The ZIMBABWE Situation
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NGO's vow to defy ban on their activities

By Lance Guma
11 June 2008

Non-Governmental Organisations in the country have vowed to defy a
government ban on their activities and say they will continue to serve the
developmental needs of the population. Last week Mugabe's regime ordered
humanitarian groups to stop distributing food aid, accusing them of pursuing
a regime change agenda by campaigning for the opposition. The move drew a
chorus of criticism from the international community and aid groups who said
Zanu PF was looking for scapegoats to blame for their March 29 election
defeat to the MDC.

On Tuesday over 65 NGO's resolved to defy what they believe is an 'illegal'
directive, issued by Labour and Social Welfare Minister Nicholas Goche.
Speaking to Newsreel Wednesday Fambai Ngirande, a spokesman for the National
Association of Non-Governmental Organisations, said their allegiance lay
with the people they served and not the government. Ngirande said there was
no provision in the law for the Minister to suspend the operations of NGO's
in the country. Under the relevant legislation only the Private Voluntary
Organisations Board can suspend an executive committee of an NGO.

The groups have in principle vowed not to re-apply for registration, as set
out by the government circular - 'the circular is illegal' as far as they
are concerned. It also looks likely that a legal showdown is looming after
the offices of Gweru Agenda and Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust in Gweru,
were forced to close down by the police who cited the government circular.
Ngirande says the two closures might form the basis of a test case in the
courts to challenge the government ban. Meanwhile some local authorities in
the country have received the government circular and are now said to be
hampering the work of NGO's in their areas.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Africa labour unions urge intervention in Zimbabwe


Wed 11 Jun 2008, 16:57 GMT

By Robert Evans

GENEVA, June 11 (Reuters) - Labour unions from southern Africa on Wednesday
called on the regional organisation SADC to send peace-keepers to Zimbabwe
to ensure presidential elections take place democratically.

A statement from the main worker bodies in eight countries also called on
the 15 SADC governments to mount "vigilant monitoring" of the June 27
run-off vote and to make sure United Nations and other observers could also
be on the spot.

"The workers in the region cannot allow the election and the expression of
the people of Zimbabwe through the ballot box to be stolen," said the
statement, read at a news conference by Swaziland's labour federation leader
Jan Sithole.

It said President Robert Mugabe's government was continuing to "aggressively
violate" U.N. labour pacts with "malicious police violence, brutality,
arrests and detentions of trade union leaders, activists and human rights

The president and secretary-general of the Zimbabwe trade union organisation
were recently imprisoned for 10 days and then released under bail terms that
prevented them from carrying out their work or travelling, the statement

The stance of the worker delegates, in Geneva for the annual Conference of
the International Labour Organisation (ILO), contrasted sharply with that of
political leaders of SADC, the Southern African Development Community.

These have preferred to avoid openly criticising Mugabe and work through the
"quiet diplomacy" championed by South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki.

Lesotho's Prime Minister Pakalitha Mososili told another news conference the
sovereignty of Zimbabwe must be respected.

Mososili said he understood there was "no way" that the run- off poll
between Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai could be rigged.

His argument was rejected at the workers' briefing by Alina Rantsolase of
the Congress of South African Trade Unions, COSATU. "The first round was
already rigged," she declared.

Sithole, who said the group was also speaking on behalf of the Zimbabwe
union leaders, told reporters its stance was backed at the ILO by worker and
employer bodies from all continents.

The only objection came from Cuba, which defended Mugabe -- while official
Zimbabwe government delegates sat in the gallery to avoid having to speak.

"It is very sad to see Cuba behaving in this way," said another African
worker representative at the news conference. "They supported South
Africans' struggle against apartheid, but now they are backing Mugabe's
repressive regime."

The statement -- signed by union bodies from Zambia, Botswana, South Africa,
Swaziland, Malawi, Angola, Lesotho and Mozambique -- blamed SADC's "passive
strategy" on human rights issues for the situation in Zimbabwe. (Editing by Jonathan Lynn; Editing by Matthew

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Zim London Demo Thurs 10 June outside SA High Commission

PRESS RELEASE - 10th June 2008

Zimbabweans appeal to South Africa

Exiled Zimbabweans are to demonstrate outside the South African High
Commission in London on Thursday 12th June in protest at the South African
government's policy on Zimbabwe. They will present a petition expressing
horror at the recent xenophobic violence in South Africa in which more than
60 foreigners were killed and thousands chased out of South Africa.

A copy of the petition was handed to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel peace
laureate, at St Martin-in-the-Fields church in London on Monday 9th June.
Archbishop Tutu described the situation in Zimbabwe as a nightmare and asked
forgiveness on behalf of the people of South Africa for the violence against

The petition reads: "A Petition to Thabo Mbeki: Following the recent attacks
on Zimbabweans and other foreign nationals in South Africa we, the
undersigned, call on President Mbeki to take action to ensure the safety of
these endangered people and bring the perpetrators to justice. We urge
President Mbeki to end his support of President Mugabe, allowing a
resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis and the return home of exiled Zimbabweans.
Zimbabwean blood is at your door."

The petition was signed by people passing by the Zimbabwe Vigil on Saturday
7th June and by people attending the St Martin-in-the-Fields church
gathering attended by Archbishop Tutu.

The text of the letter to Thabo Mbeki reads: "We have been horrified by the
recent xenophobic attacks on Zimbabweans and other foreigners in South
Africa and enclose a petition signed on Saturday 7th June by people passing
by the Zimbabwe Vigil, which has been demonstrating outside the Zimbabwe
Embassy, London, every Saturday for the past 6 years The situation can only
get worse if Zanu PF is allowed to cling to power. More and more Zimbabweans
will have no choice but to flee. We believe there is a crisis in Zimbabwe
and that you can help resolve it. We pray to God you will rise to this

Event: Protest against South African government's policy on Zimbabwe
Venue: Outside the South African High Commission, Trafalgar Square, London
Date / time: 12 noon - 2 pm, Thursday 12th June 2008
Photo Opportunities: Zimbabwean singing and drumming
Further information: Contact Rose Benton (07970 996 003, 07932 193 467) and
Dumi Tutani (07960 039 775)

As well as the Saturday Vigils, the Zimbabwe Vigil's plans include.

· Service of Solidarity with Torture Survivors of Zimbabwe, Thursday 26th
June 4 - 5.30 pm on UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
organised by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum supported by the Vigil.
Venue: St Paul's Church, Bedford Street, Covent Garden WC2E 9ED. All welcome
to join the service and post-service procession to lay flowers on the steps
of the Zimbabwe Embassy.

· Zimbabwe Vigil's mock Presidential Run-off. Friday 27th June 10 am - 4 pm
outside the Zimbabwe Embassy.

· Mandela 90th Birthday Concert. Friday 27th June, 4 pm in Hyde Park. Vigil
supporters to attend the event with banners reading "Speak out Mandela" and
"What about Zimbabwe?"

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

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Large crowd at unveiling of Tsvangirai bus

June 11, 2008

Crowds throng the pavement outside Harvest House to see Morgan Tsvangirai’s campaign bus.

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - Business ground to a halt along Nelson Mandela Avenue in the vicinity of Harvest House in downtown Harare, when Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai arrived at his party’s headquarters aboard a brand new election campaign bus.

The 60-seater bus resplendent in the MDC’s bright red colour and with the legend “Morgan is the one” emblazoned along the sides, was launched Wednesday. A novel departure from Zimbabwe’s rather staid political campaigning, the bus immediately attracted hundreds of people who rushed to catch a glimpse of the MDC leader as he emerged.

MDC officials said the unveiling of the bus, two weeks before the presidential election, was part of the MDC’s new campaign strategy in the face of the ban imposed by the police on the party’s rallies. Last week Tsvangirai was detained twice in Matebeleland in the south-western regions of Zimbabwe as he made his way to scheduled campaign rallies. He was released without charges being laid against him in each case.

The police impounded a BMW X5 sports utility vehicle which he was traveling in. Tsvangirai attracted large crowds in Nkayi, Lupane and Esigodini in Matabeleland.

As his bus approached Harvest House on Wednesday crowds cheered and chanted MDC slogans. Tsvangirai made a brief impromptu speech amid chants proclaiming victory for him on June 27.

MDC officials were forced to cancel a scheduled press conference as the safety of the crowd had become compromised. It is against Zimbabwean law for a large number of people to gather without prior police authorization.

Tsvangirai later travelled to the town of Norton, 50 kilometres west of Harare, where he conducted a “walkabout”, another new MDC campaign strategy during which the MDC leader meets people as he walks on the street. As another large crowd quickly developed he departed for the Midlands city of Kwekwe.

Tsvangirai meets incumbent President Robert Mugabe in two weeks on June 27 in a second round of voting within three months. He shocked Mugabe by beating him in the presidential election held on March 29. After withholding the election results from announcement for five weeks the Zimbabwe Election Commission finally announced that while he was the victorious candidate Tsvangirai had not secured the required majority to form the next government.

Tsvangirai polled 47,9 percent of the popular vote, white Mugabe won 43,2. In terms of the Electoral Act a second round of elections was immediately announced. While the Act stipulates that a run-off will be conducted within 21 days of the announcement of the presidential election result, in the event that no clear winner emerges, the forthcoming election is scheduled for 90 days after that announcement. A third candidate, former Finance Minister, Dr Simba Makoni, was heavily defeated, garnering only eight percent of the vote.

Since his loss Makoni has vigorously campaigned for a scrapping of the second presidential election, while calling for a government of national unity.

Before the election result was announced there was an outbreak of politically inspired violence, mostly in those rural constituencies which were once Zanu-PF strongholds, but which defected to support Tsvangirai and the MDC on March 29.

The campaign of brutal violence started soon after a military deployment throughout rural Zimbabwe. Victims and witnesses allege the perpetrators of the now widespread violence have been dressed in military fatigues. The MDC accuses government of unleashing violence to punish the rural electorate for voting against Zanu-PF on March 29 and to intimidate them not to vote for the MDC on June 27. Mugabe and his officials, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa in particular, accuse the MDC of inciting the violence.

Meanwhile the police have placed a blanket ban on MDC rallies amid growing evidence that President Mugabe’s chances of a political come-back are fast diminishing, even as the electorate is brutalised.

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Police detain MMPZ employees

11th Jun 2008 12:46 GMT

By a Correspondent

HARARE - Binga Police in Zimbabwe 's Matabeleland North province on 8 June
2008 arrested and detained Abel Chikomo, Maureen Kademaunga and Abel
Kaingidza who are employed by the Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe
(MMPZ) and accused them of holding a public meeting without police

The three together with other 10 members of the MMPZ's Public Information
Rights Forum (PIRF) who are in custody in Binga are expected to appear in
court on 11 June 2008.

MMPZ Co-ordinator Andy Moyse confirmed their arrest together with that of
the other 10 local members of the PIRF and said that the meeting in question
was not a public meeting but a professional meeting which did not require
notification or clearance with the police in terms of the Public Order and
Security Act (POSA).

"They are expected in court today," he said. Moyse said their lawyers only
managed to access the detained MMPZ employees and its PIRF members on 10
June 2008 following the intervention of police officers from Hwange Police's
law and order section.

The MMPZ is an independent Trust that promotes freedom of expression and
responsible journalism in Zimbabwe. It does this through monitoring and
analysis of news and current affairs produced by both the print and
electronic media and its findings are made public through publication of
weekly media updates.

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Zanu PF and War Veterans shut down PTUZ Gokwe Office

The Zimbabwean

Wednesday, 11 June 2008 09:10
Date: 10 June 2008
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has learnt that Zanu PF
supporters and War Veterans yesterday, 09 June 2008, stormed Gokwe offices
belonging to the Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), an
affiliate of the ZCTU, and ordered that the union cease business. After
ransacking the office and taking undisclosed items, the War Veterans who
numbered about 15, locked the offices. The incident happened at around
According to PTUZ general secretary, Raymond Majongwe, said the
beatings started on Friday 6 June 2008 when one of their member, was abucted
at Gokwe Centre and held captive for more than nine hours. Then on Saturday
7, June 2008, some war veterans severely beat up PTUZ Gokwe Coordinator,
Moses Mhaka. They took away his identify document and other personal
documents. Mhaka is a full-time staff member of the PTUZ.
The ZCTU believes that PTUZ is being targeted in the current wave of
violence because the ruling party, Zanu PF lost in Gokwe during the last
Harmonised elections.
Last Tarabuku
Acting Information Officer
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
P.O Box 3549
Harare, Zimbabwe

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Shelving Statements, Leading the Charge

Embassy, Canada's Foreign Policy Newsweekly

Embassy, June 11th, 2008

As the world sits on the sidelines, Zimbabwe is descending into an ever
deeper hellhole from which it will take a great deal of future intervention
to extract it.

Robert Mugabe has crossed the line from repressive strong man to
psychopathic dictator as he and his lieutenants have abandoned all pretences
of democracy to cling to power.

Last week, Mugabe's government banned opposition rallies while security
forces detained his primary challenger, Morgan Tsvangirai, and stepped up a
campaign of violence that has left at least 65 dead as the country prepares
for runoff presidential elections.

Meanwhile, the government has ordered all aid organizations out of the
country, alleging they are supporting the opposition, even as millions of
Zimbabweans, facing astronomical inflation rates, scrounge to find crumbs to
feed themselves.

The Mugabe government has also started targeting foreign diplomats,
detaining several American and British envoys last week as they tried to
visit victims of political violence.

On June 4, Foreign Affairs Minister David Emerson released a statement
condemning the detention of Tsvangirai and another opposition leader, Arthur

"Canada is alarmed by the campaign of political intimidation, human rights
violations and politically motivated violence," the statement said. "We are
appalled by the reports of torture and extrajudicial killings committed,
overwhelmingly, by state security and paramilitary groups."

Mr. Emerson went on to demand the Mugabe government "protect its citizens
from all forms of intimidation and violence" while saying that Zimbabweans
deserve an "open and transparent election process."

With dozens of opposition members and supporters dead and a full-fledged
campaign of violence underway, the idea Mugabe will protect Zimbabweans from
intimidation and violence and deliver an open and transparent election
process is laughable.

What is truly needed is a robust response. True, Western intervention in
Zimbabwe is extremely difficult, especially since Mugabe is still regarded
as the man who delivered the country from white rule, and he has defended
his strong-arm tactics by declaring he is fighting neo-colonialism.

But the dangers that Mugabe poses not only to his people, but also stability
in the sub-Saharan region-which is home to almost $1 billion in Canadian
direct investments in Zimbabwe and surrounding countries-should now be
apparent. Canada and the Conservative government, which is trying to style
itself a defender of human rights and democracy, must do more than issue a
pro forma statement.

The effects of the crisis are already starting to spill over into
surrounding countries. Last month saw widespread violence in South Africa,
where poor South Africans, disillusioned 14 years after the end of
apartheid, have turned their anger on Zimbabwean refugees who have
unwittingly jumped from the pan into the fire.

The idea of invoking the Responsibility to Protect may seem farfetched, but
it would be a great deal easier to do in Zimbabwe than Burma, where China
holds sway.

If years of misrule that have led to economic devastation are not proof
enough, the campaign Mugabe and his security forces are now waging to hold
onto power should have the world realizing this madman has lost the right to
rule. Canada could take the initiative and push for intervention at the UN.

Given the threat Zimbabwe poses to their stability, other countries in the
region could be tapped to take the lead and actually contribute troops to
ensure the inevitable allegations that neo-colonial aspirations are driving
the agenda are put to rest.

There are other actions Canada can take, such as providing assistance to
Zimbabweans who have fled to countries like South Africa and are now being
targeted by mobs. Canada provides similar assistance for Burmese refugees
living on the border with Thailand. Not only will this help desperate people
who have nowhere to turn, but it will promote stability in South Africa and,
if done right, start building a foundation for a future without Mugabe.

But the immediate imperative is getting the world to realize that it must
stop Zimbabwe's transformation into a failed state. The United States and
Britain can't do this. Canada can, and should, be doing more.

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Save Zimbabwe

The Citizen (Dar es Salaam)

11 June 2008
Posted to the web 11 June 2008

As Zimbweans, their neighbours, other Africans and the rest of the world
eagerly await the presidential election run-off pitting Mr Robert Mugabe
against MDC's Morgan Tsvangrai on June 27, there are is a worrying upsurge
in violence.

The main target is, of course, the opposition supporters, with some key
activists slain by pro-government mobs in recent days.

The unrest continues a particularly bad period for a country that has been
engulfed in a bitter political feud.

Human Rights Watch is warning of a terribly delicate situation and urging
the African Union to intervene before this degenerates into a full-scare

We in Tanzania, are watching the developments with keen interest, having
contributed immensely to the independence struggle in Zimbabwe, which
brought President Mugabe to power in 1980.

Our two countries have had a long history of brotherhood and the pathetic
situation in Zimbabwe today touches the hearts of Tanzanians.

The HRW report launched last Monday tells of police brutality against the
opposition in an evil scheme called 'Operation Where Did You Put You Vote?'
targeting those opposed to freedom fighter turned dictator Mugabe.

We urge the AU chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete, to extend his famed
diplomatic skills to avert the low-scale civil war in Zimbabwe.

But more important, he should mobilise efforts to ensure that the election
is somewhat free.

There is deep animosity between the two groups, but Zimbabwe is greater than
all of them.

It's important to impress upon President Mugabe to accept defeat should he

The same should apply to Mr Tsvangirai, if he fairly loses, though the
playing ground is already tilted against him.

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Silent genocide of African women

Toronto Star

Jun 11, 2008 04:30 AM

Carol Goar

At 6, Betty Makoni was raped. She was a child labourer, selling candles in
her village. A neighbour invited her and nine other girls into his house,
locked them in a room and sexually violated each one.

That was her introduction to life as a female in Zimbabwe.

At 7, she asked her mother why women never spoke out when men brutalized
them. "Sh!" her mother warned. "These things are private."

At 9, after one particularly vicious episode of domestic abuse, she lost her

"I grew up with questions and anger," she said. "But I was a clever girl. I
started to fight."

She fought her way through school. She fought to protect her siblings. She
fought to become self-supporting.

At 24, with two university degrees, she got a job as a teacher. "I felt
strongly that one day I would break the silence about rape."

The chance came sooner than she expected. Barely had she settled into the
classroom when the girls started dropping out. Over the school year,
two-thirds stopped coming. They'd been raped, infected with AIDS, turned
into outcasts.

So Makoni started a club where girls could talk about their lives and learn
to defend themselves. Ten girls attended the first meeting. But word spread
quickly. Before long, girls' clubs were popping up in schools across

By 1999, there were so many clubs that Makoni gave up her teaching job to
run the Girl Child Network. There are now 689 clubs and three "empowerment
villages" where survivors of rape can seek refuge and rehabilitation.

The network has helped more than 60,000 girls and women in its nine-year
history. The youngest was a 1-day-old baby. The oldest was 94.

"As I speak now, I know a woman is getting killed in Zimbabwe," Makoni said
this week at briefing hosted by the Stephen Lewis Foundation. "There's a
silent genocide going on."

The Girl Child Network is one of more than 100 grassroots organizations
supported by the foundation Lewis established five years ago. The former UN
Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa was so devastated by what he saw and so
frustrated by the world's lethargic response, that he decided to pour his
passion and eloquence into raising money for groups on the front lines in

Lewis describes Makoni as "a powerful and leading figure in her country."
She describes herself as a victim who became a leader because no one else
would help Zimbabwe's girls.

She has been jailed. She receives death threats constantly. Her husband, an
engineer, worries about her safety.

In an interview, Makoni shared a letter she had just received from one of
her supporters. "Please don't come back (to Zimbabwe)," it says. "Things are
worse. People are being beaten to death."

She will go back, after a conference organized by the Stephen Lewis
Foundation to raise global awareness of "sexual terrorism" in Africa. It
will bring together doctors and trauma counsellors and aid experts.

Makoni will speak as a victim, a survivor, a teacher and a mother.

But she is more than that. She has changed attitudes in Zimbabwe in a way
that no one thought possible. Girls who attend her clubs know how to say no
to boys who demand sex. They don't retreat into the kitchen or lower their
gaze in the presence of men. Their body language is confident and assertive.
If necessary, they can fight aggressively.

They compete vigorously with boys in school. So many have gone on to become
doctors, lawyers, teachers and community leaders that fathers now urge their
daughters to join the network.

"We are challenging the whole patriarchal structure," Makoni says.

She remembers the nine girls with whom she was raped 31 years ago. None
lived to tell the story.

She visits her mother's grave whenever she can. "I always tell her: `There
was nothing you could have done. But I can.'"

And she thinks she hears her mother say: "Go girl."

Carol Goar's column appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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More Zims undergo assessment

From BOPA (Botswana), 10 June

By Sereki Mpitse

Francistown - About 308 Zimbabwean asylum seekers have so far been granted
refugee status at the Dukwi Refugee Camp and the number continues to
increase. This week, about 90 more Zimbabweans asylum seekers would be
assessed by the refugee advisory committee at the Francistown Centre for
Illegal Immigrants. The Deputy Settlement Commandant at the Dukwi Refugee
Camp, Mr Thuso Wasetso, told BOPA that the number however excludes the 120
Zimbabwean refugees who came before their country's March 29 presidential
elections. Mr Wasetso said more Zimbabwean asylum seekers were coming into
Botswana through different centres. He said that although Zimbabwe was going
for a presidential run-off on June 27, 'no refugee has shown interest of
going back to vote'. 'All what we are doing is to assist them in settling
until they are granted permanent refugee status by the Minister of Home
Affairs.' Mr Wasetso said an orientation by various authorities such as
police, education and health has been held at the Dukwi Camp. Families who
want their children to be integrated into schools have been identified and
would be helped out. He stated that refugees are given permits whenever they
go out of the camp, for their safety and that they should not be harassed by
law officials.

Asked whether the refugees were indeed asylum seekers, Mr Wasetso said and
assessment was conducted by UNHCR and Refugee Advisory Committee, 'and
therefore we have to respect their conclusion.' The Zimbabwean ambassador,
Mr Thomas Mandigora, to Botswana recently told the news media that some of
the refugees were not asylum seekers but economic refugees. The refugees on
the other hand said they fled Zimbabwe fearing for their lives and explained
that the ambassador had to defend his party. 'I have seen my relatives and
friends beaten, and therefore nobody can say I willingly wanted to come and
stay in the camp. It is not nice to be in a foreign country,' said Mr Norman
Manda. Mr Manda who said was still traumatized by a series of beatings by
Zanu PF to MDC supporters said he would go back when the situation has
calmed. Some asylum seekers at the camp have complained of cold weather,
saying that blankets were not enough. But, despite these conditions some
have vowed that they would not return to Zimbabwe under the 'Mugabe regime.'
'We don't want to die, they have killed my husband and you think I can go
back? said Ms Mellita Moyo. Almost all the refugees were pessimistic about
the June 27 presidential election re-run saying President Mugabe would do
anything to cling to power.

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ZESA manager found dead in CIO hands

Zim Eye

Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority ZESA area manager for Chiredzi Town,
Dumisani Hapazari was on Monday found dead after being taken away by two
officers from the Central Intelligence Organisation from his workplace last

The two CIO officers took Hapazari from his offices on Tuesday afternoon and
drove him to Gonarezhou National Park.

Hapazari's body was discovered at Chikombedzi along the Zimbabwean border
with Mozambique.

One of the CIO officers has been identified as Peter Saburi.

In a similar abduction case, Chiredzi human rights doctor, Godfrey Mugwazi
is missing after being taken away by the same CIO officers at his surgery on

In Buhera South, the MDC parliamentary candidate, Julius Magarangoma had his
homestead raided by 10-armed men who looted property, money and abducted
five of his relatives who were at the home.

Meanwhile, MDC Gutu senator, Empire Makamure, had his vehicle burnt to ashes
early Tuesday by suspected Zanu PF supporters and his family was also

Violence has been escalating since the Mach 29 elections with most murder
cases reported so far involving members of the CIO and the army.

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Rally for democracy in Zimbabwe - Perth, WA




The Rally will demand:
---an end to the violence carried out by the Mugabe Regime;
---a fair and free election in the runoff 27 June runoff between Tsvangirai
and Mugabe which is supervised before and after the ballot by the
international community;
---restore and increase aid to the hungry and the victims of violence in

A mock election will be held at the Rally for Zimbabweans to vote for their
chosen President.

Bring placards,signs,flags, drums,mbiras,hoshos and your family, friends and
Stand Up For The People Of Zimbabwe
A new Zimbabwe-A new beginning-Now is the time!
Authorized by the Zimbabwe Information Centre(WA Branch) Contact: Paul 0438
949 898

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Silent walk to honour victims

11/ 6/2008

The Zimbabwean community of Reading is inviting the public to join them on a
silent walk through the town's streets in honour of Zimbabwe's political

More than 200 Zimbabweans, dressed in black, will march in complete silence
to highlight the crisis in their home country, and they hope hundreds of
supporters of all cultures and faiths will join them.

The walk, due to take place on Saturday, June 21, was the idea of East
Reading artist Robyn Appleton, 51, who is passionate about the plight of the
African nation's people.

Mrs Appleton, whose brother-in-law is from Zimbabwe, said: "The whole nation
must feel no one cares about them. I wanted to do something to show we are
supporting and standing beside them.

"The thing that got me going was when I read in the paper about Zimbabwean
food supplies arriving in South Africa from China and the people refusing to
unload it. It's not the politics that make the difference, it's the people."

Zimbabwe has been in political turmoil since dictator Robert Mugabe refused
to recognise the result of presidential elections in March, which his
opponent Morgan Tsvangirai claimed to win. Mr Mugabe has ordered a second
election on June 27, six days after Reading's silent walk.

Mrs Appleton is gathering support from the Reading branch of the Quakers,
members of Churches Together in Reading, and NHS care professionals, and
hopes more people will come forward.

Chair of the Zimbabwe Community Group, Owen Muganda, added: "We are pushing
for the free will of the people, which should be respected. Any political
violence is unacceptable and we are highlighting what is happening on the
ground right now.

"This walk is not a political statement, it is in honour of the victims of
political violence in Zimbabwe. Nobody is allowed to speak out against the
regime and if they do they are punished."

Mr Muganda, whose children are still in Zimbabwe, said: "Many of us are
separated from our families and more people have arrived recently, some have
come since the last elections. They tell us what is happening, as do our
families. The will of the people is not being respected."

Mrs Appleton added she hoped the walk highlighted, to the British
Government, that people cared about the situation in Zimbabwe.

She said: "I really hope and pray that things will be different at this
second presidential election, but it will only change if people get behind
the Zimbabweans and governments see we are serious about the plight. If it's
going to pull votes the Government will get behind it. I'm planning to
invite Martin Salter and Rob Wilson along on the walk."

The date for the walk has been set provisionally as Saturday, June 21,
subject to police permission. It will take place from 2pm to 4pm, setting
off from Forbury Gardens and finishing at the Quaker Meeting House in London

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