The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Zuma to Take Up Zimbabwe Security Sector Reform With Harare

Sources said Mr. Zuma’s team pressed negotiators to draw set a time line for
a referendum on a new constitution and the next elections so as to have a
definitive document to present to a SADC summit on May 20

Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington  06 May 2011

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Cape Town on
Thursday, Mr. Tsvangirai said he wants a road map that will produce credible
elections whose results will not be contested

Discussions among negotiators for the parties in Zimbabwe's troubled unity
government ended Friday in Cape Town, South Africa, with a request to
regional mediator President Jacob Zuma to schedule meetings with the Harare
principals on critical items.

Such issues include reform of the Zimbabwean security sector to ringfence
the electoral process from interference by the military, the police and
intelligence services, and the reconstitution of the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission to remove carryovers from the predecessor commission who remain
loyal to President Robert Mugabe.

The negotiators opened talks on Thursday at the request of Mr. Zuma, named
mediator in the Zimbabwe crisis by the Southern African Development
Community in 2009. They presented a draft road-map to the next Zimbabwean
elections to a team of facilitators and advisers representing Mr. Zuma and
by extension SADC and the African Union.

Sources close to the talks said Mr. Zuma’s team pressed the negotiators to
draw set a specific timeline for a referendum on the constitution now under
drafting and the next elections so as to have a definitive document to
present to a SADC summit May 20.

Negotiators for ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change formations
are now expected to meet next week in Harare to discuss the timelines before
Mr. Zuma’s arrival for talks with President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai and Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, leader of the
smaller MDC formation.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Cape Town on
Thursday, Mr. Tsvangirai said he wants a road map that will produce credible
elections whose results will not be contested. He said negotiating with Mr.
Mugabe had been "frustrating."

Energy Minister Elton Mangoma, negotiator for the Tsvangirai MDC formation,
told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that the MDC agreed on various
issues with their ZANU-PF counterparts but it was not clear whether
implementation would follow.

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MDCT-T Blamed For Most Of The Violence In Zim

07/05/2011 14:01:00

HARARE, May 07, 2010- Police on Friday blamed Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party for the eruption of political violence across the
country saying the party has for the past few months been a major culprit
especially during the run-up to their congress.

The police were responding to a report published by a local daily, Newsday,
which alleges that Zanu (PF) has unleashed political violence across the
country, the Zimbabwe Republic Police claims their records shows clearly
that MDC-T is the major perpetrator of political violence which were
recovered in most provinces ahead of the party's congress held last month.
Police Spokesperson Superintendent Andrew Phiri warned MDC-T against trying
to destabilise the country through acts of political violence and said the
culprits will be dealt with accordingly.

Responding to the recent alleged kidnapping of four of MDC-T supporters in
Mbare, Superintendent Phiri said the party should follow procedures of
reporting cases and the matters should be left in the hands of capable
According to the report MDC-T tops the list in national political violence
records as demonstrated by intra-party clashes during the provincial
elections and the congress.
The report indicates that from January to April this year, MDC- T party has
been involved in more than 20 incidences of violence though it has blamed
Zanu PF.

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MDC Dismisses Police Report Alleging Violence

The report, released Tuesday, said intra-party violence in the MDC formation
during the first four months of the year topped the national violence record
despite claims by the party that its members are always on the receiving end
from ZANU-PF supporters.

Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington  06 May 2011

The Zimbabwean police have issued a report alleging that the Movement for
Democratic Change wing of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai exceeds President
Robert Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF and other parties in the commission of
political violence.

The report released this week said intra-party violence in the MDC formation
during the first four months of the year topped the national violence record
despite claims by the party that its members are usually on the receiving
end from ZANU-PF supporters.

The police report said more than 20 violent incidents were recorded during
the build-up to the MDC’s national congress held in Bulawayo last week.

Violence fIared in Masvingo, Bulawayo and Midlands during provincial
congresses ahead of the main event in Bulawayo, prompting Mr.Tsvangirai to
openly condemn the use of violence within the party. He has however accused
ZANU-PF of fomenting violence.

The MDC resolved at the Bulawayo congress to form a committee that will
investigate internecine violence, promising to bring perpetrators to book.

MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora told VOA reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the
party was not taking the police report seriously as it was made up out of
whole cloth.

Director Phillip Pasirayi of the Center for Community Development in
Zimbabwe dismissed the police report saying it's common knowledge that the
police always protected ZANU-PF members who go about harassing MDC

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Zim civil rights groups preparing report on violence

Written by Mxolisi Ncube
Saturday, 07 May 2011 12:23

JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwean civil rights groups said recently that they are
monitoring the situation at home and making notes for a report to be
published before the extra-ordinary summit of the regional SADC bloc,
expected later this month.
This follows reports of continuing violence unleashed by President Robert
Mugabe on his political opponents, despite a recent order by the SADC for
the octogenarian leader to stop the crackdown, mainly targeted at the
mainstream MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The SADC Troika summit in Zambia on March 31 noted with grave concern the
polarisation of the political environment as characterised by the resurgence
of violence, arrests and intimidation. It resolved that there must be an
immediate end of violence, intimidation, hate speech, harassment, and any
other form of action that contradicts the letter and spirit of GPA. But a
civil rights leader here said Mugabe and his junta continued to destabilise
the GNU.
“There has been very little change and we are worried that hate speech is
continuing in the state media, while violence has not subsided,” said
Munjodzi Mutandiri of the National Constitutional Assembly. “A dossier with
credible evidence will be released just before and during the SADC meeting.
For example, ZBC is still being dominated by Zanu (PF) propaganda, with no
other party getting coverage.”
Among a number of measures that the groups will demand is the immediate
suspension of Zimbabwe from the regional grouping, which gave Mugabe a
lifeline when he faced rejection by the majority of Zimbabweans.

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MDC officials arrested, detained in Kariba

Written by The Zimbabwean
Saturday, 07 May 2011 12:30

Mupukuta objects as group buys drinks at ZESA club

KARIBA – Ten MDC-T officials were arrested here on Easter Monday as they
tried to have a drink in the ZESA social club.
Overzealous ZPC security approached the group and said the Zanu (PF)
district Chairman, Moses Mupukuta, who was also at the club was not happy
with the presence of the known MDC-T members.
As some of the group were trying to pay $6.70 for the drinks which they had
ordered, the Dispol stormed in and arrested them for “public gathering”.
When More Mudondo, the MDC-T youth Chairman insisted that they were just
having drinks, the police ordered the five officials to get into the police
Mitsubishi Pick Up truck and to answer all charges at Kariba Police Station.
“It was shocking to see a high ranking police official of the rank of Dispol
arresting innocent civilians at a public place simply because they support
MDC-T. At the police station he instructed that they be locked away for a
night,” said an eye witness.
Those arrested included Greenwich Ndanga, the Mashonaland West Provincial
Secretary, together with Director of Elections Chafu, Councillors Musemburi
and Chatora, District Youth Chairman More Mudondo, District Youth Organising
Secretary Tafadzwa, District Secretary George Masendu, Ward Chairperson
Robby Tigere, District Youth Treasurer Whachi and Provincial Youth member
Opa Makwenya.
The local ZESA manager was forced to come up with flimsy charges against the
activists and they were locked away and the cells heavily guarded by police
with guns. The following morning the other five MDC-T activists who had left
the Club before the Dispol ordered the arrest of their fellows, were dragged
from their homes and locked up with the others at the Kariba Police Station
“Even though Kariba has a court in which these detainees could be tried,
investigating officers had to be summoned from Chinhoyi Law and Order
Section as a delaying tactic. After a whole night’s interrogation they were
bundled the following day into a Mitsubishi Pick Up and transferred to
appear in Chinhoyi - some 200kms away,” said the witness.
“Detentions are now an antiquated system of repression against us and can no
longer crush our spirits. So many heroes of the struggle have survived
incarceration before, to an extent that being detained in Zimbabwe for
political reasons is now so ordinary, Zanu (PF) should desist from this old
tactic as it no longer works,” said Ndonga. “Zanu (PF) was rejected in
Kariba and the people of Kariba will continue to reject them,” he added.
The Kariba MDC-T Youth Chairman said Zanu (PF) was behaving as if there was
no inclusive government. “They are treating all ZESA assets as Zanu (PF)
property to the extent that the ZESA Power Company buses are sometimes
abused by party officials to ferry their members to various functions. One
wonders if the Minister of Energy, Elton Mangoma, is aware of this abuse of
ZESA assets,” he said.

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Chinamasa, Goche face ZANU-PF wrath

Friday, 06 May 2011 12:33

Clemence Manyukwe, Political Editor

ZANU-PF has turned the heat on its negotiators after what party stalwarts
alleged were a number of controversial concessions made in talks meant to
extinguish a crisis between the party and its rivals in the inclusive
Party officials said some of the agreed positions in a planned election
road-map contravene some of the liberation party’s own resolutions.
The party’s negotiators this week go into fresh meetings in South Africa
under immense pressure from hardliners in their party who feel that they are
giving too much ground to Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations
that might end up tilting the balance of power against them in forthcoming
Patrick Chinamasa, who leads negotiations on behalf of ZANU-PF, was also in
the eye of the storm for utterances he made last week in the State media.
The minister said it was not possible to hold elections this year
considering reforms that must first be implemented before any poll could
take place.
The view was totally at odds with President Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF’s
position that elections should be held this year.
Chinamasa, the Justice and Legal Affairs Minister, added: “We need to start
talking about elections next year or 2013 assuming that the referendum is
completed in September as we have been advised by COPAC (Constitution
Parliamentary Select Committee).”
COPAC is the body charged with the constitution-making process.
Sources this week said there was growing unease in ZANU-PF that Chinamasa
and Nicholas Goche, another member of the party’s negotiating team, could
end up costing the party in the impending polls.
Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma, are representing the MDC-T in the
negotiations with Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Edwin Mushoriwa
representing the other MDC outfit led by Welshman Ncube.
In an interview on Tuesday, ZANU-PF secretary for information and publicity,
Rugare Gumbo, said Chinamasa should not have expressed his personal opinion
on the issue of polls. He said ZANU-PF had not changed its stance that
elections would be held this year, adding that the party’s position is
supreme to any undertakings that may be made by its negotiators.
“I don’t work on personal opinions as a representative of the party.
Everyone in the party has an opinion, but in party politics no one expresses
his own opinions, you follow what the party says,” said Gumbo.
“The position of the party prevails. We still stand by the resolution of the
people’s conference in Mutare; we maintain the position taken by the
President that elections would be held this year. The Politburo and central
committee approved (the resolution) and we stand by that,” said Gumbo.
It is not only the possibility of delaying elections that has seen ZANU-PF
negotiators coming under fire. The negotiators also agreed to media reforms
that resulted in an agreement pushing for the appointment of new boards for
the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Broadcasting Auth-ority of Zimbabwe
and trustees for the Mass Media Trust.
There was also an agreement for the establishment of a Media Council of
Zimbabwe, the opening up of the airwaves and campaigning for the closure of
pirate radio stations, as agreed under the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
The negotiators also agreed that measures should be taken for the State
media to provide balanced and fair coverage to all political parties and to
stop unnecessary attacks on ministers seconded by MDC formations who would
be implementing government programmes.
Last week, ZANU-PF’s political commissar, who is also the Minister of Media,
Information and Publicity, Webster Shamu, criticised the proposed media
reforms and went to the extent of saying not even Chinamasa or Goche were
media experts.
“Not even our negotiators are communication experts. They are politicians
representing political parties who have been put together to deal with a
national political question,” said Shamu.
“We must not, as negotiators, abuse our mandates to roll back the very
freedoms we purport to read in the GPA.”
The pressure on ZANU-PF negotiators coincides with a meeting of negotiators
in South Africa that would also be attended by President Jacob Zuma’s
facilitation team.
The South African President’s international relations advisor, Lindiwe Zulu,
on Tuesday said the negotiators were expected to have left Zimbabwe
yesterday ahead of today’s meeting.
She said there would be two issues on the agenda: A review of the GPA and
the election road-map.
Zulu further said SADC officials recommended by the SADC Troika to join the
local dialogue were yet to be appointed.
“Right now, we are dealing with those two issues — the review of the GPA and
the road-map,” said Zulu.

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Air Zimbabwe fails to pay salaries

07/05/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

AIR Zimbabwe workers received only half their salaries last month as the
struggling airline’s operational and viability problems, which were worsened
by a recent month-long strike by its pilots, continue.

Workers confirmed the development in interviews with state media.

"We were given half salaries in April and management has made it clear that
it does not have money at the moment to give us our full salaries,” an
airline employee was quoted as saying.

"Management says the strike by the pilots worsened the cash flow problems
faced by the company.”

Acting chief executive, Innocent Mavhunga said the airline was facing cash
flow problems.

"Yes, they (workers) will continue to get half salaries. It is nothing new,"
Mavhunga said.

“We have cash flow problems at the moment.”

Mavhunga however dismissed reports that a London flight had to be cancelled
after the airline failed to raise money for fuel.

Passengers were left stranded after Thursday’s scheduled London flight was

The airline chief said a decision had been made to combine loads because of
declining passenger numbers.

"We decided to combine loads because the loads to London are low. They are
low because we are just coming from a strike and we are trying to optimize,"
he said.

Air Zimbabwe is sitting on a $100 million debt pile amid reports that
massive loses are also being incurred on all the seven routes the airline

The government was recently forced to chip-in with US$4 million to help end
a month-long strike by pilots.

Part of the money was reportedly used to pay the reduced April salaries.

Mavhunga warned that the airline was likely to continue paying half salaries
unless the cash flow situation improves.

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Civil servants: Pawns in a political game

Friday, 06 May 2011 11:58

Njabulo Ncube, Assistant Editor

ZIMBABWE’S civil servants are getting increasingly agitated after a promised
salary hike failed to materialise, setting the stage for a possible winter
of discontent.
Civil servants representatives have warned of a crippling strike next month
if the inclusive government fails to award them a reasonable salary
Presently civil servants take home an average of US$150 per month, in a
country where the poverty datum line is estimated at US$502.
Last month, President Robert Mugabe pledged to award the government wor-kers
hefty salary increments derived from the sale of gems from the controversial
Ma-range diamond fields.
While the country has held several auction sales of the Marange diamonds,
nothing has trickled down to the civil servants, with Finance Mini-ster,
Tendai Biti pleading ban-kruptcy.
As if this was not enough, last month war veterans of the country’s war of
liberation stormed Biti’s offices, dem-anding that he award them increments
from the diamond sales.
With the proceeds from the diamond sales now shrouded in mystery, the issue
has stoked tempers among public workers who feel the inclusive government
has abandoned them.
The generality of the public workers accuse Biti of deliberately refusing to
award them increments while allowing ministers and other senior government
officials to globe-trot at a time the government is claiming to be broke.
There is a general feeling that the civil servants have become pawns in a
political game as ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
formation headed by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai eye the next elections.
ZANU-PF is seen trying to drive a wedge between the MDC-T and labour by
presenting the party’s secretary general, who is the Minister of Finance, as
arrogant, unreasonable and selfish.
As if to confirm this theory, the Mines Ministry, which is headed by a
ZANU-PF minister, has been claiming to have wired substantial proceeds from
the sale of Marange diamonds to Treasury.
Biti has denied these claims, demanding an audit which has been resisted by
ZANU-PF ministers.
MDC-T is principally a labour-backed party. Intere-stingly, it is also in
charge of the labour portfolio in the inclusive government.
The bulk of the MDC-T leadership, including Prime Minister Tsvangirai, were
trade unionists. In fact they used the Zimbabwe Con-gress of Trade Unions as
the launch-pad for the MDC.
But there are concerns the MDC formations have abandoned the workers as they
join the gravy train in government, hence their silence over the plight of
civil servants.
Biti argues that a huge recurrent expenditure bill was among factors
militating against recovery of the country’s economy.
He suggested that a painful realignment of government spending was
In his first quarter fiscal update delivered last Thurs-day, Biti revealed
that recurrent expenditures, at 93,7 percent, had swallowed the bulk of the
US$655,6 million in revenues collected during the period. Wages and salaries
constituted 48 percent of recurrent expenditure.
“I think the whole issue reflects on the desperation     by politicians to
use the     deplorable conditions in the public sector for political
mileage,” said Trevor Maisiri, an independent political analyst.
“It indicates the state of politicisation of the civil ser-vices which must
critically be addressed through public sector reform initiatives. The public
service must not at all be engulfed in the political machinations
characteristic of party politics.
In that regard, conditions of service for the civil service sector must
therefore not be determined by the political infrastructure but must be
“This latest standoff is an indication of the bigger problem we have in
Zimbabwe where some national institutions have outrightly been abrogated to
and by political parties,” said Maisiri.
Bekithemba Mpofu, another analyst, said the promise for salary increments
was tantamount to vote buying.
“Vote buying comes in different forms and the recent promises to hike civil
servants’ salaries can be viewed as such,” said Mpofu.
“It is unthinkable to have a labour backed party suppressing civil servant
salary increases,” he added.
Reverend Useni Sibanda, the executive director of the Zimbabwe Christian
Alliance, said the announcement by the President of the increment, which
procedurally should be done by the Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of
Public Service, was indicative of the internal politics and tussle between
ZANU-PF and the MDC-T.
“The fight for space and political mileage to the electorate in many cases
dictates some populist announcements that have no bearing to the realities
on the ground.
“I think the announcement by the President was a political decision meant to
appeal to the huge base of civil servants,” he said.
The confusion over the salary increases is indicative of the struggle
between two sides of the government where one is trying to cut down on
expenditures and unbudgeted costs while the other side of the same
government wants to continue with fiscal indiscipline.
But the civil servants remain the losers in the meantime as state players
fight for political space.

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MDC hobbled by pre-election infighting


Allegations of violence, vote-buying, tribalism and jostling for top
positions at last weekend's national congress of Morgan Tsvangirai's
Movement for Democratic Change have dealt a blow to the party's improving

The MDC recently scored crucial political victories against Zanu-PF,
retaining the post of Speaker of Parliament and sealing its majority in
Parliament. It has also garnered overwhelming support from the Southern
African Development Community to oppose Zanu-PF-led crackdowns against its

The national congress was intended to further consolidate the MDC against
Zanu-PF ahead of the elections expected this year. Instead, it created deep
divisions in the party and posed a challenge to Tsvangirai's 12-year

Although Tsvangirai retained the party presidency, the run-up to the
congress was marked by violent clashes among MDC youth members and conflict
between Gorden Moyo and Matson Hlalo for the coveted Bulawayo chairperson
position, denting the party's pro-democracy image.

Zanu-PF has expertly exploited these internal squabbles to attack Tsvangirai
as "a leader without real power" and accuse the MDC of "ill discipline" and
involvement in violence across the country.

Eager to be seen reining in the chaos in his party, Tsvangirai promised to
set up an independent ­commission to investigate all acts of violence.

"We know those people causing violence … we don't tolerate violence and
party leaders sponsoring it face expulsion and will be investigated
thoroughly," he said.
A senior MDC official told the Mail & Guardian of the extensive vote-buying
that overshadowed the congress, a worrying sign that the party has lost its
pro-poor stance and has been overtaken by elitist practices.

"It's known that people were paid as much as $3 000 to buy votes for the
provincial posts. This congress wasn't concerned about ordinary people, but
with the self-serving interests of power-hungry individuals," said the

While other party heavyweights, including Tendai Biti, Nelson Chamisa,
Lovemore Moyo and Roy Bennett, romped to easy victories at the congress,
veteran leader Elias Mudzuri lost the race for the post of national
organising secretary. Mudzuri has long been viewed as an ambitious schemer
who is seeking to oust Tsvangirai.

In a Cabinet reshuffle last year Tsvangirai dropped Mudzuri as a minister,
strategically paving the way for his removal from top party structures.

The conference also sparked complaints of tribalism in the MDC's executive
committee; only three of its 13 leaders -- Moyo, Thokozani Khuphe and
Abednico Bhebhe are drawn from the Ndebele-speaking regions.

Traditionally, the Matabeleland and Midlands regions have been bastions of
support for the MDC during elections.

The smaller MDC faction, led by Welshman Ncube, has recently stepped up its
criticism of perceived tribal representation in Tsvangirai's grouping. This
has had a knock-on effect among some of Tsvangirai's supporters, who have
intensified their calls for a "regional balance" in the leadership.

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Tsvangirai Opts For Indigenisation

07/05/2011 17:39:00

JOHANNESBURG, May 07, 2011- Zimbabwe MDC leader says at World Economic Forum
he supports indigenisation policy that stipulates locals own 51% of the
shares in foreign companies

ZIMBABWEAN Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday voiced support for his
country’s controversial indigenisation policy, which stipulates that locals
should own at least 51% of the shares in foreign companies.

"Indigenisation is not about expropriation or nationalisation ... it’s about
setting fair value," he said at a debate at the World Economic Forum in Cape
Town .
It was the first time Zimbabwe’s opposition leader made clear he was in
favour of the new laws, which took effect in March when foreign mining firms
were given six months to sell a majority stake to local black investors.
Mining is one of the few profitable sectors in Zimbabwe and analysts warn
indigenisation could curtail capital inflows.

"People have raised concerns about indigenisation," Mr Tsvangirai told
reporters. "Across the political divide we agree on the principle of
citizenship empowerment."
Mr Tsvangirai said what was important was how the new laws would be
implemented. "We are trying to model a matrix that will satisfy both the
investor and our desire to see people (participate more in the economy).
"We are contributing the mineral resource, you will exploit it and we will
exploit it to the benefit of both of us.

"Companies want political stability and policy consistency, we have been
consistent in the area of indigenisation." Tongue in cheek, Mr Tsvangirai
asked a mining panel discussion why there was no metals exchange in Africa
or a cartel such as Opec. He criticised the lack of accountability in
Zimbabwe’s mining sector, saying that the fiscus had only received a few
dollars from the industry.
"We can’t have this .... there must be accountability for how they are
dispersed to the benefits of the population."

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US will insist on free, fair poll – US

Written by Midlands Reporter
Saturday, 07 May 2011 12:46

GWERU - United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray  says Washington is
fully behind the institutions and processes necessary to ensure transition
to democracy so that the country can avoid a disputable election outcome in
polls expected next year.
Negotiators from Zimbabwe's three mainstream parties, MDC-T led by Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai; MDC-N led by Welshman Ncube and Zanu (PF) have
agreed that elections be held next year. However, fears have escalated that
President Robert Mugabe might still refuse to give up power if he loses the
Speaking to journalists in Gweru last week, Ray said it was not the foreign
policy of the US to interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries.
Acting on a “needs basis” his country could be forced by circumstances to
make direct involvements, as it did in countries in Northern Africa like
"We are working with regional bodies like SADC to ensure that democracy
prevails in Zimbabwe. If this country produces a disputable election in
future, we will all be disappointed.  It is our hope that democracy will
prevail, so that the ordinary citizens who speak through their votes are
respected," said Ray.
He added that Americans do not vote in Zimbabwe's elections and are not
bothered on who rules the country as long as elections are held in a free
and fair manner. Political analysts have warned that it is less likely that
Mugabe would agree to pass on rule of Zimbabwe to anyone else, let alone a
leader of an opposition party in Zimbabwe.
They cite the example of 2008 where the ageing leader lost elections to
Tsvangirai but maintained a stranglehold on power.
The chances of Zimbabwe being able to hold a free and fair elections have
been questioned, considering the fact that the main regulatory body,
Zimbabwe Elections Commission, is believed to be staffed with Central
Intelligence Organization (CIO) operatives sympathetic to Mugabe.

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I was not arrested - Bagorro

Written by Yeukai Moyo
Friday, 06 May 2011 15:09

HARARE – Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) founder and
artistic director Manuel Bagorro has issued a press release clarifying that
he was not arrested nor was the event ransacked by police, Showbiz on Sunday
can reveal. (Pictured: Winky D performs at HIFA)
Bagorro, the only official authorized to comment on behalf of HIFA, said, ‘I
would like to clarify a matter that has generated much interest and some
rumour. Firstly, I would like to reiterate that I have not at any point been
arrested. The HIFA offices were not at all ransacked by police. It is as yet
unclear where reports originated but I would like to clarify that the HIFA
offices were not ransacked or raided.
The Harare International Festival of the Arts, as a large-scale, public
entertainment event, as a matter of course works closely with law
enforcement authorities, just as is the case with other large scale public
events. However, the scale of HIFA necessitates closer and more regular
liaison with law enforcement agencies who second representatives to the
security committee at the Festival. Regular meetings are held between
Festival security personnel and management with the law enforcement agencies
as part of regular plenary and reportage sessions to ensure crime prevention
and law compliance.’

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War Of Words Continues Over Exhumations

07/05/2011 13:59:00

BULAWAYO,May 07, 2011- The Zipra Veterans Trust has again threatened to drag
the Fallen Heroes Trust of Zimbabwe to court for allegedly dumping more than
250 bodies at an open place at Monkey William Mine in Mt Darwin.

“We are taking Rutanhire and his group to court again for dumping these
bodies at an open place, ”said Dexter Magwizi, the chairman of the Zipra
Veterans Trust.Magwizi said Fallen Heroes Trust of Zimbabwe which is aligned
to former ruling party, Zanu(PF) has no scientific approach to give
solutions to the prevailing problem at Monkey William Mine.
“There are many heaps of bones and skeletons lying idle in the open. These
corpses need urgent attention before it is too late,” he said.

The war veterans leader said when the Fallen Heroes Trust of Zimbabwe
started the project it did not lay appropriate plans to deal with matters

“All they wanted was to trigger people’s emotions, of the spectre of the
liberation war. This was a myopic idea of politicking." He said.

Zanu (PF) has been accused using the exhumations in Mount Darwin for
propaganda  puposes and to draw sympathy from the public on what they say is
genocide perpetrated by the Smith regime in the 70s.
Last month Bulawayo High Court Justice, Nicholas Mathonsi ordered immediate
stoppage to the exhumations saying the exercise should be done in the
presence of medical experts and should also involve ministries of national
healing and Reconciliation and Home Affairs.

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Women Set Minimum Conditions For Free, Fair Elections In Zim

07/05/2011 13:58:00

HARARE, May 07, 2010- As inter-party negotiations for an election roadmap
continue in South Africa, women's organizations have also come up with their
own which sets minimum conditions for free and fair elections, including
greater female representation.

Among the conditions set by the Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe are a new
constitution for the country, a gender sensitive national healing process,
legal reforms, an end to politically motivated violence and intimidation and
the promotion of intra- party democracy.
A statement released by the coalition Friday also calls for reforms in the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the media, including the licensing of
independent radio and television stations, and for the human rights and
anti-corruption commissions to be fully functional.

"The state should ensure full security of women and girls during election
periods and end impunity. Political parties must commit to non-violent
campaigning and desist from hate speech in accordance with the Global
Political Agreement (GPA); we demand that all stakeholders mainstream
non-violence education in all awareness raising and voter education
campaigns by all players (and) the state should guarantee and safeguard
freedom of movement, expression and assembly for all citizens, especially
women," the coalition said.

In a roadmap which is almost similar to that proposed by Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party, the coalition also wants local, regional and
international election observers to be deployed six months before elections
and maintain their presence for another three months thereafter.
Zimbabwe will go to elections either in 2012 or in 2013, despite earlier
attempts by President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu- PF party to have them held
this year.

Negotiators for the three parties in the inclusive government -- Zanu-PF and
two MDC factions -- are meeting in South Africa to consider a roadmap to new
elections and issues that have to be ironed out before the elections are
South Africa, which was mandated by the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) to facilitate talks between the country's rival political
parties following inconclusive elections in 2008, is hosting the talks.
Areas being considered include the compilation of a new voters' roll,
electoral and media reforms and the role of security chiefs in matters of
politics and national governance.

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What a shameless lie

Written by The Editor
Friday, 06 May 2011 16:46

After a decade in which political violence has become a byword for elections
in Zimbabwe, Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri  and his officers
were only last week able to identify the chief culprits behind the mayhem
that passes for elections in this country.

But what boggles the mind the most is not that it has taken the police 10
years to identify the enemies of peace who have assaulted, looted, raped,
tortured and murdered in broad daylight at every election.

According to the latest police records as reported by The Herald last week,
it is not the Border Gezi youths, partisan army and CIO officers that are
behind most of the violence and human rights abuses that have come to
characterise our elections.

It is, in fact, the victims of violence -- the MDC-T -- that according to
police statistics top the national violence record. And most of that
violence was actually committed by one MDC activist against another, the
police claim.

And what an insult to the victims of violence some who  -- like Tonderayi
Ndira, who was murdered in 2008, or Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika, who
were petrol-bombed to death in 2000 – paid with their lives for daring to
oppose President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) party.

“The MDC-T is topping the national violence record despite the party's
claims that its supporters are on the receiving end of political violence in
the country…. acrimonious factionalism and skirmishes marred the MDCT
provincial elections as party members jostled for positions,” the Zanu
(PF)-controlled newspaper reported last Thursday.

The point of the story was quite clear: cast the MDC as inherently violent,
while at the same time shifting attention from the real authors of violence
who even today continue to harass and abuse innocent citizens as punishment
for not supporting Mugabe.

Of course, the grand objective is to propagate a false narrative to fool
Africa and the international community at large that those who yesterday
ordered Gukurahundi and Operation Murambatsvina, and have kept camps full of
murderers and rapists masquerading as a national youth service brigade are
in fact the victims. What a shameless lie!

For the record, we oppose violence whether it is politically motivated or
not. We believe violence whether committed by the MDC or by whoever must be
prosecuted and punished accordingly. Those that committed violence during
the run-up to the MDC congress must be brought to book.

But by the same token ‘Comrade’ Chihuri must also target all whose hands are
dripping with the blood of innocent Zimbabweans including those – you know
who – that have boasted publicly about holding degrees in political

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Giving back to Zimbabwe

Dear Family and Friends,

Travelling to a small country town on a cold and wintery morning this week, my eyes were drawn to a shimmering silver trail running down the smooth, black boulders of a rocky mountainside. Glistening and gleaming on the boulders, I knew the water trail wouldn’t be here for much longer. The last puddles and pools of rain water are now trickling away and disappearing underground, signalling the start of our long dry season.  Flying low overhead was a stunning Auger Buzzard, white wings edged with black, a long stick hanging from its beak. It’s nearly nesting time and the Buzzard had obviously found its spot on a cliff ledge nearby. In the valley below lay a breathtaking panorama of open woodland and bronze grassland; some of the aloes have started flowering providing a breathtaking portrait of the African bush.


But everything is not as peaceful as it seems because, alongside the beauty of this magnificent time of year, is the grim reality that now is the time Zimbabwe’s wildlife species are most at risk. The end of the rainy season; drying up of small water pools and bronzing of the tall green summer grass, forces animals out into the open and makes them easy targets for poachers. Johnny Rodrigues of the Zimbabwe Conservation task Force calls the coming months our “peak poaching season” and recently sent out the most horrific report on rhino poaching in Zimbabwe’s Save Valley Conservancy.


Game Scouts had reported seeing a severely wounded black rhino and when Rangers located the animal they found a gruesome, horrific sight. The rhino had been shot several times by poachers who had then hacked the horn off the animal’s face and left the poor creature for dead. But it wasn’t dead and the rhino was found wandering around with an enormous open wound and obviously in extreme distress.


In situations like this, immediate action is needed, sometimes to save the animal, other times to provide a merciful release. Vets, transport, fuel, drugs, tranquilizers – all are needed in a hurry. After a decade of turmoil in which almost all government departments have been ravaged by economic collapse, paralyzed by the exodus of skilled and professional staff and suffocated by political interference, a few dedicated people and NGO’s have been left saving our wildlife.


Johnny Rodrigues and his wife Cheryl have been doing superb work in this regard.  For the last decade they have been travelling to the remotest of places to see, record and intervene in the plight facing Zimbabwe’s wildlife. They mobilise resources and specialists to save as many animals as they can. This might be in the form of animal feed, veterinary supplies, tools, water pumps or just a few bags of milk powder to save an orphaned baby animal.


Johnny is passionate about conservation and not afraid to expose the big players behind the gruesome poaching syndicates which are decimating Zimbabwe’s big game species including lion, elephant and rhino.


Johnny and Cheryl sent me a list of supplies desperately needed to get them through the “peak poaching season.” Its not your average shopping list and reads as follows: “We need M99 as a priority but are also trying to raise funds for veterinary supplies for the guys in the field who are doing the snare removals. These are: Antiseptic powder; Wash; Creams; Bandages; Wire cutters; Bolt cutters; Dart gun; hypodermic needles; Scalpels and anti inflammatories.”


If you want an example of people working tirelessly behind the scenes and ‘giving back” to Zimbabwe, Johnny and Cheryl Rodrigues and their Conservation Task Force are it! If you would like to help them save animals this season or just be on their mailing list, drop them a line at


Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy 7th May 2011.  Copyright © Cathy Buckle.


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