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Editor & two others arrested over MDC-T meets generals story

By Violet Gonda
07 May 2013

Dumisani Muleya, the editor of the Zimbabwe Independent, reporter Owen
Gagare and company lawyer Nqobile Ndlovu were arrested Tuesday for
publishing a story claiming Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party was
“engaged in sensitive high-level talks’ with the country’s security chiefs.

The report, written by Gagare, alleged the MDC-T talks with the top security
service chiefs were also aimed at preventing political instability or a
potential coup, if Tsvangirai defeats President Mugabe in forthcoming

The independent journalists were arrested even though they quoted MDC-T
defence and security secretary Giles Mutsekwa confirming that he held talks
with the military hardliners.

After spending seven hours in police custody Muleya told SW Radio Africa
that they still face charges under Section 31 of the Criminal Law
[Codification & Reform] Act, which deals with publishing or communicating
false statements prejudicial to the State.

But the newspaper editor stands by the story, which he maintains was
provided by the MDC-T official, and says he views the police action as an
attempt to scare journalists from reporting on this sensitive issue. Muleya
said their lawyer, Tawanda Zhuwara, asked the police why they were not going
after the source, but they could not answer that question.

The three are due to appear in court at a date yet to be announced by the

“Our defense is very clear. We are denying their charges. We are saying the
story is true to the best of our knowledge and in any case we are asking
why, if they are finding so many problems with the story, why they are not
talking to the minister (Mutsekwa) who was and is still prepared to be
quoted on record on the events that he says transpired,” Muleya said.

In the Independent story Mutsekwa said: “We have however assured them (the
security chiefs) that their pensions and their future would be secure. From
the look of it, some of them would prefer to go into politics full time and
we have guaranteed them that their decisions will be respected in terms of
the constitution as long as they don’t destabilise the civilian government.
We have, however, told them that we are willing to work with them.

“The attitude of the security forces, even among those who have been making
public statements, has drastically changed. They understand that they will
not be victimised and they can see that their future will be secure, even
without ZANU PF,” Mutsekwa told the newspaper.

The MDC official is said to have met top security bosses, including Army
General Constantine Chiwenga,  Major-General Douglas Nyikayaramba and police
Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri. But Chiwenga denied meeting members
of the former opposition and was this weekend quoted in the state media
saying he had no time to waste meeting “sellouts”. He described the Prime
Minister as a “psychiatric patient who seems to be suffering from
hallucinations.” Chihuri warned that the law will visit on “liars and
peddlers of falsehoods” harshly.

MISA-Zimbabwe director Nhlanhla Ngwenya said the arrest of journalists doing
their work, especially when they name their sources, is unacceptable in a

“We are seeing heightened attacks on the media, and this is done by those
who hold public office. I think the essence of democracy is to allow the
media to operate and subject those in authority to robust scrutiny however
unpalatable the stories are,” Ngwenya said.

Analysts say the issue of meetings with the security sector appears to be a
double edged sword for the MDC. On the one hand, the MDC is duty bound to
inform its constituents on what it is doing on issues of national discourse,
while others say they risk jeopardising the so-called talks with the
security forces.

But Ngwenya said either way, the role of the media is not to strategise for
political parties but to inform the public on whatever is happening “and if
they (officials) confirm your report that is a bonus and adds credibility to
your story because clearly the issue is of public interest.”

Despite trying throughout the day we were unable to contact Giles Mutsekwa

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Electoral Commission Publishes Voter Registration Centres

Staff Reporter

WASHINGTON DC — Zimbabwe's mobile voter registration exercise continues with
reports that most centres have not been widely publicized.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has now published a list of the mobile
voter registration centres on its website though Zimbabweans say they have
already been left out of the exercise.

The two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), say the
mobile voter registration centers were only advertised in the
state-controlled media Saturday, five days after teams from the
Registrar-General’s Office were deployed in various provinces.

The MDC parties claim that the registration teams have largely ignored
registering people in their strongholds. But Zanu PF has dismissed these
claims as baseless.

To view the centres, copy this link to your internet browser and open it:

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Controversy continues over voter registration campaign

By Tichaona Sibanda
7 May 2013

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is in danger of suffering a crisis
of confidence from political parties and civil society organizations over
its voter registration campaign.

Since the exercise was rolled out nationwide last week, observers have
contended that the controversies which the voter registration campaign has
generated are early signs of an impending electoral catastrophe.

As the far-reaching implications of the commission’s failure becomes clear,
concern is mounting over the management of the voter registration by the
Registrar-General’s office, bias against the MDC formations and whether, in
its present form, ZEC can be trusted to conduct the forthcoming elections.

On Tuesday, a number of political analysts said ZEC must answer some
difficult questions for the things that have gone wrong with the exercise.
This comes after numerous complaints were raised on the unfair distribution
of voter registration centers in the country.

The MDC-T spokesman for Manicaland, Pishai Muchauraya, said while their
province is bigger in size and population to Mashonaland Central, they were
surprised to learn that only 40 centers are catering for 26 constituencies
in Manicaland, compared to 70 serving only 18 constituencies in Mashonaland

‘It’s clear this is a case of trying to manipulate the exercise. They are
doing this to get more people to register in Mashonaland Central because it’s
perceived as a ZANU PF stronghold. However, it is not guaranteed that all
these people they are scrambling to register will vote ZANU PF. They did the
same in Manicaland five years ago and they went on to lose 18 seats to the
MDC-T,’ Muchauraya said.

In Mashonaland West, another perceived ZANU PF stronghold, scores of MDC-T
voters have been turned away for failing to produce documents which the
mobile teams are supposed to produce in the first place, as per a cabinet

Charlton Hwende, the MDC-T’s aspiring parliamentary candidate for Chegutu
West told us they want to reject the on-going ‘chaotic and purposeless’
exercise which he said is clearly designed to rig the process in favour of

‘Chiefs and headmen are still denying people proof of residence but still
giving the same to ZANU PF supporters. We therefore call the Minister of
Finance to immediately stop disbursement of funds until all parties have
agreed on a transparent and fair mobile registration process,’ Hwende said.

In Zvishavane, Midlands South province, Lilian Timveos, the MDC-T provincial
chairperson, branded officials manning the exercise as ‘crooks’ for charging
people $10 for lost ID cards when the Ministry of Home Affairs stated it was
going to be free.

‘It is very scandalous and if this exercise is not scrutinized now it may
well turn out to be joke of the century. Two weeks ago we had women who went
to verify their names on the roll and found them there, only to notice they
are no longer appearing when they inspected the roll today (Tuesday),’
Timveos said.

Last week, the Registrar-General’s office revealed that it had scrapped
almost a million names of deceased people from the voters’ roll. But it has
emerged that during the process, they may have deleted names of voters who
are still alive.

One of those affected is 59 year-old grandmother Njerama Phiri, who was born
in Zimbabwe although her parents emigrated from Zambia in the 1920’s. Phiri
told our Election Watch program that she was shocked to discover that her
name no longer appeared on the voters’ roll.

‘I know for a fact that people from the registrar-general’s office are fond
of fiddling with the roll, so I made it a point to cross check my name
fortnightly. I got information from my friends in Zvishavane that their
names were no longer appearing on the roll and decided to check for myself,
and to my surprise, it had been deleted.

‘I quickly remembered Tobaiwa Mudede last week saying they had deleted
almost a million names from the voters roll and immediately knew this may
well have been the time they deleted ours. Since these people have been
accused of tampering with the roll, I assumed they did it on purpose for
reasons,’ Phiri said.

Contacted for comment, co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone said the
reality is that conditions for the exercise were far from ideal in several
parts of the country.

There was a possibility that through Parliament, when legislators debate the
new Constitution Bill, the MP’s can prompt ZEC to seek an extension of the
exercise for some additional days.

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Soldiers suspiciously deployed for mobile voter reg at Malborough high


by MDC Information & Publicity Department

ALERT – There is a highly suspicious and covert deployment of soldiers a few
metres from Malborough High School in Harare, the mobile voter registration
centre for Harare West.

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MDC-T door-to-door campaigners to appear in court Wednesday

By Tichaona Sibanda
29 April 2013

A Harare magistrate is to rule Wednesday whether 19 MDC-T activists, charged
with impersonating government officials during a door-to-door voter
registration campaign, should be allowed bail.

Since their arrest two weeks ago in Hatcliffe, the ten women and nine men
have been held in custody after a magistrate denied them bail last week.

They were part of a campaign team put together by co-Home Affairs Minister
Theresa Makone, but were picked up by the police as they went around
Hatcliffe asking residents to register as voters.

Makone, the MDC-T MP for the area, told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that she
hopes justice will prevail when the group appears in court for their bail

Lawyers representing the group said police claimed that they were wearing
T-shirts usually worn by officials from the Ministry Home Affairs. They were
going around the high density suburb asking residents to check and confirm
if their names were on the voters roll and advising them to register to vote
if their names were missing.

The group was found in possession of copies of the voters rolls for the
Harare North constituency. The MP told us last week she bought the voters’
rolls from the Registrar General at $15 per copy.

‘I purchased 12 copies for my constituency, clearly for no reason other than
voter verification. As a matter of fact my own name was missing in the first
copy and then mis-spelt in the subsequent copy.

‘As far as I am concerned, this whole furore is meant to cause fear and
despondency in my activists, while ZANU PF continues with its own door to
door campaign unhindered,’ Makone said.

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AG "persecuting through prosecution"--Youth Assembly


by Staff Reporter

The Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC’s Youth Assembly has rapped the Attorney
General’s office for abusing a section of the law that allows it to
challenge bail granted to accused persons.

The assembly accused the AG’s office of invoking Section 121 of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act to persecute Zanu (PF)’s political
opponents, after a prosecutor opposed their leader, Solomon Madzore, bail on
Monday in a trial in which he is being accused of insulting President Robert

Under this section, a prosecutor can easily oppose bail granted by a
magistrate and, according to the MDC-T youth assembly, it “has been heavily
abused by prosecutors only in cases that are politically motivated.”

Section 121(3) says: “A decision by a judge or magistrate to admit a person
to bail shall be suspended if, immediately after the decision, the judge or
magistrate is notified that the Attorney-General or his representative
wishes to appeal against the decision, and the decision shall thereupon be
suspended and the person shall remain in custody”.

“The prosecutors at times come to the courts unprepared for the delivery of
justice but to seek means of punishing those who are perceived as enemies of
Zanu (PF);” said the wing in a statement.

“The Attorney General’s office has found a lovely toy in Section 121 of
the…Act. Zanu (PF)- oriented prosecutors have been abusing this draconian
act to keep behind bars those perceived as (their) enemies,”

read the statement.

A Bindura prosecutor Munyaradzi Mataranyika on Monday invoked the to block a
$100 bail that was granted Madzore by Magistrate Elisha Singano.

“This unjust piece of legislation has seen unprofessional prosecutors
playing ball to Zanu (PF)’s demands. The section has been abused to keep
mostly MDC members and civic society activists in jail when they have been
granted bail,” said the assembly.

It said the section “therefore renders the judges and magistrates’

rulings academic as the accused effectively remain behind bars”.

“The State is now persecuting through prosecution. Even when an individual
is clearly not guilty and with a clear alibi as in the case of leader
Solomon Madzore, the State can invoke the section to deny one’s freedom,”
read the statement.

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Constitutional Bill set for emphatic endorsement by MPs

By Nomalanga Moyo
07 May 2013

Zimbabwe moved a step closer to a new charter Tuesday with the introduction
of the Constitutional Bill in parliament by Minister Eric Matinenga.

Two other Bills are scheduled for debate during this Fifth Session of the
Seventh Parliament, but it is the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No 20)
Bill which is set to dominate, as it is expected to pave the way for the
next election, expected soon.

The Constitution Bill contains the provisions of the draft constitution
which was overwhelmingly adopted at the April 16th referendum.

Constitutional Affairs Minister Matinenga will now present the Bill to
members of the House of Assembly Wednesday, after asking for time to add “a
few details which are not expected to alter the draft much,” according to
COPAC co-chair Edward Mkhosi.

“Once presented, the Bill will be debated by lawmakers and this will
constitute the third reading, followed by the committee stage where members
will go through the Bill clause by clause,” Mkhosi told this station.

The whole process is expected to be a mere formality which should be over by
Friday, with sources telling SW Radio Africa that impatient ZANU PF MPs
wanted the relevant stages skipped so as to fast-track the Bill into law.
However, Matinenga disagreed and insisted on the due processes to be met.

Asked whether the Bill will undergo any rigorous debate or whether MPs would
merely rubber-stamp it Mkhosi, a member of the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, said
the Bill was headed for a resounding endorsement by parliamentarians.

He said: “You will remember that this Draft went through a referendum where
the people of Zimbabwe took a position that they support it. Therefore I don’t
think there will be any changes to the Bill as it is.

“The members have an obligation to rubber-stamp because the populace itself
voted overwhelmingly for the Bill, so as representatives we can’t change
what has come from the people. So when I say we will ‘debate’, I mean it in
the sense of giving it [the Bill] resounding support.”

Although the draft constitution was adopted by a 95% majority, some sections
of the population criticised the process as having been rushed, with most
people saying they voted without even seeing the document.

Mkhosi said that the draft constitution was the product of a lot of
compromises, and therefore not perfect, but he added the members were on the
whole happy to adopt it as the supreme law of the land.

If the Bill gets the required two-thirds majority in the House of Assembly,
it will then be passed to the Senate, where it also requires a similar
margin before it can be signed by President Robert Mugabe.

According to Matinenga, when the president has signed the Bill and it has
been published in the parliamentary gazette, that it will become the
constitution of the country.

The other Bills that will be debated by the current parliament before it
officially ends on June 29th are the Attorney-General’s Amendment Bill and
The Constituency Development Fund Bill.

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‘Disconnecting water a violation of human rights'

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 13:54
MASVINGO - Water Resources and Development minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo has
ordered local authorities in the country to immediately stop disconnecting
residents failing to pay water bills.

Speaking during a meeting with Runde and Save catchments councils over the
weekend, Nkomo said disconnecting water in local urban authorities was
likely to cost government a lot of revenue as this would lead to outbreaks
of diseases and loss of life.

“I want to make this clear to local authorities that they should not
disconnect water to residents. Water is a vital commodity that is needed all
the time for people to survive. If you disconnect them how are they going to
use their toilets, bath … what are they supposed to drink,” Sipepa Nkomo

He said local authorities should come up with ways to ensure that all
residents pay for their water as it was not a free commodity.

“Water is not a free commodity and everyone should pay but disconnecting it
is not the effective way of forcing residents to pay.

So local authorities should come up with innovative ways to persuade
residents to pay their bills, or take some defaulters to court than cutting
them off,” he said.

He said water is a basic human right and disconnecting it was violation of
human rights. He reiterated that disconnecting water was likely to cause
more damage and financial cost to government as lack of the resource
attracts dangerous diseases.

He said he was in agreement with his local government counterpart Ignatius
Chombo over the issue.

Nkomo urged local authorities and residents in the country to conserve water
as many dams and sources in the country had low levels, particularly in
Masvingo Province due to poor rains.

Masvingo Province’s biggest source of water Lake Mutirikwi is currently at
low levels of 17 percent capacity, raising fears that people could face
serious water shortages before the next rain season.

Experts and engineers from government water agency Zinwa told Nkomo at the
meeting that the province needed massive water rationing, particularly new
sugar cane farmers who are failing to regulate themselves. - Godfrey Mtimba

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Zimbabwe Govt, Indian Firm Abandon ZiscoSteel Workers

Gibbs Dube

WASHINGTON DC — Workers at New Zimbabwe Steel Limited say they have been
abandoned by the government and management of Indian steel manufacturing
giant, Essar Africa Holdings, which signed a $750 million deal with the
government in 2011 to revive the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company

According to ZiscoSteel Joint Workers’ Union chairman, Benedict Moyo, the
company’s 3,500 workers have not been paid for 14 months, a situation that
has left them without any source of income.

Moyo said there were high hopes among workers in January this year when the
government announced that operations were to resume within few weeks in
Redcliff following what cabinet said was an overwhelming backing of the
Essar deal by all ministers.

He said the future now looks bleak for workers in Redcliff, Kwekwe and
surrounding areas in the Midlands Province which have become ghost towns.

Political commentator Effie Dlela-Ncube said the ZiscoSteel deal is a clear
indication that all is not well in the unity government.

Industry Minister Welshman Ncube did not respond to calls on his mobile
phone while Mines Minister Obert Mpofu and Essar Africa Holdings management
refused to comment.

The deal has been mirred in controversy with some state officials claiming
that the Ministry of Industry and Commerce almost parceled out millions of
iron ore reserves to the Indian firm for peanuts.

The company has a 53 percent stake in ZiscoSteel which collapsed due to what
critics say was mismanagement.

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Mliswa warns Zanu PF on indigenisation

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 14:15

MUTARE - Zanu PF activist and businessman Temba Mliswa on Friday warned that
his party could be headed for an election loss if it fails to address
pressing issues such empowering the youths.

Mliswa, president of an empowerment pressure group, the Zimbabwe Empowerment
Council (ZEC) was addressing war veterans, war collaborators and Zanu PF
supporters in the eastern border city.

He said Zanu PF would be “doomed” if it ignores the call by youths to
meaningfully empower them.

“It’s suicidal, first of all for the party to go for elections when
corruption is rife in the party. It’s pretty clear some people have amassed
wealth from the natural resources of this country, not only that, the party
is being divided because of these resources especially here in Manicaland
Province,” said Mliswa.

“All these divisions in Manicaland and the legal cases are a result of this
money which is being used here to create the divisions, which I would label
dirty money more than anything else,” said the volatile former national
soccer team fitness trainer.

Mliswa said more than 60 percent of potential voters in Zimbabwe are youths
below the age of 35 who have not enjoyed any empowerment from the current
drive to empower blacks.

“My question, which is very clear, why does the party think that we will win
elections when we have not done much for the youths?” queried Mliswa.

He said the minister responsible for empowerment and youth development,
Savior Kasukuwere, should clearly define what he has done for the youths in
the country instead of giving blanket statements.

Mliswa alleged that a few people in Zanu PF had benefitted from the
empowerment programme and that most officials in the party are “so
compromised that they cannot speak out against the rampant corruption”.

“We have not benefitted from the empowerment programme except for a few
people and this is an indication to me that things will not be rosy in the
election. These policies and implementation schemes that Kasukuwere has
stitched and the community trusts with companies are not true to the spirit
of indigenisation,” said Mliswa.

He said the earlier such grievances are addressed and deals are reversed
then Zanu PF may stand a chance of winning the next election. - Sydney Saize

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All-out war in Zanu PF

By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 07 May 2013 14:15
HARARE - Battle lines have been drawn in President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF
after the party ended months of speculation and adopted guidelines for
primary elections which are likely to be the fiercest fought since

Young Turks, soldiers, women and an old guard expecting to be repaid for
decades of loyalty to Mugabe are now in open war, with the next two months
set to prove decisive for the 89-year-old Zanu PF leader.

Campaigning for primary elections, which are closely linked to the
succession saga ripping the party apart, is now in full throttle with signs
that divisions are set to widen further ahead of crucial polls which could
be Mugabe’s last.

Mugabe’s chances of reversing a March 2008 poll defeat to Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai hinge on his ability to rally his warring troops.

Insiders and analysts say the level of infighting could make this a “mission

Perhaps the clearest sign that it is now war was the attack on Defence
minister Emmerson Mnangagwa by Zanu PF’s secretary for Administration
Didymus Mutasa.

“We all agreed unanimously. Now we are surprised that there are some people
like Mnangagwa who are now leading another faction claiming that they want
to take over the party. Anyone who objects the legitimacy of Mai Mujuru as
the vice president of the party, then that person does not belong to Zanu
PF,” Mutasa was quoted as saying at the weekend.

Analysts say Mugabe’s party is trapped between a rock and hard place after
it took ages for the politburo to come up with the primary elections

Only on Saturday did the former ruling party put finality to the thorny
issue of choosing candidates who will represent the party ahead of an
election that could be held on June 29.

And even so some of the guidelines are yet to be finalised.

Although Zanu PF will lock horns with the MDC led by Tsvangirai in a general
election, before that, the former guerrilla movement would have to avoid an
implosion that could be triggered by factional fights during primary
elections, insiders and analysts say.

In a show of loyalty to military men, the politburo threw retired army major
general Mike Nyambuya back into the fray and will be in charge of the
turbulent Manicaland Province as the provincial deputy chairperson ahead of
the polls.

Several security officials who include police spokesperson Oliver Mandipaka
are also eyeing a parliamentary seat — unnerving incumbents.

Mutasa yesterday told the Daily News that even if primary elections are
divisive they are necessary.
“They (primary elections) are necessary. We are a big organisation how can
we go to elections without primary elections first,” said Mutasa.

Mutasa, who is on record defending the military involvement in the country’s
politics, yesterday dismissed the so-called young Turks.

“We are Zimbabwe and not Turkey. Those who call themselves young Turks
should go there. Here we follow rules, and we are saying people should not
be imposed and we will never allow that,” he said.

Indications are that Zanu PF’s primary polls are premised on two main
factions — one led by Mnangagwa and the other by Vice President Joice
Mujuru, both of whom have for years been touted as possible successors to
89-year-old Mugabe.

Rugare Gumbo, Zanu PF spokesperson, yesterday told the Daily News that five
percent of the guidelines for elections are yet to be completed.

“We cannot give you the guidelines because we are not yet through,” said

But many inside the party fear the impending primaries may be a mere window
dressing exercise as nomination tickets for certain slots may already have
been handed to certain individuals.

Mutasa is however, adamant that the polls will be democratic saying proper
procedures will be followed when candidates are selected.

However, the fact that primary elections guidelines are not yet fully out
has not stopped the jostling in the party with Mugabe himself having
confirmed the scourge of infighting and imposition of candidates.

In recent weeks, Mugabe has been at pains condemning intra-party violence
and the imposition of candidates which some believe was the undoing of the
former ruling party during the 2008 elections.

Party insiders said the forthcoming primaries had the potential to further
drive a wedge within the faction-riddled party, with so-called young Turks
pushing for a clean-out of a bunch of geriatrics in the name of
“generational change”.

The attempt to get rid of the old guard could break many traditions in the
party, including paying respect to elder leaders.

According to Zanu PF insiders, the so-called “young Turks” are pushing for a
clinical clean-out of party “dead-wood.

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MDC in quandary over councillors

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 13:59
HARARE - There is unease in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC on
whether to allow sitting councillors fingered in graft to run on the party’s
ticket in the next election.

While reports indicate the party is cracking over sitting MPs who are facing
serious challenge in party primaries, it is emerging that it is actually the
issue of local government councillors which is a major issue.

A majority of councillors want to run again on the MDC ticket.

But many of these councillors in towns such as Harare, Mutare, Zvishavane
and Bindura have been sucked in corruption and have tainted the party’s
image over the years they have been in office, leaving the party in a

Party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora (pictured) said the MDC was
investigating corruption cases but admitted some would have to be judged by
the electorate and not by party officials.

“The issue of corruption is on-going and we will continue to investigate as
cases come in. Those implicated in corruption have to be found guilty by the
party because we do not have confidence in the criminal justice system. It
is compromised.

“We do not generalise issues it would be unfair to those who have worked
very hard in their constituencies and wards. We have left that to the
electorate to make a determination,” Mwonzora said.

MDC Harare provincial secretary for local government and president of the
Elected Councillors Association Warship Dumba conceded the party’s
representatives in councils are posing a headache for the party’s

“I can safely say our councillors have not been doing well. The majority of
them are compromised and a government minister (name supplied) has been
pushing his agenda through our councillors,” Dumba said.

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China to erect big screens in Zimbabwe

on May 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm

By Itai Mushekwe

HARARE – China is set to flood Zimbabwean cities, with gigantic news-screens
as Beijing ratchets up a new aggressive media campaign, to solidify her
foreign policy objectives on the African continent, with a scheme to contain
Western broadcasters in a new feverish information war.

Diplomatic officials close to China Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Lin Lin, have
told Nehanda Radio how Beijing is seriously considering a blockade on
critical European media houses, which it accuses of damaging its image in

Zimbabwe has now become one of China’s key investment destination, following
disclosures recently by Mr Lin Lin that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from
his country to Harare has topped US$ 660 million, in the last two years.

“The campaign will see other African nations namely, Sudan , Angola , Kenya
and Ethiopia also taking delivery of the monster screens,” the officials

“Western broadcasters, whose sphere of influence is being targeted in this
new realm of information competition include America ’s Cable News Network
(CNN), The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), France 24 and Germany ’s
International broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW).”

Most of the broadcasters are well received in Zimbabwe via satellite, and
the internet. The BBC and DW have a strong radio listenership, through
short-wave frequencies, which get jammed and intercepted time and again by
government using special equipment supplied by the Chinese.

The equipment consists of three jammers, all installed at the Thornhill
military airbase in the Midlands.

Thornhill is also a key government communications centre. China is also
reportedly keen on helping Harare to revive, its failed shortwave radio
project, the Voice of Zimbabwe (VOZ), whose equipment is derelict in Gweru.

Major cities like Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru will be a test run for the media
project’s continental drive, according to our sources. Other smaller
Zimbabwean cities that will be installed with the “news-screens”, which
measure 4X3 metres in height include Mutare, Kwekwe and Kadoma.

Harare already has one such massive high definition screen, erected in 2010
at the corner of First Street and George Silundika Avenue, granted as a
freebie by Xinhua News Agency to the State.

“The controversial screens will offer Chinese news and documentaries bearing
the subtitles of the African country in question,” said a media contact from
the rising Asian economic powerhouse.

“Hollywood block-busters produced for the Chinese market, will also be
syndicated to these news-screens. The desired movies, will be run for free
as part of efforts to promote Chinese culture, language and image in

A US official also conversant, with China’s plans warned that the country’s
leadership must not engage China with “blind eyes”, because it was Beijing
benefiting the most from any economic deals.

“Zimbabwean politicians think this whole thing is a game. China is literally
taking over everything with an electric smile. People will be brainwashed
with communist propaganda, and this suits Zanu PF and Robert Mugabe well
since they follow communist doctrines. This is information colonisation,
which will potentially become colonisation itself.”

Beijing has also come under fire for causing cyber espionage horrors on the
US, an accusation which was refuted last month by her foreign ministry
spokesperson, Hua Chunying.

Information minister, Webster Shamu refused to take up questions on the
matter. Ironically Shamu at one time, was trained as a radio journalist by
DW, and used to make radio announcements for Zanu PF from Mozambique during
the liberation struggle.

One such eye-sore news-screen will soon be set up at the Harare
International Airport.

So sophisticated is the media rush on Africa, that China is now opening
branches of its news agencies wherever it can across the continent, to
manage sensetive political and economic news flow. The China Central
Television (CCTV), only last year started broadcasting English-language
African news from Kenya.

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Zim courts Indian generic drug firms

05/05/2013 00:00:00
     by Business Reporter

HEALTH Madzorera has urged Indian firms supplying generic medicines to
produce the drugs locally to help grow the country’s pharmaceutical sector.

Speaking in India, where he is holding meetings with various drug companies,
Madzorera said: "Going forward, we desire our pharmaceutical industry to
grow, and we believe that the Indian manufacturing sector can play a key
role in Zimbabwe's development.

"Zimbabwe is right in the centre of three epidemics - HIV/AIDS, TB and
malaria. We think drugs to control these should be manufactured in the
region and Indian companies should exploit this opportunity," Madzorera

"We want to increase the manufacturing capacity of Zimbabwe through
partnerships with Indian pharmaceutical firms."

He said Zimbabwe had recovered from the economic crisis and political
uncertainty of the last few years which had forced investors to stay away
from the country.

Investment in Zimbabwe would also give Indian companies access to markets in
the rest of the region, he added.

"The situation has now changed. Zimbabwe's economy is mostly dollarized.
Though we may be a small country, Indian companies investing there will have
access to a 250 million-strong SADC market," Madzorera said.

Indian pharmaceutical firms have a significant presence in the region,
particularly in South Africa, which is the largest market for Indian
medicines in the continent. Indian firms like Cipla are already
manufacturing drugs in South Africa.

Madzorera’s visit comes after the last India-Zimbabwe Joint Trade Committee
meeting held in Harare in March.

During the meeting, India’s Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and his
Zimbabwean counterpart Welshman Ncube, discussed potential joint venture
investment projects involving the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).

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Zimbabwe short on climate change funds
HARARE, 7 May 2013 (IRIN) - Inadequate funding and limited resources are frustrating Zimbabwe’s efforts to develop plans to deal with the impact of climate change, says a government progress report. 

Zimbabwe has been facing political and financial turmoil for more than a decade, derailing the government’s ability to function and respond to crises. 

Sparse and erratic rains have already caused the water table to drop, 
affecting the country’s ability to produce food and contributing to the spread of water-borne diseases. In 2008, the country experienced one of the worst cholera outbreaks recorded anywhere in recent years; the outbreak killed at least 4,000 people and infected 100,000 others. 

The government report, Strengthening the National Capacity for Climate Change, says Zimbabwe lacks the funds needed to hold a workshop to identify a
National Implementing Entity, an accredited body able to receive direct financial transfers from the Adaptation Fund in Zimbabwe. The Adaptation Fund, set up under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is the most important source of funds to help developing countries adapt to climate change.

The government also lacks sufficient funds to devise a national strategy, review the work of its technical team on climate change or conduct advocacy work to raise awareness of climate change, the report says. 

Funds short 

In 2012, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) commissioned a three-year, US$8.3 million project with the government, aiming to incorporate climate change issues into the country’s national development plans and to leverage funds from the global finance mechanisms. 

Veronica Gundu, a principal environment officer in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management, told IRIN that when the idea to craft a national climate change response strategy was proposed, UNDP agreed to provide funds, but “as we went on to develop the strategy, the funds were not enough, so we sourced additional funding from COMESA [Common Markets for East and Southern Africa]”. 

COMESA is said to have agreed to complement the UNDP funding with $170,000, which is meant to go towards the projected $400,000 needed for the national response strategy. COMESA has yet to release the funds. 

Additionally, Gundu said the government had, for the first time last year, released funds for climate change; she did not disclose the figures. 

Sara Feresu, director of the Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of Zimbabwe, the institution leading the climate change strategy-formulation process, told a workshop in early April that still more funds were needed. 

The government has put together a draft national response strategy with the money that was available, conducting consultations in select urban centres. But the draft strategy needs feedback from provinces and districts. Consultations with civil society, most of whom have yet to see the draft, are also needed.

"Zimbabwe has been under sanctions, and so many donors have been shying away from supporting us, both as government and NGOs"
In spite of the funding gaps, Gundu is optimistic that by the end of the year the first draft, which the government says is in circulation, will be ready for adoption. 

Short on development aid 

Climate change pundits say fundraising for climate change adaptation has proved difficult due to the global economic crisis, which has seen donors minimizing funding to NGOs and governments. Advocates insist on more government involvement in fundraising efforts. 

Leonard Unganayi, who manages a 
climate change project administered jointly by the government-owned Environmental Management Agency (EMA), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UNDP, says there can never be enough funding for such a mammoth task. 

He says that even at 
the global level there are major outcries for funding and resources. 

The development agency Oxfam said an 
analysis of new figures of Official Development Assistance by the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee shows a staggering 40 percent drop in funding focused on climate change adaptation. 

Shepherd Zvigadza, chairperson of the Climate Change Working Group, a coalition of NGOs, said most NGOs were making efforts to fundraise for adaptation, but that most of the money coming in is just for pilot projects that do not have the desired impact. 

“Zimbabwe has been under sanctions, and so many donors have been shying away from supporting us, both as government and NGOs... Besides sanctions, the country has not been able to tap into the global funding windows because emphasis is on supporting least developed countries, and Zimbabwe is not classified as one,” he said. 

After flawed elections in 2002, European governments placed targeted sanctions on the leadership of ZANU-PF, which was the ruling party at the time, and on development aid to the government. In 2012, the European Union 
suspended some of the sanctions on assistance to Zimbabwe, but it has yet to reinstate development aid to the government. 

To overcome the funding issues, Gundu says government is working towards the establishment of a National Climate Change Fund, which will be administered under the 
Green Climate Fund
, also set up under the UNFCCC. But the fund has yet to become operational. 

Unganayi says Zimbabwe should try to identify innovative ways to raise money locally.
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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ZLHR denounce unfair tactics

Tuesday 7 May 2013 - 3:12 PM

JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) official, Irene
Petras says the Zimbabwean government is repressing opposition before next
month’s presidential election.

Leaders in different opposition movements are being targeted as part of
government’s new election strategy.

Police arrested a Zimbabwe Independent editor Dumisani Muleya and chief
reporter Owen Garare for allegedly publishing falsehoods about the military
in talks with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

While on Monday, MDC youth leader Solomon Madzore was re-arrested after
prosecutors revoked his bail.

He called President Mugabe a limping donkey last month.

ZLHR officials said police have detained fewer people compared to other
election cycles, but the numbers could rise if the government’s new strategy

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MDC condemns arrest of Zimind scribes

Tuesday 07 May 2013

The MDC condemns in the strongest terms the arrest this morning of two
Zimbabwe Independent journalists, Editor Dumisani Muleya and Chief Reporter
Owen Gagare.

The two are being charged with contravening the Criminal Law Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly publishing falsehoods in
connection to a story published two weeks ago claiming the MDC was in
negotiations with the military and police service chiefs.

They are being held at the Harare Central Police Station’s CID Law and Order
Section where they were charged but as other progressive organisations, the
MDC demands their immediate release.

As the MDC, we express our displeasure on the arrests, moreso as they come
barely four days after Zimbabwe and rest of the world commemorated the World
Press Freedom Day on 03 May.

Their arrest comes in less than a week after another journalist, Blessing
Mhlanga of the Newsday was arrested and charged with criminal defamation
charges while another journalist with the Zimbabwe Independent, Dingilizwe
Ntuli was threatened in the State media by the police spokesperson, Charity

The threats were made against Ntuli after he wrote an article last week
saying that Police Commissioner General, Augustine Chihuri was threatening

Today’s arrest of Muleya and Gagare and other threats against the media
personnel and human rights defenders are a travesty to justice and worse
when the draft on the new Constitution is being tabled before Parliament

As a nation, the police and the State cannot continue using draconian laws
to suppress the will of the people and their fundamental human rights and

What is more worrying is that the arrests of the journalists are only
targeted at the independent media while those from the State media have
limitless opportunities to do as they wish by going on a campaign of writing
entire falsehoods against elected officials who are not from Zanu PF.

We hope the arrests will be a thing of the past soon when the new
Constitution becomes the Supreme law of the country as it safeguards the
media and other fundamental rights. This development seriously confirms the
MDC’s demand for security sector reforms. The MDC will continue to push for
a free media environment in the pursuit of a free and democratic Zimbabwe.

Yes - Together we can complete the change!!

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