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Zimbabwe policeman dies in clash with Mugabe opponents in Harare

May 30, 2011, 11:33 GMT

Harare - A policeman has been killed and another injured in the Zimbabwean
capital of Harare after police moved in to break up a meeting held by
opponents of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU(PF) party, police said on

The incident, which occurred on Sunday, was a rare case of retaliation on
security forces by supporters of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe's
partner in the country's fragile coalition government and simultaneously his
political rival.

Hundreds trying to hold meetings have been arrested this year, and are
routinely assaulted, lawyers say.

Sunday's incident is believed to be the first in which a policeman has been
killed in more than a decade of violence against opponents of the
87-year-old autocrat who has been in power for 31 years.

Spokesman Andrew Phiri accused youths from Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic Change of attacking police as a senior officer was investigating
'an illegal rally' by the MDC in Glen View township in the south of the

'One of the officers was hit (by a rock thrown at him) and fell unconscious,
and was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital,' he said. A second officer
was hurt.

MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora denied the MDC was involved in the incident.

'From preliminary reports, police had a misunderstanding with members of the
public at a nearby bar, which irritated the patrons,' he said.

The independent Daily News quoted a bystander who said that MDC supporters
had gone to the bar after their meeting.

Police burst in and began to force people to leave, when the crowd in the
bar retaliated, the paper reported.

'One of the policemen was severely beaten and there were a lot of people who
joined in the beating. There was total mayhem,' he said.

Mugabe is under pressure from his neighbours in the Southern African
Development Community, the regional political bloc, to introduce major
political reforms, including freedom of assembly and of expression, as part
of a 'roadmap' for free and fair elections sometime next year.

Observers say Mugabe has been fiercely resisting changes that he fears will
weaken his hold on power.

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Zim cop's killing was provoked - MDC

Eyewitness News | 9 Hour(s) Ago

Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has described the killing of
a policeman on Sunday as a tragedy, but the party claims police provoked the
attack in a bar in a Harare township.

Police spokesman Andrew Phiri said the officer was pelted with stones and a
steel chain. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Harare Hospital.

State media said the police had gone to investigate what they called an
illegal meeting by MDC youths, who are being blamed for this attack.

The MDC told Eyewitness News, the party does not condone violence and
welcomes investigations into the case. But it said the party will challenge
the state's version of events.

He said a truckload of police went to a bar in Glen View and attacked a
patron. Others in the bar then allegedly tried to fight off the police.

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Chaos in Harare

By Thelma Chikwanha, Staff Writer
Monday, 30 May 2011 16:27

HARARE - The high density suburbs of Glen View and Mbare resembled war zones
at the  weekend, as mounting political violence resulted in the death of a

Confirming  the death of one of their members last night, police apportioned
the  blame for this tragedy on MDC youths – alleging that the deceased
officer had died on admission to Harare General Hospital after he had  been
stoned and beaten by a chair by the former opposition  party’s youths.

Police  spokesman for Harare province, Superintendent Andrew Phiri, said the
MDC youths had earlier been dispersed in Glen View 4 where they were
allegedly holding an unsanctioned meeting, only to regroup at Glen View 3
shopping centre where the violence occurred.

The  death had occurred when police tried to disburse the unsanctioned
gathering, Phiri said. He refused to disclose the name of the deceased
policeman, as his next of kin had not yet been informed.

On  their part, the MDC said ordinary members of the public, and not its
party activists, had been involved in the fatal skirmish with police.

MDC  spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said: “We deny that the policeman was
assaulted by members of the MDC. From preliminary reports, police had a
misunderstanding with members of the public at a bar which irritated
members of the public. It has nothing to do with the MDC”.

However,  eyewitnesses who spoke to the Daily News last night said Glen View
MDC  youths, who were coming from a peaceful meeting, were confronted by
police near a bar. The police tried to disperse them, angering the  youths,
and this had allegedly resulted in the deadly fight.

One  of the eyewitnesses who spoke to the newspaper said some youths from
the MDC were in a bar at Glen View 3, after attending the  peaceful meeting
when policemen bolted in and ordered the patrons to  disperse.

“The  police accused the people of holding a public gathering without
permission and started dispersing the people, resulting in the people

“One  of the policemen was severely beaten and there were a lot of people
who  joined in the beating, including vendors and other people. There was
total mayhem in the bar and outside,” he said, refusing to disclose his
name for fear of being targeted.

The  Glen View clashes came as fresh reports of violence were being reported
in Mbare, where Zanu PF militia have declared the area a no-go zone for  MDC

It  emerged last night that dozens of suspected MDC supporters had been
displaced at the weekend by the rampaging Zanu PF vigilantes - and were  now

A  Mbare resident said the situation in the township was “like a script  out
of the South African movie Jerusarema” – where gangsters took over a  city
and became landlords who ruled over their tenants through violence  and
fear, with impunity.

The  Zanu PF vigilantes were allegedly being led by a well-known activist
and council employee known as Chirwa. They had taken over council houses  in
the suburb.

Chirwa,  apparently a mortuary attendant, who was said to be acting under
the  instruction of a top Zanu PF official in the province, was going around
the suburb evicting residents who were suspected to be supporters of the
MDC – to make way for Zanu PF members.

When  a Daily News crew arrived at house number 21C, 24th Street in Joburg
lines, a tenant’s household goods and clothes had been thrown outside  the

The  tenant, who also refused to be identified for fear of further
reprisals, said he had gone to the police to seek redress but was told  to
go back and reclaim his property as they could not do anything for  him.

“My  mother died last month and then they came and ordered my family out. My
sister-in-law, who has a new baby, had to spend the night outside in  the
cold,” the aggrieved man said.

Police confirmed receiving reports of the mayhem.  They claimed that the
cases were being investigated.

Other  Mbare residents who spoke to the Daily News, and also preferred
anonymity for fear of victimization, said they were now living in fear  of
being evicted.

“Please  help us to have our case heard, we are now living in fear because
we do  not know when next Chirwa will come knocking on our doors demanding
that we leave our homes.

“Mbare is not a very nice place to live in.  We  live here because we are
poor. We have nothing save for these homes  that were left to us by our
parents,” bemoaned one woman who identified  herself only as Sekai.

Sekai, who is of Malawian descent, said she was living in “mortal fear” of
Zanu PF activists.

Another  resident, who also refused to be identified, said he got the shock
of  his life when he got home from work to find the door of his house ajar –
and saw a strange woman coming out of the door.

He  discovered that his entire property had been removed from the house
without any notice of eviction from the local authorities.
Most of the evicted tenants said while they had made formal complaints to
the police, these complaints had fallen on deaf ears.

Senator Morgan Femai confirmed the evictions, harassment and intimidation of
residents by Zanu PF activists.

“The  violence never stopped. People are still being beaten up. Just
yesterday (Saturday), people were forced to close down their market  stalls
to attend a Zanu PF meeting at Mai Musodzi Hall,” Femai said.

The Harare Residents Trust expressed concern last night about the

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Police wantonly arrest MDC members in Glen View

Monday, 30 May 2011

Police today arrested dozens of MDC activists and their families; most of them in their homes and workplaces on allegations of killing a police inspector who his colleagues say was murdered by unknown revellers at a liquor store in Glen View, Harare.

It is important to note that before any investigations had been done the police rushed to the national press to blame the MDC. The resultant arrests of MDC members are therefore an attempt to justify this unorthodox behaviour.

By late last night, the MDC and its lawyers failed to ascertain the whereabouts of those randomly picked up, ostensibly to facilitate investigations. The secrecy in which the swoop was carried out raises suspicion as neither the party nor the accused’s lawyers have been able to trace those netted in the offensive.

It is a fact that the police deny suspects food, and if injured, access to medical aid. For that reason, the MDC is keen to know about the fate of those unfortunately caught in the latest police dragnet.

The party has only managed to ascertain some of those arrested to include Last Maengahama, an MDC national executive member and  resident of Glen View, and his three brothers, Stanley, Edison and Lazarus Maengahama; and Odius, Lloyd and Precious Chitanda -- all related to Glen View North chairperson of the party, Mrs Chitanda.

Also picked up were Mavis Madzokere, the wife of Glen View councillor, Tungamirai Madzokere, and Ollyn Madzokere her sister-in-law. The two were picked at their home.

Stefan Takaedzwa was picked up outside the MDC headquarters, Harvest House this afternoon on the same allegations. The arrest of MDC members is a clear attempt by the police and Zanu PF try to portray the MDC as a violent party, which it clearly is not.

MDC Information & Publicity Department

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AU credibility questioned as Zim set to chair peace organ

By Alex Bell
30 May 2011

The credibility of the African Union (AU) is being questioned, after news
that Zimbabwe will assume the chairmanship of the bloc’s Peace and Security
Council. The rotational chairmanship passes from South Africa to Zimbabwe in

The Peace and Security Council, in theory, is meant to promote peace,
security and stability across Africa, while promoting democracy, good
governance and the rule of the law. It is also meant to uphold the
protection of human rights.

Zimbabwe’s eligibility for the chairmanship of such an important body,
despite rampant human rights abuses and the ongoing disregard for the rule
of law by ZANU PF, is now casting doubt on the AU.

A commentary in the Zimbabwe Standard over the weekend said; “There is every
reason for the AU to change the rules so that countries such as Zimbabwe
cannot assume the chairmanship of this important body. It is therefore
difficult to understand how Zimbabwe, a country that is notorious for
violence, blatant disregard for the rule of law and election rigging can be
asked to lead it. Is this any different from making a village criminal the
local sheriff?”

The development comes amid growing calls for the United Nations to intervene
in Zimbabwe, where ongoing human rights abuses and ZANU PF’s continued
refusal to reform has left the country in crisis. The Southern African
Development Community (SADC) is in the midst of trying to mediate the
ongoing political stalemate between the MDC and ZANU PF, but Robert Mugabe’s
party has gone to great lengths to snub the regional bloc.

Most recently the party has said that it will not abide by an election
roadmap, stated by SADC as key to democratic change in Zimbabwe. The party
has also said that there will be no security sector reforms, clearly showing
how it plans on retaining power in the country.

The most worrying development however has been ZANU PF’s celebration over
the suspension of the SADC human rights court for at least another year. The
SADC leadership has decided to dissolve the Tribunal instead of force
Zimbabwe to honour its rulings on unlawful land reform, leaving the entire
region without a human rights court. ZANU PF has openly welcomed this
development, showing its contempt for human rights.

Political analyst Professor John Makumbe told SW Radio Africa that it is
“ironic” that Zimbabwe, still under ZANU PF’s control, will be chairing a
peace organ.

“It says a lot about the AU’s perspective of the Zimbabwe crisis, and that
they belittle it and treat it like it is not serious at all,” Makumbe said.

He added; “The AU is increasingly becoming intransigent when it comes to
human rights abuses and dictatorial leadership. This negates all democratic
development in African member states.”

International rights group, Human Rights Watch, has meanwhile said that UN
Society Council intervention in Zimbabwe is critical. The group’s UN
Director Philippe Bollopion, said in an interview with The Zimbabwean
newspaper that the Security Council should not only act 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.

HRW researcher for Africa, Tiseke Kasambala, told SW Radio Africa that UN
intervention would be unlikely, because of the AU’s ongoing “lukewarm”
efforts to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis. She said that allowing Zim to assume
the chairmanship of the AU’s peace organ “indicates that perhaps the AU
doesn’t take issues of peace and security very seriously.”

“Zimbabwe hasn’t been the greatest supporter of human rights and the ZANU PF
wing of the unity government is still bent on preventing any protection of
human rights,” Kasambala added.

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Zim Villagers In Trouble Over Mugabe Praise Song

20 minutes ago

Chiweshe, May 30, 2011 - Three Chiweshe villagers are in trouble for
allegedly twisting a song in praise of President Robert Mugabe and his
deputies to also honour Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who formed a
coalition government with the octogenarian leader to extricate the country
from a decade long agonising economic and political crisis.

The three villagers Tafadzwa Chironga, Tinashe Chinyemba and Luckson Khumalo
were recently summoned to stand trial at Bindura Magistrates’ Court for
allegedly modifying a pro-Mugabe song by adding some lyrics in praise of his
long time arch-rival Tsvangirai.

Prosecutors say the villagers added the lyrics “navaTsvangirai” implying
“together with Tsvangirai” to a Mbare Chimurenga choir song with the lyrics
“chimbomirai makadaro” meaning “rule forever” which was being sang by some
Zanu (PF) activists at a soccer field in Chiweshe.

The prosecutors say by so doing the villagers contravened Section 41 of the
Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 for conduct likely
to provoke the breach of peace.

Chinyemba, Khumalo and Chironga are denying the allegations.

This is the second time in less than three months that Zimbabweans have
landed in trouble for allegedly modifying songs sung in praise of Mugabe. In
February, three residents of Penhalonga in Manicaland province were charged
under the same law for allegedly singing a corrupted version of Mbare
Chimurenga Choir’s Nyatsoteerera song at a funeral.

The residents, Faith Mudiwa, Patrick Chikoti and Phillip Dowera were accused
of having sung: “Nyatsoterera unzwe kupenga muhofisi mune mboko nyatsoterera
unzwe kupenga” and “Ngatishandei nesimba takabatana tibvise kamudhara aka
muoffice mupinde president wenyika Morgan Tsvangirai (Listen carefully to
the madman and idiot in the office. Let’s work hard to remove this old man
from office and install Tsvangirai).”

Mbare Chimurenga’s songs are currently enjoying unprecedented airplay on the
state-run radio and television channels.

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New Voters' Roll For Zim - ISS

9 hours 35 minutes ago

Harare, May 30, 2011 - A South African based Institute of Security Studies
(ISS) has called for a new voters' roll for Zimbabwe before fresh elections
are held.

The ISS report said Zimbabwe had four times higher the number of
centenarians on its voters roll when compared to its former colonial master
Britain, while people as young as two year olds were appearing as eligible

“Zimbabwe’s voter’s roll is beyond redemption and cannot even be used as one
of the building blocks in the construction of a new and authoritative voters’
roll. It simply has to be scrapped completely,” the report recommends.

The report, titled "Preventing Electoral Fraud in Zimbabwe" was handed over
to Zimbabwean authorities on Saturday. It is based on the latest version of
the voters roll which shows 41 119 centenarians.

“The UK, with a total population of over 60 million and an average life
expectancy of more than 30 years longer than Zimbabwe’s, has only 10 000
centenarians,” the report said raising doubts on the authenticity of the

According to the report, there are 19, 626 centenarians who are women, while
21,056 are men and 437 are of “uncertain gender”. The report states that 16
828 registered voters have the same date of birth: January 1, 1901. The
report also shows that in President Robert Mugabe home area---  Zvimba,
there are 1 101 of these 110-year-olds.

The ISS report said in Mount Darwin East, researchers found 118 registered
voters were older than 100 years; the majority were born on January 1 1901;
nine were born on January 1, 1905; and 25 were born on January 1, 1910.

In January, a report by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)
indicated that one third of the names appearing on voters roll were dead
while more than 2 000 were more than 100 years old.

The issue of the voters roll is one of the major sticking point between Zanu
(PF's) President Robert Mugabe and leader of the mainstream Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai ahead of the
elections--whose dates are yet to be announced.

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Mugabe Ally Escalates Push to Control Anglican Church

Published: May 29, 2011

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Religion, like politics, is often a dangerous business in
this country.

As President Robert Mugabe, 87, pushes for an election this year, the
harassment of independent churches seen as hostile to his government has

Truncheon-wielding riot police officers stormed a Nazarene church here in
the capital last month to break up a gathering called to pray for peace.
Days later, the authorities in Lupane arrested a Roman Catholic priest
leading a memorial service for civilians massacred in the early years of Mr.
Mugabe’s decades in power.

Mr. Mugabe, a Roman Catholic, recently denounced black bishops in
established churches as pawns of whites and the West, singling out for
special opprobrium Catholic bishops who have “a nauseating habit of
unnecessarily attacking his person,” the state-controlled Herald newspaper

But it is leaders of the Anglican Church, one of the country’s major
denominations, who have lately faced the most sustained pressure. Nolbert
Kunonga, an excommunicated Anglican bishop and staunch Mugabe ally, has
escalated a drive to control thousands of Anglican churches, schools and
properties across Zimbabwe and southern Africa.

“The throne is here,” declared Mr. Kunonga, who has held onto his bishopric
here in the sprawling diocese of Harare through courts widely seen as
partisan to Mr. Mugabe. He has also been backed by a police force answerable
to the president, whom Mr. Kunonga describes as “an angel.”

Chad Gandiya, who was selected by the Anglican hierarchy in central Africa
to replace Mr. Kunonga as bishop of Harare, said he was baffled by the
support for Mr. Kunonga from state security services since the church that
Bishop Gandiya leads is apolitical: “It’s not Kunonga we find at the church
gates, it’s the police. It’s not Kunonga who drives us out, who throws tear
gas at us, it’s the police. When we ask them why, they say they’re following

Anglican leaders here who have refused to submit to Mr. Kunonga’s authority
say they have been subjected to death threats, spied on by state agents and
blocked from worshiping in their churches or burying the dead in Anglican

Godfrey Tawonezvi, bishop of Masvingo, described a visit from two men, who
told him that Mr. Kunonga had instructed them to “eliminate” the five
bishops who stood in the way of his controlling the Anglican Church in
Zimbabwe. “They had all our phone numbers, our home addresses,” Mr.
Tawonezvi recalled.

Julius Makoni, the bishop of Manicaland, another of the five, said in an
interview, “We’re all being followed.”

Anglican leaders also suspect Kunonga loyalists of involvement in the
unsolved murder of Jessica Mandeya, a lay leader of a rural parish in
Mashonaland East who had refused to join the Kunonga faction. A grandmother
in her 80s, she was raped, mutilated and strangled in February.

“It’s very painful for me,” said Bishop Gandiya. “In one sense, she was
killed for me because she insisted on remaining in our church.”

Mrs. Mandeya had ministered to a congregation that met in a one-room church
claimed by the Kunonga faction, and the police raised the possibility that
her murder was related to the split in the church.

“She stood her ground,” said a family member who pleaded not to be named,
fearing for his own life.

In a three-hour interview in his office, Mr. Kunonga, a portly man with a
gravelly voice, scoffed at the idea that he or his allies had sought to have
anyone killed. In fact, if he had wanted anyone killed, he said, it would
have been Bishop Gandiya, his rival as the legitimate bishop of Harare.

But there was no need for violence, Mr. Kunonga said, because he was already
winning the legal battle to control church properties.

“You must have a very good reason to kill people,” he said. “Being a
political scientist, I know who to eliminate if I wanted to physically, and
to make it effective. I’m a strategist.”

Mr. Kunonga added, “If I want to pick on people to kill, Gandiya would not
survive here.” As for allegations that he and his men were involved in Mrs.
Mandeya’s killing, Mr. Kunonga retorted, “What would an illiterate
89-year-old woman do to me to deserve death or assassination?”

Mr. Kunonga’s aim, he and his adviser, the Rev. Admire Chisango, said, is
for their breakaway Anglican church to control about 3,000 churches,
schools, hospitals and other properties in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and
Malawi — a treasure accumulated since Anglican missionaries first arrived in
what is now Zimbabwe during the 19th century.

One of Mr. Kunonga’s bishops, accompanied by the police, went to the
Daramombe mission in Masvingo Province last month and asserted Mr. Kunonga’s
authority, threatening to fire those who did not submit, Bishop Tawonezvi
told his fellow bishops in an April 30 e-mail. The police repeatedly
returned to the mission, questioning the priests.

“Kunonga wants to invade Daramombe mission,” Mr. Tawonezvi wrote. “In the
name of God I say NO!”

Like Mr. Mugabe, who encouraged the violent confiscation of white-owned
commercial farms, Mr. Kunonga casts himself as a nationalist leader who is
Africanizing a church associated with British colonialism.

Mr. Kunonga, who earned a Ph.D. in religious studies from Northwestern
University and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary outside Chicago,
says that his success in controlling church properties is due to the
persuasiveness of his legal arguments in court, not Mr. Mugabe’s influence.

“I’m superior intellectually and from a legal point of view,” he said. “I’m
very superior to them.”

He vociferously supports Mr. Mugabe, and like many loyalists, he has been
richly rewarded. The ZANU-PF government bestowed on him a prized commercial
farm confiscated from white owners. Mr. Kunonga argued that his forebears
had lived on that very spot for centuries and that he was just repossessing
what was rightfully his.

“Politics can only help us take what we cannot take by ourselves,” he said.
“That’s what Mugabe did. That’s why he’s so dear.”

Mr. Kunonga often echoes Mr. Mugabe’s favorite themes, including the
president’s loathing for homosexuality. This issue provided Mr. Kunonga’s
rationale for withdrawing from the mainline Anglican church in 2007.

He claimed homosexual priests and congregants had gained influence in the
church, though mainline church leaders here, as a matter of policy, do not
conduct same-sex marriages or ordain gay priests. Bishops in the mainline
church saw Mr. Kunonga’s move as a power grab.

As Zimbabwe’s economy spiraled downward in 2008 — with millions hungry,
thousands dying of cholera and deadly political violence against Mr. Mugabe’s
opponents — riot police officers drove Anglican parishioners from the
churches. In an October 2008 letter to the police commissioner, included in
a dossier compiled by the mainline church, Mr. Kunonga listed parishes that
needed “monitoring.”

“We support the ruling party and we shall keep praying for peace and sanity
under the leadership of President Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe,” Mr.
Kunonga wrote the police commissioner.

Most Anglicans in Harare have remained in congregations under Bishop Gandiya
and the global Anglican Communion. They have been barred from worshiping in
Anglican churches, gathering instead in rented churches and schools, open
fields, even cemeteries. The police have interpreted court rulings as giving
the Kunonga faction control of church properties.

The archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, who leads the
Anglican Communion, wrote Mr. Mugabe this year, beseeching him to stop “the
continuing bullying, harassment and persecution” of Anglicans in Zimbabwe —
but received no reply, the archbishop’s press secretary said.

One recent Sunday morning, the magnificent Anglican Cathedral in downtown
Harare, once thronged by thousands of congregants, was mostly empty. Mr.
Kunonga sat among a smattering of parishioners.

Not far away, a thousand Anglicans packed a plain rented church not under
his authority. Beneath bare light bulbs dangling from unfinished rafters,
they joyously danced and sang to the beat of drums and listened raptly to
their charismatic young priest, Barnabas Munzwandi.

As the priest’s voice wafted into the yard outside where the overflow crowd
sat on the grass, Victoria Ngwere, a 38-year-old housewife, explained that
she had pushed her son, Raymond, miles in his wheelchair to get to services
rather than attend a Kunonga church nearer her home.

“Here I can feel free,” she said.

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Zanu-PF makes mileage out of sanctions

RAY NDLOVU May 30 2011 11:31

"To get to the root of a murder, interview the blacksmith who made the
machete," runs the Igbo proverb, lending credence to Zanu-PF's attempt to
blame every social ill and government failure in Zimbabwe on Western

Recently the Zanu-PF-controlled information and publicity ministry announced
that 2.2-million signatures had been garnered for the party's anti-sanctions
petition and 800 000 more remained to be collected.

Ministry official Anywhere Matambudzi said the signatures would be submitted
to the Southern African Development Community for a resolution to end the

Zanu-PF said it was thinking about using the petition as a legal basis for a
damages suit against the United States and European Union states that have
imposed sanctions.

Sanctions may affect only the foreign investment and travel privileges of
about 200 cronies of Robert Mugabe, but they are blamed for everything from
the potholes in the roads to the unavailability of certain dishes displayed
on hotel menus and the pathetic service offered by mobile phone operators.

Of course, the economic meltdown has nothing to do with Mugabe's destruction
of the country's historic mainstay, commercial agriculture.

Last month Deputy President Joyce Majuru had her own personal run-in with
the dastardly West, when she blamed sanctions for the three hours she had
spent cooling her heels in a malfunctioning lift at Zanu-PF's headquarters.

Sanctions have even undermined the effectiveness of Zimbabwe's
internationally admired police service, which asks citizens reporting
offences to provide transport to the scene of the crime because it has no
money for fuel.

The solution, which had seemed so elusive, is really simple: scrap sanctions
and Zimbabwe's long economic nightmare will disappear. Not.

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China bails out Harare City Council

Monday, 30 May 2011 11:31

Karren Shava,Staff Reporter

THE Harare City Council has signed a US$144 million deal with a Chinese
financial institution for use in water and sewage reticulation, waste
management and upgrading of the city's information and communication
technology (ICT), among other things.

In an interview with The Financial Gazette, Herman Karimakwenda, the finance
and development committee chairperson, confirmed the signing of the deal
between China Export and Import Bank (EximBank) in March this year.
"We haven't received the money yet, but it was negotiated and signed for on
March 21 this year by the Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti," said
"However, we are looking forward to use the money for water and sewage
reticulation, waste management and upgrading our ICT," he said.
The loan deal came after negotiations by Finance Minister, Tendai Biti, with
the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs in China, Fu Ziying, Vice-Minister of
Commerce, Li Rougu, and the president of the EximBank, Zhu Min, over
Zimbabwe's infrastructure projects that require immediate funding from the
list of 20 projects, which were submitted to the bank.
China was anxious to secure huge platinum deposits in Zimbabwe worth about
US$40 billion for a market price of US$3 billion. But this time around,
apart from government ministries, local authorities were also involved in
the negotiations.
According to council minutes, the director of Harare Water, Christopher
Zvobgo, reported that in 2009, government submitted a list of 20 priority
projects to EximBank for funding under the Concessional, Preferential and
Buyers' Credit Facilities.
"China's EximBank agreed to implement the projects in three phases: Phase
one involved financing the supply of fertiliser and agricultural equipment;
supply of medical equipment; and development and rehabilitation of the City
of Harare sewerage treatment plants," said Zvobgo.
Zvobgo further reported that council's delegation had been invited to China
by the Ministry of Finance to join government officials in negotiations for
a loan for the rehabilitation of the council's water and sewerage treatment
The main purpose of the visit was to finalise the terms of conditions of the
master loan facility of 2007.

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Circus in swing as Mutambara fires Ncube

May 30, 2011 2:13 pm

By Never Kadungure (Political Editor)

Zimbabwe’s depressing political climate was interrupted by the humorous
political circus in the smaller faction of the MDC. This after Deputy Prime
Minister Arthur Mutambara wrote to President Robert Mugabe and Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai claiming he has recalled Welshman Ncube from

Despite stepping down from the leadership of the MDC-M and handing over to
Ncube at the January congress, Mutambara made a sensational u-turn declaring
he did not recognize the congress that elected Ncube. He also refused to
step down from his post as Deputy Prime Minister after the MDC-N asked him
to do so.

Mutambara is now trying to sack Industry and Commerce Minister Ncube. He has
also written a letter to the president of the Senate Edna Madzongwe (Zanu
PF) saying Ncube must cease being a senator. Although Mugabe and Madzongwe
have not acknowledged receiving the letter Tsvangirai has reportedly done

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War veterans oppose reforms

Monday, 30 May 2011 12:09

Staff Reporter

VETERANS of Zimbabwe's liberation war have opposed proposed security sector
reforms proposedby the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations as
part of the country's roadmap to new polls, The Financial Gazette can
The two MDC formations, which are part of an inclusive government with
ZANU-PF, had also suggested that the former combatants' portfolio be removed
from the Ministry of Defence, which is currently in charge of their welfare.
The two former opposition political parties that broke ZANU-PF's
uninterrupted rule in 2009 after forcing the party into a coalition
government following bloody elections in 2008, justified the proposed
reforms saying the security forces had been part of widespread electoral
But the war veterans are fighting tooth and nail to maintain the status quo.
Many of them occupy powerful positions in the country's police, army,
intelligence and prison services.
Jabulani Sibanda, the war veterans' leader, described the demands for
reforms by the MDC formations as "nonsense".
"(Morgan) Tsvangirai did not fight for freedom and he does not know how to
keep that freedom. He must stop that nonsense. He is selling out," said
The war vets leader added that during last year's constitution outreach
meetings, liberation war fighters contributed their views countrywide and
these views should be a reference point on national issues.
As part of the election roadmap, ZANU-PF's coalition partners had also
sought a public statement from the security forces stating that they would
unequivocally uphold the constitution and respect the rule of law in the run
up to and following any election and referendum. The demand has been turned
down by ZANU-PF, which argues that political parties have no right to compel
the armed forces to issue political statements.
Opposition to security sector reforms within ZANU-PF reached a crescendo
last week when President Robert Mugabe said the country's security forces
were "well-established".
In an interview with the Southern Times ahead of a Southern African
Development Community (SADC) summit last week, the ZANU-PF leader said the
fact that the United Nations and other international institutions were
engaging Zimbabwe's security forces on peace-keeping missions in some
countries meant that they were reputable.
He added that the security forces had also contributed to peace keeping
missions in SADC countries such as Mozambique, during a civil war that
pitted rebel group, Renamo and that country's government.
"Security reforms are well-established. There is a format that establishes
them; there is a law that creates them. What reform is required? They are a
force that has a history, a political history. They have fought colonialism
in this country and brought about the independence that we have, the freedom
that we have, the multiparty system that we have that never existed before,"
said President Mugabe.

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Activists protest at UK home of CIO who was granted asylum

By Lance Guma
30 May 2011

Over the weekend dozens of MDC-T activists demonstrated at the Bristol home
of Phillip Machemedze, a former CIO agent controversially granted asylum in
the United Kingdom. Despite confessing to the kidnapping of dozens of MDC
activists and carrying out acts of torture "too gruesome to recount"
Machemedze and his wife were granted asylum under much criticized European
human rights legislation.

On Saturday MDC-T UK and Ireland chairman, Tonderai Samanyanga, led a group
of party members to protest outside Machemedze’s house. Some waved placards
written “Arrest him Now” and others said “Human Rights Abuser, Hague
Waiting.” Although Machemedze was not at home, Samanyanga said they met his
neighbours and other people in the community to press home their concerns.

Samanyanga told SW Radio Africa the Geneva Convention on Refugees “provides
for those who are running away from persecution” and not “self confessed
criminals who are perpetrators of such persecutions.” He said Machemedze
belongs in prison for crimes against humanity and that “it was not safe to
live in the same community with him in Zimbabwe and it’s still not safe for
the hunted to be refugees living in the same community with their hunters,”
in the UK.

The Zimbabwe Vigil who have been protesting in London against human rights
violations in Zimbabwe for almost nine years, also weighed in with similar
criticism. “Anger at the ridiculous decision to allow him to stay in the UK
is unlikely to flag, given the gruesome possibility that it could further
open the door to any torturer in the world to find haven in Britain under
crazy human rights legislation which seems to support the perpetrator of
abuses rather than the victim,” the group said.

The Zimbabwe Vigil also called on Machemedze to be tried in the UK under
“international laws against human rights violators. They went on to say;
“After all, he has admitted committing atrocities ‘too gruesome to recount’.
Otherwise he should be sent to The Hague for trial by the International
Criminal Court. A third possibility is that any of his victims who may be in
the UK should sue him in the British courts.”

Machemedze worked for the notorious CIO in Zimbabwe for almost four years.
In his UK asylum application he admitted to smashing the jaw of an MDC
activist with pliers. He stripped another activist naked and threatened to
force him to rape his daughters if he did not give information. In another
incident he electrocuted, slapped, beat and punched "to the point of being
unconscious" a white farmer suspected of donating money to the MDC. He is
also accused of amputating the limbs of MDC supporters so that they died

Although the UK Home Office rejected his asylum application in March this
year, a tribunal in May ruled he would be killed if returned to Zimbabwe.
Justice David Archer, of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber, ruled that
under the European Human Rights Convention Machemedze should be protected
from torture and threats to his life. But UK Home Secretary Theresa May has
already said they will launch a bid to overturn the ruling.

The case has received huge coverage in the British media. This week details
emerged of how 46 year old Machemedze, despite his violent past, worked as a
support worker for the Milestones Trust, a Bristol charity supporting people
with dementia, learning disabilities and mental health needs. Before that he
worked at a drug and alcohol recovery hospital known as The Priory in
Stapleton. His former employers all say it was ‘unfortunate’ his background
was not made known to them.

Also infuriating many British taxpayers is the fact that Machemedza and his
wife are living on social support benefits. It’s also being claimed he used
forged documents to look for work and the police are looking into this. In
theory asylum seekers whose cases are still being processed are not allowed
to work, but it seems Machemedze got around this.

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Human rights lawyers refute ZBC allegations of MDC sponsorship

by Irene Madongo
30 May, 2011

The director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), Irene Petras,
has dismissed claims by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) that her
organisation was paid by the MDC-T to protest at the recent SADC Summit.

Several members of Zimbabwean civic organisations travelled to Namibia this
month to lobby SADC leaders and to pressure them to lay out a clear plan for
democratic change in Zimbabwe. However some of them were harassed and
detained by Namibian security and Zimbabwean CIO officials, including
Petras, Joy Mabenge of the Institue for Democratic Alternatives for Zimbabwe
and freelance journalist Jealousy Mawarire. The trio were questioned and
released after an hour, while others were held under heavy police guard.

A ZBC news report later claimed ‘sources’ said that the civic organisations
had been paid by the MDC-T to influence the thinking of SADC and delay the
holding of elections. “The MDC-T party is reported to have sponsored the
so-called crisis coalition groups to Namibia, some who claim to be lawyers
for human rights, who were arrested for gate crashing at the Extraordinary
Summit in Windhoek,” the news report stated.

“The sources said just like in Namibia, the MDC-T plans to continue hiring
thugs and the so-called civil society, in their desperate attempt to
influence the thinking of SADC and delay the holding of elections under the
existing GPA roadmap. The civil society organisations, which include Crisis
Coalition of Zimbabwe (CCZ) and the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
have in the past been working closely with the MDC-T and in Namibia, the
likes of Irene Petras and several MDC-T hooligans tried to disturb the
summit but were eventually arrested by the Namibian police.”

On Monday Petras rubbished ZBC’s claims; “These are just falsehoods and
fantasies which we’ve come to expect from ZBC. When they don’t have any news
to tell the country, they decide to make up a story which they think will
generate interest,” she said.

She also attacked ZBC’s bias. “Every time there’s information which certain
parts of the state don’t want to hear they start attacking civil society. It’s
not a very friendly environment for civil society organisations. Because
there is control by one political party over the public media, they are able
to do what they want with impunity,” she stated.

ZBC has been widely criticised for continually churning out ZANU PF
propaganda and deliberately tarnishing the MDC-T. The abuse of the public
broadcaster and the government’s reluctance to licence private broadcasters,
are some of the problems blocking the full implementation of the Global
Political Agreement.

Petras said despite the attacks, ZLHR will not be deterred from attending
the next SADC meeting, pegged for June. “ZLHR has always provided
information about the political environment. And whether it is myself or
somebody else who attends, we’ve got a right to be able to travel freely. We’ve
got a right as civil society to be able to put our concerns across and we
have a right to present the information that we have to those who are going
to be making decisions about our political future. ZLHR will continue with
its work and we will not be threatened or intimidated,” she said.

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COPAC extends thematic committee stage by five days

By Tichaona Sibanda
30 May 2011

Delegates working on COPAC’s thematic committee stages have been given five
extra days to finish organising data collected during last year’s outreach

Initially the process was due to have ended over the weekend but the sheer
size of data collected has made it impossible for the job to be completed in
two weeks.

‘COPAC has provisionally given delegates another five days to try and finish
compressing the date into a usable format. This data will be sent to
analysts who will go through the information before they pass it over to the
drafting team,’ our correspondent Simon Muchemwa said.

Muchemwa said COPAC has sent out an SOS to donors for funds to enable the
process to proceed to the next stage. He said drawing up of a new
constitution has now reached a critical stage and an extra $1,8 million was
needed to finish the job.

‘I have been told that the thematic committee stage was the most difficult
part of this exercise. In five days I believe the data will be transferred
to analysts who will work on the information before they hand it over to a
team of drafters,’ Muchemwa said.

The drawing up of a new constitution is aimed at boosting civil liberties,
addressing corruption and placing greater checks on presidential power.

But there are also reports that COPAC owes a lot of money to service
providers and delegates.

Muchemwa said about 300 people are owed about $1,500 each while hotels and
companies that offered services to COPAC are still owed substantial monies.

‘Paul Mangwana is on record saying COPAC will pay its dues,’ Muchemwa said,
adding that some delegates were however pessimistic they will be paid the
outstanding monies.

Public relations company Glomedia has also just taken COPAC to court,
demanding more than $200,000 in outstanding fees. Glomedia, run by a former
ZBC producer, sent the legal summons to COPAC Parliamentary and
Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga, co-chairpersons Paul
Mangwana of ZANU PF, Douglas Mwonzora from Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's MDC and Edward Mkhosi of the smaller faction of the MDC.

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Zim urged to stay away from dollar

by Tobias Manyuchi     Monday 30 May 2011

HARARE – One of Zimbabwe’s leading investment firms, Tetrad, has warned
against calls by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono for the
reintroduction of a Zimbabwe dollar pegged on gold, saying such a move was
fraught with problems especially because of limited supply of the yellow

"Adoption of the gold standard will likely result in cash shortages," Tetrad
said, speaking after calls by Gono in recent weeks for the government to
adopt the gold standard to value a new Zimbabwe dollar.

"History has shown that when cash is in short supply, it does not circulate
freely in the economy. This would further stifle economic growth as very few
people use plastic money," the investment company said in its weekly
economic bulletin released at the weekend.

The gold standard is when a country pegs its domestic currency in terms of a
specific amount of gold held.

Tetrad said Zimbabwe is expecting to produce 13,500 kg of gold in 2011,
which translates to approximately 434,035 troy ounces.

"If this is converted at the current market price of the bullion of
approximately US1,500 the money to be printed would amount to approximately
US$651 million.

"This is insufficient for our economy. Deposits in the banking sector
estimated are still not enough for the needs of the whole economy."

Tetrad also warned that "the introduction of the Zimbabwean dollar is likely
to be met with resistance. For starters, the government is yet to reimburse
individuals Zimdollar balances that were in their bank accounts when the
economy dollarised."

According to the Chamber of Mines, yellow metal 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.

Currently, no country in the world is using gold to value its currency after
it was abandoned by USA government in 1971.

Zimbabwe abandoned its inflation-ravaged dollar in January 2009 to adopt a
basket of foreign currencies – mainly the South African rand and the United
States dollar – to try to pluck the once prosperous country out of a crisis
brought about by a decade-long economic recession.

The use of more stable foreign currencies has helped stabilise prices after
a decade of hyperinflation.

The unity government of President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai has said it wants the local dollar to be reintroduced only when
industrial output reaches about 60 percent of capacity from the current
levels of between 30 and 40 percent. -- ZimOnline

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Army Chief hails Sino-Zimbabwe military ties

Written by Zimdaily
Monday, 30 May 2011 10:21

ZIMBABWE – ZIMBABWE is grateful for the support it has received from China
dating back to the colonial period, Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces
General Constantine Chiwenga  said yesterday.

Speaking at a dinner he hosted for the visiting Chinese Member of the Senior
Military Commission, Air Chief Marshal Xu Qiliang and his delegation in
Harare last night, Gen Chiwenga said China had stood by Zimbabwe during
trying times.

“I want to thank People’s Republic of China for finding it necessary to
stand by Zimbabwe in her hour of need. We needed your support yesterday, we
still need it today and we shall still need your support tomorrow.

“Indeed, it is with no doubt that without the help from the (Chinese) People’s
Liberation Army, the challenges for the ZDF could have been harder to

“Zimbabwe shall always remember and remain indebted to China for her stand
in the UN Security Council meeting of 12th July 2008 where China exercised
her veto power against imposition of UN sanctions against Zimbabwe under the
sinister Chapter V11, which has been used to abuse smaller and weaker
nations endowed with resources,” Gen Chiwenga said.

He thanked China for the military assistance to the ZDF through training and
supply of military hardware.

“The ZDF has always found the PLA to be a strategic partner and will always
be proud to be associated with it.

“We sincerely acknowledge the pivotal role being played by the People’s
Liberation Army instructors at the Zimbabwe Staff College and we hope this
will be extended to other future programmes of mutual interest between the
two defence forces,” he said.

Air Chief Marshal Xu also hailed the relations between the two countries.

He said Zimbabwe was a renowned country with a rich history and hospitable

Air Chief Marshal Xu said his delegation’s visit sought to enhance military
relations between Harare and Beijing.

“The purpose of my visit is to enhance the traditional relationship between
the two militaries with the two air forces in particular,”

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Britain should start engaging Zimbabwe as Mugabe's time come to an end

30/05/2011 00:31:00    By Michael Holman - Financial Times

ON the economic front, there is a modest easing of a crisis that began some
10 years ago with the seizure of commercial farms, abetted and enforced by

Inflation has been brought down to double figures after the astronomical
level of the past. Goods are back on supermarket shelves (albeit at a price
beyond the reach of many).

But political tensions put economic gains at risk. As promised elections
draw nearer, voter intimidation by the Zanu PF is on the rise and a nervous
population seeks assurances about post-Mugabe Zimbabwe. If ever there were a
time for constructive external advice, it is now.

Yet rather than encouraging contact, London appears to have ordered its
embassy in Harare to do little more than keep a diplomatic death watch, as
if Mr Mugabe’s demise will mark the removal of the obstacle on the country’s
road to peace and democracy. Maybe. But there is also a case for fearing
that his death will be a catalyst for violence.

Expectations of his imminent passing have created a febrile atmosphere in
the ranks of his Zanu-PF party, which shares power in an uneasy coalition.
Far from seeking to restore honest governance, Mr Mugabe’s would-be
successors plot and scheme, seeking ways to protect vested interests.

On the other side of the political divide, opponents anticipate revenge for
those who lost their lives at the hands of state-sanctioned thugs and mourn
the hundreds of thousands who died as a result of hunger and disease,
brought about by gross mismanagement.

Others bitterly recall the army’s slaughter of some 20,000 civilians in the
southern province of Matabeleland in the early 1980s – and their demand for
retribution could well exacerbate ethnic tensions between the country’s
Shona majority and the Ndebele.

Meanwhile, efforts by southern African leaders to resolve the crisis are
again running into the sand. The commitment to "free and fair" elections,
the cornerstone of a fragile agreement that brought the opposition into
government, has been fatally undermined. There is convincing evidence that
Mr Mugabe’s agents have fiddled the electoral register.

The need to ease these tensions, encourage contacts that go beyond the
formal and official and break a deadlock seems clear. However, when a senior
British politician this month indicated his willingness to respond to an
overture from Harare and meet Mr Mugabe for a private exchange, provided
such an initiative had the Foreign Office blessing, the response from London
was unequivocal.

If there were to be any contact, said an official, it would be between the
two governments. But as matters stood, ministers were "determined" to have
nothing to do with the regime "directly or indirectly".

This London-knows-best attitude contrasts starkly with the treatment of the
white minority regime of Ian Smith, which issued a unilateral declaration of
independence in 1965. This act of defiance led to a guerrilla war, which
ended with an independence constitution negotiated at London’s Lancaster
House in 1979.

During these years, scarcely a month went by without a diplomatic initiative
of one sort or another, in which the way had been paved by a succession of
intermediaries and honest brokers. Today, the need for reconciliation is
almost as urgent.

The agenda might include the merit of an amnesty for those who admit and
repent their political and economic crimes, for example; or urging the
Commonwealth to play a greater role; or seeking the support of the
governments of Mozambique and Zambia to provide land for the resettlement of
Zimbabwe’s commercial farmers.

Far from keeping a distance from such discussions, Britain should be active
in promoting them – not just biding time until the passing of Zimbabwe’s
leader. The experience of Lancaster House should be kept in mind. Three
decades later, it is time that talking began again. - Financial Times

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Pensioners sing the blues

Monday, 30 May 2011 12:07

Nelson Chenga, Staff Reporter

THREE years after all their life's savings vanished from under their noses,
when a nasty twist of fate snuffed life out of the Zimbabwe dollar,
pensioners thro-ughout the country face a bleak future.
The collapse of the local unit has had a devastating effect on pensioners
who are wallowing in abject poverty.
Some of the pensioners have been left ruined psychologically because of the
trauma of losing savings they worked for over the years.
And somewhat still embarrassed by their failure to offer the retirement
cover they had promised, pension fund executives are in a quandary. They
recently met in the resort town of Victoria Falls for a post-mortem of
events of the past decade or so in an attempt to chart a new course towards
regaining stakeholders' confidence.
After the post-mor-tem, organised by the Zimbabwe Association of Pension
Funds, participants were unanimous that something must be done urgently
about the welfare of their old contributors whose contributions were
swallowed at dollarisation if the industry is to attract new business.
There was also a resonating call among the delegates for a possible
government bailout as one of the quickest ways for the industry to honour
its promises to pensioners and rise from the doldrums.
Despite the common vision on the job at hand many potholes litter the road
to bringing back smiles on the faces of pensioners. Most of these pensioners
are currently receiving a paltry US$10 every month as gratuity, barely
enough for bus fare to and from the bank for the majority of them now living
in communal areas.
With the country's economy battling to plug a serious liquidity crunch,
spurred by poor performance in all economic sectors, pension funds are in a
dilemma as pressure mounts from pensioners to have their incomes reviewed
"It's going to be a bumpy road," Doug Mamvura, a seasoned marketer and chief
exe-cutive officer of African Integrated Group, said.
Describing the pension fund industry as a sector still in crisis after
losing all the savings at the height of the hyperinflationary era, Mam-vura
urged the sector to engage in serious soul searching.
Currently, the industry is facing viability challenges as revenue streams
remain dry while asset values are below the red line: This is against the
backdrop of rising expectations from the eagerly expectant pensioners.
"Stop skirting aro-und issues while people are suffering. You have to be
accountable. If you don't clean the mess how do you expect to attract the
new clients and markets? Cleanse yourself. Explain what happened.
Communicate with and educate the public . . . Restore the dignity of the
pensioner," said Mamvura.
In trying to unpack the dilemma facing the industry chief actuary at African
Actuarial Cons-ultants, David Mure-riwa, said: "The stark reality at
dollarisation was that the assets backing liabilities were lowly valued."
Policies and schemes in Zimbabwe were mai-nly backed by equities, bonds,
property and cash which normally offer good hedges against inflation, said
He however added that: ". . . in spite of the high nominal returns prior to
conversion, the underlying value of equities had to reflect the economic
activity of companies on the ground minus hyperinflation. Most companies, if
not all, listed on the Zimbabwean market were operating at below their
capacity because of the low economic activity, hence the low values depicted
by their market price.
"The hyperinflation environment prior to dollarisation rendered government
stocks and corporate bonds worthless.
"At dollarisation, because of the depre-ssed economic activities on the
ground, most properties had no tenants and even up to now there are a lot of
empty offices in towns.
"Also, due to liquidity constraints the demand for properties was quite low,
which resulted in low property values. What this means is that at conversion
most property values were also depre-ssed.
"At dollarisation all cash balances were rendered zero. This means that
there were no cash balances backing policies and schemes at conversion."
In simple terms, pension funds went bust and very little could be done about
it prompting some pensioners to push hard for litigation against the pension
funds for the massive loss of incomes.
Complicating the whole scenario is the fact that there is no Zimbabwe dollar
to US dollar conversion guid-eline available for pension funds to salvage
something out of the ashes of the dead Zimbabwe dollar, whi-ch raises
controversy each time there is debate on whether to resuscitate it or not.
While pension funds seemed to agree that they are comfortable without the
Zimbabwe dollar, Kingdom Fina-ncial Holdings Limited chief executive
officer, Lynn Mukonoweshuro, noted that there was pressure on the government
to reintroduce the local currency because it is a national symbol that
embodies the country's national sovereignty.
Despite all the underlying turbulence, pension funds are still relevant in
Zimbabwe because they still provide the only source of income for most low
income retirees and are still one of the few savings platforms available.
Pension funds are also critical for mobilising investment funds in the most
sustainable way. But in order for the pension funds to rema-in relevant,
industry players must explore new ways of doing business.

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Bob's scholarship benefits few

By Bridget Mananavire, Staff Writer
Monday, 30 May 2011 18:42

HARARE - Whilst Zimbabwe is investing millions of dollars for students to
study in South Africa under the Presidential Scholarship scheme, just a
handful of the beneficiaries return with their knowledge to benefit

Ironically, the multimillion dollar scheme goes to the development of South
Africa and its universities.

However, there are players in the country that have realised the inadequacy
of the presidential scholarship and taken the initiative to help the
disadvantaged children to acquire degrees locally and overseas.

These include, The Joshua Nkomo Scholarship which is run and funded by
Econet Wireless and United States Student Achievers Programme (USap) run the
by The US Embassy.

USap targets academically-talented, economically-disadvantaged “A” level
students with leadership potential and an ethos of giving back to community.
It finances their application process to colleges and universities which can
offer them full funding, and assist them throughout the application process.

“We work with 30-32 students every year in USAP.  However, our EducationUSA
advising centres works with over 200 students each year, financial aid in
the United States is offered one year at a time, renewable based on the fact
that the student is still a full time student in good standing and with
stipulated academic requirements.” Rebecca Zeigler Mano EducationUSA advisor
at US Embassy, said.

“This year we expect 28 USap students from the cohort of 32 to begin studies
in August, fully funded. We are currently reviewing over 700 applications
for 30 spaces in this year’s USap cohort,” she said.

Mano also revealed that there are currently over 1 200 Zimbabwean students
studying in the United States at a variety of colleges and universities,
many of whom are fully or substantially funded by the US institutions
through financial aid and scholarships.

Mano said: “It is our hope that students will return to Zimbabwe to be part
of their home country, but obviously that choice is up to the student
because US college and university scholarships do not bind students and
allow them to make the professional and personal choices they deem best for
their future once they have graduated.”

The Joshua Nkomo Scholarship is awarded to gifted Zimbabwean students going
into lower six and University and is awarded to ten deserving students from
each province annually.

Ranga Mberi, corporate communications manager at Econet Wireless said, “To
date, at least 500 have benefitted. The selection process is fair,
consistent and transparent, the criteria for selection is academic
excellence and a strong sense of commitment to their communities. This is
because our programme is designed to build people into strong and positive
members of their communities.”

About 1 500 students who are aligned to Zanu-PF benefit from the scholarship
to go to various universities in South Africa such as Fort Hare, University
of Johannesburg, Venda, KwaZulu-Natal, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and
Free State as well as the prestigious universities of Witwatersrand, Rhodes
and Cape Town.

According to supporters of the scheme, the students will learn skills that
they will bring home, but statistics show that most of the sponsored
students go on to get jobs in South Africa rather than return to Zimbabwe.

In sharp contrast to the million invested in offshore scholarships, local
universities are left crumbling because of lack of adequate resources whilst
an estimated $54 million dollars go to the students studying in SA under the
presidential scholarship scheme.

“The presidential scholarship scheme is a violation to indigenisation
because money from our resources is going to the development of SA
universities. We applaud the move by Minister of Finance Tendai Biti to stop
funding the scheme, but we are calling an end to it so that the money can go
upgrading our own universities which are deteriorating,” Zimbabwe National
Students Union (Zinasu) president Obert Masaraure said.

Universities like the National University of Science and Technology (Nust)
have got two complete buildings (admin block and Delta) and two other
functional though not complete.

Construction of the library is on hold and students have to do with a small
library in town, away from campus.

At the Midlands State University about 11 000 students have to share 10
computers that are available at the library which is itself under stocked.

“We also have many students who are being turned away at examination halls
from writing their exams because of outstanding fees,” said Masaraure.

The scheme was established by President Robert Mugabe to help young
Zimbabweans from poor backgrounds attain a meaningful education at a time
when the country only had one university.

But reports from former students at South African universities tell sad
stories of moral decadence among some who come from well-heeled families.

The self-indulgence that engulfs Wits University each Wednesday, during what
is known as “Rugby Night”, knows no gender, the former students say.

As a result some of the students from wealthy Zimbabwean families’ pay Bob’s
children (Bob’s children refers to necessitous students that are funded by
the Zimbabwean government through the presidential scholarship programme) to
do assignments and projects that contribute between 50% and 60% to final
marks on their behalf school to keep pace with the demanding academic work

This has not been the case since it has been politicised and the students
benefiting are not deserving of the scholarship as they can afford but are
closely linked with Zanu-PF.  In October 2009 ten Zimbabwean students at the
Fort Hare University in South Africa were kicked out of the Scholarship
Fund, for allegedly supporting the MDC.

And during a parliamentary debate last year, MPs from both MDC parties said
the Presidential Scholarship was being run in a non-transparent manner and
did not benefit the intended beneficiaries, the less privileged in society.

Kadoma Central MP Editor Matamisa said children of the “big fish” in Zanu PF
were the sole beneficiaries. “Some people who have gone to universities in
South Africa are sons and daughters of loyal Zanu PF bigwigs,” she said.

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DIANNA GAMES: African conglomerates present new competition for SA firms

DOZENS of international fund managers gathered in a Harare hotel this month
to watch Zimbabwean companies parade their wares.
Published: 2011/05/30 07:21:20 AM

DOZENS of international fund managers gathered in a Harare hotel this month
to watch Zimbabwean companies parade their wares. They were not
disappointed. Myriad PowerPoint presentations showed steep curves of growth,
production, volumes and many other measures of economic success — albeit off
a low base. The event was Imara Africa Securities’ Zimbabwe road show, which
aims to show the world what the country’s companies have to offer investors.

Emerging from the economic black hole that preceded "dollarisation" of the
economy in 2009, Zimbabwean managers have moved quickly to rebuild
operations and take advantage of improvements in the economy.

A key constraint has been the lack of liquidity in the market and limited
take-up of rights issues on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. There are other
problems, not least high political risk. Nevertheless, the historical
underlying strength of Zimbabwe’s private sector was clear at the Harare
event. Rather than waiting for substantive political change, companies are
finding innovative ways to build capacity, court investment and grow market

Despite the battering of the past decade, Zimbabwe is home to a growing
number of African conglomerates and multinationals — beneficiaries and
drivers of the continent’s growth. A 2010 survey by the US-based Boston
Consulting Group claimed that investment by African companies had increased
by more than 80% a year over the past decade. Regardless of the accuracy of
this figure, it is clear that Africans are now grasping the opportunities
foreigners have exploited.

Although South African companies and their cross-border subsidiaries still
dominate the proliferation of lists ranking sub-Saharan Africa’s companies,
new names are emerging. One of these is Nigeria’s Dangote Group, a
conglomerate that sells everything from salt and pasta to cement. Its
fortunes have been boosted by local protectionist measures but it has used
this advantage to expand regionally. Another is Nigeria’s oil and gas
company, Oando . The aggressive expansion of Nigerian banks has swamped West
Africa; the economic giant is now the biggest investor in Ghana outside the
resources sector.

In East Africa, regional integration drives indigenous private sector
growth. A strong regional framework under the East African Community has
seen banks, retailers and hotel groups from Kenya lead the charge into
neighbouring member states.

A significant driver of African private sector growth is private equity.
According to Ernst & Young’s annual survey of merger and acquisitions, last
year there was a 406% jump in total proceeds of initial public offerings
(IPOs) across Africa. Although this was dominated by just four South African
deals, there has been IPO activity on other large African stock exchanges.
The emergence of an increasing number of well-capitalised dedicated African
funds is driving portfolio investment in African stocks. The African
diaspora is also playing a role — many international funds and investment
banks are headed by Africans, who have a nose for good investments in their
former homes, and some are bringing their professional skills back to build
African companies. African parastatals are also building international
operations, particularly national oil companies such as Angola’s Sonangol,
and Sonatrach in Algeria. SA’s parastatals have not fared well in Africa and
most have pulled back to focus on local operations.

West African banking group Ecobank Transnational, with operations in 29
countries, reflects the view of its CEO, Arnold Ekpe, that African- owned
companies have a competitive advantage on the continent as they understand
Africa’s particular risks better than foreign investors. This is changing as
new investors from other developing countries invest in Africa as they, too,
understand the nature of such markets given the similarity of Africa’s
typical operating conditions to their own.

SA is a market most African companies have avoided due to stiff competition
and high barriers to entry.

The growth of African conglomerates presents new competition to SA’s
companies in other markets.

But it also provides them with a better potential choice of sound
acquisition targets to help them fend off rising competition from outside
the continent.

• Games is vice-president of The Africa Advisors, part of Global Pacific &
Partner, organisers of the June 7 event on African conglomerates.

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Farm invasions: When will it end?

Monday, 30 May 2011 12:00

"THERE is enough for everybody's need not for everybody's greed," said
Mahatma Gandhi. How true indeed.
I think it is a tragedy that more than 10 years down the road, there appears
to be no end to Zimbabwe's land reform process.
As isolated the incidents maybe, farm invasions are continually happening
with about 100 white commercial farmers throughout the country reportedly
under pressure to leave their farms.
Recent media reports of farmers in Chipinge, Manicaland and Pomona in the
outskirts of Harare are a case in point.
Much of this current programme of farm evictions and harassment is being
driven by greed and senseless acquisition and nothing else. There is a lot
of prime land which now lies uncultivated and derelict. Why not move there?
Why do these perpetual new farmers, brandishing so called offer letters,
want to force commercial farmers off their farms just as the crops are ready
to reap? Crops that these cellphone farmers would not have put into the
ground themselves in the first place? Talk of sharks waiting to reap where
they did not sow!
In the face of this endless programme of harassment of committed commercial
farmers, is there any hope of bringing stability, security, progress and
productivity to Zimbabwean agriculture?
This is the question that is in the uppermost of my mind everyday. For how
long can this continue? Can Zimbabwe turn around its fortunes when farming
operations are disrupted season after season?
I am sure a lot of my countrymen and women particularly those in positions
of power and influence may want to ponder these questions I am posing.
The fact that we have the Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and
Integration is an acknowledgement that our land is in need of healing. Is
this the way to heal it? Clearly, the political leadership cannot afford to
sit back and do nothing.
We need to stop the farm invasions. It is that simple! The inclusive
government has to show leadership. The answer simply lies in the hands of
the political leaders particularly the Head of State and Government. Our
land needs to be healed Mr. President. The invasions are not doing our
country any good at all.
The supreme lesson of this day and age is that people who are free go right
ahead through sacrifice and self-effort and not loot other people's wealth
and strip their assets.
There is indeed enough for everybody's need and not for everybody's greed.
Most Zimbabweans feel morally outraged at the conduct of these farm invaders
more than 10 years after the onset of the land reform programme.
We cannot continue chasing citizens of Zimbabwe who have the knowledge,
expertise and capital off the farms.
It distresses me to be a citizen of a country where there is no rule of law
and where some people are free to confiscate anything someone else has
worked and sweated for.
Land is invariably linked to the crisis in Zimbabwe and therefore cannot be
separated from other fundamental issues like the economy, peace, the rule of
law and good governance.
We have a crisis of confidence when people both at home and abroad perceive
that the Government of Zimbabwe is not committed to democracy, property
rights, human rights and the rule of law.
It is a fact that has consequences on foreign policy decisions and financial
decisions by investors and institutions across the world.
Land is a finite resource that should have a time frame in terms of
distribution and should equally be distributed in a transparent and
accountable manner for the same land will be needed by future generations.
It cannot be done haphazardly and with no end in sight. Zimbabwe cannot
develop in a situation of endless violence and instability. That is why the
continued instability on the commercial farms has become a matter of
national concern. The fact that the remaining white Zimbab-wean commercial
farmers have risked everything to put in a crop year after year since the
year 2000 is really due to their extreme resilience.
I want to conclude by pointing out that the time for real action to stop the
farm invasions and solve our own problems is long overdue. This country has
to move on. What matters in the final analysis is not how you and me feel
but how the government acts, how our rulers act. They have to show real
Our neighbours, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries
appear to be giving up on us because they feel we cannot be helped.
SADC is becoming fed up with us on all fronts - political, economic and
everything else. Our intransigence in the face of our neighbours wanting to
genuinely lift us out of our man made hole has become legendary.
What kind of people are we, what kind of leadership are we that create
crisis after crisis? Have we become children of a lesser God?
May the Lord our God empower the political leaders of this country with the
wisdom, courage and the strength that is needed for our time!

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State of prisons deplorable

Monday, 30 May 2011 11:59

Matters legal with Vote Muza

THE deplorable state in which our prisons and police detention facilities
are in is a cause for concern to anyone with respect for human dignity.
Human rights groups led by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and the Law
Society of Zimbabwe have in the past challenged the dehumanising conditions
of police cells as being unconstitutional but little success has been
Relying on a technical aspect of evidence, the Supreme Court declined to
confirm that with the exception of Matapi police station the majority of
police stations do not meet detention standards set internationally and
Despite the setback more pressure needs to be exerted on government so that
it urgently addre-sses the numerous problems that have perennially dogged
our prison system. It is high time our penal system joined the tide and
introduced modern standards that ensure that prisoners are acc-orded rights
in line with the spirit of fair treatment of fellow hum-ans.
To minimise the potential of violating prisoners' rights by incarcerating
them in uninhabitable institutions, drastic as well as gradual remedial
steps need to be taken to transform not only the prisons but the police
cells as well.
Perhaps as a starting point government needs to set up a commission of
inquiry that would through an objective assessment of the facts, establish
the extent of the degeneration and come up with recommendations that can
assist in correcting the current anomalies. Well-documented rep-orts of
prisoner torture exist.
Other problems besetting the prison service are overcrowding, epidemics, HIV
and Aids, homosexuality, inadequate health facilities, undernourishment,
shortage of bedding and clothing among others.
There is no doubt that being in a Zimbabwean prison is a horrible experience
or a living nightmare that no sane adult would want to go through. The
perception by many members of the public is that our prisons are death traps
because of the way they are infested with diseases as a result of poor
hygienic conditions.
It must be noted that Zimb-abwe as a member of the United Nations signed the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights thereby committing itself to the noble
cause of upholding fundamental rights of its citizens. However, as has been
evidenced by our government's actions in the past, signing international
statutes is an easy task but implementing or upholding its commitment to
these statutes is deliberately made an onerous responsibility.
Zimbabwean prisons and poli-ce detention facilities continue to be at the
forefront of violating detainee rights despite several United Nations
conventions, protocols, declarations and treaties outlawing prisoner or
detainee abuse.
In 1990 the United Nations general assembly passed a resolution called the
Basic Principles for Treatment of Prisoners. In terms of this law all
prisoners shall be treated with the respect due to their inherent dignity
and value as human beings.
Among other principles, this international statute also provides that
prisoners shall have access to medical services available in the country
without discrimination on the ground of their legal situation. In failing to
observe these important international laws, our government repeatedly
pointed to economic problems.
However, such an excuse appears to be mere scapegoating because some of the
problems bedevilling our prison system developed during the time the economy
was performing.
It appears that the issue of prisoner rights has not been given priority
because to the powers-that- be this is a peripheral matter that is of little
significance. The fundamental purpose of a modern day prison is to
rehabilitate rather that mete retribution to an individual.
In other words it is no longer the thrust of democratic legal systems to
torture the human spirit and make it go through horrifying indignities to
soothe society. Retribution as a form of punishment is an anachronism, is
cruel and inconsistent with modern day democratic trends.
Gone are the days when prisoners and convicts used to be treated as people
with no rights. While it is true that a person incarcerated has certain of
his rights diminished, for example the right to freedom of movement, basic
rights to protect a human's dignity must be observed.
Thus a prisoner must be properly fed, clothed and his/her place of detention
must conform to fair standards of habitation.
To the contrary the current state of our prisons is pathetic. Most of the
structures were built during the colonial times and are in a state of
A visit to most of these institutions will make one encounter scores of
convicts and suspects awaiting trial walking half naked and barefoot because
the state cannot afford to clothe them properly.
This sorry state of affairs can be corrected if stakeholders put their heads
together to adopt measures similar to those our neighbours have introduced
in order to modernise our prisons.
Prisoners need to be empowered through training in various disciplines
rather than making them sweat in scenes reminiscent of the slavery days on
farms belonging to senior politicians.
The private sector and the department of prisons should co-operate by making
sure that those prisoners who are able are given training in, say,
carpentry, construction, dressmaking, agriculture and many other possible
careers. Government can avoid a lot of cost by permitting awaiting trial
prisoners to wear private clothes during the period of their detention.
Our courts have been very sensitive to the plight of prisoners and as a
result rules have been introduced to guard against lengthy custodial
remands, unnecessary prison terms and decongesting our prisons.
The punishment of community service was introduced in the early 90s and ever
since it has grown in popularity because of the way it is rehabilitative and
pro-integration rather than retributive.

- Vote Muza is a partner with Muza and Nyapadi Legal Practitoners. E-mail;
muza ; Website;

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Repression of the Press in Zimbabwe

Stephen Tsoroti
May 24, 2011

To date, Zimbabweans have the privilege to read a handful of independent
newspapers, courtesy of the government of national unity, which has
proffered the need for press freedom and access to information. Yet this has
not translated into real press freedom, as more arrests of journalists,
impromptu searches, raids on media houses and general abuse of media
personalities is the order of the day.

Reporting in Zimbabwe is still a risky affair, especially for reporters with
a reputation for what government considers rogue journalism. The Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) still extends risks to
independent journalists. The act has been applied several times to justify
the arrest and intimidation of independent journalists and has been used in
the prosecution of several journalists in country courts. AIPPA and the
Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) have yet to be amended and implemented,

AIPPA has arbitrarily curtailed freedom of expression, by imposing
unconstitutional restrictions on the practice of journalism. The law vests
excessive power in the government-appointed Media and Information Commission
(MIC) to determine who can and cannot practice journalism or register media
organizations, and for how long. In addition, both AIPPA and the BSA impose
stringent licensing conditions that have effectively paralyzed the
development of private media. AIPPA imposes heavy criminal penalties for
minor administrative offenses, which are often selectively applied against
the private media.

The same law was responsible in the shutting down of four private
newspapers: The Daily News andthe Daily News on Sunday in September 2003,
The Tribune in June 2004, and The Weekly Times in February 2005. The
Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has not licensed a single private
broadcaster six years after the Supreme Court ruling striking down the state
broadcaster's monopoly as unconstitutional. As a result, a de facto monopoly
still persists. Both the MIC and BAZ were then heavily staffed by government
appointees in contravention of the 2002 African Commission's fact-finding
mission's report recommending that any mechanism that regulates access to
broadcast media should be accountable to the public to reduce susceptibility
to "control and political patronage."

Luke Timborinyoka wrote in New Zimbabwe, "The media, particularly the public
media, have a critical role to play in healing the nation and giving
Zimbabweans every reason to hope again." He continued, "As a society, we
have been traumatized and lived long in an atmosphere of violence and
intolerance; a cauldron of suspicion and hate and a dark and deep fog that
has blurred us from the bright and inviting future that beckons in the

Marking the World Press Freedom day, U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray
observes that, although parts of the media have been liberalized, the
working environment for journalists remains legally perilous, which leads
some media houses to practice self-censorship. According to global media
representative bodies' barometers, Zimbabwe is ranked as one of the worst
violators of press freedom and has also been described by the United States,
alongside Burma and North Korea, as an "outpost of tyranny."

Recently, the ugly side of press repression visited the editor's office.
NewsDay's office was broken into and newsroom computers were vandalized.
Editor Brian Mangwende writes the much-followed weekly column "From the
Editor's Bottom Drawer," which is critical of political injustices and
social ills. His laptop was stolen, along with hard drives of other senior
editorial staff.

There are other examples that freedom of the press is under attack in this
country: the arrest of Sydney Saize; the incarceration of two Botswana
Television reporters in Plumtree for investigating an outbreak of
foot-and-mouth; the thumping of Harare-based freelance journalist Gift Phiri
by suspected security agents; the arrest of VOP directors including John
Masuku, and the subsequent closure of their radio station.

Media watchdog organization The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe commented
that the official media has basically ignored civil society's calls for
extensive media reforms, limiting themselves to lobbying for the removal of
targeted Western travel embargoes imposed on some of their journalists for
alleged dissemination of hate speech. It also publicized Permanent Secretary
of Information and Publicity George Charamba's threats to ban Western and
European journalists from covering events in Zimbabwe in retaliation after
ZBC chief correspondent Reuben Barwe was denied a visa by the Italian
Embassy in Harare to travel to the Vatican with President Mugabe to witness
the beatification of the late Pope John Paul II.

Although it still has a long way to go, press freedom has made some strides
in Zimbabwe. It was not long ago that independent news organizations like
The African Daily News, Catholic Moto Magazine and the Zimbabwe Observer
were banned for supporting Zimbabwe's struggle for black majority rule. Even
the so-called "white press" came under direct government censorship.

In a country where the state threatens and hinders the operations of private
newspapers on the basis that they are anti-government and are working
towards regime change, additional freedom of the press is still needed.

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The Curious Case of Former CIO Granted Asylum in UK

By Sanderson N Makombe
The asylum case of Phillip Machemedze, a self confessed former CIO member
who recently was granted refugee status in the UK has stirred a hornet’s
nest and quoted much controversy. Machemedze is reported as having told the
Home Office that amongst his celebrated achievements were to use his
primitive bush track dentistry skills to savagely pull out an MDC member’s
tooth using a pliers, spraying salt on a wound he had inflicted and brutally
attacking some white farmers of the name Mr Thornhill. Chilling stuff, isn’t
it? Yes it would appear, except there is something about his horror accounts
that casts doubt on their credibility.

Matters of Fact; Tooth Plugging.
Machemedze left Zimbabwe in 2000, arriving in UK on 1 July 2000.That means
the acts he purported to have committed would have been done in between the
period after MDC congress in August 1999 to July 2000 when he left. The most
notable political events covering this period include the constitutional
referendum held in February 2000 and the parliamentary elections in June of
the same year. Significantly the most serious wave of violence was unleashed
for three months after the NO vote delivered in February 2000, leading to
the parliamentary elections in June. If any incident of this nature had
taken place i feel personally i would have known about it as I was heavily
involved with the MDC and working as the National Youth Coordinator at
Harvest House. Our security department was well informed of any serious
attack on our members and they kept a record of these incidences. Reports
from provinces were also forwarded to head office.( I am not discounting
unreported incidences).

The attacks on MDC members especially by the CIO were not just random acts
targeting any member identified with the MDC.The trend emerging was that to
be considered a target; one would have been identified as having a crucial
role in the organising of the MDC and likely to hold a position in any of
the structures of the party. Their activities would have been of such
significance to warrant attention of the CIO.Such persons if attacked would
invariably know where to seek help, either at any of the party offices or
other sympathetic organisations. It was hardly possible for a person who had
been subjected to such anguish to remain living in the same community. Most
probable, the victim would have come to Harvest House to seek help for
relocation and medical treatment, issues assisted by the social welfare
officer based at Harvest House. It should not be forgotten that during the
same period there was a vibrant independent press led by the Daily News
whose circulation was very high. Their reporting covered most corners of the
country. This was in addition to the well established weekly papers as well
as the international press which was still operating in the country.

For such an incident to have happened and remain unknown and unreported is
very highly unlikely. The nature and cruelty of the act would have been
conspicuous and certain persons  involved with the MDC and associate
organisations would have known about it.Since the issue made headline news,
I have inquired from those whom I worked with and nobody has been able to
verify the authenticity of this story, neither able to identify the victims.
It is reported elsewhere that some British journalists are intending to
travel to Zimbabwe to locate the victims. Am afraid, that will be a wild
goose chase.

Not out of Character.
My doubts about this story do not stem from the nature and brutality of the
acts committed. During that time I witnessed the killing of Chiminya and
Mabika at Murambinda in the most barbaric manner possible. I also remember
organising a team of youths that went to Wedza to rescue four activists who
had been brutally attacked using barbed wire, and left locked in their homes
for a week without treatment. They were actually rooting by the time they
were rescued and brought to Harare for treatment. Nor would I forget another
activist who was abducted and taken to a base in Chikomba.He was stripped
naked and a sharp wire with fishing like hook was inserted and pulled in and
out of his manhood. For four days he had no treatment. You can imagine how
his manhood looked like when he was finally Fred. Swollen, with puss oozing
out. Terrible stuff. The capacity for the CIO to torture is well documented.
However this story sounds like a lie that was over dramatized to dupe
gullible Home Office caseworkers.

Mr Thornhill the farmer.
Up to now there is no evidence that there were farmers of that name who
suffered the brutal attacks narrated by Machemedze to the Home Office. It is
highly likely that had the so called farmers existed, by now they would have
come forward seeing that their perpetrator is now resident in the UK .The
farmers organisations in Zimbabwe would have known and also highlighted the
plight of these souls if indeed they existed.

Merits of his asylum case
If indeed Machemedze was a double agent as he claims and he ran away because
of that, the court was legally right in giving him sanctuary. One thing you
have to admire about the UK is how vigorous and principled they are in
observing legal principles and the rule of law especially on the human
rights front. This has been observed even at times to the detriment of
national interests and security. Since the pronouncement by the ECHR in
Karamjit Singh Chahal v UK [1996] that deporting individuals to countries
they are at risk of torture or inhuman and degrading treatment is contrary
to conventional rights guaranteed by articles 2 and 3, the UK has observed
this ruling to the later. The ruling predates the Human Rights Act. These
rights are non derogatable.The UK has failed even to deport terrorism
suspects and convicts to their countries of origin because of these
articles. This, despite the fact that the individuals concerned are a threat
to the national security of the UK.Examples include Abid Naseer and Ahmed
Faraz, Pakistan students convicted of terrorism related offences in the
UK.Notorious al-Qaida operative Abu Qatada is still in the UK as the courts
ruled he could not be returned to his country of origin.Machemedze is in
good company.

Impunity for the Torturer?
The fact that Machemedze cannot be returned to a country were he faces
torture does not mean he cannot be made to account for his criminal
activities. The UK is a signatory to the UN Torture Convention. The
convention obliges state parties ‘to take into custody any person present in
their territory, who on the basis of available information are alleged to
have committed an act constituting complicity or participation in torture,
and to immediately conduct an inquiry into the facts’. Section 134 of the UK
Criminal Justice Act of 1988 gives effect to the UK's obligation under
article 4 of the Convention against Torture by creating a legal obligation
in British law to prosecute acts of torture. The law provides for universal
jurisdiction-that is, jurisdiction to prosecute crimes regardless of the
place of commission, the nationality of the perpetrator, or the nationality
of the victim. It states that the person charged needs to be a public
official or a person acting in an official capacity "whatever his
nationality" and that the offense can be committed "in the United Kingdom or

The practise of universal jurisdiction it must be admitted has not been
vigorous. However the precedent set in Augusto Pinochet case remain valid
with respect to prosecution of foreigners accused of committing
international crimes. The House of Lords then ruled Pinochet could be
extradited to Spain to face torture charges. They also stated diplomatic
immunity does not cover such international crimes. The most recent
successful application of universal jurisdiction in the UK was the
conviction of Farayadi Sawar Zardad, an Afghan accused of practising torture
in his homeland.Dr Mahgoub, a Sudanese national resident in Scotland was
prosecuted for allegedly practising torture at secret detention centres in
Sudan. His case collapsed because of lack of sufficient evidence.Tharcisse
Muvungi, a Hutu extremist was also arrested under universal jurisdiction in
UK, for crimes he allegedly committed during the Rwandan genocide. However
he was not tried here as he was transferred to the International Criminal
Tribunal for Rwanda.

Interest of justice
If indeed it is verified that Machemedze actually perpetrated these heinous
crimes, it is logical for him to be prosecuted here than to campaign for his
deportation as the Secretary for the Home Office seem to imply. This will
set a good example and give impetus to victims all over the world to pursue
justice in the knowledge that there are countries willing to stand for a
just cause.

Machemedze? What does that mean?
Am sure the irony has not been lost to those who understand Shona. Literally
translated machemedze means ‘someone who makes you cry/moan’ or causes you
pain. Was this cretin destined to fulfil his name?

The writer is former MDC National Youth Coordinator. He can be contacted at

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