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Mugabe's days are numbered - Zanu men


Zimbabwe is on the "threshold" of change, with Mugabe to go by 2007, ruling
party members say in Cape Town.

Jackie Cameron
14 June 2007
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's days are numbered and he may even be
out of office by 2007.

That was the message from members of Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu PF, during a
debate at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town on Thursday.

Simba Makoni, in the past an heir-apparent to Mugabe and still a member of
Zanu PF's politburo, said Zimbabwe is on the "threshold" of change, and
alluded to presidential succession.

Zanup PF member Ibbo Mandaza, who heads the Southern African Political and
Economic Trust in Zimbabwe, predicted that Mugabe would no longer be
president next year.

Their comments about Mugabe and Zimbabwe will be broadcast later this month
after they agreed to speak up about the country at a BBC "The World Debate",
which was part of proceedings at the World Economic Forum on Africa.

Both the Zimbabwean government and Zanu PF declined to send official
representatives to the debate. And Zimbabweans are notoriously reluctant to
discuss their political views, regardless of where they are on the political
spectrum. Political activists and commentators have been tortured and killed
under the Mugabe regime.

Arthur Mutambara, who heads a faction of the Movement for Democratic Change
party agreed to be on the panel as did Mandaza.

Makoni was spotted in the audience by BBC presenter Nik Gowing, and agreed
to air his personal views.

We are "on the threshold of relaunching ourselves", said Makoni.

The former Zimbabwean finance minister said he agreed with Mandaza that the
succession debate was gathering steam north of the Limpopo.

Mandaza said: "I'll say nothing will start to happen positively on the
economic front until the succession issue is resolved. I sincerely feel the
succession issue will be resolved by the end of this year - then we can talk
about the way forward."

South African Democratic Alliance politician Peter Leon, a lawyer in
Johannesburg, suggested that an exit package needs to be negotiated with
Mugabe, as he would be unlikely to go unless he knows his family will not be

"He'll stay in office and ruin the country around him," said Leon of what
could be expected if Mugabe wasn't given a sweetener to step down.

But Mandaza said he did not believe Mugabe would accept an exit package.
"What is possible and what we are all hoping is he will retire at the end of
2007 as he indicated last year," said the Zimbabwean.

Makoni said there is "an engagement in the whole nation that the state of
affairs .not only that it cannot go on but must not go on and must be

Mutambara said Zimbabweans desire more than economic recovery - they want to
be a "globally competitive economy" and the "Malaysia of Africa". The
problem is Zimbabwe is "missing leadership and strategic vision".

Trade unionist Collen Gwiyo also aired his views on the future of Zimbabwe.
His message on the "quiet diplomacy" approach of South African President
Thabo Mbeki was that it was not appropriate where human rights have been
grossly violated.

"This time President Mbeki should take the bull by the horns. He has been
quiet for too long," said Gwiyo.

The South African government also declined an invitation to participate in
the debate on Zimbabwe.

Delegates heard how transformation of an economy like Zimbabwe's is
possible, however there need to be major changes.

In the meantime, Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation continues to rocket, a growing
number of Zimbabweans can no longer feed themselves and HIV/Aids has reduced
life expectancy to the early 30s.

For Zimbabweans like Mandaza, only Zimbabweans can fix this situation -
starting from within the ranks of Zanu PF. While international help is
appreciated by many, Mandaza believes "we have to do it", he said of what is
required to reverse an increasingly bleak situation.

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Zimbabwe opposition faction backs street protests


Thu 14 Jun 2007, 16:20 GMT

By Gershwin Wanneburg

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's main opposition party will stage protests
and strikes to pressure President Robert Mugabe's government to adopt
democratic reforms ahead of elections next year, an opposition leader said
on Thursday.

Arthur Mutambara, head of a Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) faction,
praised mediation efforts by South African President Thabo Mbeki but said
the push to resolve Zimbabwe's economic and political crisis would come from

 "We have a defiance campaign on the ground. We will liberate ourselves," he
told Reuters at the World Economic Forum on Africa after a debate on
"We are fighting in the streets ... through demonstrations, marches and
strikes," he said in response to a question about whether the opposition was
planning protests.

The government's mismanagement of the once prosperous southern African
nation amounted to genocide, he said.

The MDC has threatened to boycott parliamentary and presidential elections
expected next year unless there is a guarantee they will be free and fair.

Critics blame Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF government for the economic
crisis, marked by inflation of more than 3,700 percent, high unemployment,
rising poverty and chronic shortages of fuel, food and foreign currency.

Mugabe says the crisis is a result of sabotage by former colonial power
Britain and other Western nations who he says are punishing his government
for seizing white farms and redistributing the land to poor blacks.

The 83-year-old Zimbabwean leader has described the MDC as a puppet of the
West. Mutambara's group is one of two factions in the MDC. Morgan Tsvangirai
leads the main wing of the party.

The two factions have been cooperating more closely since a government
crackdown in March which led to the arrests and beatings of dozens of MDC
members and widespread international condemnation of Mugabe.

Mutambara said they were in talks to unite but would not comment on the
progress of the negotiations.

Mugabe is widely accused of rigging a series of elections and pressure has
been building on him in Africa to reform.

In March a Southern African Development Community summit appointed Mbeki to
mediate the crisis and bring the MDC factions and the ZANU-PF together in

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Zimbabwe passes net bugging law

Thursday, 14 June 2007, 14:26 GMT

Zimbabwe's MPs have passed a law to allow the government to monitor e-mails,
telephone calls, the internet and postal communications.
Opposition MP David Coltart called it a "fascist piece of legislation" aimed
at cracking down on political dissent.

But Communications Minister Christopher Mushowe defended it, saying it was
similar to anti-terror laws elsewhere such as in the UK, US and South

"These are countries which are regarded as the beacons of democracy," he

The Interception of Communications Bill now passes to the Senate, where it
is expected to face little opposition, Reuters news agency reports.

President Robert Mugabe's government already faces criticism for laws that
curtail free speech and movement.

Web records

The bill obliges internet service providers (ISPs) to install equipment, at
their own expense, which will allow a monitoring service to intercept

The communications minister will be able to issue warrants for interception.

And senior police, security and revenue service officials will be able to
apply to the minister to issue a warrant.

Critics say the law does not make provision for such decisions to be
reviewed by the judiciary.

"This law is about the interception of fundamental rights of our citizens
and this house should refuse such frivolous and out rightly undemocratic
laws," Nelson Chamisa, an MP for the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), said during the parliamentary debate.

"Most provisions are injurious and the law will be used as an arrow aimed
against trade unions, civil society, media and political parties involved in
genuine political engagements," he said.

The MDC accuses President Robert Mugabe's government of using all parts of
the state to block its challenge to his rule.

Mr Mushowe said the need for such legislation was "indisputable".

"We are aware, however, that it is always going to be a delicate balancing
act to find equilibrium between the need for individual rights of citizens
while ensuring that both the national security and public interest are
protected," Zimbabwean television quoted him as saying.

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Gaddafi, Mugabe want united African state


    June 14 2007 at 03:28PM

Tripoli - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and visiting Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe want African leaders to agree next month to unite
Africa under one government to help it solve its own problems, state media
said on Thursday.

The two men, both among the world's longest serving leaders, agreed in
talks in Tripoli on Wednesday that the 53-nation African Union (AU) should
be turned into an embryonic federal government at an AU heads of state
summit in Ghana on July 1-2.

"They consulted on the upcoming African Union summit due to be held in
Ghana, and in relation to this they emphasised the establishment of the
African Union government," Libya's official Jana news agency said.

"This plan embodies the hopes and ambitions of the continent's people,
and the only means for the continent's independence, political and economic
freedom and progress and development," it added.

Gaddafi has long favoured the establishment of a United States of
Africa as a means of ridding the continent of 800 million people of what he
calls Western colonialism.

The project attracts emotional support from some in Africa since the
idea of a federal United States of Africa was first promoted by Kwame
Nkrumah, Ghana's first president and pioneer of Pan-Africanism, but many
doubt its practicality.

The topic is due to be debated at the Ghana gathering, which will take
place 50 years after Ghana became the first black nation in sub-Saharan
Africa to win independence.

Jana said the two leaders also discussed a number of other issues but
did not elaborate.

There was no mention of energy ties between Zimbabwe and oil-producing

Zimbabwe had received oil from Libya under a $360-million (about
R1,8-billion) loan facility which the southern African country was meant to
repay in part by supplying agricultural produce to Tripoli, but the deal
collapsed in late 2002 after Harare failed to meet its obligations.

The facility, which covered 70 percent of Zimbabwe's fuel needs, had
run for less than a year.

Zimbabwe is in the midst of an economic crisis that has produced the
world's highest inflation rate of above 3 700 percent, unemployment of
around 80 percent and chronic shortages of food, fuel and foreign currency.

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Chinese, Zimbabwean defense ministers hold talks on closer ties

Xinhua  2007-06-14 20:32:38

    BEIJING, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Defense Minister Cao
Gangchuan met here Thursday with his Zimbabwean counterpart Sydney

    Cao said China and Zimbabwe have long-term friendship and the
bilateral relations have developed smoothly since the two countries
established diplomatic ties 27 years ago.

    The two armed forces have maintained close relations and conducted
effective cooperation in various fields, said Cao, who is also vice chairman
of the Central Military Commission and state councilor.

    China appreciates Zimbabwe's adherence to the one-China policy,
Cao said.

    He said China attaches great importance to developing friendly and
cooperative relations between the two armed forces and will work with
Zimbabwe in promoting the military relationship to a new height.

    Sekeramayi said he hoped to further strengthen military exchanges
and cooperation with China and he hoped that the two armed forces can draw
experience of military construction from each other.

    He also reiterated the Zimbabwean government's one-China position.

    Sederamayi is on a week-long official visit to China at the
invitation of Cao.

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I'm not dead - Zim central bank governor


    June 14 2007 at 01:22PM

Harare - Zimbabwe's hard-talking central bank governor Gideon Gono has
been forced to prove he is still alive after illegal foreign currency
dealers threw street parties following rumours he had collapsed.

Black market dealers in Harare and Bulawayo blew their horns and
tossed foreign currency bills into the air in celebration late on Tuesday
when rumours reached them that Gono had collapsed and died in his office,
the official Herald daily reported on Thursday.

"I'm still in good health. I'm around until the day the Lord calls. So
all dealers should be warned. I'm still around," Gono, who is tipped as a
potential successor to President Robert Mugabe, told the newspaper.

The controversial bank governor has long been at loggerheads with
street dealers in foreign currency, who sell the scarce commodity at rates
up to 400 times higher than those set by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

The official rate for one US dollar is still quoted as 250 Zimbabwean
dollars on the radio and state-run newspapers.

But black marketeers were on Wednesday selling the greenback for more
than Zim$100 000 (about R3 000), according to one independent financial news

Gono said the death rumours, fuelled by the fact the former banker had
recently lost a lot of weight, were just a sick joke. He has previously
acknowledged that influential people inside Zimbabwe "want me dead".

"They want to cause unnecessary concern in the family. They know that
I have kids outside the country, said the governor. He is believed to have
children currently living in Australia. - Sapa-DPA

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Riot police disrupt students meeting in Bulawayo

By Lance Guma
14 June 2007

There was commotion at the Bulawayo Polytechnic Thursday when riot police
disrupted what was meant to be a meeting of students to discuss issues
affecting them. A statement from the Zimbabwe National Students Union says 4
truckloads of riot police were used to disrupt the gathering. The students
had gathered at the 'Hunger Square' a popular assembly point and discussing
the issue of top us fees which has seen authorities demanding Z$750 000 fees
for accommodation per student. Those who fail to raise the amount are being
denied the chance to sit for examinations.

Former Bulawayo Polytechnic SRC president Blessing Vava and Clever Bere who
leads the National University of Science and Technology student body, all
addressed the students. Other student leaders like Mehluli Dube, Themba
Mapenduka and Pritchard Bhebhe were present. Students at the meeting took
issue with the problem of constant power cuts, which they say are disrupting
their learning. Others are not happy with government attempts to bond them
in return for government loans which they pay back in the end. The students
have meanwhile resolved to embark on class boycotts in order to put pressure
on government to address their concerns.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Labour unions to launch protests in July as economy collapses

By Lance Guma
14 June 2007

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) is already making plans to
launch more strikes in July, following what they say is an unchanged
situation since their last strike in April. Japhet Moyo the Deputy Secretary
General of the ZCTU told our Behind the Headlines programme that workers are
suffering while government has no clue how to sort out the economic mess. He
says all the government is doing is to blame Britain, the United States and
what they claim are economic sanctions for the problems in the country. Moyo
lashed out at the government accusing them of only being concerned with how
to win the next election while the rest of the population faced starvation.

'Things have not changed since the government says it signed a social
contract with all the stakeholders,' Moyo added. 'Until government pursues
policies that benefit the people our members will continue engaging in
strike action,' he said. The ZCTU will either urge its members 'to flood the
streets' or engage in mass stayaways the labour leader said. They are
demanding a living wage that is over the Z$5,5 million poverty datum line
recently announced by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe. Moyo also explained
how transport costs were eating up the entire incomes of many workers in
Zimbabwe. He cited petrol prices of over Z$100 000 per litre as killing the
ability of workers to go to work.

Asked why the ZCTU did not engage in solidarity strikes with the likes of
doctors, nurses and teachers who have been downing their tools at different
intervals, Moyo said these workers were not members of their union and never
informed the ZCTU of their strike actions. This he said made it difficult to
coordinate anything in unison. He however said they always issue solidarity
messages, which unfortunately only the minority independent media pick up
while state publications and broadcasts shun them. Commenting on the
constant negative publicity they receive from the state media Moyo said they
were not bothered because their membership was well informed and aware of
the agenda behind publications like the Herald.

NB: The full interview with Japhet Moyo on Behind the Headlines is available
on archive on our site after Thursday evening's broadcast.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Army investigates reports of coup plot

By Tichaona Sibanda
14 June 2007

Unconfirmed reports say influential retired Zimbabwe Defence Forces
commander, General Solomon Mujuru has been placed under house arrest
following reports of a foiled coup plot against Robert Mugabe.

Accurate information about the country's military activities is notoriously
difficult to find and a highly reliable army source told Newsreel it was too
early to put the 'pieces together'. He confirmed military intelligence
officers were following up on the names of some 'big guns' believed to be
involved in the plot.

'The problem with Mujuru is that even under house arrest no soldier can stop
him from venturing out. The best they could do is put him under surveillance
and monitor his phone calls which they might have been doing all along,'
said our source.

Another serving officer told us information circulating widely in the army
was that Mujuru was placed under house arrest a few days after Major General
Engelbert Rugeje and Air Vice Marshall Elson Moyo were picked up after being
fingered as the coup leaders. Mujuru still wields vast influence over many
military officers who came through Zanu (PF)'s armed wing, ZANLA.

Retired army Colonel Bernard Matongo said the implications of the alleged
coup plot have left Mugabe in limbo because he has no-one else to trust.
Mugabe has always banked on the support of his loyal defence forces to
sustain his rule. His party has split into two, with both factions fighting
to get rid of him.

'If reports of the coup plot are true then Mugabe has been left standing
alone. The only people he can trust now are his bodyguards, many of whom are
his close relatives, otherwise his position as head of state is becoming
less secure by the day,' Matongo said.

Reports of the coup plot were suppressed in the country until Thursday when
the weekly Financial Gazette carried the story. Some details had first
emerged last week when The Zimbabwean and The Zimbabwe Times both published
reports of the coup.

Sources in the army told us this is the first time since independence that
investigations over a coup plot have been carried out in the country.
Usually a barrage of denials from the army meets any mention of a coup
against Mugabe.

But the army has not uttered a word or issued a denial this time, suggesting
reports might be true. Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi last week took the
unusual step of confirming to The Zimbabwean newspaper that several soldiers
had been arrested, but for 'misconduct.'

First reports of the alleged plot filtered through when a Major Sigauke was
reportedly instructed by General Rugeje to put his B squadron of the
armoured regiment on standby. Sigauke once served under Rugeje at Inkomo
barracks but became suspicious of the order and informed the chief of the
defence intelligence, Brigadier Mike Sango. Sango in turn passed on the
information to General Constantine Chiwenga, who immediately briefed Mugabe
of the plot.

Newsreel is also reliably informed that the army's Presidential Guard,
headed by Brigadier Armstrong Gunda and the Special Air Services under the
command of Colonel Panga Kufa, were put on high alert following reports of
an impending coup. It is not known what role top co-accused Air Vice
Marshall Moyo might have played in the alleged plot, but it's believed
almost all pilots in the Airforce of Zimbabwe are loyal to him as the only
high ranking officer able to fly an aircraft. After independence Moyo was a
flying instructor at Thornhill Airbase in Gweru where he trained the
majority of pilots who are senior officers now.

Other senior commanders like Air Marshal Perence Shiri and his deputies Air
Vice Marshals Henry Muchena and Abu Basutu don't have flying wings.
Meanwhile the UK Daily Telegraph also carried reports of the 'coup' Thursday
and said that seven serving and former officers of the army have been
charged with plotting against Mugabe.

The paper said the men were arrested in stages, beginning on May 29, and
appeared twice in closed hearings at Harare magistrates' court earlier this
month. A police record of the arrests said that the officers were accused of
'treason' over a plot in which they aimed to overthrow Mugabe and install
Emmerson Mnangagwa, the rural housing minister, in his place.

There are conflicting and different reports about the coup, suggesting that
this is all part of the bitter infighting in Zanu (PF) as both factional
leaders have been mentioned as being involved. It is known Mujuru and
Mnangagwa don't see eye to eye and that both men are reportedly plotting
behind Mugabe's back to oust him from power. It also seems one camp is now
blaming the other for this plot.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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How Robert Mugabe plans to win the 2008 elections

14 June 2007 - The Zimbabwe Crisis Platform. With the recent development of the SADC initiative on Zimbabwe, and the enforced nomination of Robert Mugabe as the ZanuPF candidate for “harmonised” elections in 2008, the political problem in Zimbabwe has significantly altered. It is also significant that some dialogue has taken place between factions of ZanuPF and the MDC, brokered by the South African government.

As regards the first, all available information indicates that the SADC initiative is serious, and, although the initial reports suggest a focus upon elections only, it must also be assumed that there is, within SADC, some thought being given to approaches aiming at getting Robert Mugabe to relinquish power altogether.  Thus, it is probable that the SADC facilitation has broad objectives, even though these may not be publicly expressed, outside of the concern with legitimate elections.

As regards the second, the elections themselves, Robert Mugabe’s forcing of ZanuPF’s endorsement of his candidacy, and the proposed harmonisation of elections, indicate his strong determination to remain in power under the current constitution, and to remain in control of the succession problem. It is probable that this is now strongly predicated on his distrust of his own party, and the likelihood that no-one succeeding him will have much motivation in protecting him.

Thus, it is critical for Mugabe that he remains in power, and can either dictate or strongly influence the processes following elections, with the undoubted idea that maintaining political power, even in a deteriorating economy, is more desirable than leaving his fate in the hands of others. It can be concluded that this will lead, and is already leading, to a state within a state, with repression outside the existing security forces in the main.

In opposition to Mugabe, and dealing with a possibly “weak” intervention by SADC, is weakened opposition, both within the political parties and in civil society. On analysis, it is clear that the divisions within the MDC, and also within civil society, are not based on strong ideological differences generally: all accept the need for reform, including a new constitution, and all require an election playing field that is genuinely unbiased and fair to all parties. All are unanimous in the need for the removal of draconian legislation, adherence to the rule of law, non-violence, a free press and media, and the existence of wholly independent Chapter 9 institutions in their Zimbabwean incarnation, and especially the Electoral Commission.

However, the central weakness of the opposition is its failure to build strong alliances based on principled positions. Furthermore, there is a failure to “lateralize” struggle through the building of strong community structures that are inclusive of political parties, civics and NGOs, and a concentration on “vertical” structures concentrating on the national questions rather than the local issues. This produces all manner of confusions at the local level, where people may have multiple allegiances that operate incompatibly; for example, most activists are both members of the MDC as well as the NCA, and probably a number of other groups. Thus, mobilization is highly complex, and can be disastrous when there are conflicting messages from different groups.

Against this local background, there remains the united opposition in the West and the multi-lateral financial institutions – IMF and World Bank – to Mugabe’s continuance in power. This is both in reaction to Mugabe himself and the inevitable problems that stem from the powers inherent in the office of the Zimbabwean Presidency. Presidential powers in Zimbabwe are near- dictatorial, and allow any president, let alone Mugabe, over-weaning influence over all areas of governance, and this can have catastrophic effects on policies, as has been evident under Mugabe in the past 10 years.

Thus, it can be presumed that the opposition to Mugabe by the West, and now SADC, is based partly in a desire to remove Mugabe’s pernicious influence, as well as the perception that future stability for Zimbabwe and development in the region will require a reform agenda for Zimbabwe. Certainly, this seems indicated in the conditions expressed by the Western governments and the IMF/World Bank for substantial re-engagement. Here there is information that a rescue package has been agreed by these forces, conditional on certain indicators being present, and that the terms of this package are well-known to all parties.

Given the problems faced by Mugabe, it can be assumed that he will continue with his tried and tested strategies, and it should be noted that Mugabe is a highly conservative strategist, which has been borne out over the past 7 years in his approach to elections. There is a concerted effort to disrupt the opposition through violence and intimidation, and increasingly the political control of food; a massive campaign on the international front that ties in all parties to protracted talks and meetings, against the vague promise of reform; and the restriction of international efforts to SADC or Africa alone. There is also total control of the electoral apparatus, and the allowing of a short period prior to elections when violence ceases and there is apparent open space.

The exact mix has varied according to the problem: in 2002, violence and total control of the election machinery were the key components, but, in 2005, minor reforms were allowed in order to minimally comply with the SADC Principles and Guidelines for the holding of Democratic Elections. Violence was lessened, but the use of political intimidation and partisan food distribution were enhanced.

Thus, it seems possible to predict what will happen between now and the election in March 2008. Firstly, a period of repression of all opposition groups will continue for several months, focusing primarily on local leadership, and resulting in the disorganization of the political parties and key civics, such as the NCA. As the MDC have already indicated, more than 600 of their key officials have been abducted, beaten, tortured, and arrested, with 40 still in detention.

During this period, Mugabe will engage in regional diplomacy over the terms and conditions for elections, pushing hard for local control as a “sovereign” state. The strategy will move from frank repression as in the 2000 and 2002 elections into the strategy seen in the 2005 election, where violence is replaced by wide scale intimidation, with control of food once again a key factor. All key election bodies will remain under his control, with minimal adherence to the SADC Principles.

The selection of candidates, and the new composition of the Parliament and Senate, will allow Mugabe to purge the party of all malcontents, and it can be expected that existing party leaders will come under extreme duress. This is a serious issue for Mugabe now, as it was in 2000, and it can be expected, and there are already signs of this, that a concerted effort is being mounted to take control of the party provincial structures.

Minimal modifications to the playing field will be allowed, but these will be tempered by claims that high security is necessary due to the “violent opposition”. Pressure on the MDC will aim at trying to force MDC into pushing early for a boycott of the elections, and leaving the MDC seen as the spoilers, as was the case in 2005. There will be no acceptance of postal votes or proportional representation, and the constituency model will prevail since it allows him the greatest possibility for manipulation and intimidation.

There will be no non-African observers, using the imperialist argument, and the election will thus result in no acceptance from the West, but will leave African countries in the invidious position of having to endorse the elections, and continue the attempts at a negotiated settlement of some kind.

Mugabe will retain political power, and will hence force all discussions on the future of Zimbabwe to include him directly. The elections will be rejected by all Western countries, continuing the suspension of significant development assistance, and the multi-lateral finance institutions will leave Zimbabwe suspended too. SADC will be left with the problem, and an even more suspicious and jaundiced opposition within Zimbabwe, who will very likely be unwilling to re-engage with SADC again. The prospect of violence against the fraudulent government will rise, and the attractiveness of the region as a place where a World Cup can be held will diminish significantly.

[Several key analysts and internationally acclaimed experts from Zimbabwe and South Africa will provide key insights and analysis of the situation in the country. These analysts can not be mentioned by name as they live and work in Zimbabwe; with the current levels of repression in Zimbabwe by state agencies it is no longer possible to freely express opinions of the nature that will be presented here. Their names are known to the Africa Interactive editorial team.]   

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Pensioner's Fund newsletter

MAY 2007


As we write, the situation on the ground for the pensioners is worsening by
the day. Official inflation has just been announced for April at over 3,700%
but PriceWaterhouse in their monthly survey that takes into account other
day to day costs, suggests a figure closer to 9000%. The supermarkets are
estimating price increases for their shopping baskets of 12000%!!! These are
shocking numbers. Sadly the problem will get worse before it gets better, as
the Government continues to print money in ever increasing amounts.

Unless the Pensioner's have access to an overseas pension, or family who can
provide them with food or can assist with the payment of their monthly
levies in the Homes, they will have little choice but to rely on the support
that is given by the various charities in Zimbabwe that the Pensioners'
Committee helps to coordinate. Those charities then have to rely entirely on
the support of their donors, people such as yourselves who give so
generously either in money, food, clothing or in kind. For that we THANK
YOU. Donations from Zimbabweans have been falling which is not surprising
given the squeeze on their disposable incomes that hyperinflation causes.
Some are now finding it hard to support their own families and their elderly

If you are living outside of Zimbabwe, but have family members or elderly
friends living there, please contact them, or the Homes that they may be
living in, to check to see whether they have sufficient funds or support.
The elderly are proud people and will be reluctant to ask you for help, even
from family. GBP50 per month will make their lives bearable and could save

The majority of the Homes themselves are under-charging fearful that their
guests will not be able to afford the levies which must rise every month.
Many of those guests can afford to pay higher Zimbabwe dollar levies as the
GBP amount never changes. For those that cannot find the funds or have no
family to call upon, there are charities in place to assist them. We are
doing our best to insist that the homes charge realistic and economical
rates, so please, ensure that your elderly relatives have sufficient
resources. If in doubt please contact Nicky Passaportis or Colleen de Jong
who will do their best to assist and tell you of their condition. They may
call upon you to help financially if there is a problem. Their contact
details are at the bottom of this Newsletter.

We attach news from both SOAP and Homes in Zimbabwe , both doing a fantastic
job assisting the elderly and providing the necessary infrastructure to


"SUPPORTING OLD AGE PENSIONERS" - SOAP - Many of you will know that SOAP was
started four years ago now, and that we continue to try with your generosity
to provide parcels of food to pensioners living in their own homes.

All the money we receive is spent on food; the organization and distribution
is done on a completely voluntary basis and we therefore incur no overhead
expenses of any kind. Currently a total of 440 parcels are delivered
monthly. The actual number of people they reach is however in excess of 500,
unfortunately at the moment we are unable to double up a parcel for a
married couple - finances just won't allow us to do so.

These monthly goodwill parcels are delivered personally to each individual
all of whom live in their own homes or cottages within a retirement complex.
Where possible, depending upon finances and availability of goods, they

1 kg beef mince; 1 kg chicken; 1 dozen eggs; tinned sardines; packets of
soup; 1 kg rice, 500g pasta; cerevita, pronutro or oats; instant noodles;
tea; milk powder; jam; peanut butter and fresh vegetables.

In January the cost of purchasing food was just over Z$17 million, February
was Z$36 million and March Z$40 million. March was a desperate month; we
were only able to purchase a quarter of our usual requirements based on the
finances available. The harsh reality is that if we continue to rely solely
upon local donations, which cannot begin to keep up with inflation of over
9000% we will be unable to continue as we have been. Essentially the parcels
will become less and less until there is nothing.

In April fortunately, there was a considerable increase in donations, both
in cash and kind. In addition to the chickens we normally purchase we
received a donation of 200 (this will continue for the time being); 100kg of
meat and all the vegetables and citrus were donated. We were able to
pre-purchase some of the goods and therefore keep the cost down and ensure
that we could almost get back to the same parcels as were delivered in
February. (May will bring more challenges no doubt as we just can't plan
ahead - oh! for a crystal ball!) In spite of this, the cost was almost Z$90
million. This is only $205 000 per parcel (GBP5) and in most cases this is
being shared by two people.

When you consider that a loaf of bread and 2 litres of milk will now cost
about $100 000, we are extremely fortunate that we receive so much in the
way of discounted prices and donations of goods.

Without the support and generosity of people such as yourselves SOAP would
not exist, and I can assure you that from my personal experiences each
month, the parcels received by pensioners throughout Harare (and other parts
of the country) are more than just welcome, they have now become a means of

Recently it has been necessary for us to collect more information on the
beneficiaries. For example, whether they require assistance other than just
food, and where their family may be. Some of the letters sent back to us
have been both heart wrenching and heart warming. This is an excerpt from
one, which is an example of how desperate the situation has become for many

"The wonderful assistance given to us "oldies" cannot be adequately
expressed, not only the goodies but the knowledge that people care makes
rather dull lives bearable. Because I have a well I have kept my garden and
grow vegetables which together with the chicken and meat you supply gives me
a fairly balanced diet. I am much luckier than most.

When I retired I sold three houses and two 3 bedroomed flats and invested
the proceeds. It is hard to believe that this sum is now worth the
equivalent of about US$13.

My son is a farmer who cannot farm and like many has not received any
compensation. My son's wife is at present doing caring overseas and my son
now spends four days a week here as he has had two mild strokes and I don't
think he should be on the farm alone."

Thank you for your concern and generosity. I know that each one of us can in
some way make a difference, and together we can make much, much more than

We would like to takes this opportunity of thanking Master Angler and Avger
Nursery in Chisipite for their generous support for this worthy cause.

Homes in Zimbabwe (HIZ)

HIZ provides funding and equipment to maintain or restore the infrastructure
of the Homes. Many have not been renovated since the 1960s and are in a
desperate state of affairs. HIZ has repainted Flame Lilly Trust, Fairways,
Waterfalls Trust, BS Leon and Pioneer Lodge. With increasing amounts of
powercuts, HIZ has supplied generators and inverters to a number of homes.
Kitchen and laundry appliances have been replaced in Huis Verghuis, Edith
Duly, Garden Park, West View, Greenways, Eastern Highlands, Borradaile
Trust, Muus Lodge, Brocklehurst, BS Leon, Blue Kerry, Pleasant Ways,
Waterfalls, Athol Evans and Fairways. Boreholes have been repaired or sunk
as municipal supplies run dry. With a good borehole, vegetables can then be
grown in the gardens.

HIZ is the brainchild of Nigel Kay who is based in the UK , but is assisted
in Zimbabwe by Marion Futter and her team, Gerry Israel and David Cavell.

More funds are needed as the HIZ projects are never ending but so
worthwhile, making the conditions so much more comfortable for the
residents.especially as winter approaches.

Christmas 2006

Xmas Cheer from Marion Futter

"At Christmas we had a wonderful donation of Sherry from Mr Digby Nesbit,
this was greatly appreciated. The sherry was distributed to a lot of the
homes in Harare and in the out-lying towns. It was a particularly hot day
the day we had our Christmas Party for one of the homes in Harare, and the
residents who were drinking sherry were having a half tumbler and putting
ice with it. Consequently the sherry was just going down like water, until
it came time to stand up and make their way to their room or flat at the end
of the party, here we had to come in and assist those who had enjoyed the
sherry, the result of which was hilarious. Thanking the Good Lord it wasn't
too far. I never did find out whether those concerned had big headaches the
next day, but we did get lovely thank you letters expressing their thanks
for such a wonderful day."

Fund Raising

Belinda Rooney has arranged an number of fund raises including Wine tasting
evenings to support SOAP and a very successful Golf Day. Thanks Belinda!

Donations to the Trust have fallen away considerably - not surprisingly with
hyperinflation- and we would appeal to all of our traditional donors to keep
the money coming in for this very worthy cause.

Other News:

A lunch hosted by the Pensioner's Committee to which all the Administrators
from the Homes across Zimbabwe were invited. We had about 50 people attend
and we shared ideas regarding the level of fees that should be charged by
the Homes and covered other areas such as estate management for the elderly.
We were fortunate enough to have Sarah Mannell from the British Embassy, who
made herself available to talk about anything regarding British Pensioners
living in Zimbabwe . Thank you Sarah.

In Australia , Sean Kelly has written a recipe book containing traditional
Zimbabwe dishes. Each book sold provides funds for the Zimbabwe Pensioner's.
Great idea Sean! Sean Kelly can be emailed on
and the website is

Old Mutual Shares and Dividends: We have recently sent out over 1800 letters
to Zimbabweans now living outside Zimbabwe but who are on the Old Mutual
share register here in Zimbabwe . If they have not already 'made a plan'
their dividends are paid here in Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe dollars and will go to
waste. The dividends can be paid directly to SOAP should the shareholders so
desire. The letter explains how. For further information, contact Joan on

Bike Ride- Bulawayo to Vic Falls : Dave Ashwin and a team of fellow cyclists
will be raising money for the Pensioners and SOAP in June. Best of luck to
them all and Thank you!


So far in 2007, the Pensioner's Fund has managed to disperse almost
Z$500million to the various Homes and also to SOAP. In turn SOAP has
maintained its support in the way of food parcels to approx 500 pensioners
who live outside the Homes and are in need.


This committee meets monthly to co-ordinate all the efforts of the various
charities. As such representatives from each charity are members of the
committee. We have added two new members since we last wrote, Tim Johnson,
who represents the Beit Trust, and John Bonney from the Old Mutual. The
current members of the committee include John Legat (Chairman and Imara
Asset Mgt), John McPhun, Roy Meiring (Meikles/TM), Marion Futter (HIZ and
homes), Colleen de Jong (SOAP), Nicky Passaportis (ZANE), Andy Vaughn
(Medical), Tim Johnson (Beit Trust) and John Bonney. Tony Barfoot kindly
undertakes the Pensioner's Fund accounts. Belinda Rooney heads the fund
raising sub-committee.


John Legat

John McPhun (04 - 250096)

Roy Meiring (04 - 250553)

Tony Barfoot

Nicky Passaportis (+263-912 240964)

Marion Futter (+263-912 337 777)

Colleen de Jong (+263-11 401047)

Tim Johnson

John Bonney


Zimbabwe Dollars:

Cheques made out to "Fed Nominees"

Please write on back "Pensioners Fund"

Delivered or posted to Imara Asset Management

Block 2 Tendeseka Office Park

Samora Machel East, Eastlea, Harare

Or: "SOAP Club",

Barclays Bank, Cripps Rd

Sort code: 2199 Account number: 2490217

Pounds Sterling:

Cheques made out to: "Homes in Zimbabwe " (Reg.u.k. Charity No. 1104512)

100 King Street , Manchester M60 2HD

Bank details HSBC, 100 King Street , Manchester

Sort Code 40-31-24. Account No. 92185245

Please contact Nigel Kay when making a donation on email:

Pula : Deloitte & Touche Zimbabwe Fund

Botswana First National Bank, Main Mall Branch

Gaborone , Botswana .

Branch Code 282867, Swift Code FIRNBWGX

Account No. 62055647344

Rand : Imara Asset Management South Africa

Client Trust Account (write on back "Pensioners Fund")

Post to:

Noreen Green, Imara Asset Management,

P.O. Box 701 , Northlands, 2116 Johannesburg

(or for Bank details call Noreen on (27) 11- 550 6181

Australian Dollars: Account Name : D J Gruenthal, F W Hodder and

J Swire Thompson.

National Australia Bank, West Perth Branch

Account No. 56827 9227

BSB Code 086 492

Swift Code NAAATAAU 3306P

To end off:

 God works the same way. Many times we wonder why He would let us go through
such bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts these things
all in His order, they always work for good! We just have to trust in Him
and eventually, he will make something wonderful!! God is crazy about you,
He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you
want to talk, He'll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and He
chose your heart. Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are
here we might as well dance.

And we could do with a few chuckles in life too:

-----I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my
doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided
to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up
and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my leotards on,
the class was over.

--- Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman: "And what do you think is
the best thing about being 104?" the reporter asked. She simply replied, "No
peer pressure."

--- The nice thing about being senile is you can hide your own Easter eggs.

--- Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.

---I'm getting into swing dancing. Not on purpose. Some parts of my body are
just prone to swinging.

---Don't let aging get you down. It's too hard to get back up!

--- Remember: You don't stop laughing because you grow old, You grow old
because you stop laughing.

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Zambia to export food to needy Zimbabwe amid food surplus

Agence France-Presse (AFP)

LUSAKA, June 14, 2007 (AFP) - Zambia has recorded a food surplus for two
consecutive years despite having experienced devastating floods that
destroyed part of its crops early this year, its agriculture minister said

Ben Kapita said Zambia recorded a 250,000 tonnes surplus of maize, the
country's staple food, which excluded about 100,000 tonnes it plans to
export to neighbouring Zimbabwe which is suffering from massive food

"For an estimated total population of 12.1 million people, total maize
requirements amount to 1.5 million tonnes," Kapita told reporters, adding
that the figure includes 250,000 tonnes in strategic reserves.

He said the country had in stock about 1.8 million tonnes of maize.

"The maize surplus of 250,000 tonnes that is currently available is expected
to cater for both formal and informal trade to needy neighbouring
countries," Kapita said.

Apart from the traditional maize, the country has also recorded a surplus in
cassava, rice and wheat which have helped shore up food security in the poor
southern African nation, Kapita said.

Zambia is one of the southern African countries that faced unprecedented
food shortages three years ago which left millions of people starving.

During that period, the US government donated genetically modified food but
the Zambian government refused, saying it could not use its citizens as
"guinea-pigs" for such foods.

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Australia looks at prosecuting Mugabe


    June 14 2007 at 04:03PM

By Peter Fabricius
Foreign Editor

Canberra - The Australian Government has explored the possibility of
seeking an International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecution against Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe for war crimes.

But Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said in an interview
here on Wednesday he thought the chances of this happening were slim.

Downer pointed to the recent decision by the United Nations Commission
on Sustainable Development to elect Zimbabwe to its chair as evidence of the
impossibility of forging a global consensus to drag Zimbabwe before the ICC.

"That was not a smart thing to do. That was not good," he said of the
commission's decision to put Zimbabwe in charge.

Downer indicated that Australia, like other countries such as Britain
were now pinning their hopes on President Mbeki's mediation in Zimbabwe on
behalf of the Southern African Development Community.

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Government found guilty of rights abuses by International labour organisation

By Violet Gonda
14 June 2007

The International Labour Conference's Standard's Committee has found the
Mugabe regime guilty of trade union and human rights violations. The
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions collated data of victims of torture and
abuse, providing accounts and reports from individuals, and successfully
presented its case to the Geneva based organisation. Ruth Dearnley, Head of
Campaigns from Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) said the Zimbabwean
government refused to appear at the last minute before the Standard's
Committee, but a decision was made anyway.

She said this shows that the international labour movement is beginning to
see the importance of fighting the human rights abuses that are occurring in
Zimbabwe and is good news for the pro-democracy movement in Zimbabwe.

It's reported the Zimbabwean government decided, at the last minute, against
appearing before the Standards Committee after they had failed to lobby
other governments to support them.

Dearnley said: "We need to keep on putting international pressure in support
of our comrades within the ZCTU and civil society movement in Zimbabwe who
are fighting this struggle."

ACTSA's Director, Kathryn Llewellyn, said in a statement: "The government
must be made accountable for its actions and this important and emphatic
step taken by the international labour movement is a positive move to make
sure this happens."

Meanwhile the Dutch based NGO ZimbabweWatch held a demonstration in The
Hague, Netherlands this week protesting violations of human rights in
Zimbabwe. A statement from the group said twenty people stood on twenty
white pedestals on the lawn opposite the World Forum Convention Centre in
The Hague forming a 'Living Museum' in solidarity with the millions of
Zimbabweans whose human rights are violated on a daily basis.

ZimbabweWatch said the protest was also to draw specific attention to
Francis Nhema, the Minister of Environment and Tourism, who is attending the
14th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora in The Hague.

The pressure group distributed flyers outside the conference where Nhema is
present to talk about issues concerning endangered wild animal species. But
ZimbabweWatch said currently the most endangered species in Zimbabwe is the
human race.

Part of the flyer read: "President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF-government
have brought the country and its people to the brink of destruction. Human
rights are violated on a grand scale. Inflation has reached the world
record-breaking percentage of 3,700%. Journalists are killed, tortured or
silenced. Members of the opposition, human rights activists, student
leaders, lawyers and clergymen are brutally assaulted. The public health and
judicial systems are bankrupt. Innocent people are being evicted from their

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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One-time sale of ivory is approved

International Herald Tribune

Reuters, The Associated PressPublished: June 14, 2007

THE HAGUE: After an 18-year ban, four African countries will put their ivory
stocks on the market in a one-time sale as part of a hard-fought compromise
reached Thursday with other African nations that tried to block the move.

The 171-member Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or
Cites, reached the compromise after days of disputes about how to halt
poaching while letting local communities benefit from ivory sales in regions
where elephant numbers are rising.

The arrangement allows South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe to empty
government inventories in a single sale to Japan. But future sales will be
frozen for nine years after that sale goes through.

"This is really a great day for the elephants," said the chief German
delegate, Jochen Flasbarth. "When I came here I never expected such a super

Critics of the sale came to the conference demanding a 20-year moratorium
before even re-opening the discussion on the ivory ban.

The dispute over the ivory sale consumed the energies of the two-week
conference by Cites, which was created under a 1975 treaty. The organization
lists more than 7,000 animals and 32,000 plants that are subject to trade
regulations and require export permits. Trade in about 800 of them is
Conservationists gave the agreement a cautious welcome, saying it provided a
nine-year reprieve for elephants but could stimulate poaching and an already
lively illegal market.

"It will excite a demand that can never be supplied by legal sources," said
Michael Wamithi, the Kenya-based elephant expert for the International Fund
for Animal Welfare. "It will encourage the illegal market, and that's what
kills elephants."

The chief enforcement officer of Cites, John Sellar, said the legal trade
could ease the pressure for smuggled ivory. It could "begin to squeeze out
the illegal trade, but it's difficult to predict what would happen," he

The United States objected to the inclusion of Zimbabwe, accusing that
government of complicity in the illegal ivory trade. The U.S. delegation
charges that more than 900 poaching camps were found in northern Zimbabwe at
one time last year, six times the number found in 2001.

But it did not try to amend or block the compromise. "We are concerned about
the numbers we are getting of poaching and killing" in Zimbabwe, said Todd
Willens, the chief U.S. delegate. By raising the objection, "we are putting
them on notice."

Traffic, an independent group monitoring the movement of wildlife products,
said it looked into the claims of Zimbabwe complicity and found none.

Last week, Cites cleared the way for Botswana, Namibia and South Africa to
sell 60 tons of ivory, as agreed in principle at the last conference in

Japan was approved as the sole "trading partner" after Cites inspectors were
assured that it was controlling its black market and would ensure that the
ivory would go to legal outlets. Japan is barred from re-exporting the raw
ivory, but can sell worked ivory overseas.

Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, joined by Zimbabwe, came to the
conference this year with a proposal that would scrap the ban on ivory sales
imposed in 1989, when Africa's elephant herds were being killed in large
numbers for their tusks and were at risk of extinction. Kenya and Mali had
argued for a ban on ivory exports for up to 20 years to halt poaching,
saying 19,000 elephants are poached a year, pushing the species toward
extinction in many areas.

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'Hospital Almost Closed'

The Herald (Harare)  Published by the government of Zimbabwe

14 June 2007
Posted to the web 14 June 2007


HARARE Central Hospital almost closed down owing to a crippling and
protracted industrial action by nurses and supporting staff, which started
last month and went on until last week, a parliamentary portfolio committee
heard on Tuesday.

The hospital's chief executive officer, Mr Jealous Nderere, told the
Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Welfare that about
three-quarters of the wards and other units almost came to a standstill as
staff failed to come to work, saying they did not have bus fare.

The committee, chaired by Kwekwe legislator Mr Blessing Chebundo (MDC), was
on a fact-finding mission to assess the impact of the industrial action by
nurses in Government and council institutions.

The industrial action by nurses in Government institutions has since been
called off after last week's salary adjustments, while nurses employed by
the Harare City Council are still on strike demanding better conditions of

The committee toured Highfield council clinic, Beatrice Road Infectious
Diseases Hospitals and Harare Central Hospital.

Mr Nderere said most student nurses could not be called to assist since they
were writing examinations and needed time to study while the few who were
called could not attend to critical cases.

He said initially the problem could be contained by senior nurses who were
only attending to emergency cases, but the heavy load took its toll on them.

"On 30 May 2007, there was a big crisis because some senior staff members
agitated for a total closure of the hospital. The mortuary, labour wards,
maternity and children's wards and other departments were all commandeered
to stop. As management, we could not allow that to happen. We made sure that
there was some semblance of something going on.

"The hospital almost closed down early this month as all staff from all
departments withdrew their labour," said Mr Nderere.

The hospital advised the Hospital Service Board, their employer, not to pay
the striking health personnel their May salaries as well as the recently
announced backdated salaries.

He said all nurses who did not come to work did not get their backpay as the
industrial action was illegal.

Employees who got payslips could not get the money since the salaries were
recalled by the Salary Services Bureau, he said.

He said junior doctors last week submitted demands that their salaries be
reviewed to $17 million a month plus a US$3 000 car loan.

The demands have since been forwarded to the Health Services Board.

Speaking before the same committee, workers complained that their bank
accounts were unilaterally frozen and not only could they not access their
money, but also well-wishers could not deposit money into their accounts.

The workers complained that they had no bus fare to continue coming to work
since they had not received any salaries for May.

At Highfield clinic, acting director of health for Harare City Council Dr
Stanley Mungofa described the strike by nurses as illegal.

He said council had raised their salaries from $700 000 to $1,3 million with
effect from May. The nurses, however, said the proposed salary, which they
are yet to get, was far below what they had demanded.

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Feuding Anglican Bishops set to dampen Bernard Mizeki pilgrimage

14th Jun 2007 18:19 GMT

By a Correspondent

MUTARE - Divisions within the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe, going back a
couple of years now, are expected to affect moral at the annual Bernard
Mizeki pilgrimage just outside Marondera as people start gathering for the
three-day event.

Pastoral sources within the Anglican Church told
that Bishop Norbert Kunonga, who is at loggerheads with many provinces in
the country, notably Masvingo, Manicaland and Matebeleland, over the way he
has led the church since he came into office, is being blamed for the drop
in numbers of Christians within the church attending the annual pilgrimage.

As it is, some provinces are not sure whether their members would be able to
travel to Marondera on Friday.

"Things are very bad in the church and it is up to us as Anglicans to speak
out. Many within the church are set to miss the important pilgrimage they
have attended religiously because the Bishop continues to preach politics
everytime he gets onto the pulpit," said one pastor who did not want to be

"Just recently we had Bishop Kunonga telling a congregation that he was not
losing sleep over the travel sanctions imposed on him along with senior Zanu
PF officials, and to quote him in his own words, he said "it is you the
ordinary people who suffer because I know where my bread and butter is being

"Frankly speaking, the people are tired and the divisions continue to widen
with people who yesterday stood with him, now very much against his
policies. In Masvingo for example, he created a province for Reverend
Tawonezvi, who has since distanced himself from a recent pastoral letter
engineered by Kunonga to counter a Roman Catholic Church one on the
situation in our country," he said.

Another pastor said in Manicaland, many priests left the church after Bishop
Bakare, who was not aligned to Kunonga left.

"Now we have so many divisions between the difference dioceses, most of the
problems being created by Kunonga and his ruthless manor of leading the
church and we are afraid events that are set to bring Anglicans together
like Bernard Mizeki are the ones that suffer and we fail to meet as the
Christian community that we have been for such a long time. We all miss
Bishop Hatendi I tell you."

Kunonga is expected to use the occasion to attack those in the West he
blames for the situation prevailing in Zimbabwe. Many within the church
blame him for politicising his sermons.

"We need change in the church. Kunonga must change and bring the Anglican
communion to where it was before he became Bishop. He engineered the
pastoral letter attacking the West recently but the truth of the matter is
that the ordinary people in the church are suffering because of Robert
Mugabe's continued stay in office and his policies," said another priest
from Manicaland.

Efforts to get a comment from Kunonga were fruitless.

Bernard Mizeki was born in Portuguese East Africa, now Mozambique, in about
1861. In his early teens he left his home and went to Capetown, South
Africa, where he was educated at an Anglican school and became a Christian.
In 1891 he went as a teacher to a new mission outpost in Nhowe in
Mashonaland East province, where he preached and taught successfully for
five years, making many converts.

Many black African nationalists regarded all missionaries as working for the
European colonial governments. During an uprising in 1896, Mizeki was warned
to flee. He refused, since he did not regard himself as working for anyone
but Christ, and he would not desert his converts or his post.

He was stabbed to death on 18 June 1896. It is not known what happened to
his body, but a shrine near the place of his death is a center of
pilgrimage, and the Anglican

Churches of Central and Southern Africa honour him as one of their chief
martyrs. Every June the Anglican church converges at the shrine, where many
believe they have been healed of serious ailments.

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African church leader 'outraged' at Zimbabwe rights abuses

Ecumenical News International

13 June 2007 | 07-0456 |

Stephen Brown
Cologne, Germany (ENI). The leader of a major grouping of African churches
has expressed outrage at human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, and has urged the
world to help resolve the political crisis in the southern African country.

"What is happening in Zimbabwe is an embarrassment even to us as Africans,"
said the Rev. Mvume Dandala, general secretary of the Nairobi-based All
Africa Conference of Churches, during a recent Protestant convention called
the Kirchentag, held in Cologne in western Germany.

"We would like the world to assist us in finding a permanent resolution to
the problems we have in Zimbabwe," said Dandala on 9 June at a Kirchentag
podium that he shared with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "We are outraged
when we see the amount of human rights abuses in Zimbabwe," Dandala told the

Zimbabweans are struggling to survive in a country said currently to have an
annual inflation rate of more than 2200 percent, where there is widespread
unemployment and poverty, and where President Robert Mugabe, in power since
independence in 1980, resists calls for political reforms and change.

Dandala said, "When our western partners look for solutions in Zimbabwe they
seem to show a tendency to dismiss the injustices of land distribution that
sparked off the protest in the first place."

He was referring to President Mugabe's land reform programme that was
introduced ostensibly to correct land distribution imbalances created before
independence in 1980.

Some political analysts say the seizure of farms from white commercial
farmers under the land reform measures is partly to blame for the dramatic
slump in food production in the southern African country.

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