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Pushing Mugabe out risks chaos - Tsvangirai

Sat Jun 27, 2009 4:05pm GMT

* Western pressure to force Mugabe exit could create chaos

* Open to majority foreign ownership of mines, agriculture

* Privatisation of some companies to lure investors

By Michael Georgy and Serena Chaudhry

JOHANNESBURG, June 27 (Reuters) - Western pressure for Robert Mugabe's
removal could lead to chaos in Zimbabwe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
said on Saturday, in comments that could discourage donors distrustful of
the veteran president.

"This man is part of the solution, whether you like him or not," Tsvangirai
said in an interview, adding it was up to Mugabe, in power since 1980, to
decide when to step down.

"If you push somebody out and you are not even sure what will happen when
you push somebody out, then the result is unpredictable. Who is going to
manage that situation? It could be chaotic."

Western powers have welcomed Zimbabwe's new unity government led by old foes
Mugabe and Tsvangirai, but have made it clear they would prefer it if Mugabe
was not in power.

Western donors, crucial for Zimbabwe's recovery from a 10-year economic
crisis, have said their aid will only flow to the southern African country
when political and economic reforms are implemented.

That could mean months, if not years, of pressure on Mugabe and Tsvangirai
to provide relief to millions of Zimbabweans. Their credibility hinges on
their ability to repair the economy, and that is unlikely unless the old
foes work together.

Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change blames central bank governor
Gideon Gono for Zimbabwe's economic woes and wants him removed from the
position, a demand that is one of the remaining sticking points between
Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai noted Western countries were concerned over such obstacles.
"There is no indication on the ground that we are making progress," said the
man who was once Mugabe's most determined opponent and spent time in his


The former union leader has just finished a tour of European countries and
the United States which secured limited aid.

Tsvangirai said he was prepared to take measures to lure international
investors, such as allowing majority foreign ownership in the mining and
agriculture sectors.

"I'm very flexible. I'm prepared to allow majority ownership," said

He said Zimbabwe intended to secure the $10 billion needed for economic
recovery in increments, playing down concerns that his trip yielded scant

Mugabe, who launched a nationalisation drive to give majority ownership to
locals before Zimbabwe's disputed elections last year, may resist opening up
an economy critics say he destroyed by seizing white-owned farms and handing
them over to blacks with little or no experience in agriculture.

In another attempt to get badly needed foreign investment in Zimbabwe's
ruined economy, Tsvangirai said some state companies would be privatised.
"It's not a policy that has been finalised," he said.

Industrial plants, now producing at only 10 percent of capacity, would reach
50-60 percent within a year, a level that would enable sustained economic
growth within three years.

The prime minister said he did not expect to revive the use of the Zimbabwe
dollar in the near future, keeping the country dependent on foreign
currencies in an attempt to rebuild the economy.

"For economic reasons, you cannot go back to the Zimbabwe dollar unless you
have increased your productivity to levels that will back it. That makes
economic sense," he said.

"So I don't anticipate the minister of finance even recommending such type
of a proposal in the shortest period of time."

On Friday, Mugabe said Zimbabwe may revive the use of its own currency
because the U.S. dollar introduced to tame hyperinflation was unavailable to
a majority of people in the countryside.

Tsvangirai has had to manage the troubled country while grieving after the
death of his wife in a car accident. His grandson also drowned. He said he
had no choice but to press on.

"I cannot go back. My family won't accept it, my party won't accept it and
my nation won't accept it," he said. (Writing by Michael Georgy, editing by
Mark Trevelyan)

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Zimbabwe PM defends Mugabe deal after Western criticism

4 hours ago

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Saturday
defended his move to enter a power-sharing deal with President Robert
Mugabe, saying they would succeed or fail together.

"Those who accept me have to accept Robert Mugabe.... If there is a problem,
we go and fail together," Tsvangirai told reporters in Johannesburg
following a three-week tour to London, Washington, Berlin, Stockholm,
Brussels and Paris.

"I don't have to defend Mugabe's past and position towards the West or other
countries," said the former opposition stalwart who challenged Mugabe in a
bitterly disputed election last year before reaching an agreement with him.

"We are in this transition and this transition is working," he added.

He also said his tour to drum up support for the "new" Zimbabwe was a
success despite criticism from Western leaders of continued human rights
abuses and he insisted that political and economic reforms were gathering

"The reforms are not stopping, they are accelerating," he said.

"I'm happy with the pace.... It has to take into consideration the local
realities, the sensitivities. We have to navigate through a lot of

The country's unity government was formed on February 11 and tasked with
steering Zimbabwe back to stability after disputed elections plunged the
impoverished African state even deeper into crisis and world record

It has appealed for 8.3 billion dollars (5.9 billion euros) to rebuild the
shattered economy but the assistance has so far come in dribs and drabs.

Tsvangirai's tour -- which saw the first official talks with the European
Union in seven years -- did not see big aid pledges and he was told
repeatedly that Zimbabwe needed to improve its rights record and deepen

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told Tsvangirai: "The international
community remains concerned about the rule of law in Zimbabwe" and about the
areas of security, media freedom and respect for private property.

"An independent judiciary should go hand in hand with the state's respect
for the rule of law," Kouchner said.

But Tsvangirai on Saturday put a positive spin both on his tour and the
situation in the country.

"This transition is irreversible," he said. "We are taking measures to
reform the political and economic situation in the country.

He listed reforms to the constitution, to the security sector, to the
reserve bank and to investment laws as examples.

"In general, the trip has been very successful," he said.

During Tsvangirai's tour, former colonial master Britain pledged an extra
five million pounds (8.2 million dollars, 5.9 million euros) in aid but
urged more reform.

The United States offered 73 million dollars but President Barack Obama
cited concern "about consolidating democracy, human rights and rule of law."

Despite Tsvangirai's optimism, divergences between his appeal to the West
and Mugabe's stand came into sharp focus on the last day of his European

Mugabe mocked the West for refusing to lift sanctions against him and his
inner circle until the country's unity government introduced tangible

"'We will not lift sanctions', they say, and 'we will not give money except
the little pieces of silver for cholera and humanitarian assistance',"
Mugabe told members of his party's consultative assembly in the capital

"'As long as that man is still there, as long as Mugabe is still there, you
will not get that money from us, you Tsvangirai,'" Mugabe said, mimicking
Western leaders during a speech broadcast on state television.

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Zimbabwe PM rules out reviving worthless local currency

Sat Jun 27, 1:03 pm ET
JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Saturday
ruled out reviving in the short term the worthless local currency scrapped
earlier this year to beat world record inflation.

But his comments clashed with veteran leader Robert Mugabe's assertions to
the contrary a day earlier, highlighting the uneasy relationship between the
two former arch-foes currently sharing power in a unity government.

"For economic reasons, there is no way you can resort to the Zimbabwean
dollar currency in a situation of low production," Tsvangirai told a news
conference in Johannesburg.

"You have to increase your productivity levels from the current 10 percent
to about 50-60 percent, otherwise you slide back to... inflation," he said.

"It is impracticable to talk about even resorting to a currency which is
worthless at this stage.

"There are no plans yet. There are discussions" to revive the Zimbabwe
dollar, which was once on a par with the British pound but is now arguably
the world's most useless currency.

Mugabe however Friday said the local money should be revived as multiple
currencies introduced earlier this year to beat inflation were not helping
the plight of the people.

"Yes, prices may have gone down but the people should have the money," the
state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Mugabe as saying.

"If they don't have the money, how will they buy the goods? We can't run a
country like that. We are considering changing that and reverting to our own

The government allowed shops and service providers to trade in foreign
currency, mainly the US dollar and the South African rand, to help
businesses acquire stocks from neighbouring countries.

Before the introduction of other currencies, most shops resembled empty
warehouses as businesses failed to restock because of constantly changing

Faced with a worsening economic crisis and political tensions, Zimbabwe's
three main political rivals have formed a power-sharing agreement aimed at
reviving the economy and easing tensions.

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Tsvangirai: Mission to the west was a success

    June 27 2009 at 07:22PM

A recent mission to the west to solicit aid for Zimbabwe was a
success, Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said on Saturday.

"I'm proud to report we had a positive response from countries,"
Tsvangirai told reporters in Johannesburg.

He was careful to point out that the aid was for the country's
"transitional" not humanitarian needs.

Zimbabwe is plagued by a floundering economy and crippling poverty.
The country has the highest inflation rate in the world.

He said the aid would be for education, health, water, sanitation and

"One of our objectives is to redefine our relationship with western
countries." - Sapa

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Zimbabwe's Mugabe Faults PM Tsvangirai On Results of Western Tour

By Studio 7 Staff
26 June 2009

As Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai concluded his Western tour
Friday in France, President Robert Mugabe criticized Mr. Tsvangirai and his
Western interlocutors for refusing to lift sanctions him and many senior
officials of his long-ruling ZANU-PF party.

In an interview broadcast on state television, Mr. Mugabe chided Mr.
Tsvangirai over his high-level contacts with leaders including U.S.
President Barack Obama, saying "these that you call your friends" were
"imperialists" who could never be friends of "people that desire...freedom."

Other ZANU-PF officials, speaking through state media, have been critical of
Mr. Tsvangirai's just-ending three-week Western tour, during which he
re-engaged Western governments and sought reconstruction aid. Mr. Obama and
other Western leaders said development aid depends on reform in human rights
and the rule of law, among other issues.

Mr. Mugabe said Zimbabwe would seek assistance from "friendly nations,"
presumably in the Far East where he turned to after relations with the West
soured in the past decade.

Harare-based independent political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya told reporter
Ntungamili Nkomo of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Mr. Mugabe's attack on
the West was nothing but the typical propaganda to which he resorts when
things are not going well for him.

In Paris, meanwhile, Mr. Tsvangirai met with the French Finance Minister
Christine Lagarde, among other senior officials, having met Prime Minister
François Fillon on Thursday.

Tsvangirai spokesman James Maridadi told reporter Brenda Moyo of VOA's
Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the possibility of debt forgiveness came up in

Vice President Joyce Mujuru was also on the road this week, appealing to the
United Nations for unconditional financial aid during a conference on the
global financial crisis. She said such support was essential if the
country's struggling economy was to be restarted.

Regional Coordinator Glen Mpani of the Center for the Study of Violence and
Reconciliation in Cape Town, South Africa, said Harare has no choice but to
the implement wide-ranging reform demanded by donor nations if it wants
their expanded assistance.

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Anti-blood diamond group to probe claims of Zanu-PF atrocities

June 27, 2009 Edition 1

WINDHOEK: The Kimberley Process (KP) against "blood diamonds" has said it
will send a team to Zimbabwe's troubled Marange diamond fields to assess
alleged human rights violations.

"We had frank and open discussions about Zimbabwe and compliance with the
Kimberley Process in Zimbabwe is still high on our agenda," Bernard Esau,
who chairs the scheme, told reporters in the Namibian capital.

The announcement came as Human Rights Watch yesterday accused Zimbabwe's
armed forces, under the control of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF, of
torture and forced labour in their control of the Marange diamond fields.

"We have no proof of the alleged violations, but we have taken note of a
report by the international organisation Human Rights Watch," Esau said
after a three-day meeting of the KP, the global scheme to prevent diamonds
from financing armed conflict.

The KP team that leaves on Monday will meet government ministers, central
bank officials, top police officers and travel to Marange and the nearby
town of Mutare.

A new 62-page Human Rights Watch report released yesterday said more than
200 people had been killed by Zimbabwe's army in a takeover of the Marange
fields last year, and that forced labour, torture and beatings were

The rights body said it believed the illegal diamond trade was a likely
source of revenue for senior Zanu-PF officials.

Andrew Brownell of Green Advocates Liberia said the group had appealed to KP
member governments to take action against Zimbabwe.

"Zimbabwe is linked to human rights violations with regard to the diamond
sector and this is all well documented in public reports," he told

Brownell will be a member of the KP review team travelling to Zimbabwe.

At the meeting in Namibia, Zimbabwe's deputy mining minister Murisi Zwizwai
denied any killings by security forces in Marange.

The three-day KP meeting also discussed options for further action to end
smuggling of conflict gems from Ivory Coast, where gem production was
increasing in spite of a UN ban on their resale.

"Satellite images provided by the UN show that rough diamond production is
going on and increasing, and this was indicated, too, by ground observations
of the KP working group of diamond experts," Esau said.

The UN Security Council last October extended a ban on Ivorian diamond
exports as part of targeted sanctions meant to prod the West African nation
towards holding free and fair elections.

Ivory Coast is scheduled to hold a presidential election on November 29.
Rebel forces opposed to the government of President Laurent Gbagbo occupy
the northern half of the country. - Sapa-AFP

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Kimberley Process toothless on Zimbabwe

Written by Administrator
Friday, 26 June 2009 10:08
Human rights organizations have said that the Kimberley Process (KP)
Certification Scheme lacks the power to solve Zimbabwe's internal such as
diamond smuggling as well as human rights abuses that have been reported in
the country's eastern diamond fields.
"One of the biggest weaknesses of the Kimberley Process is the failure
by participating government to take action on issues of concern that may
arise in other member states to address problematic situations," said Annie
Dunnebacke, a campaigner at Global Witness, said on the sidelines of the
three-day KP intersessional meeting that started in Windhoek, Namibia, on
She said since the rush into Zimbabwe's Marange diamond fields begun
in late 2006, the KP has failed to take action due to its lack of authority,
power and mandate to "effectively address effectively issues of
non-compliance, smuggling, money laundering and human rights abuses in
Zimbabwe's diamond fields".
The exploration rights to the Marange fields were previous held by De
Beers, South Africa's diamond mining giant, until 2006 when British company
African Consolidated Resources took over.
"The reports that have been coming out of Marange have been very
concerning, including the use of quite widespread violence on the part of
the authorities, the millitarization of the diamond fields with military
syndicates using slave labour to mine the diamonds and the smuggling of
diamonds by state-connected parties. We are very concerned about what is
going on," Dunnebacke said.
She said the KP risked losing its credibility if diamonds from
Zimbabwe were not classified as "blood diamonds" and suspended from the
Kimberley Process.
"The Kimberley Process should uphold certain standards such as dealing
with member states that are in non-compliance and the issue of upholding
human rights in the diamond sector on which it {KP] was founded," Dunnebacke
Meanwhile, Bernhard Esau, the Namibian deputy minister of mines who
currently serves as chairperson of the Kimberley Process' rotating
secretariat, said it has been monitoring developments in Zimbabwe "in an
attempt to bring Zimbabwe in level with the KP culture of producing diamonds
for development".
"Recent activities {in Zimbabwe) show that there are still gaps that
can be strengthened in order to intensify the central inflow of illicit
diamonds that are being illegally exported from Zimbabwe," he told the
opening ceremony of the KP meeting.
"It is our aim to curb the flow of illicit trade, therefore we need to
continue strengthening the security system and improve our internal
 control," Esau added.

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Zimbabwe frustrated at Western aid boycott

From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 27 June

New York - Zimbabwe's vice-president on Friday expressed frustration that
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's European and US trip didn't raise as much
financial aid as her government had hoped, but called it a "quite
successful" first step. Joice Mujuru, who fought alongside President Robert
Mugabe in Zimbabwe's war of independence, told the Associated Press that the
government had hoped Tsvangirai's nearly three-week trip, which just ended
in Paris, would have produced "more financial support, but being the first,
it's a positive move". She said it is being quickly followed up by
ministerial visits to key countries and an investment conference to generate
financial support for the new coalition government. Tsvangirai launched the
tour saying he wasn't carrying a begging bowl but wanted to mend his
nation's relations with Western leaders, who accuse Mugabe of trampling on
democracy and ruining a once-vibrant economy. Many Western nations want
Mugabe to step down and are reluctant to offer Zimbabwe major aid or donate
money directly to the government. When Tsvangirai visited Britain this week,
Prime Minister Gordon Brown pledged £5-million in new aid for food projects
and textbooks - to be distributed by charities. Officials in France offered
political support but said any new aid would focus on non-governmental
organisations and not go directly to the government. Tsvangirai left
Washington after meeting President Barack Obama with only a promise of
$73-million in conditional aid.

Mujuru expressed frustration at Western reluctance to help the power-sharing
government directly, saying Zimbabwe needs a "huge financial injection" -
estimated by the Ministry of Finance at $8-billion. Longtime rivals Mugabe
and Tsvangirai have pledged to work together to confront Zimbabwe's
crippling poverty, collapsed utilities and chronic shortages of food and
basic goods. Zimbabwe has had the highest inflation rate in the world,
thousands have died during a major cholera outbreak, and much of the
population goes to bed hungry. Many blame Mugabe, but have been increasingly
critical of Tsvangirai. Mujuru said that for almost 10 years, the government
and opposition "were at each other ... but now we have decided to come
together and work well" in an inclusive government. The former rivals have
the same message - "come and help us, now we are ready to work together and
improve our economy and improve the living conditions of our people," she
said. "I thought by just being one inclusive government sharing the same
ideas and programmes of government is a big plus on our side, and that's
where the world should come to our aid," Mujuru said. "But still the world
is saying, you are not yet ready." The new government is "stretching the
hand of friendship" to the West and the rest of the world, just as Obama has
said he is ready to stretch his hand out to opponents, she said. "My
president is actually saying, 'let's build bridges'," Mujuru said. "So I
don't know how they expect us to start building the bridges." "How do you
want us to show the world that we are ready?" Mujuru asked.

Western countries cite the slow pace of reform since the coalition
government took power, the trials of activists on trumped up charges, claims
that security forces still use force to crush political opponents, and other
human rights violations. Mujuru said "Yes, we still have those isolated
cases of violence, but mind you, some of them are very criminal." "It's not
everything that is political," she said, noting that one lawmaker from
Tsvangirai's party who is under arrest is accused of raping a 13-year-old
girl. She said Parliament is currently recruiting for three commissions that
respond to Western concerns - a human rights commission, an anti-corruption
commission, and a media commission. Although Tsvangirai didn't get the kind
of financial support the government hoped for on his trip, Mujuru said "I
think it was quite successful." "We have leads that need follow-up and so
the beginning is very important," she said. Mujuru said the government sent
the foreign minister, the finance minister, the minister of economic
planning and others to visit EU and some non-EU countries starting last week
in Brussels to "tell our story as a unity government, because we are not
understood by many ..." The government also announced this week that it will
be holding an investment conference in late July in Harare, she said. "It's
a chance for the world to come over and see what is happening on the
ground," Mujuru said. While Zimbabwe is a former British colony with links
to the West, she said, the government is ready to do business with countries
from the East. In addition to being one of two vice presidents in the unity
government, Mujuru is a vice-president in Mugabe's Zanu PF party.

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President to declare national peace day

Mugabe, Tsvangirai, MutambaraFrom left Arthur Mutambara, President Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, after they signed the historic  power-sharing deal on  September 15, 2008

By Our Correspondent

HARARE – President Robert Mugabe is expected to declare through a proclamation a weekend or three days of national dedication to celebrate newly-found peace and unity.The Herald reported on Saturday that the Minister of State responsible for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration John Nkomo made the remarks when he addressed the Zimbabwe Council of Churches conference held in Harare on the role of the Church as a reconciler, healer and peace builder

He said the proclamation was part of the program of the Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration’s activities over the next six months.

“It is further proposed that traditional leaders and faith leaders in Zimbabwe will take the people through a process of dedicating the country according to the various cultures and religious practices of our Zimbabwean people,” he said.

Although Nkomo did not give any dates, he said the national dedication would be followed by the official launch of the Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration by the principals to the Global Political Agreement.

Thereafter, the organ would embark on provincial and district consultations targeting opinion makers, traditional leaders, faith-based groups, civil society and others concerned with national healing.

Workshops with local, regional and international experts to consider best practices and formulate recommendations for appropriate mechanisms and systems to guide the implementation process would be held.

Nkomo said a stakeholders’ conference to define the work of the organ would also be held with members of civil society, political parties, churches and other interest groups.

He said the Church had a critical role to play in the healing and reconciliation process, pointing out that the majority of Zimbabweans were Christians.

“I am confident that among these are victims and perpetrators of violence. They listen to sermons and Bible readings. Some are asked to pray. All these are people who need your moral spiritualisation and reconciliation,” he said.

Nkomo said President Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara were dedicated to steering Zimbabwe to a united and peaceful future.

“They are doing this standing on the principle of the irreversibility of our hard won freedom and peace as well as the irreversibility of the land reform question, the main grievance that under wrote historical and contemporary conflicts in our country,” he said.

He challenged the church to spearhead promotion of the virtues of tolerance, peace, reconciliation, harmony, integration and national healing.

Zimbabwe Council of Churches president Bishop Naison Shava said the church had organised the conference in the belief that it had a role to play.

“We are strategising our position as the conscience of society,” he said. Because of that position, we ought to be actively involved in all issues that affect society and the environment in which we live.”

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Drafting a new Zim charter

JASON MOYO - Jun 27 2009 06:00

Zimbabwe has begun the process of writing a new Constitution, opening a new
battlefield between the unity government's rival partners.

The first public meeting to canvass public opinion on the new Constitution
ran smoothly at a Harare convention centre on Wednesday, but the months
ahead will prove much rougher.

The coalition partners appear to be drifting farther apart and drawing up a
new Constitution is set to pit reformists against elements within President
Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF, still resistant to change.

The country expects to have a new Constitution by July next year, when a
referendum intended to lead to fresh elections will be held.

But with temperatures boiling over, it is unlikely it will be that easy.

An early sign of the bitter fight that lies ahead came on Wednesday when
state media, which remains fiercely loyal to Zanu-PF, endorsed a draft -- 
drawn up by both parties -- which does not have limits on presidential terms
and leaves the president's powers largely intact.

Although it helped draw up that draft, the top executive of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) said this week that it now wants broader public
consultation, leading to a new draft Constitution, which would see more

Senior MDC leaders and activists say the published draft falls far short of
the reforms needed to check presidential powers and allow more freedoms,
such as in the media. "We also need to see more change in the way we run
elections," an MDC official said. "That is at the core of our troubles."

On Wednesday the MDC's national executive said: "The MDC believes in a truly
people-driven Constitution-making process where the unfettered will of the
people must be reflected."

But the state daily, The Herald, said proposed meetings to collect public
opinion would "exert undue pressure on the fiscus". There are "many more
pressing priorities crying out for funding", the paper said.

Even as the early bickering emerged, senior officials were already
canvassing foreign governments for support for the process. Parliament
speaker Lovemore Moyo, who is from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party,
met foreign diplomats to seek their backing and funding for the process.

"The Constitution-making process is taking place in an environment of acute
resource constraints. We call upon you, your excellencies, to lend your
support to this process. We are happy with the progress made so far, despite
limited resources," Moyo told diplomats, many of whom remain sceptical of
the unity government.

A 25-member committee drawn from both parties will lead the procedure of
writing a new Constitution.

The process opens up new battle-grounds in an escalating fight between the
two main partners for control of the unity government.

Tsvangirai returns to Zimbabwe this week to face coalition partners furious
over his three-week tour of Western capitals. Not only did the tour yield
only token financial aid for Zimbabwe, it has also further isolated
Tsvangirai from his rivals, who say he used the trip to prop up his
international credentials while doing little to end sanctions against
members of Mugabe's party. Zanu-PF ministers were also barred from key
meetings in Washington and Europe, worsening the tensions.

Zanu-PF is furious that only a fraction of the US$180-million in aid won by
Tsvangirai will be channelled directly to Zimbabwe's treasury, which
Mugabe's party still controls.

"The prime minister's trip was not a government trip, but an ego trip,"
Jonathan Moyo, a former information minister and independent MP, said.

Such is the bitterness over the tour that Tsvangirai published 40 000 copies
of a newsletter on his trip, which his advisers hope will counter the
hostile coverage of the trip from dominant state media. George Charamba,
Mugabe's press secretary, said the information ministry was investigating
the legality of the newsletter.

Despite the unity government, Zanu-PF maintains a hold on media and has
ignored a high court order allowing journalists to operate without
accreditation from a Mugabe-allied commission.

Tsvangirai also returns to find frustration growing within his party. His
party's top executive said this week it would again approach the SADC to
seek a resolution to a range of issues still outstanding from the unity
agreement. Tapuwa Mashakada, the MDC's acting secretary general, told the
Mail & Guardian his party would protest to the region about "Zanu-PF's fresh
crackdown on MDC members". He expects the SADC to hold a summit soon to
discuss the matter.

Five of the party's MPs are facing "trumped-up charges" designed to
intimidate the party, Mashakada said.

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MDC rejects Kariba Draft Constitution

June 27, 2009

By Raymond Maingire

HARARE - The MDC has dismissed manoeuvres by President Robert Mugabe to
force the use of a draft constitution formulated in the town of Kariba two
years ago as the basis for the first home-grown constitution.
The MDC  (Movement for Democratic Change) is adamant the Kariba Draft
Constitution, which it helped craft, was no longer relevant in the current
political dispensation.

The party further accuses Zanu-PF of trying to bring back a document which
Mugabe's party had initially rejected.

According to the MDC, the document was a compromise document drafted by the
country's three main political parties to minimize the possibility of a
contested election result in 2008.

"It was an interim Constitution that was meant to be used only for the 2008
election," the MDC said in statement Friday, "but on 4 December 2007,
Zanu-PF refused to implement the Kariba draft.

"Its function and intended purpose therefore died on December 4, 2007
because of Zanu-PF's intransigence.

"Zanu-PF cannot resurrect a document meant for the 2008 election which they
rejected and turned down in December 2007.

"They must not be allowed to sneak it through the backdoor when Zimbabweans
have ample time to make their own Constitution."

The MDC, which has in the past 10 years failed to wrestle power from
Zanu-PF, is pinning its hopes on a new Constitution expected to be complete
by the end of the next 18 months.

The MDC is hopeful a new Constitution will be the solution to the current
political paralysis in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe on Thursday insisted the current constitution-making process should
be led by the Kariba document.

This is despite pledges by his party in the Global Political Agreement they
will participate in a people-driven constitution.

"Our people have got to be very careful and take precautions not to be
derailed, not to be led away from the Kariba Draft. We will make the draft
available," Mugabe was quoted in Friday's issue of the Herald as saying.

He was addressing party activists at the Zanu-PF headquarters in Harare.

Mugabe said the MDC was in agreement with his party on the adoption of the
Kariba document but was careful not to compromise its relationship with
civic society organizations that are clamouring for a people-driven process.

Said the MDC; "We reject the attempt by Zanu-PF to prejudge the people by
shoving the Kariba draft down their throats.

"The unfettered will of the people must be allowed to prevail and in the
end, we must have a Constitution of the people, for the people and by the
people themselves.

"Zanu-PF's fear of the people is understandable. They were rejected by the
people in the election of March 29, 2008, and they now want to enforce a
Constitution on the people in the absence of unfettered participation by the
people themselves.

"We are positive that the people will once again reject the prospects of
narrow political interests hijacking an important national process."

Consultative hearings on a new constitution began on Wednesday with
officials explaining the constitutional review process to the public.

The hearings will culminate in an all-stakeholder national conference on
July 10, where thematic committees will be selected to collate the public's
views on what they want included in the constitution.

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MDC MP sentenced to seven years in jail

June 27, 2009

By Our Correspondent

MUTARE - A regional magistrate here has sentenced Shuah Mudiwa, the MDC
Member of Parliament for Mutare West, to seven years in jail after finding
him guilty of kidnapping a 12-year old girl.

Hlekani Mwayera suspended two and half years from the sentence. The judgment
was passed today (Saturday) His lawyer, Douglas Mwonzora, said he would
appeal against both conviction and sentence. The appeal papers will be filed
on Monday, Mwonzora said. Mudiwa sat motionless as the sentence was being
put to him and his co-accused.

The court was packed with his relatives and supporters of the MDC.

The MP and his co-accused were convicted and sentenced amid protests from
his defence team that the governor and resident minister for Manicaland,
Christopher Mushowe influenced the process.

Mushowe lost the Mutare West seat to Mudiwa in the watershed March 29, 2008,

Hlekani Mwayera convicted Mudiwa together with his brother, Takudzwa and
Patricia Chikide Mwashuna.

The trio had pleaded not guilty to the charges but Mwayera ruled that the
state had proved a prima facie case against them.

She also dismissed arguments by the defence that Mushowe had used his
political muscle to influence the investigations and judgment.

Charges against Mudiwa and his co-accused arose from an incident that
occurred in November 2007 in Marange.

The court heard that on November 7 Mudiwa, Takudzwa and Mwashuna waylaid the
12 - year old girl who lives in Muchisi Village in Marange and kidnapped

The court was further told that the trio took the girl to Mwashuna's house
and locked her inside.

Mudiwa becomes the third MDC MP from Manicaland Province to be convicted of
a criminal offence. Two other MPs Lynette Karenyi (Chimanimani) and Mathias
Matewu Mlambo (Chipinge Central) have been convicted for forgery and
inciting public violence respectively.

Human rights campaigners have said the law was being applied selectively in
a deliberate tactic to reduce the number of MDC MPs in Parliament. But
Zanu-PF denies the suggestions.

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Teachers say GNU has failed to deliver

June 27, 2009

By Owen Chikari

MASVINGO - The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe PTUZ yesterday
attacked the inclusive government saying it has failed to deliver, resulting
in people losing faith in it.

Addressing journalists at a press club discussion organised by the Media
Institute of Southern Africa here PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou said
Zimbabweans had never had  a government which has failed to deliver like the
inclusive government.

Zhou, who described the inclusive government as a marriage of convenience
between the two MDC parties and Zanu-PF, said the generality of Zimbabweans
are still suffering while workers have been reduced to beggars.

"Never in the history of this country have we had a government which has
failed to deliver like this one", said Zhou.

"Workers are relying on allowances only which are not even enough to meet
their basic needs while violence and suffering is continuing in the

"Giving USD100 a month to professionals is a mockery and we are saying that
they have failed to deliver".

"The government cannot say it does not have money when it can afford to pay
ghost workers like members of the national youth service".

"We thought after 100 days in office the inclusive government should have
been seen trying to improve the lives of the people but instead the living
standards are deteriorating in the country".

Zhou said political violence was continuing in the countryside with some
teachers having fled their schools .

"As I speak now we have teachers who have been chased away from their
schools by Zanu-PF supporters".

He said parties in the inclusive government were pretending that all was
well when people were still suffering.

The PTUZ boss said he had never met a minister who lacks basic public
service knowledge like Professor Eliphas Mukonoweshuro.

Mukonoweshuro is the minister of public service who among other things
should be responsible for the welfare of the entire civil service.

"I think the MDC-T should have given minister Mukonoweshuro a different
ministry because he has failed to address the needs of the Zimbabwean
workers", said Zhou.

"In discussions we have had with minister Mukonoweshuro it appears he does
not even know how the civil service operates".

Mukonoweshuro could not be reached for comment yesterday. However the
minister is on record as saying he will soon improve remuneration for
government workers once the situation improves financially.

He also said that the government had embarked on an audit of civil servants
in order not to continue to pay ghost workers

Irvin Dzingirai Zanu-PF legislator for Chivi south who also attended the
discussion differed with Zhou saying that enough strides had been made by
the inclusive government to ensure that there is peace in the country.

"What we need is peace and normalcy in the country and these have been
achieved by the inclusive government," said Dzingirai.

"We have a national healing process whereby the principals of the three
parties in the inclusive government are determined to see Zimbabweans living
in peace".

The MDC issued a statement on Saturday to say Zanu-PF militia had gone on a
rampage on Tuesday, beating up suspected MDC supporters in the Manoti area
of Gokwe, in the Midlands.

"This wave of violence comes ahead of the 10th anniversary celebratory rally
lined up for tomorrow in Midlands North at the Gokwe centre," the statement

"MDC views this as an attempt by Zanu-PF to intimidate MDC supporters from
attending the celebratory rally marking its 10th year in existence."

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Mugabe Doesn’t Call the Shots

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MISA says journalists can work in Zimbabwe without accreditation

By Tichaona Sibanda
26 June 2009

Journalists in Zimbabwe can work without accreditation until the Zimbabwe
Media Commission is instituted, according to the Media Institute of Southern

Earlier this month the High Court ordered the Media and Information
Commission to stop accrediting and regulating the activities of journalists.
The order confirmed the commissions status as a legally defunct body. The
court also invalidated and ordered an immediate retraction of a directive by
the information ministry, which had compelled local and international
journalists to produce "valid" media commission accreditation cards to cover
the COMESA summit in Victoria Falls.

But the Information Ministry defied the High Court order and barred the
journalists, who had filed this urgent application challenging the legal
status of the Tafataona Mahoso-led media commission.

Freelance journalists Stanley Gama, Valentine Maponga, Stanley Kwenda and
Jealous Mawarire had contended that they were not obliged to register with
"an illegal body" in order to cover COMESA.
Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu and his permanent secretary
George Charamba, were listed as the first and second respondents in that

On Thursday Shamu and Charamba issued a statement saying they had no
intention of defying the High Court order granted in favour of the four
journalists. They claimed the delays in complying with the order were due to
'financial constraints'.

'In compliance with the said court order, we unreservedly and
unconditionally retract and withdraw the contents of the said statement,'
reads part of the statement issued by Shamu and Charamba.

Tabani Moyo, an advocacy officer with MISA, said until such time as the new
Zimbabwe Media Commission is in place, locally based journalists will only
need to produce their business cards to cover any event.

'The high court order is clear that the MIC is now defunct and that
journalists cannot register with that body. In the interim, during this gap,
journalists are allowed to work without accreditation,' he said.

It remains to be seen if the Information Ministry will attempt to find some
other way to block journalists from doing their jobs.

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ZCTF Report - June 2009

27th June 2009 
The ZNSPCA have released the following press statement regarding the elephants being held captive at Sondelani Ranch.
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:  263 4 336710
Landline/Fax: 263 4 339065
Mobile:     263 11 603 213


ZNSPCA are pleased to inform the international community that the ten wild elephants captured by Basil Steyn for commercial purposes are scheduled for release.

ZNSPCA would like to thank the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Honourable Minister Nhema, the Attorney General’s offices, officials from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority for their integral role in the release of these abused elephants.  We are proud of our Ministry’s recognition of animal cruelty and the prevention of such acts.

Furthermore, ZNSPCA extends its gratitude to elephant specialists Karen Trendler and Dr. Lucy Bates whose reports clearly indicated that these elephants had been subjected to cruelty.  We acknowledge the role of Dr. A. Dube (BVSc Zim) who carried out the veterinary inspection of the elephants.  These specialists’ opinions, and the ZNSPCA Inspectorate reports have paved the way for a brighter future for these elephants. 

 This cruel capture resulted in ZNSPCA having numerous meetings with National Parks and it has been agreed that Parks will organise workshops with relevant stakeholders in order to address loopholes and prevent such incidents re-occurring in the Country.  Controls and codes of conduct for the management of the remaining wild elephants in captivity will also be put in place.  ZNSPCA commends National Parks on this positive move.

These ten elephants will require rehabilitation before they are released.  Following advice on ownership issues from legal experts, the elephants will be released from the boma into Sondelani Ranch estate. ZNSPCA Inspectorate will be approaching relevant experts to assist with the rehabilitation of the ten elephants.  ZNSPCA requires that all ten elephants be micro chipped before they are released in order to protect them in the future, that they may be traced any time.  The public will be kept appraised of our progress.

Assistance was given by numerous other individuals throughout this challenging journey that the ZNSPCA had to take on behalf of these elephants, and we thank them all. 


Glynis Vaughan

Chief Inspector


156 Enterprise Road, Chisipite, Harare, Zimbabwe

P O Box CH55, Chisipite, Harare, Zimbabwe

Phone: +263 4 497574

Fax: +263 4 497885


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Gold and diamonds

Dear Family and Friends,

A few months ago a friend was approached by a vendor who had a large
walnut -sized transparent stone. The vendor didn't want to say where
he'd got the stone from but claimed it was a diamond and he was
trying to sell it. The stone had a sharp edge which made a deep
scratch in a steel drill bit without damagaing the stone.Was it a
diamond? Who knows but there are plenty of stories like this doing
the rounds. People in Mutare tell of deals going down all the time,
men in dark glasses, cars with tinted windows and little bundles
changing hands. Some talk of clear stones, others are grey or cloudy
but whatever the colour we are all wondering just who died while
digging for these stones.

A chilling report has just been released by Human Rights Watch
implicating Zimbabwe's military in horrific abuses at the newly
discovered diamond fields in Chiadzwa. Human Rights Watch collected
evidence of violence, murder and forced child labour at the diamond
deposits in Marange. The report talks of military helicopters gunning
people down, of teargas being thrown into shafts and of people buried
alive. It says that at least 214 people were killed during a three
week military operation in October 2008 and of people buried in mass
graves. Press reports quote Georgette Gagnon, Africa director at
Human Rights Watch as saying: "The police and army have turned this
peaceful area into a nightmare of lawlessness and horrific violence."

Human Rights Watch says that: "Zimbabwe's new government should get
the army out of the fields, put a stop to the abuse, and prosecute
those responsible."

It is incomprehensible that this is going on even now as Prime
Minister Tsvangirai tries to persuade the west that we have changed
and are deserving of their money.

The Human Rights Watch report could not be more damning, or more to
the point when it notes:

"The government could generate significant amounts of revenue from
the diamonds, perhaps as much as $200million US dollars per month, if
Marange and other mining centres were managed in a transparent and
accountable manner. This revenue could fund a significant portion of
the new government's economic recovery programme."

There remains little doubt in anyone's mind just exactly why Zanu PF
refused to concede defeat in the 2008 elections: from farms and
wildlife to gold and diamonds.

Until next week, thanks for reading, love cathy.

Copyright cathy buckle 27th June 2009.

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The problem is not investigative journalism, maybe opportunism

Africa Resources Limited (ARL) arrived with a loud bang that sent shockwaves
around Zimbabwe in the early 1990's. Here was a very modern enterprise with
the clout to overrun almost the entire Zimbabwean manufacturing and mining
sectors Behind it was one very education and worldly exposed individual who
had worked in some of the highest possible offices of world business and
finance. No wonder the art of acquisition was one that he would go on to
execute with admirable genius. His name was Mutumwa Dziva Mawere.

The last two names Dziva Mawere speak volumes in African terms, tradition
and culture. Dziva means a pool. Though slightly smaller than a sizeable dam
it is still deep and could drown anyone falling into it. Mawere can be
loosely translated to mean rocky slopes beyond which one could fall with
repercussions. It is the first name Mutumwa however, that is more relevant
in Mr Mawere's involvements because he was an investment messenger who
heeded the call to develop the business and economic capacity of his
country. As Mr Mawere has mentioned in a number of his many and voluminous
opinion pieces, he rallied around Zimbabweans and likeminded individuals
abroad to invest in their country. He took that investment home and ARL was

Unlike the kind of business entrepreneurs that Zimbabweans had been used to
during the era of dealer businessmen like Phillip Chiyangwa and the late
Peter Pamire who almost dominated that sphere, Mr Mawere was the epitome of
the modern Zimbabwean businessman. He had the academic education, the
business acumen and the international exposure at the highest level unlike
some of his indigenous compatriots who were by then in full throttle of
championing the so-called indigenisation crusade.

Most young men (and I bet older people as well) in Zimbabwe admired Mr
Mawere who became an instant and regular news item and we all aspired to
follow his example. There was nothing amiss with Mr Mawere's meritorious
rise to Zimbabwean business stardom. He had served his nation as an
excellent ambassador abroad and it was fitting time for him to come home to
develop his country. He seemed to be unstoppable until the ruling party and
government got right into his way. One by one his companies were targeted
and expropriated until the entire ARL group was brought to its knees.

Nobody except Mr Mawere and those close to the authorities in ZANU PF really
know what exactly happened for such a reversal of fortunes to ensue.
However, the most common proposition has been than Mr Mawere became close to
the political establishment so as to gain favourable consideration in
expanding his business empire. Other people even go further to say that in
fact his successful crafting of the short-lived ARL empire was only
facilitated by Mr Mawere's close connections in ZANU PF who later turned on
him and destroyed him. Another theory that has also been propagated is that
Mr Mawere was aspiring to become a cabinet minister and this may not be
surprising as political power is seen to be great for business not just in
Africa but the world over.

However, it is further alleged that Mr Mawere was not considered for cabinet
appointment because certain people in ZANU PF felt that he was too much of a
new comer and for him to be elevated so rapidly that was not readily
acceptable. These people are said to have preferred for Mr Mawere to be
tried and tested in the lower echelons of the party first before he would be
propelled to cabinet level. That was when Mr Mawere is said to have been
offered the chairmanship of the Masvingo province as a consolation but he is
said to have felt that was a snub and he duly declined that offer. That is
when things are said to have come to a head.

All this is public information that has been thrown around in Zimbabwe over
some time. However, what followed would be the protracted legal battle
between Mr Mawere who later on acquired South African citizenship, and the
Zimbabwean and South African governments with the British also being roped
in. Personally, I never saw Mr Mawere as anything other than an inspiration
to would business entrepreneurs. He was a model and I am sure he will
continue to be so. Ever since the fall of his empire Mr Mawere has done a
host of other things among them writing regularly in opinion columns
published on internet websites. In fact, Mr Mawere has become a very keen
commentator on political and economic affairs affecting Zimbabwe and
Zimbabweans and at times has taken an African overview.

I have read most of his quite long and detailed pieces and I find some of
them very interesting and inspiring to read. I was particularly interested
by his latest writing published on that is
run by Geoffrey Nyarota entitled Dr Chihombori in a class of her own. In it
Mr Mawere seeks to give an insight into the achievements of this one Dr
Arikana Chihombori and how she has distinguished herself as an individual
and Zimbabwean abroad. It is not necessarily the person of Dr Chihombori I
am fascinated with however, because I have just started to hear more about
her these past few weeks. The first time I heard about her was when she
caused what I thought was a very serious security breach of our Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai when he was attending the inauguration of the new
South Afrixan president Jacob Zuma. Only in Africa can heads of government
be accosted on the red carpet in the manner Dr Chihombori thrust herself on
the unassuming Prime Minister.

It will be only for purposes of explaining my views about Mr Mawere's
observations that I will be mentioning Dr Chihombori. It is some of the
issues that Mr Mawere touched on when writing about his knowledge of this
long time friend of his that I want analyse. I may want to point out at this
juncture that personally, I feel that contrary to Mr Mawere's observation, I
do think that Geoffry Nyarota is one of the very few seasoned Zimbabwean
journalists who has maintained a very balanced and measured perception about
the issues afflicting Zimbabwe. He (Nyarota) does not necessarily come
across as someone who would be closely associated in terms of his views,
with any political disposition in Zimbabwe. Nyarota evens out his views
quite well between the political persuasions in Zimbabwe as well any other
general issues touching public life.

Again contrary to what Mr Mawere referred to as the problem with Africans
due to what he called "This kind of approach to life is what makes Africa
what the kind of continent we do not want to see.  While you are in America,
we are in the trenches daily trying to make a difference and yet you have
the audacity of calling us names" unquote.  Nyarota is not part of the
problem as Mr Mawere points out. In fact the problem we have not just in
Zimbabwe but Africa as a whole is that of blatant opportunism. Individuals
tend to want something out of it before they can put something in it, or
only put in something unless they will surely get something out of it. That
is the problem because there is no genuine personal sacrifice.

As for being in the trenches, I personally would not be persuaded to believe
that Mr Mawere has been fighting any national cause as it were. His has been
in the trenches for sure, but fighting a very protracted personal battle to
regain lost enterprise at the hands of a government and ruling party with a
reputation for eating its own allies once there has been a fall out. It was
quite apparent that Mr Mawere was once closely related to the regime in
Harare and somewhere along the way they fell out. I did once point out to Mr
Mawere in a live radio discussion that we were both guest contributors to,
that had he not allowed himself to be joined to the hip with Zanu PF in the
first place, they would have never been able to come anywhere near his

There is a good example of both indigenously and foreign owned enterprises
in Zimbabwe whose owners have been sworn enemies of the government and
ruling party but the businesses have not been expropriated in the ARL
fashion. There is Econet Wireless whose founder Strive Masiiwa has never set
foot in Zimbabwe for years now yet ZANU PF can't touch his enterprise. There
are British and American owned companies like Lonrho and BP Shell that have
been overly threatened with expropriation but they are still intact. There
are a few more examples.

Mr Mawere did respond to my assertion at the time that there was need to
properly debate the issues of his businesses and "supposed" links with ZANU
PF at an appropriate time in the future as there were a lot of anomalies
that needed to be set right. I did concur with him that if he felt so then
there would be nothing wrong with that because these were issues that
divided Zimbabweans depending on where their loyalties lay. However, the
issue of Mr Mawere's assets is now so over-exposed that very few people in
Zimbabwe would still want to start on it again. Also, the fact that Mr
Mawere seems to be gaining ground in the courts is something that I think
should provide him with great solace.

For a number of reasons Dr Chihombori is not at all in a class of her own
but I will mention only one reason here. That she is a medical practitioner
of repute and a distinguished Diaspora Zimbabwean may not be in dispute at
all. However the learned doctor is actually in the class of Mr Mawere. This
is a small class of Zimbabweans who have acquired foreign citizenship for
various reasons. But due to the nature of our citizenship laws that were
crafted with dubiously political motives behind them, this small group of
Zimbabweans find themselves in some kind of nostalgic dilemma in which they
want to remain Zimbabweans for obvious reasons but they cant for the reasons
that are the laws in our country.

Most of Mr Mawere's writings are predominantly on Zimbabwe and though he
does add South African flare to his views and also his website has some
content to show his patriotism to his adopted country, he visibly shows that
his background and making will always be Zimbabwean. Similarly Dr Chihombori
wants to remain a Zimbabwean of sorts as seen by her "passion" about
Zimbabweans getting back their land. However she had to abandon the exercise
of this historical right to land midway due to the laws earlier alluded to.
Had she not been a naturalised American or had she adopted Chinese
citizenship the story could very well have been different.

I think frank journalism the kind which Geoffery Nyarota tends to pursue
very consistently could actually be part of solution to the African problem
Had Nyarota not pursued this matter in the exhaustive and investigative
manner he did, there some issues that we could have never got to know.

Silence Chihuri is a Zimbabwean who writes from Scotland and can be
contacted on email:

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