The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Zim back on Sadc’s agenda

By Reagan Mashavave
Monday, 02 May 2011 15:23

HARARE - Negotiators to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) meet this week
in Cape Town, South Africa with President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team to
discuss the election roadmap and the review of the unity pact.

In two weeks’ time, the country will be on the agenda of the Sadc
extra-ordinary summit later this month.

Zuma’s international relations advisor, Lindiwe Zulu confirmed yesterday
that negotiators will meet for three days in Cape Town and that Zimbabwe has
been placed on the agenda of the Sadc extra ordinary summit to be held in
Windhoek, Namibia on May 20.

The Cape Town meeting comes weeks after the Sadc Troika on Politics, Defence
and Security resolved that the country implement all the agreed issues yet
to be implemented by the coalition partners and that there must be an end to
political violence that has been reported in the country since the beginning
of the year.

“A meeting will be held on May 5 to May 7 in Cape Town, South Africa.

“Two items are going to be on the agenda which are the review of the Jomic
and the roadmap to elections which I understand has been completed,” Zulu

The six negotiators representing the three parties are Tendai Biti and Elton
Mangoma for the larger formation of the MDC, Zanu PF’s Patrick Chinamasa,
and Nicholas Goche, while the smaller MDC formation will be represented by
Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga and Moses Mzila Ndlovu.

The meeting of the negotiators in Cape Town comes at a time when Zanu PF has
made a major climb down on their stance that elections will be held this
year even before key reforms have been implemented.

Last week Chinamasa said general elections in the country might be held next
year or in 2013.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who is also the MDC leader told his party
supporters at their congress in Bulawayo last week that the country is
likely to hold elections in the next 12 months.

Tsvangirai has said he will only participate in a free and fair election
that will produce a credible result which will not be disputed.

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Mugabe to wield axe

Friday, 29 April 2011 16:03

Dumisani Ndlela, Deputy Editor-in-Chief

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is said to be planning a surprise Cabinet reshuffle
sometime next month to strengthen his political hand and weed out those that
have fallen to the temptation of greed, The Financial Gazette can
exclusively reveal. At least three longtime allies from ZANU-PF are likely
to fall by the wayside as the veteran Zimbabwean leader shifts focus from
his bruising tug-of-war with Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations
in the inclusive government to the performance of State bureaucrats in his
Cabinet lineup.
The Cabinet reshuffle would be the first by President Mugabe since a forced
marriage of convenience with the former opposition parties led by Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Industry Minister, Welshman Ncube to form the
unity government in February 2009.
Ncube, a controversial political schemer, took over the helm at the other
MDC formation after he was voted party president at a congress held in
February to replace Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara who was left
clutching at the straws for survival.
The only Cabinet reshuffle that has taken place since the formation of the
coalition    was by Prime Minister Tsvangirai who dropped a few of his MDC-T
ministers, including the party’s organising secretary, Elias Mudzuri and
Education secretary, Fidelis Mhashu.
Tsvangirai’s reshuffle was said by critics to have been meant to purge
potential rivals or members of his party said to have been aligned to a
rival within his party, recently hit by a spate of violence during
provincial elections ahead of the MDC-T’s elective congress, which begins
today in Bulawayo.
President Mugabe’s reshuffle, which        the ZANU-PF party leader expects
to rejuvenate his government machinery and endear his party with a restive
urban and rural       population eager for change was said              to
have been contemplated after the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) put brakes on elections he had targeted to hold this year.
SADC — the guarantor of the Global Political Agreement upon which the
coalition is anchored — is demanding a clear-cut election roadmap to be
endorsed by all the major parties in the inclusive government before it
could give the green light to an election in Zimbabwe.
The 15-member bloc fears that rushing elections in tension-filled Zimbabwe
could worsen violence, reported in some parts of the country and, in the
end, produce yet another contested electoral outcome.
With the elections now unlikely this year focus in the inclusive government
is now shifting to the conduct of its public officers in and outside their
The performance of the bulk of its office bearers has not been up to
scratch. Cabinet has also been blighted by allegations of corruption against
some of its ministers.
The Financial Gazette has names of three Cabinet ministers likely to be
purged under the reshuffle. All three are not aligned to any of the two
prominent factions within ZANU-PF, reportedly led by retired army general,
Solomon Mujuru and Defence Minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
If fact, the three are long-time loyalists of the President but are said to
have become a significant impediment to the rejuvenation of the party owing
to controversies surrounding their tenure in their respective portfolios.
One of the ministers hails from Mashonaland West, President Mugabe’s home
province. The second one is from Mashonaland Central, while the third is
from Matabeleland. All three are elected representatives of ZANU-PF in
Zimbabwe’s Parliament.
It was said by one source that one of the ministers had already been
proscribed from approving new deals within his ministry.
“All new dealings by the ministry are now being approved by President
Mugabe,” said the source.
The other had been involved in acts that the President felt had grossly
undermined ZANU-PF and threatened its electoral chances.
The third minister was said to be “too ambitious to be able to spearhead his
mandate without overcoming the temptation of greed”.
Sources said it was unlikely the reshuffle would be indiscriminate and
President Mugabe was said to be particularly alert to the potential to stoke
further divisions within his party by purging members of any of the two
prominent factions within ZANU-PF.
There have been efforts to unite the fractious party through a restructuring
exercise spearheaded by former Air Force of Zimbabwe vice Air Marshal, Henry
Muchena. Muchena is now a full time director of ZANU-PF.
But sources have indicated that divisions remain wide and deep, creating the
possibility of an implosion should President Mugabe choose to step down as
the party’s leader.

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HIFA artists ‘targeted by ZANU PF thugs’

by Irene Madongo
Monday 02 May 2011

Four sculptors who participated in the recently ended Harare International
Festival of Arts (HIFA) were attacked by ZANU PF thugs on Sunday, according
to reports.

On Monday, SW Radio Africa correspondent Simon Muchemwa said the sculptors
explained that they were headed for HIFA when they were picked up by a group
of Zanu PF youths, taken to the party’s provincial offices and beaten up.

Muchmewa said it was not clear who the ZANU PF group were taking orders
from, as it is believed that there are now a number of groups taking orders
from different people in the party.

He said that the group of four sculptors (including one white foreigner)
explained that they were accosted by ZANU PF thugs and then taken to ZANU PF
Harare Province offices at Fourth Avenue Bus terminus. “While they were
there, they say they were beaten and told they were being beaten because
HIFA is pro-MDC, and that is why ZANU PF and the police are worried about
it,” Muchemwa said.

They were released in the evening, just before the HIFA closing ceremony.

The incident comes after four top HIFA officials were summoned to Harare
Central Police Station on Thursday to discuss their censorship clearance for
the show. They were questioned and released without charge.

On Monday HIFA artistic director Manuel Bagorro confirmed that he and three
others met the police, who wanted to know if standard censorhisp procedures
had been sought and secured.

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Former Campfire director blames rampant poaching on land reform

Sunday, 01 May 2011 15:38


REPORTS from independent environmental organisations like the Zimbabwe
Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) clearly
indicate that the country’s wildlife population continues to dwindle
Unless some corrective measures are put in place urgently, the country risks
losing a whole lot more, to the point of some animals becoming extinct.

A drive around Zimbabwe`s  game parks and most remote areas that used to be
infested with wildlife is not as interesting as it used to be as there is
evidently no longer as much wildlife to talk about.

So bad is the situation that it has become necessary to reflect on the
wildlife management stance that the country has adopted for so many years
and discuss whether it is not about time that it is relooked at and
reviewed, seeing the strategies are not working.

Through much lobbying and advocacy, the Communal Areas Management Programme
for Indigenous Resources (Campfire) in Zimbabwe gained much momentum from as
early as the 80s in its fierce  fight for ``sustainable utilisation`` of
local wildlife resources and the need to grant locals licences to hunt and
trade in animal products.

This was welcomed by many Zimbabweans, most of who saw it as a chance to
fully utilise the country`s resources for financial enrichment.

Unfortunately, most appear to have missed the bit about utilising the
resources in a sustainable manner.

Although the Campfire programmes might genuinely have been positive as it is
undoubtedly of paramount importance that the indigenous people be
financially empowered through the locally-based God-given resources, results
show the prevailing trend has proven to be highly detrimental to the
livelihood of one the country`s most valuable treasures.

In a one -on- one interview  with The Standard, Steven Kasere, the former
Campfire director who resigned in 2001 under circumstances he described as
``political`` had a lot to say about the present state of affairs, as far as
wildlife management is concerned.

Kasere, who took over the directorship of Campfire in 1999 and became a
major player in the fight for the sustainable utilisation of the wildlife
resources in Zimbabwe, expressed great disappointment and concern over the
rapid deterioration of the country`s wildlife.

``Everywhere I go; people ask me if Campfire still exists. This is a very
sad situation when considering that it was mainly because of the Campfire
programme that the downlisting of the elephants from Cites (Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Appendix
1 to Appendix 2 was granted,`` he said as he reflected on the Campfire`s
past achievements.

With the rate of wildlife poaching in Zimbabwe, it would appear as though
Campfire is losing grip of the programmes that it once promoted with so

This could be because there isn`t much wildlife to talk of anymore.

Kasere blamed the apparent failure of Campfire`s programmes on greed nature,
which he said had seen so many animals getting killed for financial gain
without as much as allowing them a chance to regenerate.

Kasere was however quick to point out that failure of the Campfire
programmes to realise the intended results also had much to do with the land
reform programme that the government embarked on more than a decade ago.

``The land reform, though necessary, brought about human resource changes
that had to be accommodated.

Urbanites who were never part of the Campfire structures for management of
natural resources suddenly became farmers.

“Naturally, they started to cut down trees and kill animals because they had
no knowledge of other viable land use options other than agriculture,`` he

`In the former Campfire areas, key personnel that commanded higher natural
resource posts moved to new resettlement areas, leaving Campfire
institutions on the ground ineffective.
“So in a way, the land reform was not accompanied by the necessary
institutional arrangements to save wildlife. Hence a lot of wild animals
were killed while natural resource institutions collapsed,`` Kasere said.

However, the real issue here is not whether to place the blame on Campfire
for the leading role that it played in propounding the idea of resource
utilisation that has now clearly gone out of hand or if the blame should
instead rest on the government’s land policies that have seen the settlers
causing unprecedented degradation to the areas they settled in.

What is important is to admit that the wildlife management strategies that
Zimbabwe has adopted are just not working and to urgently seek to rectify
the situation, if the country`s wildlife is ever to be saved.

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Gukurahundi: Mugabe losing fight against history

30/04/2011 00:00:00
    by Dinizulu Mbikokayise Macaphulana

ZIMBABWE, as we have known and experienced it, is coming to an end; not only
an end, but a very sad one for those who insist that the genocidal
absurdities and violet extremities of Robert Mugabe are normal and should be

Consumed by its internal contradictions and attacked by its external enemies
in the shape of survivors of Gukurahundi, victims of ethnic cleansing and
its former friends in the African and larger international community, the
genocidal tyranny in Harare is coming down tumbling from political grace to
historical grass.

As sure as sunrise and sunset are tomorrow, Mugabe is, by the hand of
historical gravity and the active agency and anger of his victims, tittering
towards seeing the very ugly colour of his political and historical demise.

The observations that I posit to make in this article are not the easy
rantings of a disgruntled journalist or emotional postulations of an
extremist oppositional communicator. They are, in actuality, honest
examinations of recent historical developments and candid  expressions of
ensuing political events whose truism, accuracy and realism exists in the
blood, flesh and bone realm that can been seen by one and all. And these
observations are for record.

While Mugabe has so far enjoyed the comfortable and gentle “opposition” of
Morgan Tsvangirai who, when he is not boycotting elections to let Mugabe win
unopposed, is describing how Mugabe remains his hero, at last Mugabe is
coming face to face with the very unhappy children of those he put into mass

While Mugabe’s so far formidable opponents and critics like Nelson Chamisa
have been shouting at him on top of desks but under the tables sending him
romantic and admiring notes, at long last the aged tyrant is confronted by
those he owes not only truth and justice but also blood. Mugabe himself and
all serious observers of the Zimbabwean political theatre and its
absurdities are very clear about these sobering realities.

One needs only to notice the undignified speed and unceremonious desperation
with which Zanu PF mandarins led by Nathaniel Manheru are trying, on behalf
of Mugabe, to unite Zimbabweans by mobilizing their memory of colonialism
around the mass graves in Mount Darwin.

Their shameless pretence has been that the skeletons that lie in that grave
are victims of the genocidal Rhodesian regime. Zimbabweans are being
bombarded with horrific images of exhumed cadavers in an attempt to shock
them into rallying behind Mugabe as a liberator and national protector.

In spite of the fact that it is known that those remains in Mount Darwin are
remains of Gukurahundi victims that were abducted from Matabaleland and the
Midlands , killed and buried in chosen spots in Moshanaland, the Nathaniel
Manherus of our time will still try to use them as cheap Zanu PF propaganda.

What Mugabe and his mandarins know and are trying to avoid is that there are
many in Matabaleland and the Midlands who will not have their memories
jogged to the distant brutalities of Smith but are resolved to get justice
for the recent genocide of Mugabe and Zanu PF of in Gukurahundi massacres.

The 2000 MLF cadres who recently burnt the Zimbabwean flag in Johannesburg,
the Mthwakazi trio that Mugabe recently tortured and incarcerated Moses
Mzila and Father Mkandla are just a small part of that generation that is
tired of being afraid and silent. Mugabe, his army, police and intelligence
will not stop this.

Now that the victims of Gukurahundi and survivors of ethnic cleansing are
naturally becoming unafraid of Mugabe’s brutality and jails one only needs
to watch the political and historical space for another Saddam Hussein
scenario in Harare.

The people of Mashonaland might weep and be angry with Ian Smith about the
gruesome images of skeletons from Mount Darwin; thanks to Mugabe the people
of Midlands and Matabeleland are angry with Mugabe and about Gukurahundi.

The national sentiment and memory that Mugabe is trying to invoke is of a
Zimbabwe that no longer exists as it was finished by the Gukurahundi
genocide that divided the country into victims and non – victims. Mugabe is
desperately seeking this now imaginary Zimbabwe when it is already too late.

The anger of the victims of Gukurahundi has reached boiling point in
Midlands, Matabeleland and in the Diaspora. This happens at a time when
Mugabe’s British friends who assisted him commit the Gukurahundi crime
against humanity and knighted him in the order of Bath are no longer so fond
of him to say the least.

This also happens at a time when Genocide Watch International as recent as
2010 has declared Gukurahundi a major genocide warranting international
attention. Therefore, that Mugabe is a cornered tyrant who has become
vulnerable to his angry victims and those in the international community who
are more than willing to assist them is a stingy underestimation.

The images of a dejected and humiliated Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast and
his wife surrounded by their angry capturers should mean more to Mugabe than
to any ordinary news viewer.

The 2000-strong so called apostolic sect members that Mugabe has settled in
Gary Rosenfels’ farm in Marula are not civilians. They are a selection of
soldiers, police officers and intelligence operatives and their families.

Most of them already have villages and land in Mashonaland, they are only
being settled in Matabeleland South to dilute the Matabale language and
sentiment, to influence elections and infiltrate the angry region

Mugabe desperately wishes that Gukurahundi will be forgiven and totally
forgotten; and, not only that, but also that Matabeleland itself does not
exist anymore. These and others are the desperate doings of a drowning man
who from a distance appears to be waving when he is sinking and sinking very

Matabeleland will not cease to exist, Gukurahundi will never be forgiven or
forgotten and the perpetrators will be punished by their victims and
humanity. Mugabe’s attempts to erase the memory of the crime are a pathetic
losing fight against history which is a herald of political and historical
doom whose dramatics and spectacles will forever haunt posterity.

While Tsvangirai and MDC-T are praising Mugabe and passing laudatory notes
to polish his genocidal ego, general Nandi Nandi, Welshman Ncube and Dumiso
Dabengwa should breathe courage and inspiration into the youths that have
started burning the false flag.

A courageous and visionary leadership block must be created that will fight
the war against genocide and tyranny that Joshua Nkomo wisely or unwisely
avoided and postponed. Africa and the larger international community are by
ordinary observation ready to support those who confront tyranny by any

Away with the tyrannical stigmatization that those Africans who align with
Westerners to pursue their political and historical ends are sellouts.
Junius Brutus, a philosopher, argued that “I would rather let a thief feed
me than allow a supposed shepherded to devour me.” If our former colonisers
and enslavers are willing to help us to solve genocide and access justice
then God bless us.

Mugabe was armed by the British, trained by North Koreans and financed by
the Chinese in conducting Gukurahundi, there is nothing unholy or sellout
about victims of genocide forging their own useful alliances

As Mugabe and his admirers in the MDC-T continue to fight a losing battle
against history and memory , the leaders of the victims of genocide and
survivors of ethnic cleansing should be utilizing the African and
international revolutionary opportunities that world history and nature have
so generously occasioned at long last. Africa and the world must not be
allowed to sleep peacefully, while a major genocide is swept under the
Dinizulu Mbikokayise Macaphulana is a Zimbabwean journalist studying in

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Mpofu must go

By Reagan Mashavave, Staff Writer
Monday, 02 May 2011 15:16

HARARE - Mines Minister Obert Mpofu is fighting for his political life
following the arrest last week of two foreign nationals who allegedly
smuggled diamonds out of the country worth US$2 million without the
necessary Kimberley Process certification.

Two Indian citizens were arrested by India’s revenue intelligence
directorate last week for allegedly smuggling 48 663 carats of rough
diamonds which are said to have come from the vast Marange diamond fields.

The men were identified as Zohra Desai, 53, and Prema Desai, 49.

This has prompted diamond dealers, experts, activists, and political parties
to ratchet up their calls for the beleaguered Mpofu to either resign or be

Last year, Core Mining director Lovemore Kurotwi, allegedly accused Mpofu in
front of President Mugabe of asking for a US$10 million bribe for diamond
mining favours.

Kurotwi was arrested soon after that and Mugabe did not take action against
Mpofu. These details are contained in court documents produced during
Kurotwi’s trial.

On its part, the MDC, supported by diamond dealers, has long implored Mugabe
and the inclusive government to investigate and prosecute the smuggling of
diamonds out of the country – allegedly by Zanu PF leaders, senior
government officials and securocrats.

The MDC and the diamond dealers further allege that Zanu PF functionaries
are using proceeds from illegally-acquired diamonds to
enrich themselves and to fund their party’s activities, as well as to
unleash terror on the people of Zimbabwe.

The Center for Research and Development (CRD) said at the weekend the
minister was not doing enough to curb diamond smuggling in the country,
was not doing enough to curb diamond smuggling in the country, calling for
Mpofu’s immediate resignation or dismissal.

It said the minister must “take full responsibility for the continued loss
of revenue due to weak security throughout the diamond supply chain and
unlicensed diamond mining activities, mainly due to his apparent failure to
implement the joint work plan developed by Zimbabwe and the Kimberley
Process Certification Scheme”.

CRD regional coordinator Tyanai Masiya said the smuggling of diamonds out of
the country was depriving Zimbabweans the ability to benefit from the
precious stones, adding that foreigners now appeared to be the biggest
beneficiaries of the country’s vast diamond resources.

“What we have been seeing is that the minister (Mpofu) has been denying
reports of massive smuggling that has been going on yet we see the
continuation of the proliferation of diamond smuggling in the country. He is
not truthful on diamond smuggling. This is not the first time that
Zimbabwean diamonds have been smuggled. Smuggled diamonds from Zimbabwe have
been intercepted in at least four countries,” Masiya said in a telephone
interview with the Daily News from his Cape Town base.

“It is just an indication that government has not put adequate measures to
stop diamond smuggling. The government must involve stakeholders to stop the
smuggling of diamonds,” he said.

Other diamond experts canvassed by the Daily News yesterday also confirmed
the existence of a cartel of diamond smugglers allegedly led by senior Zanu
PF and government officials, as well as some officials from the Zimbabwe
Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC).

One of the experts who requested anonymity said: “There is a deliberate ploy
not to meet the Kimberly Process requirements so that the cartel continues
to smuggle diamonds through the underworld. Our diamonds are being smuggled
to India, Dubai and Lebanon among other countries.

The group involved in these illegal and despicable activities is dangerous
because it has senior government officials, security guys and even lawyers
among its ranks.

“If government starts selling diamonds through the proper channels, then
they will not benefit. The one side of government which is benefiting from
the illegal sales will be broke because through the Kimberly Process, every
carat is accounted for. “If President Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai do not act to stop this, then the country will never benefit from
diamond sales. They are looting the country dry while civil servants are

Meanwhile, reacting to the arrest of the two Indian nationals, Mpofu said
his ministry had not received any information on whether the diamonds were
from Zimbabwe. He said the calls for his resignation were unwarranted as he
could not monitor the country’s borders. He said only those who appointed
him could fire or make him resign.

“It is difficult to stop smuggling. Why should I resign over that? I am only
a minister of mines. I am not an investigating officer of the police. It is
for the police and Interpol to deal with such issues.

“How can I monitor 1 400km of the country’s borders? Diamonds are smuggled
across the world and not only in Zimbabwe. Most powerful nations like the
United States have been failing to stop drug smuggling with all their mighty
security systems. You can’t totally eradicate crime,” Mpofu said.

At least US$300 million from diamond sales disappeared early this year. This
came to light when Mugabe inadvertently announced that he wanted to give the
money to civil servants, only for finance minister Tendai Biti to announce
that the money had not been transferred to treasury.

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We’re ready to takeover: Tsvangirai

by Edward Jones     Monday 02 May 2011

BULAWAYO – Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai
said yesterday he was in no doubt that his party would capture power from
long serving President Robert Mugabe in the next election in a speech meant
to energise supporters and promised to grow the economy to $100 billion by

Tsvangirai is the only politician that has come closest to toppling Mugabe,
but his party says he has twice been robbed of victory by the 87-year-old
former guerilla leader.

The fiery former trade union leader formed a unity government with Mugabe in
2009 after a violent election in which his MDC ended ZANU-PF’s dominance in
parliament in 2008. Tsvangirai is now Prime Minister in the unity

Mugabe has previously called for elections this year but his officials now
suggest the vote could be held in 2012 or 2013.

“The elections are critical in that they will, without doubt, usher an MDC
government into power,” Tsvangirai told supporters, who voted through
Saturday night to choose new leaders.

“It is only an MDC government that has capacity and support to grow this
economy by about 10 percent every year.”

Zimbabwe’s economy, once a beacon of hope in the region, has plumbed new
depths after Mugabe violently seized white-owned commercial farms, which
knocked commercial agriculture, is now on the recovery path after the
formation of the coalition.

But that recovery could come under threat as the ageing President has again
rattled foreign investors with plans to force miners to surrender at least
51 percent of their local shares to blacks in less than six months.

Tsvangirai says the drive is driven by greed.

The Zimbabwean Prime Minister said the MDC would embrace investor friendly
policies, attracting investment in mining, infrastructure development and
agriculture to end unemployment.

He said an MDC government would entrench democracy and constitutionalism and
end human rights violations.

But Tsvangirai will have to first unite the party that has been knocked by a
sometimes violent leadership contest.

Of the top positions only organising secretary Elias Mudzuri lost his
position to former party spokesman Nelson Chamisa. MDC legislator Douglas
Mwonzoro is the new spokesman.

Analysts said the largely unchanged leadership could mean that supporters
still had confidence in the leaders and did not want to cause further
divisions in the movement ahead of elections.

“I am under no illusion that the task that you have placed on me and my team
will be easy. But the vision that I have for this party and for Zimbabwe is
great and will guide us to glory,” Tsvangirai said to cheers from

“I have a vision to create a society where the rule of law is paramount, a
society where property rights are respected, a society where people enjoy
freedom of speech, freedom of association and other rights guaranteed in our

A survey carried by United States based Freedom House has shown that support
for MDC dropped to 38 percent last year from 55 percent in 2009 at a time
ZANU-PF’s popularity rose to 17 percent in 2010 from 12 percent in 2009, the
survey said. -- ZimOnline

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Mudzuri toppled

By Pindai Dube
Monday, 02 May 2011 15:11

HARARE - Former Energy minister Elias Mudzuri, is now an ordinary card
carrying member of the mainstream MDC after he was trounced by Information,
Communication and Technology minister Nelson Chamisa in elections for the
post of organising secretary.

Chamisa, the former spokesperson of the MDC, garnered 2670 votes against
Mudzuri’s 777 votes and there were 447 spoiled papers.

All delegates from the MDC’s 12 provinces voted in elections to choose new
leadership which will lead the party for the next five years.

Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe retained her position as vice
president of the party after beating Norman Mabhena and Tabitha Khumalo.

Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo also retained the chairmanship position
after defeating Lucia Matibenga.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti retained his secretary-general position after
beating Public Service Minister, Eliphas Mukonoweshuro.

The hotly contested election was for the Information and Publicity Secretary
position where Copac co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora defeated Deputy Youth
Minister, Tongai Matutu.

Abdenico Bhebhe, who is the former MDC-Mutambara deputy spokesperson, is now
the new deputy organising secretary after defeating Thamsanqa Mahlangu the
former youth chairperson in another hotly contested election.

Morgan Komichi is the new vice chairperson after defeating Blessing Chebundo
and Alexio Musundire.

Economic Planning Minister, Tapiwa Mashakada also retained his deputy
secretary general position after beating three other candidates Gift
Chimanikire, Paurina Gwanyaya-Mpariwa and Bhekithemba Mpofu.

Energy Minister,  Elton Mangoma retained his position of the deputy
treasurer general after beating two other candidates, Sekai Holland and
Samuel Sipepa Nkomo the National Healing Minister and Water Resources
Minister respectively.

In his closing remarks after the elections which began on Saturday afternoon
and ended yesterday morning, MDC President and Premier Morgan Tsvangirai
thanked the MDC delegates for voting peacefully and also for being patient.

“I thank all of you for taking time off your busy schedules to come and
participate in the re-organisation of our party of excellence. What we have
done in the last few days is to lay the foundation on our structure towards
our preparations for governing this country,” said Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai also paid tribute to senior party members who lost the election
and also congratulated those who won.

“I wish to take this opportunity to pay tribute to those comrades who may
not have won their election, and to those who are relinquishing their posts,
I wish on behalf of the grateful party, to thank your sacrifice, leadership
and commitment over the past five years.

“To those of you who have been re-elected or those who have been elected to
new positions of leadership, I congratulate you, but you now have enormous
responsibility on your shoulders,” he said.

The MDC president said his task after being nominated unopposed by all
provinces is to lead the party for the next five years and to take it from a
partner in this coalition government to become the governing party after the
next election.

MDC President
Morgan Tsvangirai   unopposed
Vice President
Votes garnered
Thokozani Khupe     3047
Thabitha Khumalo    99
Norman Mabhena    347
Spoiled ballots   273
Lovemore Moyo 3040
Lucia Matibenga  566
Spoiled ballots 273
Secretary General
Tendai Biti    2815
Eliphas Mukonoweshuro  764
Vice Chairperson
Morgan Komichi   1601
Alexio Musundire   535
Blessing Chebundo   460
Spoiled   1000
Deputy Secretary General
Tapiwa Mashakada   2177
Gift Chimanikire       631
Paurina Mpariwa   318
Bhekithemba Mpofu   240
Spoiled 416
Treasurer General
Roy Bennett unopposed
Deputy Treasurer General
Elton Mangoma 2484
Sekai Holland  757
Samuel Sipepa Nkomo 373
Spoiled  277
Organising Secretary
Nelson Chamisa  2670
Elias Mudzuri 777
Spoiled 447
Deputy Organising Secretary
Thamsanqa Mahlangu 1321
Abednico Bhebhe 1933
Spoiled 447
Information and Publicity Secretary
Douglas Mwonzora 2651
Tongai Matutu 1150
Spoiled 274

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Madhuku hails MDC election process

By Pindai Dube
Monday, 02 May 2011 15:21

HARARE - National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairman, Lovemore Madhuku
said the mainstream MDC elections process to choose new party leaders during
their just ended congress in Bulawayo was one of the best in Africa, as it
was very peaceful and transparent.

Addressing the MDC congress on yesterday morning at Barbourfields Stadium
before announcing the results, Madhuku who was leading the NCA team that
conducted the elections, said the MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai and
delegates had excellent polls.

“I would like to thank the MDC for this kind of exercise. You should have
asked Kenya Prime Minister (Raila) Odinga, if you go around Africa today you
are not likely to find an example of a political party that conducts its
elections with this kind of thoroughness.

“There is no party like that, even us who were asked to run elections we
were in doubt that the election process was going to be successful,” said

Madhuku said all losing candidates and polling agents were satisfied with
the voting process as it was excellent.

“If you see anyone who will be talking differently about what happened here
during these elections, that person won’t be having the interest of the
party and the country at heart,” he said.

The MDC elections started on Saturday afternoon and ended in the evening.

The verification process started at 10pm after all delegates from 12
provinces of the party had voted.

The counting process followed and went on until yesterday morning when the
results were announced around 8am.

Bulawayo lawyer Kucaca Phulu was also part of the team that conducted the
election process.

Finance Minister and secretary-general, Tendai Biti who also contested and
won told the Daily News after the announcement of the results that the
peaceful environment that prevailed during the MDC elections was a shame to
Zanu PF which wanted to destabilise his party.

“Zanu PF was defeated; they had plans to destabilise our party but were
defeated. I want to thank members of our party for defending it against Zanu
PF,” said Biti.

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Mugabe at the Vatican: Dictator beats EU travel ban to be among 1.5m watching Pope beatify his predecessor

By Nick Pisa
Last updated at 9:32 PM on 1st May 2011

Brutal dictator Robert Mugabe sidestepped a European travel ban to attend the beatification of the late Pope John Paul II at the Vatican yesterday.

The Zimbabwean president was able to join the crowd of 1.5million at the ceremony because the Vatican, while located in the Italian capital Rome, is a sovereign state and not part of the EU.

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, who attended the ceremony, said Mugabe’s record on human rights was deplorable and ‘it felt uncomfortable to be in his presence’.

Controversy: Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace, yesterday at the beatification ceremony for the late Pope John Paul II at the Vatican

Controversy: Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace, yesterday at the beatification ceremony for the late Pope John Paul II at the Vatican

It was not the first time Mugabe, 87, who has driven his country to starvation while building up his own riches, has caused controversy by attending a Vatican function.

In 2005 the tyrant sat next to the Prince of Wales at Pope John Paul’s funeral and Charles was caught out having to shake hands with him.

After yesterday’s service, Archbishop Nichols said: ‘The Vatican has not broken off diplomatic relations with Zimbabwe and if [Mugabe] wants to attend and he is invited, then he can do so, but personally I found it uncomfortable.’

The three-hour ceremony was also attended by the Duke of Gloucester, on behalf of the Royal Family, several other European royals and 62 heads of state.

Pope Benedict XVI, who wore Pope John Paul’s robes and kissed a phial of his blood during the service, led the colourful spectacle of ritual, hymns and prayers in a sun-dappled St Peter’s Square.

The service began with a huge tapestry of Pope John Paul, who died aged 84 on April 2 2005, being unfurled from a balcony at St Peter’s to cheers from the vast crowd on the cobbles below as Pope Benedict announced the blessing.

Blessing: Pope Benedict XVI pictured arriving to lead the mass for the beatification of Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square

Blessing: Pope Benedict XVI pictured arriving to lead the mass for the beatification of Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square

Vatican watchers said it was the first time a current pontiff had beatified, or declared blessed, his predecessor in a ceremony marking the initial stage in sainthood.

The process leading to sainthood usually begins five years after a candidate’s death, but Pope Benedict waived the rule for Pope John Paul.

The decision came after three million people attended his funeral in 2005, many carrying banners urging Pope Benedict to make him a ‘santo subito’, or saint immediately.

There has been criticism of the speeding up of the process, especially as many observers claim the Polish pontiff turned a blind eye to abuse by Catholic priests.

To be declared blessed, evidence of a miracle is needed and the one used in this case was that of French nun Sister Marie Simon-Pierre who was apparently cured of Parkinson’s after she prayed to Pope John Paul.

To proceed to the next step and full sainthood, evidence of a second miracle is needed and Vatican officials are ‘looking at several case studies’.

Security was tight at yesterday’s service, with marksmen at strategic points overlooking the packed square, helicopters buzzing overhead and plain-clothes police mingling with the crowd.

As part of the ceremony, Pope John Paul’s coffin was exhumed from the crypt below St Peter’s and taken to a chapel so pilgrims could see it.

Celebrations continue today with a thanksgiving mass at the Vatican.

Beatified: Pope John Paul II, who died in April 2005, was honoured in a ceremony marking the initial stage in sainthood yesterday

Beatified: Pope John Paul II, who died in April 2005, was honoured in a ceremony marking the initial stage in sainthood yesterday


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Banning Mugabe would drag the Vatican into a diplomatic minefield

The Vatican is a Church; on what grounds can it ban someone from coming to Mass?

By Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith on Monday, 2 May 2011

Banning Mugabe would drag the Vatican into a diplomatic minefield

Robert Mugabe receives Holy Communion at the beatification Mass in St Peter's Square (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Blessed John Paul II, pray for us!

Like millions of Catholics all over the world I am absolutely overjoyed by the beatification of the Blessed John Paul II. I remember thinking at the time of his death that here was a man who gave himself 100 per cent to his mission – a true example to all priests and bishops, and to all the baptised. Now that shining example of personal holiness has been raised to the altars as a Beatus.

However, not everyone shares my joy. The usual suspects have rounded themselves up to try and pour cold water on this celebration. One cloud on the horizon was certainly provided by the presence of Comrade (as he prefers to be called) Robert Mugabe, and this was enough to give some commentators the excuse they were looking for.

The Independent’s report contains this misleading statement:

Mr Mugabe is the subject of an EU-wide travel ban and the Vatican had to obtain special permission for him to be allowed to enter the pocket statelet. It will be at least the third time that Mr Mugabe has taken advantage of the Vatican’s and/or Italy’s diplomatic largesse since John Paul’s death.

The Lateran Treaty established a “diplomatic corridor” between the Vatican and the rest of the world. When Sir D’Arcy Osborne was holed up in the Vatican for the duration of the Second World War, the Italians were obliged to allow him and his staff to travel across Italian territory to Switzerland in a sealed train, so that he could take a holiday, despite the fact that he was an enemy alien. Likewise, personae non gratae in Italy have always had the right to pass through Italian territory in order to get to the Vatican – this includes members of the Savoy family, Italy’s former ruling house, who were banned from Italy by law, but who were perfectly entitled to fly into Rome and visit the Pope any time they wished (a privilege they never made use of.)

Incidentally, this convention applies to the United Nations as well. Hence Mugabe can fly into New York and Rome to get to the UN, and no one can do anything about it.

However, the Vatican could ban Mugabe, as could the UN. Quite so. But there is a problem here. The Vatican is a Church; on what grounds can it ban someone from coming to Mass? It is perfectly true it could place Mugabe under interdict for his many sins and misdemeanours, but if you start with Mugabe, where would you finish? Should Berlusconi also be banned? What about the much married Sarkozy? What about, let us say, the late Robin Cook? In these circumstances, given the difficulty in judging politicians, it does seem reasonable to accept all comers. They accepted Mussolini and Jörg Haider, after all. The latter did cause an outcry, but to have banned him would have made every prospective visit a nightmare of potential protest.

Another matter that most English readers may not realise is that Mugabe, a hate figure in the UK, is much admired in many parts of Africa. Indeed, in some countries he is treated as a hero. And he is not disliked in Italy: that he has victimised white farmers in the name of anti-colonialism does not play badly in Italy where what is perceived as British hypocrisy over Mussolini’s invasion of Abyssinia in 1935 is not altogther forgotten. However, Zimbabwe is not much of an issue for Italians, and this would explain why Fr Lombardi’s comments seem so lame.

Incidentally, La Repubblica, Italy’s top newspaper, seems to have no mention of Mugabe’s presence in its current online edition. Far more interesting, from their point of view, is the spectacle of a hardworking prime minister falling asleep at the beatification. Poor Silvio Berlusconi. He is 74, and those late nights spent on official duties must be taking their toll.


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