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Nine killed in post-runoff violence

July 3, 2008

The legs of this baby were broken because the father is an MDC official.

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - A pall of fear a campaign of post-election retributive violence that has claimed nine lives since Friday has descended over Zimbabwe.

President Robert Mugabe is frantically trying to shrug off massive international condemnation over his fraudulent re-election to entrench himself for a further five years.

In the aftermath of Friday’s widely-condemned one candidate runoff election, Mugabe’s supporters have intensified a witch-hunt of perceived opposition activists and supporters.

Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, told a news conference at his Strathaven residence Wednesday that groups of soldiers and Zanu-PF youth militia had been carrying out a door-to-door purge of his supporters in rural Zimbabwe since Friday.

“Since the June 27 sham election, nine MDC supporters have been murdered, with hundreds more beaten and forced to leave their homes,” Tsvangirai said.

“In Manicaland alone, since the weekend, five hundred MDC supporters and families have been forced to flee their homes and are now seeking refuge at the party’s headquarters in Mutare. Therefore, the MDC reiterates its call for peace in the country.”

In Masvingo over the past week, there has been a sharp increase in cases of politically-motivated rape at Zanu-PF torture bases since Friday.

The MDC says 10 have been hospitalized at Gweru General Hospital after being assaulted by armed police in the city’s suburb of Mkoba.

Tsvangirai said in Mashonaland Central, about 2 000 families were still living in the mountains as the violence against MDC members escalated especially in Mt Darwin, Shamva, Muzarabani and Mahuwe.
MDC councillors in Mashonaland East and Central were all said to be on the run amid reports secret police agents in unmarked vehicles were hunting for them since last Friday’s vote.

Tsvangirai named those who have been murdered since Friday as Chrispen Chijeke of Murehwa North, Darlington Chingombe of Chirumhanzu, both of them murdered on June 27.

On June 30 Gift Tavengwa was murdered in Chiweshe, Hama Chironga in Chiweshe, Mr and Mrs Gumura, Sandros Mandizha, Nguwani Madamombe and Taurai Kamuchira of Headlands. Kudakwashe Majongosi was murdered by Zanu-PF militants in Chirumanzu.

Those who dared to oppose Mugabe last Friday were now easy prey, Tsvangirai said.

In Mutare, 500 people are huddled outside a modest, four-bed roomed house that serves as the MDC headquarters. Some have been away from home since April, others arrived the June 27 run off election.
There is an air of desperation and fear. The women and children sleep in the cramped rooms, according to Manicaland MDC spokesman Pishai Muchauraya. The men sleep on newspapers in the long grass by the maize patch.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum says most of the people on the run across the country are mainly MDC supporters who are being hunted by the feared Central Intelligence Office (CIO). Some are non-partisan farm workers and independent election monitors.

Polling agent James Nevana who spoke to The Zimbabwe Times from his bed in a private hospital in Harare Wednesday said militiamen had abducted him from Hatcliffe last Friday. They broke both his legs.

Civic groups are trying to persuade the UN and the International Red Cross to set up a safe zone, such as a tented camp under international supervision, for internal refugees.

One such facility has been set up in Ruwa about 30 km east of Harare, where more than 400 internal refugees who had sought sanctuary at the South African embassy have been relocated to.

“The numbers are just so huge,” said a doctor with Medicins Sans Frontiers at the camp.

Things are equally bleak in Harare. Any hopes of pulling the economy out of a nosedive have faded. Food shortages are predicted to become a full-scale famine.

The government says it has imported 600 000 tonnes of maize but does not have the foreign currency to pay for it.

“The country is going to implode,” said leading economist Tony Hawkins.

But Mugabe can still count on his African peers. They issued a resolution Tuesday at a summit held in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh calling for a power-sharing government between Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai however told reporters that he was disappointed that the resolution did not recognize the illegitimacy of Mugabe.

“The resolution endorses the concept of a government of national unity without acknowledging that the MDC, as the winner of the last credible election on March 29, 2008, should be recognized as the legitimate government of Zimbabwe,” he said. “A GNU does not address the problems facing Zimbabwe or acknowledge the will of the Zimbabwean people.”

Tsvangirai said before negotiations can commence, Zanu-PF must stop the violence and the persecution of MDC leaders and supporters, release all political prisoners, disband the youth militia and torture camps. He said the security forces must also immediately abandon their partisan approach.

When these conditions are met, said Tsvangirai, then a transitional authority should be installed to oversee a free and fair internationally supervised poll.

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Botswana seals off border

The Botswana government has sealed off its Botswana-Zimbabwe border. Botswana Defence Forces have been deployed allegedly with heavy artillery, along the long boarder between the two neighbors.

It is suspected that this is the first step Botswana is taking along with breaking ties with Zimbabwe,as it to reviews its recognition and legitimacy of the Zimbabwean government. Botswana might recall its ambassador Pelokgale Seloma from Harare and expel his Zimbabwean counterpart.

In an interview with Botswana Sunday Standard, Botswana minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Brigadier Dikgakgamatso Seretse, said, “This is a very sensitive matter, therefore, I can neither confirm nor deny any deployment of soldiers along the Zimbabwe-Botswana boarder.”

Early this week Botswana become the first African country to publicly declare that it will not recognize Mugabe as president of Zimbabwe and called for the African Union on Tuesday to exclude Zimbabwe from its meetings because a disputed election did not give the government legitimacy.

“In our considered view, it therefore follows that the representatives of the current government in Zimbabwe should be excluded from attending SADC and African Union meetings,” Vice President Mompati Merafhe said.

It has emerged that during the closed door session on Tuesday evening, the Vice President of Botswana Mompati Merafhe said for all the reasons outlined in the reports of the observer missions of SADC, the AU and the Pan African Parliament, his country “does not confer legitimacy on the government of President Mugabe”.

Merafhe proceeded to call for the exclusion of the “representatives of the current Zimbabwean ‘government’” from all future SADC and African meetings, saying their participation “would give unqualified legitimacy to a process which cannot be considered legitimate.”

Botswana also added its voice on Thabo Mbeki’s mediation efforts,”The personalities for the mediation process should be acceptable to both parties. It is also Botswana’s strong view that the mediation process must treat both parties as equals,” Merafhe said.

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'Living in a city under siege'

Irish Times

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Mugabe seems intent on starting his last war - one against his own people,
writes Walter Marwizi in Harare.
SOUND SLEEP is nearly impossible in my suburb these days.

For the past three weeks, young people have been singing all night just a
few steps from my home. It is winter here, but that has not deterred them
from camping in the open, wearing only shorts and blue-and-white shirts
bearing the image of a fist-waving President Robert Mugabe.

They chant chilling slogans that remind people of the pre-independence bush
war, which resulted in some 30,000 deaths. One particularly popular refrain,
especially in the dead of night, is: "Win or war, win or war!" They also go
door-to-door denouncing opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

We have not slept easily, really, all spring, since the March 29th
presidential election that showed Mugabe's grip on power might indeed be in

But what I have seen in the past few days is something different from those
days of hope. No longer are people desperately discussing the runaway
inflation rates or thinking of an opposition victory; rather, they are
scrambling for something, anything, to show that they are with Mugabe and
that they should not be made a target in what looks to be Mugabe's last
war - one against his own people.

Sometimes, the young Mugabe minions use a loudspeaker to order everyone out
of their beds for a political meeting in the dead of night. For many, it is
a bewildering, sleepy reminder of the war of liberation, when these night
meetings - called pungwes - were used to rally the masses against Ian
Smith's racist regime in the 1970s.

The meetings were understandable then. Smith, who was considered an enemy by
the majority of Zimbabweans suffering under the yoke of colonialism, waged a
war against the majority. But now, 28 years after independence, it is
difficult to understand why anybody should camp in the open in winter and
sing war songs all night.

While I struggle to make sense of this, I have to explain it to my
five-year-old son, who is now taking a keen interest in Zimbabwe's history.
He asks me one of the hardest questions I've ever heard: "Will we be safe
when the war breaks out?"

"No, no," I say, trying to sound reassuring. "Nobody is going to war."

But what is happening outside - and what is streaming into our living room
over the state-run ZBC television, where daily bulletins show Mugabe
threatening war if he loses power - is not reassuring.

Three months ago, no one could imagine militias operating in Harare in broad
daylight. But in response to Mugabe's campaign call to defend the
revolution, soldiers have established bases all over the city. For the first
time since independence, residents here have to worry about their safety.
Today, we live in a city under siege.

What do you need to survive such an offensive? The right gear helps.

Coveted items these days are cards and T-shirts from Mugabe's party, the
Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF). Most Zimbabweans
loathed such objects a few months ago, but they come in handy in times of
trouble with Mugabe's foot soldiers.

In the suburbs, young thugs can mount illegal roadblocks and demand proof of
one's support for Mugabe. They force people to chant slogans affirming that
war is imminent if Mugabe is removed from power. Chant unconvincingly, and
you may be brutally beaten.

But Mugabe's force is not felt only on the street. The young people and war
veterans who have joined his violent campaign set up shop wherever they
please. Take a recent Saturday at a beauty salon in the Glen View suburb of
Harare. Beautiful young women laughed and chatted, flipping through fashion
magazines while waiting their turn in the stylist's chair. They were
abruptly interrupted by a dirty, dishevelled young man.

"Everyone should get out," he shouted. "It's time for a Zanu-PF meeting."

Women leapt out from under the driers, and everyone sprinted toward the
door. In less than five minutes, the salon was closed, and the women were
sitting on the grass nearby, war rhetoric blasting at them.

Nearby, in Mbare, Harare's oldest suburb, young people wearing shirts
bearing the image of a fist-waving Mugabe stormed into a popular bar.

"This is the wrong time for drinks," they shouted. One of them grabbed a
beer from one of the patrons, emptying the nearly full mug in seconds.

Minutes later, the patrons were among more than 50 people who were forced to
chant slogans praising Mugabe. They were also told, in no uncertain terms,
that war would break out if they happened to vote the wrong way in the

In Chitungwiza, another part of this city, the militias have imposed
curfews. Alice, a 24-year-old personal assistant, knows all too well that by
7pm, residents in these high-density suburbs should be indoors. Her boss
probably knows that as well, but she was still kept at work late on Tuesday
to type an urgent report for an emergency board meeting.

She left the office at 8pm and arrived home nearly an hour later. As she was
about to open her gate, a hoarse voice shouted at her from the dark:
"Sister, you have just arrived in time for our drills, so join us."

Before she realised what was happening, a group of youths had removed her
stiletto shoes and her jacket and began forcing her to chant pro-Mugabe
slogans. For six hours, she and several others were held captive in the
darkness just outside her door.

"This is the worst moment in my life," she said, describing the way the men
groped her. "They forced me to do all kinds of things." The captives were
also forced to march, Alice said, "the way veterans of the liberation
struggle used to do while preparing to fight Smith in the '70s." They had to
know this drill, the youths told them, in case Zimbabwe was recolonised
again and they had to join Mugabe's army.

It is reliving this particular history that makes me most fearful for the
future. What drills will my son have to learn? He and his young friends have
already picked up the habit of waving their tiny fists the way Mugabe does
on television. They do this at the slightest provocation. Already, the
children have clashed a number of times, threatening each other with war.

Walter Marwizi is a journalist in Zimbabwe

- (LA Times-Washington Post)

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Women activists detained in Zimbabwe prison


Mugabe protesters enter 6th week of arrest; 'they want to go home'

Associated Press
updated 10:05 p.m. ET July 2, 2008
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Two women honored by the United States, Amnesty
International and others for braving beatings and arrest to hold peaceful
protests against Robert Mugabe are entering their sixth week in detention,
putting them among Zimbabwe's longest-serving political prisoners.

At a hearing Thursday, lawyers hope to persuade a judge to grant bail to
Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu of the human rights group Women and
Men of Zimbabwe Arise, who have sleeping on concrete floors in the harsh
cold of a southern African winter in detention. The two were arrested in the
capital, Harare, on May 28 and have been charged with disturbing the peace
and publishing statements prejudicial to the state.

In her blog on the Internet, fellow activist Bev Clark describes visiting
Williams and Mahlangu in prison on Friday, the day of a presidential runoff
election in which Mugabe - Zimbabwe's increasingly autocratic president of
nearly three decades - was the only candidate.

She and other colleagues took the women food and toiletries. A jar of honey
was confiscated by a guard.

"For 30 minutes, we sat on a small wooden bench chatting with them through a
fence," Clark writes. "They are both well and in good spirits but they've
had enough of sleeping on a concrete floor. They want to go home."

Williams, one of the founders of the organization and a former
businesswoman, was honored last year by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice with an International Women of Courage Award.

The U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe, James McGee, said Wednesday he hoped the
two would be given bail and the "sham" charges dropped.

"Jenni is a prominent person whose voice should be heard," McGee said.

'Prisoners of conscience'
Amnesty International, which gave the group known as WOZA an award for its
human rights work, demanded the women's immediate release, calling them
"prisoners of conscience."

The two women were arrested with 12 other activists after they marched to
the Zambian Embassy to call on Zambia, chair of the Southern African
Development Community, to help bring an end to the violence that has
engulfed Zimbabwe since a first round of presidential elections was held
March 29.

Some marchers were beaten by police as they were arrested. The state won an
appeal against bail being granted to Williams and Mahlangu, but the 10
others were released on bail.

"We are deeply concerned that the state is using detention to frustrate the
work of human right defenders," said Simeon Mawanza, London-based researcher
for Amnesty International.

Human rights activists and opposition supporters have increasingly come
under attack by Zimbabwe security forces and supporters of Mugabe.

Formed in 2003, WOZA - an Ndebele word meaning "come forward" - has become a
powerful voice in the deepening economic and political crises in Zimbabwe.
It has held hundreds of peaceful protests and is known for its annual
Valentine's Day march in which red roses are distributed in a call for love,
peace and harmony.

It has 66,000 members across the country, many of whom have been beaten and
arrested countless times.

Williams, a 46-year-old mother of three, has been living in safe houses for
the last few years while her family had to flee to the United Kingdom.

"She has been arrested over 30 times and has certainly been beaten many
times," WOZA spokeswoman Annie Sibanda said.

Mahlangu, 35, a former sports administrator from Matalabeland in the south,
has been arrested more than 25 times.

Brave and resilient
WOZA members "are very brave and resilient," said Amnesty International's
Mawanza. "Despite repeated arrests and torture, they have continued to do
peaceful protests."

He praised the organization for taking up issues that affected everyday
life, such as access to food, health, education.

"The state is very concerned about their ability mobilize people," he said.
"They are afraid it can grow into a force they won't be able to contain.

Sibanda, who is based in Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo where Williams
is from, said the organization is hoping the two women will be released

"But we are not holding out that it will happen. The state has consistently
played games with their lawyers," she said.

She said the organization had scaled down its work during the recent
political tensions but has continued to distribute flyers urging people to
keep up hope that there will be a solution to the crisis.

"The state is threatened by the fact that we are a mass based movement of
ordinary Zimbabwean men and women who over last five years have shown that
despite arrests, beatings and abduction we are still prepared to speak out,"
she said.

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The following is an editorial reflecting the views of the US Government


An Electoral Farce
02 July 2008

The political charade in Zimbabwe is now complete. President Robert Mugabe
has followed his fraudulent election with a hasty and bombastic
inauguration, and despite the blood on his hands he stands again before the
world self-assured and unashamed. How will the world respond?

Mr. Mugabe's victory was never in doubt, after challenger Morgan Tsvangirai
dropped out of the race because ruling party supporters were beating and
killing his followers. To create the illusion of legitimacy, voters were
herded to the polls and forced to cast ballots under the watchful eye of
police or militia units. Many Zimbabweans said they feared being beaten if
they couldn't show a finger dipped in indelible ink, official proof of
voting, so they went along with the charade. But others reportedly resisted,
and turnout was low in many rural areas that had supported Mr. Tsvangerai
during first round voting on March 29.

As news reports and photos emerged from Zimbabwe documenting the violence
wreaked on opposition party activists, many in the international community
reacted with horror and sadness. Mr. Mugabe rejected the criticism, saying
it was orchestrated in the West to return his country to colonial status.
Yet some of his most telling critics are fellow leaders from Kenya, Botswana
and Zambia who have had a front row seat on the damage he has done his

Mr. Mugabe remains in office, and world leaders must decide what to do next.
The United Nations and the African Union are discussing the situation, and
as they determine a suitable response they should not legitimize his actions
by dealing with him as if the June 27 voting was a free and fair election.

The United States stands ready to work with those organizations to resolve
the crisis in a manner respectful of voters' wishes as expressed in the
March balloting. Meanwhile, it will continue to support the Zimbabwean
people with its considerable commitment of food aid and medical assistance.

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Zanu's claim re talks a lie - Biti

The Zimbabwean

Wednesday, 02 July 2008 21:55
HARARE - Despite claims by the junta and its ally, South Africa, that
dialogue between Zanu (PF) and the MDC is already underway to form a
government of national unity, the party's secretary general Tendai Biti has
dismissed them as 'malicious and untrue'.
'As a matter of fact, there are no talks or discussions taking place
between the two parties and most importantly, there is no agreement in the
offing,' said Biti.
While the MDC pursued dialogue in a bid to establish a Government of
National  Healing before June 12, the sham election on June 27 totally and
completely exterminated any prospects of a negotiated settlement.
'It is now the firm view of the MDC that those who claim they have got
a mandate to govern should govern. Chitongai tione,' said Biti.

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Zimpapers fails to pay up after dirty job for Mugabe

The Zimbabwean

Wednesday, 02 July 2008 21:40
Zimpapers has plunged into further financial crises with revelations
that the state -controlled publishing company has failed to pay salaries to
its editors, reporters and senior managers.
Editors of all the company's publications, which include the
Chronicle, Sunday News, Herald and Sunday Mail, were supposed to have been
paid on June 23, but more than a week later their salaries were yet to be
paid. The company had no money after it rejected Morgan Tsvangirai's adverts
and took Mugabe's free of charge.
In Bulawayo, the branch manager Sithembile Ncube sent e-mails to all
the editors and their deputies informing them that their salaries would be
'Our Bulawayo car was sent to collect drums of fuel in Harare.
Unfortunately the money that bought the fuel was the last that the company
had,' said a source in the management of the Bulawayo office.
In Harare, it was reported that the group Human Resources Manager,
Herbert Simemeza, informed editors that the company was making frantic
efforts to secure money to pay them. He is said to have told them that they
would only be paid when the money became available.
'He told all the editors there that the company was facing cashflow
problems and did not have money to pay them,' the source added.

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The economic cost of Zimbabwe's isolation

July 3, 2008

BY Lance Mambondiani

THE runoff election has come and gone and with it also went our hopes for a
speedy solution to the economic crisis in Zimbabwe.

Judging by the newly elected President's bullfight at the African Summit in
Egypt, the chorus of condemnation from all over the world and questions
regarding the legitimacy of the elections, Zimbabwe is set for an
interesting chapter in its history. Realistically, the fate and direction of
the country's economy look irredeemably linear.

While the current economic policies of the returning government are at best
uncertain, the country's isolation from the international market place for
reasons ranging from sanctions, failure to attract international investments
and a reduced export capacity will suffocate the economy further and hurt
millions of our citizens already struggling to make a living within an
imploding economic nightmare.

While the government is increasingly adopting isolationism, the costs of
this approach could not be more severe. The inward looking economic approach
is unlikely to result in any meaningful economic results. There are several
economic reasons why this will be the case.

It appears every sector in a previously robust economy is now paralysed.
Agricultural production has been adversely affected by the land
redistribution programme. Statistics show, for example that annual wheat
production has fallen from a high of 300 000 tons in 1990 to less than 50
000 in 2007. The tobacco industry which was Zimbabwe's single largest
generator of foreign currency accounting for a third of Zimbabwe's foreign
exchange earnings in 2000 has also been adversely affected.

Tobacco earning declined from US$600 million in 2000 to less than US$125
million in 2007. The manufacturing sector is operating at 10 percent of its
capacity, shrinking by more than 47 percent between 1998 and 2006. This is
believed to have brought the output levels back to figures reported in 1972.
Price controls introduced in June 2007 condemned the manufacturing sector to
extinction. In an attempt to control hyperinflation and spiraling price
increases, the government directed all companies to halve their prices for
an indeterminate period. Price controls have led to price disequilibrium in
the economy resulting in economic distortions and rent seeking behaviour
which is feeding one of the most sophisticated black markets in the world.

The Zimbabwe dollar has become virtually worthless against major trading
currencies, trading at more than Z$40 billion to the US dollar and Z$90
billion to the Pound Sterling. The return of the zeros has put a strain on
the national payment system with many computers failing to handle the
enormity of so many zeros. The country's export capacity has shrunk to
record levels, leaving the Zimbabwe dollar in a permanent state of

The recent announcement by some international companies such as Tesco in the
United Kingdom that it was to stop importing farm produce from Zimbabwe due
to the deteriorating political climate in the country is reminiscent of
economic sanctions against South Africa during the apartheid era. Whilst we
don't expect that the situation will be allowed to match that of South
Africa, disinvestments or economic sanctions prohibiting multi-lateral
companies from doing business in Zimbabwe can squeeze the economy towards
total collapse.

South Africa's history with economic sanctions is a worthy test case for the
government. Increased international isolation will bring down the country to
its knees, perhaps at a faster pace than was the case with apartheid
sanctions. By the 1980s, the United States, the United Kingdom and 23 other
nations had passed laws placing various trade restrictions on South Africa.
A disinvestment movement in many countries was also widespread, with
individual cities and provinces around the world implementing various laws
and local regulations forbidding registering corporations under their
jurisdiction from doing business with South African firms, factories, or

The difference between the two countries is that when economic sanctions
were imposed on South Africa, the country had a vibrant economy with growth
rates well above three percent. In contrast, Zimbabwe has had negative
growth rates since 1997. Further isolation will damage the country's
remaining export capabilities. The price of the isolationist policies by the
current regime is likely to see the Zimbabwe dollar suffer immense pressure
as international trading partners cut business ties with the country. Canada
and the USA are expected to table 'a fresh round of sanctions' against
Zimbabwe with the former having already announced travel sanctions against
members of the Zanu-PF ruling party and the prohibitions of all flights
originating from Zimbabwe in Canada.

While Zimbabwe looks intent on giving the rest of the world the finger, or
in the words of Charamba, "the west can go hang a thousand times' can the
country afford protectionism when most countries in Africa are opening up to
international trade and free market economies in an increasingly globalized
world. Among the most important ideas in orthodox economies is the theory
that countries prosper through trade and not necessarily through subsistence

The perfect example of this is the globalization of China's economy, which
has propelled the country as a competitive force on the world stage. Trade
statistics for China are remarkable; its exports have grown by 13 percent
per annum since 1981 and by 18 percent since 1991. Its share of world
exports has risen 1.1 percent in 1981 to 6.8 percent in 2005 making China
the world's third-largest exporting nation after the United States and
Germany. It is anticipated that if the growth rates of the past decades can
be sustained, it could overtake the US in 2008 and Germany in 2009.

Yes, there has been criticism of the neo-liberal agenda to trade and the
need to make trade more equitable across regions but empirical evidence
suggest that the case for outward looking policies is stronger than that of
inward looking policies. The World Bank's World Development Report in 1987
is incisive; growth in income per capita was highest in the strongly
outward-looking economies. The same was true for growth in total GDP and in
value added in manufacturing, and for the standard measure of the efficiency
of investment. On all these indicators, the outward-looking countries also
outperformed inward-looking economies, although by a smaller margin. This
failure of a strong inward orientation to promote domestic manufacturing -
not just exports of manufacturers - is particularly striking since the whole
point of looking inward is to industrialize faster.

Clear consensus among mainstream economists is that outward looking trade
policies are one of the key factors to economic development. Zimbabwe's
inward looking economic model within the context of deteriorating
macroeconomic fundamentals cannot support an economic revival of any kind.
The polarized political environment will drive away any remaining chance of
FDI, the perceived breakdown in the protection of property rights is an
indictment to investors seeking opportunities. The recent threats of the
nationalization of industry have now become a reality as the government is
set on a vindictive path against foreign owned businesses. Soon, policy
makers will have to weight the economic cost of defending perceived threats
to national sovereignty against the rationality of prudent economic policies

There is no doubt that the state of the economy has reached crisis point.
Unfavourable economic climate has led to a mass exodus of Zimbabwe's
talented professionals into the Diaspora. It is estimated that 3 million
Zimbabweans have migrated to South Africa for economic and political
reasons. More than a million more are scattered across the UK, USA and
Australia. With the unemployment rate recorded at more than 80 percent, it
certainly will take a while to bring industry utilization to reasonable

Without the resolution of the political process, the pressure on an already
crumbling economy will be immense. Whilst it is certainly noble that the
country's sovereignty be protected at all costs, assuming that Zimbabwe can
be self sufficient when almost 80 percent of its consumables and 100 percent
of its fuel requirements are imported is an unrealistic proposition
bordering on an exercise in folly.

Without cogent, economic policy pronouncements beyond the sovereignty
rhetoric, the fear is that the "comrades" in the ruling party may have
condemned the country back to discredited economic policies of the cold war,
worse still a confused form of socialism all in pursuit of political

Lance Mambondiani is an Investment Executive at Coronation Financial, an
International Financial Advisory company registered in the UK and trading in
Southern Africa and the United Kingdom. He can be contacted at

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Why is Zimbabwe still afloat? China

Globe and Mail, Canada


Special to Globe and Mail Update

July 2, 2008 at 8:59 PM EDT

How has Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe managed to avert a complete state collapse
thus far?

His disillusioned citizens are facing a new wave of price increases that
will put the most basic of food essentials even further out of their reach.
On the streets of Harare, a loaf of bread costs the equivalent of what a
dozen new cars would have cost a decade ago (when factoring current consumer
price indicators and inflation figures). With public wages largely
unchanged, as many as three million Zimbabweans have been forced to take up
menial jobs in neighbouring South Africa to support their families.

Figures released by independent economists in Zimbabwe last week show that
the annual inflation rate has reached 9 million per cent. With the worthless
Zimbabwean dollar trading at more than one billion to £1, the country's
central bank announced the introduction of a billion-dollar banknote. With a
sinking economy and hyperinflation that has produced millionaires and
billionaires struggling to feed their families, how is it that Zimbabwe is
still afloat? One answer may be China.

By many accounts, China has become one of Zimbabwe's most important foreign
investors, following the exodus of Western multinationals in the mid-1990s
as a result of the worsening political and security situation in the wake of
the seizure of white-owned farms. Last month, China's ambassador to Zimbabwe
said a Chinese company was seriously exploring the possibility of investing
$500-million (U.S.) for electricity generation in Zimbabwe. This comes on
the heels of discussions between the two countries on expanding bilateral
trade and investments.

In the past two years, China has thrown Zimbabwe's disintegrating economy a
lifeline with energy and mining deals, reportedly worth more than
$1.6-billion. It was reported that these deals gave China access to
Zimbabwe's precious mineral resources, including the world's second- largest
deposits of platinum, as well as gold, chrome, coal, nickel and diamonds.
These major investment projects included the construction of three
coal-fired thermal power stations to assist the state power company, which
was cutting customers' electricity for seven hours a day. It also included a
deal with the China Machine-Building International Corp. to mine coal and
build thermal-powered generators in Zimbabwe, with the aim of reducing the
country's electricity shortage.

Indeed, Beijing's economic support for Harare remains strong and, through
its efforts, China has secured the contracts to develop Zimbabwe's
agricultural, mineral and hydroelectric resources. Tobacco counts amongst
Zimbabwe's top exports, and China is Zimbabwe's largest importer. China has
made large investments in the country's tobacco production and processing
industry, and also has injected more than $200-million into Zimbabwe's
farming, manufacturing and mining sectors. China supplies Zimbabwe with
expertise, technical assistance and agricultural equipment. Chinese
investors also helped Zimbabwe process tobacco into cigarettes and export
them as finished products. And investors and a local company undertook a
joint venture in the form of a large cement factory in Gweru to meet the
national demand for cement.

Western analysts and Zimbabwean critics contend that Beijing will continue
to support Harare unconditionally, while piling up various claims on
Zimbabwe's natural resources and other commodities. With a lack of direct
competition by Western firms in the local market, Zimbabwe will remain one
of China's important resource bases. But Zimbabwe's fragile state is putting
Beijing in an increasingly vulnerable situation, as Western condemnation of
China's long-standing ties with the autocratic Mr. Mugabe is becoming
increasingly more vocal. China's continued involvement in Zimbabwe,
particularly in the agricultural and mining sectors, also carries
significant sovereign risk - and Beijing is gambling it will be able to
manage relations so as to guarantee its claims in what would almost
certainly continue to be a chaotic transition period.

Zimbabwe's socio-economic profile has undergone a seismic change. The
growing importance of China in the country's economy is evidenced by
economic assistance and foreign investment deals in the extractive sector,
in state-owned enterprises and in the agricultural sector. The key to this
is China's willingness to use barter trade to secure investment deals, and
it appears as though China's motives are actually economic - namely, to
satisfy its growing economic needs.

A constructive engagement with China will have to be put in place, focusing
on improving transparency in contracts, investment deals and loan
agreements. This will be particularly critical in any post-Mugabe economic
reconstruction period if ordinary Zimbabweans are to reap the full benefits
of increased Chinese investments instead of only a current handful of
political elite in Harare.

Hany Besada is a senior researcher at the Centre for International
Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Ont.

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Masunda elected Mayor of Harare

July 3, 2008

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - Muchadeyi Masunda, the former chief executive officer of the
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), publishers of the banned Daily
News, was on Tuesday elected non-executive Mayor of the City of Harare .

Masunda, who sits on the board of more than ten companies is the chairman of
several. He was a founding member of the Commercial Arbitration Centre,
which he has run for several years. He was the chairman of the executive
council of the Zimbabwe Institute of Directors. A lawyer by profession,
Masunda, 56, is also chairman of the recently established Voluntary Media
Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ). He is a well known figure in cricket and tennis

He is expected to run the council for the next five years after he was
unanimously elected by councillors. His deputy will be Ward 42 councillor,
Emmanuel Chiroto. Chiroto's wife, Abigail, was killed in election violence
three weeks ago.

In accepting his new role as Mayor of Harare, Masunda appealed to
councillors from both Zanu-PF and the MDC to bury their political
differences and work together for "the restoration of Harare 's Sunshine
City status.

"We should forget our political differences and work together to get back
the city to its former glory," he said.

"We all can acknowledge that the city is in a mess and we need to sort out
the mess. Harare is the first impression to any visitor to the country and
we need to create the right impression for the country."

He highlighted the need to address the issue of housing developments, refuse
collection and the road network in the city's high-density suburbs hence the
call for councillors to work together and avoid petty political differences.

Masunda said the council would focus on increasing and improving the city's
facilities that had been overstretched by the increasing population.

He also chairs boards of various companies that include Duly's Holdings
Limited, Atlas Copco and John Sisk & Son, among others.

Masunda's election follows recent amendments to the Urban Councils Act. The
amendments have seen, among other things, the scrapping of the office of the
executive mayor.

In 1996, the government amended the Urban Councils Act to introduce the post
of executive mayor taking over sweeping powers from town clerks.

In his new post, Masunda will not have executive functions in terms of the
day-to-day functions of the council. His main responsibility is to chair all
full council meetings and preside over Harare civic functions.

A council official said Masunda would not occupy Harare 's mayoral mansion;
it would be used as a guesthouse and for other council civic receptions.

"The mayoral mansion and office were established to cater for an executive
mayor, who acted in the capacity of head of council's administration and
political office," said the official. "But, as is known to you, the position
of executive mayor was abolished.

"Accordingly, the new mayor will be allocated an office at Town House, but
the mayoral mansion will be used as a guest house for councillors' dignitary
guests and also as venue for council civic receptions," he said.

As part of the Sadc-initiated electoral reforms, Zanu-PF and the two MDC
parties agreed to scrap the post of executive mayor and revert to a
ceremonial mayor.

The government and the governor's office would give general direction to
council and monitor its performances.

Elias Mudzuri, a former mayor elected on an MDC ticket, was dismissed by the
government on allegations of incompetence. However, the move was widely
viewed as vindictive to the opposition which had control of a number of
urban councils.

The government later appointed a commission to run the city.

"There is no better qualified person for the office of Mayor of Harare than
Much Masunda," said Geoffrey Nyarota, managing editor of The Zimbabwe Times.
Nyarota, who was the founding editor-in-chief of The Daily News, sat on the
board of ANZ with Masunda.

"Masunda was endowed with resourcefulness, stamina and a rare combination of
tenacity and resilience as he guided ANZ through turbulent times; just the
qualities now required to restore the once flourishing City of Harare back
to its former status and, perhaps, beyond.

"With his connections in appropriate places, both in Zimbabwe and outside,
my own hope in the future of Harare as a dynamic and flamboyant city is
fully restored, once the economic and the political crises are resolved."

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Mugabe illegitimate-Liberia

By Staff ⋅ © ⋅ July 2, 2008 ⋅  Email This Post ⋅ Post a
Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said that the African Union
must not recognize the outcome of the June 27th elections in Zimbabwe and
declare the results unacceptable.

According to a government statement Sirleaf made the comments at the closed
door Session of the African Union (AU) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, when she
made her intervention to colleagues during a closed session. She said the
international community should work with the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) to find a permanent solution to the situation in Zimbabwe.
She put forward Liberia as a case in point, saying the 1985 election was
endorsed by Africa and the world, which frustrated the true will of the
people of Liberia and subsequently engendered a fourteen year civil war that
left over two hundred thousand persons dead.

The Liberian leader called on the African Union to be courageous to say that
‘all is not well in Zimbabwe’ and that the request by SADC for a
postponement of the June 27 Zimbabwean elections should be heeded.

The President reminded Summit participants that the African Union Observer
Mission declared the June 27th elections fell short of the accepted AU
standards, and that this was a similar position taken by the Pan African
Parliament and the United Nations Security Council. She urged Summit
participants to take a firm stance as well: ‘All these persons and
institutions cannot be wrong, cannot be conspiratorial as we may be made to
believe,’ she stressed.

Johnson Sirleaf also called for a peacekeeping mission in Zimbabwe as an
early warning system in order to monitor and prevent further escalation of
the crisis. She finally called on the AU be consistent with the standards it

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Senegalese leader slams Zim unity move


    July 03 2008 at 07:41AM

By Fiona Forde, Basildon Peta and Hans Pienaar

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt - Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade says
calling for a government of national unity doesn't go far enough in
addressing Zimbabwe's crisis. He has also questioned President Thabo Mbeki's
role as mediator.

In an interview with Independent Newspapers in the Red Sea resort town
on Wednesday, Wade said "limiting opinion at the intervention point" in
calling for negotiations - without any reference to the recent botched
poll - was not the right thing to do.

"Because (President Robert Mugabe) will get back as a president, full
president, the chief of the police, of the army. And, on the other side, you
have half of the population. They will fight. And we (the African Union)
will be responsible for not taking the correct measures."

However, the 82-year-old leader said he would support the plan mapped
out for the country and assist where he could. While he is not formally
putting himself up for the job of mediator, he said, unlike Mbeki, he had
good relations with both Mugabe and rival Movement for Democratic Change
leader Morgan Tsvangirai and had an understanding of the crisis, after years
of negotiating on the sidelines.

"I have told Mugabe that I will not be involved in official mediation,
but call me any time. I am waiting. I will help."

During a briefing in Harare on Wednesday, Tsvangirai called Mbeki's
role as mediator into question by calling for an AU envoy to intervene and
accusing the South African president of bias after years of failed

Wade said that in the recent past he had told Mbeki that "Tsvangirai
is not confident with you" and had expressed the same concern to Mugabe.

He also said the Zanu-PF leader had told him that "Mbeki is a friend,
of course, but I am not accepting what he wants".

Wade said evidence of that came to light when he received a call from
Tsvangirai a day before Friday's sham election. The MDC leader sought advice
about a last-minute offer the Mbeki delegation had made in a bid to stop the
violent poll.

"They offered him a position of executive prime minister, but they
said they had not yet met Mugabe."

Tsvangirai declined, as did Mugabe. The AU has now called on the two
rivals to sit down and negotiate what Mbeki failed to facilitate.

However, Tsvangirai insists that a government of national unity (GNU)
"doesn't address the problems facing Zimbabwe or acknowledge the will of the
Zimbabwean people".

Wade has appealed to both sides to begin to talks immediately about a
GNU. He believes it is the only solution to a situation where Mugabe and
Tsvangirai both have half the population behind them and the country is
divided along battle lines.

MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said on Wednesday night the party was
ready for talks and had laid down its conditions. He said the MDC would give
the Mugabe regime a "two-week window" in which to meet the conditions.

A South African government source said exploratory discussions would
start at three different places and would likely focus initially on reducing
the violence.

Tsvangirai said in Harare on Wednesday that violence was continuing as
Zanu-PF sought retribution against voters who did not turn out for Friday's
runoff or spoilt their ballot papers. So, for now, a GNU would not be on the

"A GNU doesn't address the problems facing Zimbabwe or acknowledge the
will of the Zimbabwean people," Tsvangirai declared in response to an AU
resolution calling for a GNU.

After the AU summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Mbeki said on SABC TV that
Mugabe had not objected to the AU's request for dialogue.

"He said they were committed to that and that indeed, even as we were
sitting at the meeting, the Zimbabweans were interacting among themselves."

Mbeki described Mugabe as "fully supportive" of co-operation and
dialogue between Zimbabwe's political parties to find a solution to their

AU President Jakaya Kikwete, who is also president of Tanzania, said
in Egypt on Wednesday that talks led by the Southern African Development
Community would begin "as soon as possible" and "will move very quickly".

Although he declined to put a time-frame on a final deal, he said he
would expect "to see movement by the end of the year".

Kikwete said neither Mugabe nor Tsvangirai had expressed any objection
to him personally and that he did not expect them to do so.

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on July
03, 2008

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Josiah Tongogara’s vision for Zimbabwe

July 3, 2008

OUR research staff unearthed this gem – a video which reveals a rarely told history of Zimbabwe. It is narrated through interviews at the time of the Lancaster House Conference with the late Zanla commander, Josiah Magamba Tongogara, and Zanu leaders, Robert Mugabe, Edgar Tekere, as well as with other prominent figures that fought to liberate Zimbabwe from colonial rule.

The video provides an illuminating insight into what the new independent nation was meant to become. It is enlightening for those with an interest in the historical background to the current political events and contradictions of Zimbabwe.

It is certainly a “must see” for young Zimbabweans born after independence, who are somewhat mystified by the constant harping on the war of liberation and the role played by the founding fathers of a revolution that is now eating its own children.

Here is what they fought for then.

Interviewer: A lot of viewers might find that hard to believe, might find it very hard to believe that a man who has fought for so long would be prepared to give up the fruits of power just at the point of achieving it!

Robert Mugabe: We haven’t been fighting for individual benefit.  We’ve been fighting to get power into the hands of the people. In other words we’ve been fighting a people’s struggle. And in the course of fighting for this struggle, some of our leaders, colleagues have died. Others survived.  But the people continue all the time.  And so it’s the interest of the people, really. That is the decisive factor.  That’s the paramount issue.

Interviewer: How can you be certain that whatever government you set up, won’t eventually become oppressive.  Won’t be the sort of society where people are frightened of speaking out, are frightened of doing anything without looking over their shoulder.

Eddison Zvobgo: We do not want to create a socio-legal order in the country, in which people are petrified; in which people go to bed having barricaded their doors and their windows because someone belonging to the special branch, of the police will break into their houses.

This is what we are fighting against. Every one of us has been in jail - 10 years, 14 years. I myself, nine without trial. Every one of us has lived, has had to live scared of the police. How on earth could we create a society, which is exactly like that?  We don’t want it! We are fed up of it. And this is why we are in this revolution for as long as is necessary, to abolish this system.

See the video at

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The African Union: Relevant or An International Laughing Stock:

By Emmanuel Abalo

In these days the African Union (AU) has been presented with a challenge and opportunity - the challenge of dealing forthrightly with the illegitmate goverment of someone who can be rightfully referred to as "former President Robert Mugabe", calling his game to an end and instead exploiting the opportunity to gain the credibility and relevance it so desires as a continental grouping towards a new course of democracy and development for Africa.

The initial signals emanating from the conclusion of the just ended AU Heads of State Summit in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt point to a disappointingly weak and less than courageous and moral stand against tyranny, non-respect for human dignity, the rule of law and outright broad day election theft by comrade Robert Mugabe.

Africans shockingly witnessed the welcome and seating of former President Mugabe by his colleagues, some of whom have been in office for nearly 40 years.

The professional Head of State of Gabon and long time president Omar Bongo is quoted as saying ' Mugabe was elected, he took an oath, and he is here with us, so he is President and we cannot ask him more." Additionally, the current head of the African Union, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said, "I'd like to congratulate the people of Zimbabwe for their success, but I'd also like to commiserate with them for their suffering.

The southern African powerhouse and South African President Thabo Mbeki who was charged with mediating between the Mugabe government and the potent opposition political party, the Movement for Democratic Change MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai can be said to have failed miserably, was ineffective and lacked the 'cajones' to openly stand up to his neighbor even in the face of naked violence by ruling ZANU-PF militants against opposition members.

Africans and the international community were less than suprised by the final communique issued at the end of the Summit which called for a Zimbabwean unity government fashioned after that of Kenya following its own "election wahala" in December 2007. Even the AU own oberver mission team discredited the Zimbabwean elected in its report.

Here is the Zimbabwean elections timeline and facts:

March 29: Zimbabweans vote peacefully in presidential, parliamentary and local council elections.

April 2: Opposition Movement for Democratic Change says its own tallies show its leader Morgan Tsvangirai won presidential elections outright with 50.3 percent of vote.

April 4: Ruling ZANU-PF party says there will be a runoff and endorses President Robert Mugabe as its candidate. Opposition goes to court to try to force release of all election results; court rejects demand.

May 2: Electoral Commission releases presidential results, saying Tsvangirai won most votes, but not enough to avoid runoff with Mugabe, the second-place finisher.

May 10: Tsvangirai, who left Zimbabwe after the election, announces in South Africa that he will participate in presidential runoff.

May 16: Electoral Commission sets runoff date as June 27, after moving the deadline to 90 days after official election results are released — beyond the legally required 21 days.

May 17: Tsvangirai postpones return to Zimbabwe after his party said he learned about a planned assassination attempt.

May 24: Tsvangirai returns to Zimbabwe.

May 27: Tsvangirai says politically motivated violence has killed 50 of his supporters since the election.

June 3: Government orders international aid groups to suspend operations, after accusing them of campaigning for the opposition.

June 4: Tsvangirai detained for nine hours north of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city.

June 5: A mob believed loyal to Mugabe assaults a convoy of U.S. and British diplomats, beating a local staffer. The government orders aid groups to halt operations indefinitely.

June 6: Tsvangirai detained briefly while campaigning near Bulawayo.

June 12: Zimbabwe's No. 2 opposition official, MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti, arrested at Harare airport upon returning from South Africa. Tsvangirai detained by police twice briefly while campaigning in the south.

June 19: Biti formally charged with treason, which can carry the death penalty.

June 20: Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights says it has recorded 85 deaths in political violence since the first round of voting.

June 22: Tsvangirai announces he is pulling out of the runoff, citing violence against his supporters.

June 27: Second round of voting is held. Tsvangirai's name remains on the ballot even though he withdrew from the race. Residents say they were forced to vote by threats of violence or arson from the Mugabe supporters.

June 29: Electoral officials say Mugabe won the runoff and he is sworn in for a sixth term. Results show more than 2 million votes for Mugabe, 233,000 for Tsvangirai, and 131,000 defaced or spoiled votes.

What were Presidents Bongo and Kikwete thinking when they made those statements mentioned supra? The summation is that the judgement of these African 2 African can be described as very questionable. Others African leaders have chosen to "play safe' and not openly make any statements for or against the Zimbabwean situation citing the need to be seen as neutral and engaging. This position is cowardly and ineffective. Africa and its leaders need to be counted on to simply do the right thing when it is necessary.

Lets also remember those true heros of Africa who took a stand to protect their conviction of respecting the people's will, democracy, moral courage and leadership by breaking with traditional African solidarity. And it is by no coincidence that some of the leaders were clearly vocal in their criticism of Mr. Mugabe - these are moral heavyweights molded by strong democratic principles:

Boatswana President Ian Khama: " the Southern African Development Community, a subregional grouping, must become "proactive in the crisis, .... if SADC refused to take action I will move unilaterally."

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf called on the African Union to pronounce the June 27th elections in Zimbabwe as not credible and declare the results unacceptable, if the Union is to maintain its credibility. "...all is not well in Zimbabwe’and that the request by SADC for a postponement of the June 27 Zimbabwean elections should be heeded."

Sierra Leonen President Ernest Bai Koroma said African leaders should not support Mugabe's undemocratic regime but should rather embrace a government of unity. "The people of Zimbabwe have been denied their democratic rights. We should, in no uncertain terms, condemn what has happened."

Nelson Mandela: "Nearer to home, we had seen the outbreak of violence against fellow Africans in our own country and the tragic failure of leadership in our neighboring Zimbabwe.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu: "If you were to have a unanimous voice, saying quite clearly to Mr Mugabe... you are illegitimate and we will not recognise your administration in any shape or form - I think that would be a very, very powerful signal and would really strengthen the hand of the international community."

Southern African Catholic bishops: "We warn that the atrocities and barbarism of Zanu-PF are being documented. Mr Mugabe's actions and those of his generals, their wives, his thugs supporters and the so-called 'war veterans' are offensive in the eyes of God. Judgment awaits,"

We salute these African leaders who have stood up for the rights and protection of the ordinary Zimbabwean who only wants to live in a free society and excercise their God-given rights and those guaranteed by the Zimbabwean Constitution which is greater than any one individual.

It can be assumed that the African Union's credibility and relevance has been dealt a severe body blow over its handling of the Zimbabwean situation. The African Union's relevance is also adversely impacted by the "derisive laughter" of all Africans and the international community. And the AU must be warned that the the deaths and sufferings of Zimbabweans at the hands of Mr. Mugabe's loyalists can and will be seen as a stain on its Charter and legacy.

"The Black Man's sorrow is laughter"

About the Author:

Emmanuel Abalo is an exiled Liberian journalist, media and human rights activist and a former Acting President of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL). He now resides in Pennsylvania, USA. He serves as News Director of WRAR-96 Internet Radio on

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JK back home as Tsvangirai rejects talks

The Citizen, Tanzania

03.07.2008 @01:33 EAT

By Citizen Correspondent

African Union chairman President Jakaya Kikwete arrived home yesterday from
the 11th AU Summit, which was dominated by the crisis in Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai rejected talks on
a unity government as a way out of the crisis.

The two-day summit at the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh was originally
scheduled to discuss how Africa could fully implement the Millennium
Development Goals before the Zimbabwe impasse took centre stage.

African leaders discussed the acute shortage of water on the continent where
nearly half of the population lack access to clean and safe drinking water.

State House director of communications Salva Rweyemamu said in a statement
that the summit also discussed proposals for a single government in Africa.

Elsewhere, Mr Tsvangirai rejected talks on a unity government, saying
President Robert Mugabe must first stop violence and accept him as the
rightful election winner.

AU leaders have called for the two sides to negotiate to end the crisis
after Mr Mugabe's re-election in a June 27 ballot that was boycotted by the
opposition and dismissed by much of the world as a sham.
Mr Tsvangirai pulled out of the election because of attacks on his
supporters. He had won a first round vote on March 29.

"Significantly the conditions prevailing in Zimbabwe are not conducive to
negotiations. If dialogue is to be initiated, it is essential that Zanu-PF
stops the violence, halts the persecution of MDC leaders and supporters," he
told a news conference in Harare.

Mr Tsvangirai said talks had to be based on recognising only the first round
vote, which he won. He said his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) should
be the legitimate government after beating Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF in parallel
parliamentary elections.
Mr Mugabe's officials earlier welcomed the call from African leaders for
talks on a power-sharing government.

"The AU resolution is in conformity to what President Mugabe said at his
inauguration, when he said we are prepared to talk in order to resolve our
problems," Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu told Reuters.

"We are committed to talk, not just with Tsvangirai but to other parties as
well." Mr Ndlovu later dismissed Mr Tsvangirai's position on talks as
grandstanding and said he was confident the two sides would soon be together
at the bargaining table.

Mr Tsvangirai said talking to Mr Mugabe would be meaningless unless the
African Union sent a permanent envoy to expand mediation efforts by South
African President Thabo Mbeki, criticised for being too soft in his
diplomacy with Mr Mugabe.

Despite the AU support for a power-sharing deal modelled on the one that
ended post-election violence in Kenya earlier this year, disagreement over
who should lead the government could prove an insurmountable obstacle.

Mr Mugabe, 84, was sworn in for a new five-year term on Sunday after
election authorities announced he had won about 85 per cent of the vote in a
run-off, which was condemned by monitors and much of world opinion as
violent and unfair.

Zimbabwe 's once prosperous economy has collapsed, bringing the world's
highest rate of hyper-inflation, food and fuel shortages and 80 per cent
unemployment. Millions of Zimbabweans have fled to neighbouring countries.

Mr Mugabe has branded the MDC a puppet of former colonial power Britain and
the United States and vowed to never let it rule Zimbabwe .

Western countries are pushing for UN sanctions on Zimbabwe 's leaders and a
draft US resolution called for a UN travel ban and asset freeze on Mugabe's
inner circle. But some countries on the Security Council have shown little
appetite for such measures, already imposed by Europe and the United States.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, whose country has taken over the
European Union presidency, said on Tuesday the EU would only accept a
government led by Mr Tsvangirai. The European Commission repeated that line

"Any transitional government must include Morgan Tsvangirai as prime
minister or head of government," Commission development spokesman John
Clancy told a briefing in Brussels.

South African President Thabo Mbeki, however, told the South African
Broadcasting Corp. that the outside world could not impose conditions for a
solution to the impasse.

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Nat Hentoff: Robert Mugabe, "the Hitler of Africa"

Published 12:00 am PDT Thursday, July 3, 2008

Voting early on the morning of Election Day in Zimbabwe, the only candidate,
Robert Mugabe, smiling broadly, said he was "happy and hungry for victory."
In his wake are the corpses of at least 80 members of the Movement for
Democratic Change and thousands of tortured and beaten opposition
Zimbabweans. Among them - seen on the front page of the June 26 New York
Times - is an 11-month-old boy whose legs were shattered by the "Green
Bombers," Mugabe's youth militia.

Following Mugabe's Stalinesque triumph, the U.N. Security Council expressed
"deep regrets" that the election was conducted "in these circumstances."
That language would have been a tad more critical, but South Africa, not
wanting to hurt Mugabe's feelings, objected to describing the elections as
"illegitimate." On the very day before, hospitals in Harare, the capital,
were overflowing, as there weren't enough doctors. Some hospitals,
responding to threats by the military, refused to take any more victims of

Not at all surprisingly, the U.N. Human Rights Council has yet to even put
on its agenda Mugabe's extended version of the Nazis' "Kristillnacht" that
presaged the Holocaust, when the world also declined to intervene.

As the June 25 Times of London reported, Mugabe the Liberator of his country
crowed: "Other people can say what they want, but the elections are ours. We
are a sovereign state, and that is it." The United Nations insists that the
sovereignty of its members - even those who terrorize their own people - is
inviolable. Savoring that guarantee, Mugabe declared during his solo
"campaign": "We will not accept any meddling in Zimbabwe's internal affairs,
even from fellow Africans." Among the millions of Zimbabweans abandoned by
the world are the survivors - in Chitungwiza, 18 miles south of Harare - of
an attack on a home that was a refuge for Movement for Democratic Change
members. Said one of them, 57-year-old Georgina Nyamutsamba, in a June 27
Washington Post report: "There are so many boys buried in (nearby) Warren
Hills Cemetery, killed by Mugabe. Please help us suffering in Zimbabwe. What
can we do?" One of the owners of that refuge, Annastasia Chipiyo, has given
up any hope of deliverance from Zimbabwe's Liberator. She says: "I have
nothing to fear. I've just lost my son" - one of the four murdered in the
June 17 attack on her home. She has nothing left to lose.
Untold numbers of Zimbabweans are also frozen in hopelessness.

Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, withdrew
from the run-off election because he did not want to add to the broken
bodies of his supporters, saying in the June 25 The Guardian newspaper in
London: "Zimbabwe will break if the world does not come to our aid."
Tsvangirai has called on the United Nations to send peacekeepers to
Mugabeland to clear the way for the new elections so that he could campaign
as a "legitimate candidate," for whom Zimbabweans can vote without putting
their very lives in danger.

But if the United Nations were to do more than express "deep regrets" and
only impose more economic sanctions on Mugabe and his primary accomplices,
that would hardly cause fear in the Hitler of Africa. Though well-intended,
Queen Elizabeth's ruling on June 25 to strip Mugabe of his 1994 knighthood -
Knight Grand Cross in the Order of Bath - must have been derisively received
by the cashiered knight.

You think he cares? Sarah Childress of the Wall Street Journal has been
covering this satanic "election" - that has shamed Africa and the world -
with consistent accuracy. "Mr. Mugabe," she wrote on June 26, "has long
disregarded what the world thinks of him. Unless Mr. Mugabe is pressured by
his African counterparts, there is apparently little diplomats can do to
sway him." Will the African Union expel Zimbabwe, as Mugabe is strangling
that nation? What actions will now be taken by the Southern African
Development Community, which Childress describes as "the most powerful
international (economic) actor in Zimbabwe's drama?" How about military
intervention, if all else fails, by Zimbabwe's African leaders, an
increasing number of whom are dismayed and repelled by Mugabe's literally
getting away with murder? Even the revered Nelson Mandela had, at long last,
conquered his acute desire not to criticize another former freedom fighter
against European colonizers. (The white rulers of Rhodesia kept Mugabe in
prison for 10 years before he was out, and Rhodesia became Zimbabwe.)
Celebrating his 90th birthday at a dinner in London, Mandela faced the
naked, barbaric truth, and said there is "a tragic failure of leadership" in
Zimbabwe. He didn't speak the dreaded name, but the message was clear. Maybe
Mugabe, on hearing Mandela's irreverence, shrugged.

To be continued: Are there specific, realizable answers to Zimbabwean
Georgina Nyamutsamba, mourning "so many boys buried ... killed by Mugabe?"
"What can we do?" she asks. Will there be no reply except more deep
regrets - and the impossibility of first having to get permission from U.N.
Security Council members China and Russia to actually intervene with armed
forces? Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First
Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of many books, including "The
War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance" (Seven Stories
Press, 2004).

Copyright 2008, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.

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Journalist speaks of ordeal in police custody

3rd Jul 2008 08:32 GMT

By a Correspondent

ZIMBABWEAN journalist Trust Matsilele recently spent time in the filthy
police cells of Harare after being arrested. Here he narrates his ordeal.
Matsilele, a freelancer, writes for many publications including the

On 20th June five notorious CID from Law and Order Unity of Harare
Central arrested me. The group of five had received orders from the deputy
commissioner general to arrest me alleging I was harboring alleged
terrorists at Country Manna Lodge in Borrowdale Brook, Harare.

The CID had also been tipped that I was stringing for international
media so they raided my room when I was asleep around 11:30pm.
They confiscated my video camera I was using as I was capturing footage of
the MDC leader's presidential campaign I intended to use for a documentary.

The notorious CID also accused me of leading so-called rebel groups in South
Africa and asked why I was not actively supporting ZANU PF.

They also alleged that they would charge me through the defunct MIC through
the notorious AIPPA for operating in the country without

In the cells the CID would come and pick me in the middle of the night for
interrogation and questioned whom I was stringing for and who sponsored my
media work.

The CID would also threaten to kill me if I withheld some information
on operations of journalists in South Africa as they said they were in a
crusade to undermine the state.

The video camera I was using is currently with the Officer in Charge at
Harare Central Police, CID, Law and Order. During my four days in detention,
the CID at some point sent back my lawyer from bringing me food, Mr Aleck
Mambosasa, saying the British would
bring me some.

Some CID officers would call me and say if I thought I would change Zimbabwe
by merely using a pen I was wasting my time. They said CIO and ZANU PF youth
militia were running Zimbabwe.

"You think Biti ( MDC secretary general) has committed any crime, its
politics mupfana ukaita zvekutamba unonyura," said one of officers, whom I
thought did not resemble a trained officer both in his manners and
appearance. He was menacing and looked intoxicated.

In my five day stint at the Harare Central Police, I only ate two meals and
became familiar with my prison number 7264 and Cells number C2-31 where I
shared a room with notorious criminals among them armed robbers, rapists and

I slept on the cold floor with a boxer short and a thin T-shirt without any
blanket with lice feeding on my blood. Inside the cells I had an influenza
attack and suffered severe heartburn which is still troubling me since I was
released on 25th of June.

Before I was released I signed a cautioned statement that stated
 investigations to charge me with terrorism act were underway and that once
concrete information had been gathered I would be tried in a Zimbabwean

Soon after being released, Matsilele went to South Africa where he writes
from. He can be contacted on

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Rwandan genocide suspect urges quick solution to Zimbabwe crisis

3rd Jul 2008 08:36 GMT

By a Correspondent

ARUSHA, Tanzania - A Rwandan war crime suspect has urged Africans,
especially Zimbabweans to quickly find a solution to end its political
crisis before it deteriorates further.

General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, a former Chief of Staff of Rwandan National
Police, said this while presenting his defence testimony before the
International Criminal Tribunal where he is being tried for crimes against
humanity and war crimes during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

He appeared on Monday and denied the charges.

"We must, as Africans, seek solutions to our problems," he said referring to
the political violence in Zimbabwe and the recent crisis in Kenya.

"The UN did not have the opportunity to accomplish their mission in Rwanda
during the 1994 genocide", he added.

A UN force under the command of the Canadian General Romeo Dallaire was
deployed in the small central African country during the genocide but failed
to stop the killings.

About a million people mostly ethnic Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus
were murdered in cold blood.  "We must find a solution", he said

General Ndindilliyimana spoke as concern mounted over Zimbabwe's political
future marred by violence blamed on President Mugabe's supporters.

The violence prompted the opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai to withdraw
from last week's presidential run- off. The withdrawal plunged the whole
process into a crisis with the international community agreeing the run -off
should be set aside.

But Mugabe and his Zanu PF party have remained defiant in the face of
mounting pressure insisting they will only negotiate after the poll.

Some analysts have warned a quick solution should be found to avoid blood
shed as what happened in Rwanda in 1994. Several warnings were issued before
the genocide that the situation inside the small central African country was
deteriorating fast but the warnings fell on deaf ears.

The world was shocked to watch television footages of marauding militants
hacking people with machetes.

Dallaire, the Canadian soldier who led a depleted UN peace keeping force in
Rwanda told a recent peace workshop ion Pretoria, South Africa that the
situation in Zimbabwe and The Darfur could result in genocide.

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Talks on Zim crisis to begin soon


    July 03 2008 at 09:35AM

By Basildon Peta, Fiona Forde and Hans Pienaar

Talks to resolve the impasse between the Zimbabwean government and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change are expected to resume within
days, say Union Buildings sources - as the MDC scoffed at the idea of a
government of national unity (GNU).

Meanwhile, the Independent Foreign Service is authoritatively informed
that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has now set his sights on regaining
control of parliament, where he trails the opposition by about ten MPs.

MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said on Wednesday night the MDC was
ready for talks and had laid down its conditions. He said the MDC would give
the Mugabe regime a "two-week window" in which to meet the conditions.

A South African government source said exploratory discussions would
start at three different places and would likely focus initially on reducing
the violence.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai told a press conference in Harare on
Wednesday that violence was continuing as Zanu-PF sought retribution against
voters who did not turn out for Friday's runoff or spoilt their ballot
papers. For now, a GNU won't be on the agenda.

"A GNU doesn't address the problems facing Zimbabwe or acknowledge the
will of the Zimbabwean people," Tsvangirai declared in response to an
African Union resolution calling for a GNU.

After the AU summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, President Thabo Mbeki
said on SABC TV that Mugabe had not objected to the AU's request for

"He said they were committed to that and that indeed, even as we were
sitting at the meeting, the Zimbabweans were interacting among themselves."

Mbeki described Mugabe as "fully supportive" of co-operation and
dialogue between Zimbabwe's political parties to find a solution to their

AU president Jakaya Kikwete, who is also president of Tanzania, said
in Egypt on Wednesday that talks led by the Southern African Development
Community would begin "as soon as possible" and "will move very quickly".

Although he declined to put a time-frame on a final deal, he said he
would expect "to see movement by the end of 2008".

Kikwete said neither Mugabe nor Tsvangirai had expressed any objection
to him personally and that he did not expect them to do so.

Chamisa said any talks emanating from encounters would be very much
exploratory, and that the MDC would not budge from its main demands for
fresh elections and a new mediator.

Tsvangirai told the press conference that any talks should be based on
the outcome of the March 29 poll, which he won, and not on the June 27
one-man presidential run-off "won" by Mugabe but rejected by several African

Tsvangirai also reiterated his position that any talks had to be
centred on negotiating a transitional authority that would run the country
until fresh democratic elections are held.

"Our commitment to a negotiated settlement is not about power-sharing
or power deals but about democracy, freedom and justice."

Tsvangirai also spurned any talks with Mugabe's regime until a
full-time AU mediator was appointed to replace Mbeki, who the MDC accuses of
bias towards the Mugabe regime.

Tsvangirai criticised the AU resolution calling for a unity government
for its failure to declare the run-off illegitimate and for not
acknowledging the MDC as the winner of the March 29 elections.

Mugabe has already rejected any preconditions for any talks.

His spokesperson George Charamba said while he was open for talks,
Mugabe would not bow to any outside influences or pressures.

A senior member of the Zimbabwe National Army, who is sympathetic to
the opposition, said the MDC was wasting time if it believed that it could
achieve change in Zimbabwe through talking to Mugabe, with or without

He said Mugabe was now aiming at regaining Zanu-PF's parliamentary
majority. He claimed the plan was to launch a campaign of targeted
assassinations of MDC MPs to create room for by-elections which would then
be rigged through violence.

Mugabe is assured of a comfortable majority in the upper house, the
Senate, via a constitutional provision that will allow him to appoint an
extra 33 senators from his ruling party.

Meanwhile, Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade told the Independent
Foreign Service on Wednesday he would be available to act as a second

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on July
03, 2008

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Chaibva could be fired from MDC

By Gerald Harper ⋅ © ⋅ July 2, 2008 ⋅

The MDC faction led Arther Mutambara is contemplating further action against
its former Spokesman Gabriel Chaibva over comments he made to the state
controlled The Herald,the faction deputy spokesman Renson Gasela has
“Yes the party is going to take further action against Chiabva,and we have a
disciplinary process in place”said Gasela

Gasela said Chaibva’s comments reflect his personal views and not the views
of the party.

Chaibva reportedly told state media that the MDC must recognize Mugabe as
the legitimate president of Zimbabwe before any talks.

“In 2002, we said we would not recognise President Mugabe’s legitimacy and
where did that get us? We cannot keep on engaging in actions that do not
take the nation forward. It is time to think of the wishes of the people,”

Chaibva further accused the MDC of western influence,

“When the MDC split, we made it clear that we were for land redistribution.
We were nationalist and pan-African.

“But the providers of capital see this as a threat to their permanent
economic interests in Zimbabwe. That is why just before the elections the
two MDC s failed to unite.

“The Americans and the Germans produced a report telling Tsvangirai that he
would win 85 percent of the vote on March 29 and that he didn’t need the
support of Mutambara. It’s ironic really that they thought they would get 85
percent.” Chaibva is quoted saying.

The MDC completely disassociated itself from the comments,’That is why he
was fired’,Gasela said.

Chaibva along with two other junior MDC officials attended Mugabe’s
inauguration which was boycotted by the rest of the MDC leadership despite
being invited he went further to attend the burial of former Zimbabwean
ambassador to Sudan Lloyd Gundu at Heroes’ Acre in Harare.

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Zambian leader 'in a semi-coma but still alive'

The Sowetan

03 July 2008

Sharm El-Sheik - The head of of the Egyptian hospital that treated Zambia's
president has said he was in a semi-coma but "still alive" when evacuated to
Paris from Egypt.

Saeed Abdel Fattah Essa said the Zambian president had a "brain haemorrhage"
which Egyptian doctors managed to stop. Essa also said that Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak visited the Zambian leader at the hospital.

President Levy Mwanawasa was rushed to hospital on Sunday after he fell ill
at the African Union summit. His vice-president said on Tuesday that he was
stable . - Sapa-AP

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