten up
by ZANU-PF militants at the weekend when he went home, thinking the violence
was over, the doctors' group said.

Makumbe said the violence already had diminished after the runoff. "It
served its purpose for that election but its always remains an option for
ZANU-PF," Makumbe said.

Looking to put pressure on Mugabe, the United States and European Union
broadened sanctions banning travel and freezing assets of people and
companies considered to support Mugabe's regime.

The United States on Friday added 17 entities and one individual to its
existing list targeting 132 people and 36 farms and companies.

On Tuesday, the European Union added another 37 people and companies,
increasing its targeted list to 168.

"No regime should ignore the will of its own people and calls from the
international community without consequences," President George W. Bush said
in a statement.

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US Expands Sanctions Against 'Illegitimate' Zimbabwe Government


By David Gollust
State Department
25 July 2008

President Bush Friday ordered expanded U.S. sanctions against what he termed
the "illegitimate" government of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. At the
same time, the United States is offering the country aid if there is a
negotiated end to the country's political conflict. VOA's David Gollust
reports from the State Department.

The Bush administration had promised to tighten unilateral U.S. sanctions
against Zimbabwe after a draft U.N. Security Council resolution for
international sanctions was vetoed earlier this month by Russia and China.

An announcement from the U.S. Treasury Department said 17 Zimbabwean
commercial entities and one individual, an Omani businessman with close ties
to President Mugabe, are being added to a U.S. sanction list that already
includes among others, Mr. Mugabe, his wife, and key associates.

Several government-owned or controlled companies are on the new list
including the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe
Mining Development Corporation and the Agriculture Development Bank of

The Treasury Department said Mr. Mugabe, senior officials and cronies had
used the entities to illegally siphon cash and foreign exchange from the
Zimbabwean people.

Treasury officials said the Omani national, Thamer Bin Saeed Al-Shafari and
a company he owns - Oryx National Resources - had enabled Mr. Mugabe and
senior officials to derive personal benefit from mining ventures in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In a White House statement, President Bush said the action against what he
termed the "illegitimate" Mugabe government is a direct result of its
continued politically-motivated violence despite international appeals, and
its continued ban on activity by non-governmental aid groups that could help
the country's "suffering and vulnerable" people.

Mr. Bush said no regime should ignore the will of its own people and calls
from the international community without consequence.

But the U.S. administration also took note of efforts begun this week among
Mr. Mugabe and his political rivals, including opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai, to negotiate an end to the political conflict spawned by the
disputed presidential run-off election in June.

State Department Acting Spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos, echoing earlier White
House remarks, said the United States would be ready to come to the
assistance of a Zimbabwean coalition government:

"Should ongoing talks in South Africa between Mugabe's regime and the
Movement for Democratic Change result in a new government that reflects the
will of the Zimbabwean people, we stand ready to provide a substantial
assistance package, development aid, and normalization with international
financial institutions," he said.

Gallegos said the Bush administration in the meantime is continuing
humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe, authorizing another two and a half million
dollars in emergency funds to assist Zimbabweans displaced by ongoing
political violence.

U.S. food and health assistance will also continue.

The steps by the Bush administration followed a similar broadening of
Zimbabwe sanctions by the European Union, which announced Tuesday its is
adding 37 new individuals and companies to an existing list of more than

The Treasury Department sanctions imposed Friday freeze any assets the
Zimbabwean firms may have in financial institutions under U.S. jurisdiction.
Additionally, U.S. citizens are prohibited from conducting any business with

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Bush executive order targets Mugabe's cronies

Friday, July 25, 2008 - 11:05 AM

San Francisco Business Times - by Elizabeth Rauber

President George W. Bush signed an executive order expanding sanctions
against the Government of Zimbabwe Friday morning.

The executive order focuses on targeting individuals and entities who
support the regime of Robert Mugabe.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control
(OFAC) designated seventeen entities and one individual who will be targeted
by the new sanctions as a result of their support for the Mugabe regime.
Several major entities on the list include the Minerals Marketing
Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ), the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp.
(ZMDC), and the Agricultural Development Bank of Zimbabwe

The only individual on the list is Thamer Bin Saeed Ahmed Al-Shanfari, an
Omani who works closely with Mugabe and whose company, Oryx Natural
Resources, allows Mugabe and his officials to benefit from mining in the
Democratic Republic of Congo.

OFAC Director Adam Szubin said, "The U.S. is imposing further sanctions
against ... these supporters. These actions send a clear warning to those
who would protect Mugabe and his assets at the expense of the Zimbabwean

Bush said the executive order is "a direct result of the Mugabe regime's
continued politically-motivated violence, disregarding calls from the
Southern African Development Community, the African Union and the United
Nations to halt the attacks ... No regime should ignore the will of its own
people and calls from the international community without consequences."

If negotiations between Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement of
Democratic Change, result in a new government that "reflects the will of the
Zimbabwean people," Bush promised the United States would provide a
significant assistance package.

Bush also authorized the use of up to $2.5 million to help refugees and
asylum seekers fleeing political violence and economic crisis in Zimbabwe.
The money will come from the U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance

Political violence has gripped the country since the March 29 elections this
year. Tsvangirai took 47.9 percent of the vote compared to Mugabe's 43.2
percent, but Mugabe refused to step down after the election. A second round
of voting was scheduled for June 27 but Tsvangirai withdrew a week before
the election, citing threats against his supporters.

In addition to the widespread political violence, Zimbabwe has crippling
inflation rates that reached 2,200,000 percent as of July 2008. In May 2008,
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe was forced to issue new bearer checks in the
denominations of $5 billion, $25 billion and $50 billion. As of the
beginning of July, the Economist reported that $25 billion ZWD was worth $1

Other companies on the list include the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Co. (ZISCO),
the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe, the Infrastructure
Development Bank of Zimbabwe, Zimre Holdings Ltd, Operation Sovereign
Legitimacy -- a commercial arm of the Zimbabwean army, Divine Homes, and
COMOIL Ltd. Also on the list is ZB Financial Holdings Ltd. and four of its
subsidiaries: ZB Bank Ltd (Zimbank), ZB Holdings Ltd., Intermarket Holdings
Ltd., and Scotfin Ltd.

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'Abuse must end for talks to be successful'


     July 25 2008 at 06:59PM

By Robert Evans

Geneva - Violence and human rights abuses must end in Zimbabwe if
talks on a power-sharing pact between government and opposition are to have
any chance of success, a coalition of world Christian bodies said on Friday.

It also called for a "genuine restoration of the rule of law" and for
justice for the survivors of election violence.

"We believe that the will of the people should be the fundamental
basis on which to ground negotiations," a letter from the coalition,
including the Geneva-based World Council of Churches (WCC), declared.

It said the talks between President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF
party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), under way in
South Africa, should restore "peace, prosperity, dignity and the rule of

The letter, made public by the WCC, declared that the churches and
Christian movements signing it "are appalled by reports of continuing
violence if many parts of the country, particularly in the rural areas."

It added: "All forms of violence, harassment, intimidation and torture
must cease immediately to provide an environment truly conducive for
peaceful negotiations."

The WCC said its letter was sent on Thursday to South Africa's
President Thabo Mbeki, who is chairing the talks in Pretoria, to Mugabe, and
to the two leaders of the fractious MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur

It called on them to shape an agreement "that rejects impunity but
allows true reconciliation and healing."

The churches voiced regret there were no representatives of civil
society at the talks and that none of the negotiating teams included a

The coalition's letter was signed by leaders of the WCC, the World
Alliance of Reformed Churches, the World Student Christian Federation, the
World Young Women's Christian Association, and the World Alliance of Young
Men's Christian Associations.

Three of the five leaders are themselves Africans.

Earlier this month, Zimbabwe's Christian community rejected Mugabe's
proclaimed victory over Tsvangirai in the second round of presidential
elections, saying the vote did not give "authentic expression" to the will
of the people.

After leading Mugabe in the first round, Tsvangirai pulled out of the
run-off, arguing that amid violence and killings widely blamed on the
ZANU-PF he could not put his supporters lives any more at risk.

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Zimbabwe's misguided talks

International Herald Tribune

By Mukoma Wa Ngugi Published: July 25, 2008

As the Zimbabwean ruling and opposition parties finally come to the
negotiation table, it looks like the only possible outcome is one that will
allow Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai to share power. But a
power-sharing agreement that brings about a "Government of National Unity,"
or a transitional authority, will in fact be undermining the most basic and
important principle of democracy: the vote.

Western liberal democracy is based on the social contract, which for
theorists such as Jean Jacques Rousseau bound the state to managing and
fulfilling the people's general will. Failure was grounds for new

For modern day Western democracies, the social contract is fulfilled through
the vote. Take the vote out of democracy and the contract is nullified. That
is what Mugabe did when he used violence to steal the election.

Because a government of national unity elevates the state above the will of
the people, it is antithetical to democracy itself. The call by the Bush
administration, the European Union, the United Nations and the African Union
for a such a government in Zimbabwe is a threat to the growth of democracy
in Africa.

To understand what a government of national unity means, consider how it
differs from a coalition government. In a coalition government the winning
party finds that it does not have a majority of seats in the legislature
after free and fair elections. It then invites other political parties to
join with it in the interest of passing laws and governing. A coalition
government is formed after democratic elections through constitutional
means. By contrast, a government of national unity, where the belligerent
government and a power-hungry opposition share power, is formed precisely
because democracy itself has been sabotaged through electoral theft,
violence and threat of civil war.

In Zimbabwe, as was the case in Kenya earlier this year, a government of
unity is being pushed as an emergency measure to stop violence and a spiral
down toward civil war. After peace is restored, the thinking goes, truth and
reconciliation commissions, constitutional reforms, and finally democracy,
will follow.
But this is a pipe dream. A government that does not respect the people's
vote will not concede power down the line. And an opposition that does not
stand up for the people, and for democracy when it matters most, is easily
appeased with a nice chunk of the national cake.

With democracy conceded to expediency, the ground is set for future civil
strife and impunity. A Kenyan government minister from the former opposition
party was recently caught on national TV in a fit of anger, claiming "his
men" had killed over 600 people during the ethnic electoral violence. He was
not admitting guilt; he was in fact threatening his political opponents.
Nothing has happened to him.

Corruption and underhanded political deals continue in Kenya. Already there
have been calls for a general amnesty for the perpetrators of ethnic
cleansing. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission that will be formed is
more likely to forgive and forget. It is back to the usual business of bad
leadership - at the world's insistence that expediency take the place of

African caricature democracies are fast becoming acceptable because we have
come to expect and demand much less from Africa. Instead of doing the hard
work of real democracy, it is much easier to create a caricature of it. We
have to begin wanting for Africa what we want for the rest of the world -
and not accept solutions for Africa that we would reject elsewhere.

In the long run, it is better for the United States, the European Union, the
African Union and the United Nations to demand a free and fair re-run of the
disputed elections in Zimbabwe than to let authoritarianism fester in the
folds of caricature democracy. Rather than legitimize the short-circuiting
of democracy, these world institutions should boldly declare that the only
acceptable solution is one that reflects the will of the people, and let
that be the last stand, across the board.

Yes, there will be much more violence in the short term. But the quick
caricature democracies sprouting all over Africa are not able to deal with
the myriad of problems facing their countries, and bitter, vindictive and
more vicious violence looms in the future. Worse still, a tradition of
respecting the vote and democratic traditions is being postponed

True enough, democracy is not everything, and can be used by the state and
political elite to suppress the general will of the people; but citizens can
also use democracy to protect or fight for their rights. It is a starting

Ultimately, it is the societies that have the tradition of respecting
democratic institutions that survive terrible leaders, because the
institutions serve as guiding posts in the worst of times. Africa needs this
tradition so that it can survive its bad leaders and flourish under good
leadership. Quick political fixes that take Africa further from this, even
with the short term promise of peace, sets up for more Congos and Somalias
in the near future.

Mukoma Wa Ngugi is author of "Hurling Words at Consciousness" and a
political columnist for the BBC Focus on Africa Magazine.

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Clampdown on opposition and media continues while talks are underway

By Violet Gonda
25 July 2008

Concern is growing as to why the negotiators continue to talk when the
original conditions to begin talks have been ignored. Events on the ground
show there is no political will on the part of the Mugabe regime to change,
despite agreeing to negotiate a settlement with the MDC. Abductions of
opponents continue, teachers are being forced by soldiers to attend pungwes
(rallies), radio stations are still being jammed, and websites are being

It's reported a driver and an assistant to MDC Senator Samuel Tsungirirai
Muzerengwa were abducted in Buhera South on Thursday, and the MP for the
area Naison Nemadziwa has been forced to flee. MDC spokesperson for
Manicaland Pishai Muchauraya claims the activists were abducted by soldiers
and militia led by a Colonel Morgan Mzilikazi of the Zimbabwe National Army.
Muchauraya said Rusape police have not been helpful, and the whereabouts of
the MDC activists are still unknown.

Meanwhile, prominent lawyer Advocate Eric Matinenga said he still cannot go
back to his own constituency in Buhera West as a result of the tense
situation there. Speaking on the programme Hot Seat Matinenga said: "People
are starving, people are living in fear. That is what you must address now,
before you address even what form this transitional arrangement is going to
take. If you are not doing that you are not negotiating on behalf of the
people of Zimbabwe."

The MDC says over 1500 activists are still in jail, and militia camps remain
operational. Raymond Majongwe, the Secretary General of the Progressive
Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, said teachers in rural areas are being forced to
attend rallies by ZANU-PF soldiers, the PTUZ offices in Gokwe are still
closed, and staff have been chased away by war veterans. Majongwe said in
some parts of the country, like at Chidohwa Primary School in Makoni East,
youth militia are still seen walking with AK47 rifles.

Many people are scared to go back to their homes because their safety has
not been assured. Matinenga, who is also one of Morgan Tsvangirai's lawyers,
said ZANU-PF should be withdrawing the army from the rural areas since it
controls the state machinery. But there seems to be no concession on the
part of the regime while the negotiations are taking place. Media outlets
have also borne the brunt of state sponsored repression.

Radio stations are still being jammed using jamming equipment supplied by
China, and websites are being hacked. The latest casualty is ZWNEWS, one of
the leading websites on Zimbabwe.

The editor Alan Doyle was forced to put up a notice on his website on Friday
saying: 'Visitors to over recent days will have noticed
disruption to normal service. This is because hackers, based in, or at least
routed through, China have damaged the site.'

Doyle told SW Radio Africa, "I am not the only one. I believe a couple of
weeks ago the Zimbabwe Times went down and it's no secret that they have
been blocking radio stations, have been forcing people to take down their
satellite dishes and to hand in their transistor radios, and they have hiked
the import duties on foreign publications."

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Keeping up the pressure on Zimbabwe

In recent days it has become clear the the chaotic Zim economy is now one of
the main drivers for meaningful change, with the regime at last unable to
source the paper required to print its rapidly increasing requirement for
new 100 billion notes and beyond. Indeed, there is now the very real
prospect of the regime being unable to pay its staff - be they military,
police, essential services etc.

Furthermore, Jura, an Austrian company has been identified as the source of
the software to design and create new notes urgently required. Below are the
contact details of some of the key players at Jura as well as other key
opinion formers within Austria, who should be prevailed upon to stop
assisting the regime to continue to churn out increasingly worthless notes.

At this critical time, with mediation talks continue in Pretoria, we must
ensure that pressure on companies like Jura and others that are involved
with the regime is increased, by highlighting their impact on sustaining the
indefensible. Please do what you can.

Name:Scholler, Thomas
Job title:General Manager
Telephone 1:+43 1 367 83 88
Company / Business name:Jura JSP
Fax Number:+43 1 367 83 77
Website address:
Physical Address:Jura JSP Entwicklung und Vertrieb von
Wertpapierdrucksystemen GmbH Gebhardtgasse 13/8 1190 Vienna Austria

Name:Kroboth, Renate
Job title:General Manager
Telephone 1:+43 1 367 83 88
Company / Business name:Jura JSP
Fax Number:+43 1 367 83 77
Physical Address:Jura JSP Entwicklung und Vertrieb von
Wertpapierdrucksystemen GmbH Gebhardtgasse 13/8 1190 Vienna Austria
Website address:

Name:Roth, Kathrin
Job title:Assistant
Telephone 1:+43 1 367 83 88
Company / Business name:Jura JSP
Fax Number:+43 1 367 83 77
Physical Address:Jura JSP Entwicklung und Vertrieb von
Wertpapierdrucksystemen GmbH Gebhardtgasse 13/8 1190 Vienna Austria
Website address:

Name:Hengl, Ilse
Job title:Account Department
Telephone 1:+43 1 367 83 88
Company / Business name:Jura JSP
Fax Number:+43 1 367 83 77
Website address:
Physical Address:Jura JSP Entwicklung und Vertrieb von
Wertpapierdrucksystemen GmbH Gebhardtgasse 13/8 1190 Vienna Austria

Telephone 1:+43 1 367 83 88
Company / Business name:Jura JSP
Fax Number:+43 1 367 83 77
Website address:
Physical Address:Jura JSP Entwicklung und Vertrieb von
Wertpapierdrucksystemen GmbH Gebhardtgasse 13/8 1190 Vienna Austria

Name:Gusenbauer, Alfred
Job title:Federal Chancellor i.e. PM/president
Telephone 1:+43/1/53115-0
Physical Address:Federal Chancellery - Bundeskanzleramt Ballhausplatz 2 1014
Vienna Austria
Website address:
Additional information:The Federal Chancellor presides over the Federal
Government. The Federal President appoints the Federal Chancellor and, on
the latter's recommendation, the other members of the Federal Government.
The Deputy Chancellor is empowered to deputise for the Federal Chancellor in
all his functions. In the event that both the Federal Chancellor and Deputy
Chancellor are unable to perform their duties, the Federal President names a
member of the Federal Government to deputise for the Federal Chancellor. The
Federal Chancellor countersigns the federal legislation certified by the
Federal President. If the Federal President is incapacitated, all of his
functions are transferred to the Federal Chancellor for a period of twenty

Job title:Federal Government (Austria) Press Office
Telephone 1:+43/1/53115-2561
Telephone 2:+43/1/53115-2340
Physical Address:Federal Chancellery Ballhausplatz 1, 1014 Wien Room EG
33/ground floor
Website address:

Other name:Citizens Service of the Federal Chancellor
Additional information:Office where citizens can make suggestions,
complaints etc.

Name:Silhavy, Heidrun
Job title:Federal Minister for Women, Media and Policy
Telephone 1:+43/1/53115-0
Physical Address:Federal Chancellery - Bundeskanzleramt Ballhausplatz 2 1014
Vienna Austria
Website address:
Additional information:On 1 July 2008, Heidrun Silhavy was sworn in by
Federal President Heinz Fischer as Federal Minister for Women, Media and
Regional Policy. She adopts responsibilities from the formerly Federal
Minister Doris Bures. The Ministry headed by Federal Minster Heidrun Silhavy
is part of the Federal Chancellery.

Name:Dr. Ursula , Plassnik
Job title:Foreign Minister
Telephone 1:0 50 11 50-0
Fax Number:0 50 11 59-0
Individual's Personal
Physical Address:Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs
Minoritenplatz 8 A-1014 Wien
Website address:
Additional information:Use the Contact From on the website to send emails:

Name:Temmel, Franz
Job title:CEO
Telephone 1:+43 1 81140-55
Telephone 2:+43 1 81140-0
Physical Address:pressetext Nachrichtenagentur GmbH Josefstädter Straße 44
A-1080 Wien, Austria
Website address:
Additional information:Major press agency in Austria. The second email
address is for the Chief editor. Other contacts here:

Telephone 1:+43/1/360 60-0
Company / Business name:APA - Austria Presse Agentur
Physical Address:APA - Austria Presse Agentur Laimgrubengasse 10 1060 Wien
Website address:
Additional information:Major press agency in Austria

Company / Business name:ORF - Austria Broadcasting Services

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Uneasy time for Mugabe and it shows

July 25, 2008

By Rose Maindiseka

THESE days, Zimbabwe's self-elected head of state, Robert Mugabe, bears a
haunted and haggard look, his sunken cheeks and sagging face giving him the
authentic visage of the 84-year old man that he is.

Mugabe is well-known for his vanity which has manifested itself in his
determined fight against the vagaries of time. This has allegedly involved a
self-imposed regimen of yoga, a special diet, and if street talk is to be
believed, regular sessions with Chinese doctors who are said to "pump him
 up" when ever he seems to sag physically or needs extra energy to undertake
gruelling tasks such as election campaigning.

Mugabe always dyes his thinning hair jet black, meaning that Zimbabweans
have never seen the man who has controlled their destiny for almost 30 years
as the white-haired great-grandfather he is in terms of chronological age.
Mugabe has often described himself as "a young old man" and with his young
family, forceful oration and physical agility which enabled him until
recently to strut up the steps when boarding a plane, he must have believed
that he could go on for ever.

Of late, however, events have suddenly and dramatically conspired to
disabuse him of any notions that he is invincible, beyond reproach and
immortal. He is learning very rapidly that the best laid plans can go wrong
and that according to the book of Proverbs in the Bible, man may make his
plans but "God directs his steps".
After the brutal retributive violence he unleashed against the people of
Zimbabwe following his March 29 electoral defeat and in the run up to the
June 27 sham that he is failing to pass off as a presidential election,
Mugabe probably thought by now he would be safely ensconced in State House
as the legitimate president of the country without a care in the world,
whether the electorate liked it or not.

But the sight of him last week flanked by Arthur Mutambara and Morgan
Tsvangirai at a ceremony to sign a memorandum of understanding as a basis
for negotiations to form a government of national unity restored the faith
of many Zimbabweans in the saying that what goes around comes around. The
veneer of Mugabe's status as a sacred cow on account of his liberation war
credentials was shattered when, first, African election observer teams
condemned the June 27 fiasco and then the African Union followed suit
shortly afterwards at its summit in Egypt. It has been downhill for Mugabe
since then and despite his fighting talk and displays of feigned bravado,
even he must acknowledge that the tide has turned irreversibly against him.
Adding to Mugabe's domestic worries is a development he must have believed
would never occur as long as he was in office, hence his ruthless
determination to cling to power at any cost, including the bankrupting of
the country, the crushing of dissent and the brutalization and butchering of
opponents. I refer here to the chilling message sent out to Mugabe and other
tyrants throughout Africa and the world by International Criminal Court
prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo. Out of the blue, when Mugabe thought he had
every thing down to a T, the ICC prosecutor has instituted moves to
prosecute a sitting president, Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, for genocide, war
crimes and crimes against humanity.

The development is reported to have rattled al-Bashir, who like his
Zimbabwean counterpart was confident that he could perpetrate abuses and
atrocities with impunity as long as he remained in office, which would
guarantee him immunity against prosecution.

The announcement of Moreno-Ocampo's plans to apply for an international
warrant of arrest for the Sudanese dictator to be sent to The Hague for
trial has sent the al-Bashir propaganda machinery into over -drive in a bid
to show why his indictment is unfair despite his having previously exhibited
imperviousness with respect to the Darfur conflict. It is on public record
that the Sudanese government has resolutely refused to disarm the Janjaweed
Arab militias perpetrating atrocities against civilians in Darfur in
defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Khartoum is offering various explanations in al-Bashir's defence, including
the claim in a document issued by the Sudanese embassy in Harare, that
states that the Darfur conflict is an internal matter and that the "Sudanese
judiciary is capable and is in the process of solving and dealing with
situation through their own investigation committees and special courts that
have already been formed for the purpose".

The document accuses the ICC prosecutor of having become "more political in
his campaign against Sudan and has breached the norms and professional
ethics of law as is evident in his address to the media."

The most potent argument al-Bashir hoped to use to rally support in Africa
and which master rhetorician Mugabe would also have had a field day with is
the claim made in the embassy document referred to above that, "The ICC has
targeted most of the African countries and countries of the third world."

Unfortunately for Mugabe, al-Bashir and other dictators, the sails have been
taken out of this argument by the arrest in Belgrade on Monday of former
Serbian president, Radovan Karadzic after 10 years on the world's "most
wanted" list. Karadzic, who is to face eleven charges of genocide, war
crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in the Bosnian war between
1992 and 1995, is from the heart of Europe and not the Third World.

Two international human rights organizations, the Enough Project and
Impunity Watch, have already released a report examining the legal options
available to hold Mugabe and others to account for crimes and atrocities
perpetrated during his 28-year rule. These include the Matabeleland
massacres in the 1980s and the ruthless crackdown against political
opponents over the last decade. It must indeed be a case of the head that
wears the stolen crown lying very uneasily in the case of Zimbabwe's
illegitimately elected president.

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Bob still holds some cards

Mail and Guardian

ANALYSIS - Jul 26 2008 06:00

Entering talks with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) this
week, Robert Mugabe appeared to be in his weakest position ever. But he
still held some strong cards, particularly the unstinting support of
Zimbabwe's security establishment.

The fortnight scheduled for the secret talks, scheduled to kick off on
Thursday, looks unrealistically short given the enormous distance separating
the two major participants.

Mugabe's friends in Africa have dwindled in the wake of the violent
presidential election run-off, while industrial confidence and capacity are
at a historic low and famine is stalking Zimbabwe.

Some analysts argue that even the sanctions veto by Russia and China in the
United Nations Security Council has weakened him, as he is now indebted to
those states, which want demonstrable progress.

"Zimbabwe has to repay the debt because the United States and United Kingdom
will say to Russia and China, 'See how your client is misbehaving'," said
Zimbabwean political commentator Eldred Masunungure.

The most intense pressure will come from the rapid disintegration of
Zimbabwe's economy, an issue the MDC will exploit to the full.

"There is absolutely no point in negotiating a deal that is not acceptable
to the people with money," said Eddie Cross, a senior Tsvangirai policy
adviser, this week.

The MDC knows that any agreement must be acceptable to Britain, the US and
other Western countries, which want Mugabe to go.

It has pledged to avoid an "elite pact", while insisting that any settlement
must give it full executive power. An MDC insider said: "Mugabe can be
ceremonial [president] if he wants, but we want full power."

 He said that the party did not want a Kenyan scenario in which the
executive is split evenly between the two parties.

The source said that once the MDC was ensconced in power it would call on a
range of countries to make good on their promises of economic assistance to
an MDC government.

Asked how the MDC proposed to deal with the Zimbabwean military police, he
said: "That's Mugabe's problem. He has too many people to please."

For Mugabe the main concern is the tide of opinion in the African Union and
the Southern African Development Community that the way in which Zimbabwe's
recent elections were conducted has cost him support. Cross said Mugabe
wanted a settlement that would please Africa.

But his Western critics and Tsvangirai might have underestimated his resolve
and the diehard stance of the Zimbabwean security establishment and his
other supporters. He has tabled demands that the MDC will find hard to meet.

Land reform tops his agenda -- Mugabe wants the MDC to agree that land
seizures will not be reversed.

Land is a powerfully emotive issue among Africans in general and many small
Zimbabwean farmers who benefited from the land grabs are anxious about their
future under an MDC-led government.

He also wants the MDC to prevail on the West to lift sanctions on the
Zimbabwean elite -- an issue over which that party has no control. Mugabe
knows that Zimbabwe's securocrats will not accept an MDC-dominated
government without his blessing.

Tsvangirai's party has been decimated in Zimbabwe, with hundreds of its
activists and MPs in jail.But his diplomatic drive while out of Zimbabwe
during the elections, coupled with the widespread perception that Zanu-PF
war veterans and militias were overwhelmingly responsible for election
violence, have shifted African opinion in his favour.

One indication that the balance of power has shifted was his success in
insisting on additional mediators in the talks. Mbeki had little option but
to accept the assistance of AU commission chair Jean Ping and UN special
envoy Haile Menkerios.

An advantage of this for the MDC, said one insider, was that "if things fall
apart, they can act quickly and bring back the issue of sanctions".

A recent report on the Zimbabwean elections by the Human Sciences Research
Council lent weight to the MDC's view that Mbeki's agenda has consistently
been to keep the trade union-based Tsvangirai out of power and ensure that
Zanu-PF, under more moderate leadership, keeps the reins.

While the focus has mostly been on Mugabe and Tsvangirai's game plan for the
talks, scheduled to last two weeks, the leader of the other MDC faction
Arthur Mutambara might punch above his weight.

Mutambara holds the balance of power in the Zimbabwean Parliament, meaning
that both Mugabe and Tsvangirai will need to court his support in passing
legislation and electing a parliamentary speaker.

It is already being suggested that Mutambara's MDC will nominate its deputy
president Gibson Sibanda to the speaker's post, a move that will guarantee
it the fourth most powerful post in government.

There are fundamental policy -- and personal -- differences between leaders
of the two MDC factions. Their animosity was on display on Monday at the
signing of the "memorandum of understanding", which set the framework and
agenda for the talks.

Mutambara has adopted a more conciliatory attitude to Mugabe, attending an
earlier meeting with him, which Tsvangirai boycotted.

His faction supported Simba Makoni in the first presidential poll, but
pledged to back Tsvangirai in his aborted run-off campaign.

Pass the salt, puppet
When Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai sat down to lunch on Monday they
must have used very long spoons.

One of the key hurdles the settlement negotiations will have to surmount is
the personal loathing between the two main negotiators.

Emerging from the signing ceremony, aides ushered Mugabe and Tsvangirai to
the 17th floor of the Rainbow Towers hotel, where a room was prepared for
the duo to lunch alone.

One can safely assume the exchange was laconic; pass the salt, keep that
knife away.

Earlier they had posed for an unlikely picture. Smiling and holding hands
were Mugabe, destroyer and murderer, and Tsvangirai, the white man's dumb
poodle. Not even Thabo Mbeki's musty jokes -- met with exaggerated laughter
from the audience -- could hide the obvious mutual revulsion, bred over a
bitter 10-year power struggle.

Tsvangirai, an arm leisurely slung over the back of his chair, looked away
as Mugabe walked into the conference room. Mugabe stole only the slyest of
glances at his opponent as he slouched into his chair, mumbling a greeting
to the leader of the other MDC faction, Arthur Mutambara.

Both leaders sulked their way through the ceremony. Clearly, neither wanted
to be there; and neither looked ready to concede an inch.According to
Tsvangirai this was a meeting between "the ruling party and the winning
party", and he made a point of calling Mugabe "president of Zanu-PF", not of

Mugabe insisted the talks would only succeed if "we call off, if we haven't
done so already, all influences on ourselves from Europe and the United
States, so we think for ourselves".

The conference room was also far too small for the vast egos on display. -- 
Jason Moyo

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Journos added to EU hit list

Mail and Guardian


Even more Zimbabwean elites will have to swap their Armani suits and
Salvadore Ferragamo shoes for local brands as shopping trips to Europe will
be something of the past, even for those who are not Robert Mugabe's nearest
and dearest.

The decision of the European Union (EU) Council to increase the list of
individuals in the Zimbabwean elite to 168 is aimed at ensuring that they
will not be allowed to travel to or through Europe and their bank accounts
held in European institutions will be frozen.

Zimbabwe Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono and the deputy chairperson of the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Joyce Kazembe, as well as Zimbabwean attorney
general Bharat Patel are among the Zimbabwean elite who will not be allowed
to travel to Europe.

Two Zimbabwean journalists are accused by the EU of "whipping up" the terror
campaign before and during the recent June 27 presidential election and have
been added to the list of 168 individuals who have been issued with travel
bans and the freezing of assets.

Political editor of the state-owned Sunday Mail Munyaradzi Huni and former
political editor Caesar Zvayi of The Herald were included on the newly
revised list. Both these newspapers are owned by the Zanu-PF government and
seen to be mouthpieces of self-styled president Robert Mugabe.

Diplomats say European ambassadors in Harare compiled the list and
recommended that the implementation of the decision be delayed by a few
weeks to allow for the mediation effort, that started this week outside
Pretoria, to take shape.

But the EU decided that immediate implementation will keep pressure on the
Mugabe regime. The issue will be raised at the South African-EU summit
scheduled to take place this weekend in Bordeaux, France.

A surprising addition to the list is the head of Zimbabwe Cricket, Peter
Chingoka, whohas been at loggerheads with British cricket organisations for
their refusal to tour in Zimbabwe and their lobbying to get Zimbabwe kicked
out of the International Cricket Council.

Also on the list is the president of the Zimbabwean branch of the World
Medical Association. Paul Chimedza has, according to the EU, refused to
treat injured members of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

 Companies have also been targeted. Their assets and bank accounts will be
frozen and therefore they will not be able to do business in or with
European companies.

The Zimbabwean national defence company, Zimbabwe Defence Industries, owned
by the Zimbabwe government, is on the list. Its directors include Leo
Mugabe, Robert Mugabe's nephew, as well as former army chief Solomon Mujuru,
husband of vice-president Joice Mujuru.

Other targeted companies are Zanu-PF's financial holding company, Zidco
Holdings, as well as the party's publishing arm, Jongwe Printing and
Publishing Company and Cold Comfort Farm Trust Cooperative, a company owned
by Zimbabwean national security minister Didymus Mutasa. Grace Mugabe is
also involved in the trust. The rest of the list includes army chiefs and
war veterans.

Mugabe and those closest to him are not allowed to enter Europe, but he
managed to enter on a United Nations ticket when he attended the UN food
summit in Rome earlier this year.

The United States has decided to wait and see whether the mediation effort
makes significant headway before deciding whether to follow the EU's

Deputy information minister Bright Matonga declined to comment on the
revised list.

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Serious cash shortage hits Zimbabwe

July 25, 2008

By Owen Chikari

HARARE - A serious cash shortage has hit Zimbabwe as the country's economic
crisis worsens each day amid reports that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe RBZ
has completely run out of paper to print new bank notes.

Even black market dealers have also run out resulting in citizens now
resorting increasingly to use of foreign currency to conduct basic financial
transactions. The South African Rand and the US dollar are now the
currencies of choice.

Although Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono yesterday announced that he will
unveil new financial strategies to ensure that the problem is addressed he
has limited options, given that the central bank has run shot of paper to
print bank notes, following the cancellation last month of the supply of the
required paper by German supplier Giesecke and Devrient.

The problem has adversely affected business with some now on the verge of
closing because of the cash crisis.

"We are failing to perform simple financial transactions and this is
worrying ", complained Harare businessman, Lambat Lambat.

"Our workers too have been affected as they can not get the required money
to commute to and from work."

The central bank has set $100 billion as the maximum cash withdrawal limit
per day. This is enough only to buy a box of matches.

"We are now failing to go to work because of this problem", said Musavengana
Muza of Harare. "We can not even get enough money from the bank to meet our
daily needs and we are now using Rands and US dollars for simple financial
transactions such as buying bread and other grocery items."

Remittances from Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora have become the major
source income for their families living in Zimbabwe.

Although Gono could not be reached for comment yesterday sources at the RBZ
said that the central bank was struggling to secure an alternative source of
the special paper on which to print the agro-cheques which are now commonly
used as currency in the country.

"The problem is that the RBZ has run short of paper," said one source. "As a
result the cash problem is going to persist until a solution is found."

Problems started soon after the Germany firm which has been supplying the
country with the paper cut ties with Harare as a result of sanctions imposed
on President Robert Mugabe and his government by the European Union.

Gono reacted angrily to the move and advised members of the public not to
panic saying the central bank had put enough measures in place to ensure
that the smooth flow of cash would not be affected. This now appears to have
all been wishful thinking.

Speculation has been rife that the central bank will deal with the problem
by introducing higher denomination notes but the situation has remained
critical over the past weeks.

A 100 billion dollar special agro cheque note unveiled on Monday this week
has failed to alleviate the cash shortage. Sources say the central bank is
already mooting the introduction of a 500 billion dollar special agro cheque
but the shortage of paper remains an insurmountable challenge.

Even RTGS which have been the only remaining reliable source of payment have
been affected as they now take weeks to process.

Ideally financial institutions must process RTGS within only 24 hours.

The RBZ said in a statement that it will soon introduce new financial
measures to curb the current problems but did not give a specific date or
outline any specific measures.

"We wish to advise members of the public that the RBZ will take new steps to
ensure that members of the public are not inconvenienced ", said the

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Leadership issue remains major sticking point at talks

By Tererai Karimakwenda
July 25, 2008

Talks between Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party and the 2 MDC formations
entered a second day on Friday at a secret location in South Africa, with
local media reports saying that a deal could be reached before the 2 week
deadline spelled out in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). At the same
time the reports acknowledged that the issue of who will lead a Government
of National Unity (GNU) remains a sticking point at the talks.

On Friday the state controlled Herald newspaper reported that a ZANU-PF
politburo meeting earlier this week decided that the party would not accept
a power-sharing deal that does not recognise Robert Mugabe's re-election, or
seeks to reverse his land reform programme. Mugabe's insistence on leading
any government of unity is equally matched by the MDC's demand that party
President Morgan Tsvangirai be the leader since he won the initial
presidential poll on March 29.

The leadership issue is nothing new but it could easily endanger the talks.
A media blackout imposed on the current negotiations to resolve Zimbabwe's
political crisis has left the ordinary, suffering people in the dark
speculating as to what sort of arrangement could please both sides in this
strong rivalry.

Zimbabwean lecturer and political commentator Dr John Makumbe said he is
aware that ZANU-PF is desperate for a unity government led by Mugabe while
the MDC prefers a transitional authority without any officials from either
party. Given the polarity between the two parties on the question of
leadership, Makumbe believes that two weeks is not long enough for the
negotiations. He said: "There is very little room for compromise and a
semi-skilled mediator like Mbeki will have great difficulty bringing the
parties to a centre position."

Asked if he is aware of what ordinary Zimbabweans want, the outspoken
commentator said: "Zimbabweans are sick and tired of the old man.
Zimbabweans know Mugabe is poison and anything he touches is destroyed."
Makumbe explained that the transitional government would be made of neutral
individuals chosen from civil society, churches and community leaders.

Meanwhile the first-ever summit between South Africa and the European Union
kicked off on Friday in the French city of Bordeaux, with a meeting between
Mbeki, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission President
Jose Manuel Barroso. At a joint news conference after the summit, Sarkozy is
reported to have showered Mbeki with praise for what he described as his
"bold and courageous" intervention. The French leader also said he would not
be holding any form of talks with Robert Mugabe, because he judges what the
ZANU-PF leader has done to Zimbabwe very severely.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Cosatu Vows to Make Mugabe's Life 'Difficult'

SW Radio Africa (London)

25 July 2008
Posted to the web 25 July 2008

Alex Bell

South Africa's Trade Union Federation, COSATU has vowed to make Robert
Mugabe's life 'difficult' if he does not concede power.

The comments were made by COSATU's general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi as
Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF and MDC negotiating members finally sat down to talks on
Thursday. Vavi said if the talks, expected to last the next two weeks, do
not reach a strong settlement, he will call on his members to boycott next
month's SADC summit scheduled to take place in Johannesburg - an event which
Mugabe is expected to attend as an incumbent regional leader. Vavi warned
that, although the federation cannot prevent Mugabe from traveling to South
Africa, "We will make it very difficult for him to be here."

COSATU's national spokesman, Patrick Craven told Newsreel on Friday that the
federation and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions took a decision after
the June 27 'sham election' that the Zimbabwean government 'should no longer
be recognised.' He said the government "has no mandate because of its
appalling human rights record and it is a position we are encouraging trade
unions around the world to accept".

Craven said "workers should refuse to aid Mugabe and his cronies anywhere in
the world," and called the action a form of "targeted sanctions against a
regime that has no credibility." He added that the federation will also
"encourage governments to stop inviting Mugabe to international conferences
and events," and he reiterated that "only a government agreed to, as part of
the negotiating process should be recognised."

A unity government is widely believed to be on the cards at the end of the
ZANU-PF and MDC negotiations and Newsreel understands discussions are taking
place about making Mugabe a titular head of state with Morgan Tsvangerai as
executive Prime Minister. Craven said COSATU will only accept a result that
"honours the verdict"of the Zimbabwean people and in this regard"the result
of the March elections should be the basis for Zimbabwe's parliament." He
added fresh elections need to be held as soon as possible and that, "any
administration set up in the interim must be purely transitional to
facilitate a free and fair poll."

COSATU is also organising a mass march set to take place outside next
month's SADC summit in Johannesburg. Craven said the demonstration "will
allow South African workers as well as Zimbabweans living in South Africa to
express their views about what steps should be taken."

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Statement on the performance of the “public” media during the 2008 presidential run-off election campaign


Harare, June 27th, 2008


Since the announcement of the March 29th presidential election results in May the government-controlled print and electronic media have been suborned by ZANU PF to conduct an unprecedented propaganda campaign to have its candidate, Robert Mugabe, re-elected as the country’s president.

If in the March elections campaign, these media were considered to be merely heavily biased towards the ruling party at the time, MMPZ – and certainly the public – have been unable to ignore an alarming increase in the bias of the national public broadcaster, ZBC, and the government-controlled Zimpapers’ publications, that has witnessed them setting aside every standard of basic journalistic practice and common decency in their promotion of Mugabe and their assault on the winner of the first round election, Morgan Tsvangirai of the opposition MDC.

In their slavish expression of loyalty to ZANU PF these media have not only abandoned their public mandate to provide fair and credible news services to the people of Zimbabwe, they have trampled with the utmost contempt on the country’s own laws governing the conduct of the media during elections, as well as regional and international guidelines setting basic minimum standards of media practice, which attempt to ensure that political contestants receive fair and equitable coverage.

Most wickedly, these media allowed themselves to become megaphones for ZANU PF’s virulent hate campaign against the MDC that has included openly threatening violence against the electorate, as well as gratuitously discrediting and slandering the MDC and its legitimate presidential candidate.

They have also been complicit in suffocating any news of what has evidently been a nationwide campaign of extreme violence to liquidate the opposition party’s structures and terrorize the electorate in general against voting for the opposition candidate for a second time.

Evidence of this brutal campaign and those responsible for it abounds in all the privately owned media and those civic organizations committed to the protection of Zimbabweans’ human rights, particularly those organizations dealing with victims of violence and torture.

Yet ZBC and the Zimpapers’ publications barely reported a single violent incident against members of the MDC, let alone the numerous murders that have taken place throughout the country since the initial results of the March 29th elections.

Instead, they mounted a malicious propaganda campaign to portray the opposition as being exclusively responsible for the violence that racked the country between the two elections in order to disguise what has evidently been a highly organized, systematic programme of state-sponsored violence against the MDC’s membership and an electorate which ZANU PF officials have publicly stated “voted wrongly” in the initial elections.

Senior ZANU PF officials have used their authority to make regular statements inciting hatred, violence and intolerance during the campaign leading up to the presidential election run-off with impunity.

Such statements represent a clear violation of Section 7(1) of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Media Coverage of Elections) Regulations, 2008 which states: “A print publisher shall not publish any election publication that incites violence or advocates hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, sex, gender, religion or political conviction that constitutes incitement to cause harm.”  

Yet the following statements appeared in the government Press during the presidential election campaign:

“This country shall not again come under the rule and control of the white man, direct or indirect…Anyone who seeks to undermine our land reform, itself the bedrock of politics from time immemorial, seeks and gets war” – President Mugabe (The Sunday Mail 15/6) and;

“ZvanaTsvangirai zvekuti varungu tichavadzorera nyika hazvife zvakaitika, kuzvinyepera. You can vote for him (Tsvangirai) but if he brings back the whites we go to war. You decide for yourselves to vote for war or vote for people who work for the development of the country” – President Mugabe, The Herald (17/6).


These sentiments were then amplified in the news feature and “analysis” pages of the government Press, where columnists magnified the intolerance by adding their own offensive and insulting language to discredit and malign Mugabe’s critics, and particularly Tsvangirai and the MDC.

The government-controlled media also celebrated statements that undermined the democratic process. For example, they found nothing amiss with Mugabe declaring that ZANU PF would not allow Tsvangirai to rule even if he did win because Zimbabwe’s independence “came through the barrel of the gun, not the ballot”, (ZTV (12/6, 7am). The Sunday Mail (15/6) quoted him persisting with his war theme warning “…This legacy should not simply be vanquished by the stroke of a pen at the ballot.”

Similarly, the government media gave approving publicity to statements by senior members of the security forces, including the police, that also undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic culture by declaring their allegiance to the personality of the incumbent President rather than the institution.

Apart from the grave offence to the democratic process that such behaviour represents, it also makes a mockery of the Declaration by the National Multi-Party Liaison Committee for the 2008 Presidential Run-off Elections, in which, among other things, the contesting parties committed themselves to “ refraining from using language that is intimidatory or which may provoke violence”, and “condemning any action that may undermine the free and fair conduct of elections in Zimbabwe”.


This intolerable and dangerous abuse of the media to incite hatred, intolerance and violence against innocent fellow citizens places Zimbabwe at the very brink of a catastrophe that was last witnessed in Rwanda, where the media played a crucial role in fanning the flames of ethnic hatred that led to the genocide in that country in 1994.

Today, the government media in Zimbabwe are being used to fan the flames of hatred and intolerance against a legitimate political movement that will have tragic consequences if this practice is not stopped forthwith.


As it stands on the day of the presidential run-off, MMPZ cannot provide sensible statistics about how the government media covered the political contestants because there is only one statistic to give: ZANU PF’s candidate received 100 percent favourable coverage in the government controlled media, while the MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai received zero percent favourable coverage and on the few occasions he and his party were mentioned, they received 100 percent aggressively negative coverage in these media. Even the party’s paid advertisements were rejected.


Under Section 16F(a) of the Electoral Act broadcasters and publishers are obliged to ensure that “all political parties and candidates are treated equitably in their news media, in regard to the extent, timing and prominence of the coverage accorded to them” during an election period. A similar requirement is envisaged by Principle 2.1.5 of the SADC Guidelines on the conduct of democratic elections, which calls for “equal opportunity for all political parties to access the state media”.



As MMPZ has observed in the past, these media have become propaganda tools of the ruling party along with the police force as illustrated by Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri’s comments during the campaign attributing the violence to the MDC and the West. These media are complicit in the murder, assault and destruction of property by their silence and their failure to investigate a single incident against the opposition.

They have been promoting hatred in the news and editorial pages of their papers. ZBC TV’s current affairs programmes were contaminated with egregious and offensive assaults against the opposition, which was never given a chance to defend itself.


The fundamental tenor of the ruling party’s campaign was that the MDC are “sell-outs” who wish to overturn Zimbabwe’s independence and hand the country back to the country’s former colonial masters, Britain.

The MDC was also accused of introducing violence into Zimbabwean politics, and hence placing themselves outside the democratic framework. They became “sell-outs’ and “stooges”, dehumanising labels that imply the MDC is a legitimate target for ZANU PF supporters’ “righteous” violence. All this could not have worked, had it not been so thoroughly disseminated. The government-controlled media were willing accomplices in promoting this image so keen were they in pursuing their unrelenting assault on the MDC while promoting the image of ZANU PF.


The use of threatening language in the campaigns was compounded by the apparently deliberate reporting of falsehoods.

Section 16F(b) of the Electoral Act and Section 8(1) of ZEC’s own election reporting regulations require the media to “ensure that during an election period, news and current affairs programmes or features relating to the election in question are presented in a balanced, fair, complete and accurate manner”.

The government-controlled media simply ignored this requirement and ZEC, the body legally mandated to ensure observance of this and other requirements, have done nothing to force them to do so. For example, The Sunday Mail (1/6) reported Industry Minister Obert Mpofu saying, “MDC ngairege nyaya yeviolence because zvinovapinza mudanger. Takatora nyika ino nepfuti.Vanhu vakawanda vakafa saka let the MDC be warned” (The MDC must stop violence because this will get them into danger. We won this country by the gun. Many people died in the process so let the MDC be warned.)

Contrary to common knowledge that the MDC was the victim of state-sponsored violence, the paper allowed this comment to go unchallenged and denied the MDC an opportunity to respond.


Because they are unaccountable, the government-controlled media distorted the truth and even resorted to fabrications with reckless abandon. These media are unreliable sources of information – they are virulently active messengers of disinformation, misinforming the public over all issues of any importance related to the election, the run-off, the violence and international, regional and local political developments. For example, the day before the election The Herald ran a front-page story lying about the SADC troika meeting on Zimbabwe.


The level of this crude manipulation in these media was also illustrated by The Herald’s (23/6) distorted coverage of the news that the MDC had decided to withdraw its candidate from the presidential election run-off, and particularly the riotous behaviour of ZANU PF youths that prevented the MDC from staging a court-sanctioned rally in Harare on the Sunday before the election (22/6). In reporting the news that the rally had not taken place, The Herald passively reported ZANU PF’s Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, who signed the ZEC Multi-party Liaison Committee agreement, providing an explanation that approached the realm of deranged fantasy; that MDC “hooligans” had dressed up in stolen ZANU PF regalia in order to disturb their own event. The paper refused to question the credibility of this absurd explanation.


The government-controlled media have trampled on the laws of our country; they have treated with utter contempt the SADC guidelines on media coverage of elections. They have failed the nation - they must be reformed. These institutions have no future in a democratic Zimbabwe. Any media laws must protect the people from such savage abuse that has led to so much misery in other countries around the world. Zimbabwe is evidently in urgent need of a new Constitution and any constitutional overhaul must guarantee media freedoms and guard against such extreme abuse of the so-called public media as has been witnessed in these last two elections.


MMPZ therefore reiterates the view it articulated before March 29th, that one of the more important tasks of any new political dispensation will be to reform the laws affecting the business of media in Zimbabwe – indeed, all the media laws – and to demand that the national public broadcaster is freed from government control and returns to its mandate to provide an impartial, fair and accurate news service to the people of this country.




The STATEMENT was produced and circulated by the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe, 9 Knight Bruce Road, Milton Park, Harare, Tel: 263 4 741816 / 778115, E-mail:


Feel free to write to MMPZ. We may not able to respond to everything but we will look at each message.  For previous MMPZ reports, and more information about the Project, please visit our website at


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CHRA weekly update: Harare last week: 19-26 July 2008

Water Supply

Most parts of Harare remained dry in the past week. Mabvuku and Tafara
residents are now going for the full second month without water. Other areas
affected include Glen Lorne, Highlands, Kuwadzana, Budiriro, Warren Park,
Glen View, Masasa, Glen Norah and Dzivarasekwa. Hatfield has gone for the
last one week and some days with no drop of water while Mount Pleasant and
Northwood has only had about 6 days of water in the last six months and has
no water at all over the last 4 weeks. With no ZESA residents can't use
boreholes and are paying the Zim $ equivalent of +- 80 US dollars for a drop
of 5000 litres of water.
While the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) is failing to restore
water supplies to these areas, the authority is surprisingly failing to fix
water pipes where water is gushing out; particularly in most parts of
Kuwadzana and the Central Business District. Meanwhile the Mayor and
Chairperson for the Harare city council Mr Muchadei Masunda has expressed
his view that water supply management must be brought back to the city
council so that ZINWA will concentrate on bulk water management only. His
Chitungwiza counterpart Mayor Israel Marange expressed the same sentiments.
CHRA has for a long time been fighting the ZINWA take over on the basis that
ZINWA lacks adequate technical capacity to manage water supply. CHRA hinted
this week on a possible water bills payment boycott by residents; should the
situation continue like this. In the past, CHRA mobilized residents to
boycott rates payment to the illegal commissions appointed by the Minister
of Local Government to run the city of Harare. Meanwhile CHRA urges the city
council to intensify efforts to reclaim water supply management in the
interests of saving lives.

Electricity supply

Electricity supply remains erratic, with most suburbs spending few hours
with electricity per day. On average, suburbs like Warren Park, Mufakose,
Glen View, Glen Norah, Highlands and Dzivarasekwa were getting electricity
for not more than 2 hours. Please note that the length of the day for
electricity usage is calculated from 0700hrs to 2000hrs. Residents of
Shingai court in the Avenues went through their 4th week in darkness.
Meanwhile another ZESA substation was engulfed by fire in Warren Park D,
plunging parts of the suburb into darkness. ZESA Public Relations manager
said that the return of electricity supply will depend on the availability
of foreign currency. Harare has been gripped by a sudden wave of burning
transformers, which ZESA puts the blame on vandals who are draining
transformer oil. Mount Pleasant has been without ZESA supply since Thursday
last week. There was brief resumption on Sunday night for 12 hours and then
gone. CHRA urges the residents to desist from this kind of criminal behavior
and be wary of criminal elements who are damaging the electricity
transformers. Residents have a duty to report such cases of vandalism to
ZESA or the police. However, the Association calls upon ZESA to be
innovative enough to find security solutions to this problem. CHRA
reiterates that ZESA cannot sit back and blame the situation on vandalism,
while the innocent residents suffer continuously. CHRA will soon be
mobilizing its wide membership for some popular action with regards to ZESA

Sewer and waste management

Sewer spillages continue to characterize the face of most of the residential
suburbs. Raw sewage is a common sight in Mufakose, Mabvuku, Tafara,
Highfields (Canaan Engineering), Glen Norah and Dzivarasekwa. Residents in
Mabvuku have resorted to digging drainage trenches across their yards to
avoid raw sewage from spilling into their homes. CHRA mourns the state's
decision to ban NGO and civic society organization's activities. Before the
ban, CHRA was carrying out popular action campaigns which would see
residents teaming up to engage in some kind of waste management activities.
In Mbare the Association did a lot of work around refuse collection and
sewer management. CHRA provided cleaning materials, detergents and
protective clothing for the cleaning of Matapi flats. The Association urges
the council to engage ZINWA and find a lasting solution to the sewer

Road maintenance

Pot holes, now commonly referred to as 'craters' because of their deep
nature, have established themselves as permanent features on Harare's most
roads. Deep potholes are found in most roads in Highfields (Canaan
Engineering), Mufakose, Kambuzuma and Mabvuku. According to our reports, the
council has not yet started any work to repair the roads. Whilst CHRA
appreciates that the council inherited a 'dead' municipality from Chombo's
(Minister of Local government)  illegal and corrupt commissions, we urge the
council to commence the road maintenance program and save the motorists from
the nightmare they continue to experience as they drive on the roads. Roads
are the face of the city; therefore to improve the roads is to improve the
image of the city. CHRA has in the past implemented some road maintenance
programs, and therefore stands ready to partner with the council to repair
our roads.

Housing and Shelter

A survey recently carried out by CHRA reveals that accommodation in most of
the low to medium density suburbs is now being charged in United State
dollars, while for the high density areas, landlords are charging in South
African Rand. In areas like Warren Park and Mufakose, a single room is going
for 100 Rands, while in places like Avondale and Highlands landlords are
charging USD100 per room per month. Landlords argue that, they cannot charge
rentals in local currency, whose value is seriously eroded by inflation on a
daily basis. Meanwhile, forex remains difficult to access for most of the
lodgers whose monthly income earnings are well below the poverty datum line.
A group of 11 families is currently sleeping in the open along Airport road,
after being evicted. The families are failing to find alternative
accommodation as a result of the rentals being charged in forex.

Although the economic crisis is the immediate force behind the charging of
rentals in forex, CHRA notes that Operation Murambatsvina/Restore order left
more residents homeless, as most of their homes were demolished. The
operation also destroyed backyard structures, which for a long time had been
accommodating thousands of residents who are now homeless. The Government is
still failing to provide accommodation for the survivors of this notorious
operation. The increased demand for accommodation, boosted by the state
sponsored Operation Murambatsvina, has exacerbated the plight of the lodgers
and low income earners. CHRA calls upon the state to come up with immediate
measures that cushion the residents against the disastrous effects of
Operation Murambatsvina. The Ministry of Local Government must provide
direct loans to Local Authorities ear marked for housing development. CHRA
demands that the state must be responsible for its irresponsible yet cruel
actions like Operation Murambatsvina.

The Bread basket

The economic crisis continues to deepen with no sign of recovery at all.
Prices for basic goods were increasing by 500% per day last week. This week,
prices for most of the basic goods have been going up at 800% per day. For
instance, a 10kg of mealie meal was going for zw$600 billion as at Saturday
19 July 2008, but on Monday it shot up to zw$1, 08 trillion, before it shot
up to zw$1, 9 trillion the following day.

With effect from this last week, most residents, who are lodgers, were
grappling with their rentals. Owing to inflation, most landlords are now
charging rentals in foreign currency. According to a survey carried out by
CHRA recently, accommodation in high to medium density suburbs is charged in
South African Rand, while in low densities, charges are made in United
States Dollars. For instance, most landlords in areas like Warren Park and
Budiriro charge R100 per room per month, while in Highlands, Hillside and
Borrowdale a room ranges from USD100 to USD200 per month. Given that monthly
income earnings for most residents fall far short of the poverty datum line,
the charging of rentals in forex and the rising inflation continues to put
the cost of living beyond the affordability of the residents.  The table
below shows the cost of living for an average family of six in Harare, for
the previous week (13-19 July 2008)  and last week; 20-26 July 2008.

 Goods/ServicePrice (ZW$)Price (ZW$)
110 kg Mealie meal600 billion 2,8 trillion
2750ml Cooking oil300 billion     1,2 trillion
3200g Salt100 billion 350 billion
46 kgs Economy Beef @ $900/kg billion (up from $500/kg the previous week)3
trillion 5,4 trilion
5Transport per week @ 80 billion ( up from 40 billion the previous week) per
person per trip, where 1 person works in town, and 3 children commute to
school, 5 days a week1, 680 trillion3,840 trillion
64 loaves of bread @ 300billion(up from $100 billion the previous  week) per
loaf x 7 days2, 800 trillion 8,4 trillion
72 kg sugar250 billion640 billion
830g Tea bags100 billion 300 billion
9250g Butter200 billion 640 billion
106 litres of drink @ $1 trillion (up from $100 billion the previous  week)
per 2litres600 billion 6 trillion
 Total9,630 trillion 29,57 trillion

The minimum wage remains at zw$100 billion yet an average family of six
people needed zw$29, 57 trillion to go through last week. The plight of the
residents is exacerbated by the fact that the maximum amount daily
withdrawal limit from the bank stands at zw$100 billion. This amount was not
even enough for the residents to commute to and from work, given that
commuter operators were charging zw$80 billion for a single trip by Friday
25 July 2008. The irresponsible and heartless Reserve Bank Governor Gideon
Gono remains deaf to the calls by the starving residents that the daily
maximum withdrawal limit of 100 billion does not make sense which ever way
one looks at it.

Meanwhile NGOs remain banned from distributing food relief to the starving
residents amid reports that the state is giving out aid to supporters of
ZANU PF only. There are also reports that even the majority of ZANU PF
supporters are not getting this aid as most of the goods are taken by the
chefs for sale at the black/parallel market. The so called "peoples' shops"
started by ZANU PF during its election campaign appear to have been fast
blown away by inflation.

With transport and food costs rising unabated; residents, parents and
children are walking distances ranging from 15-20km to and from work and
school on empty stomachs.

The political atmosphere

Despite the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the MDC and
ZANU PF, the political environment in Harare and indeed across the nation
remains very tense. ZANU PF militia bases remain intact in Sunningdale,
Mufakose and in Dzivarasekwa. Public gatherings remain banned while ZANU PF
meetings are being held. CHRA recorded 12 acts of political intimidation of
civic society activists by suspected ZANU PF militia. The raids on the
vendors at Mbare Musika by the resident ZANU PF aligned group of thugs
called 'Chipangano' continues unabated.


Service delivery appears to b e fast collapsing every week in Harare. More
areas are running dry of water, while those which previously did not have
water remain dry. Reference is made to Mabvuku and Tafara which have gone
for 4 months now without water. Darkness is fast engulfing the city of
Harare as more and more substations are burning and ZESA is failing to find
a solution. Just like water supply, electricity supply continues to
deteriorate every week. As ZINWA battles wit water provision, raw sewage
continues to gush out in most suburbs. It is relieving to note that the city
council has begun to voice its concerns about the ZINWA take over. Other
city councils like Chitungwiza have echoed similar sentiments. CHRA expects
more action from the council, towards reclaiming the water supply management
from the failing ZINWA. On the political front, there is need for those
supervising the talks to dispatch teams that continuously assess the
situation on the ground, because the situation remains tense despite the
assurances by the state that there will be tolerance. NGOs and civic society
organizations remain banned, and so are public gatherings. Thus the
democratic space for the resident's remains closed despite the signing of
the MOU.

Farai Barnabas Mangodza
Chief Executive Officer
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
145 Robert Mugabe Way
Exploration House, Third Floor
 Landline: 00263- 4- 705114

Contacts: Mobile: 011 563 141, 0912638401, 011862012 or email, and


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A letter from the diaspora

25 July 2008

Dear Friends.
There is only one topic of conversation for Zimbabweans at the moment and
that is the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on Monday 21st of July
2008. Despite the total lack of hard facts, journalists desperate for copy
and so-called experts who love the sound of their own voices have rushed in
to prophesy on the outcomes of the talks now taking place in South Africa.
The civic organization too have been quick to air their views about the
wisdom - or lack of it - of Morgan Tsvangirai's participation in those
talks. Some of these civic bodies have even questioned Tsvangirai's right to
represent the Zimbabwean people at the talks. Listening to some of the
comments, you might be forgiven for wondering if they even want a settlement
of Zimbabwe's desperate plight. Even before the MOU was signed, a grouping
of civic organizations had issued a statement saying that they would reject
a transitional government led by either Tsvangirai or Mugabe. Instead they
want a neutral figure to head any new transitional government.

Watching it all from the UK diaspora, two points strike me about this move
by civic society: the first is that they seem to have forgotten the March
29th elections which Morgan Tsangirai and the MDC won conclusively. The
second point concerns the appointment of a so-called 'neutral' figure to
head up a new government. Anyone with even the most rudimentary
understanding of Zimbabwean politics over the last few years knows very well
that 'neutrality' is simply not possible in that context. In the life and
death struggle that has gripped Zimbabwe, even finding food for your family
has become 'political. From as far back as 2004 when I left, the ownership
of a Zanu PF card determined whether or not you would be able to access
maize; to claim that you were neutral and belonged to neither party would
get you nothing, except a beating. That was true right down at the
grassroots level of politics and it still maintains today. How then is it
possible to claim that 'neutrality' is a requirement for leadership in a
country where political allegiance has penetrated every single aspect of
life. To be neutral in Zimbabwe is virtually impossible. Even the police,
the judiciary and the military who are all supposed to be neutral and
apolitical have taken sides. Where then is this 'neutral' leader to be
found? The Zimbabwean people have already spoken, they want a new
dispensation in their country and they want Morgan Tsvangirai to lead it. To
ignore that fact, as the civic groups have done is to ignore the democratic
voice of the people and, in my view, demonstrates a naïve lack of
understanding of political realities.

Like everyone else I felt profound misgivings when I saw the pictures of
Morgan Tsvangirai shaking hands with Robert Mugabe. Like everyone else I
asked myself how Tsvangirai could shake the hand of the man who was killing,
torturing and imprisoning MDC supporters. Like everyone else I feared and
still fear that Tsvangirai would be swallowed up and rendered powerless by
Zanu PF just as Joshua Nkomo had been. I spent the rest of the week reading
and rereading the MOU and listening to the voices coming out of Zimbabwe via
SW RadioAfrica. In all the talk there is much about how Tsvangirai had been
forced to negotiate or risk losing power. Very few people have noted that
Mugabe himself was also forced to talk. With the economy imploding around
him and the threat of even more sanctions against his cronies, Mugabe too
had no option but to talk to his hated enemy. The truth is that all
conflicts end with enemies facing each other across a table and hammering
out an agreement. Zimbabwe cannot continue as it is, Zimbabweans know it and
Africa knows it.

The MOU acknowledges that "We (the parties ie Zanu PF and the two MDC
formations) have an obligation of establishing a framework of working
together in an inclusive government" (my underlining) Immediately noticeable
is the fact that Robert Gabriel Mugabe is nowhere referred to as the
President of Zimbabwe; he is simply called the President and First Secretary
of Zanu PF in the same way that Morgan Richard Tsvangirai is the President
of one MDC formation. That, in my view is a step forward. The MOU is nothing
more than a Declaration of Commitment "to commit themselves to a dialogue
with each other with a view to creating a genuine, viable, permanent and
sustainable solution to the Zimbabwean situation and, in particular, to
implement this Memorandum of Understanding." There is nothing legally
binding here and either side could presumably get up and walk out at any
point. It is the Agenda for the Dialogue now taking place in South Africa at
some secret location that raises serious questions. "The Objectives and
Priorities of a new Government" are divided into headings: Economic,
Political, Security, Communication and Framework for a new Government. Under
these various headings are sub-headings such as Sanctions, the Land
question, a new constitution, free political activity, the rule of law,
security of persons and prevention of violence. The contentious matter of
the freedom of the press is summarised in the one word 'Media' with External
radio stations similarly described. No commitment is made to freeing up the
media or granting licences to independent radio stations. "It is envisaged"
says the MOU that " the Dialogue will be completed within a period of two
weeks from the signing of this MOU." Item10.1 entitled Security of Persons
is of particular concern to all Zimbabweans suffering state violence. "Each
party will issue a statement condemning the promotion and use of violence
and call for peace in the country" and furthermore " The Parties will take
all necessary measures to eliminate all forms of political violence,
including by non-state actors, (my underlining) and to ensure the security
of persons and property."
Item 10.1(d) goes on to " agree that in the interim they will work together
to ensure the safety of any displaced persons and their safe return home and
that humanitarian and social welfare organizations are enabled to render
such assistance as might be required." There is no mention of the
restoration of food aid by international NGO's which was banned by Mugabe's
government on the grounds that they were preaching a message of 'regime
change'. Item 10.2 says "The Parties shall refrain from using abusive
language that may incite hostility, political intolerance and ethnic hatred
or undermine each other."
All of this is the Agenda for the Dialogue now taking place. Some
commentators have suggested that an Agreement has already been reached and
all that is being done now is to tie up the loose ends. I don't know how
these commentators are getting their information since all Parties to the
MOU have agreed not to communicate with or through the media. For most of us
I suggest the best thing we can do now is to wait and see what transpires.
Personally, I'm waiting to see Robert Mugabe on camera telling the nation
and the world that the violence must stop and that he is genuinely committed
to an 'Inclusive government.' Until that happens, I shall not believe that
things have changed for the better in Zimbabwe. Mugabe has to instruct his
moronic journalists at ZBC, The Herald and the Sunday Mail to desist from
the hate filled garbage they call reporting. And above all, I'm waiting to
see if Zanu PF rank and file, the police and the army, the war vets and the
Green Bombers will listen to their Dear Leader when he tells them that the
MDC is no longer the enemy but an equal partner in government. Only then can
the healing begin in Zimbabwe.
Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH.

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For God's sake people are suffering

I am quite shocked that political parties are cuddling and romancing while
ordinary Zimbabweans are suffering, it's truly traumatizing .All eyes are on
the talks and everybody has forgotten the people who are threatened with
extinction due to record breaking poverty. Civic society and donor
organizations where are you? People are dying of hunger in the rural areas.
There is no need for pussy footing because Zimbabweans citizens are
suffering. Imagine spending half a day at the bank for money which can
afford you transport to go home only, or getting to the bank eight times in
eight days to get an amount which can buy a beer. To add salt to the injury
everybody who is loyal to ZANU PF party are law unto themselves. They are
bullying innocent citizens of Zimbabwe who are apolitical and all they want
is to go to work and fend for their families and then they say life is good.
Where are we heading striving on guerilla kind of administration? Brothers
and sisters where is our country going to? If we run down our pride, our
beautiful nation, what good are we doing to our nation and future
generations? All I can say is that it's never too late to do good.

There are thousands of   children who are supposed to be going to school,
they have dropped off and are now roaming the streets. This is a gap which
might be felt in the future when these children become elders, it has
serious psychological implications. I am seated in my office and I am
desperately wondering about our national leadership. Do they care about the
citizens of Zimbabwe? Do they have pride for their country at all? Are they
not embarrassed that the world is watching and are convinced that the
Zimbabwean people cannot help themselves? For once please prove that you are
responsible for your country and its beautiful citizens.

Our pride and integrity as Zimbabweans has been dragged in the mud for too
long and as one of the patriotic citizens can longer bear the embarrassment
and shame. Whenever there is a gathering of other nationals and they ask for
the presence of Zimbabweans, you will be at pains to stand up and be seen.
When you stand up everyone will look at you as if you are an alien coming
from space or hell. For God's sake this is too much for these beautiful
people. This is an appeal to our national leadership to put the interest of
the people they were sent to shepherd by God not their bank accounts.

This is a critical time for Zimbabwe, if this dialogue fails I see Zimbabwe
being worse than Somalia, hunger shall be the order of the day. As long as
there are innocent people being killed and hatred being manufactured more
than peace there shall be no rains in our country. Drought shall be
inevitable and I foresee the extension of the Sahara Desert into Zimbabwe,
Leaders of Zimbabwe have neglected God and his people busy amassing wealth
which is only for a short time. Leave a legacy for your people to talk about
like Mandela who is a pride of South Africa, every South African citizen
regardless of colour wants to be associated with Mandela. Zimbabwe is a
beautiful country brothers and sisters and it shall surely rise again, but
this time better than ever.

Simbarashe Chirimubwe is the leader of Concerned Africans Association (CAA)
and representative for rest of Africa for Global Zimbabwe Forum(GZF) which
is based in Geneva ,Switzerland

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Alerts: Mashonaland, Midlands Provinces

25 July, 2008 05:52:00 Crisis Coalition
A death from political violence, police barred from molesting NGOs

Mashonaland East

King Muteta, a police officer from Mudzi North who was heavily assaulted by
12 war veterans has been confirmed dead today, 25 July 2008.

The incident occurred on the 17th of July 2008 at Chimukoko base in Muteta
village under Chief Chimukoko, Mudzi were Muteta was attacked by 12 war vets
led by war vets who could only be identified as Kangora and Gafa.

The hooligans were sponsored by, Newten Kachepa and Peter Nyakuba, Zanu PF
MP and Councilor respectively.

Muteta had visited his parents, who had been assaulted by war veterans in
the area during the wave of the state organized violence.


Gweru Civil Court Magistrate, Mrs. Muchena yesterday, 24 July 2008 granted a
draft order barring police from interfering with NGO work or closing up
offices in Gweru.

This follows the ZIMCET offices raid which resulted in the confiscation of
all documentation on post election violence victims and perpetrators as well
as the arrest of Peter Muchengeti, the ZIMCET programs officer.

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Zimbabwe: The Mass Betrayal

New Era, Namibia

Friday, 25th of July 2008

. Zimbabwe and Namibia: Struggle and Solidarity

By the time of Independence, the former victims had turned increasingly into
perpetrators to achieve their goals. More than 20 years later the degree of
violence and brutality with which they treated their fellow Zimbabweans had
exceeded the atrocities under colonial rule and made life for the majority
of the people more miserable than before Independence.

By Henning Melber

In 1980 the Zimbabwean "povo" (people) celebrated a victory over settler
colonialism and Western imperialism. We celebrated with them. For us, this
was a step closer to Namibian sovereignty, even though the overwhelming
victory of ZANU was time-wise a detour on our long road to Independence.

The unexpected result had taught Western imperialism a lesson. It shattered
its manic assumptions that one could orchestrate and manipulate an election,
even if the people are allowed to cast a secret vote at the ballot. Without
major intimidation the "povo" used the weapon of an electoral process, by
voting for the cock (the symbol for Mugabe's ZANU), and not the archbishop
(Abel Muzorewa, who was considered the blue-eyed boy of the West). The
people knew what they wanted: a government of their own choice, which they
had reasons to believe would represent their interests.

Almost three decades later, 18 years into Namibian Independence, we have to
face the sobering realities: Mugabe and his loyal clique in ZANU-PF messed
it up. By the end of the 1990s they had lost the "povo".

While they blamed Western imperialism for this, it was in the first place
their own elitist neocolonial project, which betrayed the liberation gospel
and thereby the people. From the start, the new rulers were not shy of
ruthlessly violent practices. Remember the genocidal mass violence in
Matabeleland shortly after Independence ("Gukuhurundi").

Tens of thousands of innocent people were tortured, maimed, raped, mutilated
and slaughtered between 1983 and 1985 by the North Korean trained Fifth
Brigade. Only because being Ndebele they were considered guilty of being in
support of Joshua Nkomo's ZAPU, a competing liberation movement finally
coerced into the ZANU-PF alliance.

With a few exceptions (notably the Catholic church inside Zimbabwe), those
who knew remained silent and thereby endorsed if not encouraged the
perpetrators to further cultivate their dehumanizing version of "chimurenga"
against the people.

The violent nature of the new elite in control over the state displayed
similar features to the mindset of those "Rhodies" they were fighting
against during the "chimurenga". It was the language of coercion and
oppression, which dictated the colonial reality and crept into the
"liberated" society, where it prospered and flourished.

By the time of Independence, the former victims had turned increasingly into
perpetrators to achieve their goals. More than 20 years later the degree of
violence and brutality with which they treated their fellow Zimbabweans had
exceeded the atrocities under colonial rule and made life for the majority
of the people more miserable than before Independence.

When the self-enrichment schemes of the new elite alienated its members and
their beneficiaries more and more from the "povo", they blamed Western
imperialism for the deterioration of legitimate rule and the erosion of
credibility. But the anti-imperialist rhetoric, which became an
opportunistic, populist effort to cover up their own failures, was merely a
smoke screen.

It worked for many among those who were not at the receiving end of the
government's policy at home - those who could afford to identify with the
pseudo-alternative discourse promoted by Mugabe at a time when he had
already lost the confidence and support of his very own people.

In contrast to these privileged outsiders, who could cheer to the misleading
tune without consequence for themselves, those who were supposed to benefit
from the fruits of Independence now fled their home country in the millions.
More than ever before under colonial rule have meanwhile ended in exile and
wait for the time to return. That is in itself an outrageous scandal.

After 20 years under Mugabe's ZANU-PF, Zimbabweans moved away in ever
growing numbers from the liberation movement in power. Manipulated elections
could not cover up the realities that Mugabe had lost the "povo".

Not because of an imperialist conspiracy, which sought to undermine a
nationalist government challenging the West. But because those who pretend
to uphold the banner of anti-imperialism had in actual fact betrayed the
very same people whose interests they claimed to represent.

As a matter of fact, the people did not even count any longer. As Mugabe
stated just ahead of the scheduled runoff presidential vote to a group of
businessmen in Bulawayo: "Only God, who appointed me, will remove me." -

The voice and vote of the "povo" had been eliminated from the justification
of executing power.

In an act of betrayal, the Zimbabwean sell-outs posed as truthful
revolutionaries, while they served foremost their own narrow class

Operation "Murambatsvina" (meaning "clean out the rubbish" or "sweep out the
dirt") destroyed in a large-scale operation during 2005 systematically the
shacks of the urban dwellers, while Mugabe and his clan lived in the luxury
of palaces. The poorest were even robbed of what was left to them.

The derogatory term, in which reference was made to the tens of thousand of
marginalized, as if they would be vermin, speaks for itself. This was the
arrogance of power, alienated from the masses. The same masses who once
formed the basis for a successful struggle against the minority rule in
control if not over the people, then at least over the state power and its
repressive military and police apparatus.

How similar is the situation today. Again an estranged minority maintains
rule by all means and at all costs over a majority yearning for change. Only
that the minority regime is not foreign. The "intimate enemy", as the Indian
post-colonial theorist Ashis Nandy termed it, is born and bred under
colonialism and socialized in a colonial context and its terms, no matter
how much it poses as its alternative. It comes from the belly of the beast.

It speaks the same language of power. It shows the same disrespect for human
rights and democracy. It documents that the colonial legacy is not yet
defeated. Imperialism, as the ultimate irony of the story, lives on in the
pseudo-anti-imperialist postures of the regime, which has lost the people
but tries to compensate for this by claiming to challenge imperialism.

If the project of liberation from foreign rule was no more than mere lip
service to cover up a neo-colonial elite project, we need to position
ourselves in no uncertain terms in opposition to such betrayal. We need to
re-define not our notion of solidarity, but have to remain faithful and
loyal to the same values, for which we supported the seizure of power by
Mugabe and his comrades.

It is not us who turn our back to solidarity, by taking the ZANU-PF regime
to task and deny it any rightful claim to a continued existence. It is the
words and deeds of the ZANU-PF regime, which show that they have lost any
moral claim to any form of recognition and support.

This does not mean that we end up as bedfellows to the Blairs, Browns, Bush's
and Co., as long as we continue to condemn in no uncertain terms their
double talk, their Guantanamo Bays, their invasions, their inherent racist
immigration policies, their state terror dubbed as "war against terror",
their hegemonic global projects.

We have little to nothing in common with them, even though we criticize like
they do in certain cases the same violation of fundamental human values. Our
motives are different. But if we compromise on this, we compromise our
values and end up as bedfellows to the Mugabes. This cannot be the

Our position to Zimbabwe should be guided by our commitment to true
liberation, which embodies a democratic, human rights oriented culture
within a socio-economic system seeking to at least reduce (if not to
eliminate) the indecent proportions of inequality. The struggle for
political self-determination was a struggle for emancipation also in
economic terms. It was a struggle for human dignity shared by all.

Those who deny such human dignity to others, often for their own selfish
interests and gains, forfeit any claim to support. If we continue to back
them, or at least indirectly continue to allow them to literally get away
with murder by remaining evasive or silent, we betray our own values and
people. We betray our own project of liberation, which is one in no
isolation from other people. It is a project, which applies to all people

Imperialists the world over and in all colours and shades try to exploit the
contradictions and conflicts we seek to come to terms with for their own
gains. We have to live with this challenge, even if it means that we need to
part with old companions. We do have to part because we have not given up
the commitment and determination to contribute to a better future for more
people. Because we remain convinced that this is the way forward, instead of
compromising with the class interests of a new elite, which continues to
exploit and terrorize the people just as the colonial masters of the past

It should not be the pigmentation, which ultimately decides over loyalties
and common bonds. It should be the shared values and norms to pursue
freedom, equality and dignity for as many people as possible with the aim to
ever increase their numbers. If this means to part with some old friends, it
also means at times to re-join the "povo". The wretched of the earth are
entitled to our empathy, our identification, our solidarity. - "A luta
continua" should never be accepted as a translation into "the looting
continues", as the East African scholar activist Firoze Manji warned already
a couple of years ago at a Southern African conference in Windhoek.

Otherwise we sacrifice our own credibility and legitimacy, and betray the
very same values that motivated our struggle and the sacrifices of so many.
As people, we deserve better. And political representatives of the people,
who care about integrity, legitimacy and the "povo", should learn from
Zimbabwe and the writing on the wall.

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‘Pain in my heart’

This film about HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe was featured on the front page of The Zimbabwe Times website today. It was uploaded to YouTube in September last year.

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