The ZIMBABWE Situation
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State plans to appeal Bennett acquittal and has confiscated his passport

By Violet Gonda
12 May 2010

The Roy Bennett saga took a new twist on Wednesday when the prosecution team
announced it was appealing his acquittal, two days after the High Court
cleared the MDC-T official of terrorism charges. The MDC Treasurer General
also travelled to Mutare to collect his passport, surrendered as part of his
bail conditions, but found that it had 'disappeared' from the Clerk of Court's

Narrating Wednesday's events on SW Radio Africa, Bennett's lawyer Beatrice
Mtetwa said she was served with an application by the Attorney General's
Office on Wednesday afternoon, saying the prosecution team will contest the
reasoning of High Court Judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu, when he acquitted

Mtetwa said it is a very 'convoluted application' and is not clear on what
sort of order they are seeking. "We are not even sure what the major reason
for the appeal is, but basically they are saying he (Judge) made an error in
assessing the evidence. They are basically saying he should not have
discharged him."

The human rights lawyer said Attorney General Johannes Tomana had initially
accepted the court's decision and said it was binding on him. But
immediately after the ruling various ZANU PF politicians made statements
which clearly showed they were not happy with the judgement.

"So obviously the decision to appeal is a political one, because if
professionally the Attorney General said he accepted the decision, and then
after hearing commentary from politicians he decided to do the exact
opposite, we can only infer that his decision is being influenced by the
political statements from politicians," pointed out Mtetwa.

She also accused the Attorney General's office of illegally taking Bennett's
passport without a court order. She said when her client went to Mutare to
collect his passport he was shown an entry in the records book at the clerk
of the court's office that Michael Mugabe (one of the prosecutors) had
removed the passport on March 29th.

She said that the Judge's ruling on the Bennett case was supposed to be made
on 31st March, but was delayed; "So two days before then they went and
removed the passport from the court, which of course is unlawful...nobody
knows where the passport is right now."

Mtetwa said it is not just unproceedural, but also a criminal offense, to
remove a passport without a court order. "You can see that the Attorney
General's office is part of a cabal of people who just completely disregard
the law and disregard court orders."

Soon after Bennett's acquittal, the MDC-T had issued a statement saying
there was now no reason for Robert Mugabe to refuse to swear-in Bennett as
the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, but it appears the battle is not yet
over, as far as ZANU PF is concerned.

Bennett himself was cautiously optimistic after the verdict was made, but
warned that ZANU PF was still out to get him and would try to oppose the
court ruling. He said on Tuesday that he had heard that ZANU PF strongman,
Emmerson Mnangagwa, wanted the ruling appealed.

Mnangagwa is also quoted in the press saying there is "no constitutional"
provision forcing Mugabe to appoint Bennett into government.

Other ZANU PF members have weighed in on the Bennett issue, with Tsholotsho
MP Jonathan Moyo revealing in an interview with the Herald newspaper that
'the quandary has never been a legal one but rather a political one. For the
record, Roy Bennett must not be part of any government in free Zimbabwe."

Activist Benjamin Chitate believes this has been ZANU PF's position all
along and that Mugabe misled the world when he said that Bennett would be
sworn in, if he was cleared of the terrorism charges.

Chitate asks: "Who was the complainant in this case? Who is Jonathan Moyo
representing? How does ZANU PF expect travel restrictions to be removed
against it when they expose Mugabe's hidden agenda that way? How do they
expect investors to develop confidence in a country whose leadership is so

Innocent Gonese, the MDC-T Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs, said these malicious prosecutions must be brought to an end. "They
have not been confined to politicians only, but extend to people like
Jestina Mukoko, whose experiences are so harrowing that one feels ashamed to
be a Zimbabwean; lawyers Aleck Muchadehama, Harison Nkomo and Mordecai
Mahlangu, whose only crime is to try to practice their noble profession in a
country where the rule of law is being trampled upon."

Gonese went on to say: "Malicious prosecutions should have no place in
Zimbabwe. The authority in charge of prosecutions should not be motivated by
political considerations or be partisan, but pursue all matters without fear
or favour. We should not be having any sacred cows, where the murderers of
Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika are all roaming the country scot free,
more than ten years down the line. Similarly, all those who brought mayhem
and pandemonium after the 29th March 2008 elections, should start facing the

The MDC official said Mugabe's original excuse that Bennett could not be
sworn in as the Deputy Minister of Agriculture because he had a pending case
against him was 'nonsensical'. Eric Matinenga had a pending trial at the
time he was sworn in as Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary
Affairs, plus the Deputy Prime Minister, Arthur Mutambara, also had a
pending case when he was sworn in.

Now that the charges against Bennett have been dropped, for now, what new
excuse will Mugabe find?


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ZANU PF terror campaign in Mudzi & Muzarabani

By Lance Guma
13 May 2010

Last Thursday Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said the country no longer
posed a risk to investors and that the political crisis that destroyed the
economy "no longer exists". Villagers in Mudzi and Muzarabani will have a
different view, after events there last week.

In Mudzi an alert issued by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, says ZANU PF
supporters are harassing and intimidating villagers, ahead of a
constitutional outreach exercise meant to gather people's views.

The coalition held a public meeting in the area on the 7th May at the Kotwa
Business Centre. It was there that villagers reported that ZANU PF thugs in
the area are moving around and ordering villagers not to attend any meetings
unless they have been sanctioned by Tafirenyika Nyune, the ZANU PF
chairperson for Mudzi. Villagers said they have also been told that during
the official outreach programme, led by the Parliamentary Committee, only
community leaders and representatives chosen by ZANU PF will be allowed to

ZANU PF is campaigning for the controversial Kariba draft constitution that
seeks to keep the excessive powers of the President intact. To try and
achieve this they are using intimidation and terror to coerce villagers in
rural areas. Its youth members are said to be taking down names of people
who are attending meetings on civic education, or those organized by NGO's.
'We are being threatened with death and expulsion from the villages if we
speak during the outreach meetings,' said one participant who spoke to the
Crisis Coalition.

It was reported earlier this year that ZANU PF launched 'Operation Hapana
Anotaura' (No One Will Speak) to try and silence people during the
constitutional outreach exercise. ZANU PF thugs in Mudzi involved in this
have been named as; George Katsande, Sovorodia Jobo, Lovemore Chirafu,
Tatenda Kamungara, David Sabau, Martin Majokara, Mai Machipisa, Chiusekedzo,
Rosemary Nyamimo, Rosemary Kanembo, Chidanawa Karonga, Dudzai Chirapu and
the Mudzi North ZANU PF MP, Newten Kachepa.

While the politicians talk-up the coalition government and claim progress
has been made, life for ordinary people, especially in rural areas, throws
up the reality of ongoing political violence and intolerance.

For example Freddie Matonhodze, an MDC official in Muzarabani, lost his wife
and relatives to ZANU PF 2008 election violence. He told the IRIN news
agency that he fled to Harare, but returned home after the signing of the
unity deal, hoping that things would be better. But he said; "My neighbours
were hostile to me, and bragged that the GPA only applied in Harare and not
in rural areas'.

Making matters worse for Matonhodze was that ZANU PF thugs set his homestead
and tractor on fire, and even more cruelly his pigs which were in an
enclosure. He said the violence has resumed and they have had to appeal to
JOMIC (Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee) who oversee the
implementation of the unity deal,to come and help bring peace after ZANU-PF
supporters set a building on fire used by MDC supporters.

Matonhodze said JOMIC has promised to visit the area one of these days, but
they are still waiting.  He fears 'there could be a bloodbath if nothing is
done soon.'

Meanwhile, also in Muzarabani, the group Restoration of Human Rights in
Zimbabwe (ROHR), report that Chief Kasekete is abusing his authority to
punish villagers who support the MDC. ROHR spokesman Ronald Mureverwi told
Newsreel the Chief forcibly took 3 beasts, 2 goats and 2 chickens from a
family in the Kagoda village. Brothers Alfred and Benjamin Machimbidzofa
were accused of 'insulting' Andrew Chiwere, a notorious ZANU PF supporter
and war veteran, who spearheaded the 2008 election violence. The livestock
was taken from them as punishment, according to the 'judgment' of the Chief.


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Violent farm robberies on the rise

By Alex Bell
12 May 2010

An alarming spate of violent farm robberies in recent weeks has heightened
tensions in the remaining commercial farming community, with at least nine
attacks reported since March.

Most recently, Jannie and Yvonne Liebenburg were assaulted by an armed gang
while visiting relatives in Daisyfield last Friday. Jannie was shot in the
arm and beaten. This attack came just days after tobacco farmers James and
Wendy De la Fargue were brutally attacked while sleeping in their Centenary
home, almost two weeks ago. The couple were airlifted to a South African
hospital with serious injuries as a result of being beaten with iron bars by
a gang of men who only stole a handful of items. James was feared to have
suffered brain trauma and was kept under sedation last week. Both he and his
wife underwent surgery because of the extent of their injuries.

These attacks in the last two weeks bring the number of reported incidents
to nine, with seven other similarly violent robberies taking place, mainly
in the Midlands province, since March. Four armed robberies on farms in
Somabhula have taken place recently, and in three of the cases the victims
were either tied up or assaulted, or both. Other attacks have also taken
place over the last few weeks in Gweru and Shangani, including that of John
and Debbie Anderson, who were tied up, assaulted and robbed on their farm
near Gweru.

It's understood that police have made one arrest, but at least another four
men believed to be connected to the robberies remain at large. Two of the
suspects, whose photographs are being circulated, are believed to be
brothers, Frank Mophosa and Lovemore Mophosa. The pair are said to be known
to the police and have even been photographed wearing jewellery belonging to
one of their victims.

The attacks appear to be the latest tactic of intimidation launched against
commercial farmers, who have been fighting farm invasions and harassment for
ten years. The formation of the unity government last year has done nothing
to stop such harassment. Instead there has been an intensified drive to
force the remaining farmers from their land. It is widely believed that the
farm robberies form part of this campaign.


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UK registered diamond mine official released on bail

By Violet Gonda
12 May 20101

A Mutare magistrate has granted bail to African Consolidated Resources (ACR)
Finance Director Ian Harris, and two civil servants arrested last week on
fraud allegations.

ACR lawyer Jonathan Samkange told SW Radio Africa that former Manicaland
Mining Commissioner, Isaac Giles Ruswa and Mairos Matinyanye, a secretary in
the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development are being charged with criminal
abuse of office.

Samkange said they are accused of illegally registering ACR subsidiaries in
2006, to mine diamonds claims in Chiadzwa. The allegation is that ACR was
not officially registered with the registrar of companies.

Harris, who was arrested in Harare last week, was moved to Mutare where the
other two were being held. He denies the charges and says the companies were
properly registered.

ACR's local subsidiary is fighting for its mining rights, and Zimbabwe's
High Court has upheld its legal ownership.

Asked why he thinks they were arrested, Samkange responded: "It's obvious.
That's why they are called 'blood diamonds'. All they are trying to do is to
scare them (ACR) and hope they cannot challenge them in court. We have filed
a lot of court applications so they are doing it to try and scare them."

The three were granted bail on Tuesday and are expected back in court on May
28th. Meanwhile, the ACR lawyer himself was also brought before the courts
last week, on perjury charges. The police accuse him of making a false
statement in 2007, saying that his client ACR CEO Andrew Cranswick, had been
arrested at that time.

Samkange said the police claim that because they can't find the arrest of
Cranswick in their books, it never happened and therefore the lawyer made a
false statement.

He is expected to appear in court on Monday on this matter. Samkange said;
"As far as I am concerned it's just harassment. That's all."

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Police stop MDC-T MP & musician Madzore from performing

By Tichaona Sibanda
12 May 2010

The MDC-T MP for Glen View Paul Madzore, one of the best selling protest
musicians in the country, was forced to cancel the Masvingo and Gutu legs of
his tour after police blocked him performing over the weekend.

Madzore's shows in Masvingo province were announced in April but were
postponed because they fell in the same week as the independence
celebrations. The musician explained there were going to be a lot of musical
shows during that period so they decided to postpone theirs.
The shows were then re-scheduled for this last Saturday in Masvingo, and
Gutu on Sunday.
But the musician was forced to apply for a court order after the officer
commanding Masvingo District, Chief Superintendent Joseph Nyapfuri, banned
the Saturday show. Masvingo Magistrate, Timeon Makunde, granted Madzore an
order to perform.
Despite this the Daily News online reported that heavily armed police
officers stormed Mucheke hall in Masvingo and declared the show illegal.
People ran for cover at the sight of police on horseback and others wielding
AK 47's, while the police dog section was also out in force.

Madzore said; 'Despite giving them an advance notice of the show in April,
police brought their own order barring us from perfoming, citing security
concerns. This is utter rubbish and its clear there seems to be no end to
the repression and harassment that I face as a singer in my home country'.
Dubbed the Singing MP, the charismatic Madzore has 'stolen' the hearts and
minds of thousands of Zimbabweans with his satirical songs, most of which
are critical of Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF.
'Surely the police could have looked for a better excuse other the security
concerns they raised. Tongai Moyo, (the Sungura king) was performing a stone's
throw away from our venue. It was just one of those lame excuses they used
because the truth is they know I sing songs that they don't want to hear,'
Madzore said.
After receiving information that police in Gutu were also on standby to
block his show, Madzore decided to cancel the concert and was forced to
reimburse fans who bought tickets in advance.
The MP added; 'It's my brand of music. I sing songs that highlight the
numerous problems that we face as a country. Such action by the state
inevitably puts us in a rebellious state of mind. The good thing about music
is it thrives even in the face of repression.'


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SA And EU Call For Urgent Political Solution In Zimbabwe

12/05/2010 12:09:00

Harare, May 12, 2010 - South Africa and the European Union (EU) on Wednesday
urged Zimbabwe's unity government to resolve outstanding issues in the
Global Political Agreement (GPA) 'rapidly' for the country to move forward.

South Africa is the main facilitator in the GPA talks while the EU has been
pushing for democratiuc reforms in-order to remove sanctions targetted on
Mugabe and his cronies for human rights abuses.

In a joint stament in Belgium after a meeting on Zimbabwe, South Africa and
EU said although progress had been made in the unity
government, in some fields, there was urgent need to fully implement the

"They noted progress made regarding the appointment of the Commissioners for
the Media, Human Rights and Electoral Commissions,"
read the statement.

 "However, they expressed concern over the slow pace in the full
implementation of the Global Political Agreement and urged the members of
the Inclusive Government to move forward rapidly. South Africa's President
Zuma and his Facilitation Team were commended for their efforts and SADC was
encouraged to remain seized with the process."

"The Parties also noted and encouraged the on-going EU-Zimbabwe political
dialogue based on the Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement,"
the statement said.

"They also recognised the complementarity of South Africa's Facilitation
efforts and the EU - Zimbabwe political dialogue aiming
at promoting and supporting the implementation of the Global Political

Part of the outstanding issues being contested by the Zimbabwe parties are
the appointment of senior government officials including Movement for
Democratic Change's treasurer general, Roy Bennett as deputy minister of
Agriculture and removal of sanctions on Mugabe and his senior officials.

President Robert Mugabe refused to swear in Bennett citing terrrorism
charges he was facing. However, Bennett was this week cleared of the
charges, although the state is said to be considering an appeal against his

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Zim miners embark on strike

Eyewitness News | 5 Hours Ago

Thousands of Zimbabwean mine workers went on strike on Wednesday, according
to union leaders.

Zimbabwe's mining sector accounts for four percent of GDP and future growth
was threatened by haggles over pay that has simmered for months.

This strike could have a devastating effect on the mining industry in
Zimbabwe that has been hard-hit by incessant power cuts.

The Associated Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe's President Tinago Ruzive said
mining houses refused to honour a minimum payment of US$140 per month.

That figure was awarded to workers by an arbitrator last July but some mine
workers are getting less than US$100.

The Chamber of Mines said they were surprised by the strike.

Chief Executive Officer Chris Hokonya said production levels could not
sustain the wages being demanded.

South Africa's Zimplats have already awarded workers increases and it is
understood they were not affected by the strike.

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South African platinum miner suspends Zimbabwe programme

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) Zimbabwe's largest platinum producer, Zimplats
Holdings, has put on hold a US$445 million expansion programme at its mine
in the southwest of the country pending finalisation of the debate on Harare's
controversial black empowerment regulations.

Zimplats said it had won board approval for its Ngezi phase II expansion
project that will see platinum output rising to 270,000 ounces from 180,000
ounces per annum.

"Project commencement is dependent on finalisation of compliance issues
regarding the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act and the
accompanying regulations that were recently gazetted," Zimplats said.

There is confusion on the correct status of the empowerment regulations
gazetted by Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Saviour
Kasukuwere in February.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and ministers from his Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party say Zimbabwe's coalition cabinet last month
suspended the regulations, which require foreign companies to cede at least
51 percent of their shareholdings to local blacks.

President Robert Mugabe and Kasukuwere have insisted that the regulations
remain in force, with the latter extending to Saturday the deadline for
companies to submit plans of how they intend to sell their 51 percent stake
to indigenous Zimbabweans.

The initial deadline was April 15.

The confusion over the indigenisation regulation is reflective of the
fissures within Zimbabwe's fragile coalition government formed last year by
Mugabe's ZANU PF and the MDC.

Zimplats is majority-owned by South Africa's Impala Platinum, the world's
second largest platinum producer.

The proposed Zimplats project includes development of an underground mine,
construction of a 35,000 megalitre dam, 1,125 employee houses and creation
of 1,000 new jobs.


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Mugabe and Tsvangirai taken to court

8 May 2010

By Peta Thornycroft

A pro democracy group in Zimbabwe is going to court this week seeking
immediate dismissal of seven ministers claiming their appointment to the
cabinet  was unconstitutional.

The Voice of Democracy Trust, its chairman and a civil society activist are
taking President  Robert Mugabe and prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai to the
Harare High Court claiming that a constitutional amendment passed on
February 5 last year to enable formation of the inclusive government
stipulated the cabinet would have 31 ministers.

In the scramble over the formation of the inclusive government  ten extra
cabinet ministers were sworn in by Mugabe and consented to by Tsvangirai,
some nearly a week after the unity government came to power.

According to the application for the Harare High Court,  Zanu PF
indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere is an "illegal" member of the

Kasukuwere launched new laws three months ago which demand every company in
Zimbabwe valued at more than US$500 000 cede 51 percent control to black

The application seeking his immediate dismissal, says any regulation, or
executive act committed by any of the extra cabinet ministers is "null and

Another high profile Zanu PF personality named in the application is Joseph
Made, a long-serving agriculture minister who secretly used state resources
to personally manage Mugabe’s clutch of farms seized from white owners.

The MDC also has “extra” cabinet ministers; co home affairs minister Giles
Mutsekwa who has come in for heavy criticism from many MDC supporters in the
last year.

The low profile MDC health minister Henry Madzorera is similarly affected as
is veteran MDC leader Sekai Holland, now heading up  an “organ” which tries
to bring reconciliation between Zanu PF and MDC.

The applicants say that as tax payers they are offended that state resources
have been spent on the extra ministers since their appointment.

Applicant Movern Kufa states: “As a citizen...I am entitled to demand that
the constitution is respected and that the legislative process is not
compromised by these unconstitutional appointments. Any executive act
undertaken by the unconstitutionally appointed “ministers” is null and void,
including the making of regulations.”

Three of the original 10 extra ministers sworn in to office have since moved
out of the cabinet.

Zanu PF Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa was not available for comment


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Zim census set for August 2012

by Own Correspondents Wednesday 12 May 2010

BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe will conduct its fourth population census in August
2012, the government's Central Statistical Office (CSO) has said.

The CSO has counted the number of Zimbabweans every 10 years since the first
census in 1982.

The data body said it would this month begin an exercise to draw household
maps that will be used during the census.

"The mapping exercise is a pre-enumeration activity that is envisaged to
last about two years. Mapping and listing of households will begin in
mid-May and continue for the next two years," it said.

Previous censuses have shown Zimbabwe's population increasing with the 2002
enumeration exercise putting the number of people in the country at around
12 million.

But analysts expect the next census to show either a drop in population
growth or stagnation after a political and economic crisis drove at least
three million people or a quarter of the country's population to foreign
countries in search for jobs and better leaving conditions. - ZimOnline

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Zimbabwe Premier Tsvangirai Sees New Constitution This Year, Elections in 2011

Mr. Tsvangirai said the national unity government in Harare has secured
enough funds to finance the constitutional revision process and he hopes a
referendum on the new basic document can be held by year's end

Ntungamili Nkomo & Sanda Nyaira | Washington 11 May 2010

Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai met Tuesday in Washington with key
members of the U.S. Senate who told him that while legislation has been
introduced to make sanctions more flexible, those against President Robert
and other ZANU-PF officials will stay in place until a 2008 power-sharing
agreement is fully implemented.

Mr. Tsvangirai told VOA that this was the salient point of his discussions
with U.S. Senators including Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Leader
Mitch McConnell and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Russell Feingold.

Mr. Tsvangirai welcomed the introduction of the new sanctions legislation,
saying it will help advance democracy in the country by rewarding those who
are working to restore stability and the rule of law in the country.

The Senate bill would provide technical assistance to reform-minded
ministries and promote agricultural development through policies aimed at
re-establishing secure land tenure, among other measures.

Late Monday, Mr. Tsvangirai told reporters he hoped the country's
constitutional revision process will be completed by the end of this year so
a new round of free and fair elections can be held in 2011.

Addressing a news conference in Washington, Mr. Tsvangirai said the
inclusive government in Harare has secured enough funds to finance the
revision process and he expects a referendum on it by the end of this year.

Earlier Monday, however, one of the co-chairs of Parliament's select
committee leading the constitutional process said that due to repeated
delays so far in the process, the referendum will be held early next year.

Mr. Tsvangirai was in Washington to receive the W. Averell Harriman
Democracy Award from the National Democratic Institute as well as for
bilateral meetings with officials of U.S. President Barack Obama's

The prime minister also had some more personal business in Washington:
officiating at the soft launch of a foundation in memory of his late wife
Susan, killed in a highway accident in March 2009 in which he was injured.

The Susan Tsvangirai foundation will serve Zimbabwean women and children.
Sources in Mr. Tsvangirai's MDC wing said Susan Tsvangirai had intended to
launch such a foundation before she was killed.

Mr. Tsvangirai said that he will carry on his wife's legacy together with
other members of his family. The foundation will be officially launched in
Harare next week, party sources said.

Deputy Spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo of Mr. Tsvangirai's MDC formation told
VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira that the foundation will do much to
uplift lives of women and children in the country.

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No Decision by Zimbabwe Cabinet on Controversial North Korean Soccer Team Visit

Education, Culture and Sport Minister David Coltart said the Cabinet did not
take up the issue on Tuesday but said North Korean authorities are likely to
respond this week to the invitation from the Zimbabwe World Cup Committee

Gibbs Dube | Washington 11 May 2010

Confounding expectations, the Zimbabwean Cabinet took no decision at its
Tuesday meeting on whether to allow North Korea's soccer team to train in
Zimbabwe during the World Cup period in light of an outcry from Matabeleland
activists who said the visit would stir painful memories of civil war and
massacres in the region in the 1980s..

Reports said however that President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party was
developing cold feet on the proposal. North Korea trained the Zimbabwean
Fifth Brigade which is alleged to have carried out massacres during the
so-called Gukurahundi conflict between rival liberation forces in
Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.

Education, Culture and Sport Minister David Coltart said the Cabinet did not
take up the issue on Tuesday as had been expected. But he told VOA that he
discussed it with Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi, who said the North Koreans
have not confirmed to Harare whether they intend to acclimatize and train in
the country.

Coltart told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that the North Koreans are
likely to respond tomorrow to the invitation extended by the Zimbabwe World
Cup Committee.

Political analyst Nkululeko Sibanda said ZANU-PF appears to be developing
cold feet on the issue of hosting the North Korean team. "They are very much
aware of the protests and fear that they may remind people of the Fifth
Brigade atrocities in the Midlands and Matabeleland regions," said Sibanda.

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Tsvangirai Receives NDI Award

Ndimyake Mwakalyelye | Washington 12 May 2010

The National Democratic Institute, a pro-democracy group, gave one of its
highest honors to Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday.
NDI's W. Averell Harriman Democracy Award recognizes individuals and groups
who have demonstrated a commitment to democracy and human rights.

Mr. Tsvangirai received a standing ovation. He was introduced to the
audience by NDI chair Madeleine Albright, who told his story of a man
working to overcome many obstacles.

"The essence of free government is that when one set of policies is not
working, an alternative can be considered," she said. "But when democracy
has been subverted, presenting that alternative requires courage,
persistence and faith. Fortunately, Mr. Tsvangirai possesses each of these
qualities. His character is steady and strong."

Echoing the praises by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier in
the day, Albright, also a former U.S. secretary of state, complimented Mr.
Tsvangirai for overcoming the rivalrous history with longtime President
Robert Mugabe. That history includes trumped up treason charges against Mr.
Tsvangirai, arrests, and beatings of him and his supporters. But Mr.
Tsvangirai defended his decision to form an inclusive government with
President Mugabe.

"This was not an easy decision, nor is it a comfortable arrangement.
However, it represents another step in Zimbabwe's difficult but certain
transition to true democracy," he said.

Doubts linger in the international community about Mr. Mugabe's sincerity to
bring change to Zimbabwe. This has been renewed sanctions on him and his
close allies, and donors have withheld funds as they await results. Mr.
Tsvangirai says this wait-and-see attitude is not helpful. But he thanked
former presidential candidate, Senator John Kerry, for Kerry's recently
introduced legislation to help Zimbabwe's political transition.

"This legislation represents the beginning of a new phase, designed to
assist us in building new cooperation to receive much needed support in our
efforts," he said. "As prime minister, I'm aware that the people of Zimbabwe
demand the delivery of better services, and more profound reforms at a
faster rate. And the reengagement of the international community will assist
us in this process."

The transitional arrangement is expected to end following the establishment
of a new constitution that will pave the way for elections. Mr. Tsvangirai
says that plan is on course.

"The president and prime minister will sit down and set the date for
elections. Hopefully this process of constitution-making will lead to a
referendum this side of the year, and next year we can have elections," he

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Letters expose Chombo’s complicity in deals

May 11, 2010

By Our Correspondent

HARARE – More evidence exposing how Local Government and Urban Development
Minister Ignatius Chombo irregularly acquired land in Harare has emerged.

Chombo was named together with flamboyant Harare businessman Phillip
Chiyangwa among influential people who had irregularly acquired vast tracts
of land in the capital city in a report produced by the Harare City Council
last month.

The Daily News has obtained letters in which Chombo personally requested the
council to allocate him land to build houses and a supermarket.

In the letters, Chombo attempted to justify the allocation of land to
himself and Harvest-Net Enterprises, one of his several companies, by
suggesting the acquisition would contribute immensely to the development of
the city and also service residents.

“In line with infrastructural development Harvest-Net Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd
writes to apply for stand No 61 Glen Lorne,” reads part of Chombo’s letter
to Town Clerk Tendai Mahachi, dated December 13, 2006

“The stand measures 19 3723 hectares in size which the company wishes to
acquire for development of cluster houses. Certainly this move would
contribute immensely to the development of our city”.

In another letter dated May 7, 2007 and directed to an unidentified council
Acting City Valuer and Estate Manager, Chombo requested to be allocated a
commercial stand to construct a supermarket.

“I have identified a vacant piece of commercial stand in Avondale on corner
West and Lomagundi remainder of Stand No 48 Avondale,” part of the letter

“I wish therefore to apply for this stand to put up a supermarket to service
residents of that area.”

In its 54-page report the HCC special investigations committee chaired by
Ward 17 councillor Warship Dumba unmasked Chombo and Chiyangwa as being
among senior people who irregularly acquired land from the municipality.
Chombo and Chiyangwa are among those wealthy Zimbabweans whose sources of
wealth are currently the subject of suspicion and controversy.

However, the councillors who compiled the report and Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda
have since been charged with criminal defamation after Chiyangwa filed a
report to the police.

The police are still to act on a report filed against Chiyangwa and Chombo
by the council

Three journalists namely Feluna Nleya and Jennifer Dube of The Standard and
freelance journalist Stanley Gama, who broke the alleged land scam story,
will appear in court this week as witnesses against the councillors.

Chombo, reported to have a massive property portfolio, is one of the
wealthiest Zanu-PF ministers.

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100 RBZ buses attached over debt

May 12, 2010

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - One hundred buses belonging to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)
have been attached to offset a US$1, 5 million debt for seeds supplied by a
South African company in 2006.

The attachment of the buses follows a ruling made in late March by Harare
High Court judge Justice Lavender Makoni in favour of Advance Seed South
Africa (Pvt) Ltd.

It is understood that the central bank intended to set up a transport
company before the formation of the inclusive government.

Harare lawyer Thembikosi Magwaliba, who is representing the South African
company, on Friday confirmed the latest development.

"The buses were being kept by Gift Investments on behalf of the RBZ," said
Magwaliba. "We attached 100 buses."

Advanced Seed South Africa (Pvt) Ltd is the third company so far after
Farmtec Spares and Implements as well as Seed Co to successfully apply for
the auctioning of the central bank's assets for failure to pay its debts.

This week, RBZ governor Gideon Gono told the state-controlled Herald
newspaper that some of the litigation against the bank was driven by malice
and greed. He said  some creditors wanted to take the properties for a

"We have those kind of dynamics, but we will deal with that," said Gono. "We
do not want to open a Pandora's box and turn this into some sort of race."

This week Biti appointed a new RBZ board chaired by Gono. Anaylsts say
although Biti is opposed to Gono's continued reign at the central bank, he
did not have a choice in the appointment as it is cast in the Amended RBZ
Act that the RBZ governor automatically becomes its board's chairman.

Charles Kuwaza, who is also the chairman of the State Procurement Board, is
Gono's deputy.

Other board members include Secretary for Finance Willard Manungo, retired
judge Justice George Smith, lawyer Modercai Mahlangu, labour expert Dr
Godfrey Kanyenze, academic Professor Primrose Kurasha, economists Prof Tony
Hawkins, Nyasha Zhou and Dr Daniel Ndlela.

The Reserve Bank launched the so-called farm mechanization programme that
enriched thousands of mainly Zanu-PF supporters and government officials.

But following the demonitisation of the Zimbabwe dollar it became impossible
for the bank to sustain the programme.

In February, Gono issued a statement saying beneficiaries of the farm
mechanization programme had to pay for the implements allocated to them.

"Having gone for over 30 months post-commencement of the programme, it is
now time farmers, beginning the 2010 harvests, start to pay for the
equipment they received," he said.

"Beneficiaries under the Farm Mechanisation Programme will, therefore, be
receiving detailed statements and invoices, along with the payment
modalities which will be delivered to each farm gate."

However, the Reserve Bank's botched farm programme has failed to benefit
Zimbabwe as the nation continues to import food.

According to a Famine Early Warning System report issued in March, more than
two million Zimbabweans face food shortage.

The report added that, although cereals were available, low incomes were
limiting access to food.

"Cereals are generally available on both urban and rural markets throughout
the country," the report said.

"Market purchases have become the prime source of cereal for both rural and
urban households as stocks from own production bottom out. Although cereal
prices have remained relatively stable, constant low incomes are limiting
access to food especially in urban areas.

"However in comparison to the same period in the previous year, access to
and availability of staple cereal and other basic food stuffs is relatively

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NCA property attached over debt to consultant

May 11, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Local Zimbabwean civil society group the National Constitutional Assembly
(NCA) seems to have hit hard times after a Messenger of Court on Monday
attached two cars and furniture over a debt owed to a journalist they hired.

According to the state owned Herald newspaper the NCA failed to pay
journalist Columbus Mavhunga over US$4000 in consultancy work after
terminating his contract before it was due for expiry.

Mavhunga is then said to have sought the intervention of the High Court who
granted him US$4 321, in compensation for work done.

On Monday the Deputy Sheriff loaded two trucks with furniture from
Bumbiro/Isikelelo House, the offices of the NCA. This included computers,
fridges and tables. Also attached was a truck and Peugeot 306 taken to Ruby

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CIO agent shot over phony nuclear substance

11/05/2010 00:00:00
by Lunga Sibanda

A CENTRAL Intelligence Organisation (CIO) agent was shot and wounded after a
high speed chase with detectives - the bloody end to a deal gone sour over a
fictitious substance known as red mercury, purportedly used in the creation
of nuclear bombs.

Mudenge Matyasha Mugwira, 32, and accomplices Merina Goto, 42, and Blessing
Chitiyo appeared before a Bulawayo magistrate on Tuesday, charged with
kidnapping, robbery and extortion.

A third suspect, only identified as Gushungo, is sought by the police.

Bulawayo prosecutor Malvern Nzombe told a bizarre tale of greed, abuse of
power, kidnapping and torture.

The charges against the men stem from an alleged April 28 raid on the 8th
Avenue property of an Asian businessman, Faisal Gazali, in which they took
him captive -- Mugwira punching him twice in the face to force compliance.

The men were accusing Gazali of swapping their red mercury with a FAKE
during a transaction.

Magistrate Abednico Dube heard after kidnapping Gazali, the trio drove to
12th Avenue where they picked up the missing suspect, Gushungo.

Gazali, the prosecutor told the court, was then ordered to direct the men to
his house. He was threatened with death if he misled them.

With Mugwira at the wheel of a Nissan Hardbody twin cab, the men arrived at
Gazali's home where they were met by a maid and the businessman's uncle at
the gate.

"Mugwira asked the two if they knew Gazali, and they said they knew him.
Mugwira then told the two it was the last time they were seeing him alive if
he did not co-operate with them and drove off," the prosecutor said.

The quartet, the prosecution says, then drove Gazali to a bushy area in the
Queen's Park area, close to the Joshua Mqabuko Airport where he was made to
lie down. The businessman was repeatedly attacked with a wheel spanner, a
jack handle and booted feet.

Following the assault, the men allegedly emptied Gazali's pockets, taking
away US$70 which he had on him. They also demanded US$20,000 cash or a
kilogramme of gold as "compensation" for their red mercury.

"Gazali pleaded with them to reduce it to US$10,000 and they agreed and gave
him up to 7 May to pay up, with a threat that he would disappear," the
prosecutor said.

To ram home the message, the prosecution says Mugwira - having dropped off
his Chitiyo and Goto outside the City Hall - drove to Magnet House, the
regional HQ for the Ministry of State Security in the President's Office.

Mugwira, the prosecution said, showed Gazali the 7th Floor, which he said he
operated from.

He told the businessman "he was in the business of making people disappear",
while warning Gazali not to tell anyone, the court heard.

Mugwira, still in the company of Gushungo, later drove Gazali to his home -
apologising to his uncle and claiming it was a case of "mistaken identity".

After being "pestered" on several occasions and receiving more threats,
Gazali finally reported the matter to the police on Wednesday last week.

Detectives set up a sting operation last Friday in which they put fake
Zimbabwe dollars in a bundle, with a fake and genuine US$100 note at the top
and bottom.

The money was put in an envelope and at the prompting of the detectives,
Gazali invited Mugwira to come down and pick up his "compensation" money.

As Gazali handed over the money to Mugwira, detectives swooped and ordered
him to come out of the car with his hands raised, the court heard.

Defying police instructions, Mugwira sped off as detectives opened fire -
shooting him once on the arm. But despite being hit, the CIO agent kept
driving until he was involved in a head-on collision on Leopold Takawira

The substance at the centre of the case, red mercury, is something of an
urban myth. The substance, supposedly the main ingredient for a "dirty
bomb", is either radioactive or toxic or neither, depending on who you speak

Samples obtained from arrested would-be terrorists around the world
invariably consisted of nothing more than various red dyes or powders of
little value.

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Zim-EU trade ties set to improve

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Business Reporter

TRADE relations between Zimbabwe and the European Union are set to improve
as the economy recovers.

The two partners recorded a significant decline in trade volumes over the
past few years although the EU has remained one of Zimbabwe's major trading

In a statement to mark Europe Day on Monday this week, the EU said between
2002 and 2008 exports and imports went down by 49 percent and 28 percent
respectively with Zimbabwe enjoying positive trade.

"In 2008 imports from the EU amounted to 121,6 million euros, whereas
exports to EU amounted 310,5 million euros, resulting in a trade surplus in
favour of Zimbabwe of 18,8 million euros," said the EU statement.

The EU said the implementation of adequate policies in the country would see
these trade volumes rising again. The European trade bloc described its
trade with Zimbabwe as a very important component that was not subject to
any restrictive measures.

"It is an instrument for development and one of the three pillars of the
Cotonou Agreement. The conclusion of the World Trade Organisation-compatible
trading agreements aims at progressively removing barriers to trade and
enhancing co-operation in all areas related to trade," said the EU.

The signing of the interim Economic Partnership Agreement between Zimbabwe
and the EU demonstrates Zimbabwe's active and positive role in the regional
integration process, which is in itself a powerful means of fostering
integration into the world economy, the statement said.

Zimbabwe entered into an interim EPA with the EU in 2009 giving the country
a 100 percent duty free quota free access into the EU market with a
transition period for rice and sugar.

Zimbabwe in turn will liberalise 80 percent of imports from the EU by 2022,
45 percent by 2012 with the remaining 35 percent of imports being
liberalised progressively until 2022.

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Food assessment remains bleak as winter months approach

By Alex Bell
12 May 2010

A recent international assessment of Zimbabwe's food security has remained
bleak as the winter months approach, with warnings that the country will
remain largely dependent on international aid.
According to the World Food Programme (WFP), the country is facing a cereal
deficit of an estimated 459 000 metric tonnes. The United Nations agency
said in a 'Crop and Livestock Assessment Report' that 20 out of the country's
62 districts had failed to produce enough food to meet basic needs, with
'erratic weather and seed and fertilizer shortages' being blamed for the
widespread crop failures
"The Crop and Livestock Assessment indicates that 20 rural districts did not
produce enough to meet their rural population requirements," the WFP report
The UN group said the worst affected areas were Matabeleland South and
Masvingo, as well as the eastern Manicaland province. The International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has also recently
warned about impending widespread hunger, explaining how hundreds of
thousands of more Zimbabweans will be in need of urgent food assistance.
According to the most recent figures, a conservative estimate of 2.17
million Zimbabweans currently need food aid and this number is set to keep
The WFP report this week added that a more comprehensive report, detailing
exact food deficits and the full extent of hunger vulnerability, will be
available next month.
"The livelihood assessment is currently underway. It will be collecting
information at house, community and district level. Results of the
assessment will determine areas of deficits within the districts and the
extent of food insecurity within the household level. Results are expected
at the end of June 2010," the WFP said.
Food production has plunged drastically since the start of Robert Mugabe's
land 'reform' programme in 2000. Despite the obvious affect of the campaign
on the nation, which has faced hunger year after year, there has been no
effort to stop ongoing attacks on farms. ZANU PF meanwhile has been quick to
blame western imposed targeted sanctions for the country's economic
collapse, created by the collapse of agriculture. They have no problems
however accepting western food aid to feed the people they've abandoned to

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Zesa under fire

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

By Lloyd Gumbo

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy has grilled
Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company officials for
clandestinely switching off electricity at Shabanie Mine.

The power disconnections, which were as a result of non-payment of bills,
resulted in the loss of equipment worth more than US$450 million after the
mine flooded.

It has also emerged that the decision was against Government policy, which
says electricity should not be cut off at mines.

Appearing before the committee, ZETDC managing director Mr Ernest Muchayi,
however, said his company had engaged the mine's managing director before
they switched off the electricity.

Shabanie Mine shut down in February after the flooding caused by power
disconnections and load-shedding.

The committee, chaired by Guruve South House of Assembly Member Mr Edward
Chindori-Chininga (Zanu-PF), also questioned the ZETDC officials over the
credibility of their billing system.

In response, Mr Muchayi said: "We have a policy that we do not switch mines
off completely but to leave enough power to pump water.

"We have been talking to mines that they should pay up, and as for Shabanie,
we have been talking to the managing director. We did not consult (because)
we thought we had done enough by talking to the MD."

Bikita West House of Assembly Member Mr Heya Shoko (MDC-T) said: "The major
shareholder (Government) has been bailing you out on several occasions after
you failed to sustain yourself and today you paralyse the operations of a
national interest company.

"It's on record that Government has been bailing you out through the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe by advancing you loans and today you bite the hand that
feeds you.

"Mines cannot run without electricity because they flood and that is what
happened at Shabanie."

It also emerged that ZETDC switched off several mines prompting Mr
Chindori-Chininga to request that the company provide the committee with a
list of all the firms they had switched off.

Turning to the billing system, Mr Chindori-Chininga asked: "How did you come
up with bills when you did not have actual readings especially during the
changeover from Zimbabwean dollars to the multi-currency system?

"Some people have accumulated bills of over US$1 000 yet their salaries are
far less. Why don't you sit down and face reality that your customers are
failing to pay because of your inefficiency?"

Chiredzi West legislator Mr Moses Mare (MDC-T) added: "You did not send
meter readers to get actual readings at households and yet you came up with
outrageous bills which are unsustainable."

Mr Isheunesu Muza (Zanu-PF, Redcliff) attacked the ZETDC's billing system as
it showed abuse of "customers diplomatically", calling for the need to cut
the bills by half.

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Go home you poor child

Written by The Legal Monitor
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 10:09

HARARE - A newspaper picture on Tuesday of a policeman assisting school
authorities to chase away students at a Harare government school starkly
showed how Zimbabwe's education system remains anti-poor. (Pictured: David
The coalition government counted the re-opening of schools, which had closed
down during the height of the country's economic chaos in 2008, as one its
major achievements. But scenes of children being forced off school property
have pushed organisations such as Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights to
consider legal action to ensure children are guaranteed their right to
education without interference from security agents.
David Coltart, the Minister of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture, stated
that one of his broad policy priorities was to restore basic education for
all Zimbabwean children when he was appointed to this key ministry.
But events this week, when schools opened for the 2010 second term, showed
that things have remained the same for those children from families in lower
income brackets.
Children as young as 10 were forced out of classrooms, as public schools
implemented rigorous vetting to ensure that only those who had paid fees and
controversial levies attended lessons.
Shockingly for parents, Coltart has defended those schools denying education
to students who fail to pay government stipulated fees, as this is provided
for in terms of the law - although it is the Ministry which must approve the
denial of entry to such students. However, this stance, organisations have
said, is out of sync with the
stark reality that the majority of Zimbabweans remained unemployed and
struggle with basics such as food and high utility bills.
ZLHR, one of the organisations to speak strongly against the denial of
education to poor children, pointed out that the government was failing in
its obligations to ensure education for all children regardless of class.
"The Ministry must urgently put into place concrete measures to ensure that
all children are allowed to continue to attend classes even in instances
where they have not yet paid fees. Further it must take measures to
progressively ensure that there is no requirement for tuition fees at
primary and secondary school level," said ZLHR.
O' Level candidates who sat for the 2009 examinations numbered less than
half of those who registered in 2008 because the majority could not afford
high registration fees.
ZLHR said this state of affairs could not be allowed to continue, given that
Zimbabwe was party to several international agreements.
"The right finds expression in the United Nations Convention on the Rights
of the Child, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child,
the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR),
and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, amongst other regional and
international instruments.
Zimbabwe is a state party to these instruments," said ZLHR.
The State has also committed to UN Millennium Development Goal No. 2 that
encourages states to ensure that by 2015 all primary school children
complete schooling.

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Prostitutes flock to South Africa ahead of World Cup 2010

As with the 2006 World Cup in Germany, a rampant sex trade is of concern to
human rights groups ahead of the World Cup 2010 in South Africa, which kicks
off next month. Prostitutes, many from impoverished Zimbabwe, are arriving
to cash in on an estimated 500,000 visiting fans.

 By Savious Kwinika, Correspondent / May 12, 2010
Johannesburg, South Africa

Zimbabwe's sex workers are deserting their country for greener pastures in
South Africa as the World Cup 2010 draws nearer, causing human rights and
church groups worldwide to call for measures to curb human trafficking and
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But the economic promise offered by the arrival of some 500,000 World Cup
foreign fans is already attracting impoverished workers.

"If ever there was time to make money, this is the right time," says Shuvai,
a Zimbabwean commercial sex worker working at Maxime Hotel in Johannesburg.

The 22-year-old says she arrived in Johannesburg on March 27 with eight
fellow prostitutes from Zimbabwe, north of the Limpopo River. She says that
she came because of all the international visitors for the World Cup, June
11 - July 11.

The event is no stranger to the sex trade. The 2006 World Cup in Germany,
where brothels and prostitution is legalized, brought on an additional
influx of an estimated 40,000 sex workers - plus a lot of criticism from
rights groups. South Africa's Central Drug Central Authority has also
estimated that 40,000 sex workers will come to Johannesburg for the 2010
World Cup, though the agency gives no reasoning for this figure.

A check of eight popular Johannesburg hotels - Maxime Hotel, Royal Hotel,
Hillbrow Inn, Ambassador Hotel, Diplomat Hotel, Little Rose Hotel, Summit
Hotel, and Orion Devonshire Hotel - and others in Sandton, Fourways, Crego,
Rosebank, Midrand, and Boksburg showed them to be filled with newly arrived
prostitutes, most of them from Zimbabwe.

'Competition is tight'

Hotel employees also say they have seen a recent influx of prostitutes.

"From the look of the fully booked hotels around Johannesburg and Pretoria,
we think these female sex workers could exceed 40,000," says one hotel
general manager, declining to be identified. "There are some from outside
Africa from as far as China, Pakistan, India, Hong Kong, and Venezuela, who
are here for prostitution."

Young prostitutes appear to be organized into groups led by a elder women
who smuggles the girls here from Zimbabwe, says Ushe Nyahunzvi, a man from
Zimbabwe who works at the Hillbrow Inn.

"These [elder] women are the ones who smuggle them from their native
countries for the purposes of using the girls to make a living. Old women
are losing business hence using the girls," Mr. Nyahunzvi says. "The
competition is very tight because of the World Cup."
'I will be able to buy my own car'

Cyril Mwamba, 32, says she traveled more than 1,700 miles from Zambia's
Ndola Copperbelt to reach the World Cup. Along the way, she met up with
Zimbabwean prostitutes at a bus station, and she says they decided to travel
together to Johannesburg for the opportunities here.

"When we came here [Summit Hotel], we were not so sure whether we would be
able to attract rich and well-paying men since back home in Zambia men were
looking down upon us," she says. She says she now earns R2,000 (about $270)
per night.

"I am convinced that after the World Cup, I will be able to buy my own car,"
Ms. Mwamba says. "Cars are cheap here in South Africa."

While South African officials have long had difficulty keeping out illegal
immigrants, South Africa's Department of Home Affairs says it has tightened
its borders to prevent human trafficking during the World Cup.

"We do not have evidence [of prostitutes entering the country], but will
always make sure that no illegals, particularly human traffickers, enter the
country through our ports," says a senior Home Affairs official who spoke on
condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the

Nevertheless, cross-border bus drivers say that the bulk of their passengers
in the month of April have been women, an unusual phenomenon because it has
traditionally been men who travel to South Africa for work.

"We strongly suspect that these women are here to do prostitution, and
nothing else," says Munashe Gomo, a bus driver outside Braamfontein Station.

Economy sends women into prostitution

As the richest country in southern Africa, with long and porous borders with
some of southern Africa's poorest countries, South Africa has long attracted
millions of economic migrants from Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and even the
Democratic Republic of Congo. The month-long World Cup, which will draw an
estimated half a million people and generate $3 billion in revenues, only
adds to this attraction.

Most of the women arriving here for the sex trade appear to be from Zimbabwe
because of the economic desperation there. The situation there is so bad
that some women are divorcing their husbands and hoping the World Cup will
bring them fortune, says Kudakwashe Zimuto, an elder in Mahoto Village in
Zimbabwe's Masvingo province.

"Marriages are fast breaking up with women choosing to stay alone in South
Africa's hotels and lodges," Mr. Zimuto said by telephone. "But the most
unfortunate part, is what are they going to do after the World Cup?"

That appears to be of small concern to the women themselves, who are already
elbowing for business space ahead of the games. "Old prostitutes are
threatening us, and they call us foreigners," says Janet Mashavira of
Marondera, Zimbabwe, who works at the Little Rose Hotel in the Hillbrow
section of Johannesburg.

Prostitution is illegal in South Africa, though some groups have called for
its legalization ahead of the World Cup. One parliamentarian, George
Lekgetho, has said legalization "is one of the things that would make it a
success" while it could also reduce incidents of rape and instituting
brothel standards.

Police spokeswoman Colonel N. Kweza says the law enforcement agency is
arresting many prostitutes in Johannesburg's central business district, but
she adds that the Department of Justice determines fines and penalties. The
Department of Justice refused to comment unless questions were received in
writing. The Monitor is waiting for answers to a submitted list of written
questions, including details on the penalties for sex trafficking, pimping,
prostituting, and soliciting.

Home Affairs Ministry spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa also declined to answer
questions unless received in writing.
Rights groups call for intervention

With the World Cup's June 11 kick-off only weeks away, human rights
activists and church groups are urging hotels in South Africa to ensure that
their places of business are not used for the sex trade.

One group, the New York-based Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS),
wrote an open letter April 21 to South African hotels and tourist operations
urging them to help combat human trafficking and child prostitution.

"While the lodging industry is certainly not responsible for these tragic
crimes, they are in a unique position to help prevent them by taking steps
to stop the use of their hotels for this purpose," Julie Tanner, assistant
director of socially responsible investing at CBIS in New York, said in a
press release.

The letter calls for hotels to coordinate with police and anti-trafficking
organizations, to educate staff in identifying potential victims and
reporting incidents, and to inform guests of the penalties for human
trafficking and sex abuse of children. Some hotels have already signed the
Christian Brothers' agreement, while others argue that what their customers
do is their personal affair.

The Catholic Church, according to one media report, is telling its
parishoners to be on the watch for immigrant women in South Africa who may
have been forced into the sex trade. "With these people, the Catholic
volunteers try to establish dialogue and help them to emerge from the
nightmare that they have been thrown into by criminals. Our first task is
opening our doors to these people," said Fr. Chris Townsend, a spokesman of
theBishop's Conference of South Africa, Botswana, and Swaziland (SACBC).
Raising HIV/AIDS awareness

Fear that the World Cup could bring an increase in prostitution and sex
trafficking is also raising concerns of spread of disease. In South Africa,
an estimated 5.7 million people are diagnosed with HIV. An estimated 1,000
people die from AIDS-related diseases each day, according to the African
Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF).

Groups are calling for prostitutes to insist on using condoms.

"The AIDS Consortium is encouraging all entities that have the capacity to
supply condoms to as many places as possible to do so and with other
organizations who do similar work," says Rhulani Lehloka, communications
manager for The Aids Consortium, South Africa's leading non-governmental
organization that deals with HIV/AIDS.

The South African government appears to support the condom drive. While
President Jacob Zuma - a polygamist and father of 20 children - has in the
past expressed disdain for condoms, in April his government announced a
campaign to distribute some 1.5 billion this year.

Joyce Dube, executive director of the Southern African Women's Institute on
Migration Affairs in Johannesburg, says that condom use is already high
among Zimbabwean prostitutes, who charge higher fees for men who do not want
to use a condom.

(Savious Kwinika is director of the Center for African Journalists news
agency in Johannesburg. The Monitor's Scott Baldauf contributed to this

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On Zimbabwe's death row without a lawyer

Wednesday, 12 May 2010 08:31 UK

High Court of Zimbabwe
Does Zimbabwe's High Court treat people equally?

By Brian Hungwe

After 13 years on Zimbabwe's death row, George Manyonga is still waiting to see his lawyer.

He saw him once, briefly, the day before his trial, but since then he has been left on his own.

He has lost his lawyer and now he is losing hope.

"I'm paying a price for something I never committed," Manyonga says.

"If I had a lawyer throughout my trial, the judge would have understood my concerns and acquitted me."

The world we live in today, we got soldiers of fortune, people who perform for pay
Attorney General Johannes Tomana

Manyonga's main concern during his trial in 1997 on charges of killing a security guard during a robbery was that a crucial piece of evidence - his identity card which was allegedly found at the scene of the crime - was never produced in court.

"After conviction I prepared on my own my appeal papers," he remembers.

"I tried to have a number of issues clarified, but no-one heard me."

It seems that being heard these days in Zimbabwe's courts is a privilege of the rich.

'Wish-washy' approach

In theory, Zimbabwe does offer free legal representation to the poor.

But in practise, the country's economic problems have left the Legal Aid Clinic desperately short of money - and the poor desperately short on confidence that Zimbabwean justice can ever work for them.

A hangman's noose
Zimbabwe hanged its last convict in 2004

"Yes, there have been complaints. Yes, there are still complaints that the service is poor," admits Charles Nyatanga, registrar at the High Court of Zimbabwe in the capital, Harare.

"There is a danger of a wish-washy approach which results in them [lawyers] rendering poor quality service to the persons deserving legal representation."

And there seem to be few more deserving than Manyonga.

During his several years waiting for death, he speaks of festering for 23 hours a day in solitary confinement with a plastic bag for a toilet.

"My genitals bear the scars of torture," he claims.

Brian Crozier, legal ethics lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe Law School, believes lawyers have a duty of care to clients such as Manyonga.

"Lawyers have a monopoly over representing people in court and they cannot use that monopoly merely to make money," he says.

"They must provide the best possible defence they can, particularly if the person they are representing is facing the death penalty."

There are currently 50 such people in Harare - and the last person to be hanged in Zimbabwe was in 2004.

But what can be done to help them if they have no money?

Zimbabwe's Attorney General Johannes Tomana acknowledges the poor are losing out, but believes lawyers are not necessarily philanthropists who enjoy giving their services for free.

"The world we live in today, we got soldiers of fortune, people who perform for pay, people who perform because they want to get rewarded for it equitably," he says.

Manyonga's dreams of being treated equitably ended some time ago.

And so might his life if he cannot get another lawyer soon.

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Deranged ZANU-PF chief orders destruction of church, bans bible

Wednesday, 12 May 2010 09:28 Editor News

Staff reporter
A deranged Zanu PF diehard Chief Kasekete Changara of Muzarabani in
Mashonaland Central has ordered the destruction of a Pentecostal church and
banned the holy bible from being used in local churches saying it was a
whiteman's book used to colonise Africa, The Zim Diaspora can sensationally

In an extraordinary act of blasphemy never seen in public before, Chief
Kasekete who is brother to President Mugabe's late bodyguard Winston
Changara has launched an onslaught on the Christianity religion which he
says was brought by a white man to colonise Africa. He is now on a mission
to destroy bibles in his area, and he says he means just that.

However, President Mugabe is a Christian himself, but Chief Kasekete last
week ordered ZANU-PF militias to destroy a building belonging to the
Pentecostal Holiness Church.

Many now believe the chief has lost his mind and are calling for police and
politicians to intervene saying anyone against the chief's political beliefs
risk being murdered.

Members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police in the area are aware of the chief's
destruction of the church building and have not attempted to restrain him.

Church leaders of the Pentecostal Church Holiness are now reported to be in
hiding after the notorious ZANU-PF militias under the command of the chief
threatened to kill the man of God.

Pastors and church leaders such as those from Faith Apostolic Church,
Habbakukk, Mugodhi and Zion have all been threatened by the notorious
pro-Mugabe chief.

MDC youth organising secretary for Muzarabani South Misheck Sango said Chief
Kasekete's actions were shocking.

Chief Kasekete told Muzarabani villagers to stop using the bible as a holy
reference book because there was a risk that their minds will remain
oppressed. He said the bible was a Western book designed to colonise and
recolonise Zimbabwe.

He also banned all MDC supporters in Muzarabani from attending church
services in the area.

In an interview, MDC-T Muzarabani District Chairperson, Freddy Matonhodze
confirmed the developed which he described as "incredible and extraordinary".

"It is true that Chief Kasekete who is aligned to ZANU-PF has banned use of
bibles in the whole of Muzarabani. He says he wants to stop any move to
recolonise Zimbabwe. He claims whites still want to recolonise Zimbabwe," he
said .

The Zim Diaspora understands the chief's started his anti-bible mission in
March this year and has since threatened unspecified consequences on who
dare defy his orders church.

"This decision by Chief Kasekete is shocking. It is a pity that he can stoop
so low in his quest to defend his party Zanu PF. It is unbelievable how a
man in this century still thinks bibles can be used to colonise a country.
It is pure nonsense. God will fight for us" he said.

Sources said the chief has also issued banned MDC supporters from
participating in community and social activities such as soccer, community
brew and marriage ceremonies.

ROHR Zimbabwe spokesperson, Mr Ronald Mureverwi condemned Chief Kasekete's
behavior as backward and barbaric.

"ROHR Zimbabwe condemns such acts of discrimination and malice targeted at
disempowering innocent people from their social rights in the community at
the whim of overzealous partisan sections of the society acting on narrow
partisan authority. We hold that discrimination constitutes serious
violation of fundamental human rights and that human rights are not
privileges or gifts bestowed on people at the pleasure of any local leaders,
politicians or whoever is commanding a higher authority in public affairs."
he said.

Mashonaland Central Province has been a political hotbed since the formation
of the MDC in 2000. The province, home to Zanu PF stalwarts like Vice
President Joice Mujuru, Indeginisation Minister, Saviour Kasukuwere,
Transport Minister, and Nicholas Goche among others has seen the former
opposition making inroads.

Zanu PF has used every means possible, necessary and unnecessary to defend
their grip. The formation of the unity government has done very little to
ease politically motivated violence in the province.

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Zimbabwe Weekly update

WEEK ENDING TUESDAY 11 MAY 2010 - Number 18 Roundup of events during the last 7 days in Zimbabwe Politics

Governance Economy Business Mining / Diamonds



Land / Agribusiness New Constitution Elections Political Violence Health / Humanitarian Media Legal Education Diaspora The Good News

Source:   Zimbabwe Democracy Now

Click here for back copies of the Zimbabwe Weekly Update


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Learning about the Constitution; Helping to put it together
Listen Minister Eric Matinenga answers YOUR questions. Call these numbers: +263 914 186 280 up to 7 to hear him speak, or listen and read online here. You can listen to his answers in English, Shona and Ndebele. This educational service will run during the month of May.

Between 10 - 16 May, Minister Matinenga addresses these specific issues that the general public raised:

-    Land tenure
-    Keeping COPAC non-partisan
-    Protecting Zimbabweans from violence and intimidation
-    Composition and requirements for the Executive Branch (President / Prime Minister)
-    Holding our MPs accountable

For those without Internet access, please find the full text of his answers below. We ask you to share this information with your friends, colleagues and family in order to become better informed about the Constitutional process.

You can leave a comment or a question when you phone or you can text your comments and questions to: +263 914 186 280

You can also email us any feedback on:

1. How will the issue of land tenure in Zimbabwe be addressed in the new Constitution?

Now this is a question that is seeking my view on certain Constitutional issues. Now I am not going to determine what is in the Constitution - the people out there will. But I am also a Zimbabwean, and therefore also have my opinion about what I would like to see in the Constitution. This is what I will share with you - but know that it is the people who will determine what is in the Constitution, not my personal views.

Now there is no uniformity in land tenure in Zimbabwe, but one can identify three systems of land tenure. The first one is the land tenure which derives out of the compulsory acquisition of land for agriculture and resettlement. That land tenure is based on what is known as an offer letter. That offer letter says that that piece of land can be withdrawn from me at any given time, because that land belongs to the state. The state has got title deed for that piece of land. So immediately what comes out of this arrangement is that the holder of an offer letter does not have complete security of tenure.

You then come to the second type of tenure - that which is enjoyed by the majority of us who have no access to this land really, who only have tenure in respect to communal pieces of land which we hold. Again, there is no security of tenure, because that land is held by the various local authorities who hold that land in trust for us, the communal land holders who can till the land.

The third one is that tenure which is enjoyed by the person who has title deeds to that piece of land. That person, in theory, can do whatever they like with that land. But in regards to our compulsory acquisition of land, it means that even if you have title deeds to that piece of land, government can acquire it, and your tenure on that piece of land is at risk.

So when one looks at all of these three, what is important is that we must address the issue of tenure. We must bring about security of tenure, so that agricultural land can become an economic entity that we can get an economic benefit out of. This can only be done if the person who occupies that land has security to work that land. This isn't so much about the ownership of the land, but the use of it so that it brings about an economic benefit.

2. How can we ensure that COPAC remains non-partisan?

COPAC is that group of Parliamentarians who are spearheading the writing of the Constitution. It is a group of 25 Members of Parliament who form the Parliamentary Select Committee. The composition of COPAC is that the three main political parties, and one chief, are represented. There are 11 members from MDC-T, 10 from Zanu PF, 3 from MDC-M and one chief.

So by its very nature, one hopes that this grouping will form checks and balances so that no one group can impose itself on the other, and so that it does things which are beneficial not only to these groups but to the people of Zimbabwe.

In addition to COPAC, we also have two other committees which contribute to the Constitution making process - the Steering Committee and the Management Committee. This means that COPAC is balancing different parties within its members, and also that it is checked and balanced by these two other Committees. This helps to make sure that COPAC remains non partisan.

3. Today's question came from several different callers, including ones in Mutare and Chipinge. They asked: How will you protect ordinary Zimbabweans to help them feel free to express the views of what they want in the new Constitution? Many of us are already experiencing intimidation.

This is a burning question not only for Chipinge and Mutare, but for people all over the country. People are still not satisfied that they are not going to experience the same violence and intimidation that happened in the run up to the June 2008 elections.

I really wish I could be more positive in assuring people about their safety. But for each outreach meeting we have, we will make sure that at least 5 police officers are present at each outreach meeting. But you could ask me - what about what is happening now before the meetings, and what about what will happen after the meetings, how will you protect people then. This is where I say in all humility that I wish that I would be able to provide more. But the reality is that I cannot provide any more.

What I hope is that all the political parties - particularly those who have an unfortunate culture of violence - will be able to rein in their supporters, and make it very clear to them that they will not support those who engage in violence. I think we need to make the point very clear - there is no need to die for a politician. It is not worth dying for, or becoming violent yourself, just because a politician has said to. Because as soon as the politician has gotten what he wants in that context, he will move on and forget about you.

In addition, I sincerely hope that the police will get out of this belief that there are certain parties which can do anything without the police stopping them. The police should apply the law without fear or favour. I also hope that the Organ on National Healing will help to heal communities so that the outreach programme is conducted in peace.

4. Today's question has come from a number of people, including Wellington and Kudzanayi. They asked: What will the new Constitution say about the executive branch - such as the age of the President, tenure and terms of office, and whether there is both a President and a Prime Minister?

Now this is a question that is seeking my view on certain Constitutional issues. Now I am not going to determine what is in the Constitution - the people out there will. But I am also a Zimbabwean, and therefore also have my opinion about what I would like to see in the Constitution. This is what I will share with you - but know that it is the people who will determine what is in the Constitution, not my personal views.

The current Constitution has an Executive President with executive powers, which are considered by many as centralizing too much power in one person. With the signing of the GPA, the Constitution was amended, and introduced a Prime Minister for the duration of the transitional government. Unfortunately, this GPA does not clearly define the powers of the President and the Prime Minister. But in the new Constitution, if you were going to have both a President and a Prime Minister, that Constitution must clearly describe the powers of the President and the Prime Minister, so that there is no this confusion.

My view is that, for a country like Zimbabwe, with the limited resources that we have, we cannot afford to have both a President and a Prime Minister. I would settle for an Executive President. But, in the event that the people out there want both, I think that what is important is that the powers must be clearly defined. Let's know who does what. Let's know where the power starts, and where the power stops, for both the President and the Prime Minister.

Whatever the position is, I think it is important that there are term limits for the President, Prime Minister, or both. It is also important that our Constitution does not centralize power in one person. We must have effective checks and balances to prevent this. So it is important for people to reflect on this and articulate their views. In recent years, we have had a progression to the centralization of power. But in my view, we need rather a progression to the decentralization of power - like the devolution of power question which I addressed previously.

In terms of the age of the President or Prime Minister, I do not have any considered views on the matter. People say that if you're forced to resign at a particular age, it is a recognition that you are now unable to give your best in the circumstances. So given that argument, maybe you need to put a cap on the age. But there are other people who have been President or Prime Minister beyond the age one would normally retire - and they have done well. What is important is that whoever is there should not be there for life.

5. Today's question comes from Mashasha, who asked - What law can we put in the new Constitution that will hold members of Parliament accountable to their constituents? Can we have a recall vote when our MPs are not performing?

This question again seeks my views about what I would like to see in the Constitution. There are two issues here. There is what is clearly identifiable as political recall, and then there is some other difficult concept which seeks to recall a Parliamentarian because he is not performing.

In respect of the first issue, political recall, in terms of our Constitution as we have it now, there is a provision which allows the leader of a political party to approach the Speaker of Parliament and say to him "We had Mr X who was appointed on our ticket, but who no longer shares the same principles as ourselves. Thus, Mr X can no longer be a Parliamentarian with us."- and then you go back to the people.

The unfortunate thing about this is that it imposes the power of recall on the leader of a political party - and not on the people. What I would want to see in a Constitution is where the power to recall does not rest in the leader of a political party, but in the electorate instead. That power I think can be included in a Constitution by demanding that if a Member of Parliament crosses the floor, we must go back to the electorate in that constituency which put him in power.

In Tsholotsho, we had an independent Member of Parliament, Professor Jonathan Moyo, who, without any consultation of his constituency, joined Zanu PF. I have no problem with him doing this, but I think in all fairness if you do that then you have to go back to your constituency and let the electorate say whether they are happy with your changed position. They would have voted you into power because you espoused certain policies. When you change, then that change must be endorsed by the people.

The other recall is when you say a Member of Parliament is incompetent. It is good to talk about this. But I think it would be very difficult to introduce an acceptable objective standard as to how incompetent a member would be before his recall. For example, do you think a member is incompetent because he has been unable to buy books for the schools in his constituency? Because he hasn't provided medical supplies for his constituency? One has to look at a host of factors to determine whether that particular person needs to be recalled. I see a difficulty in recalling a Member of Parliament in these circumstances, because it would be difficult to have an objective standard as to how a Member of Parliament is to perform. recently went Inside/Out with the Minister of Constitutional Affairs,
Advocate Eric T. Matinenga. Read more

Read questions about the Constitution making process submitted by members of the general public here

Featured article . . .

Constitution making awareness focusing on unimportant issues

Zimbabwe is being administered by an undemocratically elected government largely because of some constitutional challenges that have made elections worthless. Of course, we already know the election 'winner' if elections are held under the present constitution. Thus the current constitutional making process was mainly conceived to allow for free and fair elections so Zimbabweans would be governed by leaders of their choice.

Despite a lot of resources being channelled towards new constitution making, it is unfortunate that two relatively trivial issues - homosexuality and gender - which can't retrieve us from our leadership and governance crisis, have dominated the constitutional awareness campaigns.

Although most claim homosexuality is alien to Africa, there is evidence it was practiced in Buganda (now Uganda) in the 19th century particularly by Kabaka Mwanga who assumed kingship (or Kabakaship) at the age of eighteen in 1884. This is no justification for legalising homosexuality in the new constitution because who should care what people do behind closed doors? By and large, homosexuality is a bedroom issue, which does not influence the leadership and governance in this country.

Similar concerns can also be raised on gender, which is repossessing the fame it had soon after its invention, although gender sensitive legislation such as the Domestic Violence Act have been passed. Perhaps gender activists are justified to complain about gender legislative implementation and of course, more and more women opportunities, regardless of competence. But constitutional advocacy for women's rights have been used to shroud discussions on the main issues as if the new constitution is largely intended to address gender imbalances.

Among others, the current constitution gives the Executive too much power. This has stifled democracy, good governance and the rule of law. The President's power to appoint the Attorney General and the Chief Justice, for example, has compromised the judiciary's independence and consequently, election processes and outcomes.

The release of the March 2008 election results, for instance, were unlawfully and deliberately delayed. Court appeals by the opposition were ignored.  Political activists have been incarcerated and arbitrarily arrested whilst some have been tortured or murdered by known people who have never been prosecuted because the judiciary has not yet been given the instruction by its proprietor.

Similarly, one would expect discussions on the Access to Information and Privacy Act (AIPPA) to top the constitutional discussion agenda ahead of gender or homosexuality. The electronic media has been a monopoly of the ruling party, and has enabled it to spread its election propaganda at the expense of other political parties. Its polarization and the extent to which its owners dislike a new constitution have been shown by the absence of constitutional awareness information on both radio and television. If 'station identification songs' were composed for Fast Track Land Reform Programme and bearer cheques awareness raising, why can't the same be done for the new constitution?

This prejudice is augmented by the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), which has seen major election meetings of the opposition being indefinitely postponed or called off. Historically, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been fearless to take up such 'sensitive' issues. Unfortunately they are receiving binding instructions from the state controlled community entry points. Permission into communities for constitutional discussions is given on condition NGOs and communities do not talk about anything concerning the Executive's dictatorial powers, President's term of office; the Kariba Draft, AIPPA, and POSA. Possibly, this is why some have turned to 'soft' issues such as gender and homosexuality.

By Arkmore Kori

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