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Zimbabwe parties strike devolution deal

26/06/2012 00:00:00
by Patience Nyangove

ZANU PF and the two MDC parties have finally reached an agreement which will
see devolution of power form part of the new constitution for Zimbabwe, New can reveal today.

Negotiating teams led by Zanu PF’s Patrick Chinamasa and the secretary
generals of the two MDC factions Tendai Biti and Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga have been locked in talks for over a week, trying to
save the draft constitution which has been in the works since 2009.

Under the deal agreed by the parties, the country’s 10 provinces will each
have a provincial assembly made up of Members of Parliament and Senators
from that area, representatives of local authorities and 10 individuals
elected by proportional representation as well as a provincial governor.

The provincial assembly will nominate two possible candidates for governor
which they will forward to the President who will choose from the two,
according to sources familiar with the negotiations.
Under the current constitution, the President appoints governors who are
invariably members of his party.

Zanu PF had vowed not to support any constitution with devolution of power,
with officials claiming it would encourage secession advocates in
Matabeleland to push for a withdrawal from Zimbabwe.

But the MDC parties – who have placed devolution at the heart of their
policies – said Zanu PF was rejecting people’s views after the issue
registered high during an outreach programme led by a parliamentary
committee to collect the people’s views.

Sources said the parties were also trying to reach agreement on the
abolition of the death penalty – which the MDC parties support, but Zanu PF

“There has been a lot of movement on all the issues, the areas of
disagreement have been narrowed considerably,” said the source.

Zanu PF negotiators have also been pushing for the inclusion in the draft
constitution of a clause that every Presidential candidate must contest with
a running mate, as is the case in the United States and Malawi.

Zanu PF officials hope this would deal with the troublesome succession issue
within their party. Whoever is named as Mugabe’s running mate would
immediately assume the status of his preferred heir as future leader of the

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Zimbabwe defaults on $200m China loan

25/06/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE has defaulted on a US$200 million Chinese loan used to procure
farming equipment handed to farmers who however, failed to pay for the

In her latest report, the comptroller and Auditor General Mildred Chiri said
the Agriculture, Engineering and Mechanisation headed by Joseph made was at
the centre of the transactions.

Chiri said steps should be taken to effect recoveries from the farmers in
order to facilitate repayment of the loan.

“The Irrigation department issued 107 transformers and 440 pumps to various
farmers throughout the country on a cost recovery basis,” she said.

“The value of the equipment was not disclosed to the farmers and at the time
of the audit no steps had been taken to recover the money from the farmers
as the amount was not established.

“The government was however indebted to the Chinese government an amount of
US$200 million which was supposed to be repaid from recoveries from the

The government’s farm mechanisation scheme which was aimed at helping
beneficiaries of the land reform programme make productive use of their
lands is also blamed for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s billion dollar debt.

In a statement last November, RBZ governor Gideon Gono said farmers owed the
apex bank some US$198 million after failing to pay for equipment provided by
the bank under the scheme.

Zimbabwe has also failed to pay interest on a loan Chinese loan advanced to
the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Ziscosteel) in 1997 and this has
blocked the release of a US$145 million China Import and Export Bank (EXIM
Bank) facility for Harare city council.

Meanwhile, Chiri’s report added that the irrigation department in the
Ministry of Agriculture received US$1million to finance irrigation projects,
but US$776,000 was transferred to pay utility bills at the expense of the

Again the ministry’s department of research also transferred US$146,022 to
the Agricultural Revolving Fund that was used to pay for goods and services
to various suppliers some of whom did not have vendor numbers.

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Mugabe power transfer row

VENERANDA LANGA, 3 hours 17 minutes ago

Zanu PF and the MDC-T are set for a parliamentary showdown following the
adoption of a motion to debate mechanisms for a peaceful transition of power
in the post-election period.

This followed the adoption of the motion last week in the House of Assembly
resolving that Zimbabwe should emulate peaceful transitions that took place
in Zambia, Malawi, Senegal and more recently, Lesotho.

The adoption of the motion comes hard on the heels of statements by senior
military officers that they would not allow anyone without liberation war
credentials to lead the country, notwithstanding election results.

The statements by the military are regarded as overt threats to the MDC-T
which narrowly beat Zanu PF in the 2008 election. The polls were followed by
a bloody interlude leading to a runoff in which the security establishment
was accused of executing a reign of terror to keep President Robert Mugabe
in office.

There are fears of a repeat of the 2008 debacle hence the tabling of the
motion by Masvingo Central MP Jeffreyson Chitando (MDC-T) calling for a
smooth transition of power.

He said the adoption of the motion should not frighten anybody or any
political party, adding such a development would avert political bloodshed.

The motion resolved to emulate the Economic Community of West African
States, which did not condone coups in its member states.

Chitando said there was need to call upon Sadc and the African Union to
ensure that their member states subscribed to the ethos of the AU Charter on
Democracy, Elections and Governance in order to secure peaceful transfer of
power in Zimbabwe.

But there was opposition to this by Zanu PF MPs who said Zimbabwe did not
need international observers.

Mudzi South MP Eric Navaya, Chiredzi East MP Abraham Sithole and Mwenezi
East MP Kudakwashe Bhasikiti (all Zanu PF) said the motion was not necessary
and Zimbabwe did not need international observers as European and American
elections were never observed by Zimbabweans. The motion was, however,

In an interview with NewsDay yesterday, Chitando said after the adoption of
his motion by the House, the next step was for the ministers of Justice and
Legal Affairs, and Media, Information and Publicity to make sure legislation
seeking to bring free and fair elections and smooth transitional mechanisms
was brought before Parliament and dealt with.

He said this included Bills such as the Electoral Amendment Bill, amendments
to the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Public
Order and Security Act, as well as the proper institution of the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC).

Chitando said if the ministers responsible, Patrick Chinamasa and Webster
Shamu respectively, failed to do so, he would take the matter to the SADC
Parliamentary Forum, as well as to the SADC facilitators where he would
prove that the motion had been adopted with a view to implementing those

While debating on the motion, Chitando expressed concern over the state of
the voters’ roll, saying Zimbabwe was the only country which had leaders
elected by “ghosts in graves” because the voters’ roll was full of dead
people and needed a complete overhaul.

He said in order to have credible elections, rigging loopholes had to be
completely removed.

“We want the following rigging techniques to be removed, which include a
partisan electoral commission, secret printing of ballot papers, and we want
the ban on Diaspora votes to be lifted, as well as disbanding of Chipangano
and party militias,” he said.

The legislator made reference to the deplorable state of the country’s
voters’ roll which he said carried names of babies, people over the age of
140 years and even dead people.

Chitando’s motion suggested that Sadc should send observers six months
before elections to assess if Zimbabwe was ready to hold them and six months
after, to check if there was no post-poll violence in the country.

“We agreed in the GPA (Global Political Agreement) that we were going to
have media reforms, and we are asking Minister of Media, Information and
Publicity Webster Shamu to implement media reforms. We also want
constitutional, electoral and legislative reforms before elections,” he

The MP said: “There are some people who fear The Hague, but we should not
worry about that because it is a perception because some people have
skeletons in their cupboards, and this House should adopt this motion so
that we have free and fair elections.”

The International Criminal Court sits at The Hague in the Netherlands.

Zengeza West MP Collen Gwiyo (MDC-T) said Zimbabwe should take a leaf from
Sadc and accept there was always a time for change.

Matobo South legislator Gabriel Ndebele (MDC-T) proposed a name change for
the ZEC so that it included the word “independent”.

“I propose that ZEC should listen to the general public and to Parliament
and desist from listening to individuals and greedy people. I propose that
its name should read Zimbabwe Independent Electoral Commission (ZIEC),” said
Ndebele. - NewsDay

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Zimpapers Star FM radio goes live

By Tichaona Sibanda
26 June 2012

One of the two commercial radio stations granted licenses in the country
last year has gone on the air. Star FM, which during the licensing process
was known as Zimpapers Talk Radio, went live for the first time at midday on

Despite local and international media branding it the first private radio
station to break the state owned ZBC monopoly, the first independent,
commercial radio station was Capital Radio – set up in 2000 after winning a
Supreme Court case challenging the governments broadcasting monopoly. But
Robert Mugabe had it shut down at gunpoint after just 6 days of test

In the ten years since then no licences have been issued to independent
broadcasters. It was widely agreed that last years call for applications for
radio licences would not see them being given to any truly independent

And this proved to be the case when the first licence was issued to a radio
station owned by the state controlled print media. The other station that
was granted a licence is AB Communications, owned by former ZBC journalist
Supa Mandiwanzira. This station is yet to start broadcasting.

According to our correspondent Simon Muchemwa, Star FM say they will
broadcast a mixture of music and speech programmes 24 hours a day.

When the station hit the airwaves on Monday they mainly played western type
music and promos from their stable of DJ’s. It is clear this radio station
is going to be less about talk radio, more about music, despite the fact
that they were granted a broadcasting licence on the basis of being a talk
radio station.

Their broadcasts are confined to a 15 km radius of Harare and Bulawayo.

‘Star FM is almost a replica of the former Radio 3 station and has attracted
some of its former old personalities station manager, Admire Taderera, Tich
Matambanadzo, programs manager and top DJ’s such as Kelvin Sifelani and
Comfort Mbofana.

On why the station changed its name on the day it hit the airwaves, Muchemwa
said there was no official explanation that was given, except as teasing
statement from presenter Munya Milimo saying ‘it’s a long story.’

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High court conducts inspection at Mutedza murder scene

By Tichaona Sibanda
26 June 2012

Harare High Court Judge Chinembiri Bhunu on Tuesday conducted an inspection
of the Glen View 3 shopping centre where police inspector Petros Mutedza was
allegedly stoned to death last year.

29 MDC members, who include Youth Assembly chairman Solomon Madzore, are
facing charges of murder and public violence in Glen View. All deny the
charges and have pleaded not guilty. Their trial began this month.

Already six out of 20 state witnesses have testified in court but there has
been confusion as each of the witnesses so far has been giving conflicting
evidence. This led to Justice Bhunu ordering an inspection of the location
where the crime took place.

The shopping centre was closed to the public for two hours to allow for the

Defence lawyer Charles Kwaramba told SW Radio Africa that Judge Bhunu, court
officials, state prosecutors, defence lawyers and the 29 activists were
among those at the scene to witness the process. They were all in leg irons.

‘The inspection in loco is crucial in that it gives everyone a feel of the
place so they can be able to visualize events as they happened on the day
the police officer died.
‘It helps our clients quite a lot because it also gives everyone a clear and
vivid picture of who was where when the crime was committed,’ Kwaramba said.
Meanwhile Justice Bhunu on Monday once again reserved judgment in the bail
application filed by the MDC-T members, seeking leave to appeal for bail at
the Supreme Court.

The 29 MDC are seeking permission from the High court to appeal against the
judgment at the Supreme Court.

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Police Have Applied To Mine Diamonds

Harare, June 26, 2012 - Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri
applied for a diamond concession to be run by the police, a document by
Global Witness, a global group that investigates the role of natural
resources funding conflict and corruption shows.

In a document titled "Financing Parallel government" Global Witness raised
serious allegations that Zimbabwe's feared spy agency, the Central
Intelligence Organisation is getting funding from a shadowy group of
business people based in Hong Kong.

The group claimed the CIO received $100 million and 200 cars from Sam Pa(
also known as Antonio Famtosonghiu Sampo Menezes, Xu Jinghua and Sam King)
outside national budget allocation.

In the thick document of 33 pages released this week Global Witness claimed
Zimbabwe security forces were heavily involved in diamond mining through
front companies. In one of its evidence, the group showed a letter
purportedly written by police commissioner General Augustine Chihuri to
Mines Minister Obert Mpofu applying for diamond concession to mine diamonds.

The letter reads:"Honourable Minister, after scanning the enviroment and a
thorough analysis of the opportunities available, I wish to submit the
Zimbabwe Republic Police for the area in Chiyadzwa(sic), Marange marked on
the map appended to the attached company profile document."

"I hope and trust that this application will meet your favourable

Meanwhile, Global Witness appealed to the world to investigate the alleged
involvement of Zimbabwe security forces in mining diamonds in the vast
Chiadzwa diamond area.

“Given the violent reputation of the CIO and military, we fear that this
money could fund human rights abuses during the forthcoming election,” said
Nick Donovan of Global Witness.

“Off-budget financing of the security sector undermines Zimbabwean democracy
by subverting civilian control over key organs of the state. The
international community should investigate the activities of Sam Pa, Sino
Zimbabwe Development (Pvt) Ltd, and Anjin Investments (Pvt) Ltd to see
whether their actions justify imposing targeted sanctions such as asset

Information given to Global Witness by sources within the CIO suggests that
Sam Pa provided funding and material to the organisation in return for
access to Zimbabwe’s diamond, cotton and property sectors. One CIO document
put this support at $100 million and 200 pick-up trucks.

Two sources also told Global Witness that the money had been allocated by
the CIO towards Operation Spiderweb, covert activities designed to discredit
Prime Minister Tsvangarai, Finance Minister Biti, and Industry Minister
Ncube, although Global Witness could not confirm the existence of these

“We gave Mr Pa an opportunity to comment on our findings but he has not
responded,” Global Witness said. The group also said some of the allegations
raised as well information from its sources could not be independently

Anjin Investments claims to be the world’s biggest diamond miner. Previous
research by Global Witness revealed how Anjin’s Executive Board members
include senior serving and retired military and police officers, and the
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence.

In the report published Monday, Global Witness reveals that 50% of Anjin’s
shares are owned by Brigadier General Charles Tarumbwa, the Judge Advocate
General at the Ministry of Defence, acting through Matt Bronze (Pvt) Ltd, a
front for the Zimbabwean military.

Chihuri and the intelligence agency officials were not available to comment
on the allegations raised Global Witness

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Army chief owns half of Anjin diamond firm?

By Lance Guma
26 June 2012

A few days after Finance Minister Tendai Biti complained that Treasury had not received any money from diamond mining company Anjin Investments, a new report by pressure group Global Witness exposes its murky ownership structure.

With a total seven mines, Anjin is the biggest mining operation in the Marange area. Unlike the other firms Mbada Diamonds and Marange Resources who have partnerships with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), the official position has always been that Anjin is working with the army.

Global Witness say that half of Anjin’s shares are held by Brigadier-General Charles Tarumbwa, a Zimbabwean military lawyer also listed as the company secretary and principal officer. Other directors listed at the registry are Chinese nationals Jiang Zhaoyao, Chen Qing, Peng Zheng, Li Zhongqi and Huang Xianjue.

“An affidavit records a resolution making Anjin a joint venture between Matt Bronze (Pvt) Ltd, the principal officer of which is Tarumbwa, and Anhui Foreign Economic Construction (Group). The agreement was signed by Peng Zheng on behalf of AFEC(G) and Tarumbwa for Matt Bronze,” the report states.

Last week Deputy Mines Minister Gift Chimanikire told Parliament that Anjin was controlled by the Chinese who had 50% equity and the Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI) with 40%. The remaining 10% was supposed to be owned by the government through the ZMDC. Biti denied the ZMDC was involved.

The Global Witness report however exposes more inconsistencies in the ownership structure because, “the company register also states that Anjin’s share capital is made up of US$2,000, consisting of 2,000 ordinary shares, which are shared equally between Brigadier General Tarumbwa and Zheng.”

Described by the United Nations as a Judge Advocate General at the Ministry of Defence, Brigadier General Tarumbwa is listed on the current EU targeted sanctions list because he was “directly involved in the terror campaign waged before and during the elections” in Manicaland.

Anjin’s executive board on the Zimbabwean side is a ‘who is who’ of police, military and state security chiefs, some notorious for their involvement in gross human rights abuses, including murder.

The board includes: “Martin Rushwaya (Ministry of Defence permanent secretary), Oliver Chibage (police commissioner), Ms Nonkosi M. Ncube (commissioner in the police) and Munyaradzi Machacha (ZANU PF director of publications).

Also on the board are Mabasa Temba Hawadi (Director Marange Resources), Morris Masunungure (retired army officer) and Romeo Daniel Mutsvunguma (a retired army colonel who took part in the brutal political violence in the run up to the June 2008 one man presidential run-off election).

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WOZA Protestors Catch Police Unaware

By Professor Matodzi Harare, June 26, 2012 - More than 500 members of the
militant Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) on Monday afternoon marched
on Parliament in central Harare demanding the speedy completion of a draft
constitution and warned against threats to call a general election before
the completion of electoral and democratic reforms.

The WOZA members who successfully staged the demonstration from downtown
Harare to Parliament before the police caught up with them after they had
handed their petition at the legislative house warned that they would
mobilise Zimbabweans to boycott any elections called before the
implementation of democratic reforms.

“WOZA demand the release of a completed draft constitution that gives power
to the people. Politicians be warned stop your bickering and scheming. WOZA
members will mobilise a nationwide boycott of any election called without a
new constitution and referendum,” read part of the WOZA petition which was
presented to Parliament.

WOZA leaders Jenni Williams, Magodonga Mahlangu and Clare Manjengwa led from
the front while several of their members distributed fliers and carried
placards outlining their demands. Some of the placards read; “We want a
reduction of constituencies from 210” and “We demand to the people in all
corners of the country”.
No arrests were reported at the time when the demonstration was called off
after police drove away the WOZA members.

WOZA members have endured severe beatings at the hands of the police each
time they stage anti-government protests which the police insists must first
be approved by them under Zimbabwe’s tough Public Order and Security Act
But WOZA has over the past decade consistently defied the law to stage
surprise demonstrations against President Robert Mugabe’s government which
they hold responsible for presiding over the country’s catastrophic plunge
into a political and economic abyss.

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ZANU PF Chipangano gang block construction in Mbare

By Tererai Karimakwenda
26 June, 2012

The violent ZANU PF aligned Chipangano gang has once again blocked progress
in Mbare high-density suburb, after allegedly threatening workers to stop
construction of a ZESA substation that would increase power in the area.

The substation is part of a complex that includes a service station and food
court, which would bring jobs and more development to Mbare. But the gang
reportedly objects because they accuse the developer, Alex Mashamhanda, of
supporting the MDC.

Mashamhanda has denied this but it did not stop Chipangano from physically
attacking him back in January. This left “soft tissue injuries” which he
reported to the police, but no arrests followed.

The latest threats were reportedly issued on Saturday “within ear shot” of
the police, who are based right next door at Matapi Police Station. The gang
is said to have resorted to threatening workers after failing to convince
the City Council to stop construction of the service station.

In February Mashamhanda filed for and received an order of protection from
the High Court against Chipangano leader Jim Kunaka (the ZANU PF Harare
province youth chairperson), politburo member Tendai Savanhu and Alfonse

Saturday’s threats constitute a contempt of court violation. But Mbare MP
Piniel Denga told SW Radio Africa it is unlikely any member of the gang will
be arrested. “The ZRP at Matapi is working in cohorts with the Chipangano
guys of Jim Kunaka. Some police are even in ZANU PF structures,” Denga said.

The MP explained that the ZESA substation would not only help Mbare
residents but it would also promote development by boosting the power supply
in the area. This would allow more contruction , create more jobs and
attract more investors.

Denga said: “ZANU PF is not for development as they preach. They only want
people’s support when it comes to elections only. And they don’t even
implement the policies that they promise during their campaigns.”

The police at Matapi have appeared helpless in the face of a violent
campaign against Mbare residents by Chipangano, who declared the area a
no-go zone for supporters of the MDC-T and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

This is not the first time the gang has stopped construction that would have
helped Mbare residents. A housing project funded by the Bill Gates
Foundation stopped construction last year due to interference by Chipangano

The gang has also taken over Council properties and are illegally collecting
revenue from City-run parking lots, flea markets and minibus operators.
Denga said it is estimated that they make up to $6,000 per day from these
illegal ventures.

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Five ZimRights employees briefly detained in Karoi

By Lance Guma
26 June 2012

Five employees of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) were on
Monday briefly detained by police in Karoi after attempting to hold ‘legal
clinics’. The police however claimed the group convened a meeting without
notifying them.

A statement by ZimRights, posted on social networking site Facebook, listed
the five detained as David Palasida, Nancy Madzivire, Rutendo Tsvangirayi,
July Chimutsanya and Reverend Issac Chamonyonga.

ZimRights argue that legal clinics are not meetings because they are done on
a ‘one on one basis’. Those arrested were released “in the late hours of the
day” following the intervention of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

The group condemned the abuse of the repressive Public Order and Security
Order (POSA) adding: “We have had enough of such interruptions to our work
and in all similar previous cases the state has been found at the losing
end. We believe that these were just efforts to frustrate the work that we

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Chiyangwa named in bank looting

Written by Roadwin Chirara, Business Editor
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 09:40

HARARE - Flamboyant businessman Phillip Chiyangwa has been fingered as a
$2,5 million debtor in Interfin Bank Limited (IBL), while Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) boss Happyton Bonyongwe’s company holds
shareholding in the stricken bank.

The sensational claims come as the Pinnacle Property Holdings (Pinnacle)
founder in April sold a major Harare property to extinguish an $8 million
debt with CBZ Bank Limited.

On the other hand, Bonyongwe’s family business Brinski Investments (Private)
Limited (Brinski) was also listed as a five percent shareholder in Interfin
Financial Services Limited (IFSL) where businessman Farai Rwodzi holds a
major stake.

“Pinnacle is a property investment group with eight subsidiaries involved in
various aspects of real estate… and property development. The company was
granted a $2 million facility… for the development of Pentagon Place
(Pentagon), a five-star hotel,” people close to the development said.

“The facility was granted (on) security of a second mortgage bond of $3
million. The facility expired on April 30, 2012 and the company has been
unable to meet its repayment obligations,” they said.

Although Chiyangwa confirmed the facility, he insisted that he did not owe
the closed bank directly.

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Planned visit to Njelele shrine exposes more rifts within ZANU PF

By Tererai Karimakwenda
26 June, 2012

A recent row over a planned visit to a spiritual shrine has revealed more
divisions within ZANU PF and the war vets organizations, and fuelled a
leadership contest that threatens war vet leader Jabulani Sibanda’s

A faction of the war vets that is planning to conduct cleansing ceremonies
at Njelele Shrine outside Bulawayo has reportedly accused war vet leader
Jabulani Sibanda of failing to back them up, after the ZANU PF leadership
banned the trip.

They also accused Sibanda of calling them “renegades” instead of defending
their plans and passed a vote of no confidence in him. Reports said they are
calling for Sibanda to be replaced by Joseph Chinotimba, who led the farm
invasions in 2000.

But according to SW Radio Africa’s Bulawayo correspondent Lionel Saungweme,
the ZANU PF leadership are not being honest about why they forbid the
cleansing ceremonies. He explained that factionalism within ZANU PF lies at
the truth of the matter.

“The real issue is that war vet leader Sibanda is aligned with the faction
loyal to Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was responsible for the 5th Brigade that
killed thousands of people in the area during the Gukurahundi massacres in
the mid-eighties,” Saungweme said, adding that Sibanda has no right to
approve anything that has to do with Njelele.

Our correspondent explained that Njelele is considered a sacred place by
Zimbabweans “across the tribal divide” and is used to conduct traditional
ceremonies asking the ancestors to bring rainfall. This is usually done in
the month of September and anyone going there needs to be guided by local

“Jabulani Sibanda is just echoing the wishes of the local chiefs to try and
promote ZANU PF propaganda before the elections but he has no legitimacy
there because of his links to Mnangagwa,” Saungweme explained.

Meanwhile more divisions within ZANU PF were revealed this week by The
Standard newspaper, which reported that army generals that were loyal to the
late General Solomon Mujuru have now abandoned his widow, Vice President
Joice Mujuru, in the battle to succeed Robert Mugabe.

The paper quotes top ZANU PF officials who said the generals have shifted
their loyalties to Mujuru’s rivals, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and
State Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi.

However the party Secretary for Administration, Didymus Mutasa and spokesman
Rugare Gumbo, are reported to have recently said Mujuru was better
positioned than Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe because the party follows a

The ZANU PF elections held recently to elect local district leadership also
revealed the growing splits within the party. Physical fights broke out in
several districts as candidates linked to different factions jostled for

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The MDC Today - Issue 382

Tuesday, 25 June 2012

Johannes Chikwava, the MDC Gutu West organising secretary in Masvingo
province was on Saturday arrested at Eastdale Airbase by soldiers on
allegations that he had insulted some war veterans in the area.

After his arrest, Chikwava was assaulted before being put in leg irons. He
was later ferried to Chartsworth Police Station where he is currently
detained. No charges have been brought against Chikwava and he is still
detained at the police station.

Meanwhile, in Gweshe Village, Chiweshe area in Mashonaland Central province,
villagers are up in arms against a directive by Chief Negomo who, through a
Kraal head Chiwaridzo is forcing each villager to pay US$1 for “youth

The villagers, most of whom were victimised by Zanu PF thugs and State
security agents are worried that the money they are being forced to pay will
be used to fund Zanu PF terror campaign in the country ahead of the coming
referendum on the Constitution and the elections.

In 2008, scores of MDC members in Chiweshe were murdered by Zanu PF thugs
and State security agents who include, Elias Kanengoni, a Central
Intelligence Operative and Cairo Mhandu, a former army major and MP for
Mazowe North.

The murders took place after Zanu PF had been defeated in the elections by
the MDC and its President, Morgan Tsvangirai. Over 500 MDC members were
murdered during this period.

In yet another development, thousands of cotton farmers in Gokwe expressed
disappointment over the price of cotton, as cotton ginners are offering
$0.30 per kg as the price for the 2012 marketing season.

Farmers reached a deadlock with buyers, as farmers wanted the price of
cotton to be gazetted to between $0.85 and $1per kg. Gokwe-Kabuyuni MP, Hon
Costin Muguti said farmers held a meeting with the Minister of Finance, Hon
Tendai Biti on Saturday at Chitekeke Business centre highlighting their

The people’s struggle for real change: Let’s finish it!!

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Biodiesel Project on Verge of Collapse

25 June 2012

Gibbs Dube | Washington

Zimbabwe’s search for sustainable energy has hit a brick wall as a
state-funded project launched in 2005 to address critical fuel shortages
through the extraction of biodiesel from jatropha seeds, is now on the verge
of collapse.

Government representatives, lawmakers and energy experts told VOA Monday,
Zimbabwe has almost abandoned the project, now relegated to an experiment in
the agriculture ministry’s technology department.

One of the jatropha processing plants set up five years ago in Mount Hampden
near Harare by Zimbabwe and North Koreans, they say, is now a white elephant
due to the non-availability of jatropha seeds.

The central bank disbursed about Z$3 billion (US$12 million) between 2005
and 2007 for the biodiesel project launched by President Robert Mugabe amid
pomp and funfare.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Seiso Moyo said lack of funding is crippling the
jatropha fuel project. Jatropha curcas is a drought tolerant shrub with oil
rich seeds that make diodisiel and stockfeed.

Parliamentary agriculture committee member Moses Jiri said government should
stop funding the project.

“Parliament needs to carry out an investigation into this project as we
suspect that government funds were abused,” said Jiri.

Agronomist Thomas Nherera believes that farmers are not well-equipped to
handle the jatropha plants for commercial purposes.

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Multi-million dollar tourism blitz planned

26/06/2012 00:00:00
by Business Reporter

THE governnment has approved an advertising blitz to market Zimbabwe on the
major global television channels in a campaign whose cost is expected to run
into millions of dollars, Tourism and Hospitality Minister Walter Mzembi has

In a statement outlining the country’s preparations for hosting the United
Nations World Tourism Organisation’s congress next year, Mzembi said the
first advert to be flighted on CNN at a cost of US$1,5 million is already in

“The CNN media advertorial has already been approved. It just needs US$1.5
million and it will cover 588 bytes of 45 seconds each on Zimbabwe. In those
bytes, we should be able to sell, not tourism with the Victoria Falls, but
sell brand Zimbabwe,” he said.

“In that byte, we should be able to sell our agriculture, sell our mining,
sell our people and sell all our wonders in their totality, because every
square inch that we sit on today or that we stand on, represents a tourism

“Victoria Falls cannot happen to the exclusion of our politics, of our
social and economic well-being. So, I would hope that, that brand caption,
the 45 seconds byte which we intend to roll out in January captures the
totality of our Zimbabwe and we sell it to the outside world.”

Zimbabwe will jointly host the tourism congress with Zambia at the shared
Victoria Falls resort on the border between the two countries.

Mzembi said delegations representing up to 186 governments, more than 400
journalists from various global networks like CNN, BBC, ICTV, and Aljazeera,
France 24 would cover the event.

“Europe is assisted by the same media to rapidly get past Mad Cow and NH3.
Through highlighting famine, countries like Ethiopia and Mali have been
rubbished even through images accompanying western songs like ‘we are the
World’ which have accomplished very little,” said Mzembi.

“Images of street kids and beggars are shown to disparage Africa’s brand,
whilst British adult street kids languishing at the entrance to Zimbabwe
House on the Strand in London, are never covered by the BBC.”

Tourism has been one of the fastest grown sectors of the economy with the
government projecting its contribution to GDP growth would average 8.2 per
cent over the next decade.

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Ovation for Moyo at ANC conference

26/06/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s former spin doctor Jonathan Moyo was warmly
cheered as he was introduced as leader of the Zanu PF delegation to the
African National Congress’ policy conference which opened in Midrand on

Moyo – an outspoken critic of South African President Jacob Zuma – was
introduced moments after the ANC leader had given a lengthy speech which
ended with him belting his signature tune ‘Mshini Wam’.

Zanu PF’s choice of Moyo as leader of the delegation would have raised a few
eyebrows, given his trenchant views on Zuma, particularly over his mediation
effort in Zimbabwe and support for a UN resolution which preceded NATO’s
military action in Libya.

ANC chairman Baleka Mbethe introduced various delegations from around the
world from allied political movements, and correspondents at the Gallagher
Estate were unanimous the loudest cheer was reserved for the Zanu PF group.

Carien du Plessis, a political reporter for City Press who was in the hall,
said on Twitter: “A delegation of Zanu PF led by Jonathan Moyo is also here.
They get lots of claps.”

But it seems not everyone in South Africa was amused. Responding to du
Plessis’ tweet, Kameel Premhid – who describes himself as a “professional
trouble-maker” and “part lion, part fox and part hawk”, said: “How

Moyo has been leading the charge for Zuma to be releaved of his SADC mandate
to help Zimbabwe’s political protagonists move towards free and fair

He accuses Lindiwe Zulu, the leader of Zuma’s “facilitation team” of
“regurgitating American and European rubbish against Zimbabwe”.

On April 3 last year, Moyo said Zuma was “now tainted beyond recovery by the
Libyan situation and his commitment to the African cause has become
questionable" after the South African leader voted for UN Resolution 1973,
which was later used by France, Britain and the United States to depose the
regime of Muammar Gaddafi.

“With all due respect, and please take note that there is a lot of it, the
mere fact that President Zuma of South Africa voted for the atrocities that
the US and its NATO allies are committing in Libya under UN Resolution 1973
makes him an undesirable SADC facilitator on the political and security
situation in Zimbabwe. Zuma can no longer be trusted if he ever was,” Moyo

Zuma later condemned the NATO bombardment, saying it was a “misuse of the
good intentions in Resolution 1973... we strongly believe that the
resolution is being abused for regime change, political assassinations and
foreign military occupation.”

In May, after a Johannesburg art gallery put up a portrait of President Zuma
by a white artist with his penis sticking out, Moyo penned a lengthy piece
warning that the “uncomfortable bottomline is that South Africa is a
white-controlled black country and the dysfunctional consequences of this
tragedy are yet to fully play out with very worrying signs everywhere that
all hell is about to break loose”.

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Finance Minister, Disgruntled Cotton Farmers Meet Over Prices

25 June 2012

Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington

Zimbabwe's Finance Minister at the weekend visited the country's cotton
nerve centre, Gokwe, and held meetings with disgruntled farmers who for
weeks now have been holding onto this year's produce complaining about low
buying prices.

Tendai Biti met with the farmers at Chitekete Business Centre in Gokwe in
the Midlands province to discuss the problems they were facing in selling
their produce. His agriculture colleague, Joseph Made, who initially was
expected to accompany him, failed to turn up.

Cotton farmers have been holding onto this year's crop demanding buyers
raise the price from 30 cents to anything between 49 and 80 cents per
kilogram. But the buyers, under the Cotton Ginners Association, were
offering prices ranging from 29 to 40 cents.

Last week some farmers met with the parliamentary committee on agriculture
to present their case. The House committee was Tuesday expected to meet with
the buyers in an effort to break the impasse.

Gokwe-Kabuyuni lawmaker, Costin Muguti, of the MDC formation of Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told VOA's Jonga Kandemiiri that Biti told the
farmers the major problem was the government was not a cotton buyer.

But the finance minister promised to take the farmers' grievances to the
next cabinet meeting for discussion.

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British Embassy Supports Harare City Library

British Ambassador Deborah Bronnert today handed over to the Harare City
Library Board, $20,000 from a fundraising dinner held at her Residence in
March and library books valued at $1500 from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
Fund in order to help renovate the library to benefit ordinary Zimbabweans.

by The Zimbabwean Harare

Over the last ten years the Harare City Library has fallen into a state of
disrepair with the roof leaking, books needing replacement, shelves and
plumbing needing repair and the need for internet installation.

In her remarks at the Harare City Library, Ambassador Bronnert said
“Libraries are tremendously important in all communities and I am delighted
that we have been able to make a contribution towards restoring the Harare
City library, which should be a centre of learning and literacy. I want to
thank everyone who supported the fundraising and look forward to continuing
to support this very worthwhile cause.”

The Harare City Library was established in 1902 as the Queen Victoria
Memorial Library which was moved to the award winning building in Rotten Row
in 1960. The building was awarded a Royal Institute of British Architects
medal as one of the best designed buildings in Southern Africa between 1949
and 1962, being one of only 3 medals ever awarded in the whole of Africa.

Harare City Library is one of three institutions in the country targeted to
benefit from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Fund to celebrate Queen Elizabeth
II’s 60 years on the throne.

The British Embassy continues to partner with the Harare City Library and
has scheduled another fundraising event for the library (A Night At The
Opera) on 21 and 22 September at the Ambassador’s residence.

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HRT demands Debt Cancellation from ZESA and City of Harare

Zimbabwe public service authorities should immediately cancel debts from the
period February 2009 to December 2010, a senior residents’ movement official
has said.

by Harare Residents Trust

The Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) board Chairperson Emilia Chakatsva said
government should spearhead the scrapping exercise in line with the
cancellation of savings and pension funds that occurred when the economy
dollarized in February 2009.

Mrs Chakatsva blasted the debiting of US$10 onto residents’ bills by the
City of Harare in February 2009 when the country adopted the multiple
currency system, adding that this had accumulated hugely unjustified
interest rates.

“Government through the Central Bank cleaned up savings and pension funds of
all rate paying citizens but its parastatals’ did not do the same on water,
telephone and electricity accounts.

“That council immediately imposed US$10 on Harare residents accounts for
services not rendered and to a population that had not yet been remunerated
in foreign currency does not make sense and should be rectified.”

The HRT Board Chairperson said in the interim, the Government allowed local
authorities to debit ratepayers accounts, but totally failed to offer any
form of credit stimulation to appease the harshly treated and battle
hardened citizens, whose earnings had just been wiped off their bank
accounts, reducing them to economic desperation.

She said elected and appointed policy makers who were elected in 2008 had
abandoned residents and allowed the local authority to act as a loan shark
by allowing it to send letters of final demand, periodic summons and
property attachments based on estimated bills that have unwarranted huge

Mrs Chakatsva, who is also a women’s rights activist said the payment plans
being advocated for by Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) and the
City of Harare were not feasible as indicated by the huge number of
residents that continue to fail to raise the minimum 50 percent deposit they
demand from poor residents.

“The fact that residents are failing to raise the minimum deposit for a
payment plan after being cut off from services by the power utility and
municipality is an indicator of the state of salaries or incomes and
employment rate which remain very low, despite Zimbabwe now being in the
mid-term economic recovery period,” she said.

She said the HRT would continue to lobby and advocate for the total removal
of debts accrued between February 2009 and December 2010. The HRT has given
the City of Harare and ZESA until 31 August 2012 to cancel all debt.

Failure to heed this call, the HRT will be mobilising residents to organise
themselves to set up rates Funds where legal and banking professionals will
administer these funds on behalf of the citizenry as a measure against the
continued abuse and mismanagement of council resources. Residents will not
pay to the City of Harare but will deposit their rates into these funds
which will only be released to the council once residents are satisfied that
they have been adequately involved in the planning and project

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The high cost of giving birth in Zimbabwe

The drying up of donor funds to provide free blood is a major set back to pregnant women in Zimbabwe. Pregnant mothers will now have to pay more to get blood in the event that they encounter complications during delivery. According to the Herald, a pint of blood costs US$65 in Government institutions and US$50 in mission hospitals. This will automatically see an increase in maternal costs on pregnant mothers who have been struggling to pay maternity fees. Of note are very interesting points from the article where the National Blood Transfusion was quoted saying, “the cost of collecting and processing a pint of blood is about US$129 yet it is being sold to mission and Government hospitals at US$50 and US$65 respectively”. So one wonders whether if this is true since the organization gets free donations of blood from the public. The donor-funded progamme is coming to an end this month and government has not come up with a backup plan to avert a shortage of blood in public hospitals and clinics.

This entry was posted on June 26th, 2012 at 3:33 pm by Lenard Kamwendo

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A poor African woman's journey to home and security

After years of working in South Africa, Samkeliso Moyo, once a girl with no
shoes, is on her way to Zimbabwe and her children, carrying her savings and
a dream.

By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times

June 26, 2012
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — It was more money than she had ever dreamed of,
stuffed into stockings and concealed under her clothes like a python around
her waist.

On the bus trip back to Zimbabwe, her homeland, Samkeliso Moyo was terrified
that her secret money would be discovered or stolen, and she'd lose

Born into the poorest family in her village, she grew up hungry, with no
shoes and one thin cotton dress. She never once got a Christmas present. She
ran away from exploitation and abuse at 11, and got her first job at 13,
earning a few dollars a month. Eight years later, she made the journey to
what for her was a land of opportunity: South Africa.

For years, she had worked there as a maid six days a week, built up a small
trading business on evenings and weekends, rented out half of her room to a
boarder, scrimped on phone calls to her children, whom she had sent to live
in Zimbabwe. And somehow, she had squirreled away a miraculous $6,700.

The 32-year-old dreamed of buying something big, something that would make a
difference to her children. She would never have to sleep in a park again.
Or go to bed hungry. Or beg relatives and strangers for help. Would she?

That money was going to change everything. It would be her ticket to the
middle class — if only she could get home with it.


All over Africa, people like Moyo are making their way out of poverty. A
report last year by the African Development Bank said the continent's middle
class had tripled in the last 30 years, encompassing one-third of the total
population, or 313 million people.

Make no mistake, millions still live in dire poverty, accounting for about a
quarter of the population of sub-Saharan Africa, where just 100,000 people
hold 80% of the wealth, according to the report. And the bank's definition
of "lower middle class" (anyone earning $4 to $10 a day) and "upper middle
class" (anyone earning $10 to $20 a day) underscores how different they are
from their Western counterparts.

But the growing middle class has a massive transformative effect on Africa
and fuels future growth. As people buy things they need beyond sustenance —
clothing, phones, motorcycles, improved housing — they create jobs. By
paying school fees, they provide their children with the education to find
better jobs and consolidate the family gains.

The report found that "growth of the middle class is associated with better
governance, economic growth and poverty reduction. It appears that as people
gain middle-class status, they are likely to use their greater economic
clout to demand more accountable governments."

For most of those 313 million Africans, the grinding haul out of poverty is
a story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.


Moyo grew up in Tsholotsho, a dry, hungry village in southern Zimbabwe, in a
family so poor that her mother and granny sent her at age 9 to stay with a
relative who could pay her school fees. Her father was not involved with the

There was no breakfast, no lunch and school was a blur of sleepy hunger. Her
relatives made her do many hours of chores, fetching water and pounding
dried corn with a stick. A predatory neighbor saw her helplessness and raped

She yearned for her granny and home. Yes, her family almost always went to
bed hungry and had to beg from neighbors, carefully approaching one house
one night, another the next and another the night after. But her grandmother
always sang and cuddled the children, comforting them with hope that one day
they'd have all the food they wanted.

"My granny said, 'One day, it's going to be fine. One day, you are going to
be No. 1.' "

So one night, Moyo ran away and back to her granny, her feet bare, wearing a
thin cotton dress and carrying a plastic bag with her few belongings.

"It was dark. I was scared. I didn't know what would come and grab me or eat
me," she said. "I walked the whole night. When I got home to my place, I
screamed, this wailing scream. I don't know where it came from. I just let
my bag fall down."

Two years later, she left home to work for a few dollars a month in Bulawayo
in southern Zimbabwe. And at 21, she left Zimbabwe to look for work in

After she arrived, she struggled to get a job and a place to live. Once, she
slept in a park all night. Moyo's aunt, a domestic worker, helped her find
work as a maid for a well-off white family. She had no idea how to use a
vacuum cleaner or fold a shirt.

"Those first few months were hard."

In 2003, another employer fired her for being pregnant, but then she managed
to get a job one day a week as a domestic worker. Then she found another
day's work, then another, until she was working six days a week cleaning
houses for different families, earning more than $410 a month. She set
herself up as a street trader, selling secondhand clothing that she bought
in bales at a warehouse outside Johannesburg, a business she ran after work
until late at night and on Sundays. She even employed jobless people to sell
for her, and made as much as $200 extra a month.

By African Development Bank standards, she'd made that great leap to the
middle class. But her childhood wounds, still raw and angry, left her hungry
for more security. After the birth of her son, Ayanda, and then twins,
Thendo and Mthendo, she grew afraid that they would be doomed to
deprivations like those she had suffered.

So she made a sacrifice that she still questions.

Just over two years ago, she sent her children to live with a nanny in
Bulawayo, with its cheaper rents and childcare, to cut her costs in half and
get further ahead. But doubt consumed her. Would her children think it meant
she didn't love them?

As a child she had nursed anger toward her mother, who was ill and couldn't
give her food and schooling and who sent her to live with the relative who
used her as a servant. She understands now that her mother couldn't help
their poverty, but the anger remains, driving her to better herself so that
her children won't suffer too.

"I don't want my kids to be hurt, like I was hurt."

She budgeted $180 a month for her expenses, including just 80 cents a day
for food. The rest, she saved, initially keeping it hidden in a box and
then, warily, opening a bank account.

At the beginning of 2010, she had less than $200. A year later she'd saved
more than $3,600, and by April this year she had $6,700.

She had a plan. She would buy a house.


On the long bus trip home, Moyo restlessly churned over the many
catastrophes that could derail the dreams of a black single mother.

She could be attacked and robbed. She could be hurt in an accident, knocked
unconscious and hospitalized. She could fall ill or faint.

"And they'll open your clothes and of course they'll take it," she worried.

Just one careless word to a relative, or even her children, could send
tsotsis, township gangsters, to kill her for the money. Or she could fall
for a scam, be cheated into buying a house that belonged to someone else or
paying someone for a fake title deed.

The more she thought about it, the more her dream seemed to recede.

"Sometimes you can work hard for all those years and you can lose the money.
I was scared, because I'd heard of people being robbed and killed. The
journey was, like, my heart was pumping. I couldn't even sleep on the bus. I
didn't have any appetite."

When she finally reached her children in their small rented house, she
briefly hugged them, then crept into the bedroom, put the money into a cash
box, locked it and hid it under the bed.

In the days that followed, she identified a parcel of land in a good
location and went to the government land office to pay. But even as her name
was typed into the computer, she couldn't bring herself to hand over the
$1,800 for the 2,150-square-foot patch, parcel No. 18335.

She was still worried that somehow she could be scammed. Perhaps they would
let her pay for the land after visiting the municipal council to pay for her
sewer connection. There, she could double-check whether the land really had
been transferred to her name.

The woman in the land office agreed, so Moyo went to the municipal council.

"I said, 'I am coming to pay for No. 18335.' The lady put the number into
the computer. She said, 'For Samkeliso Moyo?'

"I said, 'That's my name.' I had tears of happiness. That thing touched me.
Like, I did it. I did it. It was in my name. I was like, my kids can tell
themselves, 'This is my mother's land.' "

She spent the rest of the money on a builder and materials. A few years from
now, she hopes to be able to move back home and live in her house, but in
the meantime she has headed back to South Africa to earn more money for her
children's education. In the middle of May, she got a call telling her that
workers were putting on the roof. Her little four-room house was nearly

Somehow, it makes up for the hardships that a barefoot girl with one cotton
dress endured.

"I didn't know that one day, the little kid that suffered was going to find
a house."

As she told her story, Moyo had wept recalling her harsh childhood and the

But now her eyes shone. And she smiled.

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