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BBC presenter held by Zimbabwe police after arrest at cultural festival
A BBC classical music presenter has been arrested and detained in Zimbabwe after giving a poetry reading before hundreds of schoolchildren at a cultural festival.
Petroc Trelawny
Petroc Trelawny Photo: BBC

Petroc Trelawny, 42, a regular presenter on Radio 3, was near the end of a performance at the Bulawayo Music Festival on Thursday when he was led off the stage by immigration officials, who said he did not have the necessary work permit.

While being held in a crowded police cell he slipped and fell, dislocating his shoulder which required an operation to reset it. On Saturday he was recovering in hospital in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city, but remained in official custody and was expected to face a court appearance on Monday.

Mr Trelawny is best known for presenting classical magazine programme Music Matters, Radio 3's evening topical drive-time show In Tune and Radio 3 Live in Concert. He has been to Zimbabwe several times before and has written critically about Mr Mugabe, its ageing and autocratic ruler.

Rose Benton, co-ordinator of Zimbabwe Vigil, a human rights group, who learned of his arrest from relatives living in the country, said: "He was apparently the only musician without a work permit and that is why they arrested him," she said. "He has been in police custody in Harare: a pretty nasty business.

"Yesterday there was a public holiday. Normally it would take a day to get him out but he will be in until Monday probably."

Although mistreatment of prisoners is common, festival organisers say Mr Trelawney's injury was the result of a genuine accident.

He was visited at the police cells by the British Ambassador Deborah Bronnert, who had herself been attending the festival. His arrest will heighten tensions with the UK after details emerged of a new initiative by British police to gather evidence of crimes against humanity in Zimbabwe, which could be eventually be presented against Robert Mugabe at an international court.

Scotland Yard detectives are preparing to interview Phillip Machemedze, a former henchman of Mr Mugabe, in Bristol this week. Mr Machemedze fled Zimbabwe in 2000 and has tried to claim asylum in Britain. He reportedly claims to have taken part in a mass murder campaign against Mr Mugabe's opponents, describing how he hacked victims to pieces.

Zimbabwe's autocratic regime has arrested and jailed journalists for reporting undercover in the past, but Mr Trelawny was believed to be simply attending the festival.

His lawyer Munyaradzi Ngarayapenga told The Sunday Telegraph that Mr Trelawny had been charged with working without a permit and would appear in the Bulawayo magistrate's court.

"If a person is found guilty of working without a work permit, that person is then usually deported," he said.

"Mr Trelawny was not working for money, he was a volunteer at the music festival. He has denied the charges."

Many foreigners have suffered a similar fate in recent years. Last week, New Zealand citizen Robin Hammond, an award winning photographer, was deported after more than three weeks in police and prison cells, accused of working illegally in Zimbabwe.

The music festival is run by the Bulawayo Music Academy which struggles to find artists to perform for free. It was Mr Trelawny's second time there.

The presenter, who lives in central London, was raised and educated in Cornwall. He joined Radio 3 in 1998 having begun his career at BBC Radio Devon.

He has worked for Radio 5 Live, and extensively for BBC2 and BBC4 and contributed to The Spectator, The Irish Times, The Catholic Herald and BBC Music Magazine.

Mr Trelawny is chairman of the Lennox Berkeley Society, a charitable trust promoting performance of the English composer's music.

He was not attending the event, organised by the Zimbabwe Academy of Music, in any BBC capacity. A spokesman for the corporation said: "We are aware of the situation and hope it will be resolved as quickly as possible."

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British war crimes cops probe Mugabe

26/05/2012 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

BRITISH war crimes detectives are building a case against President Robert
Mugabe and his henchmen who are accused of crimes against humanity, a
British newspaper reported on Saturday.

Scotland Yard’s SO15 War Crimes Team will interview Phillip Machemedze – a
former Central Intelligence Organisation torturer – in Bristol next week.

The Sun newspaper says detectives believe “his information could be crucial
in finally nailing Mugabe”, who stands accused of carrying out mass murder
during his uninterrupted 32-year rule.

The move comes after ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor, 64, was convicted
at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for murder, rape and using child

The Sun says Scotland Yard confirmed it was investigating human rights
abuses in Zimbabwe – targeting Mugabe’s brutal enforcers and those who
funded them.

A Zimbabwean business tycoon who fled Zimbabwe after falling out with Mugabe
and settled in London is also in the frame – allegedly for funding terror
squads, New understands.

Machemedze claimed asylum in Britain and was allowed to stay after admitting
killing opposition supporters slowly by hacking off their limbs and pulling
out their teeth with pliers. He had “enjoyed” torturing victims, he told an
asylum judge.

Scotland Yard detectives will offer him immunity in exchange for information
which will be shared with ICC prosecutors who are prepared to charge Mugabe,
his army generals and their funders for rights abuses.

A source said: "The international community is fearful of a relapse into
blood-letting when Mugabe calls new elections. But this time they will be
ready with a damning dossier of past abuses and they will not hesitate to
winch out Mugabe and those who kill in his name for trial at the Hague."

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Zimbabwe minibus crash kills 13

Sapa-AP | 26 May, 2012 14:27

State radio says 13 people died and six were seriously injured in Zimbabwe
when a crowded minibus burst a tire and slammed into a tree.

It was reported Saturday that the passengers were worshippers headed to a
church service in northeastern Zimbabwe. Police said the bus rolled after
hitting the tree on Friday, crushing the roof.

It said the driver was injured in the crash about 50 kilometres northeast of

Bus crashes are common in Zimbabwe and are blamed on overcrowding of
vehicles, speeding, poor maintenance and shortages of spare parts and
replacement tires in the troubled economy.

Eighteen people died when a 26-seater bus carrying 46 passengers plunged
into a mountain ravine in eastern Zimbabwe in March.

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Elections ‘‘sometime next year’’ as Zanu (PF) signals climbdown

Navi Pillay, the visiting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who met
President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai during her
tour, hinted on Friday that elections would not be held this year, but
‘sometime next year’’.
by Tawanda Majoni

Patrick Chinamasa, long considered one of the Zanu (PF) hardliners and an
intra-party negotiator in political talks, also signalled a climb down on
the dates for the next elections.

Pillay said there was a growing call locally and internationally for major
reforms before elections are held.

Briefing journalists in the capital, Pillay said: ‘‘Concern is …rising both
inside and outside the country that, unless the parties (MDC-T, MDC-M and
Zanu (PF) agree quickly on some key reforms and there is a distinct shift in
attitude, the next election which is due sometime in the coming year could
turn in to a repeat of the 2008 elections which resulted in rampant
politically motivated human rights abuses’’.

She added: “On a more positive note, several people told me they believe
that if the country can get through the next 18 months or so without another
political and human rights disaster, then it could finally turn the corner
towards renewed stability and prosperity’’.

President Robert Mugabe first insisted that general elections would be held
in the second half of 2011.

When that failed, backed by militant lieutenants, he renewed his call this
year, declaring that the elections would be held with or without a new
constitution currently being crafted.

‘‘A lot needs to be done before elections can be held, by way of ensuring
certain basic reforms’’ said Pillay. ‘‘If held this year, elections would be
catastrophic for this country.’’

Chinamasa, when asked by journalists to respond to Pillay’s insistence on a
delayed election, abandoned the hardline stance typical of him, instead
saying setting election dates was an internal matter.

‘‘Elections are an internal matter. We will consider the elections after the
constitution making process is completed. We hope that will be soon enough
because we want to be clear on who is ruling the country,’’ Chinamasa said.

His party is in a three year old coalition government that was established
after the violent and internationally disputed presidential poll rerun of

Chinamasa’s toned down stance comes ahead of an impending visit by South
Africa President, Jacob Zuma and his facilitation team.

President Zuma is the Sadc appointed point person in unlocking the political
logjam that has marked Zimbabwean politics for years.

Elton Mangoma, an MDC-T intraparty negotiator, could not be reached for
comment but an official from the party said the Zuma team was likely to
arrive in Harare on Monday.

‘‘In understand when Minister Mangoma was talking to the Zuma team, the
lines were so bad their communication was broken several times, but I am
informed the group is jetting in on Monday,’’ said the official.

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Tax collectors chased away from Mbada Diamond Mine

Finance minister Tendai Biti said on Tuesday some Zimbabwe Revenue Authority
(Zimra) officers had been chased away by Mbada, a diamond mining company
operating in Chiadzwa.
by Radio VOP

In an update to stakeholders in the mining sector, Biti said Zimra needed to
be given statutory powers to ensure there were no diamond leakages.

“I am dealing with a case where at Mbada ...Zimra were told to go away,”
Biti said. Biti said he had written a letter to Zimra board chairman
complaining about the incident.

He said although the revenue collector was empowered under the Income Tax
Act, more needed to be done to improve transparency in diamonds.

Biti said unlike Botswana, Zimbabwe did not have trained valuators to
determine the true value of the diamonds. He described Zimra officials at
the mines as bodies who were not adding value to the process.

Treasury had received $35,1 million from diamond mining against the target
of $169 million. Anjin, had not remitted any funds to Treasury despite being
the largest miner operating in the diamond rich fields.

Four companies—Anjin, Mbada, Diamond Mining Corporation and Marange
Resources—are mining diamonds in Marange.

Government expects to generate US$600 million from diamond this year. Last
year government got US$173,5 million through dividends and royalties

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Supreme Court Sets Mugabe Hearing Date

Bulawayo, May 26, 2012- A hearing date has been set by the Supreme Court in
the case in which President Robert Mugabe is appealing against holding of
by-elections in three vacant parliamentary constituencies in Matebeleland

“Take notice that the application will be heard and determined by the
Supreme Court of Zimbabwe at Harare on Thursday 05 July at 930am and
thereafter counsel may be heard,” the registrar of Supreme Court wrote to
Ndaba Mazibuko a lawyer who represents former three former MPs who are
demanding by-elections.

In October last year Bulawayo High Court Judge Nicholas Ndou ordered Mugabe
and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to announce, dates for
by-elections in Nkayi South, Lupane East, and Bulilima East. The three
constituencies fell vacant in 2009 after expulsion of three Members of
Parliament, namely Abdnenico Bhebhe, Njabuliso Mguni, and Norman Mpofu by
the Welshman Ncube led MDC on allegations of aligning themselves to  MDC-T.

Mugabe then appealed against the High Court order in the Supreme Court.

No by-elections have held since the unity government was installed in
February 2009 despite vacancies created by death and party infighting.

More than 30 legislative seats now stand vacant since the formation of the
Zimbabwe inclusive government.

Although Mugabe is appealing against holding of by-elections, he has been
insisting on elections this year, saying the principals in the inclusive
government do not have the people’s mandate to continue extending the life
of the Global Political Agreement.

But Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and a smaller faction of MDC led by
Welshman Ncube, that is also part of the tripartite ruling coalition, have
resisted the calls for new polls, saying Zimbabwe must first adopt a new
constitution and implement several democratic reforms to ensure the next
vote will be free and fair. They have said elections could be postponed
until 2013 to give the coalition government time to implement all required

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'Time to get into Zimbabwe' - Investors urged


Economic growth estimated at 9.4%, with mining sector set to rise 15.9% this
year and agricultural sector by 11.6%

'Fortune favours the brave" is the adage printed on the cover of Imara
Africa Securities' Zimbabwe Stock Exchange overview. It might seem a little
pithy, but it captures a growing ethos in South Africa's northern neighbour.

As real returns fall to unsustainable levels in the world's traditional
safe-haven markets, investors have turned increasingly to emerging markets.
And the truly brave are once again seeking their fortunes on the frontiers.

Last week institutional and private investors from Hong Kong, the US, South
Africa and Mauritius gathered in Harare to hear about developments and
expectations in corporate Zimbabwe. The stories from companies like BAT
Zimbabwe, Seed Co, Dairibord and Econet make it clear that, despite an
uncertain political future and the potentially deal-breaking policy of
indigenisation, fortunes are likely to be made.

The World Bank expects the global economy to grow by 2.5% in 2012 and 3.1%
in 2013. The eurozone is contracting fast and slowing growth in emerging
markets, the average growth potential of which is expected to be less than
5.4%. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe is growing at an estimated 9.4%, with the mining
sector expected to grow 15.9% this year and the agricultural sector 11.6%.

Physical evidence of this growth is apparent in the now congested roads, the
increased demand for telecoms services and the well-stocked shelves in
upmarket clothing and food stores such as Edgars and OK. Money is trickling
back in, from a returning diaspora, from economic pioneers with an appetite
for risk and from the informal sector.

John Legat, head of asset management at Imara, which hosted the conference,
said that since adoption of the US dollar as the single unit of currency in
2009 most companies have remained afloat and are growing fast.

They are coming off a low base though, with most having ground to a halt and
closed doors during the so-called "lost decade" of hyperinflation and price
setting. While the GDP of many African countries has doubled in a decade,
Zimbabwe's has halved.

There are "elephants in the room" scaring off foreign investors who would
otherwise be streaming into the country. One is the indigenisation policy,
the final form of which is yet to be finalised. Another is uncertainty over
President Robert Mugabe's successor. His illnesses have been officially
denied, but he is 88 and will not be around much longer.

There are two schools of thought about succession. One is that defence
minister Emmerson "The Crocodile" Mnangagwa will take power following an
apparent "gentleman's agreement" with Mugabe. This would be unconstitutional
and many believe unlikely because of Mnangagwa's minimal support base. His
unpopularity arises from when he was head of the ruthless intelligence
service during the suppression of the rival Zapu party in 1980s, when
thousands of civilians were killed. Mnangagwa has more recently been
involved in the alleged arrangement of lucrative gold and diamond mining
concessions. In March he went to Iran apparently to broker a deal in which
diamonds and uranium would be swapped for weapons.

If the constitution is followed, Joice Mujuru, one of the two
vice-presidents, will take charge for three months until elections are held.
It is likely to be Mujuru, rather than counterpart John Nkomo, who assumes
the position as the latter is elderly and unwell.

Mujuru is business friendly and has solid support. If she becomes her
party's leader, opposition leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's
position is likely to become less precarious - with the coalition government
being revised and elections being held.

Imara says it is time to get into Zimbabwe. Companies are cheap, assets are
valuable and there is a deep understanding of the environment - politically
and operationally.

Murray Winckler, portfolio manager and co-founder of Laurium Capital, works
with Gavin Vorwerg to advise the offshore Zambezi Fund that has $17-million
in Zimbabwe.

The pair launched into the country in December 2009 and the fund has seen
significant returns in just over two years.

The pros and cons

Why it's hot

The country's GDP growth is outstripping most regions of the globe at an
anticipated 9.4%, largely driven by mining and agriculture, which are
projected to grow at 15.9% and 11.6% respectively this year.

Zimbabwe has the highest literacy rate in Africa. Schooling continued
against all odds during the so-called "lost decade" when the rest of the
country slowed down or stopped altogether.

Inflation is low. It was pegged at 4.9% in December 2011. It fell to 4.3%
for January and February of this year and in March it dropped further to

The country has a wealth of natural resources, with about 30 different
mineral deposits dispersed throughout the country. There are substantial
deposits of coal, platinum and chromium ore, as well as smaller deposits of
asbestos, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, vanadium, lithium and tin.

Commodity prices came off to an extent in 2011, largely on the back of a
contracting Europe and a slowing China. However, the IMF anticipates that
prices will flatten for the rest of this year and into next. But the
Zimbabwean economy, which is just back on its feet after an all-time low,
will revive even if commodity prices drop further.

Zimbabwe was once known as the breadbasket of Africa because of its fertile
soil and farmed produce made up a significant part of the country's GDP.
While drought has affected harvests this year, farmers such as BAT Zimbabwe
and Tongaat-Hulett are ramping up operations in the country.

While little has been done to upgrade roads and power supply in the past 15
years, a lot of infrastructure is still workable. Many of the mines that
were shut down for years have operable equipment and minimal capital
expenditure would be required to get them going again.

Why it's not

The unclear political landscape regarding elections and succession and the
policy of indigenisation which holds that 51% of any operation must be
locally owned. The weak performance of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in the
past year, in particular in the mining sector, is attributable to this

Electricity is in short supply and what is available is erratically
delivered. While efforts are being made to increase power security, this is
still likely to be one of the biggest hurdles to growth in the immediate

A serious dearth of liquidity is another stumbling block in the way of
Zimbabwe's recovery. Zimbabwe has no lender of last resort and the
government uses a commercial bank for its operations, which becomes
particularly problematic at year-end when bonuses need to be paid out and
state departments rush to spend their quotas. Credit is not easy to get and,
while deposits have increased, a great deal of mistrust still exists as a
hangover from the days of hyperinflation.

The weather has also played a part in hobbling growth, increasing the trade
deficit as the country is forced to rely on food imports, and exports are
hamstrung. - Tina Weavind

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Bring on the national migraine

Dear Family and Friends,
Africa Day dawned fine and clear in Zimbabwe. There was neither water
nor electricity and it was a crisp, cold morning. For some this was a
public holiday destined not to be spent in the sun or garden or
relaxing with a book. This was to be a public holiday spent in a queue
at the post office trying to do motor vehicle licensing. Arriving at
the Post Office at seven thirty in the morning there were already five
people in front of me and it wasn’t long before there were another
five behind me.

When you queue in Zimbabwe it is customary not only to see how many
are in front of you but to make sure people agree with your position
in the line so that the inevitable queue jumpers don’t get a chance
to push in. Everyone in the Africa Day queue had a weary look on their
face. We had all been in this same place trying to undertake this same
task more than a few times in the last couple of weeks. It was my
fourth attempt and this time I was determined to succeed.

In order to reduce the number of illegal vehicles and forged licence
discs on our roads, authorities have come up with a whole new
licensing system. It is laborious and time consuming to say the least.
An official A4 size form has to be obtained, filled in and signed for
each vehicle. Original documents and photocopies of every log book and
insurance document have to be provided and then comes the hard part:
you get in line at the post office. Unbelievably this massive national
task is not to be staggered over weeks or months but has to be
completed in a fortnight: bring on the national migraine headache.

In my home town, where the Post Office recently had to vacate the
thirty year old Post Office building and are now situated in the old
rugby club bar of the Country Club, everyone was braced for a hard,
hard slog to get the new licence discs. Post Office officials had only
been able to get everything that was needed for the process to
commence by the 18th May, eight and a half working days before the
deadline and national expiry of all vehicle licence discs. Before then
there was one problem after another: they didn’t have the forms,
didn’t have the computer or staff had not been trained on the
processes and requirements. Worse still, if you happened to be in the
queue when there was a power cut, your forms could not be processed or
you new disc printed.

Within minutes a uniquely Zimbabwean camaraderie got underway outside
the relocated post office in my home town on Africa Day. First there
was comparing of notes, have you got the right forms, the right
photocopies, the correct paperwork. A couple of people asked that
their places in the line be protected while they raced off to get
whatever documents they didn’t have. Then came the grumbling about
the bureaucracy of this new process, the ridiculously short time frame
given, the one and only counter operating and able to process your
documents. People continually consulted watches and worked out that it
was taking ten minutes to complete one form. Then the calculations
began: ten minutes per form being done by only one member of staff,
they were only going to able to do forty eight vehicles a day in this,
the one and only post office in the whole town. More calculations
started, someone suggested there were ten thousand cars, buses, trucks
and trailers in the town; that meant it was going to take 208 working
days for the residents of our town to comply with the new government
regulation, a regulation whose deadline is on the 1st June 2012. A
regulation we have already been told will incur instant spot fines if
we are not displaying the correct disc by the due date.

The topics diverted to the lack of electricity, water, street lights;
the appalling municipal services; widespread corruption in government
departments and so it went on and on as we crawled our forward to the
front of the queue. There were, however, some good things about the
Africa Day queue in my home town. The first was that the Post Office
staff had given up their public holiday to work at this impossible
task and despite our bad tempers and the barrage of complaints, just
put their heads down and got on with it. Then there was the generator
that roared outside the window. Not a government generator but one
very generously loaned by a civic minded businessman in the town. Then
there were the people in the queue – all of us regardless of age,
sex, race or political persuasion – we were all in the same boat and
differences were put aside in order to achieve something which seemed
almost impossible in the circumstances. Leaving with the precious,
highly prized new document in hand you had to smile because as much as
these things are sent to exasperate us, in the process they surely do
unite us. Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy. 26 May
2012. Copyright � Cathy Buckle.

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