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Shocking results of land audit leaked

Written by Jane Makoni
Saturday, 28 May 2011 13:26

Zanu (PF) officials receives multiple plots for little or no payment

MARONDERA - Marondera Municipality lost thousands of US dollars in revenue
to Zanu (PF) officials and party supporters who benefitted from free
residential and commercial stands sold by the Zanu (PF) local authority
in1998-1999, a shocking MDC-T council land audit has revealed.

The audit, expected to be made public at a full council meeting next month,
was leaked to The Zimbabwean by sources within council management.

“The land audit team found that in some cases council land was given for
free. No without was ever done to council, particularly land allocated
in1998-1999. There are no records showing proof of payment,” says the

The audit reveals that in a number of cases, stands allocated were only
partially paid for in the worthless Zimbabwean dollar. Council has no proof
that the following people paid for stands allocated to them: John Tazviona
stand number 2817, Felix Mahwindo Jeche, J.L. Chidhakwa, K. Kundiona stand
number 2849, Albert Shiriyapenga, Dongo Sawmill (52 Rufaro), NOC-ZIM (Lot
144), Zenda Fundikai (Lot 100), Lot 102, Chawafambira (Lot 101), P. Matiza
(Lot 104). Owners of the following stands paid part payment in Zimbabwe
dollar and have not settled the balance, now expected in US dollars: Stands
2814, 7946, 10138, 2767, 2774, 2769, 2770, 2768, 2858, 2101, 2726, 2822,
2224, 2347, 2825, 2848, 2829 and 2830, 2710, 135, 2822, 2825, 2777, 1691 and
1692. Those who paid nothing for allocated stands were Zanu (PF) activists.

The audit report continues: “Zanu (PF) officials such as Cleopas Kundiona
and former mayor, Ralph Chimanikire, benefited from deliberate
irregularities in the allocation of land. Council residential policy clearly
states that one must not own multiple stands in the same residential zone,
but Chimanikire was allocated various stands in Paradise Park, Ruzawe Park
and Winston Park. Kundiona owns a commercial stand which is being developed
but his wife was also allocated an industrial stand, which is not yet
“The absence of a policy has resulted in unjustifiable allocation of extra
pieces of land. For example, a client applies for 3.5 hectares of land and
council gratuitously allocates 11,5 hectares.
“Some people were also allocated land despite not being on the council
waiting list. The trend benefited those connected to council employees.
There was also double allocation of stands like in the case of Chidhakwa and
Salware who were allocated stand number 135. The Zimbabwe Republic Police
and Herentals Group of Colleges were also allocated the same stand in the
commercial area.
“Council land was also being allocated despite prominent obstacles such as
the main sewer line in Cherutombo, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority
power-lines in Rujeko and graves in Lower Paradise.
“The following stands were dangerously allocated at ZESA power-lines in
Rujeko: Stands number 4257, 4258, 4259 and 1225 while the following are at
Lower Paradise Graves, 2525, 2524, 2523,2522, 2521 and 2527. Others were
allocated over the Cherutombo main sewer line.
“Against council policy stipulating that a stand should be developed within
two years after being purchased, the following stands were not repossessed
despite not being developed 10 years down the line: Stand numbers 2287,
3058, 2221, 3060, 2190, 2196, 2209, 2217, 2252, 2346 and 2219. Council
should, according to its land policy, repossess hundreds other undeveloped
stands.” – For further revelations do not miss The Zimbabwean on Thursday

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Security Council must act on Zim – HRW director

Written by Mxolisi Ncube
Saturday, 28 May 2011 13:35

JOHANNESBURG - An international human rights expert has called on the United
Nations Security Council to act on continuing human rights abuses in
Zimbabwe before the situation degenerates into a civil war.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) United Nations Director, Philippe Bollopion, said
in an interview with The Zimbabwean here on Friday that the Security Council
should not only act only when a civil war breaks out in a country, but
ensure that human rights situations are addressed before they worsen.
“We believe that human rights violations in Zimbabwe are so widespread and
pervasive that they deserve the Council’s intervention,” said Bollopion, the
UN point man for the international human rights watchdog.
“The UN should not wait until there are two armed groups facing each other,
but use preventive diplomacy to prevent this. When they eventually decide to
act, it might already be too late. We believe that the human rights abuses
that are happening in Zimbabwe and Burma are deeply entrenched and might
degenerate into something worse, like massive displacements or civil war.
The UNSC has a big role to play in stopping that.”
Bollopion also challenged neighbouring South Africa, which is not only the
SADC-appointed mediator in Zimbabwe, but also occupies a temporary seat in
the UNSC, to speak up  against the human rights abuses and suppression of
personal freedoms in Zimbabwe by Zanu (PF).

SA must be brave
“South Africa should be very vocal in denouncing abuses in Zimbabwe. It’s
inconsistency on such issues is not good. More bravery on the part of South
Africa, which surpassed expectations when it voted in favour of the UNSC
resolution 1970 on Libya, will guarantee the country a permanent seat in the
UN,” added Bollopion.
“South Africa is a much respected voice when it comes to issues to do with
Africa because of its economic clout and its own human rights record. Butt
it should extend that to a more consistent stance when it comes to defending
human rights abuses outside its borders.”

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Suspension of SADC tribunal a deadly blow

Community court's rights watch body slams move
May 28, 2011 4:56 PM | By HARARE CORRESPONDENT

There are fears that the suspension of the SADC tribunal, at the behest of
President Robert Mugabe and his cabal, will have serious implications for
human rights in southern Africa.

Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders meeting last week for
an extraordinary summit resolved to suspend the regional court for a year to
"allow for its reconstitution", after Mugabe complained the tribunal was
passing judgments that violated Zimbabwe's constitution.

The tribunal has in the past passed landmark judgments to reverse Mugabe's
controversial land reforms, a move which has angered the president and his
Zanu-PF party.

SADC Tribunal Rights Watch said it was deeply shocked at the decision taken
at the SADC summit in Namibia on May 20 to dissolve the internationally
respected human rights court, the SADC tribunal, for a year.

"This is in flagrant disregard of the findings of the independent review
commissioned by the SADC heads of state, which confirmed that the tribunal
had the legal authority to deal with individual human rights petitions and
that its rulings should be binding over member states," its said.

"Furthermore, the consultants, WTI Advisors Ltd, Geneva, an affiliate of the
World Trade Institute, reported that the tribunal was properly established
and that its protocol entered into force in accordance with international
law," SADC Tribunal Rights Watch said.

"Instead of upholding the findings, the extraordinary summit took the
decision to dissolve the tribunal. This deals a devastating blow to the rule
of law in the region, because it denies individual people access to justice
when they have no legal recourse in their own countries," it said.

Zimbabwe's state media and Zanu-PF spin doctors in Harare have trumpeted the
suspension as a big victory for Mugabe.

The summit's decisions were:

�Not to reappoint tribunal judges whose terms expired on August 31 last

�The ministers of justice and attorneys general will be mandated to initiate
a process aimed at amending the relevant SADC legal instruments, and would
only be required to submit their final report to the summit scheduled for
August next year.

�The tribunal should not take on any new cases or have hearings of any cases
until the SADC protocol on the tribunal has been reviewed and approved by
the SADC heads of state at the 2012 summit.

As a result of the suspension, the urgent case lodged in March this year by
commercial farmers Mike Campbell - who passed away in April at age 78 as a
result of injuries sustained during his abduction and torture in 2008 - and
Luke Tembani,74, will not be heard by the SADC tribunal.

Their application asks for an order that ensures "the (SADC) tribunal
continues to function in all respects as established by Article 16 of the

It also takes to task the SADC heads of state for not abiding by the
protection treaty, signed on behalf of the people of the SADC in 1992.

"The suspension of this region's highest court serves no purpose but to
allow corruption, the abuse of power and also the erosion of human rights in
southern Africa to become entrenched."

As the region celebrated Africa Day this week, the SADC Tribunal Rights
Watch calledon the southern regions community to initiate an urgent,
wide-reaching consultation among civil society groups, legal experts and
individuals to resolve this crisis and enable the members to continue
seeking legitimate legal redress at a regional level.

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CIO torturer faces UK fraud rap

28/05/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

A FORMER Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) brute recently granted
asylum in Britain is now facing a police investigation.
Phillip Machemedze, 47, may have obtained work at a residential care home by
deception, his former employers said.

Asylum seekers are generally not allowed to work while their claims are
being decided, but they are allowed to apply for permission to work if they
have waited for more than a year for an initial decision on their asylum

Police are investigating if Machemedze had permission to work, but his
former employers fear he may have used forged Home Office letters.

The Bristol-based Milestones Trust said it terminated Machemedze’s
employment early this week after reading media reports of what a judge
described as “savage acts of brutality” committed in the service of
President Robert Mugabe’s brutal regime.

A spokesman for the Trust said: “We informed the police immediately... and
took immediate action to prevent his return to work.
“We are concerned that he appeared to have valid documentation from the Home
Office allowing him to reside and work in the UK.

"The safety and security of our service users and staff is our primary
concern at this time. We have taken the necessary steps to reassure and
support everybody at the home.

"The nature of the crimes as reported are wholly abhorrent and clearly
completely incompatible with working in the social care sector. These
reports have come as an enormous shock to everybody at the trust.”

Machemedze - who admitted smashing the jaw of an MDC supporter and pulling
out his teeth with pliers - worked as a support worker for the charity which
supports people with dementia, learning disabilities and mental health

The HIV-positive former bodyguard to the late cabinet minister Enos
Chikowore, arrived in Britain in 2000 after quitting the CIO where he worked
for four years.

Machemedze, who lives in Barton Hill, Bristol, with his wife, Febbie,
applied for asylum in 2008 after overstaying his visitor's visa. The Home
Office rejected his and his wife’s asylum claims after accusing him of
committing “crimes against humanity”.

But the couple won a right to stay in Britain on May 4 this month when an
immigration judge said Machemedze would be killed by his former CIO
colleagues if deported for “spilling the beans” about their operations.

The Home Office says it is seeking permission from the tribunal to appeal
the decision. A judge refused them permission to appeal on May 18, but they
can still appeal if they can show the judge made an "arguable error of law".

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Petras fumes over ZBC lies

Thursday, 26 May 2011 17:19

HARARE - Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Executive Director Irene Petras
has dismissed claims by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation as
'propagandist lies'. The Zanu (PF)-controlled ZBC-TV said that she and other
civil rights campaigners were paid by the MDC to stage last week's protests
at the SADC summit in Windhoek. ‘It is unfortunate that so-called
journalists choose to propagate such falsehoods, which some have rightly
described as outright propagandist lies,’ Petras told The Zimbabwean.
ZBC’s Reuben Barwe reported on Monday that the protesters who turned up in
Namibia had been paid by MDC to disrupt the conference. The heavily
opinionated so-called news report made personal attacks on Petras. According
to an earlier ZLHR statement, Petras was among a group of four pro-democracy
activists who were targeted by heavily armed Namibian police and handed over
to Zimbabwean state security agents at the summit. The statement said the
Central Intelligence Organisation agents were very hostile, demanding
personal details of Petras and other activists, including their residential
addresses in Zimbabwe.
Petras said the conduct of ZBC strengthened calls for reform of the public
broadcaster, which is virtually run by Zanu (PF) in violation of the Global
Political Agreement. Abuse of ZBC by Zanu (PF) and refusal by Mugabe to have
private broadcasters licensed are among the major issues hindering progress
on full implementation of the GPA. ZBC ignored last week's appeals by Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka for fair coverage
of all political parties in the country.

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We will not pay ZBC licenses - villagers

Written by Lovejoy Sakala
Saturday, 28 May 2011 00:00

NYANGA NORTH - Irate villagers here are up in arms with Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation for demanding licence fees but failing to transmit
a reliable signal in the area.
Last week, ZBC dispatched its officers to collect listener’s and viewer’s
license in the area but villagers resisted saying they last accessed ZBC
programming long ago.
“We wonder why they want us to pay licence when it actual fact we don’t
receive any ZBC signal transmission. We will not pay. They can do whatever
they want. We are poor and they should stop violating our rights,”
complained Lloyd Mudiwa of Kazozo Nyanga. Manuel Maruta weighed in saying
they had not been receiving ZBC signal for a long time and surprisingly the
broadcaster was demanding fees which he said was `exorbitant`.
“We are very isolated and we wonder whether we are Zimbabweans. We watch
foreign programming from Mozambique and Voice of America (VOA).Important
information about our country remains elusive. $50 is too much for such a
shoddy job,” said Maruta, who was listening to studio 7 from America. With
critical national processes such as the ongoing constitution-making process,
Kazozo community remains outdated and out of touch with reality on the
Residents in Penhalonga interviewed by this paper said they would not pay up
if the national broadcaster does not improve its pathetic programming.“They
can take us to court but we will not pay. We cannot bankroll activities of
one political party in the inclusive government. The local content is not
educative or informative in anyway,” said Misheck Runhanya of Penhalonga.
Most residents in urban areas are now subscribing to Multi Choice TV and
free to air decoders to run away from propaganda being churned by national

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MDC-T Dissolves Foreign Structures

5 hours 19 minutes ago

JOHANNESBURG, May 28, 2011- Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party
has appointed Nelson Chamisa to take charge of all the party’s external
structures and dissolved provincial structures.

The restructuring of the party’s external branches follows complaints of
corruption, mismanagement of the party’s funds, money laundering and vote
The move has not gone down well with some party heavyweights who accuse
Tsvangirai of favouritism and of sidelining other regions.Previously the
external structures were the responsibility of chairman, Lovemore Moyo who,
according to some insiders, is no longer popular in some provinces.

Moyo is being seen by others in the party as ‘ too soft’ and lacking an
aggressive attitude that is required to reign in party renegades.But some in
the MDC-T say Moyo is now a very senior party leader who should not be
running around disciplining wayward officials and renegades.
In the United Kingdom some members welcomed the new development especially
those who were against Moyo in the first place.The MDC-T structures overseas
have also been rocked by allegations of tribalism and corruption forcing
some people from other provinces to resign and join parties such as Zapu and
MDC led by Welshman Ncube.

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Zimbabwe Central Bank Governor Urges Relaunch of Gold-Backed Zim Dollar

Former finance minister Simba Makoni, head of an opposition party, Mavambo
Kusile Dawn, said reintroduction of the Zimbabwe dollar would violate the
2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing

Chris Gande | Washington  27 May 2011

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono has again called for a
relaunch of the Zimbabwean dollar, removed from circulation in early 2009
after losing all value due to a near-historic wave of hyperinflation stoked,
say critics, by Gono's profligate policies.

Since then the country has run on a monetary regimen of mixed hard
currencies, chiefly the US dollar and South African rand. The system quickly
restored price stability.

Today Zimbabwean dollar notes in denominations of up to US$100 billion
circulate only as collectibles or mere objects of curiosity offered for sale
on the Internet.

Gono told the state-controlled Herald newspaper that Zimbabwe could not
continue using the US dollar because it was foreign cash. He said Zimbabwe
should bring back its own dollar and back it with gold reserves to avoid a
second hyperinflationary wave.

“Now that Zimbabwe is awash with gold the nation should reintroduce the
Zimbabwe dollar but this time backed by gold,” Gono told the Herald.
President Robert Mugabe has also urged revival of the national currency on a
number of occasions, but Finance Minister Tendai Biti has just as often
voiced opposition to the proposition.

Former finance minister Simba Makoni, head of an opposition party, Mavambo
Kusile Dawn, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Chris Gande that reintroduction of
the Zimbabwe dollar would in addition violate the 2008 Global Political
Agreement for power sharing.

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Zapu Says ‘No Unity Deal’ With Other Parties

5 hours 18 minutes ago

BULAWAYO, May 28, 2011- The Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu) led by
former Zipra intelligence chief, Dumiso Dabengwa has become the second
political party to rule out any alliance with other parties in the next
general election expected sometime next year.

Speaking at a public meeting organized by the pro-MDC-T Bulawayo Agenda on
Zimbabwe election roadmap on Friday Zapu's national secretary for legal and
special affairs, Steven Nkiwane said his party  was  betrayed when it signed
a unity deal with Zanu (PF) in 1987 and  no longer trust coalitions.

“We were betrayed before, when we entered into unity with Zanu (PF) and we
don’t want a repeat of that. We will not enter into partnership with any
party. We are a national party which will go to next elections single
handedly to fight Mugabe and we are assured of victory,” said Nkiwane.
Nkiwane also said Zapu was ready for elections but won’t enter into
elections where the playing field favoured Zanu (PF).Addressing the same
meeting the smaller MDC spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube said Zanu (PF) is
demanding early elections so that they can brutalise their members.

“There want elections as soon as possible so that they can start brutalizing
our members. We can’t have such kind of elections,” said Dube.Zanu (PF) is
pushing calls for elections this year with or without a new constitution to
undo the unity government. However, the two MDCs  refused calls for fresh
elections, saying it favours election roadmaps to guarantee a free and fair
Negotiators from the three parties in unity government are currently working
on the election roadmap that would usher in a new democratic dispensation in
the country and which would be discussed during a SADC extraordinary summit
on the Zimbabwe crisis to be held in South Africa next month.

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'I won't quit'

Zanu-PF's top brass shocked by declaration
May 28, 2011 4:59 PM | By ZOLI MANGENA

President Robert Mugabe, plagued by poor health which he denies, has plunged
his deeply divided Zanu-PF further into crisis after his declaration that he
would not leave, because the party would disintegrate if he quit.

Extensive interviews by the Sunday Times with senior Zanu-PF officials
revealed there was renewed anger at Mugabe last week for announcing his
determination to cling to power. The situation was made worse by
controversial remarks made by a senior Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA)
commander who said Mugabe must remain in office until he dies.

In an interview with state media last week, Mugabe said he was not going to
retire because Zanu-PF was in crisis and would collapse.

"Well, well, well. The party will find someone but you don't leave the party
amid problems and in a crisis such as we have. You've got to get the party
out of the crisis and then you can retire," he said.

"And also, the party needs me and we should not create weak points within
the party. We must remain solid and in full gear. Once you have change, and
if we had it now for example, the new man, or new woman - that might destroy
the party for a while as it goes through transition. Any new leader needs
time to consolidate, so we don't want to take risks at all," Mugabe said.

However, senior Zanu-PF politburo members said Mugabe's remarks were
"shocking" and "divisive" and the statements would throw the party deeper
into turmoil.

"The president's statements came as a shock to us even though we know he
does not intend to retire, because they are divisive," a senior politburo
member said. "This is going to worsen factionalism and divisions because his
continued stay and failure to deal with the succession issue has created all
these problems."

Members of the two Zanu-PF factions, led by retired army commander Solomon
Mujuru and Emmerson Mnangagwa, were in rare agreement that Mugabe's remarks
would cause more internal strife.

"After reading that interview, we had a meeting with senior members of our
group and everybody agreed that the president's remarks were troublesome and
disruptive because they encourage infighting. When people don't know when a
leader is going they will say let's keep ourselves organised and ready
because in politics anything can happen any time," said a senior member of
the Mujuru faction. "So what we are going to be doing is to keep lobbying to
put on pressure behind the scenes and to gain a strategic position in this

A top member of the Mnangagwa faction said Mugabe's remarks condemned the
party to "perpetual infighting". "These statements don't unite the party.
Some think by saying he is not going that will keep the party united but it
achieves exactly the opposite. It fuels internal power struggles and

However, another party official said Mugabe was trying to keep warring
factions at bay by publicly saying he is going nowhere. A close Mugabe
loyalist, Didymus Mutasa, recently publicly admitted infighting in the party
and told supporters of the two factions to stop the bickering and rally
behind Mugabe. Mugabe also admitted the divisions last week.

Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo was unavailable for comment.

On Friday ZNA commander Brigadier-General Douglas Nyikayaramba said Mugabe
must remain in office for life and elections must be held this year to
ensure "political stability". He said the army wanted Mugabe to be
president-for-life because he could not be replaced.

The combative army commander said senior military officers would never
salute Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai even if he won the election.

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Tsvangirai Condemns Reckless Utterances By Army’s Top Brass

5 hours 30 minutes ago
Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

HARARE, May 28, 2011- Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Friday said reckless
utterances by the army’s top brass and their blind loyalty to President
Robert Mugabe possed a serious threat to the security of the country.

Tsvangirai was speaking at the launch of the Panel of Zimbabwe Elders
Fridaywhen he said reckless statements by the security chiefs and senior
members of the army were a serious cause for concern.The MDC-T leader was
also responding to statements by Brigadier General Douglas Nyikayaramba who
said Mugabe should rule Zimbabwe until he dies.
Brigadier Nyikayaramba also said he and other army’s top brass will never
salute Tsvangirai.The Panel of Elders is a group of eminent Zimbabweans from
different backgrounds who have come together to work towards a violence-free
Zimbabwe by engaging stakeholders.

Its interim leader is Professor Gordon Chavunduka. Others on the panel
include Professor Phenias Makhurane, Chief Mtekedza from Chivhu, Chief
Ndanga (Masvingo), Father Fidelis Mukonori, Bishop Sebastian Bakare, Ruth
Mpisaunga (consultant), Margaret Rukuni, former Cabinet minister Fay Chung,
Professor Rudo Gaidzanwa and Luke Chipunza.

“Statements by service chiefs that they will not respect the expression of
the people’s will, as well as statements in the Press today in which a
senior army officer is trying to determine the date of the election, only
serve to confirm the uniqueness of our situation and the importance of
vaccinating State organs from acting like political entities.

“Unnecessary election talk leads to dysfunctionality and polarity in the
country. It polarises Cabinet, Parliament and the security sector and leads
to unilateral actions and selective application of the law.” said the MDC-T
“We all want a new era in this country; where knives, machetes, knobkerries,
guns and booted feet as instruments of violence and repression are no longer
fashionable,” he said.

Tsvangirai said he was surprised President Mugabe was absent from the
Zimbabwe Elders promoting peace and urged him to join the group as he

“I questioned myself what the age limit in this panel is,” he said. “I see
there is someone who is conspicuous by his absence. It’s none other than
President Mugabe. It is a serious omission and you should extend an
invitation to him,” Tsvangirai said.
Tsvangirai warned that reckless election talk would slide the country back
to the 2008 violence and chaos.

“As a country, we have been forced to walk the painful road of violence and
hatred and we are not prepared to walk it again. We have lost relatives,
houses and property. We have State agents actively engaging in shameful acts
of violence and unbridled violation of the people’s rights and freedoms,” he
“But we refuse to be cowed and to be distracted from the urgent national
assignment of fighting for democratic change in Zimbabwe.Our current
situation is being compounded by the war psychosis the constant reference to
Chimurenga and the war language associated with it puts the country into an
unnecessary war mode,” he said.

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Indigenization on Agenda at Zimbabwe Business Exposition in Cincinnati

Affirmative Action Group Secretary General Tafadzwa Musarara said that in
addition to talking up Zimbabwean investment opportunities, he wants to
enlighten Zimbabweans in USA about 'crippling' Western sanctions

Gibbs Dube | Washington  27 May 2011

The controversial initiative by the Zimbabwean government to take a
controlling stake in foreign-owned enterprises including in the key mining
sector will be aired at this year's edition of ZimExpo, a business
exposition that opened Friday in Cincinnati.

A delegation from the Zimbabwean-based Affirmative Action Group, a leading
proponent of the indigenization and black empowerment plan, was to make a
presentation about the initiative to the Zimbabwean expatriates attending
the three-day event.

The schedule also includes a soccer tournament on Saturday and a beauty
pageant on Sunday in which the next Miss Zimbabwe USA 2011 will be selected.

ZimExpo Communications Director Chipo Mnkandla said the top items on the
agenda will be investment opportunities in Zimbabwe and the so-called
targeted sanctions imposed on President Robert Mugabe and about 200 other
officials of his ZANU-PF party.

Mnkandla said there is strong interest in the indigenization program which
ZANU-PF and its allies have been rolling out aggressively much like land
reform in the last decade. But critics say the confiscation of controlling
equity stakes in mining companies and other enterprises will only further
discourage foreign direct investment.

Mnkandla said most Zimbabweans in the diaspora want details on
indigenization "so they can think about investment opportunities back home."

Affirmative Action Group Secretary General Tafadzwa Musarara said that in
addition to talking up Zimbabwean investment opportunities, he wants to
enlighten Zimbabweans in USA about what he says are the "crippling" effects
of targeted sanctions.

US officials and most independent observers say the Zimbabwean economy
crashed in the last decade mainly as a consequence of the seizure of
white-owned commercial farms, devastating the key agricultural sector and
causing widespread hunger.

The European Union has also imposed travel and financial restrictions on Mr.
Mugabe and his inner circle, as have Australia, New Zealand and other

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Mugabe wrecks Kimberly Process

Written by John Chimunhu
Saturday, 28 May 2011 12:06

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe's divisive influence on the world stage has
claimed another victim: the Kimberly Process Diamond Certification
Scheme (KP).
According to The Diplomatic Courier, which monitors diplomatic
relations worldwide, the question of Zimbabwe's controversial diamond
production in the disputed Marange fields in the eastern Manicaland
province had 'stalled' the KP.
The organisation warned that a major row was now certain as Zimbabwe
prepares to take over the KP chairmanship from the Democratic Republic
of Congo, whose recent unilateral authorisation of Marange diamond
sales plunged the organisation into turmoil.
South Africa, a major producer, boycotted a recent KP working group
meeting in Dubai in solidarity with Zimbabwe. The meeting had been
called by the European Union.
Now, according to the Courier, another bruising fight is looming as
the United States will almost certainly oppose Zimbabwe's ascension.
"There remains much uncertainty as to whether the United States will
allow Zimbabwe to take up the next chair of the KPCS," the Courier's
contributing editor, Michelle Acuto commented last week in a report
entitled Diamonds:Still a bloody affair.
"In short, the Process’ internal cracks are looming large on its
future, while Zimbabwean undocumented diamonds continue to trickle
into the global market via third parties such as Mozambique. The
titles from two recent Global Witness reports sum up this progressive
derailing, calling on the ‘return of the blood diamond’ via Zimbabwe,
and pointing at the ‘lessons unlearned’ on the international trade in
The report said the recent events had shown that the KP's internal
mechanisms "continue to be loose, easily circumvented, and at times
contrasting, while internal squabbles in the Kimberly scheme and
continuing cross-border smuggling maintains a substantial flow of
conflict roughs in the global market. The diamond trade remains, at
the end of the day, a bloody affair with little attention on the world
Mugabe has repeatedly blackmailed African countries that sought to
oppose him in international bodies such as KP, branding them puppets
of the West. After the KP's current DRC chair Mathieu Yamba allowed
Zimbabwe to sell its 'blood diamonds', obtained amid much violence in
which hiundreds of Marange residents and illegal miners were murdered
in horrific army airstrikes, the European Union called for an
emergency session of the KP in Dubai. However, SA was armtwisted by
Harare and forced to pull out of the meeting, stating that it would be
compelled to enforce decisions made in its absence.
This played into the hands of Zimbabwe, which immediately offloaded
hundreds of millions dollars from it's stockpile, mined in
questionable circumstances by the Chinese firm Anjin, which was
granted a licence last year amid a veil of secrecy.
However, the country's credibility problems are far from over. Mines
minister Obert Mpofu acknowledged as much last week when he took the
country's military chiefs, including defence minister Emmerson
Mnangagwa and defence forces commander Constantine Chiwenga on a tour
the Anjin facility at Marange. The presence of the army in Marange is
one of the contentious issues dogging the KP amid reports that
soldiers are looting and smuggling diamonds through neighbouring
Mugabe has used his vast knowledge of international relations to
divide most organisations in which Zimbabwe is a member. He pulled
Zimbabwe out of the Commonwealth after ordering the invasion of
white-owned farms, caused major divisions among world powers in the
United Nations Security Council when he rigged the 2008 elections,
threw the African Union and SADC into unending conflicts and has now
effectively caused major rifts in the KP.
Organisations such as the Diamond Development Initiative and
Responsible Jewelry Council are calling for implementation of a system
known as 'Forevermark', where every individual gemstone mined will
bear a special mark of origin.

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CBZ denies link with Gaddafi

Written by Ngoni Chanakira
Saturday, 28 May 2011 13:01

.. but Libyan govt owns 14%
HARARE - CBZ Holdings Limited says Colonel Muammar Gaddafi definitely does
not have any shareholding in the government-controlled financial
institution. (Pictured: Gadaffi)
"Gadaffi does not have any shareholding in us (CBZ)," said the institution's
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in Harare.
He was responding to a question after presenting a report of the commercial
institution's strategy for international investors.
CBZ Holdings is currently Zimbabwe's largest banking group with interests in
commercial banking, property, insurance and communications. It is currently
undertaking a $300 million property spruce up in Harare's Central Business
It has the nation's largest depositor base of more than $600 million, an
advances book of $444,6 million, controlling 22 percent of total system
assets, 28 percent of deposits and 31 percent of advances in Zimbabwe today.
Eye-brows have, however, been raised by the market because after
government's control of 16,1 percent of the firm at $110 million, the second
highest shareholder is Libyan Foreign Bank (NNR) with a 14,1 percent stake
worth $96,6 million on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.
CBZ Holdings has a market capitalisation of $123,1 million on the bourse.
Its share price currently stands at $0,18.
Other CBZ shareholders are Africa Investments Sub 2 Limited with 13,5
percent worth $92,6 million, National Social Security Authority, CBZ
Holdings Limited (8,1 percent), Stanbic Nominees NNR Bank (3,2 percent),
Remo Nominees (Private) Limited (3,2 percent), Datvest Nominees (Private)
Limited (2,7 percent), Stanbic Nominees (Private) Limited (2 percent) and
Bethel Nominees Number Two with a 2 percent stake.
"The CBZ should be very worried about developments in Libya," said an
industry source. "The Libyan Government has a huge stake in CBZ Holdings
Limited and anything that goes wrong in that country will definitely affect
them - despite the fact that they are denying it."
The CBZ CFO refused to inform interested investors how much cash government
big wigs, especially from the former ruling party Zanu (PF)S, owed the
He said CBZ was concentrating on diversifying and improving its fee income

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Gold output to hit 20 tonnes: Chamber

by Edward Jones     Saturday 28 May 2011

VICTORIA FALLS – Zimbabwe’s gold output could hit 20 tonnes in the short to
medium term if the sector gets funding and electricity supplies improve,
outgoing Chamber of Mines president Victor Gapare said yesterday.

Gapare said gold production would hit between 12 and 15 tonnes this year
from 9.6 tonnes last year as the mining industry slowly recovers from a
decade of decline.

“We have capacity to increase production to 20 tonnes, which would be 60
percent of our capacity,” Gapare told the annual general meeting of the
mining chamber,” Gapare said.

“We expect the firm prices of gold to remain. With this positive outlook for
gold, it is high time we put in place policies that will allow us to ride
the crest of this positive trend."

Zimbabwe’s mining sector contributes 7 percent to GDP and accounts for about
half the country’s export earnings.

Heinz Pley, a managing director at Morgan Stanley’s investment banking
division told the meeting yesterday that Zimbabwe had the capacity to double
its GDP growth but said this was possible only if Harare ensures a stable
political environment and investors were guaranteed security of their

Zimbabwe has scared foreign investors with its plans to force mining
companies to sell at least 51 percent shares to local Zimbabweans.

Delegates at the meeting questioned where the government would get the money
to buy the shares.

“GDP could grow double digit if there was a stable political environment in
Zimbabwe (and) the most important thing is security of tenure. If those
things are there, this economy will grow,” Pley said.

Economic analysts say Zimbabwe, which has been impoverished by a decade of
economic collapse, does not have the money to buy controlling shareholding
in mines.

The country has the second largest reserves of platinum and large deposits
of gold, ferrochrome, chrome and diamonds.

The empowerment drive is likely to discourage foreign investment and will
hit foreign miners in the country including AngloPlat and Impala Platinum,
the world's largest and second largest platinum producers, and Rio Tinto,
which runs a diamond mine in the country.

Rio Tinto’s Zimbabwe arm, Rio Zim, this week reported that a foreign
investor it did not name who had shown keen interest to pump money into the
gold mining firm withdrew at the eleventh hour because of concerns over the
controversial plan to transfer control of the mining sector to local blacks.

The government has sought to allay fears that it would not expropriate mines
but investors are still concerned.

“This is not nationalisation, we are looking at broad based empowerment,”
Tapiwa Mashakada, Minister of Economic Planning said.

Analysts say the government should take the route of increasing taxes for
the mining sector as a different route to empowerment and use the money to
build infrastructure like roads, hospitals and electricity generating

The indigenisation programme has divided the fragile unity government formed
two years ago by President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan

Mugabe, whose previous government used its majority in Parliament in 2007 to
ram through the indigenisation law, says the empowerment programme is
necessary to ensure blacks benefit from the country’s lucrative mineral

But Tsvangirai, who says he is for genuine indigenisation of the economy
that benefits ordinary Zimbabweans, has castigated the empowerment drive as
“looting by a greedy elite”. -- ZimOnline

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Mugabe bars Daily News

By Staff Writer
Saturday, 28 May 2011 10:45

HARARE - In yet another clear anti-Daily News move by the government,
President Robert Mugabe’s security officials yesterday barred the popular
daily from covering a police pass-out parade at Morris Depot in Harare where
the Zanu PF leader was guest of honour.

While journalists from other media houses were allowed to cover the parade,
Mugabe’s security details chased away the Daily News’ reporter assigned to
cover the routine event – arguing ridiculously that they were taking this
uncalled for measure because the newspaper was out to tarnish the image of
the long-ruling octogenarian.

A member of Mugabe’s security team, presumed to be a Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) agent, fished out the Daily News reporter who was with
other journalists and said:  “You cannot cover this event, you were not
invited. After all your stories and cartoons are damaging the President. Go
away now. This is our area”.

The shell-shocked journalist was also told in no uncertain terms that the
Daily News was not allowed to cover Mugabe.  He was promptly, and in full
public view, escorted out of Morris Depot by the spooks, who ominously took
details of the journalist’s residential address and national identity

They also took the address of the Daily News offices, as well as its
landline numbers.

Bizarrely too, the writer was also asked to provide details of his rural
home, the district, the  headman and the traditional chief of the area where
he comes from.

The angry and pushy CIO operatives, who clearly were acting under official
instruction, flatly refused to explain why they wanted the reporter’s
personal and other details.

Presidential spokesman George Charamba said predictably: "I do not over-ride
the decision of the police or the security. The fact that the president was
at a security zone means that I cannot override the decisions of the

“That is why security institutions have their public relations department.
At the police there are the likes of Wayne Bvudzijena who deals with those

The reporter was initially blocked at one of the security check points after
a security detail said the paper was not on the list of media houses that
were invited.

On the list was the state-owned Herald, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation and the state news agency, New Ziana, as well as and some
independent newspapers.

Upon being told this, the reporter then sought help from an official in the
Ministry of Information, who explained to the security details at the
entrance that the reporter had a right to cover the event as he was properly

The reporter was then allowed in temporarily, before security details in
plain clothes and ordered him out.  He was escorted out by a plain clothes
security official and a uniformed police officer.

Calls and text messages to police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena for
assistance went unanswered.

Commenting on the obtuse development, the Daily News Managing Editor Stanley
Gama said this was another “sad but typical day in the life our reporters”.

“So shaken is our reporter, who does not even want us to publish due to
fear, that he is even scared of going home. Who would blame our reporter for
this? The threat is real.

“We assume that the fact that these so-called intelligence officers have
taken all our reporter’s personal details they do not mean well – and intend
to follow him to his residence.  Let it be recorded here that we will hold
them liable should anything happen to our reporter,” he said.

Gama added that the Daily News would, however, continue telling it like it
is despite “these grotesque and despicable acts of intimidation and

“It is clear that we are being targeted because we are writing the truth
about the situation in the country.  We will seek an audience with the
President’s office about this chilling incident,” he said.

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Film captures election trauma

May 28, 2011 5:01 PM | By SETUMO STONE

A documentary on the violent 2008 presidential elections, The Axe and The
Tree , bears witness to the trauma experienced by Zimbabweans.

The film premiered on Tuesday at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton,
Johannesburg, attended by director, Rumbi Katedza, and activist, Elinor

Verne Harris, of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said the decision to host
the screening was motivated by "a call for justice" and that "Zimbabwe looms
very large in Mandela's own memory".

"What happened in Zimbabwe in 2008 was invisible and it's important that
more and more people are available to talk so that a situation like that
does not happen again," said Katedza.

The film moves between the happy and sad memories shared by the participants
and their families, documenting their trauma, vulnerability and glimpses of
hope. In one scene a couple describes how they met and fell in love. "I
liked the way he spoke. He was full of jokes and that is what I admired
about him," said the shy-looking wife with a smile.

"They seem to be running dry these days. But he has not lost his sense of
humour," she said.

Next she described how she was "raped by a gang of youths who attacked her
family's house," and kidnapped her and two children.

Her face transformed from laughter to sadness. "When we got there they beat
and raped us."

Another elderly woman said she loved children and that was still in her
blood. "When I arrive at church all the children shout for me: 'Granny,
Gogo'," she said.

But she broke into tears when she recalled how she was gang-raped by

"One of them said: 'Why don't you beat her?' The other one answered: 'No.
Just rape her and leave her'." The woman said she had since contracted a

Sisulu said she appreciated that "the film was giving agency to the people
(of Zimbabwe)".

"South Africans must take note from Zimbabwe that media freedom is not just
a liberal democratic notion, but a matter of life and death," said Sisulu,
who also mentioned that she lives in an "ANC family".

She reminded Katedza of a "personal friend", Jestina Mukoko, who "had been
abducted for conducting human rights work in Zimbabwe".

"Prepare for the consequences, and with Zanu-PF there are always
consequences," Sisulu said.

Howard Varney, of International Centre of Transitional Justice, said he
hoped the film would be shown all around the world, but it would not be
screened in Zimbabwe for safety reasons.

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"Too gruesome to recount"

Dear Family and Friends,
Something we have become grudgingly used to in Zimbabwe is the
knowledge is that in all our cities, towns, villages and
neighbourhoods are the perpetrators of bloody crimes and brutal human
rights abuses. Up to three decades after they murdered, raped, burnt
and tortured, in the name of their political masters, they have gone
unpunished and continue to walk brazenly amongst us.

Speaking in Plumtree a few days ago, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
made a dramatic statement on political violence. He said: “My hands
are very clean and my conscience is clear. I did not kill anyone
during Gukurahundi. I did not kill anyone during Operation
Murambatsvina and I did not kill anyone during the 2008 Presidential
elections run-off. I challenge Mugabe to come out in public and say
the same.”

At the time of writing there has been no response to the Prime
Minister’s challenge. What there has been, however, is renewed
attention on a member of the CIO, who continues to live in the peace
and safety of Wales in the UK. Despite admitting that he had kidnapped
dozens of MDC activists and, in his own words, done things to them
that :”are too gruesome to recount,” the 47 year old Zimbabwean
former spy has been living in asylum in the UK. Phillip Machemedze
also admitted in a UK court to rubbing salt into the wounds of a
female MDC member before she was taken to an underground cell,
stripped and whipped. He admitted electrocuting, slapping, beating and
punching a white farmer who was suspected of giving money to the MDC.
Despite all of this a Judge in Newport, South Wales, said that
Machemedze will not be deported from the UK because his life would be
in danger if he came back to Zimbabwe. When an attempt to appeal the
ruling was made, a senior immigration judge said in part: “Whatever
is felt about Philip Machemedze and his actions, the UK cannot return
him to face death or inhuman or degrading treatment ….”

“Death or inhuman or degrading treatment” are just words to a
judge. To the relations and survivors of a massacre in Matabeleand in
the early 1980’s, they are words describing the slaughter of twenty
five thousand men, women, children and babies. To those of us living
here, the judges words are experiences that the vast majority of
Zimbabweans have encountered again and again in the last decade.
We’ve seen our friends beaten and detained, our parents and
grandparents destitute and suicidal; our children out of school and
our professionals crawling under border fences to survive. We’ve
lost our homes and businesses, put our children to bed hungry and been
to so many funerals we’ve lost count.

The UK rulings protecting CIO operative Machemedze are apparently
because he supplied information about his colleagues. But we are left
wondering if the Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic supplies
information about his colleagues will he too be granted asylum in
Newport, South Wales?

I will be taking a short break for a while but in the meantime please
keep watching Zimbabwe and supporting the efforts of the ordinary,
hard working people who make our country great. Until next time,
thanks for reading, love cathy. 28th May 2011.
Copyright � Cathy Buckle.

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