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BBC Zanu (PF) Violence Story Denied
Written by CZ Correspondent   
Thursday, 11 June 2009

ImageSekai Holland - Minister of State - Healing and Reconciliation Organ, has refuted a story published by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) which alleged that she said Zanu (PF) was planning another assault on the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leaders.

Mrs Holland, herself a victim of Zanu (PF) violence, said some British non-governmental organisation representative who she had spoken to in general three months ago about Zanu (PF)'s violent disposition, may have been responsible for the story, according to Sandra Nyaira of the Voice of America (VOA).

Nyaira said Mrs Holland denied to her that that she ever spoke with anyone from the BBC. “No-one asked her for an interview, but three months ago a team that claimed to work for a children's NGO in the UK approached her about what they could do to help the situation,” said Nyaira.

Reading from her notes, Nyaira told changezimbabwe that Mrs Holland had told her:

"I'm really quite surprised by this story. These people came here three months ago and said they are with an NGO in the UK and they were looking to fundraise for children, so we were talking as if we were talking with an NGO for children.

“We explained the things which were going well and the things which we have achieved so they (asked) what we thought needed to be improved on, and we just started talking about the rumors that were current at that time.

“The story, as far as I can see, is about the negative things which we said and nothing about the good things which we said, nothing,” said Mrs Holland, adding that if the media decided to be irresponsible and publish the general talk there was nothing she could do.

“I think that people who wish Zimbabwe well are going to pick up the story of what is going on well, but there are these residual elements also.

"I have not given an interview to any journalists of the BBC at all, but I hear that I was in the BBC and I have seen it on the Internet.

“If they did this interview several months ago, which they did, they should have come back to me for an update because the situatiion in Zimbabwe is changing all the time; we now factor in the setting up of the Organ on Peace and Reconciliation,” she said referring to her department.

The department had now come up with a methodology that is going to be followed for the next six months to get Zimbabweans inside Zimbabwe and in the diaspora to help them by giving their views on setting up a mechanism that can brings peace to Zimbabwe, she said.

“This week we are organising for the actual programme, so things are slow but you can actually see where things are getting better and where they are not,” said the Minister of State.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 June 2009 )

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Tsvangirai Aims to Persuade U.S. to Take New Look at Zimbabwe
Originally Aired: June 11, 2009
Margaret Warner talks with Zimbabwe's prime minister and opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, about the shifting political landscape in the country, and his Friday meeting with President Barack Obama.
Morgan Tsvangirai
audioDownload   videoStreaming Video

JIM LEHRER: And next tonight, the man trying to lead the African nation of Zimbabwe out of economic and political chaos.

Margaret Warner has that story.

MARGARET WARNER: Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in as Zimbabwe's prime minister four months ago by the man widely believed to have cheated him out of the presidency, President Robert Mugabe.

The 2008 election had brought intimidation, attacks and killings upon Tsvangirai's supporters. Winning the first round, he pulled out of the runoff to stem the violence, then reluctantly entered into negotiations to share power.

The two men are now joined in a coalition government that's trying to deal with the consequences of Mugabe's decades-long misrule, raging inflation, empty shelves, disease, and political violence.

A month after taking office, Tsvangirai suffered a personal tragedy. His wife was killed when the car in which they were riding was sideswiped.

He's in Washington this week as part of a weeks-long tour to persuade U.S. and European governments to reengage with Zimbabwe and provide his government aid. He meets with President Obama Friday.

We spoke with Prime Minister Tsvangirai yesterday.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai, thank you for being with us.

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, prime minister, Zimbabwe: Thank you, Margaret.

MARGARET WARNER: What case are you going to make to President Obama and members of Congress about why the U.S. government should engage with your government, and even extend aid, when President Mugabe is still in power?

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: Zimbabwe's a different place, because, for a very long time, we have been characterized as a country in crisis, as a country of political polarization between the two main political parties, a country with a collapsed economy, and a country with no hope.

And I think that the new political dispensation represents a new Zimbabwe, which is looking forward to reconstruction, to reconciliation, and economic recovery.

MARGARET WARNER: So, the economy is in better shape?

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: We have only been in government for four months. It is not in great -- we have not come out of the woods yet.

But I think we have laid down the foundation for a better economic prospect, in terms of various reforms, the first one being the reserve bank reforms. We have also arrested the hyperinflation conditions from 500 billion percent to about 3 percent within three months.

Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai
Prime Minister of Zimbabwe
I'm saying here that it is time Zimbabwe was engaged; it's time Zimbabwe was helped, because the help is to the Zimbabwean people. And it's not necessarily to government.

Human rights concerns

MARGARET WARNER: But, now, the seizures of white-owned farms are still continuing. Civil society, opposition activists are still being jailed. The press is still muzzled.

Now, Secretary of State Clinton said in May that she didn't think it was time yet to reengage and -- and send aid. And the assistant secretary for African affairs said just yesterday that, in the absence of democratic reforms, aid would not be forthcoming.

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: I -- I -- I can understand the fact that these issues are being raised. And they are being raised genuinely.

It is up to us to earn the confidence of the international community. It is up to us to ensure that the democratic values we have set ourselves, in terms of the global political agreement, are achieved.

We haven't achieved 100 percent yet, but I think that we are dealing with those issues that are of concern to our friends, and that, when friends raise these issues, one must listen.

MARGARET WARNER: You sound pretty -- pretty relaxed about it. I mean, what will be the consequences if you go home empty-handed?

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: First of all, Margaret, I don't think that my visit has anything to do with a begging ball. I...

MARGARET WARNER: A begging ball?

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: I'm not going around with a begging ball.

I'm saying here that it is time Zimbabwe was engaged; it's time Zimbabwe was helped, because the help is to the Zimbabwean people. And it's not necessarily to government. It's to the Zimbabwean people.

And I'm sure the United States and Americans in general would understand that whatever support they give to Zimbabwe is not to help the government. It is to help the people of Zimbabwe.

Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai
Prime Minister of Zimbabwe
We engaged in these protracted negotiations in order to form this government. It is not a monopoly government. Mugabe cannot decide on things unilaterally.

Mugabe's hold of power

MARGARET WARNER: How confident are you that Mugabe isn't just using you as a front man to come out here to the West to get aid, and then, at home, to do nothing, really, that would loosen his hold on power or loosen the repression that's been going on there?

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: Yes, I -- I do believe that the concern around Mugabe's hold of power is a concern that is shared internationally because of our history.

But let me say this. We -- we engaged in these protracted negotiations in order to form this government. It is not a monopoly government. Mugabe cannot decide on things unilaterally.

There are three pillars of executive authority: the president, the prime minister, and cabinet. So, whatever we do within this transition -- and remember that we have not abandoned our struggle to achieve full democracy. We're just in a transition. We have just shifted the arena of struggle in government.

But, certainly, we have not abandoned our overall objective of ensuring that there's a free -- freely elected government in Zimbabwe.

MARGARET WARNER: What is the level, if any, of trust between you and President Mugabe?

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: The level of trust between me and Mugabe is like in any coalition.

We have set objectives, which is the democratic agenda and the stabilization agenda with this government. We all agree that there has to be a new constitution, there has to be reforms across the board, economic and social reforms.

And, as far as -- as far as the personal relation is concerned, well, it's like in any coalition. You are -- you are mostly related to the agenda, rather than your personal relationship.

MARGARET WARNER: The minister for reconciliation, who is a member of your party, was quoted this week as saying that many of you -- many members of your party, are receiving death threats over the phone, that you feel really quite unsafe.

Is that the case?

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: I'm afraid that's a -- a bit -- a bit exaggerated, in terms of those kind of threats.

I can tell you that, if you were to come to Zimbabwe, Margaret -- and which I hope you will -- you would notice that there is a sense of freedom that is pervading that whole society. There is a sense that we have moved away from a sense of siege and fear, to a sense of being hopeful about the future.

And, so, when incidents of those nature come, it's probably one or two incidents. But, generally, the thrust of our -- of our focus is to ensure that we open up the freedoms for the people.

Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai
Prime Minister of Zimbabwe
I was part of that accident. I saw what happened. It would have been dishonest for me to inform the nation, which was suspicious, and inflame the nation over a matter which I know, factually, that it was an accident.

Coping with personal loss

MARGARET WARNER: Finally, on a -- on a more personal note, you lost your wife in March in an accident, in which you -- the car in which you both were riding was sideswiped by a truck.

I want to extend our condolences, and also ask you why, when your supporters were very suspicious that this was foul play, you were quite quick to call it an accident.

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: Margaret, the loss is a personal loss. And it's an irrepressible loss.

But, to be truthful, I was part of that accident. I saw what happened. It would have been dishonest for me to inform the nation, which was suspicious, and inflame the nation over a matter which I know, factually, that it was an accident.

So, I had to tell the truth. And the truth was that we were involved in an accident. The subsequent investigations, they have also confirmed that. So, much as I would have taken advantage, through that grief, to blame my opponents, I think it would have been very irresponsible not to tell the truth.

MARGARET WARNER: And how hard is it to carry on?

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: Well, Margaret, losing somebody you have been with for the last 31 years, who has gone through all trials and tribulations, and sometimes triumphs, it's an irreplaceable -- irreplaceable gap.

She was the pillar of -- of my life. We had gone through very bad moments, and she has stood by me, right up to the end.

MARGARET WARNER: Prime Minister Tsvangirai, thank you.

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: Thank you very much.

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Growth in Zimbabwe 'may reach 6%'
Friday, 12 June 2009 19:49 UK
Tendai Biti
Mr Biti says Zimbabwe has managed so far without any foreign aid

Zimbabwe's economy could grow by between 4% and 6% this year, according to the country's finance minister.

Tendai Biti said steps would be taken to restrict central bank activities such as borrowing, and Zimbabwe was coping with the lack of foreign aid.

The Zimbabwean economy has been battered by years of hyperinflation and economic contraction.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is on a tour of Europe and the US trying to drum up financial support.

Mr Biti was speaking at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town.

"I think we will be able to achieve a growth rate of at least 6%, although conservatively it will be 4% in 2009," he told journalists.

The fact that the government was able to address Zimbabwe's economic problems "without any cent from anyone", he added, showed that "we can do it with or without huge financial resources".

Zimbabwe's economy has been shrinking for years. It contracted by 6.1% in 2007, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The power-sharing government of President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai - sworn in in February - has said the country needs about $10bn (£6bn) to stabilise its economy.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai is due to meet US President Barack Obama later.

Foreign donors have said they will only consider aid once Zimbabwe's government creates a democracy.

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Zimbabwe groups urge EU to release 'massive' aid

Fri Jun 12, 12:54 pm ET
BRUSSELS (AFP) - Zimbabwean groups on Friday called on the European Union to
unblock "massive aid" to their devastated country, days ahead of the first
visit to Brussels by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

"Tsvangirai will be travelling to Europe next week to request much-needed
funding," NGO and union representatives said in a statement.

So far western donors "have provided humanitarian aid including salaries for
health workers but withhold billions of euros in development aid," due to
reluctance to deal with President Robert Mugabe, they noted

"After years of maladministration, the country now needs a massive injection
of aid," said Fambai Ngirande of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
during a trip to Brussels.

He and his fellow lobbyists insisted that such aid should go not through
Mugabe but agencies working on the ground.

Mugabe and his rival Tsvangirai on February 11 formed a power-sharing
government tasked with steering Zimbabwe back to stability after disputed
elections last year plunged the country into crisis.

Tsvangirai is on an international tour looking for assistance as his country
seeks to emerge from years of economic chaos, which has seen rampant
inflation and forced many Zimbabweans to flee the country.

His welcome abroad contrasts with the international chill towards Mugabe.

Both the EU and the United States maintain a travel ban and asset freeze on
Mugabe, his wife and inner circle in protest at controversial elections and
alleged human rights abuses by his government.

Tsvangirai visited the United States this week and will travel to several
European capitals in the coming days in an attempt to demonstrate the
progress the unity government has made and to convince the EU to unblock the
long-frozen development aid.

However a European source said that he should not expect a change in EU
policy until there was "significant progress" in Zimbabwe.

If the aid is resumed too soon "we relieve the pressure" on the government,
she added, stressing that the European Commission was nonetheless the main
donor to Zimbabwe with offering 100 million euros in humanitarian aid

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Tsvangirai in Washington Thursday
that the United States would like to resume development aid to his
poverty-stricken country.

But Clinton also said US support had to be appropriate as Washington seeks
to bolster reform rather than corruption in the tense unity government.

Aid groups like Oxfam are urging US and other donors to go beyond emergency
relief and send development aid that would allow Zimbabwe to repair broken
water and sanitation systems responsible for a deadly cholera outbreak.

In Brussels the Zimbabwe NGOs stressed that the travel ban on Mugabe and his
coterie should remain "until Mugabe, his party and the military abide by the
rule of law and show tangible commitments to the unity government."

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Zimbabwe constitution hearings to go ahead-parties

Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:20pm GMT

*Zimbabwe public hearings on constitutions

*Obstacle to implementing power sharing removed

(Recasts with hearings to proceed)

By Nelson Banya

HARARE, June 12 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe will go ahead with its public hearings
on a new constitution, set for later this month, parliamentary officials
said on Friday, removing a major obstacle to fully implementing a
power-sharing deal.

Zimbabwe's new unity government, formed by Mugabe and rival Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai last February, had appeared headed for a clash after
lawmakers from Mugabe's ZANU-PF party indicated they would seek to delay the
hearings, citing lack of preparedness.

A new constitution was a key demand by Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) during negotiations leading to the formation of the
power-sharing government.

The MDC has accused Mugabe and ZANU-PF of failing to fully implement the
political agreement and the move to delay constitutional reforms could
further upset the stability of the unity government.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai agreed on an 18-month timetable for constitutional
reforms, with a referendum on the new constitution expected to be held in a
little over a year's time.

MDC lawmaker Douglas Mwonzora, joint chairperson of a 25-member
parliamentary committee steering the constitutional reform process, told a
news conference that all parties in the unity government had agreed to start
public hearings in all the 10 provinces between June 24 and June 27.

That would lead to a national conference on constitutional reforms from July
9 to July 12, Mwonzora said.

"The days we have announced are by consensus. We all agreed that they are
final," he said.

The ZANU-PF chief whip, Joram Gumbo, said his party's earlier concerns on
the process had been misunderstood.

"To clear the air, all we said is that ZANU-PF MPs were requesting, if
possible, for the co-chairpersons to postpone the hearings," Gumbo said.

"We did not try to stall the process."

The state-controlled Herald newspaper had on Friday reported that ZANU-PF
MPs would seek to postpone provincial hearings.

The unity government, which says it needs up to $10 billion to fix an
economy battered by hyperinflation, has been struggling to get aid,
especially from Western donors who have demanded broad economic and
political reforms before providing support.

Tsvangirai is currently on a trip to Europe and the United States seeking to
lure Western donors. He is expected to meet U.S. President Barack Obama in
Washington on Friday to drum up support for the unity government.

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State Department Daily Press Briefing

(Spokesman Ian Kelly briefs reporters June 11)

(begin excerpt of transcript)

U.S. Department of State

Daily Press Briefing Index

Thursday, June 11, 2009

12:46 p.m. EDT

Briefer: Ian Kelly, Spokesman


-- Secretary Had Productive Meeting with Prime Minister/U.S. to Support Efforts of Government of Zimbabwe towards Full Implementation of Global Political Agreement/Finding Ways to Ease Suffering of Zimbabwean People Without Bolstering Forces Clinging to Corruption and Oppression/Focus on Rebuilding Zimbabwe and Providing Better Future for Its People

-- U.S. Wants to Set Benchmarks for Governments Receiving Taxpayer Funds/Looking at Ways to Make sure Zimbabwe Continues on Democratic Path

-- Concerns About Mugabe and Examples of Misrule and Corruption/Future of Government a Matter for Zimbabwean People to Decide





12:46 p.m. EDT

QUESTION: Zimbabwe.

MR. KELLY: Oh, Zimbabwe, sorry. A read-out of the Secretary's meeting, just hold on a second.

We had a very productive meeting with the prime minister. We're looking to support the efforts of the Zimbabwean Government towards the full implementation of the global political agreement and find ways to ease suffering of the Zimbabwean people without bolstering those forces that are clinging to corruption and oppression. With the prime minister and reform-minded members of his government, we desire to focus on rebuilding Zimbabwe and providing a better future for its people.

QUESTION: Does that mean that you're prepared or you're considering restoring development aid?

MR. KELLY: We look forward to working with the Zimbabwean Government on a bilateral basis, also a multilateral basis, to see how they can move towards a better, more democratic future.

QUESTION: Right. But are you considering restoring development aid?

MR. KELLY: We're looking at ways that we can help Zimbabwe on that path.


MR. KELLY: Including development aid if it's appropriate.


QUESTION: Earlier this week, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Carson said that the United States was very concerned by the lack of reforms undertaken by the Zimbabwean Government and that any substantial increases in assistance - obviously, we're talking not humanitarian assistance --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- were not going to be possible until there were such reforms. Is that still the position of the U.S. Government, that you need to see much more in terms of broad Zimbabwean reform before you can restore things like substantial development aid?

MR. KELLY: Well, I mean, we're very hopeful about the direction that Zimbabwe is taking under the Global Political Agreement. I think that in general, worldwide, we want to make sure that we have set benchmarks for governments that are receiving U.S. taxpayer funds, that we get the most out of every taxpayer dollar. So yes, I think it's fair to say that we're looking at ways to make sure that Zimbabwe stays on a - or continues on a democratic path.

QUESTION: Ian, what's the U.S. Government's view on the continuing role of President Robert Mugabe as head of state?

MR. KELLY: Regarding President Mugabe, I think that we've had concerns about examples of misrule and corruption. But I think that in terms of the future of the Zimbabwean Government, I think that's really a matter for the Zimbabwean people to decide.

(End Excerpt)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:

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SADC ruling ignored again as farmers fight to keep their land

By Alex Bell
12 June 2009

A ruling by the human rights court of the Southern African Development
Community (SADC), which was hoped would put a stop to the current wave of
farm attacks, is being openly ignored once again and farmers are still
fighting to keep their land.
The SADC Tribunal last week ruled that the Zimbabwe government had refused
to comply with the regional court's order to allow 78 commercial farmers to
keep their land. The Tribunal last year ruled that the farmers could remain
on their land, which was targeted for resettlement under Robert Mugabe's
land reform scheme. The order was meant to offer legal protection against
future land invasions and the government was also supposed to protect the
farmers from future land attacks.
But Mugabe unsurprisingly, openly and publicly dismissed the November
verdict and condoned the renewed offensive against the remaining commercial
farmers. The physical attacks and fast track prosecution of farmers
intensified in the weeks that followed the dictator's speech earlier this
year, and even Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai went as far as to downplay
the severity of the ongoing land invasions. The farmers were forced to
return to the SADC court last Friday to seek further action to enforce the
court's original ruling, walking away victorious with a new ruling in their
But the ruling is again being flouted and ignored, and Chegutu's beleaguered
farming community, which has been hardest hit by the land attacks, is still
fighting against an onslaught of invasions. Mount Carmel farm owner, Ben
Freeth, whose land has been overrun by invaders working for ZANU PF top
official Nathan Shamuyarira, expressed his frustration and anger to SW Radio
Africa on Friday. The farm has been almost completely taken over by hired
thugs, who are openly stealing and looting the property. The farm's entire
mango crop worth tens of thousands of US dollars was either sold off or left
to rot recently, and invaders are now reaping the maize growing on the land.
"Our maize is being stolen by the lorry-load, and the police are still not
reacting in any way," Freeth explained. "The police just tell us that the
theft is a civil matter and not a criminal matter, as an excuse to not act."
Freeth, his family and his workers, have been repeatedly harassed and
violently intimidated by the thugs, who are now living in the home that
until recently belonged to his parents-in-law. Mike and Angela Campbell left
the farm in April because of the stress of the attacks, as Mike is still
recovering from brutal injuries he received when he was abducted and beaten
last year.
With numerous High Court orders in his favour, as well as two SADC Tribunal
rulings meant to offer protection, Freeth said he is living in a "surreal
world of lawlessness because no one, not even the government, is respecting
the rule of law."

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Chegutu farmer denies verbal abuse of PM's 'niece'

By Violet Gonda
12 June 2009

The Cremer family has categorically denied allegations that they used
racially abusive words against the family of the woman attempting to take
their farm.
On Wednesday Dr Arikana Chihombori, who said she is Prime Minister
Tsvangirai's niece, said her sister and a lands officer were extremely
abused by the Cremer family when they went to the farm with an 'offer'
letter. She said the farmer and his son in law set a dog on her sister and
called her a derogatory word.
But on Friday the Cremer family spoke out for the first time since the
accusations were made and said the allegations are totally false. One of the
co-accused Dirk Visagie, the son-in-law, told SW Radio Africa:  "We find it
very disappointing that a woman of Dr Chihombori's standing resorts to
blatant lies in order to divert attention from her actions. Accusations of
the K word are the oldest diversionary tactics in Africa."
He said in November last year Dr Chihombori's sister, Mrs. Kanyanda, arrived
at the farm with the Chegutu lands officer, with an offer letter dated 27
August 2007, to claim the remaining 60ha of farm. 700 ha had been taken for
resettlement several years back.
Visagie said: "We explained to her that we should be evicted through due
process by a court of law before she can take possession of our business and
our homes. They conferred and left." The Cremers said they were legally
allowed to continue farming on their land.
But according to the Cremers, Mrs. Kanyanda returned to the farm in December
and was seen planting maize on their tomato land. The Cremers said they told
her that they were entitled to farm on their land and that she was breaking
the law. They reported the matter to the police.
They didn't hear from Dr. Chihombori's representative again until April this
year, when four youths arrived on the farm and set up camp. They youths said
they were taking over the farm and business on behalf of the US based
medical doctor.  "They left after three days complaining that she was not
paying them," said Visagie.

A Deputy Sheriff returned the same month with a court order evicting the
Cremers from their property, with a second offer letter attached dated 15
December 2008.
The Cremers appeared in court and Mrs. Kanyanda is said to have asked for
the case to be postponed as she had not come with a legal representative.
The case was postponed to June 2nd.
Visagie said on 22nd May the Chegutu Lands Officer returned to the farm but
this time to introduce Dr Chihombori herself, to give her a tour of the
farm. "We said we had nothing to say as we were due to appear in court in
They said anyone could speak to their farm employees who could confirm that
they never used the abuse words they stand accused of. Visagie said; "We
consider her accusations 'libelous.'
Chihombori said she had applied for land and was allocated an A1 farm, which
she turned down, preferring instead to have the 60ha of the De Rus Farm,
owned by the Cremer family. Dr Chihombori said she would be suspending her
interest in the farm now, but only "for the time being".

The Cremers say they have been making a significant contribution to the
development of Zimbabwe and uplifting the standard of living in the
community. "Dr Chihombori justifies herself by referring to historical
imbalance' but the farm in question was purchased and built up from a cattle
trough to its present state."

They say their remaining 60 ha is protected by an investment licence and
managed by six family members, all graduates with degrees and diplomas.

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Cabinet approves move to bypass central bank on aid

By Lance Guma
12 June 2009

Cabinet this week approved a new policy that will see loans and financial
aid to Zimbabwe NOT going through the Reserve Bank. The MDC has argued long
and hard that central bank governor Gideon Gono's quasi-fiscal activities
and raiding of private foreign currency accounts have irreparably damaged
the reputation of the bank. They also argue that this is hampering efforts
to get aid.

But in a move signaling a looming compromise, the coalition government has
now approved the establishment of a 'Multi-Donor Trust Fund' within the
Ministry of Finance. This is being seen as an attempt to placate donors who
are reluctant to put money into a system controlled by Mugabe's money man.
The trust fund we are told will be co-chaired by Tendai Biti's Finance
Ministry and other 'developmental partners'. Two other ministries, Local
Government and Regional Integration and International Cooperation, will be
part of a 'core group' administering the fund.

Speaking during his tour of the United States, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai said the Multi-Donor Trust Fund, will be administered by
international donors. He said the fund met the donor's criteria for
accountability and this will help support the country's economic recovery
programme. Biti tried to be diplomatic about the fund being a means to
bypass Gono. On Thursday he told us it was 'a stop gap measure' for
receiving donor aid 'during this situation of fragility'. He reiterated that
Gono's presence at the RBZ remained an outstanding issue for the coalition.

Meanwhile the weekly Zimbabwe Independent newspaper reports that Biti has
won his battle for 'control' of Treasury and that Gono was now keen on
improving relations with his boss. Biti has been fighting the battle mainly
in cabinet and has got support for far reaching reforms via the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe Act. The paper says the two held a private meeting on Monday in
an effort to improve their working relationship. Gono is also said to have
apologized for an acrimonious letter he wrote to the Prime Minister, which
was published by several media outlets.

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Farmer's Trial Postponed

12 June 2009

Harare - THE trial of Chegutu commercial farmer Bryan Bron-khorst, who is
accused of refusing to vacate a farm acquired by the Government under the
land reform programme, has been further deferred to June 29.

This is the second time the case has been postponed this month.

Chief law officer Mr Tawanda Zvekare sought the postponement saying three
State witnesses were not available this week.

"Three witnesses, including the key witness Mr Morris Dakarai the chief
lands officer, are away attending a workshop in Kariba for the whole week,"
said Mr Zvekare.

The defence did not oppose the State's request.

Bronkhorst is being charged with occupying State-acquired land without

But the defence team has indicated its intention to block the trial as they
seek to apply to the court to refer the case to the Supreme Court.

They are challenging the legality of the prosecution, which they argue is
unlawful and infringes upon the fundamental rights of commercial farmers as
enshrined in the Constitution.

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Zimbabwe Wheat Production Hits New Low

By Ish Mafundikwa
12 June 2009

Zimbabwe faces a serious wheat shortage next year as farmers have once again
failed to meet the production targets for the crop.

With the wheat planting season practically over, Zimbabwean farmers have
managed to plant less than ten percent of the projected goal of 100,000
hectares, down 60 percent from last year. Observers say this could mean the
return of bread shortages that Zimbabweans have experienced over the past
several years.

Zimbabwe Farmers' Union executive director, Paul Zakariya, put down the
failure to the same old problem that has dogged Zimbabwe's agricultural
sector for years; a lack of resources.

"It has to do [with] non-availability of working capital, banks are not
financing, government has no capacity to finance at the moment and we still
have serious problems in terms of availability of seeds and affordability
thereof," Zakariya said. "We also have problems with our electricity supply,
constant and very, very frequent power cuts, fertilizers are not readily
available and if they are available affordability is an issue."

Zakariya said Zimbabwe needs about 350,000 to 400,000 metric tons every year
but even at its most productive, the country has never grown enough to meet
its needs.

Spokesman for the Commercial Grain Producers Association, Clive Levy, said
while Zimbabwe has never produced enough to meet its needs, it did come
close in the 1990s. Also, he added, Zimbabwe grows a soft variety of wheat,
which on its own is not good enough to make bread. So in addition to the
supplementary soft wheat the country imported, it had to import a hard
variety which cannot be grown in Zimbabwe.

Levy echoed Zakariya by saying lack of access to finance and an assured
supply of electricity are some of the reasons farmers have decided not to
bother growing wheat. He also said when farmers produced wheat under ideal
conditions they'd harvest eight to nine tons per hectare but average
production is now down to less than five tons.

Critics of Zimbabwe's land reform program, launched by President Robert
Mugabe in 2000, blame it for the plummeting of agricultural production in
Zimbabwe. The program saw white farmers losing their farms for the
resettlement of landless blacks whom some say do not have the skills. But
Zakariya said even with the best skills in the world, without the money,
nobody could produce anything. He added that agriculture, like all sectors
of Zimbabwe's economy, needs massive re-capitalization.

"What we need is to build the confidence of investors in Zimbabwe. The whole
question of non-productivity in Zimbabwe borders around the issues of
investor confidence," he said.

Zakariya said a change of policies and full implementation of the agreement
that brought about Zimbabwe's unity government could lead to a change in the
country's fortunes for the better.

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Tobacco Prices Low

HARARE, June 12 2009 - Zimbabwe's tobacco prices have failed to rise
to the USd 3.20 a kilogram offered last year, with prices now pegged at
USd2.92 owing to the impact of the global financial crisis and economic
recession that has already resulted in lower demand for Africa's exports and
a sharp decline in commodity prices.

In an interview with RadioVOP, the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board
(TIMB)'s chief executive oficer Dr Andrew Matibiri, said farmers have so far
sold 20,9 million kilograms of the leaf at USd2.92.The tobacco is valued
USd61.15 million.

Dr Matibiri said the shortage of inputs, especially fertiliser had
negatively impacted on the tobacco sales with farmers this year expected to
sell only 42 million kilograms, down from last year's 70 million.

"Most farmers failed to access the necessary inputs especially
fertiliser, resulting in lower yields," he said.

He indicated that the selling of the leaf on the black market by
farmers, which had posed a challenge to the organisation early this year,
had since stopped following the opening of the auction floors.

"The practice was prevalent before the floors opened as some farmers,
whose tobacco matured earlier were selling it to middlemen out of
desperation as they needed instant cash to make ends meet," he said.

Tobacco can only be sold on auction floors or to licensed merchants in

Farmers were selling tobacco for as little as USd1 a kilogram when the
season opened.

Tobacco production in Zimbabwe has plummeted since 2000, when the ZANU
PF led government authorized the often-violent seizure of most white-owned
farms. That year, the country produced 236 million kilograms of tobacco,
making it the world's second-largest exporter after Brazil.

Since then Zimbabwe has slumped to the world's sixth-largest exporter
after Brazil, India, the U.S., the European Union and Argentina.

Last month, supporters of Mugabe invaded at least 77 white- owned
commercial farms and threatened other landowners, according to Doug
Taylor-Freeme, president of the Commercial Farmers Union. The eviction
campaign threatened the livelihoods of about 100 farmers along with about
$140 million worth of crops, he said in an interview Feb. 24.

Zimbabwe's tobacco selling season began in May and traditionally runs
until mid-October.

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Teachers Raise Alarm As Schools Register Failed A Level Students

HARARE, June 12 2009 - The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe
(PTUZ) is alarmed that schools have registered failed A Level Students, a
situation which will seriously compromise Zimbabwe's education standards.

The government early this year gave schools the go ahead to enrol A
Level students, using mid term results.

In an interview with RadioVOP, PTUZ President, Takavafira Zhou said:

"Most of the students who proceeded to A level have a chain of U's and
surely what are their parents toiling for? We do not want the quality of
education in the country to be compromised."

"Last year's end of year national Ordinary Level results are dismal,
apparently the majority of kids who registered for 'A' level using their mid
term results performed poorly. As the PTUZ we had made our position very
clear with regards to the enrolment of Lower Sixth students and clearly told
the government that its policy was flawed and ill conceived."

"Of course most people would ask why parents who clearly knew their
child's poor track record would go ahead and enrol them for Advanced level
education - but the truth is that most parents did not know how their kids
were performing owing to the absence of end of term reports as teachers had
been striking for a long time," said Zhou.

"Parents who took the permanent secretary's advice to go ahead and
enrol their kids before end of year exam results were released must now
clean their mess and I can clearly see confrontation between the ministry
and parents in the near future," he said.

He said parents had been duped by the ministry into using mid year
results, a situation which led to further chaos as students went on to forge
reports to gain entry.

"Some headmasters made a killing during that enrolment period by
selling reports to students who were desperate to be enrolled. This is a sad
scenario," he said.

When contacted for comment, Minister of Education, David Coltart, said
he was yet to analyse the results while the Zimbabwe School Examinations
Council (ZIMSEC) spokesperson Ezekiel Pasipamire, said his organisation was
still to come up with a report detailing the outcome of the results.

The Zimbabwe Teachers Union President Tendai Chikowore, also said she
was yet to go through the results.

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Zimbabwe: SAfm interview with Arthur Mutambara on morning live

Dear friends
Zimbabwe's deputy prime minister Arthur Mutambara, who attended the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town this week, will be interviewed on Monday on SAfm:
Date:        Monday 15 June 2009
Time:       09h00 to 10h00 (phone in programme)
Programme:   SAfm "Morning Live"
People outside South Africa can listen via the Internet:
Aspects to be covered include:
Below is an article quoting Mr Mutambara from I-Net Bridge.
During the programme you are welcome to phone in or to SMS questions.  The phone and SMS numbers to use will be provided at the beginning of the show. 
On occasion, if there is a major story breaking, programmes may be change without prior notice).
Kind regards
Zimbabwe’s future is glamorous’


I-Net Bridge


11 June 2009


Zimbabweans don't blame anyone else for their problems, but they do need support from other Africans right now, as they rebuild their economy and their society.


“Yes,” agreed Arthur Mutambara, the deputy prime minister, “the past is a bad place. But the future is glamorous.”


Speaking in a debate on vestment risk in Africa at the World Economic Forum on Africa on Thursday, Mutambara insisted that although his country is asking for aid at present, what Zimbabwe really wants is investment. “The future of our country doesn't depend on aid,” he said. “The future of our country belongs to investments. We look to develop through profits.”


Mutambara, who leads one of the three political parties in the government of national unity complained to delegates at the WEF that although the present financial crisis is a global crisis, the solution is not, so far, global.


He said however that within the Southern African Development Community, there may be a more positive attitude to multilateral actions to fight the recession.


Pravin Gordhan, South Africa's finance minister, told the audience at the debate that South Africa stands ready in solidarity with its neighbours as it always has.


Challenged over a possible leftward tilt in the new government in this country, Gordhan said that there has been a 15-year record of demonstrated fiscal responsibility, and though there has been a 6.4% decline in the economy, the country has demonstrated resilience and will do so again.


“We will try to defend as many employees as possible (from retrenchment),” he said. But he suggested that even while they were on short-time working, they were being trained for further employment.


He said that risk in the economy is being shared with business. “President Zuma has sent a clear message that we want to work in partnership with business,” he said.


Michael Hamlyn, I-Net Bridge


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Zimbabwe girls trade sex for food
Friday, 12 June 2009 14:08 UK
By Mike Thomson
BBC News, Zimbabwe

A young girl goes through a rubbish tip while carrying a doll (file photograph)
Poverty is robbing many young Zimbabwean girls of their childhood

Growing numbers of children in Zimbabwe are turning to prostitution to survive, the charity Save the Children says.

The aid agency says increasing poverty is leading girls as young as 12 to sell their bodies for as little as a packet of biscuits.

It also claims that the coming football World Cup in neighbouring South Africa could soon make things worse.

Unemployment in Zimbabwe is thought to top 90% and many cannot afford to pay for food, medical care or school fees.

The deputy head teacher of a large school with 1,500 pupils east of Victoria Falls told the BBC that hundreds of her female students are now selling their bodies for whatever they can get.

"It could be books, it could be biscuits, chips, some even just to be given a hug."


Many Zimbabwean children face terrible risks as part of their everyday lives

Throughout my conversation with the deputy head, two small teenage girls in threadbare school uniforms sat watching from a brick wall by the playground. Both are orphans.

The older one, who is 14, said she knows many girls here who have become prostitutes.

"I don't want to do that but life is so difficult, so very difficult. Both my parents are dead and I rarely see my two sisters. Recently I stood by the river and I thought about throwing myself in but I didn't. I don't know why."

There is also evidence that many girls are being targeted by child traffickers, Save the Children's country director Rachel Pounds says.

They are thought to have plans to send young Zimbabwean girls to South Africa to work as prostitutes during next year's football World Cup finals.

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French aid group to tackle urban food insecurity

By Alex Bell
12 June 2009

A French humanitarian aid group is set to launch a food security programme
in Zimbabwe next month, in an effort to tackle food shortages in urban

The group, Solidarites, will launch its food security initiative from July
1, targeting people in urban and urban-fringe areas who don't have access to
land. Solidarites already operates in 13 other countries, and targets those
countries torn apart by war and natural disasters, a category into which
Zimbabwe falls after years of misrule and tyrannical abuse of power.

By supplying tools, technical support and horticultural training, the aid
group hopes to provide urban dwellers with 'family vegetable plots' that can
be used for food and a source of basic income. Solidarites will also be
building irrigation wells to serve the vegetable plots, allowing those
families in urban areas to benefit from having a means of food subsistence.

The initiative comes as more than half the population is wholly dependent on
food aid to survive, with crippling food shortages affecting the majority of
Zimbabweans. With more than 94% unemployment, most Zimbabweans are not
earning the foreign currency needed to buy the imported food that is now
available in shops. At the same time, local food production has reached
critically low levels as a result of the new wave of farm attacks sweeping
the country, which in turn have left thousands of farm workers without jobs.

Humanitarian groups last week issued a revised appeal for aid, requesting
more than US$700 million just to meet the food requirements of desperate
Zimbabweans. The figure is a jump of more than US$150 million from the
original appeal launched in November last year, and is a warning sign of the
humanitarian crisis that is still gripping the nation.

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Interview: Petina Gappah

Petina Gappah's much-praised first book is a rare chance for British readers to read a Zimbabwean author. But as she tells Richard Lea, she speaks for herself, not her country, Friday 12 June 2009 09.13 BST
Pettina Gappah

'The Voice of Zimbabwe is a radio station. I am not' ... Petina Gappah. Photograph: Sarah Lee

Six weeks on from the publication of her first collection of short stories, An Elegy for Easterly, the Zimbabwean writer Petina Gappah is a little disappointed. Not because of the reviews, which have glowed, or the readers, who have told her how they've recognised themselves or others in her characters. Arriving back in Switzerland, where she has been living for the last 10 years, following the Harare launch earlier this month, her only regret is that she wasn't arrested.

  • An Elegy for Easterly
  • by Petina Gappah
  • pp274,
  • Faber,
  • £12.99
  1. Buy An Elegy for Easterly at the Observer bookshop

Gappah says she was surprised to see a few "die-hard" Zanu-PF supporters at the party, and found herself being congratulated by Mugabe's former information minister, "so no one will be arresting me, more's the pity. Sales would have gone through the roof!"

Gappah's sense of humour was to the fore when she arrived at the Guardian to record one of her short stories earlier this year. She speaks with the precision that comes from a 10-year career in trade law, but is quick to laugh, her short frame filled with the energy that comes from realising a long-held dream. Her debut brings together a vibrant cross-section of Zimbabwean life – shanty-town kids poking fun at the local madwoman, the treasury department official's trophy wife adrift in a Harare mansion, the rural family waiting for news of a wayward son over in England – and tells their stories with a simple humanity and wit that have made her one of this summer's most exciting new voices.

She began writing seriously only a couple of years ago after what she calls a "severe depression". "It was one of those early mid-life crises really," she continues. "I started asking myself 'What is it that I want from my life?' This question kept haunting me: 'Do I want to be a lawyer who always wanted to be a writer, or do I actually want to be a writer?'" She had no confidence in her writing, partly because of the straighforward directness of her prose, but summoned up the courage to complete a story in 2006 and submitted it to online writer's workshop Zoetrope, where it was quickly picked up by an online magazine. She won the PEN/Africa prize with her next story, and began writing early in the morning before taking her son to school, getting down a first draft quickly - like a lawyer working on a contract - and then revising again and again. "In one year I wrote something like 22 short stories," she says. "I lost a lot of friends in that year, because I was doing nothing but writing," she laughs. "Now that I'm about to be famous they've all come back."

Born in Zambia in 1971, Gappah grew up in Zimbabwe during the transformation from Ian Smith's white minority rule to Robert Mugabe's increasingly authoritarian regime, before moving first to Austria in 1995, then to Geneva, where she now works for an organisation advising developing countries on the complexities of World Trade Organisation law. Her upbringing was in two languages, moving between entirely segregated schools, where classes were only in Shona, to a Catholic missionary outpost deep in the country, to being one of the first black children to join a previously all-white, English-speaking school.

Her characters may speak the hybrid Shonglish of the streets of the Zimbabwean capital, but there was never any question that she would write in anything other than a Zimbabwean-inflected English. It was a language that was imposed on her, she says, but it is a language which has become her own. "There's this conversation that Ngugi wa Thiong'o and others have about whether English is really our language, and whether we should write in English," she continues. "But for me it has never been an issue because English is my language. I speak English, I dream in it. I cannot separate my English from my Shona, I see the world with those two languages."

Gappah places herself within a wider Anglophone tradition, citing authors such as John Irving, Toni Morrison and Margaret Atwood as inspirations, but also considers herself part of a new generation of African writers who are building their own tradition, moving beyond the explicitly political concerns of their predecessors.

"The earlier generation was really concerned with these big ideas about colonialism," she explains, "about the post-independence state, how to deal with the negative effects of colonialism. What we are trying to do now, this new generation of African writers, is to write about what it is to be a human being living in a particular African country. These are stories that resonate with anyone, anywhere."

So much of the coverage of Africa in the western media is of disaster and corruption that she finds herself pushing against images of Africans as nothing more than victims. "This is what I'm desperate to show," she says, "that African people, Zimbabwean people are the same as people anywhere else. They just happen to be living in particularly nasty circumstances. They have the same ambitions ... fall in love, get married, get a little house somewhere, that everybody else has."

When she went back to Zimbabwe earlier in the year, the first thing she did was go to a party. "You don't think about Zimbabweans having parties, because if you think about Zimbabweans you think about cholera, you think about rigged elections," she says. "But despite all these awful things that have happened to the country there is still a life there. People still quarrel, people still have affairs, people still cheat on each other, cheat each other. They still do things that people everywhere else do. What is needed is to find some sort of balance. It's not to say that those terrible headlines about Africa are not true, it's simply to say that there is more than just the headlines you see."

She's uneasy with the idea that African writers have a duty to portray their continent in any particular way, as well as the expectation that she should represent Zimbabwe to the outside world.

"There was some copy that went out with 'Petina Gappah is the voice of Zimbabwe' and I called Faber and I said take it off right away. Not only is the Voice of Zimbabwe a radio station," she laughs, "which I'm not, but also I'm very uncomfortable with that, because the only perspective I represent is my own." There are many people who might share that perspective, she continues, but she "cannot forget that as much as there are people who suffer from Robert Mugabe's rule there are also people who benefit from it, and who support his policies."

Given the rarity of books in English from Africa, let alone from Zimbabwe, she's painfully aware that the role of representative will be thrust upon her. "It's sort of an occupational hazard, being one of only two Zimbabweans to publish a book in one year." But it also presents her with a platform to raise awareness, to draw the world's attention to issues which are important to her. The laziness she identifies in publishers and newspapers who look for her to speak for the country of her birth also provides her with opportunities.

These opportunities are only magnified by the curious place of Zimbabwe within the British media, an exceptionalism which irritates Gappah. "You can sort of understand Mugabe's point of view," she says, "because of the amount of attention that is given to Zimbabwe in [Britain] considering what's happening in other parts of Africa, like the Congo. There's a huge disaster happening in the Congo, but that is not given as much of a high profile as Zimbabwe." It's partly because of the colonial relationship, as well as the commercial connections between the UK and Zimbabwe, but the underlying reason, she says, is that "some of those beaten by Mugabe's thugs are white".

Despite the inconvenience of holding a Zimbabwean passport, she still calls herself a Zimbabwean author, she still feels Zimbabwean - though her connection to her home country seems to be in the process of shifting. Not that she feels any more Swiss than when she first arrived in Geneva 10 years ago. "Even if I wanted to feel Swiss it would be extremely difficult, because they don't like us very much," she explains. She first came to Europe at a time when Zimbabwe was thriving, leaving behind a job in a top legal firm for a wider world. But after almost 15 years away from home, she is beginning to wonder if she could ever go back to live there permanently, if her affection for Zimbabwe is driven by nostalgia. "I'm not even sure that I want to go back ... The Zimbabwe that I really loved, the Zimbabwe that I grew up in just isn't there any more, and I'm not sure about the country that has replaced it."

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Tired of 'leaders of the people'
A letter of protest to governments and politicians in Africa
Lord Aikins Adusei
2009-06-11, Issue 437

cc Tom Maruko
In a lyrical letter of protest to politicians in Africa, Lord Aikins Adusei writes that people are tired of their self-proclaimed leaders. 'You have consistently ignored all our cry for help even though you know our plights very well', Adusei says, chronicling the challenges faced by people across the continent from poor housing and education to torture and war. 'Aren't you ashamed that after all these years of independence your people cannot feed themselves; cannot read and write; rely on handouts from Europe and America; and the youth are in a hurry to leave the continent for you?', Adusei asks, before closing with the words of caution:'We are watching.'

Dear Presidents/Prime ministers,

On behalf of the poor people of Africa, I send you this protest letter. We are angry. Yes we the people are very angry. We have endured your ill conceived, hash and austere economic and social policies for quite too long. We have watched silently to see you and your cronies enjoy while we the masses continue to suffer. We have no jobs, no income, no savings and have no place to lay our heads while you and your selected few live in mansions at the expense of the very poor you are refusing to take care of. You have consistently ignored all our cry for help even though you know our plights very well.

Are you not appalled by the scale of poverty and the living condition of the people? Are you not appalled to see children selling on the street instead of being in the classroom? Are you not appalled to see children sleeping rough on the streets of our capital cities and scavenging for food while you and you cronies frequent between five star hotels? Don't you care about the dignity of the people you claim to be serving? For years you have asked us to sacrifice and even today we are still sacrificing, but anytime we look at you and your circle of friends we see that you are in a different suit, in a different four wheel drive, in a different hotel, and in a company of ladies, surrounded by bodyguards. How many more years should we continue to sacrifice and tighten our belts why you and your cronies enjoy from our sweat? We cannot continue any longer. No we cannot.

We are tired of all of you who call yourself leaders of the people. We are tired of the dictatorships, media censorship, torture, force imprisonment, wars and the instabilities. We are tired of being refugees. We are tired of seeing our children die of common preventable diseases. We are tired of sharing water from the same source with animals, water infested with bacteria and viruses. We are tired of lack of access to education, health, energy, food, medicines, shelter and clothing. We are tired of having to work with cutlasses and hoes in this 21st century. We are tired of having to rely on nature to plant our crops. We are tired of having to plant without fertilizers. We are tired of having to use 18th century seeds that yield next to nothing. We are tired of having to endure poverty, starvation, diseases, humiliation, torture, oppression, in your hands.

Above all, we are tired of your excesses. We are tired of your corrupt practices and the looting of the treasuries. Your foreign bank accounts are swollen with hundreds of millions of dollars, pounds and Euros while hundreds of millions of people live on one dollar a day.

We are tired of you using our money to procure arms for your own protection while children go to school barefooted and on empty stomach; while hospitals are without essential medicines; while factories are folding up for lack of electricity; and while harvested crops remain in the bush for lack of good roads. We are tired of all your inactions, the wait and see and the do nothing approaches to problem solving.

There are many of you that we have not chosen or asked to lead us yet are carrying themselves as our leaders. Such people we demand should retire and allow elections to take place. We demand an end to torture in Egypt and starvation in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. We demand an end to the dictatorial rule in Libya, Egypt, Cameroon, Gabon, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Uganda and the Gambia. We demand an end to the instabilities in DR. Congo, Sudan, Somalia, Northern Uganda, Chad and Madagascar. We demand an end to the genocide in Darfur and the killing of innocent children, women and civilians.

We demand an end to the official corruption and graft in Nigeria, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Angola, DR. Congo, Chad, South Africa and Guinea. We demand an end to the eroding of democratic values in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Egypt, Mauritania, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and Gabon. We demand an end to the use of the continent as a hub for cocaine shipment to Europe.

We demand better public services now. We demand better education, health, transport and telecommunication infrastructures now. We demand affordable housing now. We demand irrigation facilities, tractors, equipment and improved seeds for our farmers now. You've asked us to tighten our belts while you have loosened yours. This cannot go on any more. We are starving to death while you are developing protruding bellies. You are having lavish birthday parties when cholera and starvation is threatening us.

We demand a share in the revenue from the sale of oil, gas, gold, diamond, timber, cocoa, coffee, coltan, manganese, copper, bauxite and tin ore. We demand a say in the way your governments are run; a say in the way you and your ministers are selected. We demand a say in the way you spend our money; and a say in the way contracts are awarded. It is not going to be business as usual anymore. We demand change now. We demand probity and accountability now. We demand political action to solve the numerous problems facing we the people.

Look at the world around you. Don't you see or hear what is going in Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America? Can't you see that you and your people are being left behind? When you meet with your colleagues in Africa or sit in your offices, how many of the things you see or use are made here in Africa? Aren't you ashamed that after ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty years in power your people still use hoes and cutlasses for farming, tools their forefathers used before they were colonised? Aren't you ashamed that after all these years of independence your people cannot feed themselves; cannot read and write; rely on handouts from Europe and America; and the youth are in a hurry to leave the continent for you? Can't you see?

Well, a word to the wise is enough but remember that you can fool some of the people all the time and all the people some of the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time. We are watching.

* This article first appeared in Modern Ghana.
* Lord Aikins Adusei is an activist and anti-corruption campaigner. He blogs at
* Please send comments to or comment online at

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Mission Improbable by James Kirchick

Can Zimbabwe's charismatic and well-intentioned prime minister wring any
money out of Obama so long as he's sharing power with Robert Mugabe?

Post Date Friday, June 12, 2009

As if being the prime minister of Zimbabwe--a nation wracked by economic
devastation, starvation, and political oppression for the past decade--was
not a difficult enough job, Morgan Tsvangirai must also share power with
President Robert Mugabe. Tsvangirai, who has led the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) since its inception in 1999, became prime minister
in a power-sharing accord brokered with Mugabe in early February, almost a
year after he and the MDC defeated Mugabe and his ZANU-PF in an election
fraught with irregularities. He is now on a three-week tour of Western
capitals, asking governments that once branded Zimbabwe a pariah state to
funnel much-needed aid to his devastated country. Today, he meets with
President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.

"We have not given up our fire for a democratic Zimbabwe, even when we share
power with someone who we believe has never been democratic," Tsvangirai
said firmly at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington on Wednesday.
Tsvangirai's democratic credentials and his commitment to a free Zimbabwe
are not in doubt. He has been imprisoned and beaten, tried for treason, and
marked for death. In March, just weeks after the coalition government was
formed, he buried his wife of 31 years after she died in a mysterious car
crash that many suspect was the work of Mugabe's henchmen. The man deserves
a Nobel Peace Prize.

While Tsvangirai is someone the West can trust, there still remain the
not-so-small problems of Mugabe and his political apparatus, which, despite
their manifest crimes and ineptitude, can still claim a significant level of
popular support within the country. Mugabe has ceded control over some
aspects of the government and appears to have loosened up the internal
repression, but he maintains complete authority over the nation's armed
forces, intelligence, and security services. He continues to operate, in the
words of the UK Indepedent's Daniel Howden, the "hard power" in the country.

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Mugabe hopes England and Brazil will use Zimbabwe as World Cup base

David Smith in Johannesburg, Friday 12 June 2009 19.11 BST

Zimbabwe is hoping to persuade ­several teams, including ­England, to base
their World Cup training camps in the country in an effort to attract
tourism from neighbouring South Africa.

The unity government has drawn up a shortlist of Brazil, England and Nigeria
to help improve Zimbabwe's tarnished image. Its bid raises the prospect,
albeit still distant, of stars such as David Beckham and Wayne Rooney
warming up in a country still getting over political, economic and public
health crises.

Zimbabwe believes the tournament could provide an economic lifeline as it
struggles to rebuild after last year's collapse. Tourism is seen as a
quicker fix than its ailing agriculture, mining and manufacturing sectors.
Securing the practice sessions of international football players would be a
coup which could attract thousands of travelling supporters. Walter Mzembi,
the ­tourism minister, visited Brazil last month but said England, on course
to qualify for next year's finals, were also a prime target.

"We have put England and Nigeria on our top three list," he said. "When it
goes to top five, we have added ­Cameroon and Egypt. Although we have been
given some targets by Brazil to meet, we should also look at England and
Nigeria. We are working towards bringing them here as well, or at least one
of them."

He added: "Tourism is the only practical gain left for us at the World Cup
after our national team flopped. Soccer tourism is big business all over the

But Zimbabwe faces competition from other southern African ­countries aiming
to lure visitors who want to combine football with a holiday, especially if
the host nation runs short of accommodation. South Africa's north-western
Rustenburg stadium, where some games will be played, is 95 miles
from ­Botswana. Mbombela stadium in Nelspruit lies an hour's drive from the
Mozambican border.

Meanwhile the World Cup ­trophy is being paraded through the ­continent on
its way to South Africa. Danny Jordaan, chief ­executive of the local
organising committee, denied its arrival in Harare in November would hand
free ­propaganda to Robert Mugabe.

"We must not focus on Mugabe to the extent that we forget that there are
people there with their own ambitions and aspirations," he said. "We should
help them to resolve their problems. Always there's a question of whether it
is through the carrot or the stick, but I think most of the world is now
looking at strengthening the process of change in Zimbabwe and getting
democracy established. We'd certainly want to be part of that process."

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