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Indigenisation shouldn’t be disorderly: PM

by Own Correspondent Monday 03 May 2010

HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said implementation of the
indigenisation law should not be as haphazard as President Robert Mugabe’s
chaotic land reform because this was increasing the country risk profile.

Speaking at the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) May Day celebration
on Saturday, the former opposition leader who has wrangled with Mugabe over
how to share executive power since the two former foes agreed to form a
government of national unity last year, said the law should not benefit
people who want to seize what they did not invest in.

"You cannot invest where you did not put a cent," he said. "The programme
should not be chaotic like the land reform."

Zimbabwe has since 2000, when Mugabe’s often violent land reforms began,
relied on food imports and handouts from international food agencies mainly
due to failure by resettled black peasants to maintain production on former
white farms.

Tsvangirai, who is a veteran trade unionist added: “The policy of
indigenisation is a global phenomenon, it is there in Kenya, South Africa,
Botswana and other countries. “But if the citizenship empowerment policy
seeks to expropriate and nationalise then it should stop.

“We should talk about modalities and avoid the process degenerating into
chaos, we should be aware that Zimbabwe is not the last investment
destination. We are not going to be the last investment destination in the
world. We should encourage national investment. Zimbabwe's country risk
profile is increasing with policies that hurt the country's image."

The Prime Minister also said foreign-owned firms embracing the law should
take into account workers’ submissions.

Tsvangirai – whose MDC party has publicly differed with Mugabe’s ZANU PF
over how to transfer control of the economy to local blacks – has also said
there was no consultation on policy formulation, while policies implemented
by the government had failed to create a predictable environment for

Under the empowerment regulations foreign owned firms have until May 15 to
submit plans of how they intend to transfer 51 percent stake to blacks.

The empowerment programme has split the government with ZANU PF backing the
plan while the MDC wants the scheme stopped to allow for more consultation
and drafting of new regulations that will not scare away foreign investors,
while allowing for economic empowerment of the majority.

Mugabe and Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere accept the need for
consultations to improve current indigenisaton regulations but say
empowerment should go ahead while consultation is taking place.

According to Kasukuwere to date 400 firms have submitted empowerment
proposals to his ministry. However, some of the firms such as South Africa's
Standard Bank have asked to be given more time.

Government has identified mining, energy, agriculture and agro-processing,
transport and motor industry, telecommunications and ICT, manufacturing,
engineering and construction and financial services as some of the sectors
of the economy which will be targeted under the law.

Last month, Kasukuwere announced that the mining sector would be the first
industry targeted under the law.

Critics fear Mugabe and ZANU PF want to press ahead with transferring
majority ownership of foreign-owned companies as part of a drive to reward
party loyalists with thriving businesses. – ZimOnline

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Minister says govt amending POSA

by Sebastian Nyamhangambiri Monday 03 May 2010

HARARE - The government is working on amending the Public Order and Security
Act (POSA), a draconian piece of legislation which President Robert Mugabe's
administration has used to suppress the opposition and human rights
activists since its enactment almost a decade ago.

Labour and Social Services Minister Paurina Mpariwa made the revelations in
a letter she wrote to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) last month
in response to the international labour body's report on worker rights
abuses in Zimbabwe.

"It should be noted that the Public Order and Security Act is being amended
in consideration of the inclusive government's affirmed commitment to the
principle of freedom of assembly and association," said Mpariwa in her
letter dated April 20.

"It is in this spirit of engagement among the people of Zimbabwe that the
Commission's recommendations (ILO) are accepted by the government.
Government wishes to advise that the implementation of the recommendations,
while already ongoing, will be informed by the overall government targets."

Mpariwa was responding to the ILO fact-finding mission report entitled:
"'Commission of Inquiry on the Observance of the Freedom of Association and
the Protection of the Right to Organise Convention and the Right to
Organisation Colletive Bargaining Convention."

The ILO, which last August dispatched a team of labour experts to Harare to
probe alleged worker rights abuses, has urged the unity government to end
anti-union practices by security forces and other state agents.

The world workers' body also called on the government to speed up creation
of a human rights commission that is expected to defend the rights and
freedoms of Zimbabweans including workers.

Mpariwa told the ILO that the transitional government had created a national
healing organ to deal with past injustices and abuse.

But Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) at the weekend dismissed the
government response saying it did not address the issues which the ILO had

ZCTU information officer Khumbulani Ndlovu said Mpariwa's letter emphasised
creation of the inclusive government instead of going through the steps the
government is taking to ensure that workers' rights are not violated or that
the arrests, beatings and banning of meetings that happened in the past do
not happen again.

"The ZCTU is not excited by the work of the Organ on National Healing that
is mentioned in the government's response. This organ is out of touch with
reality or with real issues affecting victims of state-sponsored violence.
The ILO recommendations are very clear, among other things, 'there is need
to drop all cases against labour activists that arose through POSA - this
has not happened, activists are still appearing in court charged under
POSA'," said Ndlovu.

The labour union's spokesperson said government should not talk about
amending POSA but repealing it.

"There is need to repeal POSA - currently discussions are around amending
POSA and not repealing it," Ndlovu said, adding that the state must not
interfere in trade union work.

"We have police writing the ZCTU a letter telling them who should or should
not speak at this year's May Day commemorations."

The ILO commission of inquiry was prompted by the alleged assault and
torture of top ZCTU officials in September 2006 after state security agents
foiled a workers' protest.

ZCTU chief Matombo and secretary general Wellington Chibebe were among some
of the executives from the labour body who were assaulted and tortured by
the security agents.

Matombo, Chibebe and 14 others later sued Home Affairs Minister Kembo
Mohadi, Police Commissioner General, Augustine Chihuri and several other
police officers implicated in their alleged torture after reports by
independent medical doctors indicated that their injuries were consistent
with torture.

The ZCTU has previously criticised the unity government for its failure to
reform the police to instill professionalism, calling last year for the
immediate resignation of co-ministers of home affairs Mohadi and Giles
Mutsekwa for failing to ensure that police uphold the rule of the law. -

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License Free Dialogue in Zimbabwe!

 Posted by: Sarah Hager, May 2, 2010 at 4:00 PM

On World Press Freedom Day, Amnesty USA is calling attention to fearless
journalists fighting every day to tell the stories that matter and remind us
how fragile freedom of expression remains. Repression of journalists,
including imprisonment, violence and even death, continues frequently in
many places around the world. In Zimbabwe, media repression opened
significantly in the past year, with the government allowing foreign
reporters to return to the country. But the government continues to lock
down domestic reporting.

The only daily newspapers, radio and TV stations in Zimbabwe are state run.
The Global Political Agreement (GPA), signed by Zimbabwe's three main
political parties in September 2008, provided for "the immediate processing
of all applications for registration in terms of the Broadcasting Services
Act". Despite this, repressive legislation restricting the ability of the
independent media to operate remains in place. More than a year since it was
created, the new government has failed to honour its commitment to issue

Radio Dialogue is a non-profit community radio station consistently denied a
licence by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) since it's
foundation in 2001. The station aspires to broadcast to the community of
Bulawayo and its surrounding areas, engaging in discussions of political,
social, cultural and economic issues affecting the community. Their slogan
'Giving You a Voice' expresses their aim to enable all sections of the
community to engage as a means of promoting tolerance, understanding and
community relations.

Radio Dialogue submitted its application to the BAZ in January 2005 along
other broadcasting applicants. None of the applicants were issued a licence.
Over the past five years Radio Dialogue representatives have repeatedly met
with the government officials on the issue of obtaining a broadcasting
licence but to no avail. Radio Dialogue's staff have been subject to
harassment and intimidation by the Zimbabwean authorities throughout their
struggle for licensing. Journalists, publications and public meetings are
tightly controlled and closely monitored by state agents.

The practice of journalism remains a dangerous occupation in Zimbabwe and
many journalists and other media workers have been harassed, intimidated,
arrested and detained since the political crisis began in Zimbabwe in 2000.
Many have been forced to abandon their chosen profession. Those who struggle
to continue their work remain at risk of being arbitrarily arrested and
detained. Despite harassment and intimidation by state security agents,
workers at Radio Dialogue have shown great courage in going about their day
to day work. Determined to exercise their right to freedom of expression and
to provide a medium for others to exercise this right as well, the staff of
Radio Dialogue defy the obstacles put in their way by the state and give
people in their community a voice by holding road shows.

Join us in calling on the Zimbabwe authorities to license Radio Dialogue.

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Zimbabwe players bury the hatchet to aid resurrection

. White players return under chief coach Alan Butcher
. Politics and lack of visiting sides hamper rebuilding

 Ray Price

Ray Price is one of a number of players enticed back to Zimbabwe from overseas. Photograph: Andrew Biraj/Reuters

No team in the World Twenty20 have more to prove than Zimbabwe. They missed the 2009 edition in England after being denied visas and have been blackballed by most of the top nations in international cricket. Now they are powered by two potent forces: anger and pride. Anger for what they regard as the hypocrisy and cowardice of the English, Australian and New Zealand cricket boards, and pride at the work that has been done to rebuild cricket in Zimbabwe from the ruins it was reduced to three years ago, when first-class competition came to a complete halt.

Not everything has changed in Zimbabwe, but a lot has. Peter Chingoka and Ozias Bvute are still the men at the top of Zimbabwe Cricket, but power and financing has been devolved to five new regional franchise sides. The new Education and Sports minister David Coltart, is a bright light from Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party. ZC have brought back a number of the white players from both previous and current generations to run and play the game.

Alan Butcher, the former Surrey manager, has joined as a foreign chief coach and alongside him are a string of great former players. Heath Streak, whose sacking as captain sparked the mass exodus of white Zimbabwean players in 2004, is the bowling coach. Dave Houghton is the batting coach, though he will move into the franchise system when Grant Flower returns from Essex and takes up the job at the end of this season. The key appointment has been Alistair Campbell, the former captain who is now chief selector and chairman.

"We have all got baggage, but you have got to put that aside if you want something to work," says Campbell. "We had got to the point where we had to do something or cricket was going to be dead and buried. That was not an option." Campbell has made this argument many times, mainly when persuading back the players who left to play county or club cricket in England.

The current squad includes Charles Coventry, Andy Blignaut, Greg Lamb and Ray Price, all talked back to Zimbabwe from their lives overseas. "I told all the guys that regardless of what the politicians do, we have to give this a fair crack.

"The sad thing is we need the rest of the world to buy in. We need to play to progress. What's the point of not giving the Zimbabwe cricket team visas?

"Who are you getting at? Who is suffering? Are you making a stand? Are you achieving anything? No," continues Campbell. "Our domestic Twenty20 final had 10,000 people there. Harare Sports Club was full. For a domestic game. That's what our people are starved of."

The scaremongering about security concerns infuriates Campbell. "Do you honestly think we live in built-up compounds with security outside and bomb barriers? Do you think we would all live there and send our kids to school there if it was a war zone? I mean please! Let's be real about this. Just ask the Australian ambassador. He lives here, does he report back home that he drives in an armoured car and wears a bullet-proof vest? I mean, he's out playing golf every Wednesday!"

Campbell is furious with the England and Wales Cricket Board because they refused to let Glamorgan, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire make pre-season tours to Zimbabwe. "It is incredibly frustrating. You have these counties who want to come out here and play but because of politics they are not allowed to. They have to toe the line." His real ire though is reserved for the New Zealand cricket board, who pulled out of a one-day tour last year citing concerns over a cholera epidemic. The two teams play each other on Tuesday in a real grudge match for Zimbabwe. "Blaming the health system? That's rubbish. Be honest: It was a political issue.

"A little help from our friends wouldn't go astray. We are trying to rebuild a broken country. The country and the economic situation? It's on the mend." The cricket team are one clear and visible area where the balance between old and new Zimbabwe, between black and white, seems to be working. They will surprise a few in this competition. They field brilliantly and have two good spinners in Prosper Utseya and Ray Price. But their most powerful weapon may be their sense of injustice.

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lt may be dawn; workers intensify the struggle-ZCTU

By Blessing Chapwati

Published: May 2, 2010

The president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union(ZCTU), Lovemore
Matombo Saturday urged workers gathered at Dzivaresekwa Stadium, Harare, to
commemorate Workers' Day to stay vigilant as his organisation pushes the
government for a salary increment .

"We cannot rule out any form of industrial action but what we are doing is
to say let's give government opportunity and we have put across our need to
increase salaries for the Zimbabwean workers through the Tripartite
Negotiating Forum," he said.

  Workers Day 'It may be dawn;workers intensify the struggle'

Addressing the same event Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai made a u-turn on
the government's decision to freeze civil servants salaries as announced by
Finance Minister and MDC Secretary general Tendai Biti who has been on a
collision course with the labour movement.

"The government did not announce a wage freeze," Tsvangirai told scores of
workers who gathered at Dzivarasekwa Stadium in Harare to commemorate
Workers Day.

o"There is no government policy on wage freeze. If ever there is going to be
such a policy, it must also take into consideration the price freeze. There
is no government policy I know of on wage freeze." Tsvangirai was  by Radio

Earlier in the week in an interview with SW RADIO Matombo had accused MDC of
disengaging the labour movement which he said has been the backbone to MDC
rise to the political arena.

The ZCTU on Wednesday criticized Finance Minister Biti after his
announcement that he wanted labour laws to be changed. The ZCTU felt the
changes favoured companies at the expense of workers and accused Biti of  'starting
to sound more and more like those who have been in government for the past
30 years'. (ZimEye, Zimbabwe)

Emphasizing this year's Workers' Day theme 'It may be dawn; workers
intensify your struggle', Matombo said his organisation supports Zimbabwe's
current government of national unity but warned of repercussions if the
government proceeded with its decision to freeze civil servants pay as
recently announced by Finance Minister, Tendai Biti at a time ZCTU is
negotiating a salary increment.

"No one should freeze salaries. As workers we are not afraid of anything, we
are prepared to take into the streets. Right now we have workers who earn
less than US$30, these are people with families and children who are
supposed to go to school," said Matombo.

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 1st May 2010

The Vigil marked May Day by supporting an appeal from Amnesty International for the Zimbabwean authorities to stop intimidating and harassing human rights activists. People at the Vigil carried placards reading: ‘May Day Appeal - End Human Rights Abuses in Zimbabwe’, ‘May Day Appeal - Protect Human Rights Activists in Zimbabwe’ and ‘Vigil Supports Oppressed Trade Unionists in Zimbabwe’.


Amnesty International official Shane Enright said: "It's so important that people around the world stand in solidarity with the brave human rights and trade union activists in Zimbabwe this May Day. Our message to the police and security services is that we are watching you and will call you to account, however long it takes."


It seems that it will take longer than expected given South Africa’s failure so far to get Mugabe to comply with the GPA, and Arthur ‘dimwit’ Mutambara’s declared intention to avoid any elections which will return him to academic obscurity.


May Day is traditionally a workers’ celebration and thousands of demonstrators converging on Trafalgar Square passed by the Vigil. Some of them shouted ‘Down with Mugabe’. It was a difficult Vigil because it flooded down with rain half way through.  We had to act fast to stop our petitions being soaked. (By the way these are what our current petitions say: ‘A petition to the UK government: We welcome the UK’s humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe but call on the UK government to withhold development aid until it is confident that the money will benefit the people rather than the corrupt Mugabe regime’. And ‘Petition to the UN Security Council: We call on the Security Council to ensure that the next elections in Zimbabwe are free and fair. We look to the United Nations to supervise the electoral process and the handover of power to a new government and believe peace-keeping troops will need to be in place before, during and after the polling.’)


Traffic holdups because of the May Day demonstrations were a problem. The car carrying our paraphernalia was forced on many detours back and forth across the Thames and eventually could get no closer than half a mile from the Embassy.  A group of Vigilites had to go and fetch the Vigil tables, posters, banners, tarpaulin, drums, merchandise (Vigil tshirts and Zimbabwean flags), petitions, flags and  Zimbabwean newspapers. Even though the paraphernalia was delivered late the Vigil started on time because a big group of supporters in their Vigil tshirts reading ‘Zimbabwe in our hands’ and ‘Zimbabwe Vigil, Zimbabwe House, London – Saturdays until freedom comes’ were there at 2 pm.


The May Day demonstrations were mostly in support of labour solidarity around the world but here is a random sample of flyers from other participants: ’European week of action against the deportation machine’, ‘Why we need justice for domestic workers’, ‘Support the revolution in Nepal’, ‘Oppose the crumbling British imperialist state!’, etc.


 A couple of points

·     Despite the hubbub of May Day, people at the Vigil could clearly hear a song bird in one of our maple trees. We only saw one bird but we presume it is building a nest.

·     Mathias Makozhombwe of Motherland ENT has posted two new videos of the Vigil on Youtube.  Check our ‘Events and Notices’ Section for the links.


For latest Vigil pictures check: For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check the link at the top of the home page of our website.  For earlier ZimVigil TV programmes check:


FOR THE RECORD: 173 signed the register.



·       London Citizens and Citizens UK pre-election assembly with David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown. Monday 3rd May from 3 – 5 pm. Venue: Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, Storey’s Gate, London SW1H 9NH.  On the agenda is the Sanctuary Pledge (calling for an end to child detention and more support for people seeking sanctuary), Strangers into Citizens and the Living Wage. For tickets contact Eunita Masolo, email:, phone: 07949 736 222. The organizers would like a big turn-out of Zimbabweans.

·       ROHR Woking Branch 1st Anniversary Party. Saturday 8th May from 3 – 10 pm. Venue: St Pauls Church Hall, Oriental Road, Woking GU22 7BD. Raffle for two hampers. Tickets £6 adults £3.00 kids which includes entry and meal. Contact:  Mr Mudzamiri 07774044873, Jermaine 07908522992, Sithokozile 07886203113 or P Mapfumo 07915326323/07932216070.

·       ROHR Liverpool Demonstration. Saturday 8th May from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark) Liverpool City Centre. For details please contact: Desire Chimuka 07917733711, Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758. Next demonstration on Saturday 22nd May. Same venue and time.

·       ROHR Brighton Zimbabwean Community Family Fun Evening. Saturday 8th May from 4 – 10.30 pm. Venue: Leonards Church Hall, Glebe Villas, Hove. Nearest train station: Portslade. For directions please contact Elizabeth Masoka 07545458436, Jane Mugwagwa 07833301145, Wellington Mamvura 07956870547, Patience Chiguta 07780667422 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/ 07932216070. Lots of entertainment, food, raffle and disco – free entry.

·       ROHR Harlow general meeting. Saturday 15th May from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Perry Road, Harlow CM18 7NP. Substantive committee to be elected and ROHR President and ROHR Executive present. Contact: L Kashangura 07506481334, Blessing Office 07759884633, Bothwell Nyemba 07725208657, Grace Kachingwe 07529524965 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070

·       ROHR Cambridge fundraising event. Saturday 22nd May from 4 – 10 pm. Venue: Arbury Community Centre, Campkin Road, Cambridge CB4 2LD. African music, food and drinks hobho. Entrance fee £10 including food. Contact: Jospheth Hapazari 07782398725, Locadia Mugari 07501304116, Sibusisiwe Bafana 07765268622, Percy Marimba 07894670271 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070

·       R0HR North London General Meeting. Saturday 22nd May from 1:30-5:30. Venue: Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road London N17 6QN. Closest Tube -Seven Sisters. From Seven Sisters towards Tottenham three stops on buses 123,149,256,349,341 and 476, ROHR Executive and Guest Speakers in attendance. Fundraising raffle and draw. Contact Bekithemba Nyahwa 07534905348, Nobuhle Ndlovu 07949588597, Wellington Chinombe 07529290157, Chipo Denenga 07960761122, P Mapfumo 07915926323.

·       ROHR West Bromwich Branch fundraising event. Saturday 29th May from 1 – 11pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Rd, West Bromwich B70 0HF. Admission £8.00 including food and drink. Contact: Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo  07817096594, Godwin Kativu 07576994816 or P Chibanguza  07908406069

·       ROHR Northampton General Meeting. Saturday 5th June at 2 pm. Venue:  Carey Memorial Baptist Church, King Street, Kettering, Northants, NN16 8QL.  ROHR Executive members present and Guest Speakers. Contact: Marshall Rusike 07833787775,Wadzanayi Mpandawana 07717795574, Gladys Milanzi  07846 448 711, Norian Chindowa 07954379426, Sherry Ngaseke 07869295544 Or P Mapfumo 07915 926 323 / 07932 216 070.

·       OTIENO by Trevor Michael Georges. A contemporary reworking of Shakespeare's Othello, set against the continuing deprivation of present-day Zimbabwe. From Tuesday 25th May – Saturday 12th June at 7.30 pm, matinees 3 pm. Venue: Southwark Playhouse, Shipwright Yard (Corner of Tooley St. & Bermondsey St.), London SE1 2TF. For tickets ring 020 7407 0234 or book online here.

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturdays from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.  Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. For more information check:

·       Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays).

·       Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. For information: or contact:

·       For Motherland ENT’s videos of the Vigil on 24/04/2009, check: and

 Vigil Co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe:


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Don't cry tomorrow

Dear Family and Friends,

A tragic event involving a 15 year old schoolboy and a fatal stabbing in a
church, has sent shivers down my spine. It should be ringing alarm bells
both in and outside Zimbabwe because this, more than any diplomatically
worded political speech, demonstrates just how tired Zimbabweans are of
waiting for accountability and justice.

The news came in a transcript from a Voice of the People Radio report. A 15
year old schoolboy was attending a service in the Zion Christian Church in
Village 2 near Neshuro Growth Point in the Mwenezi District. At some point
in the service Nhamo Machacha, described as a "well known Zanu PF terror
master," and aide to the Zanu PF MP for Mwenezi East, interrupted the church
proceedings. The teenage boy got up and stabbed Machacha twice in the
stomach. Despite being rushed to Neshuro hospital, Machacha died from
excessive bleeding.

In the radio transcript an eyewitness explained the history behind the
behaviour of the 15 year old boy:

"That boy's father Lameck Muripo was killed by Zanu (PF) thugs in 2008.
Their home was burnt and they were left homeless but the children were still
young. However, up to now the culprits including the now deceased were
walking free and this boy said he wanted to revenge,"

The 15 year old school boy was taken into Police custody and the Zanu PF MP
for Mwenezi East, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, responded to the killing of his aide
by saying:

""There is nothing to hide here. MDC is a party of violence, they need
violence and they have provoked us today. How can I keep silent when they
slapped us in the face like this? They have started it and they must not cry

An amazing statement from a Member of Parliament.

For ten years the murderers, torturers and rapists spawned during a decade
of violent elections have been walking amongst us. For ten years reports
have been made to authorities but perpetrators have not been arrested, tried
or convicted. Everyone knows who the perpetrators of the crimes are. There
are witnesses, affidavits and documented reports and yet still nothing is

Writing to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the murders of Prime Minister
Tsvangirai's election agent Tichaona Chiminya and activist Talent Mabika,
the MDC are also demanding that justice be done. The men named in those
killings continue to walk free, one even still in state employment.

There are thousands of similar cases and thousands of victims still waiting
for justice in cities, towns and remote rural villages. It is a ticking time
bomb  which apparently left a 15 year old schoolboy unable to wait a day
longer. A time bomb which should have everyone shouting out for
accountability, including MP's.

Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy.
© Copyright Cathy Buckle 1st May 2010.


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Poor man's Gatorade saves Bangladeshi kids

By MARGIE MASON (AP) - 1 hour ago

BORUNGO KHOLA, Bangladesh - A pinch of salt. A fistful of sugar. A half
liter of water.

It's a recipe 8-year-old Meem Akter recites easily while squeezing and
scooping her tiny fingers through the air with precision, pretending to
measure just the right amount of each ingredient.

"You take the salt with three fingers," says the little girl in a pink- and
blue-ruffled dress, smiling shyly. "I learned it in school last year."

Over the past 30 years, this simple 'poor man's Gatorade' has become a
cheap, trusted home remedy passed down to generations of Bangladeshi moms
nationwide. It is bought or whipped up and sipped down at the first sign of
diarrhea to stave off dehydration, which can drain a weak child of life in
just hours.

Bangladesh, one of the world's poorest countries, is a leader in the fight
against diarrhea, which is the number two killer of children under age 5
worldwide after pneumonia. Diarrhea claims 1.5 million kids annually - more
than AIDS, malaria and measles combined - and the United Nations has
projected the number of deaths will rise by 10 percent each year over the
next decade.

"When I talk to people in developed countries about diarrhea, they don't
believe me when I tell them it's killing children," says Dr. Olivier
Fontaine, a diarrhea expert at the World Health Organization in Geneva. "We
have the magic bullets, and now we need to apply them to make sure every kid
has access. What we need is money to implement what we have seen in


A pinch of salt. A fistful of sugar. A half liter of water.

Rahima Begum, 45, was among the first to teach the homemade recipe to
mothers 26 years ago in Borungo Khola village, a bucolic farming community
down a dirt road about 40 kilometers outside the capital, where little Akter
is a neighbor. It was a time when parents had no idea what to do when
diarrhea struck. If there was no hospital nearby, many kids simply died.

"Spreading the message is very important," Begum says. "We didn't know it,
but now we do. Maybe people from Bangladesh can teach this to other

At first glance, the country would appear to be an unlikely instructor.
Bangladesh is a young democracy plagued by corruption and natural disasters,
where nearly half the population lives on less than $1 a day. Yet the Muslim
nation has vast experience beating back diarrhea tied to annual monsoon
flooding, unclean drinking water and poor sanitation. Over the past two
decades, its overall child death rate has dropped threefold to 5 percent

Bangladesh is the birthplace of ORS, the lifesaving oral rehydration
salt-sugar solution. Today, the concoction is so woven into the culture that
it's not only mixed up or purchased for pennies to treat diarrhea and tummy
aches, but guzzled by children and adults alike after working or playing
outside in the sweltering heat.

Bangladesh is also home to the International Center for Diarrheal Disease
Research, Bangladesh, which treats more than 100,000 patients a year at its
hospital filled with hundreds of brightly colored diarrhea cots with holes
in the middle opening to clear buckets beneath. Some 27,000 health workers
have trained here from about 70 countries, and WHO regularly calls on its
experts to assist with global outbreaks of cholera, a fast-spreading watery

"Almost everybody starts rehydration at home," says Cathrine Costa, a nurse
at the hospital where mothers, rich and poor, sit beside one another in open
wards shoveling spoonfuls of a special rice gruel into the mouths of
bare-bottomed babies, many malnourished. "If they don't, the dehydration is
much, much worse."

Oral rehydration solution was first tested in the late 1960s in East
Pakistan, which would later become Bangladesh. But the real experiment came
in 1971 during a cholera outbreak in the refugee camps of West Bengal,
India, which were crammed with families who had fled the war between East
and West Pakistan. With a scarce supply of intravenous drips, doctors proved
that by drinking the formula, the death rate could be reduced to less than 5

"These people were not getting drugs. They were not getting IVs. They were
dying," recalls Dr. Richard Cash, a Harvard University professor who
conducted the first ORS clinical trials at the diarrheal research center.
"We were not looking at failure. We were looking at measures of success."

Diarrhea is caused by viruses, parasites, bacteria and toxins. Rotavirus,
spread through contaminated hands and surfaces, is the most common cause of
diarrhea, killing half a million children annually. A vaccine is now
available in the West, where the disease is a mere irritation, but it will
not reach the poor for several years. Measles is another vaccine-preventable
disease that causes severe diarrheal deaths.

The ORS solution helps the gut absorb fluids and electrolytes that are
rapidly being purged, bringing life back to children's sunken eyes and
dehydrated skin. The recent addition of zinc further decreases the length
and severity of the attack. Breast-feeding and continuous eating are also

The Bangladesh discovery was hailed by The Lancet medical journal three
decades ago as "potentially the most important medical discovery of the 20th
century." Some 800 million ORS packets are produced worldwide today, saving
more than an estimated 50 million lives.

"You have a child that's almost dead, you give them ORS and within a few
hours they are running all over the place. It's really a miracle," says
WHO's Fontaine. "We don't find anyone who would come as a champion for
diarrhea. Many people are willing to go on TV and talk about AIDS,
tuberculosis and malaria but when it comes to diarrhea, no one is


A pinch of salt. A fistful of sugar. A half liter of water.

Today Bangladesh has one of world's highest ORS packet usage rates, with
nearly 70 percent of children drinking the solution during diarrhea. Yet WHO
estimates the disease still kills more than 50,000 kids in Bangladesh
annually, where ORS still does not reach everyone and malnutrition is

Globally, about 60 percent of children do not have access to the formula.
And in countries, mainly in Africa, where bouts of diarrhea are common, that
rate is even lower. Last year, Zimbabwe experienced Africa's worst cholera
outbreak in 15 years, killing more than 4,000 people.

It's a statistic that makes Fazle Hasan Abed cringe.

As founder of Dhaka-based BRAC, one of the world's largest non-governmental
aid organizations, Abed trained a small army of women to spread the ORS
recipe to millions of households across Bangladesh in the 1980s.

"I know of nobody else who's tried to do this. Everybody came here and
looked at the problem, and it was mind boggling for them to think that one
could go to every household and do it," says Abed, who was recently knighted
in England for his development work. "I think this could have a similar kind
of impact in Africa."

He says the method of teaching mothers about ORS could be tried in a country
like Uganda, where his organization already has a presence. But he adds that
Bangladesh does have some advantages.

Roughly the size of Iowa, the low-lying nation is one of the world's most
densely populated countries - crammed with about 150 million people, or half
of the entire U.S. population. That makes the task of spreading a message
from community to community easier and cheaper as opposed to reaching
sparse, spread-out villages dotting many African countries.

Another obstacle in Africa to the community-based approach is the belief in
some places that only health workers can provide medical care. WHO is
working to distribute packets of ORS to every market in Tanzania, as is done
in countries such as Mexico. In many cases, the sachets are cheaper than
coveted sugar in African countries, making the pre-made pouches a smarter
choice than the homemade sugar-salt solutions, which can kill children if
too much salt is given.

In Bangladesh, mothers were taught that the oral formula was not a cure, and
if a child continued to suffer severe diarrhea after a day of drinking the
ORS, a trip to the hospital was urgent. It's a message that has been
retained and transferred to even the youngest members of the village, where
the sugary drink is lapped up like Kool-Aid.

"My 7-year-old little boy was sick with diarrhea one month ago," says
Taslima Akter, 28, who demonstrated how to make ORS in Borungo Khola
village, where three generations know how. "I mixed it up at home. It was
not serious, just one day. I used to take it when I was a kid."

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Bill Watch Special of 1st May 2010 [Parliamentary Committee Meetings 3rd to 7th May]


[1st May 2010]

House of Assembly Portfolio Committees and Senate Thematic Committees: Open Meetings 3rd to 7th May

There are only three meetings open to members of the public, as observers only, not as participants.  [See note at the end of this bulletin on public attendance and participation at different types of committee meetings.]

Of special interest to those in the mining sector is the meeting on Thursday [see details below], of the Senate Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment to hear oral evidence from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.  Minister Mpofu has recently stated that his Ministry is planning to provide for indigenisation of the mining sector in the forthcoming Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill.

Monday 3rd May at 10 am

Thematic Committee: Mines and Energy

Oral evidence from (i) Zimbabwe Power Company and

(ii) Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company

Committee Room No. 413

Chairperson: Hon Chindori-Chininga             Clerk: Mr Manhivi

Tuesday 4th May at 10 am

Portfolio Committee: Agriculture, Water, Lands and Resettlement

Brief from Zimbabwe Agricultural Technicians Association

Committee Room No. 4

Chairperson: Hon Jiri                                     Clerk: Miss Mudavanhu

Thursday 6th May at 11 am

Thematic Committee: Indigenisation and Empowerment

Oral evidence from Ministry of Mines and Mining Development

Government Caucus Room

Chairperson: Hon Mutsvangwa                     Clerk: Mr Ratsakatika

Public Attendance at and Participation in Committee Meetings

·      Portfolio and thematic committee meetings in which they are doing private business – e.g. setting workplans, deliberating on reports and findings, or drafting reports for Parliament, or when the committees make field visits – are not open to the public.

·      Portfolio and thematic committee meetings where oral evidence is being heard are open to the public to attend as observers only.  Members of the public wishing to attend a meeting should telephone Parliament first [on Harare 700181 or 252936-55], to check with the relevant committee clerk that the meeting has not been cancelled.  If you are attending, please use the Kwame Nkrumah Avenue entrance to Parliament.  IDs must be produced

·      At some committee meetings stakeholders [and those who notify Parliament that they consider themselves stakeholders and are accepted as such] are invited to make oral or written representations and ask questions.  These meetings will be highlighted in these notices. 

·      When committees call for public hearings, members of the public are free to submit oral or written representations, ask questions and generally participate.  Veritas sends out separate notices of these public hearings.

Note:  Zimbabweans in the Diaspora can send in written submissions to stakeholders’ meetings if they consider themselves stakeholders, and to public hearings, by emailing their submissions to   


Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.


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