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Tsvangirai Meets Supporters Over MDC Rift

09/05/2010 07:38:00

Harare, May 09, 2010 - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and members of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) standing committee on Saturday met with
the party's supporters in an attempt to contain rifts between senior
officials which are fast spreading to the party's grassroots.

The meeting was held at the new conference centre at the MDC headquarters in

There have been speculation that there are two MDC factions battling for
supremacy in the party, one aligned to Tsvangirai and another sympathetic to
the party's Secretary General, Tendai Biti.

Sources that attended the Saturday meeting said Tsvangirai told the MDC
supporters that the current confusion was a result of "Zanu (PF)
machinations", but the supporters also demanded explanations on the party's
unclear position on salaries.

"People were drawn from all 48 wards in Harare. The discussion centred
mostly on the public disagreements, and the party's apparent lack of a clear
position on the issue of salaries," said a source.

"President (of the MDC) Tsvangirai said the confusion was caused by Zanu
(PF) and the central intelligence organisation, and pleaded with supporters
top be wary of these."

The reported divisions in the MDC have generated a lot of interest at a time
the party is preparing for its elective congress to be held next year.

Political analyst John Makumbe also supported the claim on possible CIO
interference during a recent interview with a UK based Zimbabwean radio
station, SW Radio Africa.

"I suspect very strongly that a lot of that is coming from the Central
Intelligence Organisation and then there are also elements within the MDC
who are influenced by it and the rumour mongering really spreading all kinds
of innuendos about the relationship between Biti and Morgan," Makumbe told
the station.

But some MDC insiders blame the confusion on power struggles within the

Although talk about the divisions have been going on for some time, the
issue has been more publicised over the last two weeks when Biti and
Tsvangirai publicly disagreed over public servants salaries.

Ugly scenes at the party's headquarters, Harvest House in Harare also oiled
the already burning rumours. The party's Director General Toendepi Shonhe
was beaten by youths who also impounded his car.

Tsvangirai later issued a statement blaming the disturbances on outsiders.
The failure by the party to publicise details of a report on the violence
has also heightened the speculation.

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Job Sikhala launches massive national party for elections

Sunday, 09 May 2010 16:13

FIREBRAND Zimbabwean politician and founding member of the Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change Mr Job Sikhala has formed
a new political party which he named MDC99, The Zim Diaspora can reveal.

Mr Sikhala, dismissed from the MDC Mutambara on charges of gross political
indiscipline emerged in Harare on Saturday with what appears to be a
powerful political ideology and was supported by hundreds of disgruntled
political activists.

In what stunned many, Mr Sikhala easily raised a diverse national executive
of more than 70 members.
The new party will start mobilizing support through rallies in preparation
for elections next year, Mr Sikhala said during a press conference in Harare's
Adelaide Acres. The party will be headquartered at Old Mutual House in
Harare's central business district, he added.

Mr Sikhala installed himself as interim president deputized by Abigail
Mahlangu and Bibiana Musunami.
Announcing his 70 member national executive at a press conference, Mr
Sikhala said he believed that he has done the right thing - in line with the
founding principles of the MDC.

The powerful post of Secretary General is held by Joshua Khumalo while
national chairman is held Webster Muzulu and Treasurer General is Gladman

"Today is not a day for the usurpation of powers, it is a day of restoration
of the very principles that founded the MDC. We have been disgruntled for
the past five years after the split of the MDC in 2005 when the institution
that we all constructed and sacrificed for, started to be personified with
individual names of leaders and hired guns like Arthur Mutambara,"

"We have decided to take over and restore back the people's project and
continue from where we left when we were fighting President Mugabe. This
party, the original MDC shall be called MDC 99, in recognition of the year
it was formed." he said.

"MDC 99 will use the party's constitution as per its formation in 1999. The
part will stick to the founding principles and ideals of the MDC as of that
year. The slogans and party regalia will remain the same," he said.

The Zim Diaspora understands that Sikhala's new party will however continue
to use MDC-M structures at grassroots as a means of political mobilization.

Sikhala also took a swipe at the Mugabe/Tsvangirai so-call coalition
government of national unity. He likened the collation to a "loaded bus
without wheels".

"This government of national unity is like a bus going nowhere but carrying
a placard written many destinations and people are made to pay dearly.
President Mugabe is the driver while Morgan Tsvangirai is the conductor and
Authur Mutambara is the loader," he said

The MDC split into two factions in 2005 over disagreements over
participation in Senate elections. Since then, the smaller MDC-M faction
whom Sikhala belonged to has been dogged by serious internal power
squabbles. Its leader, Professor Mutambara has been attacked by the party
supporters for his alleged praise and support of President Mugabe.

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Zimbabweans may be left in the dark for World Cup

Ryan Truscott | 5 Hours Ago

Zimbabweans are worried that they won't get to watch live broadcasts of the
FIFA World Cup next month because of persistent power cuts.

Many homes only get power now between midnight and 4am and the state-run
power company has warned of increased power cuts over the winter months.

The prospects of Zimbabweans seeing any matches are slim as the state ZESA
power company threatens more load-shedding.

Zimbabwean households have power cuts that last up to 19 hours.

Many homes only have power between midnight and four or five in the morning.

ZESA says if people pay their bills it might be able to import more power.

The company is currently owed more than 230 million US dollars from

Priority appears to be going to tobacco farmers curing tobacco or irrigating

ZESA spokesperson Fullard Gwasira says he can't promise anything to World
Cup viewers residing in Zimbabwe.

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ZIMBABWE: Region commits to rebuilding universities

Universities in Southern Africa have rallied to support the rebuilding of higher education in Zimbabwe, in what could evolve into a model of regional collaboration. Following a meeting of vice-chancellors in Cape Town, convened by the Southern African Regional Universities Association, a special envoy to Zimbabwe will be appointed to identify priority needs and develop an action plan to assist a sector devastated by a decade of political turmoil.

SARUA organised the meeting on 24 April following a request from the Zimbabwean Universities' Vice-chancellors Association, ZUVCA, for strategic assistance to stabilise universities under threat from an exodus of academics and professionals, weakened research and teaching infrastructure, and lack of internet connectivity and access to resources.

The meeting, called the SARUA Leadership Dialogue on Rebuilding Higher Education in Zimbabwe, led to a "Cape Town Accord and Call for Action" that was finalised last week.

"It was an historic moment, the potential of which was probably not clear in the minds of vice-chancellors when we started talking," Professor Derrick Swartz, Vice-chancellor of South Africa's Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, told University World News.

"By the end of the conversation, we had reached a momentous agreement on support for higher education in Zimbabwe."

Vice-chancellors from across Southern Africa, Swartz said, committed to actions ranging from encouraging academics to visit or return to Zimbabwe to ease critical staff shortages and helping to train postgraduates to connecting universities to fast broadband now available in South Africa and using ICTs for joint teaching programmes.

Professor Lindela Ndlovu, Vice-chancellor of the National University of Science and Technology and chair of ZUVCA, said one achievement of the dialogue "was the willingness of vice-chancellors to respond to our clarion call for assistance". Another was realisation of how useful a regional body could be in bringing universities together to tackle challenges.

The appointment of a special envoy will be coordinated by SARUA in partnership with the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education and ZUVCA, which will convene a steering committee to guide the work of the envoy and ensure that development of an action plan for assistance is led by the Zimbabwean higher education sector.

SARUA, in consultation with Zimbabwean university leaders, will draft a proposal to raise funds to support and host the work of the envoy in the coming months. The envoy's tasks will be to ascertain the higher education sector's priority needs, propose strategies to respond to them, identify implementation means and draft an action plan and budget.

The African Development Bank had already expressed interest in supporting the initiative, said Piyushi Kotecha, CEO of SARUA, which works to develop a regional identity for higher education and enhance university collaboration in the Southern African Development Community.

"We believe this could evolve into a model for regional higher education collaboration," she told University World News.

The Cape Town Accord endorsed the need for collective leadership, on a regional level, to realise the developmental benefits of higher education in Southern Africa.

But it also stressed that higher education was first and foremost a national responsibility. "The outcomes of the dialogue tend towards supporting the leadership of the higher education sector in Zimbabwe in their process of rebuilding and revitalising the sector," it stated.

Higher education in Zimbabwe made a significant contribution to the region, and decline in its performance weakened the sector across Southern Africa.

Zimbabwe had the second highest student enrolment in the region, 18% of total student enrolment in science, engineering and technology, nearly a quarter of students in business management and law, and close to 20% of enrolments in the humanities and social sciences.

However, the sector faced "significant challenges that threaten its very survival". While demand for graduates and academic services continued to grow, resources to meet those demands had dramatically diminished during Zimbabwe's political and economic crises.

Institutions now operated with "grossly inadequate financial, material, human and other resources. The exodus of senior academics, in particular, exerts an enormous constraint on the capacity of the system to reproduce itself," the Accord reported.

Zimbabwean university leaders at the meeting identified four areas of priority needs:

* A critical need for qualified academic and teaching staff. Measures to assist staff to become better qualified were the highest priority. Also needed were teaching and learning facilities, equipment including better-resourced libraries, computers and access to the internet.

* An increase in research funding to expand knowledge production. Mentoring through collaborative research was required to develop the skills of young researchers. The visibility of Zimbabwean research needed to increase through communication and publication.

* Significant expansion of teaching, laboratory, administrative and research infrastructure was required to accommodate growth in student numbers. Universities needed support to connect to new broadband availability in South Africa so that they could acquire reliable and cheaper connectivity and use ICTs in management, teaching, learning and research.

* Improvements in institutional governance and management, which had been eroded by lack of funds and personnel. Turnover of senior managers was high and vacancies could not be filled due to poor working conditions, the political situation and a scarcity of qualified skills.

The Accord called on governments, donors and universities to actively support student and staff mobility, exchange and collaboration in higher education in Southern Africa. Mutual reciprocity was fundamental to making cooperation work and should be a core criterion guiding collaborative projects, it said.

The vice-chancellors committed to a range of collaborative activities aimed at rebuilding higher education in Zimbabwe.

One short-term pledge was to find innovative ways to make staff available to Zimbabwean institutions for limited periods. Many academics in the region, the Accord pointed out, already had working relations with colleagues in Zimbabwe and these could be developed, where practical, and extended to increase support for universities in that country.

Staff could be made available through, for instance, secondments, exchanges and research supervision. Institutions were encouraged to take full advantage of ICTs for teaching and learning within and across borders.

The Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education would collect information on specific staff shortages, and would facilitate contact between local universities and institutions across the region so that support could be negotiated.

"Vice-chancellors are encouraged to issue a communiqué that informs academics at their institutions of this request for assistance and that encourages them to assess opportunities for providing support," the Accord stated.

Medium-term action will focus on the appointment and work of the special envoy. While universities required immediate assistance, the Accord said, vice-chancellors were "hopeful that the process of stabilising higher education in Zimbabwe will create a strategic space for thinking through the long-term sustainability of the sector in that country".

Challenges faced by higher education in Zimbabwe were challenges to all of SADC, the Accord concluded. "We are convinced that cooperation and partnerships among higher education institutions in the region and other stakeholders such as government, donors and the private sector are a sine qua non for addressing the plight of Zimbabwe and the region."

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Masvingo Journalist On the Run After Threats

09/05/2010 17:25:00

Masvingo, May 09, 2010 - The editor of a Masvingo independent weekly paper
has gone into hiding after police threatened him with arrests for a story he
wrote concerning Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi.

It is alleged the police were acting on the orders of Mzembi who wants the
reporter charged for criminal defamation for publishing a story that linked
him to the theft of President Robert Mugabe's birthday gifts in February.

Mzembi, also Masvingo south legislator, is said to have instructed Officer
commanding CID Masvingo district, only identified as Superintendent Magamba,
to lock up Golden Maunganidze, the Editor of Masvingo Mirror last Monday.

Mzembi is a accusing Maunganidze of authoring the story that linked him to
the disappearance of hundreds of tonnes of sugar donated to
President Mugabe on his 86th birthday celebrations. He said the story was
published in his paper and was picked up by other papers including online

Maunganidze went into hiding after Magamba stormed his offices and
questioned him. He told him that Mzembi had made a report at the Harare
central police station.

Police in Masvingo declined to comment a referred all the questions to their
headquarters in Harare.

Maunganidze's whereabouts are not known but Mirror news editor Tatenda
Chitagu confirmed that the journalist was in hiding.

"We are very worried about our Editor's whereabouts since the day police
wanted to arrest him. He just disappeared and never told anyone where he was
going. But the last time I talked to him he was so terrified and kept on
insisting that he was afraid of being tortured and harassed by police if he
was detained,"  he said.

His mobile phone was switched off.

The government has been accused of using criminal defamation law as a weapon
to silence journalist in the country despite hopes from the
media fraternity of a few positive changes in their working environment.

Five Harare based journalist were last week summoned to court to answer
charges over a story linking business mogul Phillip Chiyangwa and local
government minister, Ignatius Chombo to a serious land scandal in the
capital city.

The five, Vincent Kahiya, Nevanji Madanhire, Jennifer Dube, and Feluna
Muleya of the Standard and Stanley Gama of the Sunday Times are being
charged for writing stories based on a city of Harare report about Chiyangwa's
land deals.

Media bodies have also attacked the govenrment with ZUJ Secretary general
Foster Dongozi describing the action as scoring a spectacular own goal while
MISA said the it was an attempt to silence the media and society as a whole.

Mzembi refused to comment on the matter.

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Mugabe opponent facing execution over terror charges

On eve of decision on whether trial in Zimbabwe will go ahead, MDC official Roy Bennett insists case is politically motivated

Roy Bennett of Zimbabwe's MDC party leaves the high court in 
Harare, in November 2009.

Roy Bennett of Zimbabwe's MDC party leaves the high court in Harare, in November 2009. Photograph: Philimon Bulawayo / Reuters/Reuters

An opposition politician and hate figure for the Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, will learn tomorrow whether he must answer terrorism charges that could result in the death penalty.

Roy Bennett, the treasurer general of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), will appear at the high court to find out if his trial will go ahead. The white former farmer is accused of buying £3,000 worth of arms in 2006 to carry out acts of insurgency, sabotage, banditry or terrorism.

In an interview with the Guardian, Bennett insisted the long-running case was politically motivated but offered to relinquish his claim to a position in government, in a bid to save Zimbabwe's fragile power-sharing agreement.

"It's very unsettling," said Bennett, at his home in the capital, Harare. "To sit there and to listen to absolute fabricated lies where basically you've got the death sentence hanging over your head is not pleasant at all."

He continued: "To know that the people that are doing it will stop at absolutely nothing to achieve their ends and that there is a selective application of the rule of law, that the judiciary is totally compromised, that the very judge that's trying me is the owner of a farm that he's been given through political patronage, that all the appointees have been done through the ministry of justice on a political basis . basically I should expect no mercy and fear the worst."

Bennett is pessimistic about the outcome of tomorrow's hearing. "If you look at the whole trend and pattern of how [Mugabe's] Zanu-PF has operated with opposition leaders, it's a case of tying people up with court cases for as long as they can, and keeping them out of the active arena of their duties within politics.

"I honestly believe that for whatever reasons they will try and make this thing last as long as possible and carry it on as long as they can."

The MDC says that more than 100 of its members and activists are facing various trumped-up charges across the country. Bennett was arrested in February last year, on the day he was due to be sworn in to the inclusive government as deputy agriculture minister.

The senator said that he would be willing to step aside if it meant breaking the political deadlock and moving towards fresh elections.

"I was elected to my position by the people of Zimbabwe to serve them honestly and transparently so I have absolutely no problem where I serve. Certainly I would hate a process to stop over individuals and personalities.

"It's far beyond personalities and far bigger than personalities. You're talking about people's livelihoods, the restoration and reconstruction of a country."

The 53-year-old added: "Certainly a single post should not stop that process moving forward. So if it meant step aside completely and not be involved, and that would move the process forward towards a fresh election and towards democracy, I would be the first person to endorse that."

Bennett said: "Zanu-PF and MDC have very little interaction. They're two polarised camps, which is why this GPA [global political agreement] is a total failure. One person's been murdering and raping you and accusing you of being puppets of the west and British and whatever; and on the other hand you try and sit and have a civilised conversation. It's impossible."

But he added: "I'm very optimistic ... You're dealing with a total autocratic despot dictator. Where in the world have those sort of people been removed overnight? It is a process. The people that have to be given accolades is the Zimbabwean people that have suffered the brunt of this dictatorship economically and through human rights abuses, yet they have remained resolute and strong on what they want.

George Mlala, Zanu-PF's Bulawayo province deputy secretary for indigenisation, argued that the courts should now be left alone to decide Bennett's case.

"Suppose Mugabe says today, 'Hey police, this man please, can you stop all your investigations, I want to appoint him today,'" he said. "Is that not an interference with the police? We are saying, if MDC wants this matter settled, let the court settle the matter.

"If Bennett is found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment, 10 years' imprisonment, 24 hours' imprisonment, go to the president and say, 'The man has been found guilty. Can you please pardon him?' If he pardons him, nobody will say he's interfered with the courts or police. But now his hands are tied. If it was me, I would not release Bennett. I would allow the court to proceed."

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Response of Harare Diocese to Kunonga ruling

May 8, 2010 at 6:25 pm

By Bishop Chad Gandiya

Events of the last few weeks have left many of you baffled because instead
of the expected positive change many have witnessed an escalation of the
disturbances. Honourable judge Malaba's judgment on Monday this week has
also added to the confusion of what is actually going on.

Most of you will have read in today's Herald that Dr. Kunonga is calling for
reconciliation and was "making all church buildings accessible to all
Anglicans on times to be arranged with clergy from different persuasions of
the church".

We are therefore writing to inform you about the position of the diocese on
the matter and to encourage you all to stand firm in your faith and
commitment to the lord Jesus Christ and his Church. First we would like you
all to remember that the church is people. You are the church and not
buildings even though they are important.

Dr. Kunonga if quoted correctly in today's Herald newspaper seems to be
accepting Honourable President Judge Makarawu's initial judgment that we
shared use of church buildings at agreed times until the Courts made a
determination on the matter. That matter is still before the High Court of
Zimbabwe and we are waiting for a date to be set for the trial.

Second, we should guard against discussing church business including matters
that are before the courts in the papers. I understand the need both to
disseminate correct information to a wider audience and to counteract
propaganda and lies that are at times peddled through the papers as "gospel
truth" about our situation.

This has to be balanced with other prudent considerations such as the wisdom
of refusing to play according to someone's tune no matter how great the
temptation may be.  Third, do not act on the basis of what you read in the
newspapers without checking with us first. Again, we do not conduct our
business through the papers. We will inform you officially about any changes
to the status quo.

For instance, Dr. Kunonga has not contacted the province or us as he
indicated in the Herald. If and when he does and the province or diocese has
anything to share with you, we will do so without delay. In the meantime if
you are able to use your churches please go ahead and do as it is in
accordance with Makarawu judgment. If the police prohibit you, please do not
resist because it could then end up in violence.

Our response to Judge Malaba's judgment is as follows:

We, the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA), Diocese of Harare,
would like to comment on the article that appeared in The Herald of Tuesday
4 May 2010 entitled Church assets go to Kunonga, The reportage of the
article aforesaid is not factually correct.

The Supreme Court did NOT declare Dr Nolbert Kunonga and his board of
trustees legitimate and did NOT grant them control over properties of the
Anglican Diocese of Harare, CPCA.

The Supreme Court granted a chamber application brought by Dr Kunonga to
dismiss the appeal noted by the CPCA on a procedural technicality. The
appeal brought by the Province related to the High Court Order that was
granted by the Honourable Justice Hlatshwayo declaring Dr Kunonga and six
others trustees of the Diocese of Harare.

That order vested the custody and control of diocesan property to Dr Kunonga
and his six 'trustees' who have since left the CPCA and formed their own
organization known as the Church of the Province of Zimbabwe and made Dr
Kunonga archbishop of that church.

Since Dr Kunonga and his six 'trustees' are no longer part of the CPCA, they
cannot, and are not part of the church that owns the property to which they
are 'trustees'. It is for this reason that the CPCA appealed against the
order of the Honourable Justice Hlatshwayo.

The main matter pertaining to the ownership of diocesan property is still
pending in the High Court and has not been disposed of. Since that matter is
still pending in another court, the Supreme Court did not make any fining on

It is therefore a misnomer to report that diocesan assets now belong to Dr
Kunonga as the ownership of assets was never an issue in this appeal. The
High Court in the not too distant future, will determine the main property

The CPCA also notes that in an article published on the front page of The
Herald on Friday 7 May 2010, Dr Kunonga is alleged to have stated that all
churches in the diocese were now accessible to all Anglicans on times 'to be
arranged with clergy from different persuasions of the Church'.

This is indeed the way it ought to have been as set out in the ruling of the
Honourable Justice Makarau were it not for the illegal use of the police to
bar CPCA parishioners from accessing church premises in clear contempt of
the ruling.

The CPCA has always complied, and will continue to comply, with court orders
issued by the courts of Zimbabwe. The CPCA will be filing an application to
re-instate the appeal to the Honorable Justice Hlatshwayo's order with the
Supreme Court to ensure that the matter is determined on the merits.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, remember the words of St. Paul in 2 Cor.
2:7-10: ".we are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, but
not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not
destroyed - always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus,
that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body".

Now, to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before
his glorious presence without fault and with great joy- to the only God our
Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our
Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

Every blessing in Christ

Bishop Chad Gandiya, Harare

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Rights lobby wants justice for murdered farmer

May 9, 2010 12:00 AM | By Doubt Dube

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has expressed concern at delays
in the prosecution of two war veterans facing murder charges after they
allegedly killed a white commercial farmer at the height of controversial
government-sponsored land reforms nine years ago.
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Albert Ncube and Robert Nyathi were arrested in 2001 on allegations that
they murdered Elizabeth Gloria Olds, a commercial farmer in the Nyamandlovu
district in Matabeleland North.

The murder case has been pending for the last nine years and was delayed due
to various reasons.

Three prosecutors assigned to handle the case failed to do so after they
quit the attorney-general's office. Also key witnesses have failed to turn

ZLHR regional coordinator for Bulawayo, Kucaca Phulu, said: "The delay in
getting to the bottom of this case is worrying. The accused and those
affected need justice and the delay is reflective of the inefficient and
slow justice system in this country."

Phulu said it was worrying that justice had not been served almost nine
years after the two war veterans were arrested. But he said the justice
system might have been compromised by the political nature of the case.

"When one looks closely at the case, it is difficult to ignore the political
aspects. But in general justice in this country is very slow, as some times
cases take between five and seven years to be completed, and in the justice
system that is too much time."

More than a dozen white commercial farmers were killed by Zanu-PF supporters
and war veterans during farm seizures President Robert Mugabe and his party
said corrected historical imbalances in land allocation.

Olds was ambushed at the gates of her Silver Streams farm in Nyamandlovu.
Her bullet-riddled body was found in a pool of blood.

Nyathi and Ncube were arrested but pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.

At their first court appearance in 2001, the state alleged in its outline
that the two men, who were clad in army uniforms, shot at Olds 20 times and
missed only five times.

Olds was the mother of another commercial farmer killed at the start of
Mugabe's campaign to repossess land from white-owned farms for
redistribution to landless blacks.

Her son Martin Olds was killed after a four hour-long shoot-out with dozens
of war veterans who had invaded his farm.

Self-styled war veterans, many too young to have served in the liberation
war, led the occupation of white-owned farms in 2000.

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Zim's malaria time bomb

May 9, 2010 12:00 AM | By Claire Keeton - Additional reporting by Reuters
The countries on both sides of the Limpopo are trying to tackle the disease
reports Claire Keeton

DOOMED TO DIE? A child inside a mosquito net in a mud hut in Sierra Leone.
In Africa a child dies of malaria every 30

Zimbabwe and South Africa's Limpopo province are working on an agreement to
eliminate malaria on both sides of the Limpopo River.

Top malaria scientist Professor Maureen Coetzee said: "They are in the
middle of drafting a trans-Limpopo malaria control application."

The health department in Limpopo, which borders on Zimbabwe, reported an
increase in malaria cases in December in the Vhembe and Mopani districts.

Zimbabwe's malaria programme has suffered setbacks in control and research,
said Richard Tren, director of Africa Fighting Malaria.

"For many years Zimbabwe had an excellent malaria control programme and now
it is down to almost zero," he said.

The National Institute of Health Research (formerly the Blair Research
Institute), which does malaria research, has lost many of its staff and much
of its resources.

Tren said: "Since 2000 the malaria control programme has broken down."

This could present a threat to Zimbabwe's neighbours, since people travel
with the parasite.

But on the continent as a whole significant progress has been made in
"scaling up coverage with key malaria control interventions" according to
the latest report on the killer disease, World Malaria Day 2010: Africa

"The momentum to control malaria in Africa is really there,'' said Coetzee,
director of the Witwatersrand University/National Institutes of Communicable
Diseases malaria entomology research unit in Johannesburg.

"If we take advantage and make a success of this, it will be fantastic for
(the people) and the African economy."

Malaria costs Africa more than $40-billion a year in treatment and sick
days - 247 million cases were reported in 2008.

"In 2008 malaria caused nearly one million deaths, mostly among African
children," said the World Health Organisation.

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AG's wings set to be clipped

May 9, 2010 12:00 AM | By Themba Sibanda
Moves to trim the powers of Zimbabwe's Attorney General and institute
reforms to the operations of his office are now at an advanced stage,
cabinet members have said.

Parties have argued the AG's post, currently under Zanu-PF acolyte Johannes
Tomana's custody, has too many powers that are prone to be abused by any
individual in his position.

Arbitrary arrest, detentions, and prosecution of opposition politicians,
activists and supporters, mainly from the mainstream MDC party in the
country have been the order of the day under Tomana's reign.

Cabinet sources disclosed this week that Justice and Legal Affairs minister
Patrick Chinamasa presented to cabinet new "principles" set to be contained
in the AG's Bill to be tabled before Parliament.

"The minister has presented to the cabinet the new principles that will be
the basis for the formulation of the Bill.

"The discussion around the principles has already started at cabinet level.
We as cabinet are trying to find which are the best possible principles,
internationally renowned principles, we can take on board in this reform of
the AG's office and his or her powers," said a cabinet member.

According to another insider, the thrust of the Bill is to have the Attorney
General's office standing on its own and separated from the ministry of
justice and legal affairs.

This would then see the AG's office being staffed according to the
prescriptions of the Bill.

"The Bill also intends to create a set-up as the one in South Africa where
you have the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) operating as an authority
free from government interference," the insider said.

The move is also aimed at ensuring that the Attorney General would be a
non-political appointee. It is hoped this would result in a situation where
even the rogue elements of political parties , who have benefitted from
partisanship of the AG, face the full wrath of the law.

The Bill, it is expected, is also going to propose that the AG's office,
since it will be a fully-fledged office, be allocated its own resources from
the national fiscus.

"The finance minister, under the new Bill, will now be required to set aside
funds meant for the AG's office. This has been created in such a way that
the AG's office administration determines the salaries for staffers. The
input of this is to try by all means to stop the brain drain that is
affecting service delivery in the ministry through the determination of
attractive salaries that would lure personnel to the AG's office," said the

Since the advent of the country's economic downturn, the AG's office has
been dented by the departure of key staff to lucrative jobs elsewhere in the

This has seen delays in the prosecution of cases as the very few staffers
that have held the fort have become overwhelmed by the amount of cases to be
dealt with.

"Recruitment of staff and personnel will also be done independently by the
AG's office, obviously guided by the Act of Parliament that will be passed
as a result of the Bill," said the insider.

Chinamasa could not be reached for comment on Friday.

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Dual citizenship row splits Zanu-PF

Moyo lashes out at those with a laager mentality
May 9, 2010 12:00 AM | By Zoli Mangena

Zanu-PF, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's party, is deeply divided over
dual citizenship.

The divisions emerged during a heated caucus meeting on Wednesday and it
left the party fractured ahead of the outreach programme of the current
constitutional reform process.

Zanu-PF MPs who attended the meeting told the Sunday Times that cracks
appeared after the registrar-general Tobaiwa Mudede, a civil servant, told
the party during a presentation that it should not allow dual citizenship
during the current process. He said dual citizenship showed a lack of
patriotism and loyalty to the "sovereign nation of Zimbabwe" on the part of
those who held it.

One MP reported that "Mudede said Zanu-PF should tell people to vote against
dual citizenship and reject it because there is no way one person can have
loyalty to two sovereigns. He said Zimbabweans living outside the country
should choose whether they wanted to be Zimbabwean citizens or South
Africans, British, Americans or whatever nationality," the MP said.

"He also claimed that no country within the SADC (Southern African
Development Community) region allowed dual citizenship."

Another MP said Mudede insisted that Zimbabwe, which outlawed dual
citizenship during the 1980s mainly to deny Rhodesians the opportunity to
retain dual Zimbabwean and British nationalities, should maintain that
position, because "it will be abused by some people who are not loyal

The MP said Mudede was referring to Rhodesians and foreign nationals. "He
said Rhodesians or foreigners could still abuse citizenship laws if given an
opportunity and Zanu-PF should not allow them to do so."

Mudede initially appeared to have the support of the majority of Zanu-PF MPs
at the meeting until those opposed to his position objected. They included
senior party member Jonathan Moyo.

Insiders said Moyo made "a powerful intervention", which challenged Mudede's
argument on a number of points.

They said Moyo said the party should not be guided by rigid political and
policy positions which did not take account shifting circumstances and
reflect the changing concept of sovereignty.

Moyo apparently told the MPs that they could not afford to debate issues as
if they were "caught in a time warp", and should not drive themselves into a
political laager over issues like citizenship because supra-nationalism -
decision-making in multinational forums - was inevitable in the future.

"Moyo indicated that it would unfair to deprive Zimbabweans living outside
the country of their birth a constitutional right to citizenship.

"He said he represented a constituency (Tsholotsho North) where most people
of working age were in South Africa and he would not like them to lose their
citizenship because of what the caucus meeting decided."

According to the source: "Moyo also argued that it was not helpful for MPs
to debate as if they were not aware of changing circumstances around them.
He even indicated that regional bodies like SADC and the African Union were
consolidating supra-nationalism and Zanu-PF couldn't be guided by 'laager
mentality politics' and Rhodesian sentiments 'in this day and age'."

There are millions of Zimbabweans living abroad who could lose their
nationality if Zanu-PF blocks dual citizenship.

An insider said Moyo also challenged Mudede's claim that no SADC country
allowed dual citizenship. "Moyo said this was not particularly correct, and
cited South Africa as an example, among other countries.

"He said Mudede was oversimplifying the issue to the point of being
misleading. His remarks opened up the debate and in the end the party was

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The MDC wars

Tsvangirai and Biti lock horns
May 9, 2010 12:00 AM | By Zoli Magena

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), led by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, is locked in a fierce power struggle between factions led by
Tsvangirai and party secretary-general Tendai Biti, who is also finance

The two groups are slugging it out ahead of next year's party elective
congress. These congresses are held every five years to choose new leaders.

Tsvangirai, MDC leader since 1999, was supposed to have stepped down last
year, but he amended the constitution, and removed term limits, allowing
himself to remain in charge. The MDC split in 2005 was used to justify the
removal of term limits.

Insiders say the two MDC-T factions, coalesced around Tsvangirai and Biti,
have sucked in the other top 10 party officials, who include vice-president
Thokozani Khupe, chairman Lovemore Moyo, deputy secretary-general Tapiwa
Mashakada, treasurer-general Roy Bennett and his deputy, Elton Mangoma,
organising secretary Elias Mudzuri and his deputy, Morgan Komichi, and party
spokesman Nelson Chamisa.

Tensions between the factions are said to have intensified dramatically,
leading to recent clashes at the party's Harvest House headquarters.

A fortnight ago, youths allegedly loyal to Tsvangirai attacked party
director-general Toendepi Shonhe, and grabbed his car keys.

Insiders say Shonhe is Biti's key ally in the party bureaucracy, and
Tsvangirai supporters have accused him of trying to create a "loyal
secretariat" to seize control of head office to boost their faction's

The unruly youths, now suspended pending investigations, also assaulted
three other people. MDC-T MP Seiso Moyo was appointed to head an
investigations committee.

Tsvangirai said on Monday he received a preliminary report on the
investigation, and was "shocked" by the findings. He said the report would
be made public, but so far he has kept it under wraps.

This week, for the first time, Tsvangirai was forced to discuss the power

"Recently there have been sustained attempts to divide the person of the
secretary-general and myself. These attempts are not new. They happened in
the past, and in fact led to the split of the party in 2005," he told
journalists in Harare on Monday.

Tsvangirai claimed that people he did not name were trying to divide his
party again.

A document seen by the Sunday Times lists "political problems,
administrative issues, salary structure and sexual harassment" among issues
dividing the party.

It insinuates that Biti's faction created parallel structures on budgets,
party programmes and activities to support its ascendancy bid.

Insiders say although Biti is not expected to challenge Tsvangirai next
year, he is positioning himself for an eventual takeover.

Tsvangirai and Biti have both denied they are locked in a power struggle.

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Mining firms opt for generators

09/05/2010 00:00:00
by Gilbert Nyambabvu

MINING companies are being forced to consider alternative power supplies as
the country's electricity utility (ZESA) struggles to meet demand with at
least two firms announcing plans to install diesel generators in order to
maintain production.

The country's mining sector is beginning to recover from years of decline -
spurred by a complimentary operating environment and better commodity
prices - but most companies say power supply problems are undermining
efforts to ramp up production.

Caledonia Mining Corporation, which operates the Gwanda-based Blanket gold
mine, says it has already ordered the first of several diesel generators as
the power outages have adversely impacted productivity.

"In recent weeks, the continuity of electricity supplies has deteriorated
significantly: average daily power outages at Blanket have increased from
approximately 5 hours per day in February 2010 to over 9 hours per day in

"The increased frequency, coupled with the unpredictability and duration of
power outages has an adverse effect on gold production, and also on the
underground installations essential for the completion of the No. 4 Shaft
Expansion Project," Caledonia said in a statement.

The company said funding for the additional generators would come from an
existing credit facility. The generators would enable the company to
complete its expansion project as well as maintain its annual production
target of 40 000 ounces of gold.

Elsewhere, New Dawn Mining Corporation which owns Turk Gold Mine in
Matebeleland North also expressed concern over the power supply problems as
well as ZESA's failure to comply with its own load-shedding schedule.

"At present, Zimbabwe has insufficient internal power generating capacity to
fulfill domestic requirements and there has been a significant increase in
power cuts since early March 2010, which has resulted in a significant loss
of operating shifts and ore processing at the Turk Mine.

"In addition, the power utility has not been able to follow its existing
load shedding schedule, which has made contingency plans implemented by
management ineffective. The result has adversely affected production output
and costs at the Turk Mine," New Dawn said in statement read.
The company said it would install new diesel powered generators in order to
meet its production targets.

"New Dawn views the installation of the new diesel powered generators as an
effective solution to provide the electrical capacity sufficient for the
company to be able to realize its next production target of 22,000 to 23,000
ounces of annualized gold production by mid-2011," the statement read.

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 8th May 2010


Vigil supporters – like everyone else here – have been closely following the UK’s general elections, which left none of the three main parties with an overall majority in Parliament.  A bit like Zimbabwe? Surprisingly, Zimbabweans have the right to vote in parliamentary elections here (though citizens of even EC countries can’t). The loophole for Zimbabweans is that the British government has yet to update the legislation which allows Commonwealth citizens to vote – even though Mugabe took us out of the Commonwealth in December 2003!


Many Vigil supporters voted and some even campaigned for the rival parties. We were interested in the different attitudes towards immigration, which became a main issue in the election campaign. Up to half a million people a year have apparently been settling in the UK in recent years leading to fears of being “swamped”. There are, by all accounts, more Zimbabweans in the UK than there ever were British people in Zimbabwe. 


The immigration question was at the heart of a meeting in London on the Monday before the elections. It was attended by many Vigil supporters. All three party leaders answered for their policies. Vigil people were particularly keen to see Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats, who has come to the Vigil. One of the questions raised was about the welfare of children detained with their parents in immigration centres and there were promises to look into this. Despite the unity government, Zimbabweans make up one of the biggest groups of asylum seekers in the UK.


The whole exercise had much to teach us about how to resolve differences. But it made us depressed about the situation in Zimbabwe where a defeated President has refused to surrender power and the former opposition seems increasingly schizophrenic. Vigil supporters wondered how else to interpret Tsvangirai’s recent comments at the meeting in Dar es Salaam of the World Economic Forum on Africa.  He was reported as saying that, given the chance again, he wouldn’t have joined the coalition government but went on to maintain that Zimbabwe’s political crisis ‘no longer exists’. At the same time he admitted that, even though the principals had received a report on the SADC-facilitated talks weeks ago, they had not yet met to discuss it.


Well we – on an surprisingly cold day for May but thankful that the threatened rain failed to materialise – have just about given up on the interim government. We are settling down in the UK and its becoming ever more difficult to think of going back. New elections, free and fair, as soon as possible are what we want.


It lifted our spirits to welcome back Father Bernard, a Jesuit priest who has helped so many of us. He unfortunately has dislocated his shoulder and had to use a walking frame. We pray for his early recovery.


The Vigil has had an email from James Chidakwa, friend and fellow activist of Tonderai Ndira who was brutally murdered two years ago in Zimbabwe. Tonderai was abducted on 13th May 2008 and his body was identified in the morgue on 22nd May. In a BBC report (, his brother describes Tonderia’s body: "His jaw was shattered, his knuckles broken, a bullet hole below his heart, many many stab wounds and a large hole at the back of his head which seemed to have been caused by a hammer." Other reports state that he had been shot in the heart, with multiple stab wounds, his eyes gouged, his tongue cut out, and his neck, skull, jaw and knuckles broken. James has let us know they will be holding a commemoration for Tonderai on 14 / 15 May. The Vigil joins with Tonderai’s family and friends in remembering and honouring this brave activist.  There will also be a memorial in London, check our Events and Notices’ section.


For latest Vigil pictures check: For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check the link at the top of the home page of our website.  For earlier ZimVigil TV programmes check:


FOR THE RECORD:  147 signed the register.



·       Tonderai Ndira Memorial. Tuesday 11th May from 6.30 – 11 pm. Venue: Inn on the Green, 3-5 Thorpe Close, London W10 5XL. For more details and RSVP:

·       ROHR Harlow general meeting. Saturday 15th May from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Perry Road, Harlow CM18 7NP. Substantive committee to be elected and ROHR President and ROHR Executive present. Contact: L Kashangura 07506481334, Blessing Office 07759884633, Bothwell Nyemba 07725208657, Grace Kachingwe 07529524965 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070

·       ROHR Cambridge fundraising event. Saturday 22nd May from 4 – 10 pm. Venue: Arbury Community Centre, Campkin Road, Cambridge CB4 2LD. African music, food and drinks hobho. Entrance fee £10 including food. Contact: Jospheth Hapazari 07782398725, Locadia Mugari 07501304116, Sibusisiwe Bafana 07765268622, Percy Marimba 07894670271 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070

·       R0HR North London General Meeting. Saturday 22nd May from 1:30-5:30. Venue: Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road London N17 6QN. Closest Tube -Seven Sisters. From Seven Sisters towards Tottenham three stops on buses 123,149,256,349,341 and 476, ROHR Executive and Guest Speakers in attendance. Fundraising raffle and draw. Contact Bekithemba Nyahwa 07534905348, Nobuhle Ndlovu 07949588597, Wellington Chinombe 07529290157, Chipo Denenga 07960761122, P Mapfumo 07915926323.

·       ROHR West Bromwich Branch fundraising event. Saturday 29th May from 1 – 11pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Rd, West Bromwich B70 0HF. Admission £8.00 including food and drink. Contact: Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo  07817096594, Godwin Kativu 07576994816 or P Chibanguza  07908406069

·       ROHR Northampton General Meeting. Saturday 5th June at 2 pm. Venue:  Carey Memorial Baptist Church, King Street, Kettering, Northants, NN16 8QL.  ROHR Executive members present and Guest Speakers. Contact: Marshall Rusike 07833787775,Wadzanayi Mpandawana 07717795574, Gladys Milanzi  07846 448 711, Norian Chindowa 07954379426, Sherry Ngaseke 07869295544 Or P Mapfumo 07915 926 323 / 07932 216 070.

·       OTIENO by Trevor Michael Georges. A contemporary reworking of Shakespeare's Othello, set against the continuing deprivation of present-day Zimbabwe. From Tuesday 25th May – Saturday 12th June at 7.30 pm, matinees 3 pm. Venue: Southwark Playhouse, Shipwright Yard (Corner of Tooley St. & Bermondsey St.), London SE1 2TF. For tickets ring 020 7407 0234 or book online here.

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturdays from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.  Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. For more information check:

·       Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays).

·       Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. For information: or contact:

·      For Motherland ENT’s videos of the Vigil on 24/04/2009, check: &

Vigil Co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe:

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Indigenisation, a personal enrichment exercise

Written by Wezhira
Sunday, 09 May 2010 18:35

An indigenous miner, who has suffered harassment and torture from senior
police officers, questions whether the Zimbabwe's indigenisation programme
is a correction of historical imbalances or just a personal enrichment
scheme. The police officers have allegedly stole gold from his mine in broad
day light since last year and the miner says efforts to have them persecuted
have failed. His identity cannot be revealed because he fears more
It is interesting to hear how various groups are already jostling themselves
to position themselves for the indigenisation programme. Interestingly some
of these groups are made up of people who hardly put up anything into the
Despite various schemes to support the participation of the indigenous
population, only a few have benefited. These beneficiaries and mostly
privileged people are the ones running their companies by flouting every
regulation in the book. The simple question I would want to pose to some of
our leaders is, who are the people or companies dodging to pay corporate
taxes and whose cars, whose raw materials and whose goods cross the border
without a dime being paid?
These often pay the lowest incomes and apply the most oppressive laws to
their employees. Any further effort to enrich and empower such people would
move Zimbabwe towards slavery.
It is a fact of life that oppression of one person by another for whatever
reasons is intolerable, unbearable and certainly unsustainable. In ancient
history we had slave masters and slaves, and the system was becoming
unsustainable and expensive to maintain. While it may not matter much to
know the specific people who were the champions and proponents of its
abolition, the bottom line is that these were people of great vision and
knew that the system would crash.
A lesser oppressive system was perceived to enhance the well being of the
masters and their workers. History has evidence that as societies became
freer they were equally able to improve on their material and social
welfare. Even to this day, the battle rages on between capital and labour,
and any compromises that enable the system to meet the needs of both would
result in enhancement in the quality of life. The battle between classes or
divisions is as old as the history of mankind itself. At some point it was
along racial and gender lines.
Man does not seem to learn from his past that the earlier the parties
recognise the need to work together and negotiate with one another in the
spirit of mutual interest, the better it becomes for all. The issue is not
about colour or gender but about liberty, equity and common justice. An
equitable and just system will be subscribed by many if not all. The oldest
constitution on the law of liberty, equity and justice prescribes that an
alien who agrees to abide in your land shall do so under the terms and
conditions that applies to all the citizens of the land. They in turn shall
become part of you forever, and they and their children shall be eligible
for benefits pertaining to the citizens of that country for as long as they
continue to abide with the laws of the land.
On the surface, Zimbabwe's land reform and the current proposed blanket
indigenisation policy of the economy may look and sound simple and yet the
results could be far reaching with very undesirable consequences.
There are a number of questions which our leaders should ask themselves if
they desire success for this nation. They should look seriously into the
people who are eligible and the terms, the manner and nature of benefits and
how these would be spread, how the programmes would benefit the poor and the
disadvantaged such as widows, orphans, the disabled, women and children,
sustainability of the system and how it would address future challenges.
The Zanu (PF) government did a lot during its early days to address problems
of social and economic inequalities. They advanced the rights of women and
the workers in general, particularly on remuneration for equal work. They
designed one of the most progressive labour laws in the continent. Without
taking anything away from them, they did a lot with limited resources.
Significant inroads were made in education, health and social
infrastructure. They came up with cheap finance schemes to stimulate
participation by the previously disadvantaged groups but these schemes were
far from adequate given a demand for them.
During the early years of independence, some benefited immensely by simply
putting up project proposals for funding, got allocated foreign currency to
import project related equipment only to sell licenses to others who ended
up importing finished goods and luxuries. Some of these people have built up
their business empires on these faulty structures and yet today they are
being hailed as people of great business acumen. Despite the fact that their
wealth was ill gotten and should have been prosecuted, the government has
taken a blind eye and allowed these people to continue as if nothing ever
happened. It would be interesting to find out how this class of people would
be treated under the new indigenisation policy.
However, others have built their businesses through hard work and taking
serious risks such as disposal of properties or taking mortgage loans. Some
people failed in this process, others have died of blood pressure and some
have become destitute.
Others have never been employed and will probably never be employed but
still one would need to know how they will benefit from the much talked
about indigenisation policy.
The first phase of the land reform programme was characterised by the
scramble for farm houses, tractors, vehicles, cattle, other animals, crops
in the field and other items on farms. Financial institutions also suffered,
they had to find new lines of business to survive.  The law of the jungle
was in operative.
Yet the government could have legislated for farm sizes in every ecological
region and allocated it to deserving black farmers and peasant farmers in
highly congested areas.  Other well structured and self financing schemes
could have been structured to raise funds to support the new farmers. Land
tax could also have been applied to penalise those who wanted to hold more
land than was necessary for their use. Use of foreign aid could have been
secondary. Infrastructure on the farms could have been preserved and
perceived incremental agricultural output that could have been enhanced at a
far lower cost. Cross fertilization of ideas and experience could have
shortened the learning curve of the new commercial farmers. The old farmers
should have been allowed to stay at their houses and choose the first
portion of the land for their use as long as they subscribed to government
policy. The process could have been less disruptive.
The unfortunate development on the land reform is that we had people who did
not believe in spearheading it. As if the problems were not enough, the ugly
head of multiple farm ownership showed the lack of faith by the leadership
in the process. It was like leaders were saying to people this is the only
chance and once one misses it, it is the end of the world.
The result was that a number of genuine farmers got frustrated because they
never benefitted from the distribution of inputs and were forced to fund
their operations from their own resources. Some of these farmers are already
broke and can no longer afford to remain on the farms. Those who abused the
free farming inputs from government got away with it.
As a nation we need to carry out a serious soul searching to find out
whether we are ready to proceed with such policies on a much wider scale. A
hurried policy on a faulty foundation has every ingredient for discontent
and instability. So far, most of the beneficiaries of defective schemes and
other good intended schemes of government are the ones who have already
lined themselves to catch the windfalls and are the most likely to benefit
from the new policy. Some of these beneficiaries are the ones steering the
hype for indigenisation but mostly for their selfish means.
We are often misled to believe that the West has an obligation to give us
funding but what about if they don't as what is the position currently. What
we need is sound and convinced leadership that can take us through the
storms. Governments, particularly in Africa, should be convinced of their
own people and count on their support because in the absence of such support
a government can just be a shell without any meaning. I don't need to go
into the details of the Somali case were people are ruled by warlords. A
future under such circumstances is frightening to even contemplate. However,
Zimbabwe has all the ingredients of becoming another Somalia.
As a matter of policy we need, to include in the constituition that leaders
should concentrate on the business of leadership and governance, and give
their best.

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Storm not yet over Mr Prime Minister

Written by The Editor
Friday, 07 May 2010 17:24

The majority of Zimbabweans will probably understand the difficult task
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (Pictured) must perform on a daily basis,
trying on one hand to persuade Zanu (PF) to embrace democracy, while on the
other he has to convince a skeptical world that his unity government with
President Robert Mugabe is working.
It is no doubt a difficult balancing act to perform. But that should be no
excuse for the Prime Minister to -- in the style of Zanu (PF) -- attempt to
splash paint over the widening cracks on the walls of the unity government
that are so visible even to the blind. There is simply nothing to be gained
by telling the world, as the Prime Minister did at the World Economic Forum
on Africa in Tanzania last week, that Zimbabwe is out of the political
woods, that the political crisis that left us a nation of paupers no longer
exists. "The perceived risk on Zimbabwe does no longer exist... The
political crisis... no longer exists," this is what the Prime Minister told
journalists on the sidelines of the forum. This is simply not true! If in
any doubt, just ask the commercial farmers who are still being harassed and
evicted from their properties a whole year after formation of the unity
Or if you do not believe the white farmers, then talk to the villagers from
Mtoko district and other parts of the country who are being terrorised by
Zanu (PF) youths and armed soldiers and being threatened with violence once
next month's FIFA World Cup in South Africa is over. Now, we do not expect
the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe to make it his business to hang the nation's
dirty linen out for the whole world to see. But neither do we expect him to
try to use the backdrop of an international economic forum to try to pull
the wool over the eyes of the world press. It is simply an unwise thing to
do, to say the least, and one would have hoped that the Premier's able
advisors would know this. Telling the world that all is well in Zimbabwe
when people like Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere are threatening
to seize private companies does not do quite well for the image of the Prime
Assuring the world that the chaos is over in the same week that Joseph
Chinotimba and his crew - yes the same lot that triggered 'black Friday' 13
years ago - stormed the finance ministry to demand more cash and other
freebies is to us not a good idea. The Prime Minister must market Zimbabwe
as best he can. We agree. Only we believe that the best way to do that is by
holding Mugabe to his every word and promise under the global political
agreement (GPA). With the rule of law back on farms and in rural areas,
political violence stopped and more pace added to constitutional and other
democratic reforms, Tsvangirai would find Zimbabwe much easier a product to
sell. But simply telling the world that the storm is over is not going to
work for the simple reason that it is not yet over!

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