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Energy minister arrested

by Patricia Mpofu     Thursday 10 March 2011

HARARE – Zimbabwean Energy Minister Elton Mangoma was on Thursday arrested
over alleged irregularities in the awarding of a contract to import fuel to
a little known South African company without going to tender.

Mangoma is a senior member of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party.

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa confirmed Mangoma’s arrest but said the reasons
behind the arrest were unclear.

“He has been arrested as prophesied by the media,” said Chamisa, in
reference to media reports last Thursday that Mangoma faced arrest over his
decision to award the multi-million dollar contract to NOOA Petroleum.

“Honourable Mangoma was this morning (Thursday) picked up by three
plainclothes police at his Chaminuka Building offices. The reasons for his
arrest are not clear,” added Chamisa.

There are suspicions in government that Mangoma could have used his clout as
energy minister to cherry-pick NOOA Petroleum to supply five million litres
of fuel in a contract he awarded in January this year without going to

NOOA Petroleum is not listed on the State Procurement Board (SPB)’s register
of companies approved to do business with the government.

The allegations that Mangoma flouted laid-down procedures of the SPB saw
police launching investigations into the tender, although the energy
minister has insisted that the deal was above board and necessary since the
country urgently needed fuel supplies.

Sources privy to the saga surrounding the fuel deal, which resulted in acute
fuel shortages in January and early February after NOOA failed to deliver on
time, said more heads were set to roll. -- ZimOnline

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Mangoma arrested for cutting out ZANU PF heavyweights from deals

By Tichaona Sibanda
10 March 2011

Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma is paying a heavy price
for stopping corrupt ZANU PF heavyweights from benefitting from the
procurement of fuel for Zimbabwe.

Mangoma, a key member of the MDC-T and one of the party negotiators to the
GPA, was picked up by three plain clothes police constables from his
ministerial offices in Harare on Thursday.

It is believed Mangoma was taken in for questioning in connection with a
US$5 million fuel deal that saw his ministry pay a company called NOOA to
supply diesel for Matabeleland South province. It’s alleged that not all the
fuel was delivered.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai described his arrest as a continuation of
the ‘calculated assault on the people of Zimbabwe’. Mangoma was picked up
just as Robert Mugabe left the country to attend an African Union meeting in
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a trip which even Tsvangirai was unaware of.

More curiously was the timing of an announcement by the Supreme Court on
Thursday to nullify the election of the MDC-T Speaker of Parliament,
Lovemore Moyo, in Mugabe’s absence.

‘The fact that a Cabinet minister can be arrested by a constable is a
reflection of ZANU PF’s total disregard to the basic tenets of decency. His
arrest is an assault on the GPA. Mangoma, just like Mwonzora, (MDC-T MP)
Munyaradzi Gwisai and Rodgers Tazviona (MDC-T MP) are all innocent victims
of a barbaric and senseless dictatorship,’ Tsvangirai said.

Mangoma denies any wrongdoing and pointed out to legislators in Parliament
on Wednesday that as Energy Minister he has sweeping powers in an emergency
to acquire fuel for the country without going to tender.

‘He even challenged all MPs in Parliament yesterday (Wednesday) to read the
powers he has as Energy and Power Development Minister in case Zimbabwe runs
out of fuel and energy. But obviously people from ZANU PF did not, and still
wanted him dragged into a police cell to embarrass the MDC and tarnish his
name,’ one MDC-T MP said.

Mangoma, a successful businessman and deputy treasurer-general for the MDC
has, during his short tenure as Energy Minister, uncovered many
irregularities to do with fuel tenders and the supply of equipment to the
state utility power company, ZESA.

A source told us Mangoma recently blocked a company called Solarhat, which
is fronted by an Asian businessman in Harare but is wholly owned by ZANU PF,
from supplying pre-paid meters for ZESA.

‘He discovered that all government contracts at the ministry are being
pocketed by Robert Mugabe’s people. The irregularities he uncovered include
bid rigging, the awarding of tenders to ZANU PF MPs, and ministers, and
bypassing of the tender process in favour of certain suppliers, consultants
and contractors.

‘ZANU PF declared war on him but can you compare what he did, trying to
alleviate the country’s fuel challenges to what Ignatius Chombo has done,’
the MDC source added.

Chombo is the Minister of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development who
personally benefitted when he appointed a caretaker council in 2008 that
awarded him vast tracks of land in Harare for virtually nothing.
This was the same time that a project to dualise the Harare International
airport road was awarded to Augur Investments, a company that shared the
same premises with Chombo’s Harvest-net Enterprises.

The MDC-T has long demanded that Chombo should account for his vast wealth,
which includes dozens of residential and commercial properties, including
scores of top of the range vehicles and commercial trucks, farms, some ten
companies, mines and safari lodges. The matter was reported to the police
and the Anti-Corruption Commission last year but no action has been taken.

‘ZANU PF corruption infests and infects every aspect of our economy and
Government. To take an example amongst hundreds in the past year, more than
three official complaints of corruption have been made to the police against
Chombo and yet the police have refused to investigate these allegations.

‘The arrest of Mangoma is an attempt to cloud and obscure the massive
corruption in Zimbabwe. It is an attempt to embarrass the party. The people
of Zimbabwe are not foolish. The people of Zimbabwe are not cowards. The
people of Zimbabwe will not accept this,’ Tsvangirai said.


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Supreme Court nullifies election of MDC parliament speaker

By Lance Guma
10 March 2011

On Thursday the Supreme Court delivered what ZANU PF MP Jonathan Moyo asked
for – they overturned the election of the MDC’s Lovemore Moyo as Speaker of
Parliament. Jonathan Moyo claimed the August 2008 vote that elected the
MDC-T Speaker was not secret and violated parliamentary rules on voting.

In 2008, shortly after ZANU PF’s defeat to the MDC-T, the smaller faction of
the MDC shocked everyone when it cooperated with ZANU PF in seeking the
election of its candidate, Paul Themba Nyathi, as speaker. The alliance
backfired as furious MP’s from the faction backed the MDC-T candidate

Jonathan Moyo challenged the election in court. But in March last year High
Court Judge Bharat Patel dismissed the application by Moyo and 3 MDC-N MP’s,
saying they failed to justify why the speaker’s election should be
nullified. They had only claimed that 6 MDC-T MP’s waved their ballot papers
in the air before casting their votes. Moyo then appealed against this
A Harare lawyer told SW Radio Africa that ZANU PF was desperate to manage
the succession problem, given Mugabe’s ailing health, and that was one of
the main reasons for overturning the election of an MDC-T speaker of
parliament. It’s alleged that the 87 year old is battling prostate cancer,
something his party denies.

“Zimbabwe's current constitution says that in the event that the president
dies in office, the speaker of parliament assumes office and is supposed to
call for elections within a period of 180 days. Mugabe is very ill, that's
why they want to take away that power from the MDC,” the lawyer told us.

Leading this charge is Jonathan Moyo, who has always been in the thick of
things as far as succession politics in ZANU PF is concerned. With a
compromised Supreme Court bench made up of judges who have received farms
and other benefits, a decision favouring ZANU PF was inevitable.

A senior MDC-T official said Parliament will have to have another election
the next time they sit. He said the party still has the numbers to secure
the speakership, but ZANU PF has managed to get around this problem.

4 MDC MP’s are in police custody. Douglas Mwonzora (Nyanga North), Roger
Tazviona (Zhombe), Energy Minister Elton Mangoma (Makoni North) and Gokwe MP
Costin Muguti are all locked up on various trumped-up charges.

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MDC threatens to pull out of govt

By Thelma Chikwanha, Staff Writer
Thursday, 10 March 2011 18:36

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says the arrest of  Energy and
Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma  who has been charged with criminal
abuse of office might force the MDC to pull out of the inclusive government.

Tsvangirai told journalists in Harare on Thursday that Mangoma’s arrest and
the Supreme Court decision to nullify Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
chairman Lovemore Moyo’s election as speaker of parliament showed President
Robert Mugabe’s disregard for the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

“If there is a breakdown in the relationship of the parties in the GPA, it
is important for the parties to agree on a clean divorce. As far as we are
concerned, the roadmap that President Zuma has committed himself to draw up
is the only solution to this madness.

“I, as Morgan Tsvangirai, and the people’s party that I lead, will remain
focused on the struggle for democratic change in the country.

We will not be swayed by desperate actions by a desperate political party.
No amount of lies, violence, persecution or wrongful prosecutions will deter
us from the struggle to deliver real, positive change to the people of
Zimbabwe,” said Tsvangirai.

Lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa told the Daily News that Mangoma was charged with
criminal abuse of office or alternatively contravention of the State
Procurement Act.

He is detained at Braeside Police Station and is expected to appear in court
on Friday.

But Tsvangirai insisted that Mangoma’s arrest was a politically motivated
plot to attack, destroy and embarrass the MDC.

“Honourable Mangoma, just like Honourable Mwonzora, Munyaradzi Gwisai and
Honourable Rogers Tazviona, are all innocent victims of barbaric and
senseless dictatorship,” Tsvangirai said.

The MDC leader said the arrest of Mangoma was an attempt to cloud and
obscure massive corruption in Zimbabwe by a party which no longer has the
confidence of the people.

He cited the case of Minister of Local Government Ignatius Chombo who has
been accused of corruption but whom police have refused to investigate
despite several reports of fraud being reported.

Tsvangirai said he was surprised to learn that Mangoma had been arrested,
saying he had cleared the fuel issue deal in parliament and was surprised
that he had been arrested for the same case which government had said was
done above board.

Tsvangirai said it is Zanu PF ministers who should be arrested but he
admitted that because the government was in a paralysis, his party was

“The police-commissioner general reports straight to the president so the
ministers of Home Affairs have no power over him. That is the tragedy in
this arrangement. It is not working. I rushed to Zimbabwe House as soon as I
heard that Minister Mangoma had been arrested and I found the president not

“Probably he had run away, he was nowhere to be seen.  I am going to meet
the acting president, John Nkomo so that he explains to me what exactly is
happening,” charged a visibly angry Tsvangirai.

“We will not accept the decisions of some Zanu PF politicians masquerading
as judges. Zanu PF is trying to use the courts to subvert and regain what it
lost in an election.  As far as the MDC is concerned, these blatant attacks
by a partisan police

The Commissioner-General, some sections of the judiciary and the
Attorney-General, represent a clear and present danger to the continued
existence of this transitional government.

“This agenda has the overt support of a section in Zanu PF which was behind
the violence in the country in the run-up to the 27 June 2008 sham election.

“Indeed the actions of this section of Zanu PF are not just to cause pain
and suffering to the people of Zimbabwe, the workers, civic society and
business, but are a vicious insult to President Zuma, SADC leaders and the
entire people of the African continent. African people crave for peace,
stability and democracy and Zanu PF represents the complete opposite of
this,” said Tsvangirai.

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Zimbabwe PM calls for 'divorce' with Mugabe

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai called on Thursday for a
"divorce" in the unity government with President Robert Mugabe, proposing
elections overseen by southern African neighbours.

5:22PM GMT 10 Mar 2011

"We have reached a moment where we are saying, let's agree that this is not
working, it's dysfunctional," Mr Tsvangirai told a news conference at his
party's headquarters after the detention of one of his ministerial allies.

"Let's make arrangements to go for elections under a road map designed by
SADC (Southern African Development Community) so that we have a clear,
legitimate government."

"Even those with legendary patience, like some of us, have reached a stage
where we are saying enough is enough. There is obviously a breakdown in the
relationship between the parties," Mr Tsvangirai said.

"If people find that a marriage has reached irreconcilable differences, then
agree to a divorce."

Mr Tsvangirai spoke hours after police detained Energy Minister Elton
Mangoma, a senior member of the prime minister' Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) party on undisclosed charges.

The MDC suffered another blow on Thursday when the Supreme Court nullified
the 2008 election of party chairman Lovemore Moyo as speaker of parliament,
following an appeal by Mr Mugabe's close ally, Jonathan Moyo.

Mr Tsvangirai said Mangoma's arrest by a police constable was a reflection
of Mr Mugabe's ZANU-PF party's "total disregard to the basic tenets of

"These blatant attacks by a partisan police commissioner-general, some
sections of the judiciary and the attorney general represent a clear and
present danger to the continued existence of this transitional government,"
he said.

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Tsvangirai blasts Supreme Court ruling on parliament speaker

Written by Gift Phiri
Thursday, 10 March 2011 16:54

HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai  has said his party will not
accept Thursday's Supreme Court ruling nullfying the election of the
Speaker. The full Supreme Court bench, sitting as a Constitutional Court,
made a ruling that effectively ousts the Speaker, Lovemore Moyo, a chairman
of Tsvangirai's MDC party, who was elected in August 2009.  The Supreme
Court ruled that Moyo's election by the House of Assembly did not follow
proper procedures. The Court was making a ruling on an appeal lodged by
Jonathan Moyo, a senior member of Mugabe's Zanu PF party,who was elected as
an independent MP but later crossed the floor to rejoin Zanu PF. High Court
judge, Justice Bharat Patel last year threw out Moyo's challenge to have the
Speaker’s election to the powerful post set aside. Moyo then appealed to the
Supreme Court arguing the learned judge erred in finding that a proper
election of the Speaker of Parliament was conducted in terms of the
The ruling has dangerously heightened tensions in the troubled colaition,
and Tsvangirai said his party rejects the ruling by "partisan judges."
Tsvangirai said the  election of the Speaker was "lawful and legitimate," a
fact confirmed by the election officer and Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma
in his affidavit filed in court.  Tsvangirai raised separation of powers
arguments at the ews conference held at Harvest House HQ on Thursday. "What
is common cause is that Parliament is a separate body, with its own rules
and regulations and the courts should not interfere with other arms of the
State namely, the Legislature," Tsvangirai said.
The MDC president said the decision was a clear reflection of the state of
affairs on the Bench: "a judiciary which in the post-Dumbutshena and
post-Gubbay era has largely discredited itself by becoming a willing
appendage of Zanu PF." "Dubious and pro-executive decisions have been made
in this era," Tsvangirai said.
"We will not accept the decisions of some Zanu PF politicians masquerading
as judges. Zanu PF is trying to use the courts to subvert and regain what it
lost in an election." There have been concerns that the current bench is
largely composed of ruling party allies including the chief justice, who
took over after Mugabe forced the country's top judge to take a long leave
of absence followed by early retirement. Judge Godfrey Chidyausiku, 64,
former head of the High Court, has served as head of the judiciary from the
time Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay retired on July 1, 2001. Gubbay agreed to
retire early after government threats and intimidation for ruling against
ministers over their controversial land reform programme. The government
accused him of bias in favour of the country's tiny white minority.
Mugabe pushed out the mainly white judges saying he wanted the courts to
reflect the racial balance of Zimbabwe, a nation where less than 1 percent
of the population is white. Gubbay was one of six whites among the nation's
30 judges then. Two other judges were of Asian descent, and most of the
country's hundreds of magistrates were and are black. Since Chidyausiku took
over, the judciary has been accused of bias.
Speaking on the arrest of Energy minister Elton Mangoma for the alleged
embezzlement of US$4.4million in a fuel deal, Tsvangirai said the arrest of
Mangoma was an attempt to cloud and obscure the massive corruption in
Zimbabwe. Mangoma was picked up by three plain clothes police officers at
his government offices, Chaminuka Building on Thursday in connection with a
US$6 million fuel deal made privately in December with a littleknown South
African company, NOOA, which the State Press here allege was made outside
State Procurement Board procedures. "It is an attempt to embarrass the
people’s party of excellence," Tsvangirai said. He said police must first
probe US$313 million missing from Marange diamond revenue, which has caused
acrimony in the GNU between the Finance minister and the Mines minister.
"Indeed, Zanu PF corruption infests and infects every aspect of our economy
and Government," Tsvangirai told reporters. "To take example amongst
hundreds, in the past year, more than three official complaints of
corruption have been made to the police against Minister Ignatius Chombo and
yet the police have refused to investigate these allegations.
"The arrest of minister Mangoma is an attempt to cloud and obscure the
massive corruption in Zimbabwe." Tsvangirai said "these blatant attacks by a
partisan police Commissioner-General, some sections of the judiciary and the
Attorney-General represent a clear and present danger to the continued
existence of this transitional government." "This agenda has the overt
support of a section in Zanu PF which was behind the violence in the country
in the run-up to the 27 June 2008 sham election," he said.
"Indeed the actions of this section of Zanu PF are not just to cause pain
and suffering to the people of Zimbabwe, the workers, civic society and
business, but are a vicious insult to President Zuma, SADC leaders and the
entire people of the African continent. African people crave for peace,
stability and democracy and Zanu PF represents the complete opposite of

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Appeal against Bennett thrown out

March 10 2011 at 04:25pm

Zimbabwe's Supreme Court threw out an appeal against the acquittal of Roy
Bennett in an alleged plot to overthrow President Robert Mugabe. Photo: AP

Zimbabwe's Supreme Court on Thursday threw out an appeal against the
acquittal of Roy Bennett in an alleged plot to overthrow President Robert
Mugabe, his lawyer said on Thursday.

“The judgment was delivered by the Supreme Court today and the ruling said
the application against the acquittal of Roy Bennett had no chances of
success,” attorney Beatrice Mtetwa told AFP.

Bennett, a top aide to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, was acquitted in
May last year after a high court judge ruled the state had failed to connect
him to a plot against Mugabe.

Prosecutors filed an appeal in the Supreme Court challenging the acquittal.

Bennett's case is one of the major stumbling blocks facing the unity
government between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, who had tapped him as deputy
agriculture minister in the unity government.

Mugabe has vowed he will never swear in Bennett.

The white 53-year-old former farmer was arrested in February 2009, shortly
before he was to be sworn in, over accusations that he had funded a plot to
topple Mugabe five years ago. -


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Bennett still unable to return to Zim

By Alex Bell
10 March 2011

The MDC’s Treasurer General, Roy Bennett, on Thursday said he is still not
able to return to Zimbabwe, despite the Supreme Court dismissing the state’s
appeal against his acquittal.

Supreme Court Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku on Thursday threw out the state’s
appeal against a High Court decision to acquit Bennett on treason and
banditry charges. Bennett was acquitted in May last year after a High Court
judge ruled the state had failed to connect him to a plot against Robert
Mugabe. The state immediately stated its intentions to appeal this decision.

But speaking from South Africa, Bennett told SW Radio Africa that the
Supreme Court’s decision does not change anything, explaining that he still
has three outstanding charges against him. He added that the current
environment of ZANU PF sponsored violence and intimidation makes it even
less likely that he can safely return to Zimbabwe.

“Bringing to mind ZANU PF’s attitude, their total duplicity in the Global
Political Agreement (GPA), that fact that Mugabe is still taking a swipe at
me whenever he can, there’s no ways I can return back to Zimbabwe under
there circumstances,” Bennett said.

Bennett is MDC’s nominated Deputy Minister of Agriculture, a post that
Mugabe has refused to swear the official in to, claiming the charges against
him were preventing him. The issue is one of the contentious outstanding
issues in the GPA, which ZANU PF has refused to honour.

Bennett agreed on Thursday that it is highly unlikely he will ever be sworn
into this post. The MDC official meanwhile also expressed grave concern
about the wave of violence and intimidation against MDC members and
supporters, warning that “we are seeing an escalation of violence that could
reach the levels we saw in 2008.”

“I think we are heading for a very rocky period,” Bennett said, adding: “I
think my colleagues and friends in the MDC are at serious risk.”

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Envoys appeal for calm in Zimbabwe

To read their signed appeal, click here

Mar 10, 2011 9:46 PM | By Sapa-dpa

Western envoys issued a unprecedented joint appeal to Zimbabwean security
forces to be impartial and non- political as tensions rose sharply over the
arrest of a cabinet minister loyal to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Recent weeks have seen a surge in violence and arrests targeting supporters
of Tsvangirai, as well as a wave of anti-Western rhetoric that has followed
President Robert Mugabe's threat to hold an election soon, discarding
undertakings to follow a road map of democratic reforms.

Early Thursday police arrested Energy Minister Elton Mangoma on charges of
violating official tender procedures, and later the speaker of parliament,
Lovemore Moyo, who is chairman of Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic
Change, was removed from his position by the supreme court.

Tsvangirai told a press conference that the actions were an attack on the
heart of the two-year-old coalition government between him and 87-year-old
Mugabe, and an attempt by Mugabe to regain what he lost in an election. The
country was in crisis, he said, calling for a clean divorce of the coalition
through credible elections.

An appeal signed by 22 ambassadors from European Union countries, the United
States, Canada, Japan and Australia, appealed to the country's security
force, the attorney general, and the judiciary all of which are seen as
controlled by Mugabe, to discharge their duties in an impartial,
non-political way.

The note expressed concern at an upsurge in what appeared to be politically
motivated intimidation and violence, despite the power-sharing government
having struggled to bring stability to Zimbabwe and pave the way for a
democratic transition through credible elections.

Such a combined appeal has never been made by the diplomatic community in
Harare in the last 31 years of Mugabe's rule, and observers say it indicates
deep anxiety over the volatility of Zimbabwe's political situation.

Lawyers said Mangoma had been charged with violating official procedures for
tenders for fuel supplies.

Mugabe's news media have been claiming that Mangoma had sanctioned the
import of 6 million Us dollars' worth of fuel by a South African company in
January during a critical shortage of diesel and petrol.

Tsvangirai said that Mangoma had addressed the issue in a cabinet meeting
and everything was in the open. He said the arrest was by a partisan police
force meant to obscure ZANU(PF)'s own corruption.

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Tensions Escalate In Harare's Unity Govt As PM's Party Calls On People To Defy Police Bans

Moves by President Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and the Cabinet to ease
tensions have not helped, as sources said the crackdown allegedly pursued by
ZANU-PF and security forces has only intensified

Blessing Zulu, Patience Rusere & Benedict Nhlapho | Washington &
Johannesburg  09 March 2011

The Movement for Democratic Change formation of Zimbabwean Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai has called on Zimbabweans to resist what it characterizes
as attempts by the police to impose a state of emergency across the nation.

Moves by President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and the Cabinet
to ease tensions have not helped, as sources said the crackdown has only

The president and prime minister agreed on Monday that the right of assembly
should be restored, agreeing Harare is not threatened, MDC sources said.

A top level meeting Tuesday to discuss the banning of rallies was cancelled
after Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri told the three unity
government principals - including Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara -
he had ordered the ban lifted.

Many activists have been arrested in what critics call a move to
pre-emptively thwart any Egyptian-style popular uprising. Police have
disrupted rallies and meetings.

Co-Minister of Home Affairs Theresa Makone told VOA Studio 7 reporter
Blessing Zulu that Chihuri did send radio messages to the national police
lifting the bans.

National Constitutional Assembly Chairman Lovemore Madhuku told Blessing
Zulu that ministers are powerless as Chihuri is only answerable to President

Two human rights activists were arrested Wednesday in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland
West province, on charges of conspiring to overthrow the government.

VOA sources said armed police besieged the United Church of Christ in
Zimbabwe and arrested church coordinator Owen Dhliwayo and a Youth Dialogue
oficial for allegedly plotting to overthrow Mr. Mugabe and his colleagues in

Sources said the police also wanted to arrest National Constitutional
Assembly member and Progressive Youth Development Coordinator Claris Madhuku
and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights officer Tineyi Mukwewa, but they
eluded arrest.

The activists were attending a workshop organised by the Zimbabwe Lawyers
for Human Rights which was attended by about 60 people, mostly from the NCA.

NCA Information Officer Blessing Vava told VOA reporter Patience Rusere that
the police also confisticated money from the two people who were arrested,
alleging it came from British sources and was intended to finance the
government's overthrow.

In Johannesburg, meanwhile, Zimbabwean journalists and rights defenders
accused the ZANU-PF party of President Mugabe of using violence to tamp down

The activists said the former ruling party is already using intimidation and
violence to coerce voters, as correspondent Benedict Nhlapho reported from

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House of Lords to debate current situation in Zimbabwe
10 March 2011

Lord Dannatt will make his maiden speech in the House of Lords today (Thursday 10 March) in a debate on the current situation in Zimbabwe. Sir Richard Dannatt, is the former Chief of the General Staff of the British army.

Lord Avebury (Liberal Democrat), a human rights campaigner and former Liberal Democrat spokesperson for foreign and commonwealth affairs, will open the debate.

Members of the Lords scheduled to speak include:

  • Lord Dannatt (Crossbench), will make his maiden speech
  • Baroness Boothroyd (Crossbench), former Speaker of the House of Commons who sits on the executive committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK 
  • Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead (Labour), former Minister for Africa whose book 'Zimbabwe on the Brink' was published in 2009
  • Lord Luce (Crossbench), former Minister for Africa and former chairman of the Commonwealth Foundation, a non-governmental organisation which is linking Commonwealth organisations with civil society in Zimbabwe to help reconstruction of the country
  • Lord Crisp (Crossbench), former chief executive of the NHS and a specialist in global healthcare. He co-chaired an international task force to increase the education and training of health workers in developing countries
  • Lord Chidgey (Liberal Democrat), vice-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on Zimbabwe and former member of the Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs which carried out a series of inquiries on Zimbabwe
  • Earl of Sandwich (Crossbench), associate of Care International, an aid agency working with communities and businesses across Zimbabwe
  • Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury (Liberal Democrat), member of the Lords EU Sub-committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Development Policy
  • Lord St John of Bletso (Crossbench), who has lived in southern Africa and who led a House of Lords debate on Zimbabwe last year

Lord Griffiths of Burry Port, the Bishop of Bath and Wells and the Bishop of Leicester will also take part in the debate.

Lord Howell of Guildford will respond on behalf of the government. 


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Stand up to Mugabe - ex-Army chief

Thursday March 10 2011

A former head of the British Army has called on Zimbabwe's corps of
UK-trained army officers to have the moral courage to stand up to the
"repressive dictatorship" of president Robert Mugabe.

General Sir Richard Dannatt, who has visited the southern African country
several times in recent years, said the British Army had established a staff
college in Harare after 1979 "to underpin the professional development of
post-UDI army".

The former British colony of Southern Rhodesia made its Unilateral
Declaration of Independence (UDI) in 1965 under white rule and did not
achieve majority African rule, under the new name of Zimbabwe, until 1979.

Lord Dannatt told peers: "I often reflect now that there must be a
generation of Zimbabwean army officers out there, who were trained by us in
the 1980s, who know that there is a better way than that of the repressive
dictatorship of Robert Mugabe."

The crossbench peer, in his first Lords speech since being appointed by
Prime Minister David Cameron last year, went on: "Will they, I wonder, ever
find the moral courage to stand up and do the right thing? They know what
that is. We taught them."

Lord Dannatt, who was tipped by Mr Cameron before the general election as a
future Tory minister, was speaking in a Lords debate on Zimbabwe, opened by
Liberal Democrat ex-MP Lord Avebury.

The strife-torn country is ruled, in an uneasy power-sharing deal, by Mr
Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC). Another election is due this year, with no
agreement on when it should happen.

Foreign Office minister Tory Lord Howell of Guildford, replying to the
debate, told Lord Dannatt: "We listened with great interest to what you had
to say."

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Top UK Govt Officer And Former Mandela Lawyer Urges Zim To Respect Rule Of Law

10/03/2011 09:25:00

London, March 10, 2011 - A senior official in the United Kingdom
Conservative government says Zimbabwe has the potential to regain its place
among the commonwealth League of Nations if it shows a genuine willingness
to respect human rights and the rule of law.

The former lawyer of Nelson Mandela, Lord David Howell, who is now the
United Kingdom Minister of State responsible for Commonwealth Affairs, told
Radio VOP on Wednesday in London that Zimbabwe should do more to regain its
commonwealth status.

“It’s for the people of Zimbabwe to play out, SADC is already playing a
remarkable role which is closely related to the hands on approach that South
Africa is playing,” said Howell.

“We are ready to start deploying our skills in the UK and the commonwealth.
We are ready to help build Zimbabwe into the great country that it was but
we can’t do more when the politics of the country can’t allow us. We would
like to see Zimbabwe back on in the Commonwealth and there is a lot of
willingness out there.”

Howell who described Zimbabwe as a “great country” said the country has to
do away with the deep-seated culture of human rights abuses that still
characterise everyday life. He cited the recent arrest of Munyaradzi Gwisai
and a Commonwealth Professional Fellow, Antonette Tafadzwa Choto who could
not travel to London to take up her studies as a result of the arrest as one
classical example of the continuing human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth family of nations in 2002 after
its election monitors concluded that elections that were held that year were
seriously flawed.

The elections had returned President Mugabe to power. But before that Mugabe
had announced his decision to pull out as a clever way of pre-empting a
measure which was almost certain to come.

The suspension which still stands today bars the Zimbabwe leader from
attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting which is held
every two years. Zimbabwe hosted the meetings in 1995 and ironically it is
at the Harare meeting that the guiding principles of the grouping were
adopted. Among some of the principle is a shared love for democracy and
human rights.

A report on how far Zimbabwe has gone in re-establishing a culture for the
respect of human rights and rule of law will be tabled before the
Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) ahead of the CHOGM in October
in Perth, Australia.

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War vets want to teach history in schools

By Lance Guma
10 March 2011

Over the years they have become infamous by beating up and harassing
opposition supporters, torturing and often killing MDC supporters. Now war
vets loyal to Mugabe’s regime say they want to take over schools and offer
history lessons on the liberation struggle.

The MDC-T MP for Mazowe Central in Mashonaland Central, Shepherd Mushonga,
took the matter to Parliament on Wednesday after receiving a letter of
complaint from the headmaster at Kakora Secondary School. War vets had told
the headmaster they would visit the school to teach history this week.

Mushonga quizzed Education Minister David Coltart on whether this was the
new government policy, to allow war vets to offer lessons to students. In
response Coltart said no.
“The political parties should not meddle in education. We should not expose
school children to politics as it is against the Education Act. Schools
should not be used for politics. I want the MP’s to support me in trying to
stop what is now happening,’ Coltart said.

He also expressed concern at the number of teachers requesting transfers
because of intimidation and threats from ZANU PF youths mainly in the rural
areas. Teachers over the years have traditionally been targeted by Mugabe’s
regime and accused of supporting the then opposition MDC.

Coltart is reported to be in the process of revising legislation to put
legal measures in place to ban the use of schools for partisan political
activity. But Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) Secretary
General Raymond Majongwe however told SW Radio Africa it was likely the
legislation will be blocked by ZANU PF. “It’s only a matter of time before
this GNU collapses,” he told us.

For all Coltart’s efforts in crafting legislation to stop ZANU PF mobs
invading schools and politicizing the learning environment, Mugabe’s regime
has shown it has no respect for any of the laws. It is anticipated the war
vets will have their way and invade the schools all the same.

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Police detain MDC gravedigger assaulted by ZANU PF youth

By Tererai Karimakwenda
10 March, 2011

A funeral held at Granville Cemetery in Harare on Wednesday is reported to
have turned into a political rally, after ZANU PF youths attacked a
gravedigger they accused of being an MDC-T activist. According to NewsDay
who witnessed the assault, the youths also disrupted a funeral nearby,
taking a tent and machinery they did not pay for.

NewsDay said the violent youths pointed out the gravedigger upon arrival and
threw him into a minibus they had allegedly commandeered. They then took
turns assaulting him for hours, before speeding off.

The abducted gravedigger turned out to be Seven Nehumambi, the MDC youth
assembly chairperson for Sunningdale District. In a statement on Thursday
the MDC said Nehumambi was assaulted by the ZANU PF youths before he was
dumped at Matapi Police Station. He is still in detention there and is being
denied medication for the injuries he sustained.

The youths displayed this violent behavior at the funeral of one of their
own, 26 year old Taurai Dzikamai, who was a ZANU PF youth chairperson for
Ushewokunze Housing Cooperative in Harare.

According to NewsDay, relatives at the funeral complained that the ZANU PF
youths had earlier invaded a private home where the mourners were gathered.
At the cemetery they demanded ZANU PF cards from some mourners and chanted
slogans, denouncing the MDC.

Political commentator Professor John Makumbe, said the youths were acting
according to instructions from ZANU PF officials, who also pay them. He
described the attack as “organized violence” and said the youth do it
knowing they will not be arrested.

“When you look at the whole scenario it is almost like no-one is in charge.
The country has no direction. MPs are in jail, a minister was arrested and
Mugabe is out of the country,” Makumbe explained.

The professor said the MDC should stand up to the violence, especially in
areas where they have greater numbers of supporters. “Their people should be
tackling the streets. Where are the MDC youth in Harare while ZANU PF is
organizing” he asked.

Makumbe believes the violence is being organized by elements within ZANU PF
who do not want elections in 2011 because they would lose their positions to
the MDC. But since they dare not oppose Robert Mugabe’s wish to hold
elections this year, they are instead creating an environment not conducive
to free and fair polls.

According to NewsDay, three people wearing red t-shirts at a grave nearby
had to flee after the youths approached them, screaming that they were

A mourner who chose not to be identified said: “It was so frightening and we
just wanted to leave immediately. Surely how can they behave like that at a
burial ground? This is insane.”

Professor Makumbe said the MDC could do a lot more to stem the violence.
“When you are in the corridors of power you do not negate the streets. The
MDC are being British gentlemen and wearing suits. That does not work,” he

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Mwonzora’s bail application hearing postponed again

By Tichaona Sibanda
10 March 2011

High court judge Susan Mavangira has postponed to Friday the judgement on
the bail application by Nyanga North MP Douglas Mwonzora and 23 other MDC

This is the third time that the case has been postponed in Mutare this week.
Mwonzora, who is also COPAC co-chairperson, and these 23 constituents will
remain in detention at Mutare Remand Prison.

They are facing charges of public violence stemming from a meeting Mwonzora
held in Nyamaropa, Nyanga North, early last month.

Defence lawyer David Tandire told SW Radio Africa that the state is trying
to extend the period of detention through unorthodox means.

Over a dozen other activists are still in police detention around the
country, facing trumped-up charges that have received global condemnation.

In detention in Bulawayo are three leaders of the Mthwakazi Liberation
Front, who were arrested last Friday. Paul Siwela, John Gazi and Charles
Thomas face treason charges for holding a meeting where they allegedly
discussed overthrowing the government.

They are also being accused of distributing flyers urging people to stage
Egypt-style anti-government revolts. On Monday the three were formally
charged with treason and face the death penalty if found guilty.

Still in detention in Harare since February 19th and in solitary confinement
are Munyaradzi Gwisai, coordinator of the International Socialist
Organisation, and five other activists (gender activist Antonater Choto,
Zimbabwe National Students Union leaders Welcome Zimuto and Eddson Chakuma,
labor activist Tatenda Mombeyarara, and anti-debt campaigner Hopewell

The wave of arrests in Zimbabwe continued on Wednesday when police in
Chinhoyi disrupted a workshop and arrested two human rights activists, in a
church. The event had been organized by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights (ZLHR) and the United Church of Christ Zimbabwe (UCCZ).

According to Blessing Vava of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
police burst in and arrested Owen Dhliwayo and Catherine Mukwapati, who were
chairing a session on the importance of human rights.

4 MDC MP’s are also in jail.

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MDC position on nationalisation undermined by ZANU PF

By Alex Bell
10 March 2011

The MDC’s attempts to encourage investment in Zimbabwe are once again being
undermined by ZANU PF, with the two parties displaying vastly different
opinions on the contentious issue of nationalisation.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday was forced to counter claims
made by a ZANU PF minister that the government had resolved to nationalise
the mining sector. Earlier in the day ZANU PF’s Empowerment Minister,
Saviour Kasukuwere, told an investment conference that the government was
set to nationalise 51% of the mining sector to form a ‘sovereign wealth fund’
to finance development.

“This Friday we are gazetting the minimum threshold for the mining sector.
We need the 51% (equity) to come into our sovereign wealth fund,” Kasukuwere
said. “We are all agreed as a government,” he added.

It was left to Tsvangirai to backtrack on this, telling the same conference
that nothing had yet been agreed to by cabinet.

“As far as I am concerned, the cabinet has not adopted minimum thresholds
for companies and for sectors,” Tsvangirai said.

Commentators have said that these mixed messages from the so-called ‘unity’
government are doing little to encourage already nervous potential
investors. CNN’s correspondent, Robyn Curnow said on Thursday that the
conflicting comments “have managed to highlight exactly why it is still
deeply risky to invest in Zimbabwe.”

Economic analyst Bekithemba Mhlanga told SW Radio Africa that such
conflicting messages will be detrimental to Zimbabwe’s investment potential
in the future. He said this was symptom of the election fever beginning to
burn in Zimbabwe, arguing that ZANU PF “will use any opportunity to
undermine the MDC if elections are to be called soon.”

“These kinds of messages, political or not, will definitely tone down the
appetite for investors to get involved in Zimbabwe,” Mhlanga said.

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Firm takeovers seen derailing recovery

by Edward Jones     Thursday 10 March 2011

HARARE – Zimbabwe plans to set up a sovereign wealth fund to hold
controlling stake in all mining companies as the government moves to control
the key resources sector, but this has stoked fears that badly needed
foreign investors may take flight and derail a nascent economic recovery.

The resource rich southern African nation boasts the world’s second largest
reserves of platinum, has discovered alluvial diamonds which experts say
could generate $2 billion a year and has large gold, chrome and coal

Saviour Kasukuwere, Minister of Youth Empowerment and Indigenisation
yesterday told an investor conference that mining companies were remitting
little to the country’s national treasury, echoing previous sentiments by
Finance Minister Tendai Biti.

“This Friday we will gazette the minimum threshold for the mining sector. We
need 51 percent to come into the sovereign wealth fund,” Kasukuwere told the
investors in Harare.

He said the regulations would be effective seven days after they are

Analysts said ZANU-PF is using the threat to nationalise foreign-owned mines
to force the companies to the bargaining table so that the country can
receive more money from its mineral riches.

ZANU-PF has put the issue of indigenisation and Western sanctions at the
heart of its election campaign, hoping to sway urban voters who have rallied
behind Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change

The government said at the end of last year it would nationalise all
alluvial diamond miners but Kasukuwere announced last month that companies
mining in Chiadzwa would be spared.

Five firms are mining the diamonds in the controversial Chiadzwa fields,
including Anjin Zimbabwe run by the Chinese, Mbada Diamonds owned by a
Mugabe ally and another run by the Zimbabwe National Army.

The decision to spare miners in Chiadzwa has raised eyebrows and come at a
time when there is discord in the unity government over diamond revenues.

Analysts say while the concept of a sovereign wealth fund is an accepted
norm, Zimbabwe does not have money and still needs huge foreign investment
to extract the minerals and generate revenues to buy shares from foreign

Some of the large foreign-owned miners in the line of fire include Anglo
Platinum and Impala Platinum, the top two platinum producers in the world
and diversified miner Rio Tinto, which controls Murowa diamond mine in the

Impala Platinum, whose local unit Zimplats is Zimbabwe’s largest platinum
miner has particularly come under fire in recent weeks, with Mugabe accusing
it of siphoning money from the country.

Zimplats share price has dropped 18 percent in the last month on the
Australian Stock Exchange linked to the nationalisation talk.

Kasukuwere said the sovereign fund would be funded from earnings from
mineral exports, including diamonds, but the same revenue is needed to pay
arrears on foreign debt amounting to $7.1 billion and increase wages for
civil servants.

“It would appear this is overly ambitious on the part of government. I do
not see the sovereign wealth fund taking off anytime soon,” John Robertson,
a Harare-based consultant economic analyst said.

“What the country needs at the moment is a huge flow of foreign investment,
which means more mineral exports and more money for the government, which
they can then use to set up this fund,” he said.

Kasukuwere said while total mineral exports reached $1.7 billion last year,
driven by platinum sales, only $4 million had trickled to government in
taxes. Biti has previously called for a review of all mining deals he says
favour foreign companies at the expense of Zimbabweans.

The foreign mining companies may come under pressure, torn between pulling
out and risk losing rights to the massive platinum reserves and other
minerals to Mugabe's preferred investors from China or negotiate revised
deals that will see the government getting more from the country’s

Analysts say for now ZANU-PF is talking tough to rally its ranks and will
not repeat its controversial and violent seizures of white-owned commercial
farms, which decimated the agriculture sector.

"In the mining sector specifically, we have been getting a raw deal all this
time with companies taking money out of the country," Kasukuwere said.

Zimbabwe’s economy has started recovering after a decade of collapse blamed
on Mugabe’s policies, thanks to the formation of the unity government, which
has fired up production in agriculture and mining. -- ZimOnline

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Minister Says Rules for Indigenous Control of Mines to be Published Shortly

Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere told an investment conference in
Harare that the government will take control of the mining sector through a
so-called sovereign wealth fund that will hold public stakes

Sandra Nyaira & Gibbs Dube | Washington  09 March 2011

Controversial mine ownership rules requiring foreign companies to cede 51
percent of shares to indigenous or black Zimbabweans will be published on
Friday, Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere revealed Wednesday.

Addressing delegates at a two-day Euromoney investment conference in Harare,
the minister accused foreign mining companies of fleecing the country of
resource revenue, charging that citizens have not benefited from vast
mineral wealth.

“The country has been getting a raw deal from the mining sector all along
with companies taking money out of the country,” Kasukuwere said. He added
that the unity government Cabinet had come to agreement on the question.

“We have to address this issue," Kasukuwere told investors. "We have been
very careful in implementing this law and adhering to the rules of the

Kasukuwere told the conference that the government will in effect
nationalize the mining sector by setting up a sovereign wealth fund to hold
51 percent indigenous stakes. The fund will then help individual Zimbabweans
acquire a stake in the mines.

Kasukuwere told VOA that he is not moved by assertions that such a step,
amounting to expropriation, will discourage investment by foreign players.

He said foreign investors understood and agreed on the need to empower
indigenous Zimbabweans. Kasukuwere said those who don’t like it can stay

The regulations in the Indigenisation Act seek to transfer ownership of any
foreign-owned businesses with a value of US$500,000 or more to indigenous

“We have a mandate to empower our people, we want to be fair," Kasukuwere
said. "Government has never been against foreign investment,” he told
delegates, blaming poor performance by many state-controlled enterprises on
Western sanctions.

Companies targeted include Angloplat and Impala Platinum - two leading
players in the market for that semi-precious metal, and Rio Tinto, which
operates a diamond mine.

Economist Eric Bloch dismissed Kasukuwere’s assertions as cheap politicking
from ZANU-PF ahead of possible elections this year. He said the government
does not have enough money to acquire the shares needed to establish a
sovereign fund.

Affirmative Action Group President Supa Mandiwanzira said the government is
right to take a 51 percent stake in mining firms for the benefit of black

But Tsvangirai's spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka denied the Cabinet had come to
an agreement on the move to acquire 51 percent stakeholdings in mines.

Kasukuwere said that in putting the Indigenization Act into effect, the
Cabinet had agreed and his role as a minister is to publish regulations for
the process of cession.

As the Euromoney investment conference ended Wednesday, the ZANU-PF
politburo was holding an extraordinary session to endorse an anti-sanctions
campaign seeking the seizure of firms whose parent companies are in states
imposing sanctions.

Investment Minister Tapiwa Mashakada said ministers put up a spirited
performance at the conference to allay fears of foreign investors about

Mashakada said nearly 2,000 delegates including investors and World Bank and
African Development Bank representatives see Zimbabwe as a good destination
for capital.

He said Zimbabwe should begin seeing significant foreign direct investment
following the conference. “We expect some of the investors that attended the
conference to come back to set up businesses in Zimbabwe,” Mashakada said.

Economic commentator Masimba Kuchera said President Mugabe’s failure to show
up for the opening of the conference left investors unsure of the business

He said it is particularly distressing that ZANU-PF held an extraordinary
politburo meeting about seizing foreign companies even as the investment
conference was under way.

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Junta in control again

Written by Chief Reporter
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 11:06

HARARE - Zimbabwe's spy agency and military intelligence is handling
President Robert Mugabe’s re-election bid, according to authoritative
official sources.

The "election command team," the think-tank directing the veteran
President's campaign in the forthcoming ballot, is getting daily briefings
from the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and the military

"The intelligence team is handling the whole thing and is giving the
strategic direction to the whole election process," one senior intelligence
source told The Zimbabwean.

"The party is simply implementing the strategy drafted by the command team.
The process is moving swiftly," the source said.

Mugabe’s command centre is headed by Air Force of Zimbabwe Air Vice-Marshal
Henry Muchena, who resigned last week from the Airforce to be involved full
time in the campaign. He will be working closely with former Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) director internal, Sydney Nyanhongo, at a
strategic level.

The source said the CIO was leading the campaign after sharp differences
within the party on what strategy to use for Mugabe's re-election bid.
However, this strategy, which has seen Zanu (PF) stage a successful
political comeback, has seen some officials who were taking a back seat,
once again play an active role.

The election campaign is intricately linked to Zanu (PF)’s provincial
chairmen, and involves 320 military officers spread throughout the country.
The majority of Zanu (PF)’s election command team, including Zanu (PF)
Politburo member Jonathan Moyo, has been directed to do their job in the

Sensational plans
Our source said the CIO’s counter-intelligence unit was exploring several
options, including arresting the Prime Minister just before an election over
WikiLeaks revelations. It’s also considering the post-election scenario, and
a sensational plan to put the country under military rule if Mugabe loses
the elections.

The Attorney General has commissioned a probe to establish if the Prime
Minister committed treason after the secret-spilling website revealed
dangerous details of high level MDC and American diplomat meetings where a
plan to ease Mugabe out of office was discussed. Tomana has invoked Section
76 sub-section 5 of the Constitution and appointed a panel of five top
practising lawyers who are members of the Law Society of Zimbabwe to probe
the WikiLeaks documents and find any constitutional breaches.

“I am seeking a professional legal opinion from registered lawyers to see
whether there is need to prosecute anyone following revelations by the
WikiLeaks website," Tomana said. “People should understand that this is a
serious matter and these experts should be accorded the right to work
privately. After their recommendations, I will then decide whether there is
need to open a docket against anyone.”

Wikileaks revealed details in which Tsvangirai was reported to be plotting
to use help from the US to overthrow Mugabe. The detail is contained in
previously confidential communication between the US State Department in
Washington, DC and its Harare embassy, where the plot to oust Mugabe,
including a request for cash to buy out generals, was discussed.

Trumped up charges
Due process was said to be scuttling the grand strategy of arresting
Tsvangirai, as well as the feared backlash from the international community.
Tsvangirai denies what he says are trumped up charges.

According to the source, there have been high level meetings with the CIO
directors of counter-intelligence and the command team over the plot. But
the regime was said to be treading cautiously, as any attempt to arrest the
popular MDC leader could ignite protests.

Political analysts have warned that the Wikileaks informations could prove
fatal for the MDC and risk destabilising Zimbabwe.

"Certainly for southern Africa, the WikiLeaks Zimbabwe revelations are most
significant, and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say they could
destabilize Zimbabwe – and thus the region - even further in the months to
come,” Liesl Louw- Vaudran, who works for one of Africa’s most respected
security think-tanks, the Institute for Security Studies said on December 11
last year.

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NGOs abandon irrigation plans

Written by Lovejoy Sakala
Thursday, 10 March 2011 06:30

CHIMANIMANI - Interference in the operation of irrigation schemes by Zanu
(PF) in has forced many Non Governmental Organization (NGO)s here to
withdraw their support for local villagers.
A number of NGOs such as Plan Zimbabwe have been supporting irrigation
nitiatives in the province, but Zanu (PF) politicians have been accused by
villagers of trying to hijack such projects for their benefit of their
supporters. A survey carried out by this paper revealed that a number of
irrigation schemes such as Chisawanye in Chipinge, Tonhorai in Chimanimani
which used to be a source of livelihood for many villagers, are operating at
low capacity due to poor management and interference by politicians.
Villagers are now forced to rely on food aid from NGOs such as Care
International and World Vision.
“We used to be self reliant from the use of the irrigation, schemes but
things have turned upside down because of continuous interference by these
Zanu (PF) politicians who want to gain political mileage for nothing,”said
Maxwell Mutambara of Nedziwa in Cashel Valley.
Villagers in Chimanimani accused Zanu (PF) politburo member Munacho Mutezo
and National Women`s League member Jaine Knight of disturbing the operations
of irrigation schemes in the areas. They said they were forcing people to
buy Zanu (PF) cards in order to secure space in the irrigation schemes.
“Only Zanu PF supporters are benefiting from the irrigation schemes so
donors have pulled out and people are suffering, “said Muchanyara Mawoyo, a
local villager. Meanwhile, the rehabilitation of the Chiduku-Chingowe
irrigation scheme with the help of a local Non Governmental Organisation
(NGO) Small to Medium Development Sustenance Projects International (SMDSPI)
is set to improve the lives of over 80 families.
The upgrading of 44 hectare irrigation scheme is at an advanced stage of
infrastructural development courtesy of SMDSPI.
“Each household will be allocated 0, 5 hectares under overhead irrigation.
The programme is earmarked for disadvantaged communal farmers to boost their
yields and improve food security,” said Engineer Chimunhu from Department of
Irrigation. The project would ensure food security and bring sustainable
development for the beneficiaries and local community.

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Poor Healthcare Endangering Mothers in Zimbabwe
Posted by: Sarah Hager, March 9, 2011 at 9:59 PM

Mother and child outside her home in Hopley Settlement, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Lack of access to appropriate prenatal and post-natal care in informal settlements in Zimbabwe is endangering mothers and increasing infant mortality rates. Forced into unsafe dwellings with no heat or running water when the government displaced 700,000 people in 2005, for women in these Zimbabwe communities pregnancy is a scary proposition.

According to Amnesty International research, “Although thousands of people have been living at Hopley for more than five years, there are no maternal or newborn health services in the community. Women often give birth in unhygienic conditions in their plastic shacks and without skilled birth attendants. In order to reach maternal health services, women have to travel to a municipal clinic in the suburb of Glen Norah, about 8km away.”

There is no ambulance service to these communities, forcing women to walk to the clinic while in labor because they cannot afford a taxi or bus. Women frequently give birth at home, unaided and alone. The women Amnesty interviewed stated they were aware of the importance of medical care during pregnancy and after delivery, but due to costs and inaccessibility, they were not able to seek this vital healthcare. Inability to afford healthcare affects 75% of women in the lowest five wealth groups in Zimbabwe, of which most of the residents in these informal settlements fall.

Further, 45% of mothers in Zimbabwe have no access to a postnatal check by a trained health provider. Amnesty International documented the deaths of 21 infants in a six month period in 2010. Adequate living conditions and access to necessary health services after delivery could have prevented many of these deaths.

We need to demand the Zimbabwean government takes care of its women and children. Tell government officials of the importance of providing affordable healthcare, placed in the community. No more women should have to give birth alone and then watch their babies die.


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Zimbabwe violence unpunished

Police refusal to act leaves Mugabe foes living in ‘perpetual fear’

By Michelle Faul


Associated Press

6:04 p.m., Wednesday, March 9, 2011

JOHANNESBURG | Every day in Zimbabwe, Tendai has to see the people who
killed his parents more than two years ago. They live in his neighborhood
and have gone unpunished. James lives next door to one of the four people
who beat his parents to death in July 2008, at the height of state-sponsored
election violence in the southern African country.

Today, amid reports of renewed attacks as Zimbabwe plans for elections, both
men say they are receiving death threats from their parents’ killers.

“We now live in perpetual fear,” Tendai told New York-based Human Rights
Watch, which released a report this week warning that the country faces a
“crisis of impunity” that has festered for decades and only encourages the
killings, torture and beatings that have been allowed to go unpunished.

Police refuse to act on complaints, and judges are co-opted or threatened
and attacked, the report said.

Tiseke Kasambala, a senior researcher for the rights group, told reporters
the climate prohibited holding the elections sought by President Robert
Mugabe, the ruler for 31 years.
Zimbabwean police move in to stop members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise from
marching in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Feb. 15. Human Rights Watch said in a
report that the country faces a Zimbabwean police move in to stop members of
Women of Zimbabwe Arise from marching in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Feb. 15. Human
Rights Watch said in a report that the country faces a “crisis of impunity”
that encourages state-orchestrated killings, torture and beatings.
(Associated Press)

“If reforms are not instituted, then we say that there must be no elections
in Zimbabwe,” Ms. Kasambala said.

She said the president of South Africa — landlocked Zimbabwe’s powerful
neighbor — and other leaders in the Southern African Development Community
should make that clear to Mr. Mugabe, and strongly condemn the renewed
attacks and detentions.

Ms. Kasambala said the regional body’s reaction made them “look bad,”
especially when compared with the firm stand taken by the Economic Community
of West African States in Ivory Coast, which has declared an opposition
leader the winner of disputed elections and is demanding the incumbent step

Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is widely thought to have won
2008 elections against Mr. Mugabe. But pressure from some Southern African
leaders compelled him to form a government of national unity with Mr.
Mugabe, when international condemnation failed to end an onslaught of state
violence after the balloting.

At the time, Human Rights Watch documented cases showing Mr. Mugabe’s
government was responsible “at the highest levels” for widespread and
systematic abuses that led to the killing of up to 200 people, the beating
and torture of 5,000 more, and the displacement of about 36,000 people.

The group’s report said government agencies including police, themselves
implicated in the attacks, have failed to investigate hundreds of legal
complaints filed by individuals, victims’ families, rights groups and Mr.
Tsvangirai’s party.

“It’s a painful experience knowing that our neighbors who we see every day
were the perpetrators. I feel angry,” said the report, quoting Tendai who,
like James, is not further identified for fear of reprisals. “The
perpetrators have made it clear at their rallies that at the next elections
they will do it again because they didn’t get arrested.”

James’ father already was dead when he found his parents’ bodies on June 25,

But his mother clung to life long enough to identify some of the soldiers,
officials and supporters of Mr. Mugabe’s party who had attacked them. Police
took her statement in the hospital before she died, but nothing more has
been done.

Violence against opposition supporters, their families and areas known to
have voted against Mr. Mugabe has increased as the opposition picks up
support. Mr. Mugabe has ruled since 1980.

Officials in Mr. Tsvangirai’s party say he and government ministers
repeatedly have called in vain for police to stop political violence and
arrest perpetrators.

As recently as Friday, his party reported to police several youths who are
said to have beat up supporters in Harare last week, identifying them by
name and an address where they gather.

Instead, it said, police were “hostile” to the victims and arrested some of
them, forcing the others to go into hiding.

Human Rights Watch criticized the former opposition party for prioritizing
the harmony of the delicate government over its push for justice.

It also criticized Mr. Tsvangirai for putting reconciliation above justice
in a September speech in which he said a retributive agenda would be

“Reconciliation is the only solution for the country to have assured
stability, peace and progress,” said Mr. Tsvangirai, who himself has been
beaten up and tortured by Mr. Mugabe’s thugs.

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Sri Lanka beat Zimbabwe by 139 runs to reach quarter-finals

KANDY (Sri Lanka), Mar 10 (APP): The final scorecard of the Sri Lanka and
Zimbabwe group-A World match played here at newly constructed Pallekele
Cricket Stadium on Thursday. Sri Lanka scored 327 runs for the loss of six
wickets by restricting Zimbabwe to 188 runs, winning the match by 139 runs
and moved on the quarter-finals.

Sri Lanka innings WU Tharanga  c Chigumbura b Mpofu  133
TM Dilshan  c Panyangara b Utseya  144
NLTC Perera  c Chigumbura b Price  03
DPMD Jayawardene  c Chakabva b Mpofu  09
KC Sangakkara*†  not out  11
AD Mathews  c Chigumbura b Mpofu  00
LPC Silva  c Panyangara b Mpofu  04
TT Samaraweera  not out  8 7 1 0 114.28
Extras (b 2, lb 3, w 9, nb 1) 15
Total (6 wickets; 50 overs) 327 (6.54 runs per over)
Fall of wickets1-282 (Tharanga, 44.4 ov), 2-289 (Dilshan, 45.4 ov), 3-296
(Perera, 46.3 ov), 4-300 (Jayawardene, 47.1 ov), 5-302 (Mathews, 47.3 ov),
(Silva, 47.6 ov)
CB Mpofu 7-0-62-4
T Panyangara 6-0-51-0
RW Price 9-1-46-1
E Chigumbura 3 0 20 0 6.66
P Utseya 10-0-50-1
AG Cremer 7-0-42-0
GA Lamb 8 0 51 0 6.37 (1w)
Zimbabwe innings
BRM Taylor  c Jayawardene b Mathews  80
RW Chakabva  b Muralitharan 35
T Taibu†  c †Sangakkara b Mathews  04
P Utseya  st †Sangakkara b Dilshan  04
CR Ervine  lbw b Dilshan  17-21-2-0
E Chigumbura*  c Perera b Muralitharan  6-11-0-0
GA Lamb  c Jayawardene b Dilshan  00
AG Cremer  not out  14
RW Price  c Samaraweera b Perera  11
T Panyangara  lbw b Dilshan 00
CB Mpofu  b Muralitharan  01
Extras (b 2, lb 2, w 12) 16
Total (all out; 39 overs) 188 (4.82 runs per over)
Fall of wickets1-116, 2-125, 3-132, 4-150, 5-156, 6-156, 7-165, 8-185,
SL Malinga 8-0-51-0

KMDN Kulasekara 8-0-33-0
NLTC Perera 6-0-33-1
M Muralitharan 9-0-34-3
AD Mathews 5-0-29-2
Match details
Results: Sri Lanka won the match by 139 runs
Toss Zimbabwe, who chose to field
Player of the match TM Dilshan (Sri Lanka)
Umpires M Erasmus (South Africa) and NJ Llong (England)
TV umpire AL Hill (New Zealand)
Match referee BC Broad (England)
Reserve umpire REJ Martinesz

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Collapse of Zimbabwe’s GNU would be a Zanu-pf’victory

By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London 10/03/11

The selective application of the rule of law by the Zanu-pf regime should
not be allowed to wreck the coalition government. The collapse of Zimbabwe’s
Government of National Unity would be a resounding victory for Zanu-pf as
the vacuum will be replaced by chaos and anarchy.

Recent pronouncements by the regime’s activists at the Zimbabwe Euromoney
Conference indicate that plans are afoot for grabbing mines, banks,
conservancies and anything of value before the elections. That can only take
place in an environment of lawlessness.

The MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai would be best advised to
stay in and fight from within the government as its detractors are eager to
prove their hypothesis of an external enemy syndrome ahead of planned
elections. There are reasons why Zanu-pf is panicking including the advanced
age and health problems of its presidential candidate.

Therefore, the arrest of Energy Minister Elton Mangoma cannot be seen in
isolation of other recent developments which suspiciously appear to be aimed
at wrecking the coalition government and create room for lawlessness.

The developments include the nullification of the election of the Speaker of
Parliament, Lovemore Moyo; the continued incarceration in remand prison of
the co-chairman of the constitutional parliamentary committee (COPAC),
Douglas Mwonzora and 24 villagers who include an 82 year-old man after a
High Court judge postponed the hearing; and that of human rights and
pro-democracy activists.

Although the Prime Minister’s threat of a ‘divorce’ between MDC and Zanu-pf
is understandable, it’s not in the country’s national interest for the
coalition government to collapse. While some of us were opposed to the GPA
and the GNU right from their inception, there is more to be achieved by
remaining in the GNU than to walk-out.

The MDC should press for a non-partisan application of the rule of law. That
cannot be done effectively outside government. The MDC should not warm up to
Mugabe nut demand the arrest and prosecution of those who perpetrated
violence in 2008 during which about 200 people were murdered by suspected
Zanu-pf sympathisers.

The risks of a collapse outweigh the discomfort being felt by the MDC-T as a
result of provocation by Zanu-pf. It looks abundantly clear that there are
‘dark forces’ operating from behind the scenes determined to cause maximum
embarrassment, fear and uncertainty to their coalition partners for narrow
partisan reasons.

The arrests of MDC-T officials appears clearly stage-managed. The worst that
the MDC-T could do would be to immediately call-it off, whereby its
opponents would celebrate and plunge the country into a dangerous mode of
looting and pillage. Other analysts have predicted a possible coup should
Mugabe die in office or if Zanu-pf loses in the next election. That cannot
be ruled out. Which leads us to the question, What next then?

It appears Zanu-pf is gunning for a rushed election under SADC or Jacob Zuma’s
moribund mediation leading to controversial results again. That should be
resisted. Zimbabwe’s civil society should approach the United Nations for an
alternative mediator and a viable roadmap for free and fair elections.

Similarly, the United Nations must be involved in peacekeeping and
monitoring of the elections if Zimbabwean political parties are serious
about free and fair elections.
Such a roadmap should ensure those in the Diaspora have the vote otherwise
nothing lasting would have been achieved.

The regime cannot easily manipulate votes of the millions in the Diaspora
unlike at present where there have been allegations of soldiers being used
to stuff ballot boxes. These are trying moments and they call for maximum

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyast, London,

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