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UN probes Zimbabwe arms sent to Ivory Coast

Fri Mar 4, 2011 6:02am GMT

By Louis Charbonneau

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations is investigating suspected
arms transfers from Zimbabwe to Ivory Coast's incumbent leader Laurent
Gbagbo in violation of U.N. sanctions, according to a report obtained by

The report emerged after a week of gun battles between forces loyal to
Gbagbo and his rival Alassane Ouattara, almost universally recognized as
winner of a November 28 poll, that risk pushing the top cocoa grower back to
full-blown civil war.

Diplomats on the U.N. Security Council said the possible transfer of weapons
to Gbagbo was a serious matter. They said his forces could use them against
U.N. peacekeepers -- UNOCI, who recognize Ouattara as Ivory Coast's
president -- or Ivorian civilians who support Ouattara.

UNOCI's confidential "Embargo monitoring report January 2011," obtained by
Reuters on Thursday, said the mission was gathering more information on "the
arrival of light weapons cargoes from Zimbabwe." U.N. officials told Reuters
arms from Zimbabwe would have been intended for Gbagbo and not Ouattara.

In January, Gbagbo sent a special envoy to Harare to meet with and enlist
the support of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, who like Gbagbo has been
accused by his opponents of election fraud and is under U.S. and European
Union sanctions.

Ivory Coast has been under an arms embargo since the last bout of serious
violence in 2004, when pro-Gbagbo forces bombed French peacekeepers in the
rebel-held north. Analysts say both sides have repeatedly violated the

The report also said UNOCI was monitoring a shipment of 10 large wooden
boxes that "may contain trucks or tanks."

"This cargo has been at Abidjan airport for six months," the UNOCI report
said. "Aerial pictures confirmed the presence of these boxes, which are
under 24/7 hours military surveillance."


Philippe Bolopion of Human Rights Watch said countries aiding Gbagbo should
be careful: "Given the documented pattern of unlawful attacks on civilians
by pro-Gbagbo forces, countries violating the arms embargo to provide
weapons to his forces might be complicit in grave human rights abuses."

The report spoke of a "suspected cargo delivery from Angola," involving two
Soviet-manufactured Sukhoi-27 fighter jets and a Soviet-made MIG-25
interceptor and reconnaissance bomber, spotted at San Pedro airport in Cape
Verde, and a Russian cargo plane seen at Abidjan in January.

The Russian aircraft "has a considerable cargo capacity to carry heavy
military equipment or a company of soldiers," the report said.

The report did not explicitly say whether the fighter jets were linked to
Gbagbo's government. But it said UNOCI had received information that the
"same (Russian cargo) aircraft had supplied equipment to the Ivorian
government in 2005."

An official at Zimbabwe's mission expressed surprise about the allegation
and declined to comment. Diplomats at Angola's U.N. mission were not
immediately available for a reaction.

Gbagbo has ordered UNOCI out of the country, a demand the mission has
ignored. U.N. troops have been protecting Ouattara, who is holed up in an
Abidjan hotel along with his advisers.

The UNOCI report is not the first of a possible transfer of military
aircraft to Gbagbo. U.N. peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy apologized to
Belarus for a U.N. statement on Monday alleging that an initial shipment of
attack helicopters had arrived in Ivory Coast from Belarus.

Diplomats said the statement on the helicopter sale issued by
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's press office was based on credible U.S.
intelligence. Ouattara's U.N. envoy Youssoufou Bamba told reporters that the
only incorrect part of the statement was that a first shipment had arrived.

"It's true that he (Gbagbo) wanted these three helicopters to be smuggled
into Cote d'Ivoire and be assembled," he said. "This is something we have
from credible sources of intelligence."

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Zimbabwe annual inflation seen at 4.5 pct in Dec - Biti

Fri Mar 4, 2011 4:17pm GMT

* Inflation seen quickening to 4.5 percent

* Mining, agriculture to drive growth

By Alfonce Mbizwo

HARARE, Mar 3 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's annual inflation will end the year at
4.5 percent, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said on Friday, reiterating that
the economy would grow as much as 9.3 percent.

The southern African country's economy was battered by hyper-inflation which
reached 500 billion percent in 2008. The price index has since dropped to
single digits following the adoption of multi-currencies in 2009.

Inflation quickened to 3.3 percent year-on-year in January.

Biti also told journalists that the economy would expand by 9.3 percent this
year, driven by agriculture and mining. He told Reuters earlier this year
that it would grow about 8 to 15 percent in 2011, a figure analysts say is
overly optimistic.

"We have a bumper crop this year and I believe that in terms of maize
production we will be second only to South Africa in the region," he said.

After years of decline, Zimbabwe's economy grew in 2009 when President
Robert Mugabe and long time rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai formed a
unity government following disputed elections in 2008.

Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party says that recovery is
under threat from Mugabe's push for elections this year, which the party
says could lead to bloodshed.

But a survey released in Johannesburg on Friday said Zimbabweans want new
elections this year, despite any violence they could unleash, while support
for the MDC has eroded. [ID:nLDE7230JN]

Biti said Zimbabwe's external debt of $7.1 billion was a threat to full
economic recovery.

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Harare Takes Swipe At UN Rights Chief Over Alleged Political Crackdown

UN human rights chief Navi Pilllay condemned the arrest of former lawmaker
and socialist Munyaradzi Gwisai and 44 others for allegedly plotting an
Egyptian-style uprising to oust President Robert Mugabe

Blessing Zulu | Washington DC  03 March 2011

Zimbabwean Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa has accused United Nations
High  Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay of bias against Zimbabwe and
of being a Western "pawn" for criticizing an ongoing political crackdown in
the country.

Chinamasa, in Geneva for a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council, launched
the attack after Pillay, a former South African judge, said Harare had
embarked on a crackdown on civil society activists and members of the
political opposition.

Pilllay condemned the arrest of former lawmaker and socialist Munyaradzi
Gwisai and 44 others for allegedly plotting an Egyptian-style uprising to
oust President Robert Mugabe.

ZANU-PF critics including spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the MDC formation of
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, two MDC members of Parliament, National
Constitutional Assembly Chairman Lovemore Madhuku and MDC-99 party leader
Job Sikhala have been arrested or summoned by police in recent weeks.

Chinamasa said such matters remain under adjudication pending decisions in
the courts. He contended that Pillay had been misinformed by the press.

"We take great exception to the biased, mischievous and partisan stance that
the person of the high commissioner has taken over the years with respect to
our country,” Chinamasa told the UN Human Rights Council.

He said Zimbabwe was determined “to ensure that the (Pillay) office is
immunized from being used as a pawn in the wider political game.”

Human rights lawyer Dewa Mavhinga told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu
that Chinamasa’s attack on Pillay was unfortunate.

The three principals in Zimbabwe's national unity government have summoned
ministers with security briefs amid growing pressure on Harare to halt the

Co-minister of Home Affairs Theresa Makone of the Tsvangirai MDC confirmed
that she and her fellow co-Home Affairs minister, Kembo Mohadi, and the
ministers of Defense and State Security are to meet with President Mugabe,
Prime Minister Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara next

South African sources said President Jacob Zuma, mediator in Harare for the
Southern African Development Community, has also been pressing for an end to
the crackdown.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai confronted Mr. Mugabe last week about the arrests.

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US won’t shift on sanctions

By Thelma Chikwana, Staff Writer
Friday, 04 March 2011 18:29

HARARE - Visiting United States Deputy Assistant Secretary for African
Affairs, Susan Page says her government is concerned over the increase in
political violence in Zimbabwe and will not shift its position on sanctions.

Speaking to journalists in Harare on Friday, Rice said partisan arrests and
prosecutions that have occurred recently and being perpetrated by
individuals and segments of the state security apparatus affiliated with
elements within Zanu PF were worrying.

“Zanu PF needs to change its tactics on violence. We will not negotiate with
anyone; we will use our foreign policy tools,” said Page.

“We applaud President Mugabe’s clear statement on February 26 that violence
is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We hope that Mugabe as head of
state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces also conveys the message to
the police and security services.

“The credibility of that statement, however, ultimately will be reflected in
if or how it is honoured. The United States believes that Zanu PF will be a
part of Zimbabwe’s future.

In order to play a constructive role, Zanu PF must reject the use of
violence and fear in its operations. Similarly, we recognise that not
everyone within the Zimbabwe Republic Police and armed forces supports or is
engaged in violence,” said Page.

The Harvard-trained lawyer, who has lived in Sub-Saharan Africa for 15
years, also noted that Zimbabwe has many opportunities for growth but was
gripped by uncertainty.

In February, Zanu PF youths ran amok in the streets of Harare, beating up
innocent people and looting and destroying property at Gulf Shopping
Complex.  Self-styled war veterans also tried to invade tourist resorts
along Lake Chivero in the name of indigenisation.

Violence perpetrated by Zanu PF supporters has also been prevalent
throughout the country.

Last month, 45 people including former Member of Parliament for Highfield
Munyaradzi Gwisai were arrested and charged with treason for viewing videos
of the Egyptian revolt.

Page also  emphasised the need for investor friendly policies and the
upholding the rule of law if the country was going to attract investment.

“Foreign companies will not expose themselves to investment risks inZimbabwe
until a clear and consistent set of rules governing the protection of
private property, the sanctity of contracts and unbiased enforcement of the
law are put in place,” Page said.

Page praised the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and African
Union for doing well as guarantors of the Global Political Agreement (GPA)
and for developing a road map to free and fair elections.

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US rubbishes Mugabe sanctions petition

by Own Correspondent     Friday 04 March 2011

HARARE – US ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray has dismissed an
anti-sanctions petition drafted by President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF party
as a “wretched thing” unlikely to be taken seriously by both Zimbabweans and
its intended recipients in the West.

In an open letter to the state-owned Herald daily, Ray said the petition was
discredited because it does not represent the aspirations of all
Zimbabweans, most of whom desperately want to see political change.

“Petitions are great things.  On any given day, thousands of petitions are
circulating in the US.  But a petition becomes a wretched thing when only
one section of the population is allowed the right to express its views
publicly, while others seeking the right to assemble, petition, and
demonstrate are arrested and tortured,” Ray noted.

Mugabe on Wednesday launched a petition calling for the lifting of a raft of
Western visa restrictions and asset freezes imposed on himself and more than
100 senior members of ZANU (PF).

The party is seeking two million signatures and has threatened to seize
foreign companies from countries that have imposed a travel and financial
restrictions on Mugabe and his inner circle.

Thousands of people, mainly brought from outside the capital and Harare,
were forced to attend the campaign ceremony yesterday.

Ray accused The Herald and the rest of the state media of misleading the
nation by claiming that the anti-sanctions campaign was a government

“ZANU PF is a political party, which does not speak for the government of
this great country. Additionally, ZANU (PF), which is part of the
Government, has its own symbol that is quite distinct from the Zimbabwean
coat of arms,” said the ambassador.

Mugabe’s partner in the coalition government, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, boycotted the launch ceremony, arguing that it had been promoted
as a ZANU (PF) event.

Mugabe and his party hope to use the petition to lobby the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) and the African Union to push for the removal
of the targeted measures.

Ray insisted that the restrictive US measures are aimed at less than 120
Zimbabwean officials and are not hurting the rest of the economy.

“They may not travel to the US or do business with US companies because
Americans do not want them to enjoy the fruits of their corruption on our
soil.  This does not hurt other Zimbabweans,” he said, adding “What hurts
the rest of the country is the corruption, mismanagement, and lack of social
investment that has brought development to a standstill.”

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ZANU PF arming its militia in Nyanga North

By Tichaona Sibanda
4 March 2011

The MDC-T in Manicaland on Friday accused the former ruling ZANU PF of
arming its militia, to create instability in the province.

The MDC-T spokesman for Manicaland, Pishai Muchauraya, told SW Radio Africa
that the militia and war vets were behind the recent violence that saw
hundreds of villagers from Nyakomba in Nyanga North fleeing and crossing the
border into Mozambique. He says they are now facing serious food shortages

The MDC-T once held only two seats in the whole of Manicaland but in the
2008 election they produced a stunning victory over ZANU PF, winning 20 of
the 26 constituency seats. The MDC believes ZANU PF is trying to reclaim
them using ‘every dirty trick in book.’

‘I personally went to the area they fled to and many of them complained of
being hungry and some need medicines for malaria. We therefore urgently
appeal to our friends and international donors to help us with food and
medicines,’ Muchauraya said.

He said the villagers are reluctant to return because tension is still high
in Nyanga North as ZANU PF supporters continue to carry out patrols and
stamp out dissent.

‘If there is anyone in doubt let them go to Ruwangwe growth point and see
what is happening there. There are groups of militia who are moving around
with arms of war and parading an assortment of other weapons, scenes that
you see in a military zone when there is conflict.

‘We have also seen similar things in Nyamaropa, Avila, Sabvure and Nyakomba
all in the Nyanga district. This is not a good sign of democracy and we
appeal to the authorities to disarm these civilians because Zimbabwe is not
at war with anyone,’ Muchauraya said.

There are a number of army bases in the district and it’s believed most of
the weapons are being supplied from these camps. ZANU PF’s aspiring
parliamentary candidate for the area, Hubert Nyanhongo, a central committee
member and current party MP for Harare South, is a former Lieutenant Colonel
in the army.

It appears he’s using his influence as a ZANU PF MP and former soldier to
instruct the army to supply weapons to his thugs. Nyanhongo has also been
named as the culprit in supplying trucks full of ZANU PF youths to
criss-cross the district and cause mayhem.

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Bulawayo man arrested over Facebook message

By Tererai Karimakwenda
04 March, 2011

A Bulawayo man has become Zimbabwe’s first “Facebook arrest” over an
innocent comment he posted on the social networking site on the 13th
February. Vikas Mavhudzi of Old Magwegwe, is being charged with “subverting
a constitutional government” after he posted a message on a Facebook page
allegedly belonging to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mavhudzi’s message simply read: “I am overwhelmed, I don’t want to say Mr.
or PM what happened in Egypt is sending shockwaves to dictators around the
world. No weapon but unity of purpose worth emulating, hey.”
The court was told that police arrested Mavhudzi on February 24th, after
receiving an anonymous call that claimed he had sent a ‘security threat’ via
his mobile phone. It was only after the arrest that police went through his
phone and discovered the message in the sent folder.
Prosecutor Jeremiah Mutsindikwa accused Mavhudzi of “advocating or
attempting to take-over government by unconstitutional means”. And the state
opposed bail when he appeared before a city magistrate on Thursday. Mavhudzi
was remanded in custody till March 9th.

Protests against dictators in North Africa appear to have rattled Robert
Mugabe and ZANU PF, as any discussion of the events there is now considered
a crime in Zimbabwe.

A group of activists who gathered to watch video footage of the protests
were arrested on February 19 and are still in detention. Lawyers said
suspected ringleaders have been brutally assaulted.

Meanwhile there are signs that the Mugabe regime intends to increase its
ability to spy on innocent civilians. As we reported on SW Radio Africa this
week, the government is allegedly moving at a ‘very fast pace’ with the
construction of a secret electronic eavesdropping complex just outside
Harare. A trusted source said that the Chinese, who are building the
complex, have a system that enables most security agencies to ‘spy at will’
on emails, website visits, social networking sessions, and telephone calls
made over the internet on a massive scale.

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MDC MP's Son Attacked By Zanu (PF) Youths

04/03/2011 06:59:00

Harare, March 04, 2011 - Zanu (PF) youths coming from an anti-sanctions
rally organised by President Robert Mugabe beat up Munyaradzi Shoko, the son
of Chitungwiza South Member of Parliament, Misheck Shoko, the Movement for
Democratic Change said Thursday.

Mugabe launched the anti-sanctions petition at the Glamis arena which was
attended by Zanu (PF) ministers and their supporters. The aim of the rally
is to collect over two million signatures denouncing sanctions imposed by
the European Union and the United States. Rowdy youths disturbed people in
the central business district while some beat up people who were not
planning to attend the Zanu (PF) rally. Shops were also closed after the
attendants were forced to attend the Zanu (PF) rally.

"In Chitungwiza province, Munyaradzi Shoko, 27, the son to Chitungwiza South
MP, Hon. Misheck Shoko was last night assaulted by six men some in army
uniform in Unit G, Chitungwiza. A medical report, found Munyaradzi to be
suffering from multiple head bruises, a “left eye haemorrhage, and swollen
forehead”," the MDC said in a statement.

"The six who were driving a white pickup truck descended at Hon. Shoko’s
house around midnight. They asked Munyaradzi who is a university student why
he had not attended the Zanu (PF) restrictive measures event held in Harare
on Wednesday. Munyaradzi received treatment at Chitungwiza General Hospital
and made a report at Makoni Police Station. The police confirmed that there
were soldiers based at the police station but it was irregular for them not
to move in the suburb without a uniformed police officer."

Mugabe threatened Western owned companies with nationalisation if sanctions
on the 87 leader and his close associates are not removed.

The EU has maintained that it will not remove sanctions until the country
holds free and fair election and promotes free speech and open up the media
environment among other things.

After the anti-sanctions event Zanu (PF) youths went rowdy marching in the
city centre with some blocking traffic and roads as they went away.

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Gutu Teachers Flee Violence

04/03/2011 06:56:00

Masvingo, March 04, 2011 - Schools in Gutu could be forced to a premature
closure after hordes of teachers fled their work stations following deaths
threats from self-styled commander of war veterans in the country Jabulani

Sibanda is accusing them of discouraging villagers to sign President Robert
Mugabe's anti-Sanction petition launched in Harare.

Sibanda told a rally at Rumizha primary school that war veterans and Zanu
(PF) youths have since compiled a list of names of teachers who have been
seen denouncing the anti- sanction petition.

The militant commander had been living in Gutu since January and led a
terror campaign against perceived Zanu (PF) opposition supporters ahead of
the anticipated elections which may take place this year. He has been also
campaigning for the signatures of villagers to the petition.

A teacher who spoke to Radio VOP said hundreds of teachers deserted their
schools following the threats announcement by Sibanda who labelled them
sell-outs who deserved death as punishment.

“After those threats students were left with no teachers as a big number
packed their bags and left in a huff for fear of their lives,” said a
teacher at Dandavare School in Gutu east.

He added that teachers were afraid because they had been victims of
political violence in all elections held in the country over the past
decades and several lost their lives.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe(PTUZ), Masvingo provincial
co-coordinator, Munyaradzi Chauke told Radio VOP: “Yes we have received
reports from the generality of our membership that they have since left work
in Gutu because of death threats from Jabulani Sibanda. We support the
decision by teachers to flee their schools because life is precious and
cannot just be lost as a result of politics in the country,” he said.

He added that his office had received reports that some schools were only
left with their headmasters and lessons have since stopped a situation that
could affect the school calendar.

“The situation there is bad. Students are no longer having lessons. If the
situation continues schools in Gutu could be forced to close early and the
implication on the school calendar and the education sector will be
negative,” said Chauke.

Chauke said his Union was planning to take the matter to the Education
Minister so that he will engage the three principals of the inclusive
government to stop Sibanda from terrorising teachers in Gutu.

Another Teacher from Rumizha school said what also aggravated their fear was
Sibanda made the announcement at a school were a teacher was murdered in
broad day light by Zanu (PF) thugs during the June presidential elections
run-off of 2008.

“What made the situation worse was that he was doing these threats at a
school that still has fresh memories of an ugly scene of political violence
when a teacher was murdered. So you see no one would wait for death,” said
the teacher who preferred anonymity.

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US concerned about Zimbabwe political arrests

Fri Mar 4, 2011 6:06am GMT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday warned Zimbabwe it was
monitoring a string of recent politically motivated arrests in the country
and demanded Harare hold accountable anyone found to have tortured

"The United States is concerned about recent arrests in Zimbabwe targeting
political and civil society activists," State Department spokesman P.J.
Crowley said in a statement.

Crowley cited the February 19 arrest of 46 political activists accused of
plotting anti-government protests similar to those that toppled leaders in
Egypt and Tunisia, as well as other recent arrests.

"In some of those incidents, activists claimed to have been tortured,"
Crowley said.

"We call on the government to provide medical attention for those who need
it and, if torture occurred, to take immediate action to hold the
perpetrators accountable."

The activists' attorney said they were charged with treason for discussing
protests against Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, who has held power for
31 years. Defense lawyers have said the accused were in an academic debate
on African politics when police arrested them. No trial date has been set.

Those held include trade unionists, student leaders and Munyaradzi Gwisai,
who heads a small but radical pressure group, the International Socialist

The United States has expressed alarm at a spate of violence in Zimbabwe and
blamed Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF for the attacks, which are heightening
tensions ahead of possible elections this year.

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Zimbabwe's Main Political Parties Exchange Recriminations Over Violence

Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri on Thursday blamed the
Tsvangirai-led MDC for the violence, telling Parliament that its supporters
should have been summoned by a Senate committee on peace, defense and
security, instead of him

Patience Rusere | Washington  03 March 2011

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s long-ruling ZANU-PF party and the
Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
are blaming each other for the recent upsurge in political violence in the

Mr. Tsvangirai’s MDC, backed by civil society groups, said ZANU-PF
supporters including youth militia and liberation war veterans are the main
perpetrators. ZANU-PF said the  MDC is stage-managing human rights
violations to gain political mileage.

Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri on Thursday blamed the
Tsvangirai-led MDC for the violence, telling Parliament that its supporters
should have been summoned by a Senate committee on peace, defense and
security, instead of him.

To examine the roots of the latest spate of political violence in Zimbabwe,
reporter Patience Rusere turned to Gabriel Chaibva, former spokesman of the
smaller MDC formation now led by Welshman Ncube, and political analyst
Promise Mkhwanazi

Mkhwanazi dismissed Chihuri assertions in Parliament that the MDC is
responsible for most of the violence currently tightening its grip on
Zimbabwe. Chaibva said that as a former member of the MDC he could attest to
the party's propensity for violence.

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Police ban ZCTU march commemorating Women’s Day

By Tererai Karimakwenda
04 March, 2011

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) reports that they were denied
permission by the police in Bulawayo to organize a march commemorating
International Women’s Day. Barbara Tanyanyiwa, who heads the ZCTU Women’s
Advisory Council Western Region, told SW Radio Africa that the police claim
there is a directive from the head office in Harare, banning all processions
until further notice.

“We had booked Stanley Square in Makokoba where we wanted to gather next
Tuesday and then march through to our office in town. But we were told all
processions and gatherings were banned by the head office, meaning Harare,”
explained Tanyanyiwa.

She added that a police inspector named Dhapi informed them they could not
march, due to this directive.

The law in Zimbabwe says the police simply need to be notified of any
planned public events. But of course the authorities consistently ignore the
rule of law. ZANU PF’s current policy seems to be to clamp down on anything
and everything, including private meetings.

Taking this practice to the extreme, police arrested a group of activists in
Harare on 19th February and charged them with treason, because they had
gathered to watch video footage of the protests in Egypt and Libya.

Ironically Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF staged a so-called anti-sanctions rally
in Harare this week, while this alleged ban on gatherings is in effect.
Business and public transport was interrupted and people were forced to
attend and sign a petition.

A frustrated Tanyanyiwa criticized this selective use of the law: “Why in
Bulawayo are we not allowed to march peacefully? Yet we saw ZANU PF youth
‘toy-toying’ in the streets of Harare at the sanctions rally.”

Tanyanyiwa said the ZCTU will take the matter to the high court if they are
stopped from marching next Tuesday. They have written a second letter to
inform police officials in Makokoba about the peaceful march.

Meanwhile SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme reports that
several other groups were also denied permission to gather or march in
recent weeks.

A youth organization called YIDEZ was banned from holding a meeting in
Pumula. The Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) and the
Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) were also denied permission to
conduct public activities, after notifying the police.

Critics have said the Mugabe regime is in panic mode and attempting to
instill fear in the hearts of all perceived enemies and political activists.
There are also reports of an increased military presence in many parts of
the country.

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International calls grow for release of detained Zim activists

By Alex Bell
04 March 2011

Calls for the release of 45 activists detained on treason charges in
Zimbabwe are spreading across the globe, with fresh outcries coming from
Australia and Belgium.

Pickets and demonstrations in solidarity with the 45 have already been
witnessed in South Africa, London, America and Canada this week. And on
Thursday night a grouping of an Australian trade union added its voice to
calls for the activists’ release. The Social and Community Sector (SACS) of
Metro Delegates met in Melbourne on Thursday and unanimously called for the
group’s release. The union said it, “Expresses its outrage at the arrests,
condemns this transparent attack on our fellow trade unionists, and demands
their immediate release and the dropping of these charges.” The University
of Canberra in Australia has also expressed its solidarity with the
activists, calling on “the Zimbabwean Government to release them

At the same time, a Belgian Socialist group SAP, has expressed its
solidarity with the activists, and has urged the Belgian public to assist
with donations towards the detainee’s legal costs. Also, the Swiss Left
Party (La Gauche - Alternative Linke - Sinistra) has agreed to put
solidarity with the Zimbabweans on the agenda of its annual conference in
Zurich this weekend.

All the groups have expressed their support on the social networking website
Facebook, where a group calling for the release of the activists attracted
more than 700 supporters in a few days.!/home.php?sk=group_178601402184959

The 45 have been detained for almost two weeks and are facing treason
charges, after being arrested for watching TV footage of the Egypt and
Tunisia people’s revolutions. The condemnation of the arrests and solidarity
being shown for the group, meanwhile, has kept growing.

Their ongoing detention has also drawn protest from top international
circles. In a letter published by the UK's Guardian news group, 40
university professors, researchers, civilians and legal professionals from
South Africa and the UK, condemned the arrests and called for the immediate
release of the activists.

"We call for the immediate and unconditional release of all those arrested
and we call upon the Zimbabwean ambassador in London to put pressure on
Patrick Chinamasa, Zimbabwe's Minister of Justice, to arrange for their
release," the letter read.

Protesters in London meanwhile displayed their anger with Robert Mugabe’s
ongoing grip on power, by ‘hanging’ the dictator outside the Zimbabwean
embassy on Tuesday. About 50 demonstrators turned up for the protest, held
in solidarity with efforts to hold protests in Zimbabwe, efforts that failed
to lead to any mass action. But in the UK, the protesters took the
opportunity to visually represent their anger, by ‘hanging’ a Mugabe

In Cape Town scores of people demonstrated outside Parliament, calling on
the South African authorities to intervene in the Zimbabwe crisis. On
Wednesday, government officials in South Africa’s Gauteng province were
urged to call for the release of the Zimbabwean activists, by more than a
hundred protesters in Johannesburg. The group, made up of mainly South
African citizens, marched to the Gauteng Legislature, calling for tough
action on Mugabe by the South African government.

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Pregnant journalist assaulted by CIO ‘relative’

By Alex Bell
04 March 2011

Media rights groups have expressed their shock and condemnation after a
journalist, who is 6 months pregnant, was assaulted by a man who boasted
about being related to a director of the Central Intelligence Organisation

Paidamowo Chipunza, who works for the state controlled Herald newspaper, was
assaulted while covering a news story at Harare Central Hospital. She was
attacked by a student nurse, Ignatius Zuze, who punched her in the stomach
and slapped her. Zuze also turned on Herald photographer Innocent Makawa and
damaged his camera.

Zuze was arrested for assault and property damage and according to the
Herald he admitted assaulting the journalists, saying they had photographed
him without his consent. On why he had attacked a pregnant woman, he
reportedly said: “We are equal. That is what they call gender equality. She
is just like anyone else.”

According to media watchdog, MISA-Zimbabwe, Zuze boasted that nothing would
happen to him as his uncle was a CIO director and that the journalists were
going to lose their jobs.

MISA-Zimbabwe said on Friday that it condemns the assault of the journalists
and “finds it galling that the assailant could not restrain himself from
attacking a pregnant woman.”

“This underlines some of the extra-legal hindrances to free journalism
enterprise. These violations of media freedom have been engendered by a
culture of impunity where several cases involving attacks on journalists
especially those working for the independent media by political party
activists, have largely been ignored by the authorities,” MISA-Zimbabwe

This attack on the Herald journalists comes as there has been an apparent
concerted effort by ZANU PF to clamp down on the independent media, by
harassing vendors and destroying papers. This week ZANU PF supporters
destroyed copies of the privately owned NewsDay newspapers and harassed its
vendors, ahead of ZANU PF’s ‘anti-sanctions’ rally.

No action has been taken against the culprits or those accused of similar
attacks in recent weeks. MISA-Zimbabwe also said that no progress has been
reported on investigations into the burning of a car carrying copies of the
privately-owned Zimbabwean in 2008, the bombings of The Daily News offices
in 2000, its printing press in 2001 and Radio VOP offices in 2002.

“The police’s prompt response to attacks on The Herald journalists and their
seeming failure to act on a catalogue of similar cases involving the private
media only casts them as partisan and selectively enforcing the law,”
MISA-Zimbabwe said.

The Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) meanwhile has also strongly
condemned the attack and harassment of the two Herald journalists, and
expressed concern about “increased attacks on media personnel.”

VMCZ Director Takura Zhangazha told SW Radio Africa that “those obstructing
the work of journalists and destroying media products are working to seek to
deny the constitutionally enshrined right of the people of Zimbabwe to
receive and impart information.”

“We are appealing to society at large to refrain from attacking journalists
and destroying media products. We further urge that members of the public
allow journalists to do their job freely and without harassment or any forms
of attack,” Zhangazha said.

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Masvingo Students In Court Over Mugabe Assassination Movie

04/03/2011 21:55:00

Masvingo,February 05, 2011- Three students at the Masvingo Polytechnic
College appeared in court on Friday after they were arrested for watching a
mock movie depicting President Robert Mugabe being assassinated.

The movie, ‘Strike back Zimbabwe’ has been widely circulating over the

Desire Chikwanda (20), an electrical engineering student, Monalisa Katsamure
(23) and Nyasha Chikumbirike (23) appeared in court before Masvingo
magistrate Thomas Mandityira facing a charge of undermining the authority of
or insulting the person of the President.

According to the state's case Katsamure borrowed Chikwanda's laptop so that
she could watch a movie while waiting for their lecturer who had delayed.

While in possession of the laptop, Katsamure came across the movie, which
was saved on the desktop, and she clicked on it to have a look.

As the movie played, many students gleefully glued to the screen and started
shouting and applauding.

A lecturer named Lovemore Chamisa entered the lecture room and found the
students watching the movie. He reported the matter to the police, leading
to the arrest of the three students on Wednesday.

The students’ lawyer, Collin Maboke, of Mwonzora and Associates, alleged
that his clients were tortured while in police custody and were not formally
advised of their charges.

“The students were detained for two days. They told us of their torture at
the hands of the detectives. One was limping and could hardly walk, while
others had marks of beatings on their backs,” Maboke said.

Frank Chirairo was prosecuting.

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'Mounting fears in Zimbabwe' says survey

Andrew Harding | 12:54 UK time, Friday, 4 March 2011

How do you measure fear? A set of new statistics from Zimbabwe attempts to
do just that.

The figures, compiled from a "nationally representative sample of 1,200
adult Zimbabweans" by an independent non-governmental organisation called
Freedom House, paint an alarming picture of a population, which after more
than a year of growing confidence following the formation of a power-sharing
government and the halting of the country's economic collapse, is once again
beginning to cower.

Here's one perspective on the mood in Zimbabwe, then, as the prospect of
elections draws closer.

    * 89% of respondents did "not feel free to express political views"

    * 74% believe "that fear affects how people vote"

      57% want elections this year, but almost the same number "stated that
fear of violence makes Zimbabweans abstain from voting"

      support for the former opposition MDC-T has dropped sharply, from 55%
to 38%. At the same time 42% of respondents chose not to declare their vote
preference - an 11% rise from the previous year

      support for Zanu-PF has grown from 12 to 17%

      58% of respondents had experienced "violence and intimidation in their
communities in the past two years."

These figures were presented by Freedom House at a news conference in
Johannesburg, and then followed by panel discussions which focused on
concerns about a new wave of intimidation by President Mugabe's Zanu-PF.

Zimbabwean journalist Faith Zaba told of being threatened with death for
planning to write about a senior general; she also said "there's a fear of
Facebook," because "we know they [state security] are monitoring."

Women's activist Grace Chirenje spoke of "fatigue and fear in civil
society... there are so many human rights violations right now, perpetrated
mainly by the police and army... and youth militias."

Human rights lawyer Alec Muchadehama declared that the reconciliation
process "has simply not happened. Nothing has changed... People are afraid.
They are not prepared to sacrifice."

Polling expert professor Eldred Masunungure told me the fall in support for
the MDC was "a big but bitter lesson" for the party. "Though they've
performed reasonably well in government, they've done very badly in terms
of... resuscitating the party and readying it for the next electoral

Despite the generally gloomy tone of the survey's findings, it's worth
pointing out that on Monday, Harare will play host to a much more upbeat
gathering of foreign investors, lured for the most part by Zimbabwe's vast
mineral resources.

How to square the gloom and the optimism? Zimbabwe's finance minister - also
the MDC's Secretary General - Tendai Biti can always be relied on for a
choice turn of phrase.

"We're fighting the most sophisticated dictator on the African continent,"
he said, in reference to Mr Mugabe, and in answer to a series of questions I
put to him.

"We are talking about two different messages. The past and the future." He
said most foreign investors were able to see beyond the "fiction and
rhetoric" of Zanu-PF's statements about seizing companies by force.
"No major players have pulled out," he said.

As for the political struggle between the two parties: "It's inevitable that
there's going to be a violent collision. But our vision is the future, and
the future will always win. A new society is being built," said Mr Biti.

"The only challenge is whether this baby is going to be delivered by violent
caesarean section, or by normal delivery. But it will be delivered anyway,"
he said.

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Chihuri Lashes Out At NGO's

04/03/2011 06:55:00

Harare, March 04, 2011 - Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri on
Thursday lashed out at Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) accusing them
of scuttling President Robert Mugabe's plans for the country at regional and
international summits.

Giving oral evidence on the recent upsurge in violence and police handling
of the situation, Chihuri told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on
Defence and Home Affairs that representatives of NGOs were “destructing and
interjecting” President Robert Mugabe and his delegation at regional and
international summits.

Chihuri predictably questioned the source of funding for NGOs which enables
them to mount lobby and advocacy campaigns at regional and international
meetings such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and
United Nations summits and accused representatives of NGOs of staying in
“expensive hotels”.

The Commissioner-General, who was accompanied by Home Affairs Permanent
Secretary Melusi Matshiya and Lee Muchemwa, the Chief Staff Officer, Crime
said this did not happen with other countries.

Chihuri alleged that, out of a total of 121 people arrested for perpetrating
violence since January 2011, 101 were Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
supporters while 20 were Zanu (PF) supporters.

He named eight MDC legislators for “committing crimes”, but failed to
mention a single Zanu (PF) MP for any wrong-doing.

The Police Commissioner-General listed the eight MDC MPs as Deputy Prime
Minister Thokozani Khupe (for allegedly assaulting a police constable at a
roadblock); Home Affairs co-Minister Theresa Makone (for allegedly violently
threatening police officers and undermining police authority); Nyanga North
MP and Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora
(alleged public violence);Masvingo Urban MP Tongai Matutu (assaulting a
chief); Zhombe MP Rodger Tazviona (allegedly assaulting a chief);
Gokwe-Kabuyuni MP Costain Muguti (alleged robbery); Glenview South MP Paul
Madzore and Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo (for allegedly selling
liquor without a licence).

He however did not comment on any progress in matters which had been
referred to his office for investigation such as those involving the likes
of Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo.

He said reports of political violence surged during the period preceding the
European Union (EU) meeting which was held last month to review targeted
sanctions on President Mugabe and some of his party members.

The Police Commissioner-General said reports on the upsurge of violence
would be aimed at creating a seemingly violent situation in the country so
as to justify the imposition and extension of the targeted sanctions, of
which he is a victim. He also blamed the media for dramatising violence.

When quizzed on progress in relation to cases of politically-motivated
violence related to the March 2008 election aftermath, he refused to answer,
saying only that the matter was being dealt with by the Organ on National
Healing and Reconciliation.

Chihuri also disclosed before the Committee that the police are under
resourced and poorly remunerated.

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Desperate Zanu PF abusing church leaders for political expediency

Friday, 04 March 2011

The MDC deplores Zanu PF’s abuse of the church and religious leaders for political expediency. This is a shameless way of trying to reach out to people as the terror group seeks to sanitise evil by trying to infuse murder, tyranny, hatred for the poor and a plethora of sins with the lofty practices and ideals of Christianity.

For decades, the church has stood firm on the need for social justice, fairness and solidarity with humanity – issues that forced Zimbabweans to abandon Zanu PF because of its dismal failure to respect these in our society.

The MDC notes that it is an undeniable fact that the church has made a tremendous contribution to the spiritual welfare and material well-being of the majority of Zimbabwe. The church was an indispensable ally of the people during the liberation struggle, providing health, education and other forms of succour and sanctuary to tormented victims, heroes and heroines.

Against this background, the MDC condemns Zanu PF for targeting the church, coercing its leadership and further inflicting harm on religious practices by constantly interfering with the operations of the house of God.

Deceit, deception and puerile political games such as the ones being deployed by a discredited, heartless and terror organisation dripping with blood of innocent souls like Zanu PF can never be used as a cover up for, or to camouflage evil. We call for a prayer against the abuse of God's church by forces of darkness to prop up evil.  Impious and bloodthirsty political leaders must never be allowed to hide behind the forces of light.

The MDC further appeals to bishops, pastors, priests, and other religious leaders to stand up to Zanu PF’s evil deeds which have seen Zimbabwe convulse and collapse under the weight of a Zanu PF – induced national crisis, Zanu PF corruption, Zanu PF intolerance and Zanu PF’s unbridled assault on the poor – matters which invited the ire of the world and forced certain countries to impose a battery of restrictions on the perpetrators.

The abuse of the church for Zanu PF’s partisan ends must end, forthwith.

Together, united, winning, voting for real change!!

MDC Information & Publicity Department

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Bomb Scare In Masvingo

04/03/2011 06:00:00

Masvingo, March 04, 2011 – People here were gripped with fear on Friday
morning after a bomb with a capacity to wipe out tall buildings within 10
metres radius was found lying along the road near Bondolfi Teachers’
College, about seven kilometers south of Masvingo city centre.

Acting Masvingo Police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Prosper Mugauri has
however, said there was nothing to panic as ‘everything was under control’.

“There is really nothing to fear. The bomb has been since disposed of by
army engineers...and the road is now safe to use. We are still investigating
to find out whether there are culprits who left the bomb on the street with
an evil intent or maybe it could be one of those bombs left out during the
liberation struggle,” said Assistant Inspector Mugauri.

The bomb was discovered by a motorist,Godfrey Marime, who was driving from
Bondolfi College going to Masvingo town.

Army spokesperson in Masvingo Kingstone Chivave confirmed that army
engineers were deployed at the scene to dispose the bomb.

“We sent our specialists to dispose the bomb. We believe everything is now
under control, the people must not panic and they should carry on with their
business as usual,” said Chivave.

However, people spoken to said they were still terrified.

“We are not used to see bombs in the roads or streets. We are actually
shocked by what happened here. There is no explanation as to why the bomb
was dumped in the road,” said Isheunopa Hwechuma from Stop-Over.

Meanwhile Bulawayo police have allegedly been ordered not to sanction any
street protests fearing North African style uprisings.

This came out after police refused to clear planned demonstrations and
meetings penciled for this month by residents over poor service delivery,
saying they had been given a directive not to sanction any protests.

The Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) had planned to
coordinate demonstrations against poor service delivery by the Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), Bulawayo City Council (BCC), Zimbabwe
Republic Police (ZRP), registrar general’s office and retailers in the city.

However, BPRA said police denied them permission saying they had been given
a directive not to clear any meetings or demonstrations.

“Police said they were given a directive not to clear and meetings or

“They however did not reveal from what level the order came and the
 reasons,” Rodrick Fayayo, the BPRA coordinator said in an interview.

Fayayo had engaged the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) on possible
legal action against the police.

Bulawayo acting police spokesperson, Inspector Precious Simango refused to
comment on the matter when contacted for comment.

According to a list of grievances released by BPRA, the association wanted
to demonstrate against Zesa for high tariffs, erratic and unjustified power
cuts, pre-multicurrency bills that are still being charged to residents
using, “an unknown and fraudulent” exchange system, and corruption.

The association accused ZRP of corruption, poor and slow response to crime
scenes, police brutality, police intimidation and victimization, police
conduct including disregard for duty and abuse of power.

The association accused the registrar general’s office of shortage of
resources, corruption, inefficiency and abuse of office and position.

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Zimbabwe, Iran ink deal on uranium mining - report

By: Matthew Hill
4th March 2011

Zimbabwe has struck a deal with Iran to mine uranium in the southern African
country, a local paper reported on Friday.

The Zimbabwe News Day said on its website that foreign affairs minister
Simbarashe Mumbengegwi told the Middle Eastern country’s government it would
cooperate in supplying Iran with uranium for its nuclear programme.

“Zimbabwe has rich uranium reserves, but is faced with a shortage of funds
and does not possess the technical knowledge and equipment needed for
extracting rich uranium ores,” the website quoted Mumbengegwi as saying.

“If we can work together on uranium mining, it will improve the economic
situation of both countries.”

Iranian news agency ISNA first reported the development.

Western powers have placed sanctions on Iran because of its nuclear
programme they say is aimed at building atomic weapons. Iran insists it is
developing nuclear capabilities only for power generation.

Earlier this week, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton told a
congressional panel the superpower would act against Venezuela if it
violated the sanctions against Iran, after the two countries signed energy
cooperation deals last year.

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Zim auctions elephants, leopards

by Tobias Manyuchi     Friday 04 March 2011

HARARE – Zimbabwean wildlife authorities will today auction hunting packages
for big game including elephants, lions and leopards with dozens of local
and foreign hunters expected to take part in the auction.

The packages known as hunting camps consist of animal species packaged into
bags to be hunted over a 10 to 14-day period in the Nyakasanga area of
Hurungwe Safari and Sapi Safari in north-western Zimbabwe.

"The animals on offer include elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo,
hippopotamus and plains game such as kudu, impala, waterbuck and birds," the
National Parks and Wildlife Authority said in a statement.

"A cash participation deposit of 10,000 USD for hunting camps and 500 for
fishing camps will be required in order to obtain a buyer's licence number
which is refundable if all sale conditions are met," it said.

The last auction in 2009 saw bidders coming from Austria, Germany, Russia,
Spain and the United States. The country earned $1.5 million from the

The wildlife department has sanctioned several hunts over the past decade
especially as way to cull excess animals.

But illegal hunting has also been rife in Zimbabwe over the same period and
mostly blamed on black villagers who have since 2000 invaded – and with
tacit approval from President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF party -- 
white-owned farms and game conservancies where they have been accused of
poaching animals for food.

The situation has not been helped by reports of illegal and uncontrolled
trophy hunting on former white-owned conservancies now controlled by
powerful government officials and members of ZANU PF, although the
government denies politicians are illegally hunting game and insists it
still has poaching under control. – ZimOnline

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46 Derailments On Beira-Zimbabwe Line

4 March 2011

Maputo — Lack of maintenance on the Beira-Zimbabwe railway caused 46
derailments in just two months, according to a spokesperson for the
Mozambican port and rail company CFM, cited in the Beira daily paper "Diario
de Mocambique".

CFM blames the Indian consortium Ricon, which is the majority shareholder in
the Beira Railroad company (CCFB). The management of the entire Beira rail
system - consisting of the line to Zimbabwe, and the Sena railway linking
Beira to the Moatize coal basin in Tete province - was awarded to Ricon in
204, through an international tender.

Prior to Ricon taking over, CFM undertook some improvements on the line to
Zimbabwe, which resulted in reducing the number of derailments from 169 in
2000 to 53 in 2004.

CCFB/Ricon was supposed to continue this work and hired local companies to
rehabilitate several stretches of the track.

"Apparently, this work was not done properly due to lack of experience on
the part of the companies hired plus poor inspection by CCFB", said the CFM
source. "As a result the railway has gone into rapid decline, to the point
where there are now derailments virtually every day".

He regarded the state of the line as "deplorable" in some areas, where
sleepers are missing, and there is even a shortage of screws to tighten the
rails. The railway workers lack the basic tools to align the tracks

Derailments occur on both the man line and the secondary lines. Missing
sleepers, or with sleepers in a poor condition, the secondary lines are no
longer in a condition to bear the weight of locomotives and wagons.

All this adds to the arguments of those, such as CFM chairperson Rosario
Mualeia, who want to see the government cancel the lease given to

Up to now the main argument against Ricon has been its failure to finish
reconstruction of the Sena line on time. But its inability to maintain the
line to Zimbabwe, which was functioning reasonably well in 2004, indicates
that Ricon is unable to handle even fairly simple tasks.

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Senior U.S. State Department Official Concludes Zimbabwe Visit

Embassy of the United States of America

Public Affairs Section

Media Statement: Senior U.S. State Department Official Concludes Zimbabwe Visit


Statement by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Ms. Susan D. Page

Harare, March 4, 2011: My visit to Zimbabwe this week highlighted a country buoyed by massive opportunity yet gripped with uncertainty.  The United States remains committed to working with the people of Zimbabwe to achieve our common goal of seeing a more stable and prosperous Zimbabwe.

The United States is concerned by the increase in political violence, wanton intimidation of the public, and partisan arrests and prosecutions that have occurred recently.  It is clear that these actions are being perpetrated by individuals and segments of the state security apparatus affiliated with elements within ZANU-PF.  We applaud President Mugabe’s clear statement on February 26 that violence is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.  We hope that President Mugabe, as head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces, also conveys that message to the police and security services. The credibility of that statement, however, ultimately will be reflected in if or how it is honored.  The United States believes that ZANU-PF will be a part of Zimbabwe’s future.  In order to play a constructive role, ZANU-PF must reject the use of violence and fear in its operations.  Similarly, we recognize that not everyone within the Zimbabwe Republic Police and armed forces supports or is engaged in violence.  The United States applauds those patriots serving their fellow citizens and their country by maintaining law, order and stability.  I urge these security service members to stand up to the partisan few among them who are intent on abusing their positions, and their fellow citizens, for personal gain.  Service to extremists within one party is not service to the nation.

The United States supports a transformation of Zimbabwe to democracy and a return to prosperity. We applaud the commitment of the three parties to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) to develop and adopt a new constitution before holding elections.  We support the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) lead in developing a roadmap for credible elections in Zimbabwe.  It is up to the people of Zimbabwe to reach a consensus on when those elections should be held.  The United States stands prepared to assist the Zimbabwean people to enhance the strength and capacity of their electoral institutions and civil society organizations to help ensure that the next elections, when they are held, are credible, free of violence, and represent the will of the Zimbabwean people.  While those parties in government progress along the roadmap to democratic elections, they must honor their obligations under the GPA, their responsibilities in government, and their commitment to deliver services to the people.

It is clear from my meetings and discussions with a wide array of Zimbabweans both here and in Bulawayo, that Zimbabwe’s economy has significant opportunities for growth and employment.  We have seen a notable increase in American and international business interest in the country’s newly-revived economy and the U.S. Embassy here has increased significantly its outreach to the American private sector to draw attention to local opportunities.  At the same time, foreign companies will not expose themselves to investment risks in Zimbabwe until a clear and consistent set of ground rules governing the protection of private property, the sanctity of contracts, and unbiased enforcement of the law are in place.  True empowerment comes when a vibrant economy provides jobs, opportunities, food for peoples’ families, and hope for the future. 

A rising tide lifts all boats.  This is happening now in Zimbabwe but only to a limited degree.  Substantial growth and development is waiting for the stability and security that will come once the rule of law is enforced, core business principles are respected, corruption is diminished, and all people are able to freely express themselves in a peaceful manner.  Currently, a small band of detractors focused on personal profiteering at the expense of others is holding the entire country down.  The Zimbabwean people deserve better and the American people are eager to partner with you for the empowerment of all Zimbabweans.


# # #


Comments and queries should be addressed to Sharon Hudson-Dean, Public Affairs Officer.

E-mail:  Tel. +263 4 758800-1, Fax: 758802.

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International Award For Rights Lawyer

04/03/2011 06:51:00

Harare, March 04- 2011 - An international organisation of lawyers has
honoured prominent human rights lawyer Alec Muchadehama by awarding him the
Lawyers for Lawyers Award.

Muchadehama who is currently representing 45 social and human rights
activists charged with treason was named the recipient of the first Lawyers
for Lawyers Award on Thursday.

Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L), a Dutch organisation said Muchadehama had worked
hard to promote the rule of law and human rights in an exceptional way in
Zimbabwe despite facing threats or being obstructed in his work.

In addition to a special memento, Muchadehama will receive a sum of €10,000.

L4L said it hopes that the attention and publicity that goes with the
presentation of the award will offer Muchadehama some form of protection.

Muchadehama will accept the award in April in Amsterdam at the Lawyers for
Lawyers Seminar held on the occasion of the organisation’s 25th anniversary.

Muchadehama started working as a public prosecutor for the Ministry of
Justice in 1991 in Harare.

He joined private practice in 1997. Immediately after his appointment as a
lawyer he began standing up for victims of human rights violations and for
human rights activists.

He has defended both ordinary citizens and members of trade unions and the
opposition, often with success.

In addition to his “regular” work as a lawyer, Muchadehama is a member of
the Rapid Response Unit of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. In that
capacity he responds to reports of human rights violations and is often the
first on the scene to gather information about the situation and to assist
the victims.

“Muchadehama has distinguished himself by his vigorous and intelligent
approach to the cases he deals with, but particularly by the extent of his
perseverance. Attempts are regularly made to make his work impossible. He is
often harassed and he has several times been arrested, detained and even
tortured by the authorities, always on the basis of false accusations. This
has not deterred Muchadehama. Even in the first half of 2008, when the
situation in Zimbabwe was very tense and many were fleeing the country, he
continued unrelentingly to protect victims of human rights violations. He
considers this self-evident: someone is needed to assist the many victims,”
said L4L.

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Zimbabwe election will be significant ‘for SA as well’

Published: 2011/03/04 07:45:32 AM

CAPE TOWN — Zimbabwe’s next elections should mark a watershed and be
monitored by as many international observers as the country’s first
post-colonial vote in 1980, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said
yesterday .

"The conception is that these elections would be a watershed, like the 1980
elections that happened when the old Rhodesia became Zimbabwe," Mr Motlanthe
said during question time in the National Council of Provinces.

Mr Motlanthe called on all political parties in SA’s troubled northern
neighbour to ensure the elections are free and fair.

"The next elections are viewed by all parties as watershed elections, and
therefore they have to prepare for them thoroughly to ensure that there will
not be any more violence or intimidation during the course of the election

President Robert Mugabe has threatened to call elections regardless of
whether the country’s new constitution has been completed — a pre-condition
for polls under Zimbabwe’s power-sharing Global Political Agreement.

This earned him a veiled rebuke from Deputy International Relations Minister
Marius Fransman, who insisted this week that all parties were bound by the

Mr Motlanthe sent the same message, saying an election date could only be
set once all parties had agreed to a political blueprint paving the way for
the next elections.

He said a facilitation team from SA was due back in Zimbabwe at the end of
the month to check on progress in this regard.

"According to their work plan, the facilitation team is due to go back to
Zimbabwe at the end of March, so that they pull together this road map. And
it is only in the face of that road map that the election date can be set."
Mr Motlanthe warned that Zimbabwe could only hope for a full economic
recovery if it stuck to political stability. Heavy-handed foreign
intervention could have disastrous consequences that would also directly
affect SA, he said.

"It is the will of the Zimbabwean people which must determine the future of
Zimbabwe as a country, and it is in our interest as a country that indeed we
proceed in that direction. Because if we fail and Zimbabwe implodes,
literally the border between Zimbabwe will disappear and we will sit with
all the problems. We already know. We’ve had a taste. That’s why our
approach is one that ensures that steadily they move in the right direction.

"We would not ourselves employ methods that would undermine the will of the
Zimbabwean people."

Asked about continuing violence in Zimbabwe, Mr Motlanthe conceded there
were still complaints of abuse by security forces. "Of course sometimes old
habits die hard. The law enforcement units ... are used to dealing with
citizens a bit harshly. This was confirmed in meetings with the various
political parties, including Zanu (PF) ," he said.

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WC Cricket: New Zealand hammer Zimbabwe by 10 wickets

Saturday, March 05, 2011

'Pakistan Times' Sports Desk

AHMEDABAD (India): New Zealand romped to a clinical 10-wicket victory
against Zimbabwe in the World Cup on Friday, boosting their chances of
making it to the quarter-finals.

After bowling out the African nation for just 162, the Kiwis rode on
unbeaten half-centuries by Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum to canter to
the target with 99 balls to spare in the Group A clash at the Sardar Patel

The opening partnership between Guptill (86) and McCullum (76) was the
highest for the tournament.

The victory, the second for New Zealand by a 10-wicket margin in the
tournament, moved them up in the table with four points from three games.
Pakistan lead the charts with three wins from as many matches.

Guptill, named man of the match, launched New Zealand's chase with a bang,
carting seven fours and two sixes off 108 balls on way to his 10th ODI

McCullum was equally belligerent, hitting six fours and two sixes in his
95-ball knock. "It was a good partnership," said McCullum. "It was
definitely made a lot easier by the way we bowled. I thought we were
outstanding with the ball."

"A win like this is very good for confidence." New Zealand skipper Daniel
Vettori said the win was a much-needed confidence boost. "I think it's the
performance that we were looking for. Now we've got to replicate that
against some of the bigger nations," he said.

Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura cut a sorry figure as he tried to explain
his team's capitulation. "It was a very disappointing game from us from ball
one up to the end," he said. "Losing quick wickets is a problem. It's a game
we will like to forget quickly and move onto the next one."

Earlier, seamers Tim Southee, Kyle Mills and Scott Styris shared six wickets
after Chigumbura won the toss and elected to bat on a benign wicket. But it
was not a start they would have wished for, losing their top five batsmen
inside 15 overs to a combination of Kiwi pace and spin.

Opener Charles Coventry was the first to go, run out with just two runs on
the board as Hamish Bennett at mid-on threw the stumps down at the bowler's

Tatenda Taibu, coming into the game on the back of a match-winning 98
against Canada, earned a reprieve when Vettori failed to pouch a sitter off

But the bowler was rewarded off the very next ball when he had Taibu trapped
leg before wicket for eight, a decision upheld after television replays
showed Southee's ball would have hit the off-stump.

Mills, back in action after missing his team's seven-wicket defeat to
Australia, sent back Craig Ervine for 11 before Vettori dismissed Chigumbura
and Regis Chakabva in his first over to leave Zimbabwe in deep trouble at

Opener Brendan Taylor (44) waged a lonely battle until he was struck on the
pads against the gentle pace of part-timer Styris to be dismissed six runs
short of a deserved half-century. Greg Lamb was the second run-out victim of
the game, failing to make his ground after being sent back by partner
Prosper Utseya (36).

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From the archives: Mugabe's rise to power

Friday, 4th March 2011

Peter Hoskin

A strange sort of anniversary, but an anniversary nonetheless: it is 31
years, to the day, since Robert Mugabe took power in Zimbabwe, or Rhodesia
as it was still called. In which case, here is The Spectator's leading
article from the time. It is, for the large part, a good demonstration of
the benefits conferred by hindsight. But its caginess about Mugabe is
apparent in such observations as, "It is up to Mr Mugabe whether he leads
his country into yet another black tyranny, corrupt and inefficient, or
whether he builds on what has already been built." Mugabe, it seems, made
his mind up on that one some time ago.

Off the the Rhodesian hook, The Spectator, 8 March 1980

Mr Mugabe's victory in the Rhodesian elections is overwhelming. He has
utterly overwhelmed Bishop Muzorewa; Mr Joshua Nkomo's wing of the Patriotic
Front is now seen to be very much a minority, Matabele faction lacking any
broad appeal; and the other African groupings are routed. The Rhodesian
electorate has voted decisively, and, despite all the intimidation, has
produced a democratic result. Although many had expected Mr Mugabe to emerge
as the leader of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia's government, none had reckoned on him
winning a clear and quite unequivocal outright victory. His triumph is
beyond question and cavil.

Much can and will be said to the effect that Mugabe's triumph is the best of
all possible results. Had no clear victor emerged and had, in the consequent
politicking, a coalition government been formed which excluded Mugabe, in
all likelihood the civil war would have erupted again. Indeed any muddled
and confused electoral result could have restarted the fighting and
butchery. The plight of the Commonwealth troops would have been perilous.
Hasty evacuation and precipitate departure might well have become Britain's
lot. Lord Soames would have been on a hiding to nothing in trying to
exercise gubernatorial authority and viceregal judgment. The Mugabe triumph
should remove the risk of civil war. It should ensure the safety of visiting
troops. There will be no undignified British scuttle nor any need to test
Lord Soames's political skill. For all this we in Britain, along with the
Rhodesians of every colour, tribe and political persuasion, many be
profoundly thankful. We look like getting ourselves off the Rhodesian hook
at last, and pretty painlessly at that.

But at what price? This we do not know and cannot yet know. All we know is
that it is not we in Britain who will pay, but the Rhodesians. Their future
is in Mr Mugabe's hands and none can say what he will do with it. Time will
tell, probably soon enough. He is a strong man and an intelligent one; some
say his professed Marxism is only skin-deep, others see him as Moscow's man;
by all he is accounted personally uncorrupt. He could, if he chose, lead
Zimbabwe-Rhodesia into swift prosperity. It is potentially rich and
powerful, in black African terms. Mr Mugabe has often enough declared that
he wants the white Rhodesians to stay. This they will do, if he uses his
great power well. But should he use his power foolishly, then he could as
easily lead Zimbabwe-Rhodesia into dereliction. Its economy could as readily
collapse as prosper. It is up to Mr Mugabe whether he leads his country into
yet another black tyranny, corrupt and inefficient, or whether he builds on
what has already been built. Despite the force of his arms, he has come to
power democratically and as the result of political process. If he keeps
himself in power without the force of arms and rules democratically, as
sometimes he has suggested he proposes to do, then all might yet be well in
the land first administered by Rhodes.

Mugabe's triumph is Carrington's defeat. Despite the manifest convenience of
an overwhelming electoral result, the upshot is what Lord Carrington has
been seeking to avoid. He would never have been able to persuade Mrs
Thatcher away from her inclination to recognise the Muzorewa regime and to
lift sanctions, if he had said to her, 'At the end of the day, we will hand
Robert Mugabe Rhodesia on a plate.' Yet this is what he has done, after Mrs
Thatcher's diplomatic 'triumph' at Lusaka and his own 'triumph' at Lancaster
House. Britain's brief return to the exercise of theoretical sovereignty in
Salisbury has allowed us to preside over the democratic election of a
Marxist whose power hitherto was securely based upon arms supplied by Moscow
and by guerilla troops trained and based in Mozambique. If Lord Carrington's
sole purpose was to get Britain off the hook, then he may claim some
success. But Britain could have got itself off the hook at any time since
UDI, by the simple and very familiar technique of according de jure
recognition to Smith's de facto regime. Successive British governments
declined to do this partly to punish Smith and partly to ingratiate
ourselves with black African states. Eventually, Britain destroyed Smith. It
then destroyed Bishop Muzorewa. Now, at last, the sorry story ends with Lord
Soames inviting Mr Mugabe to govern Rhodesia. The man Britain least wanted
is victor; we have settled upon him the future of Rhodesia in order to get
ourselves off the hook. Now at last we can wash our hands of Rhodesia. They
are pretty dirty hands. We wish Zimbabwe-Rhodesians good fortune and Mr
Mugabe good judgment: they will need them if their country is to prosper.

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