Zimbabwe Diaspora Focus Group Coalition
Zimbabweans in UK to be consulted on British Policy
London, 26th May 2010.
UK based Zimbabweans have an opportunity to have a co-ordinated say in what the new British Government policy on Zimbabwe will be with a consultative meeting set for Saturday 29th May 2010 at Ilford Sports Centre IG11.
The meeting, to start at midday is being organised by the Zimbabwe Diaspora Focus Group (ZDFG), the Coalition of UK based Zimbabwean organisations formed on the 19th February 2010 following an identified need for Zimbabweans in the UK to speak with one voice when engaging Her Majesty’s Government (HMG).
All Zimbabwean organisations and individuals who are not members of any organisation are cordially invited so that “their views can be captured and represented in the next ZDFG meeting with HMG.”
ZDFG Chairperson Lucia Dube announced that 12 portfolio representatives would attend the next meeting with HMG on the 17th of June and this meeting was to consult Zimbabweans on the issues they wanted raised as well as discussing specific agenda items as submitted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). These include economic and investment policy and UK-Zimbabwe council twinning links.
It is expected that HMG will update ZDFG on the new policy on Zimbabwe and seek feedback from ZDFG on issues of mutual interest that can inform policy formulation.
“It is important that the views of Zimbabweans on the work of immigration and developmental policy are correctly reflected in the meetings while discussions around, say the role of the World Bank’s Diaspora initiative and DFID can be explored.
“ZDFG is eager to ensure that the voice of Zimbabweans is effectively represented. I therefore call upon all Zimbabweans to be part of this initiative and attend the consultative meeting in their numbers,” Mrs Dube said. Back-story
On the 19th February 2010, more than 30 UK based Zimbabwean Organisations gathered in Ilford, Essex and resolved to form a coalition seeking to answer a call be HMG for Zimbabweans to engage with one voice. More organisations continue to join. Terms of reference were agreed with HMG led by the FCO outlining a tripartite relationship, with ZDFG, HMG and the Zimbabwean Government as partners as below:
Meetings envisaged on a quarterly basis but can be called ad-hoc if necessary.
• To help facilitate discussions between HMG, the Zimbabwean diaspora in the UK and the Government of Zimbabwe on policy issues..
• To act as the primary link between HMG and the Zimbabwean diaspora on issues to be discussed.
• To work in a constructive manner to facilitate understanding and solutions that offer mutual benefits.
• HMG to seek and discuss diaspora focus group views and advice on potential policy issues. These could include, but are not limited to, migration, human rights, development, education, health..
• Diaspora representatives to seek to present co-ordinated diaspora views on HMG migration policy from their constituent groups. This may include differences of opinion but the forum should remain non-partisan.
• Diaspora representatives to disseminate results of Diaspora Focus Group meetings to their constituents and seek feedback as appropriate. HMG to provide core scripts/information sheets as requested.
• Diaspora representatives to advise HMG on prioritisation of suitable media outlets for outreach work HMG can undertake with Zimbabweans in the UK.
In order to ensure that ZDFG remain non-partisan and apolitical, the member organisations agreed that political parties will only have an observer status.
With a realisation that all sections of the Zimbabwean Diaspora need adequate representation, ZDFG is organised into 12 portfolios. Each new member organisation is encouraged to identify and join the portfolio that best suits its main constitutional objectives. Seminars and consultative conferences, and action plans are organised according to portfolios as follows:
HARARE, ZIMBABWE May 26 2010 21:51
Zimbabwe's new media commission said on Wednesday licenses have been granted
to allow four new private daily newspapers to start operating, in the first
concrete move to relax tough media rules.
"The Zimbabwe Media Commission is committed to the establishment of a free media that is a marketplace where citizens have easy access to a wide range of quality information," said the commission's chairperson Godfrey Majonga.
One of the licenses went to Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, which published the Daily News, a popular newspaper renowned for it willingness to criticise President Robert Mugabe.
The paper survived bombings of its premises and arrests of its journalists until authorities finally shut it down in September 2003.
Licenses were also granted to a firm called Fruitlink to publish the Mail; to Alpha media to publish Newsday; and to Modus Publications to re-launch the Daily Gazette, which closed due to lack of advertising in 1995.
Trevor Ncube is the proprietor of Newsday, as well as deputy chairperson of Mail & Guardian publisher M&G Media.
"The commission has accepted to grant all the above applicants registration certificates," Majonga told a news conference late on Wednesday.
Media reforms are part of the power-sharing agreement between Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Mugabe, who has been in power
for over 30 years.
Majonga said the four daily papers were the only ones which have so far applied for licenses.
Tsvangirai has vowed to abolish the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which bans foreign journalists from working permanently in the country.
The 2002 act forced media organisations and journalists to register with a government body. This resulted in several newspapers being closed down and foreign correspondents being deported.
Last month, the commission slashed its registration fees for media organisations and journalists, making it easier for them to operate. - AFP
Source: Mail & Guardian Online
Web Address: http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-05-26-zimbabwe-allows-four-new-private-newspapers
Source: United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
Date: 26 May 2010
UNICEF requires US$17 million to respond to the most acute emergencies including ongoing measles, cholera and typhoid outbreaks
Activists are pushing the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme to suspend Zimbabwe over alleged rights abuses in and smuggling from the Marange field, but sources said South Africa and Namibia will vote against suspension
The Zimbabwe monitor for the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme visited the controversial Marange diamond field Tuesday and met with civic activists in the Manicaland province capital of Mutare to discuss human rights abuses and diamond smuggling allegedly going on in the nearby diamond field, sources said Wednesday.
Chikane was due back in Harare on Wednesday to meet with civil society leaders there and a Cabinet task force on Marange, among others. He was expected to conclude his meetings on Friday, setting the stage for a June meeting of Kimberly Process member nations in Tel Aviv, Israel, at which Zimbabwe's suspension could be proposed.
Activists are pushing the Kimberly Process to suspend Harare over the
situation in Marange, but sources said South Africa and Namibia will vote
against suspension. Such Kimberly Process decisions are made by
Among those who briefed Chikane was Farai Maguwu of the Center for Research and Development in Mutare. He says Chikane disclosed little but expressed anger that information was withheld from him on his previous mission.
Maguwu's center published a report this week saying that up to 2,000 carats of diamonds extracted in Marange were being smuggled out of the country each day, one destination of the illicit trade being the Gulf region.
The Kimberly Process has expressed concern at reports of illicit exports and
resolved to step up enforcement with an international warning to member states
telling them to watch for Marange diamonds.
The advisory sent out by Kimberly Process Chairman Boaz Hirsch urged members and dealers to report if Marange diamonds come to their attention, and provided technical information for identification of such stones.
Hirsch said Zimbabwe still requires Kimberly clearance to export diamonds from Marange.
"Considering that the appropriate use of KP certificates is crucial for the credibility of the KPCS, participants are also encouraged to exercise caution as regards possible fraudulent certificates," the advisory said.
Mines Minister Obert Mpofu, meanwhile, said he will provide clearance to
parliamentarians who have been seeking to tour Marange for months. Legislators
were to meet with Chikane Thursday morning before he sees ministers.
ZIMBABWE’S Ambassador to the United States, Dr Machivenyika Mapuranga had to be shuffled out of an Africa Day event in Washington after calling the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson a ‘house slave’.
Carson, the US ambassador to Zimbabwe between 1995 and 1997, was addressing African envoys at an Africa Day celebration when he was heckled by Mapuranga.
The US envoy’s remarks were going on well until he provoked Mapuranga by making critical references to human rights and good governance in Zimbabwe.
"In Zimbabwe, the ruling ZANU-PF government officials continue to hinder democracy through harassment of the opposition and civil society and failure to honor their obligations to open the political space as called for in the Global Political Agreemen," Carson noted in his speach.
Mapuranga decided he had had enough of it and shouted from the audience; "You are talking like a good house slave!" The crowd hissed "Boo!" and other disapproving comments but Mapuranga wouldn't let it go and continued shouting; "We will never be an American colony, you know that!"
Carson responded by pouring more scorn on Zimbabwe and told Mapuranga that his outbursts would have evoked vicious punishment back home.
"You can sit in the audience in darkness but the light will find you and the truth will find you," Carson told Mapuranga, as event staff tried to quietly encourage the ambassador to get up from his table and leave the event.
Carson added; "It seems that (President) Robert Mugabe has some friends in the room tonight. Unlike in Zimbabwe, they are allowed to speak without oppression, because this is a democracy.
"In Zimbabwe that kind talk of would have been met by a policeman's stick. We don't do that here.”
Event staff managed to convince Mapuranga – who was still shouting at Carson - to leave. His staff filed out behind him.
Relations between the United States and Zimbabwe remain frosty with President Mugabe accusing the US of trying to force regime change in the country by imposing sanctions and sponsoring opposition parties.
Story from : NEWZIMBABWE.COM NEWS:
Published On: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 9:54 PM GMT
© New Zimbabwe News
THE Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) announced on Wednesday that it had licensed four privately owned daily newspapers as the country’s coalition government steps up efforts to open up the media.
Commission chairman Godfrey Majonga said the media body had received four applications for daily papers, including from the Daily News, which was banned in 2003.
NewsDay - owned by local media entrepreneur Trevor Ncube - has also been licensed while the weekly Financial Gazette has also been granted a permit to launch a daily newspaper.
"The ZMC has accepted to grant all the above registration certificates," Majonga told reporters in Harare. "We are here to allow Zimbabweans access to media."
Since the Daily News was banned, Zimbabwe’s media sector has been dominated by the state which has a majority interest in the Zimbabwe Newspapers group, publishers of the country’s only daily – The Herald.
The state also dominates the broadcast media through the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings and new players are yet to be given licences to operate.
The Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) was appointed this year as part of a package of measures agreed under the Global Political Agreement which were aimed at freeing up the political environment.
The newly licenced publications are expected to hit the country’s streets next month.
Delays in giving the newspapers operating permits were becoming a source of tension within the country’s unity government with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai threatening to summon the commission to explain the lack of progress. However George Charamba, the information ministry's permanent secretary who also doubles as President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson insisted last week that the premier could not interfere in the operations of an “independent body”.
Story from : NEWZIMBABWE.COM NEWS:
Published On: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 9:20 PM GMT
© New Zimbabwe News
PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was on Wednesday conferred with an honorary doctorate in law by a South Korean university in recognition of his contribution to the development of Zimbabwe.
Tsvangirai, who was on a three-day visit to the Asian country, received the Doctor of Laws degree from Pai Chai University, becoming the 13th individual to be conferred with such a degree in the 125-year history of the institution.
Pai Chai University is ranked 8th out of the 400 institutions of higher learning in the Republic Korea and is regarded as a centre of technological excellence in the Korean peninsula.
Pai Chai University President Chung Soon-boon said Tsvangirai was being honoured for his enormous contribution to the development of Zimbabwe “as a human rights activist struggling to improve the conditions and welfare of the needy, both at home and abroad”.
Chung Soon-boon described the prime minister as “a tireless politician endeavouring to lay the cornerstone of democracy in Zimbabwe.”
Tsvangirai said the honour bestowed upon him was made significant by the important role played by Pai Chai University in advancing learning and understanding within local and international communities.
"Despite the difference in languages, cultures and traditions, we are all united by our innate belief in our fundamental rights as human beings and in the fact that our governments or leaders must act as the guarantors and protectors of such rights," he said.
The premier urged African leaders to end the conspiracy of silence that has often allowed repression to continue unchecked. He reiterated the need to respect fundamentals of good governance, respect for the rule of law and property rights and the imperative to invest in developing human capital.
Story from : NEWZIMBABWE.COM NEWS:
Published On: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 8:56 PM GMT
© New Zimbabwe News
MINING group RioZim said on Wednesday it is planning a $40 million rights issue to fund expansion of its gold mining projects and refurbish a nickel refinery.
RioZim, operates Renco gold mine in Masvingo, Empress nickel refinery in Kadoma, Sengwa colliery in Gokwe North and retains a 22 percent interest in Murowa Diamond which is located in Zvishavane.
The company wants to revive gold mining at Cam and Motor also located in Kadoma and start chrome mining in a joint venture project.
RioZim's chief executive Josphat Sachikonye told shareholders that annual gold output was set to rise from 24000 ounces this year to 70000 ounces in 2013, reaching 112,000 ounces in 2015 following the planned new investment.
RioZim would use $13.8 million of the funds raised to retire expensive debt, while the remainder would go towards exploration and ramping up gold output and refurbishing the nickel refinery, which processes nickel and copper matte from Botswana.
The company expects to start producing 30000 tonnes of chrome concentrate a year from 2012. “The projects are real and success is almost certain,” Sachikonye said. “We hope to make a profit this year and we will be in a profit mode going forward.”
Sachikonye said Murowa had submitted plans to government on how the diamond miner would comply with the country’s empowerment laws.
He did not provide details but said plans to increase output to 2 million carats per year were still on course.
Production at the 300 000 carats a year Murowa mine fell to 124 422 carats in 2009 from a record 263 000 carats in 2008.
Sachikonye said the mine risked being closed unless expansion could go ahead. RioZim recently said it had secured the support of South African investors for the development of a 2400 MW thermal power plant.
The US$3 billion project is expected meet Zimbabwe’s power supply shortfalls but Sachikonye said the prospective investors wanted greater clarification on the country’s empowerment laws.
Zimbabwe recently enacted regulations requiring foreign companies operating in the country to ensure that no less that 51 percent of their shareholding was owned by locals. Reuters
by Nqobizitha Khumalo
Thursday 27 May 2010
BULAWAYO – Zimbabwe’s opposition – the revived ZAPU party – this week said it is mobilising resources to mount a legal challenge that will force the government to return properties President Robert Mugabe’s previous administration seized from the party during the early 80s.
The government seized numerous properties that included farms and several buildings in Bulawayo and Harare among other cities, belonging to then opposition PF ZAPU led by nationalist and former Vice President Joshua Nkomo over alleged discoveries of arms caches at some farms belonging to the party.
ZAPU interim president Dumiso Dabengwa on Tuesday told ZimOnline that the bid to recover the properties has not died but the party was in the process of mobilising resources to engage a formidable team of lawyers to take the challenge forward. “We are in the process of mobilising resources to hire a formidable team of lawyers that will lead the process for the return of the properties, we realised that the process to get the properties back should be legal because we will need court orders to evict the people who are currently occupying the properties,” Dabengwa said.
He however could not name the properties as he said currently there is a team which is looking at the status of the properties.
“We have an inventory of the properties but there is a team working on the status of the properties and once resources are availed then the legal process will begin,” said Dabengwa who launched the drive to revive ZAPU after he was expelled from ZANU PF for backing independent presidential candidate Simba Makoni against Mugabe in the 2008 elections. Former PF ZAPU members have indicated that they want all the properties that were confiscated by Mugabe’s government in the 80s, at the height of the dissident era, to be returned to ZAPU.
The properties include Magnet House, which houses the Central Intelligence Organisation headquarters in Bulawayo, Davies Hall, the provincial headquarters of ZANU PF in Bulawayo, Nest Farm and Castle Arms, among others.
Mugabe unleashed in the 1980s the army’s notorious 5th Brigade in a crackdown known as Gukurahundi that was carried out ostensibly to rid the southern Matabeleland and Midlands regions of armed dissidents opposed to his rule.
An estimated 20 000 innocent civilians, almost all of them belonging to the minority Ndebele tribe, died in the crackdown that is one of the darkest periods in Zimbabwe’s post-colonial history.
May 26, 2010
After the carnival of the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean, a one-day tri-series in Zimbabwe may not seem like the sort of fare to whet the appetite, but India and Sri Lanka's trip to the Southern African nation is an important sounding board for all three teams.
The reasons for this are manifold. For a start, the 50-over World Cup is just over nine months away, and after India's lacklustre showing at the World Twenty20, the performance of their squad for this series - with a number of big names not making the trip - will be a test of India's bench strength and may also unearth the potential of some of the less experienced players. Should this squad perform beyond expectations, it may also be just the reality check needed to get India's heavyweights performing again.
Sri Lanka made it as far as the semi-finals of the World Twenty20, but that they got there at all was almost entirely due to Mahela Jayawardene's sparkling early-tournament form. But with Sri Lanka also resting a slew of their frontline players, they too have the opportunity to test the depth of their resources and allow a few youngsters the opportunity to gain international experience in what should be fairly easy conditions.
The fact that so many known international stars are not making the trip has irked more than a few people in the Zimbabwe set-up, but while there are worries about how much local attention tours by two second-string sides might draw, Zimbabwe must surely also be looking ahead to the World Cup and a couple of positive results in this series could only help their attempt at a cricketing renaissance. Zimbabwe also need all the exposure they can get, and with a paucity of international cricket on their calendar, this series may be their last chance to really test themselves ahead of the tournament in February next year.
But the issue of most immediate importance is Zimbabwe's first hosting of a series against major opposition since the last time Sri Lanka toured the country in November 2008. Since then, the only senior sides to visit have been Kenya, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, and although the Zimbabweans have travelled to South Africa and the West Indies - as well as the obligatory visits to Bangladesh and Kenya - and sent an invitational XI to play in the Deodhar Trophy in India in 2008-09, the successful hosting of two international sides will send an important message both about the state of cricket there, and more importantly about the state of the country.
In both areas, there has been little wholesale change, but positive steps are being made. Zimbabwe won the first Twenty20 and one-day game of their West Indies tour in March, and scored two notable victories against Pakistan and Australia in the warm-ups to the World Twenty20. Inbetween those successes, however, the team - and particularly the batsmen - have struggled.
Zimbabwe's early exit from the World Twenty20 came as a result of the frustrating, but far from unfamiliar, failure of the team's batsmen to apply themselves when even a modicum of pressure is placed upon them. The weakness is a mental one, as batsmen who have been repeatedly brutalised by being thrust onto the international stage before their time have had their confidence fractured, perhaps irredeemably so. The spectacular collapse has become a default setting, rather than an aberration. In this light, six games (at least) against weakened opposition on home soil will be an opportunity for the home side's batsmen to start pulling themselves out of the mire.
The last time Sri Lanka toured they came away with a 5-0 series whitewash, but were at least challenged in a few of the games, scraping home by five runs and two wickets respectively in the third and fourth games, while only a five-wicket haul by Muttiah Muralitharan saved them from defeat in the fifth. This time, the touring side will be missing Murali's guile, while Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara are also being rested.
The last Indian side to tour the country was an A side in 2007. That team included players such as Pankaj Singh, Pragyan Ojha and Rohit Sharma, and Zimbabwe also have experience of players such as Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin from their Deodhar adventure. The last full Indian side was in the country in 2005-06, and is unrecognisable from this touring squad.
It seems, then, that this tri-series may well be more competitive than many of Zimbabwe's recent international outings.
Whether the home side plays to its potential, or implodes spectacularly, remains to be seen. Either way, the first major international tour to Zimbabwe in 18 months is a step in the right direction.
Liam Brickhill is an assistant editor at ESPN Cricinfo