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Police arrest two ZimRights employees in Tsholotsho

By Tichaona Sibanda
24 May 2011

Police in Tsholotsho on Monday mounted a roadblock ‘to specifically arrest’
two Zimbabwe Human Rights Association employees (ZimRights), its director
said on Tuesday.

Okay Machisa told SW Radio Africa that police prevented regional coordinator
Florence Ndlovu, and paralegal officer Walter Dube, from conducting a
‘torture workshop’ despite the two having a court order allowing them to do
so. The workshop was organised to give villagers information about torture
and its effect, as so many Zimbabweans have suffered from this cruel abuse
of human rights.

‘They were in Tsholotsho legally because a magistrate granted us permission
on the 20th May to hold the workshop. Initially we notified the police on
the 17th of our intentions but they blocked us and we ended up seeking the
services of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights who applied for a court
order for us to have the workshop,’ Machisa said.

The director said when the police barred Ndlovu and Dube from addressing
villagers at Tshino business centre, they told the duo to leave the area.
The ZimRights officials complied and proceeded to drive back to Bulawayo,
but a few kilometres from Tshino they came across the roadblock.

‘That roadblock was specifically mounted to arrest them and they were taken
to Nyamandlovu police. But they did not break any law and we’ve not heard
from them since yesterday (Monday). Attempts by our lawyers to have access
to the two have been in vain as the police are misleading us as to their
whereabouts,’ Machisa added.

Police at Nyamandlovu are denying that they are holding Ndlovu and Dube
while ZimRights contend that is where they are being held.

‘The vehicle that the two were using is still parked at Nyamandlovu police
station. Tomorrow (Wednesday) is a holiday and we strongly believe the
police just want to punish them for nothing. They want to keep them for 48
hours before releasing them and we’ve seen this being done to other
activists,’ Machisa said.

The ZimRights director claimed police were in breach of the country’s laws
when they arrested their employees. He said there are statutes in the
constitution that guarantee freedom of assembly and expression, particularly
when you notify the authorities in advance.

‘We are calling on the inclusive government to ensure that all individuals
are allowed to express their views freely and openly without fear of arrest,
violence, or other forms of intimidation. We also call on the authorities to
issue clear instructions to the police that they should not use force to
respond to peaceful protests, and to bring justice to those found
responsible for carrying out or ordering such abuses,’ Machisa said.

The arrest of these human rights officials is the latest in a series of
arrests of civil society activists, lawyers, journalists and legislators
from the MDC-T.

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Arbitrary arrest of Ms. Florence Ndlovu and Mr. Walter Dube
World Organisation against Torture



ZWE 003 / 0511 / OBS 081

Arbitrary arrest /

Obstacle to freedom of peaceful assembly


May 24, 2011


The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Zimbabwe.


Description of the situation :


The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the arbitrary arrest by the police of Ms. Florence Ndlovu and Mr. Walter Dube, respectively Regional Coordinator for Matabeleland province and Paralegal Officer for Matabeleland, Midlands and Masvingo provinces for Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), as well as about the disruption by the police of a meeting convened by ZimRights on torture in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North province.


According to the information received, on May 23, 2011, Ms. Florence Ndlovu and Mr. Walter Dube were arrested by the police as they were coming from Tshino Business Centre in Tsholotsho, where the police had earlier on disrupted a workshop that was being convened by ZimRights to raise villagers’ awareness about torture and its effects, on the pretext that the meeting was unlawful.

As of issuing this Urgent Appeal, Ms. Florence Ndlovu and Mr. Walter Dube remained detained at Nyamandlovu police station in Matebeleland North province, at about 40km out of Bulawayo. In addition, two lawyers from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) who had gone to deal with the case were denied access to them after mounting a rapid response to their arrest. The police denied detaining Ms. Ndlovu and Mr. Dube and claimed that the two ZimRights employees had been taken to Sipepa Business Centre despite evidence of their detention through the presence of their vehicle that was parked at the police station.

By the night of the same day, the lawyers were working on filing a habeas corpus petition to challenge the detention of the two ZimRights staff members.


The police action in disrupting the ZimRights workshop is in defiance of a court order which was issued on May 20 by Bulawayo Magistrate Ntombizodwa Mazhandu. Indeed, in accordance with legal provisions, on May 17, 2011, ZIMRIGHTS regional officers gave notice to the police of their intention to hold the meeting. ZimRights was then forced to engage the services of ZLHR after the Police Officer Commanding Tsholotsho District in Matabeleland North banned them from holding the workshop after claiming that “the subject of torture is not in line with Zimbabwean culture”. ZLHR filed an application before the Bulawayo Magistrate Court arguing that under Section 24 of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) they were exempt from notifying the police as this was not a political gathering. On May 20, 2011, Magistrate Mazhandu interdicted the police from disturbing or interfering in any way with the ZimRights workshop and ordered the organisation to proceed with the workshop as scheduled and promote its right to freedom of association and assembly as set out in Section 21 of the Constitution and the right to freedom of expression as guaranteed under Section 20 of the Constitution.


The Observatory deeply condemns the arbitrary arrest of Ms. Florence Ndlovu and Mr. Walter Dube, which seems to merely aim at sanctioning their human rights activities, and urges the Zimbabwean authorities to guarantee their physical and psychological integrity as well as to release them immediately and unconditionally since their detention is arbitrary.


Actions requested:


Please write to the authorities of Zimbabwe asking them to:


i.         Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Florence Ndlovu and Mr. Walter Dube as well as all ZimRights members and all human rights defenders in the country;


ii.       Release Ms. Florence Ndlovu and Mr. Walter Dube immediately and unconditionally since their detention is arbitrary as it only aims at sanctioning their human rights activities;


iii.      In the meantime, guarantee unconditional access to their lawyers and families;


iv.     Order an immediate, thorough, effective and impartial investigation into the above-mentioned facts, the result of which must be made public, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before a civil competent and impartial tribunal and apply to them the penal and/or administrative sanctions provided by the law;


v.       Put an end to any kind of harassment - including at the judicial level - against Ms. Florence Ndlovu and Mr. Walter Dube as well as against all human rights defenders in Zimbabwe;


vi.     Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, and Article 12.2, which provides that the State shall “take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of his or her rights”;


vii.    More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Zimbabwe.



·         President of Zimbabwe, Mr. Robert G. Mugabe, Office of the President, Private Bag 7700, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe, Fax : +263 4 708 211 / +;

·         Mr. Khembo Mohadi, co-Minister of Home Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, 11th Floor Mukwati Building, Private Bag 7703, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe, Fax : +263 4 726 716;

·         Ms. Terese Makone, co-Minister of Home Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, 11th Floor Mukwati Building, Private Bag 7703, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe, Fax : +263 4 726 716;

·         Mr. Patrick Chinamasa, Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Fax: + 263 4 77 29 99 / +263 4 252 155;

·         Mr. Augustine Chihuri, Commissioner General, Police Headquarters, P.O. Box 8807, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe, Fax : +263 4 253 212 / 728 768 / 726 084;

·         Mr. Johannes Tomana, Attorney-General, Office of the Attorney, PO Box 7714, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe, Fax: + 263 4 77 32 47;

·         Ms. Chanetsa, Office of the Public Protector, Fax: + 263 4 70 41 19;

·         Ambassador Mr. Chitsaka Chipaziwa, Permanent Mission of Zimbabwe to the United Nations in Geneva, Chemin William Barbey 27, 1292 Chambésy, Switzerland, Fax: + 41 22 758 30 44, Email:;

·         Embassy of Zimbabwe in Brussels, 11 SQ Josephine Charlotte, 1200 Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 96 05 / + 32 2 775 65 10, Email:

Please also write to the embassies of Zimbabwe in your respective country.



Paris-Geneva, May 24, 2011

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need. The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:

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Britain urged to suspend aid to corrupt SADC

By Alex Bell
24 May 2011

Pressure continues to grow on the British government to suspend all direct
financial aid to the leadership in the Southern African Development
Community (SADC), until it implements a plan that will bring real democratic
change to Zimbabwe.

The London based protest group, the Zimbabwe Vigil, has been calling for
these measures for several months, “to help focus the minds of SADC
 leaders.” The group’s Rose Benton told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that
country’s who insist on supporting Robert Mugabe should not receive any
financial support from Britain, because they act against Britain’s own
commitments to protection of human rights.

“The whole region will be affected if Mugabe is allowed to continue his
reign of bad governance. The whole region will be compromised, if it isn’t
already,” Benton explained, adding: “If Britain wants stability in the
region and respect for human rights, then they need to take serious action
against the governments that stand in the way.”

Benton was speaking just days after rampant corruption within the SADC
Secretariat was revealed by the Namibian newspaper, the Windhoek Observer.
On the same day the regional bloc’s Summit of leaders got underway, the
newspaper reported that this corruption is set to be investigated.

According to inside sources quoted by the newspaper, the audit will examine
a wide range of issues surrounding the operations of the top management at
the Secretariat. The sources told the Windhoek Observer that if SADC goes
ahead and institutes the forensic audit, “it could open up a can of worms.”

“We want an investigation because this has become an institution of money
laundering, they create illegal contracts, they are always travelling
abroad, there is no transparency and accountability, and they lie to the
Council,” the sources are quoted as saying.

The sources also told the newspaper that corrupt SADC officials “use
regional integration as a shield and in this case an investigation will be
the only solution.” The sources said the implementation of regional projects
“has suffered because those heading the Secretariat do not seem to have the
plight of SADC citizens at heart, but show more interest in flying
first-class and living in luxury hotels.”

It was further alleged that there was “rampant misuse of donor and member
state funds,” saying top officials at the Secretariat “have an addiction to
lavish spending.”

The Zimbabwe Vigil’s Benton said such allegations of corruption do not come
as a surprise, adding that these reports alone should force the UK and
Europe to at least consider some kind of funding cut.

“We believe that Britain and the European Union can be much tougher on the
countries and institutions that they give aid to. They should be insisting
that human rights be a top priority for any country they give aid to,”
Benton said.


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Tribunal closure devastates Zim farmers

by Thulani Munda     Tuesday 24 May 2011

HARARE –  Zimbabwe’s embattled white farmers says they are devastated at the
dissolution of a regional court they had seen as their last hope for
protection against President Robert Mugabe’s relentless land reforms.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal had raised hope
among farmers they could keep their land or get compensation for farms
already seized after the court in 2008 ruled Mugabe’s reforms illegal.

But a summit of SADC leaders in Namibia last weekend agreed to dissolve the
Tribunal while also invalidating its Zimbabwe land rulings, in a major
victory for Mugabe who had ignored the court’s orders saying they were not
binding because a protocol establishing the court had not been properly

"It’s huge, massive disappointment for us," said Deon Theron, president of
the Commercial Farmers Union that represents most of Zimbabwe’s few
remaining white farmers.

"It’s a major step backwards fro us. We are disappointed at the decision
against the Tribunal ….. the Tribunal could have played a vital role in
conflict resolution either between individuals within the region or between
states within the region," Theron told ZimOnline.

A group of 78 farmers who said they had failed to get justice from the
Zimbabwean courts appealed to the Tribunal for protection against attempts
to seize their land.

The Namibia –based Tribunal appeared to deal a heavy body blow to Mugabe’s
controversial programme to seize white-owned farmland for redistribution to
blacks when it ruled in November 2008 that the chaotic and often violent
programme was discriminatory, racist and illegal under the SADC Treaty.

The regional court also ordered Harare not to evict the 78 farmers and that
it pays full compensation to those it had already forced off farms.

Mugabe publicly dismissed the Tribunal’s ruling, with his Justice Minister
Patrick Chinamasa insisting the court’s constituting treaty had not been
ratified by two-thirds of the regional bloc’s members as required.

The Zimbabwean High Court also refused to register the Tribunal’s ruling
saying registering and enforcing the judgment would have a negative impact
on Zimbabwe’s agrarian reforms.

Analysts expect SADC justice ministers and attorney generals tasked by
regional leaders to review the terms of reference of the Tribunal to
recommend that any new regional court be limited to hearing only inter-state
disputes, ruling out access for the Zimbabwean farmers to the court.

The farmers also cannot contest acquisition of their land in Zimbabwe’s
courts because Section 16 B of the country’s Constitution prohibits
landowners or occupiers whose property has been acquired by the government
for purposes of resettlement from challenging the legality of such
acquisition in a court of law.

Land redistribution -- that Mugabe says was necessary to correct a “unjust
and immoral” colonial land ownership system that reserved the best land for
whites and banished blacks to poor soil -- is blamed for plunging Zimbabwe
into food shortages after the veteran leader failed to support black
villagers resettled on former white farms with inputs to maintain

On the other hand critics say Mugabe’s powerful cronies, and not ordinary
peasants, benefited the most from farm seizures with some of them ending up
with as many as six farms each against the government’s stated
one-man-one-farm policy. -- ZimOnline

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Court ends Von Abo bid for compensation for lost farms
Published in: Legalbrief Africa
Date: Tue 24 May 2011
Category: South Africa
Issue No: 431

Crawford von Abo has reached the end of the road in his bid for compensation from the SA Government for the expropriation of his farms in Zimbabwe.

According to a Beeld report, Von Abo approached the Constitutional Court after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) found that although the government had acted in an unconstitutional manner in its diplomatic assistance to Von Abo, SA law does not recognise a principle where one government may be held accountable for the actions of another. The North Gauteng High Court initially ordered the government to compensate Von Abo due to its failure to provide diplomatic assistance. According to the report, Von Abo argued in his Constitutional Court application that the SCA judgment itself was unconstitutional as the court could not find unconstitutional conduct with purely 'theoretical value'. The report says the government also appealed to Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, arguing that the SCA erred in finding that it acted in an unconstitutional manner towards Von Abo. However, both applications were unanimously dismissed as having no reasonable prospect of success.
Full Beeld report

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Tribunal disbandment tragic: MDC

By Chengetai Zvauya, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 24 May 2011 15:11

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has said the disbandment of
the Sadc Tribunal is unjust as it strengthens dictators who have a firm hand
on their countries’ judiciary.

Douglas Mwonzora, the party spokesperson, said it was tragic that regional
leaders had been swayed by countries such as Zimbabwe that have received
negative rulings from the Tribunal in the past.

Sadc leaders agreed to suspend the Tribunal by a year at the Windhoek
extra-ordinary summit held on Friday.

But Mwonzora said his party would continue lobbying for the resuscitation of
the Tribunal, which gave people whose rights are trampled at home a voice.

“It is a tragedy that the Sadc Tribunal was dissolved.

We feel that when we have domestic interference within the judiciary we
expect that the external Tribunal would provide a safety valve for Zimbabwe,
and we hope that it will be reconstituted soon,” said Mwonzora.

Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Patrick Chinamasa, who is Zanu PF’s
chief inter-party negotiator, told the Daily News that the government would
now push with its land reforms without the Tribunal on its back.

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Namibian Police Deny Harassing Zim Civic Groups

5 hours 9 minutes ago

WINDHOEK, May 24, 2011- The Namibian Police on Monday said a report that
Zimbabwean activists were detained and thrown out of the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) Extraordinary Summit on Friday was a
“fabricated” story, the Namibian newspaper reported.

The paper reported on Monday that Irene Petras of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights, Joy Mabenga of the Institute for Democratic Alliances for Zimbabwe
(IDAZIM), and freelance journalist Jealousy Mawarire were arrested in the
Safari Hotel lobby where the summit took place.
Lloyd Kuveya of the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) also suggested
that the reported Namibian Police action appeared to have been at the behest
of Zimbabwean security police who recognised the Zimbabweans at the summit.

A statement issued by Chief Inspector Angula Amulungu of the Namibian Police
said at “no stage were the three arrested or detained”.
He said that the Police did not take any person into its holding cells
anywhere in Windhoek.

He did, however, confirm that the group was instructed to leave the summit
premises after the security detail noticed that the group was not accredited
to attend the event as required by the organisers.

“These people were in groups; one group was not accredited,” said Amulungu,
adding that it was trying to get into the summit.
Amulungu said journalist Mawarire, apart from not being accredited for the
summit, “could have been arrested for transgressing immigration laws which
require him to possess a temporary work permit, which he admittedly did not
have when asked to produce it”.

He said the Namibian Police’s mandate to maintain law and order, “did not
land on our hands by coincidence by rather through Constitutional mandate
and we are proud to carry it out without fear or favour”.
The CEO of the Nangof Trust, Ivin Lombardt, said he had established by
yesterday afternoon that the three Zimbabweans were “detained” on the
premises of the Safari Hotel and then released two hours later – some time
between 15h00 and 18h00 – “to prevent them from going anywhere or talking”
to anyone.

The activists were planning to present delegates at the summit with a
document calling for the full implementation of the Global Political
Agreement (GPA). The document also demanded that SADC lay out in clear terms
firm preconditions to ensure democratic elections in Zimbabwe that are
without violence and intimidation, and in full compliance with SADC
principles and guidelines governing democratic elections.
Lombardt said most of the Zimbabwean activists who came to Namibia last week
had left the country over the weekend.

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Southern African Leaders Rebuff Mugabe Attempt to Blunt Call for Reform

Southern African diplomatic sources and SADC officials say they were shocked
by the initiative pursued by various high-level Mugabe envoys dispatched
last week to regional capitals ahead of the SADC summit

Blessing Zulu & Benedict Nhlapho | Washington  23 May 2011

Diplomatic sources say a move by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to
neutralize the tough communiqué issued in April by the Southern African
Development Community troika on Zimbabwe and dismantle the facilitation team
of South African President Jacob Zuma, SADC's mediator in Harare, has hit a
brick wall and stirred regional backlash.

The Livingstone, Zambia, meeting of SADC's troika politics, defense and
security called on President Mugabe to halt political violence and
accelerate democratic reforms. The statement was widely seen as a rebuke to
President Mugabe and a 180-degree turn by the regional organization, which
has often been hesitant to confront him.

Southern African diplomatic sources and SADC officials say they were shocked
by the initiative pursued by various high-level Mugabe envoys dispatched
last week to regional capitals ahead of the SADC summit on Friday in
Windhoek, Namibia. That summit was to have taken up Zimbabwean issues before
a last minute change of agenda.

President Mugabe met Namibian leader Hifikipunye Pohamba, current SADC
chairman. Vice President John Nkomo was dispatched to South Africa and

Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa was in Tanzania, Defense
Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa traveled to Angola and the Democratic Republic
of Congo, while National Security Minister Sydney Sekeramai was sent to
Mozambique and Zambia and Land Reform Minister Herbert Murerwa lobbied in
Seychelles and Mauritius.

Zimbabwe's former ruling party also dispatched non-governmental
organizations led by party activist Goodson Nguni under aegis of the
All-Africa Association of NGOs.

Nguni is said to have been distributing a pamphlet during the Windhoek
summit entitled, "The MDC and the Culture of Violence." The document sought
to blame political violence in Zimbabwe on Prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai
Movement for Democratic Change.

Diplomatic sources say regional leaders are determined to deal decisively
with Harare when they meet June 11 in South Africa, and to adopt the
Livingstone resolutions.

Political analyst Charles Mangongera told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that
ZANU-PF's attempt to stem the tide of pressure for on reforms has been

In Johannesburg, meanwhile, civic groups led by the Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition expressed outrage at the harassment and detention of activists at
the SADC summit by Namibian security officials and Zimbabwe’s Central
Intelligence Organization.

VOA Studio 7 correspondent Benedict Nhlapho reported on the controversy.

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Zimbabwe 'needs $9-billion to overhaul economy'

HARARE, ZIMBABWE - May 24 2011 20:26

Zimbabwe requires $9-billion to fund a structural overhaul that policymakers
hope will see the economy grow 7% annually over the next five years, a
minister said Tuesday.

"Today Cabinet set and deliberated on the Medium-Term Plan, which will cover
a span of five years, from 2011 to 2015," Economic Planning Minister Tapiwa
Mashakada told journalists in the capital, Harare.

"Cabinet has launched the plan and the main vision ... is enhancing a
democratic developmental state, anchored by a growing and transforming
socially just economy."

Mashakada said the $9-billion needed to fund the plan would be raised
through new investments, equity injections into existing businesses and
domestic savings in areas such as pension funds.

Zimbabwe's economy has shown signs of recovery since President Robert Mugabe
and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai formed a power-sharing government in
2009, ending a decade of instability and reversing record-setting

But Mashakada said economic rebuilding is complicated by the fact that just
10% of the work force participates in the formal economy.

He said the blueprint prioritises employment creation, infrastructure
development, economic stability and good governance.

The plan seeks to increase the number of jobs by 6% annually and build
foreign exchange reserves sufficient to cover at least three months of
imports by 2015.

Zimbabwe's economy is set to grow 9% this year on the back of strong tobacco
production and increased mining output, according to Finance Minister Tendai

But analysts say the projection may not be met as uncertainty over new
elections tipped for this year has spooked investors, who also worry about
Mugabe's threats to take over foreign firms. -- Sapa-AFP

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Nine arrests at WOZA demo against ZESA

by Irene Madongo
24 May 2011

Nine members of Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) in Bulawayo were
arrested on Tuesday following another demonstration against the Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority’s continued power cuts and tariffs. One of the
women is detained along with her 3 month old baby.

As part of its campaign for a fairer system for residents, the group is
calling for ZESA to install pre-paid metres for residents, who complain that
they are being hit with ridiculously high bills.

WOZA’s Magodonga Mahlangu told SW Radio Africa that ZESA can afford to
install the metres, but it simply refuses to do so as it knows people will
only pay for what they use. She says this will be a blow for ZESA, which is
robbing residents.

“We are seeing ZESA with brand new luxury cars and they even hosted a
cocktail dinner party at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair. It is a
known thing that ZESA managers and staff are paid high salaries – so they
have the money,” she said.

As part of the Tuesday protest, 150 WOZA members in Pumula, Bulawayo,
marched to their local ZESA office carrying a mock coffin to symbolise the
power utility’s burial. They began their march from a nearby shopping
centre, intending to walk past the police station to the ZESA office, but a
vehicle drove out and dispersed them.

“Police officers on bicycles then chased the activists but many managed to
double back to the door of ZESA to deliver the yellow cards and coffin. A
drama ensued with residents shouting at police officers to stop chasing
people as they do not have electricity themselves. All the police officers
seem to come out to pick up and read the yellow cards, flyers and placards,”
a WOZA statement said.

As the protest dispersed, nine members were arrested, with the police
claiming the demonstrators were blocking the pavement. By late afternoon
they were still being held at Pumula police station.

On Monday, six women from WOZA appeared in court to face charges of defacing
roads in Bulawayo during another protest against ZESA last week. The state
alleges the women were writing graffiti on the tarmac.

The six were released on $100 bail each and will appear in court again on
6th June.

Mahlangu stated that the six women deny the allegations, but were forced to
sign statements admitting to the charges. “Under this duress, five of the
accused admitted to the charge. This took place in the absence of their
lawyers despite officers being well aware of the legal team. Over the
weekend two homes were raided without any search warrant but no arrests were
made,” WOZA said.

“The state case is based on ‘malicious damage to property’ but they will
have to prove what repairs are needed and how they have calculated the
damage at US$345 when the paint used is normal road paint which is used to
draw traffic lines and fades over time.”

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Update on Mwonzora case and Facebook arrest

24 May 2011

On Monday Nyanga North Member of Parliament, Douglas Mwonzora, and 32 Nyanga
residents, were granted permission by a magistrate to take their case
against the state to the Supreme Court. The group claim they were wrongfully
arrested and mistreated by the police earlier this year and this was a
violation of their rights.

In February they were arrested and charged with public violence, after
disturbances in Mwonzora’s consituency where he had addressed a rally. The
MDC-T say it was pure police harassment. They were held in filthy cells in
Nyanga and Mutare but in March were released on bail.

This month they filed a constitutional challenge, arguing that the
authorities violated their rights to liberty and protection from inhuman and
degrading treatment as enshrined in the Constitution. The state had
dismissed this claim, stating that it was frivolous.

However on Monday, a Nyanga magistrate granted the group’s application to
refer their case to the Supreme Court to determine if their rights were
indeed violated.

In another update of MDC harassment; on Tuesday the MDC-T announced that 27
activists and mourners who were being held for assault have been released on
$20 bail each. They are expected to appear in court again on 7th June.

The group was arrested last Thursday in Warren Park, at the funeral of
MDC-T activist Jack Ndeketeya who died in a car accident. They included
MDC-T activists, Ndeketeya’s elderly and ailing father, his mother, a pastor
and other mourners. They were held at Harare Central Police Station and
charged with assault and theft. Over the weekend, Ndeketeya’s parents were

The MDC-T had complained that the charges were trumped up because the police
would not say they who they are alleged to have robbed.

And next month a man will appear in court to face allegations that he posted
a message on Facebook, saying the pro-democracy protests in Egypt were worth

The state alleges that in February Vikas Mavhudzi posted a message on Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Facebook wall, encouraging him to take a cue
from the uprisings.

“I’m overwhelmed, don’t know what to say Mr PM,” Mavhudzi is alleged to have
written, “what happened in Egypt is sending shockwaves to all dictators
around the world. No weapon but unity of purpose. Worth emulating hey.”

Mavhudzi, is believed to be the first person to be arrested in Zimbabwe for
posting comments on Facebook. In February, 46 Zimbabweans were charged with
treason for discussing the mass protests in Egypt. Although 38 were freed,
the remaining six were detained and totured, before being released on bail.

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School Head Flees After Death Threats

10 hours 47 minutes ago

MUTARE, May 24, 2011- the head of Mapo Primary School in Odzi area has fled
from his school after receiving death threats from suspected liberation war
veterans and Zanu (PF) militants.

The head who was identified as a Masango is being accused of accepting
building material that was bought for the school by a local senator
Keresenzia Chabuka of the MDC-T.Chabuka built a classroom block for the
school under the Constituency Development Fund and this irked Zanu (PF)
supporters and the war veterans.

A staff member at Mapo Primary School who spoke on condition that he remains
anonymous said a war veteran by the name Kamanja and a school teacher Mike
Kevin Ndumiyana coordinator for the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe,
PTUZ, said they condemn in the strongest terms acts of violence against

He said it is disturbing that war veterans and Zanu (PF) supporters are not
happy with the development that has been made to Mapo Primary School.

“It is so disturbing that these war veterans are so narrow minded that they
only want to see development coming from only one side.Teachers are targeted
by war veterans and Zanu (PF) supporters each time the country is about to
have elections,” said Ndumiyana.

Recently a school teacher at Mwoyoweshumba Secondary in Mutasa district lost
all his household property after his house was torched by suspected war
veterans in the area.

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‘RBZ plundered’

By Thelma Chikwanha, Staff writer
Tuesday, 24 May 2011 13:08

HARARE - Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe workers have called for heightened
government intervention at the crisis-ridden institution, amid allegations
that the central bank’s board members were pillaging the bank.

Senior managers at the bank alleged yesterday that board members were paying
themselves hefty allowances, running into thousands of dollars a month, at a
time that workers were getting “pittances”.

This state of affairs was resulting in mass resignations by key staff and
the remaining ones applying, en masse, to be retrenched, including senior
managers from vital departments.

Were all the applications for retrenchment to be successful, this would see
the central bank being severely paralysed, with “ghastly” consequences and
negative ripple effects across the entire banking sector, the Daily News’
sources warned.

Board members were allegedly taking thousands of dollars home every month,
while workers were being paid $150 each a month.

Alarmed by the extent of the problems at the central bank and the “looting”,
finance minister Tendai Biti is said to have summoned the board members to
his office recently, to get explanations on the spending sprees and the mass
resignations by senior employees.

RBZ governor Gideon Gono confirmed the mass resignations recently.

The fresh allegations of problems at the bank come at a time when more RBZ
properties, acquired during the quasi-fiscal days, are being auctioned –
with the bank failing to pay creditors millions of dollars.

Workers say they are “mystified” by what board members of the bank actually
do since Biti took away most of the powers of the bank.

RBZ’s traditional sources of revenue, such as printing money, dried up with
the coming in of the multi-currency era.

Documents in the possession of the Daily News show that from May last year,
board members collected more than $111 000 in retainer and sitting fees, as
well as fuel and communication allowances.

In one of the documents titled ‘2010 RBZ Directors’ Fees’, deputy chairman
Charles Kuwaza is listed as the biggest board member beneficiary, where he
earned $14 020 in gross allowances, while workers, including senior
managers, earned 10 percent of that amount.

Another board member, Willard Manungo, claimed a gross of US$10 745, while
labour economist Godfrey Kanyenze received $10 920, Primrose Kurasha claimed
$12 870 and Daniel Ndlela claimed $11 570.

Surprisingly, Gono, who is the board chairman, did not claim any money like
the rest of his colleagues.

However, Gono – who recently announced that the under-capitalised
institution faced closure unless it was rescued – said the directors had
nothing to do with the solvency problems at the bank.

“In any case, the issue of the directors’ fees is a standard one and it is
determined by the Minister of Finance. He is the one who sets levels of
directors’ remuneration. The amounts you claim are being paid to directors
are insignificant, relative to market standards, as well as the challenges
and responsibilities which they are
shouldering,” he added.

Gono said he would only get his share of directors’ allowances once the Bank
had got back to its feet.

“The fact that you claim that I have not been paid is neither here nor
there. I shall be paid when the bank can afford it.”

When contacted for comment, RBZ board deputy chairman Charles Kuwaza could
neither confirm nor deny receiving the hefty allowances, but referred all
questions to the central bank’s spokesperson Kumbirai Nhongo, who was not
available for comment.

So weak is the Reserve Bank that it no longer has the muscle to rein in

One of the disgruntled senior employees said: “The developments at the
Central Bank are a serious cause for concern. It is going to be a wild west
scenario in the banking sector and the economy should brace for serious
systematic collapses of banks.

“We cannot continue working for $150 per month when the board members are
giving themselves about US$2 000 a month”.

Under the amended RBZ Act, the central bank was authorised to sell off its
non-core assets to fund the bank’s activities. But due to bungling and
infighting within the board, they have failed to dispose of the assets, a
development which has worsened the bank’s financial

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Judge Orders Release Of Coup Plotters

5 hours 34 minutes ago

HARARE, May 24, 2011- High Court judge Joseph Musakwa has ordered the
release of Albert Matapo and five other coup plotters with whom he is
jointly charged for plotting the overthrow of President Robert Mugabe,
saying their continued incarceration was unlawful.

In his ruling Tuesday, Justice Musakwa said the State’s failure to bring
them to trial within the stipulated six month grace period
following their re-indictment for treason, was in violation of the Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act and this warranted their release.

“The appellants were not liable to be committed to custody upon being
re-indicted,” read Musakwa’s ruling.
However, the charges against the accused shall remain.Harare lawyer Charles
Hwarara, who is representing the accused was non
committal about the ruling saying the State was in the habit ofignoring
court rulings often passed against it.

“ I hope they will be released this time but I do not know what the Attorney
General’s office is thinking of doing after this ruling. All
I can say is that if they think of keeping them inside obviously its
something illegal and might have problems for them because they
obviously know that the law has been clearly spelt out, ” he said.

Hwarara did not rule out any legal suit against the state saying any such
action would be effected with the instructions of the accused.
Matapo, a former army captain and alleged ring leader in the plot was
arrested in 2007 together with six other suspects namely Nyasha Zivuku,
Oncemore Mudzurahona, Emmanuel Marara, Patson Mupfure,Shingirai Mutemachani,
and Rangarirai Maziofa on allegations of plotting to violently topple
President Mugabe and replace him with the
powerful Defence Minister Emerson Mnangagwa.Mnangagwa has since distanced
himself from the group and denied the allegations describing them as ‘stupid’.

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Zulu Hit Back At Zanu (PF) Officials

10 hours 15 minutes ago

HARARE, May 24, 2011- President Jacob Zuma’s international relations advisor
Lindiwe Zulu has hit back at officials of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu
(PF) party saying their attacks will not stop her from doing her job and to
help the people of Zimbabwe find a solution to the political crisis in their

Zulu is part of Zuma’s facilitation team in the Zimbabwe crisis.

“I cannot comment on things that distract me from doing my work,” Zulu was
quoted by NewsDay. “I have no comment to make. I usually give you a comment,
but on this one I have no comment.”

Weekend reports said Zanu (PF) had formally lodged a complaint with South
Africa’s ruling ANC over Zulu’s statements which they claimed were “reckless
and inflammatory”.

The statements were allegedly in regard to the succession law in Zimbabwe.
The complaint against Zulu stems from the publication in the ANC weekly
newsletter, ANC Today, on May 13, that the facilitation team had said the
negotiators to the GPA “are concerned about the succession law should
(President) Mugabe die or retire before the adoption of a new constitution”.

The reports quoted an unnamed Zanu PF official as saying Zulu was “playing a
very cheap and dangerous game which can be played by any fool. What she says
about our leaders, we can say about her with more credibility”.

The unnamed party officials added: “She is forgetting that she is a mere
assistant to the facilitator. She is just an aide. We have more senior ANC
members in the facilitation team like Cde Marc Maharaj, who are not acting
recklessly like her.

“She wants to speak with a voice stronger than President Mugabe and stronger
than President Zuma, who is the facilitator. There is even a tinge of
personal advocacy in Zulu’s activities and we are watching.”

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Zimbabwe State Media Increase ZANU-PF Propaganda

Peta Thornycroft | Harare, Zimbabwe  May 23, 2011

Zimbabwe’s state media have escalated propaganda for the party of President
Robert Mugabe since southern African leaders met Friday in Namibia. Analysts
say the high level of publicity, including alleged misrepresentation of
facts, appears to be a reaction to the Southern African Development
Community’s recent criticism of the ZANU-PF party.

South African President Jacob Zuma, chief mediator for SADC on the long
Zimbabwe political crisis, decided he could not attend the region’s summit
last week in Namibia, because of South Africa’s just-concluded local
government elections.

As a result of his non-attendance, a late-March communiqué from SADC’s
Troika on Politics, Defense and Security was not put to the summit for
discussion or endorsement.

Without naming names, that communiqué carried heavy criticism of ZANU-PF’s
failure to fulfill the 2008 multi-party political agreement that is the
foundation of Zimbabwe's inclusive government.

Despite the lack of developments at the Namibia summit, the pro-ZANU-PF
state media has printed and broadcast stories claiming victories for the

The daily Herald reported Saturday that SADC’s Tribunal, a regional court of
last resort, had been disbanded at the Windhoek summit thanks to ZANU-PF

The Tribunal repeatedly ruled the Mugabe government's seizure of white
farmers’ land beginning in 2000 was racist.

SADC says it has not disbanded the Tribunal, but has suspended it until
reports from regional justice ministers and international consultants’ are

Meanwhile, the pro-ZANU-PF state media has lambasted one of Zuma’s
mediators, Lindiwe Zulu, who is also Zuma’s international affairs advisor.

The Sunday Mail, in which the government has a 50-percent stake, carried a
report headlined, “South Africa’s Lindiwe Zulu in trouble.” The report says
ZANU-PF has formally lodged a complaint with South Africa’s ruling African
National Congress, citing several criticisms of statements recently
attributed to Zulu.

The report claimed Zulu's remarks were taken from the publication, ANC
Today - in particular statements about the succession issue - should Mugabe
die in office.

But there is no record that Zulu made any remarks to any South African media
about Mugabe or the succession issue.

The Sunday Mail also noted Zulu is accused of saying that anyone in ZANU-PF
who believed elections would be held this year was “day dreaming.”

The director of a Zimbabwean media monitoring group, Andy Moyse, said
pro-ZANU-PF propaganda had escalated to what he called a “deafening
crescendo" in the past few days.

He also said state media have misreported the contents of the 2008 political
agreement that led to Zimbabwe's inclusive government.  ZANU-PF says in
those reports that a new constitution before fresh elections is not part of
the agreement.

Moyse said this is incorrect, as the political agreement insists all parties
draw up a new constitution that will be put to a referendum before any new

He said that report is intended for the domestic audience, while the attack
on Lindiwe Zulu was an attempt to discredit the SADC facilitation team. That
team has recommended regional representatives be sent to Zimbabwe to help
monitor and fully implement the 2008 political agreement.

The SADC Troika is now expected to forward its recent report on Zimbabwe to
the region’s leaders, who are scheduled to meet next month in Johannesburg.

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Ncube’s MDC wants Zuma to dump Mutambara

24 May 2011

There has been another twist in the leadership saga of the smaller faction
of the MDC led by Welshman Ncube. The party is reportedly pleading with
South African President Jacob Zuma not to recognize their former President
Arthur Mutambara, who refuses to accept that he is no longer leader of the

Earlier this month Mutambara is understood to have also written a letter to
Zuma, asking him not to recognise Ncube and threatening to ‘withdraw’ the
two negotiators appointed by party to the Global Political Agreement (GPA)
talks, if they continued to ‘abuse their positions.’ Zuma heads the GPA
facilitation team on Zimbabwe.

In the run up to the party’s congress in January, Mutambara stepped down as
president, paving way for Ncube to take over. Mutambara then made a u-turn
and refused to accept this. But the party went ahead and obtained a court
interdict, barring him from claiming to be party president. A splinter group
made up of Mutambara’s backers has also filed a High Court application to
nullify the congress where Ncube was elected as party resident.

With this bickering in the background, the GPA talks have gone ahead, and
Mutambara has been attending crucial talks in his capacity as Deputy Prime
Minister and Principal.

The MDC-N is now understood to have written a letter to Zuma, saying both
Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai are interfering in their party politics
and condemned their backing of Mutambara’s presence in the GPA meetings.
They say that because of this their party does not have a principal
representing them.

“Once again supported by President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai, he
[Mutambara] now claims that there is a distinction between the President of
the MDC and its principal in the inclusive government and indeed outside
government. This position is self-evident nonsense because it is plain that
President Mugabe is a principal because he is the leader of ZANU PF while
Tsvangirai is a principal because he is the leader of MDC-T and therefore
Mutambara cannot be principal unless he is also the leader of the MDC,” the
letter read.

Political analyst John Makumbe has also said Mutambara’s conduct is
confusing people and doesn’t help the nation.

Meanwhile it’s been reported that the Ncube MDC has again ruled out a unity
deal with the MDC-T, saying their differences are ‘too deep and strongly
felt.’ Ncube is understood to have also said he does not believe the MDC-T
will accept unity under equal terms. The two factions split in 2005 over
differences around the party’s participation in Senate elections

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ANC firm on election roadmap

By Reagan Mashavave, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 24 May 2011 15:26

HARARE - South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has insisted
an election roadmap recommended by Sadc and being negotiated under the watch
of President Jacob Zuma remains the best way out of Zimbabwe’s crisis,
despite President Robert Mugabe’s opposition.

This comes as Zanu PF, in a misleading manoeuvre, sought to abandon
ownership of the roadmap they have always been part of.

ANC head of communications, Keith Khoza told the Daily News yesterday that
his party, whose views are significant because of its control of Africa’s
biggest economy, remained convinced that the roadmap was the best

This position is likely to deepen the unease characterising Mugabe and Zuma’s

Tension between Mugabe and Zuma’s mediation team is high as Zanu PF seeks
ways of reversing milestones that have been set by Zuma, the no nonsense
Sadc front man on Zimbabwe.

These include the roadmap to free elections as well as resolutions by the
Sadc Troika Organ on politics, defence and security emphasising the need for
a roadmap, an end to violence and full compliance with the Global Political
Agreement before elections.

The Troika’s resolutions were heavily influenced by Zuma’s progress report
presented to the Organ at the meeting held in Zambia end of March.

A cornered Zanu PF—realising the roadmap, if allowed to succeed could nail
the party because it can’t win a fair election- has told Sadc it is against
the roadmap despite being involved in early meetings that resulted in a
draft document.

Keith Khoza, the ANC’s head of communications said key steps had already
been taken to make the roadmap effective.

“The ANC is confident that the current process of negotiations will usher in
a peaceful solution in Zimbabwe. The roadmap … has been broken down to a
matrix that will guide the way forward,” Khoza said in a written response to

South Africa’s insistence on a roadmap that could undo attempts to rig the
next election has rattled Zanu PF, which is now lobbying for the sidelining
of Zuma as chief mediator.

Mugabe and his top allies have accosted regional leaders and diplomats over
the past month, including at the Sadc summit held in Namibia on Friday, to
push for this position. The party is unlikely to succeed, diplomatic sources
said, citing the high level confidence Sadc has in Zuma.

Mugabe’s bid to smuggle himself out of the election roadmap that he
initially backed follows discomfort expressed by military and other security
leaders at the concessions being agreed to by Zanu PF negotiators.

Zanu PF hardliners, including Mugabe, insist elections should be held this
year. Zuma’s mediation team, through spokesperson Lindiwe Zulu say elections
are impossible this year because of the slow progress in implementing the
GPA, which forms the basis of the Zimbabwe’s awkward coalition government.

Zanu PF’s push against Zuma took a step forward when party hardliners
planted a story in the State-controlled Sunday Mail indicating that the
party had formally lodged a complaint against Zulu’s conduct.

The Sunday Mail report, quoting sources, said Zanu PF was unhappy with Zulu,
citing comments on the ANC website which expressed fears of chaos in the
event of Mugabe dying without solving his succession issues.

Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo, yesterday however disowned the report. He
said his party had not forwarded any such communication to the ANC.

“I don’t know anything about that I only read it in the newspaper,” said

Khoza said his party had not received the purported letter of complaint
against Zulu.

“The ANC is satisfied that the succession allegation cannot be attributed to
Comrade Lindiwe Zulu as the report attributes it to the Negotiators,” Khoza

“The article was lifted from, an international publication
that covers world events. In the article carried by ANC Today, the South
African Team of negotiators reported that there is serious progress with
regards to talks.

“The second paragraph that raises concern on succession law is attributed to
the negotiators (who are Zimbabweans) and not the mediators. As the ANC we
are satisfied that the comments of the Mediation Team did not raise the
issue of succession as alleged in the complaint,” he added, exposing Zanu PF

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Mugabe health: a national security risk

by Edward Jones     Tuesday 24 May 2011

HARARE -- President Robert Mugabe’s advanced age and his failure to groom a
successor has become the biggest threat to Zimbabwe’s future stability and
its transition to democracy, analysts said as ZANU-PF seeks to hurry the
country into elections this year before Mugabe’s health deteriorates.

At 87, Mugabe is now Africa’s oldest serving President. Mugabe has held
power for 31 years, a feat achieved only by three other African leaders,
including Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, who is fighting a popular uprising
against his 42-year rule.

Political negotiators in Zimbabwe’s fragile unity government are trying to
hammer out a road map that will pave way to fresh presidential and
parliamentary elections which ZANU-PF wants this year but which the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) says could only be possible within 12 months
after electoral and security reforms to guarantee a free and fair vote.

Mugabe has since the start of the year shuttled between Harare and Singapore
for medical reviews, heightening fears that the former guerilla leader’s
health is deteriorating. Mugabe has denied that his health is failing.

“Unfortunately Mugabe’s health and the future of Zimbabwe are intertwined
and there needs to be a clear succession mechanism within ZANU-PF first and
another constitutional mechanism for power transfer outside ZANU-PF,” John
Makumbe, a University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer said.

“There are a lot of grey areas there and if not handled well, this could
pose the biggest threat to the country’s national security.”

South Africa’s ruling ANC party has already said Zimbabwe’s three governing
parties, including Mugabe’s ZANU PF, fear that should Mugabe retire or die
in office this could jeorpadise the adoption of a new and democratic
constitution that is still being drafted and is seen as prerequisite to
ensuring the next vote is free and fair.

South African President Jacob Zuma is the regional SADC group’s mediator in
the Zimbabwe inter-party negotiations.

Mugabe is believed to be suffering from prostate cancer, which tends to
develop in men above fifty years and causes pain, difficulty in urinating,
problems during sex, or erectile dysfunction.

Official sources in the President’s Office have suggested that Mugabe had
gone under surgery in January, one of the many treatments for prostate,
which also include radiation therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, and proton

The sources also say Mugabe is suffering from peripheral edema or the
swelling of ankles, linked to heart, liver and kidney problems.

Analysts say Mugabe has purposefully avoided anointing a successor and
instead played two main factions in his ZANU-PF party as part of a plan to
continue in power.

But the lack of a clear succession plan may have serious consequences for
the country.

The political analysts said ZANU-PF’s factions could not agree on a post
Mugabe successor, which could plunge the country into political instability.

“The constitution is very clear on the route to take if Mugabe were to wake
up not there but for this to work ZANU-PF needs to have a clear succession
plan in place. It is simply not there, which creates a dangerous recipe for
instability,” Eldred Masunungure, chairman of local think-tank Mass Public

Zimbabwe’s constitution stipulates that the two Houses of Parliament sit
together as an electoral college to elect a successor when the Office of the
President falls vacant and the elected successor serves for the remainder of
the terms of the predecessor.

Under the Global Political Agreement if Mugabe's post becomes vacant, it
would be filled by a member of ZANU-PF.

“But because ZANU-PF cannot close ranks or reach consensus on single
candidate to take over from Mugabe, these constitutional provisions become
meaningless,” Makumbe said.

ZANU-PF is pushing for elections this year, hoping Mugabe will win and
manage the succession issue internally but officials in a multi-party
constitutional committee say this is impossible as a referendum is only
possible after September this year.

Mugabe was forced to form a unity government with Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai after contentious elections in 2008 and political analysts have
said any fresh vote without reforms and mechanisms to transfer power could
lead to another stalemate.

The next election is seen as a watershed as it has the potential to usher in
a new era of democracy or further entrench what Mugabe’s critics say is
ZANU-PF’s dictatorship.

Mugabe is also coming under pressure from regional leaders who want his
smooth exit to prevent distabilising the region with a repeat of the
economic and political crisis that saw thousands of Zimbabweans fleeing to
neighbouring countries. -- ZimOnline

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The day George Charamba bashed his wife

By Lance Guma
24 May 2011

Every Tuesday SW Radio Africa will be looking at some of Zimbabwe’s unsolved
and deliberately ignored cases of political violence, torture, murder and
other forms of abuse, by people in positions of authority.

This week we look back to the day Robert Mugabe’s spokesman and Permanent
Secretary in the Information Ministry, George Charamba, bashed his wife Rudo
in what was described as an attempt to kill her.

It was reported that on the 24th February 2004 Rudo confronted Charamba,
accusing him of having infected her with HIV. An out of control Charamba,
who has a black belt in karate, responded by battering her until she was
unconscious. Another report said he also assaulted her baby "badly".

Although the police responded by arresting Charamba for the savage assault,
Mugabe immediately intervened, ordering police Commissioner Augustine
Chihuri to ensure the case was dropped. The case file at Borrowdale Police
station went missing and the official line put out was that Rudo had dropped
the charges.

Details of the case are that sometime in 2004 Charamba travelled with Mugabe
on an official trip to Cuba. On coming back, instead of going home, Charamba
chose to spend the night with a prostitute. This was allegedly just one of
several escapades that Rudo got to find out about. She decided to get tested
and found out she was HIV positive.

Weeping uncontrollably Rudo confronted Charamba asking why he had brought
the disease into their marriage. Charamba went into a rage beating her until
she fell unconscious. Rudo was taken to a local hospital, bleeding
profusely. Her friends rushed to report the matter at Borrowdale Police
Station and also kept her blood stained dress as evidence.

Several women’s groups took up the case and signed affidavits supporting
Rudo, but the case never got anywhere. Family friends described Charamba as
a "heavy and reckless womaniser who turns into a monster and bully at home".
He also has a well known record of “picking up prostitutes in Harare's
avenues” they said.

Confirmation of what happened was to come later when George Charamba penned
an article personally attacking Jonathan Moyo. A furious Moyo responded by
dishing out Charamba’s dirty linen in public. He wrote an article in which
he said;

"Zimbabweans would be told many things about everything, including how
Charamba has attempted to murder his wife in cold blood and how that
attempted murder has been covered up. And the disgusting bloody evidence
would be given because it is available. This is not a threat but a promise."

Last year several newspapers reported that Rudo Charamba wrote a letter to
the Swedish Ambassador Sten Rylander, pleading to be removed from the
European Union targeted sanctions list. Rudo described herself as the former
wife of George Charamba and claimed although they are not officially
divorced they parted ways and have lived separately since 2004.

“I am still officially married to George only because I cannot afford to
file for divorce. I am out of employment and I am not well. He left me our
home thereafter and he now lives with his second wife. I have remained quiet
because I wanted to protect my children but I cannot continue to suffer like
this,” part of the letter read.

This year in February Rudo’s wish was granted when she was one of 35 members
of the Mugabe regime who had the targeted sanctions by the EU lifted. The
spouses of central bank chief Gideon Gono, CIO boss Happyton Bonyongwe and
prisons chief Paradzai Zimondi, were also removed from the list.

In previous weeks we have looked at the cases involving co-Home Affairs
Minister Kembo Mohadi and notorious CIO operative Joseph Mwale, who both
should be facing murder charges but have continued to enjoy high level
protection. Despite Rudo Charamba’s relatives and friends keeping her
clothes as an exhibit for future prosecution, Charamba continues to enjoy
the protection of his boss, Mugabe.

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Zimbabwe: The Way Forward – Some Suggestions in the light of the SADC Troika Decision

May 24th, 2011

The State of the GPA

The SADC mediated Global Political Agreement, signed in September 2008, and brought into operation in February 2009, is clearly in trouble. Established as a modality for creating the conditions for a generally acceptable election, after ZANU PF’s violent response to a popular vote against the Mugabe regime in 2008, many hoped, in the face of indications to the contrary, that the resultant interim government would serve as a bridge to an internationally acceptable electoral solution to the Zimbabwe crisis.

While the process has done little to open up democratic space in Zimbabwe, it is clear that after June 2008 some form of compromise between the parties was necessary given the balance of forces in the country. However, the prospects of a cohesive transition were always problematic given that the GPA was, in its very make up, a site of struggle for state power between the contending parties ahead of a future election. It was also a badly constructed and ambiguous document that in itself has led to unnecessary problems for governance.

In the two years since the establishment of the interim government, ZANU PF and the two MDCs have fared rather differently. For the once-dominant ruling party, the dent to its self-perception as the uncontested representative of the Zimbabwean people, provided by the 2008 result and power sharing arrangement that followed, forced a reappraisal of its future. ZANU PF’s power is predominantly located in the military-economic complex that has been forcibly acquired over the last decade with the result that its control has been wielded largely through the deployment of force. Over the last two years, it has used its hold on the structures of coercion to obstruct the implementation of those aspects of the GPA which ostensibly sought to open up democratic spaces in Zimbabwe. In a persistent fashion, the Mugabe regime has held on tenaciously to the military and security sectors, blocked entry of alternative voices into the electronic media in the country (the central mode of information to the majority of the population), and delayed the implementation of the constitutional process. Moreover, at a regional level, ZANU PF has continued to command SADC support, largely through its manipulation of the ‘sanctions issue’ and its construction of the issue within the context of longer term liberation solidarities. ZANU PF has thus used the GPA period to claw back lost political spaces, even as it was forced to give way in certain areas of state policy.

The most popular party in the inclusive arrangement, the MDC-T, has attempted to use this time to gain a foothold in state power, given its inability to translate electoral superiority into state power because of ZANU PF’s monopoly control over the military. With its limited share of state power, the MDC-T made some progress in stabilising the economy and opening up a dialogue for future normalization of the Zimbabwean situation with international forces. It has however faced severe limitations in its capacity to change the democratic make up of the state, not only because of the obstacles placed in the way by ZANU PF, but also because of the lack of capacity and clearer strategic interventions at national, regional and international levels. This often led to a cycle in which the protests by the MDC, in relation to what they saw as the obstacles to progress, were followed by capitulation to ZANU PF’s obduracy. Additionally, MDC’s leverage within the state has been severely weakened by the decimation of its major social base, the urban workforce, as a result of the wholesale destruction of livelihoods during the crisis.

The smaller MDC formation, with its credibility always under question because of a weak social base, has been further weakened by the political delinquency of its one-time leader, and the ongoing constriction of its support base. Both processes have resulted in further fragmentation of this formation and a desperate need to find new ways to survive in the near future. The fact that the two MDCs have not been able to work together constructively in this period has also weakened both, to the advantage of ZANU PF. However, the recent cooperation between the two MDCs over the selection of the Speaker for the House of Assembly is indicative of how much more effective their interventions could be in the interim government.

In the event of an election, such cooperation could become particularly important in Matabeleland where the politics have fractured even further along regional lines, amplifying long-held Ndebele ethnic demands for more inclusion in national development, and a stronger political commitment to deal with the open wounds of Gukurahundi.

Regional and International Dimensions

Since the change of mediation teams between the Mbeki and Zuma administrations, there has been a decisive drop in the initiative and energy levels of the SADC intervention. Progress has been slow and there has been little movement in getting beyond the many outstanding issues in the GPA. Where there has been some movement it has largely been in SADC’s support for Mugabe’s call for the end of ‘sanctions’, an issue that has almost completely worked in ZANU PF’s favour. At least this was the case until the meeting of the SADC Troika on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation held in Zambia on 31st March 2011. The communiqué issued at the end of this gathering appears to have taken a stronger position on violence and the continued obstructions to the implementation of the GPA. In addition, most importantly, the Troika agreed to “appoint a team of officials to join the Facilitation Team and work with the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) to ensure monitoring, evaluation and implementation of the GPA.” The Troika also agreed to develop Terms of Reference, time frames and provide regular progress reports, the first of which is to be presented during the next SADC Extraordinary Summit. This link between the officials appointed by the Troika, the Facilitation team and JOMIC could be an important step forward in a fuller implementation of the GPA.

The international bloc, for its part, has attempted to use a dual strategy in Zimbabwe. On the one hand its has provided humanitarian-plus support for the inclusive government as an encouragement for further reforms, while holding on to the stick of ‘restrictive measures’ as a means of continued pressure on the Mugabe regime. The problem is that this strategy has largely backfired on the West and the opposition, providing little leverage to move the recalcitrant ZANU PF, while at the same time providing the latter with its sole message for the forthcoming election. Whereas in 2000 and beyond, the land was the single election message for the ruling party, the bearer of this task has now moved to the ‘anti-sanctions’ campaign, allied implicitly to the discourse on land, and carried out with monolithic fascist-style singularity. Thus the international forces caught up in the Zimbabwe question are now left with a strategy that has not worked, that they would like to move away from, but cannot do so without more movement on the GPA.

Recent Developments

Two issues have become clear about recent ZANU PF strategy. Firstly, the party does not want the ‘sanctions’ removed as this would undermine their single election message, one directed more at SADC and the AU than at the people of Zimbabwe. Secondly, there was a strong push from the dominant elements in ZANU PF to go for an early election in 2011 for several reasons including:

  • ZANU PF was feeling stronger than they did after their 2008 defeat;
  • SADC wanted Zimbabwe off the agenda as soon as possible;
  • Zimbabwe was off the AU agenda, in light of what have been interpreted as more compelling events in Ivory Coast and North Africa; [1]
  • While the ‘restrictive measures’ were still in place there were clear indications from the West of as lesser appetite to adhere to these, and thus a grudging admission that in one form or another, more normalised relations would have to be established with the Mugabe establishment;
  • The MDCs and the civic movement were weaker than they were in 2008, and had lost momentum;
  • Mugabe’s health was a concern, and the military in particular would have thus preferred an early election in which Mugabe is still able to take the leading role. [2]

However, as is frequently the case in Zimbabwe, the political terrain has altered more recently, in what would appear to be a direct result of the SADC Troika decision in Livingstone and changing understandings of Mugabe’s health. Thus, the desire for an early election by certain elements in ZANU PF has been affected in a number of ways:

  • The SADC decision has shaken ZANU PF’s assumption that SADC is entirely biddable;
  • SADC has quite clearly placed Zimbabwe centrally on its agenda, with an apparently strong desire to resolve the crisis;
  • The discomfort felt by SADC over the North African revolutions is being exacerbated by recent developments in Swaziland;
  • The AU approach to crises in its members will be strongly affected in the future by their decisions in relation to the Ivory Coast;
  • Mugabe’s health now seems an increasingly serious issue, and must be raising concerns over whether he would be able to withstand a rigorous campaign as ZANU PF’s only plausible candidate to oppose the popularity of Morgan Tsvangirai. (Given the provisions in the Constitution and also the GPA relating to succession, there may well be differences of opinion within ZANU PF. It is relevant here to point out that evidence suggests there are increasing divisions within ZANU PF on the way forward and the desirability of maintaining the GPA);
  • The possibility of the Troika decision being ratified by the Emergency Summit in May has increased pressure on ZANU PF and may further exacerbate divisions within the party.

It is in this context that the recent arrests of MDC and civic leaders, and violence in some parts of the country, need to be understood. It serves as a reminder to the electorate of ZANU PF’s capacity for electoral violence, while making it difficult for the West to consider moving away from the sanctions strategy. It may also be an indication of the strategic battles within ZANU PF over how and when to fight the next election.

The Way Forward

All of the above suggests that this is a critical time for civil society to make a major input into the process. Fundamental to any input would be a cohesive and unified position by civil society.

The following suggestions constitute a possible way forward:

1. It seems crucial that civil society as a whole strongly endorse the decision of the SADC
Troika without amendment;

2. Following such endorsement, representatives of the major civic platforms should
undertake the following:

  • Present their position to all the political parties in Zimbabwe;
  • Present their position to JOMIC;
  • Present their position to SADC, both as SADC and to the individual members countries;
  • Present their position to the international community outside SADC.

3. Ensure that there is widespread dissemination of the civil society position within Zimbabwe through statements, newspaper articles, opinion pieces, and meetings.

These interventions should culminate in the convening of a regional conference of civic actors to pressure the SADC mediators into enforcing their new position and ensuring conditions for a free and fair election.

This analysis was undertaken during two roundtable discussions, and is endorsed by the following organizations: Idasa, RAU, SAPES, Solidarity Peace Trust, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, and the Zimbabwe Liberators Platform.


[1] However, the Ivory Coast issue does have some traction for Zimbabwe since it is a crisis around an election with the refusal of the loser group to step down, a clear endorsement now by the AU that Gbagbo must go (and has gone), and the difficulty for the AU in whether Gbagbo’s refusal to go is a „coup?. The resolution of the Ivory Coast crisis may be more relevant for Zimbabwe than the uprisings in North Africa.

[2] But some within Zanu PF may favour delaying an election in the light of the President’s health, and prefer to deal with the succession problem in Parliament rather than through the ballot box.


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The Diaspora Population and Elections in Zimbabwe: Implications for Democracy

May 24th, 2011

Election Resource CentreAs talk of a possible election in 2011 begins to make serious discussion currency in Zimbabwe’s ever undulating political terrain, it is once again to the electoral environment that all observers will turn. As usual, the error will be made to focus on the election as an event, thus missing out the bigger picture of viewing it as rather a process comprised of various factors. However, this error of judgement is understandable ostensibly because many in our midst think that what matters is how conditions are on election day(s) in particular and/or the few days or weeks preceding it. Yet years preceding an election, the election period itself and indeed the period after are all aspects of what will eventually be determined by whoever as a so-called ‘free and fair’ election or otherwise. This is the fallacy of election observers and monitors that continues to be missed. This advice is particularly urgent in a country like Zimbabwe where elections have always been an area of fiercely contested terrain in many ways than the orthodox electoral competition. But there are many more matters arising as regards elections in Zimbabwe. This is in part drawn from the lessons of our past electoral history as well as the other external dynamics that we have gone through as a maturing post-colonial state.

A silent, but important development to Zimbabwe’s voting population has been the movement out of Zimbabwe particularly at the turn of the Millennium by a steadily rising amount of the electorate. Whereas there hasn’t been an official or proper census of exactly how many Zimbabweans are outside of our borders but still holding Zimbabwean citizenship, it is inconceivable anyone would doubt that whatever the figure, it now constitutes a critical component of Zimbabwe’s electoral matrix. Unverifiable, conservative estimates put the number of Zimbabweans outside of the country at nothing less than 3 million. The majority are of course illegal and legal immigrants in neighbouring South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. The UK, Canada, Australia, US also weigh in with high figures.

This may be restating the obvious, but, the main point is that the past 10 years have seen a steady growth and establishment of Zimbabwean Diaspora population in the countries mentioned above but also in Zambia, Mozambique, Swaziland regionally and many others around the globe. The reasons for this state of affairs are well known.

Given the fact that Zimbabwe’s total population has always been estimated at somewhere in the region of 13 million, then when slightly below a quarter of its nationals are outside the country, it may now be in the national interest to let them play their part of the national political process. It has not yet been determined how much Zimbabwe is potentially losing by technically ‘disenfranchising’ millions of potential voters. It can be assumed with great plausibility that Zimbabwe is losing out by leaving a very crucial component of its people outside of the political process. Democracy entails giving everybody the opportunity to participate in such elections as the outcome of any elections impacts on them, invariably.

Whilst there is nothing ordinarily special about living outside the country, there is growing concern that defining national population in terms of only those within the country and only extending franchise to a few in the diplomatic community is an affront to broad-based electoral democracy. Leaving out a significant section of a country’s electorate only for the sake of it sounds extremely discriminatory and exclusionary. The Diaspora population deserves a chance to contribute to Zimbabwe’s democracy or democratisation drive not only because they are Zimbabwean nationals, but because they already constitute a ‘critical mass’ with a lot to contribute to their country other than remitting money.

During the decade long economic crisis, the Diaspora population kept the (then) ailing economy’s heart beating through significant injections of liquidity via remittances to families back home. The overall Zimbabwean population has yet to be fully convinced that it is in the national interest to confine voting only to Zimbabweans resident in the country. Nationals of Zimbabwe living outside, and those especially still clinging proudly to their citizenship, wish to contribute politically in as much as they are contributing socially and economically. If immigration has become part and parcel of contemporary Zimbabwe population dynamics, then the political attention must also adapt accordingly to ensure access to politically and economically active Zimbabweans to continue to be stakeholders in their country.

Finally, Zimbabwe’s democratisation scorecard and legitimacy of electoral politics is rendered poor by shutting the door on Zimbabweans outside the country. Whereas there would always be excuses especially on issues bordering on feasibility and logistical bottlenecks associated with democratising elections in Zimbabwe this way, the most worrying aspect of it all is that nobody seems to be seriously talking about it in civil society but especially in the corridors of power. This suggests that the idea is yet to dawn on policymakers’ imagination, assuming they possess any. Increased volumes of international migration and general movement of people across borders is a 21 Century reality that should not trivialise the primacy of at least according loyal nationals a chance to exercise their democratic right to choosing national leaders. Whereas this may be an extremely difficult thing to do with constituency based elections like for Council, House of Assembly or Senatorial elections, the ERC does not see how in the Presidential election this cannot be done as long as there is adequate political will.

Published in The Election Eye – 30 April 2011

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MISA - Zimbabwe Africa Day Statement

Written by MISA-Zimbabwe
Tuesday, 24 May 2011 15:01

As Zimbabwe joins the rest of Africa in commemorating Africa Day on 25 May
2011 the country should seize the opportunity to reflect on its progression
or lack thereof towards fulfilment of its obligations in terms of the
African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
This is critical as the country forges ahead with its constitution making
process which should culminate in the production of a democratic home-grown
constitution moulded along the various regional and international
instruments that it subscribes to.
The government should therefore self-introspect on its human rights record
as enshrined and espoused under the African Charter. Other African
instruments include the Banjul Declaration of Principles of Freedom of
Expression, Windhoek Declaration, African Charter on Broadcasting, SADC
Protocol on Culture, Information and Sport and SADC Protocol on Gender and
MISA-Zimbabwe is therefore urging the government to critically review the
country’s record as it pertains to promotion and protection of citizens’
rights to freedom of expression, assembly, association and access to
information. While MISA-Zimbabwe notes the commendable steps towards
fulfilling the obligations of the 1991 Windhoek Declaration which has seen
the licensing of more than 25 media houses in the print sector by the
Zimbabwe Media Commission, the same cannot be said of the broadcasting
The sector has remained stagnated since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980 as
evidenced by monopoly of the airwaves by the state-controlled Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation. Private broadcasters and community radio stations
continue to mushroom and proliferate throughout the southern African region
and Africa as a whole save for Zimbabwe and Eritrea. In 2008, for example,
the DRC had 41 radio stations and 51 TV stations in Kinshasa alone out of a
total  of 381 radio stations and between 81 and 93 TV channels throughout
the country. In 2006/7 Benin had 73 radio stations while Uganda has more
than 120 and Mali 200.
Also of concern is the continued existence of criminal defamation and insult
laws as enshrined under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act which
pose obstacles to the media and civic society organisations’ watchdog roles
over the three arms of the state in keeping  with the principles of good
governance, transparency and accountability.
Zimbabwe cannot be proud of such laws which are relics of colonialism
notwithstanding the fact that the former colonial power Britain scrapped
these in 2009. MISA-Zimbabwe therefore reiterates its calls for
constitutional provisions that explicitly guarantee media freedom and the
citizens’ right to access to information.
In coming up with a new constitution vis-à-vis the envisaged media reforms,
MISA-Zimbabwe urges the constitutional thematic committees and the inclusive
government to take into serious consideration the principles of the African
human rights instruments whose founding cascade from the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights.

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U.S. Embassy partners with independent media to hold Youth and the Future Dialogues

Harare, May 24, 2011: Over the next three weeks, the U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe is partnering with the Independent and Mirror newspapers to sponsor three Youth Dialogues about the future of Zimbabwe.  The debate-format dialogues will take place in Harare on May 26, in Masvingo on June 1, and in Bulawayo on June 16.  All three events are free and interested individuals should request an invitation by calling 04-758-800 or emailing


Two of the dialogues, in Harare and Bulawayo, are part of the monthly high-level discussion series hosted by the weekly Zimbabwe Independent newspaper.  The Zimind has a respected track record as a media leader and stimulator of public debate and discussion on topics of critical importance to Zimbabwe’s citizens.  The Mirror, host of the Masvingo Youth Dialogue, is an equally strong, objective voice for honest news and editorial comment in Masvingo and Midlands provinces.


The United States Government, led by the State Department, is hosting youth engagement programs throughout Africa during the months of May and June to showcase the efforts of young African leaders, to engage with them in discussions about current challenges on the continent, and to help them discover ways to bring about positive change.


The Dialogue presents an opportunity to showcase and reflect on how young African leaders are building the future of their communities and nations.  In addition to events sponsored by the State Department, the United States International Development Agency (USAID) and the Peace Corps, there will be digital interactions via the Bureau of African Affairs’ Facebook page (, Twitter, and other social media platforms to allow young Africans and Americans, entrepreneurs and business leaders, to exchange ideas on an array of topics.


The Dialogue is part of ongoing engagement with young Africans stemming from the August 2010 President’s Forum with Young African Leaders held in Washington, D.C. and follow-on events, with future high-level youth engagement activities and programs on the continent planned.  Three Zimbabwean youth leaders participated in the Forum.


Objectives of the Dialogue with Young African Leaders is to:


·         Showcase young African leaders in civil society and business who are motivating youth and highlighting to global audiences a new generation of Africans who are shaping the continent’s future;

·         Emphasize the Administration’s priority of mutual responsibility as the foundation of the U.S.-Africa partnership and reinforce the U.S. commitment to supporting African solutions to Africa’s challenges;

·         Help build networks between young American and African leaders that will lead to lasting partnerships.


# # #


Comments and queries should be addressed to Sharon Hudson-Dean, Public Affairs Officer. E-mail:  Tel. +263 4 758800-1, Fax: 758802.


Become a Fan on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter!



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Consultancies in Zimbabwe

Three (3) Consultant vacancies with UNDP
Deadline: 1 June 2011

The United Nations Development Programme would like to invite suitably qualified candidates to fill the below positions financed through a grant from The Global Fund, to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM)

1. 7010: Consultant for the development of Phase 2 of Capacity Development Plan (Global Fund R8)

2. 7011: Consultant for the Development of Human Resources strategy and plans for the National TB Program

3. 7012: Consultant for facilitation of workshops for Health Services Board

The programme is implemented by UNDP Zimbabwe Office in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in Zimbabwe.

Interested candidates should visit and download the detailed Terms of Reference here for their further action and submission of application letters.


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Build yourself UP

2012 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program: Call for Applications
Deadline: 5 June 2011

The American Embassy is pleased to announce the 2012 Hubert H. Humphrey
Fellowship Program.  This one-year, full-scholarship program is offered to
mid-career professionals working at policy-level who have a record of
leadership, a commitment to public service, and the initiative to take full
advantage of a self-defined program of independent study at a leading
American university.

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program brings accomplished professionals
from developing countries to the United States at a midpoint in their
careers for a one-year program of non-degree study and related professional
activities. The program seeks to foster an exchange of knowledge and mutual
understanding between American citizens and professional counterparts from
Zimbabwe. Successful applicants will be placed at participating universities
in the United States for the August 2012-June 2013 period.

Fellowships are available in the following fields:

-    Communications/Journalism;
-    Natural Resources and Environmental Management;
-    Public Policy Analysis and Public Administration;
-    Economic Development;
-    Agricultural Development/Agricultural Economics;
-    Finance and Banking;
-    Teaching of English as a Foreign Language;
-    Law and Human Rights;
-    Urban and Regional Planning;
-    Education, including planning, administration, and curriculum
-    Public Health Policy and Management; and
-    HIV/AIDS policy and prevention.

To be eligible for a Humphrey Fellowship, applicants must have:

-    A first university degree
-    Five years of substantial professional experience
-    Demonstrated leadership qualities and a record of public service
-    Fluency in English
-    Zimbabwean citizens working & living in Zimbabwe at the time of

Application/Selection Process: Interested applicants must apply to the U.S.
Embassy on official application forms which can be downloaded from

Forms and copies of degree transcripts should be received no later than June
5, 2011.

The Hubert Humphrey Fellowship provides:

-    Round-trip economy international travel for the grantee.
-    Tuition and university fees.
-    Limited accident and sickness insurance for the grantee only. The
Humphrey Program does not provide financial support for accompanying

Applications must be sent to the:
Program Officer (H.H. Program)
U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section
P.O.  Box 4010


This entry was posted on May 24th, 2011 at 2:55 pm by Bev Clark

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Consumers Alert - Tired of being ripped off ??

Dear fellow Zimbabweans,


Are you tired of paying ridiculous prices?


After paying $4 for a pint of local beer at an Irish pub at Sam Levies yesterday, $5 for a jar of cane sugar syrup labelled as “Honey” and $11 for a box of cereal sold for R42 in RSA , I , as well as many other people are feeling ripped off...


I thus intend to start a consumer watch email which will tabulate the prices of stable foods, hardware and household goods etc weekly, so that we know where the cheapest prices are. This will hopefully force retailers to be more competitive and help consumers to act wisely.


This is a not for profit concern and I am looking for several volunteers to help collect price data, consolidate, enter data etc. If you want to make a difference please email me and we’ll get this off the ground ASAP. 


Volunteers required :

·         Shoppers who can record prices / shop / comments and regularly email such information to the Zim Choice Manager


·         Consultants / connoisseurs / food technicians / handymen who can provide best price comparisons and other feedback on a range of consumer topics such as value for money at cafes, restaurants, hardware suppliers, pet foods, artificial additives to avoid, organic food suppliers etc


·         Data assistants who can help sort and consolidate and tabulate information coming from various “Shoppers” in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Kwekwe and RSA

o   Assist in the publishing of a weekly e-magazine


·         Web site manager (yet to be implemented by aim to have something up and running by end 2011)






Anyone wanting to get in early and add your email for the consumer updates please add your email on this web site:    Group home page:


A group dedicated to consumer awareness in Zimbabwe. Prices will be collected weekly and sent out to subscribers tabulating prices are various shops in Zimbabwe where volunteers will collect prices. Identification of products with food additives to avoid and healthy products will be added in due course.


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Statement by the SADC Lawyers' Association

THE SADC Lawyers' Association

SADC Lawyers Association Condemns the Harassment of Civil Society
Representatives by
Zimbabwean State Security Agents at the SADC Extraordinary Summit In
The SADC Lawyers Association is appalled by the harassment of civil society
representatives at the SADC Extraordinary Summit in Windhoek on 20 May 2011
by Zimbabwean
state security agents accompanied by Namibian police officers. Various
members of civil society
organizations from Zimbabwe and the region were at the Summit to highlight
their concerns on
issues that were on the summit agenda, including the crisis in Zimbabwe and
the future of the SADC
The Civil Society Organizations held meetings and press conferences in
various venues in Windhoek
to highlight their concerns. At the venue of the Summit, Safari Court Hotel,
some Zimbabwean state
security agents who refused to identify themselves targeted Zimbabwe
National Association of Non
Governmental Organisations (NANGO) chairperson Dadirai Chikwengo, Crisis in
Zimbabwe Coalition
officials MacDonald Lewanika, Pedzisayi Ruhanya and Dewa Mavhinga and other
representatives of
the Zimbabwe Election Support Network who were distributing statements with
civil society
demands to the summit. They were taken away from the hotel by the Namibian
police under the
watchful eye of the Zimbabwean state security agents. This was despite the
fact that ZANU PF
youths, led by one Nguni were allowed to freely distribute glossy booklets
titled “Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC-T) and the Culture of Violence” without any
interference from either the
Namibian Police or the Zimbabwe state security agents.
The SADC Lawyers’ Association Executive Secretary Makanatsa Makonese,
Executive Director of the
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Irene Petras, Lloyd Kuvheya of the
Southern Africa Litigation
Centre and Joy Mabhenge of the Institute for a Democratic Alternative in
Zimbabwe were also
targeted whilst holding a meeting at the Safari Court Hotel. They were taken
from the hotel into the
parking area by armed police officers and interrogated by aggressive
Zimbabwe state security agents
for more than an hour. The security agents asked personal questions about
the CSO
representatives’ addresses in Zimbabwe, villages of origin, who had paid for
their tickets to Namibia
and where they were staying in Namibia. They also demanded the four’s
passports to record their
national identity numbers and other identity information.
Another civil society representative Jealousy Mawarire was briefly detained
for taking pictures whilst
a car that was being used by Dewa Mavhinga was confiscated. Both Mawarire
and the car were only
released after the intervention of Namibian human rights lawyer Norman
The SADC Lawyers Association is dismayed that the Zimbabwe state security
agents continue to
behave as a law unto themselves, even on foreign land. To this end the
Association supports the call
made by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights on 20 May 2011 for the reform
of the
Zimbabwean security sector as enunciated in the Zimbabwe Global Political
Agreement. It is sad that
the Namibian police officials allowed themselves to be used by these agents
to harass harmless and
peaceful civil society organization representatives who had not committed
any offence. The
Government of Zimbabwe, state security agents in that country and SADC
Governments are
reminded that civil society organizations and individual citizens have a
right to be heard and to
participate in issues that affect how they are governed.

Issued for and on behalf of the SADC Lawyers Association
By Thoba Poyo-Dlwati
23 May 2011.

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