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Zimbabwe must form unity govt "immediately", SADC insists

by Aderogba Obisesan  - 50 mins ago

JOHANNESBURG, (AFP) - Zimbabwe's feuding politicians must form a government
of national unity "immediately" if they want the support of the SADC, a
leading official of the regional bloc warned Monday.

Tomaz Salomao, executive secretary of the 15-nation Southern African
Development Community (SADC), was speaking after a special summit called
Sunday by the organisation failed to break the impasse on forming a unity

"We will be there to assist them, help them and try to bring them together
but under one condition: the government of national unity has to be formed
immediately," Salomao told South African public radio station SA FM.

"Now it is up to the three parties in Zimbabwe to decide how they want to
proceed," he added.

"But what is important to note is we cannot afford to postpone the formation
of the government of national unity," he said.

Salomao reiterated SADC's proposal of co-sharing the home affairs ministry
between the ruling ZANU-PF and the main opposition MDC as a way out of the

"And within six months, the parties are free to assess and evaluate the
effectiveness of the co-sharing. If they feel that that is not the best way,
then they can decide on the best way to push it."

After 12 hours of closed-door talks, the 15-nation Southern African
Development Community (SADC) failed to prod President Robert Mugabe into a
compromise with opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Salomao rejected a suggestion that the SADC has reached the end of the road
of mediation following Tsvangirai's rejection of the body's compromise

"We did not (reach the end of the road in mediation)," he said.

The summit's final communique called for the Zimbabwean rivals to form a
unity government immediately and to share control of the disputed home
affairs ministry, which oversees the police.

But Tsvangirai, who defeated Mugabe in the first-round of the presidential
election in March, rejected their proposal as unworkable.

"This issue of co-sharing does not work. We have said so ourselves, we have
rejected it, and that's the position," Tsvangirai told reporters.

Tsvangirai said his dispute with Mugabe was not only about the ministry of
home affairs, but striking a fair balance of power in the unity government.

"It is about power sharing, it is about equitable power sharing, it is about
giving the responsibility to the party that won an election and has
compromised its position to share a government with a party that lost," he

"SADC approached this summit without any concrete strategy and did not have
the courage and the decency to look Mr Mugabe in the eyes and tell him that
his position was wrong," he said.

Under the unity accord signed on September 15 in Harare, 84-year-old Mugabe
would remain as president while Tsvangirai would become prime minister.

Tsvangirai said he was still committed to the deal, but said he would not
accept Mugabe's proposals for a cabinet that locks his MDC out of critical

The formation of a government of national unity has been deadlocked over the
distribution of key ministries, especially the Home Affairs, which oversees
the police.

Tsvangirai has accused the Mugabe regime of orchestrating attacks against
his supporters following his victory in the March election, when they were
forced into a runoff after Tsvangirai fell short of an outright majority.

The opposition leader pulled out of the second round run-off in the
presidential election because of the violence, which Amnesty International
says has left 180 dead and 9,000 injured.

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New proposal leaves Tsvangirai fuming

    November 10 2008 at 09:55AM

By Peta Thornycroft, Basildon Peta and Peter Fabricius

Zimbabwe's neighbours on Sunday night swung behind Zimbabwe's
President Robert Mugabe in the struggle for control of the country's key
home affairs ministry, which has held up putting its unity government into

A summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) told
Mugabe and prime minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai that their parties
must share the ministry of home affairs about which they have been
quarrelling for two months.

But Tsvangirai, leader of the larger faction of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) rejected the compromise, saying it did not satisfy
the principle of equitable powersharing.

The MDC has insisted that it must have sole control of the ministry,
which brings with it authority over the police, if powersharing was to be

It says control of the police will balance Mugabe's Zanu-PF party's
control of all other security agencies.

But 14 hours after summit talks started at the Sandton Convention
Centre, SADC Secretary-General Tomaz Salamao emerged to say: "The summit
decided that the inclusive government be formed forthwith (and) the ministry
of Home Affairs be co-managed between Zanu-PF and MDC-Tsvangirai."

Mugabe had himself earlier proposed the joint ministers concept in the
summit, and agreed to the proposal, but Tsvangirai's MDC rejected it.

"The concept of co-ministering cannot work," Tsvangirai declared after
the summit. Perversely, pressure was brought to bear on the MDC, a party
that won an election but has shown compromise and political maturity in
these negotiations.

"Mr Mugabe is not the President of Zimbabwe without this agreement,"
he added, saying that the MDC "hope and pray that the guarantors of the
agreement, in particular progressive members of SADC and the African Union,
will now move very quickly to try and salvage this agreement".

With two competing ministers, the MDC believes Mugabe's Zanu-PF party
would be in a position to sideline the MDC, as the upper levels of the
bureaucracy are its own members, and it would also threaten the MDC's
one-vote majority in cabinet under the agreement.

A source inside the meeting described Mugabe as "extremely
contemptuous" of Tsvangirai, interrupting him during his presentation.

When the MDC leader said he had won the March 29 election, in which he
came first, Mugabe shouted "You didn't! You didn't!"

"Our situation is not a domestic issue, it is a foreign issue," Mugabe
told the heads of state and other officials, expounding on his anti-Western

"Home affairs is part of security and I as president have greater

The summit decision leaves the process on the verge of collapse.

Salamao said: "SADC was asked to rule and SADC took a decision. That's
the position of SADC. It's up to the parties to implement."

One of Tsvangirai's key allies, Botswana's President Ian Khama, was
not at the summit.

Despite the avowed importance of yesterday's summit, only six of the
SADC's 15 heads of state or government attended, the rest leaving it to
their ministers.

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on
November 10, 2008

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Put Zim's interests first, urges Motlanthe

    November 10 2008 at 09:06AM

By Peter Fabricius, Basildon Peta & Peta Thornycroft

Southern African leaders were still battling in Johannesburg on Sunday
night to get Zimbabwe's political leaders to nail down a deal that would
allow a stillborn, two-month-old power-sharing deal to come into effect.

Six leaders and other representatives of the 15-nation Southern
African Development Community (SADC) were determined to take as long as
necessary to to persuade Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Movement for
Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai to agree, essentially, on who
should get the contested home affairs ministry.

The SADC's failure to get a Zimbabwean deal has evidently becoming
embarrassing to the organisation.

The body's chairperson, President Kgalema Motlanthe, chastised the
rival Zimbabwean leaders at the start of the summit, telling them they owed
it "to the people of Zimbabwe and the region to show political maturity by
putting the interests of Zimbabwe first".

He said it was "disappointing" that two months after Mugabe,
Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, leader of a smaller MDC faction, had signed
a power-sharing agreement, they had not been able to conclude negotiations
on establishing an inclusive government.

Motlanthe also noted that the rainy season had started in Zimbabwe,
adding to the challenges of helping Zimbabweans to feed themselves.

This apparently referred to South Africa's offer of R300-million to
help Zimbabweans to get food crops planted this season - provided they first
established an inclusive government.

Former president Thabo Mbeki briefed the leaders on his efforts, as
SADC mediator, to secure a Zimbabwe deal.

Motlanthe said the summit would address the outbreak of serious
fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

DRC President Joseph Kabila briefed the SADC summit on the outcome of
a summit of Great Lakes leaders in Nairobi on Friday to seek a solution to
the renewed fighting between his government troops and those of renegade
Tutsi general Laurent Nkunda.

Motlanthe echoed the findings of the Nairobi summit when he said the
SADC was calling "for an immediate ceasefire to allow humanitarian
assistance to the displaced".

He said it also called for the full implementation of the November
2007 Nairobi communique, the January 2008 Goma agreement and the Amani
processes relating to the eastern DRC conflict.

These called for the disarming and demobilising of all the militias
and rebel groups fighting in the area and persecuting civilians.

Despite the avowed importance of yesterday's summit, only six of the
SADC's 15 heads of state attended.

Apart from Motlanthe and Kabila, presidents Hifikepunye Pohambo of
Namibia, Armando Guebuza of Mozambique and Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha
Mosisili were there.


Some sources said Mugabe was making an issue at the summit of his
government's accusation - at a SADC defence ministers' meeting last week -
that Botswana was training MDC youth to destabilise Zimbabwe.

Botswana has denied the accusation and demanded proof.

Tensions have been rising between the two governments since Botswana's
President Ian Khama - who was not at yesterday's summit because he was in
the US - began criticising Mugabe, refusing to recognise him or his
government since his re-election in a June 27 poll that even the SADC
rejected as flawed.

Outside the summit venue at the Sandton Convention Centre, two groups
of protesters hurled insults, pamphlets and sometimes stones and half-bricks
at each other.

The larger group comprised MDC supporters and opponents of Kabila and
of the Rwandan's government's alleged military incursions into the eastern
DRC in support of Nkunda's rebels.

Across the road was a much smaller group comprising Mugabe and Kabila

This article was originally published on page 2 of The Mercury on
November 10, 2008

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Bill Watch 44 of 8th November 08  [SADC Summit on Power Sharing Deadlock; ZANU-PF Senator appointed]

BILL WATCH 44/2008
[8th November 2008]
The Senate has adjourned until 16th December
The House of Assembly will sit next Tuesday 11th November
Bills: There are no new Bills and no draft Constitution Amendment
General Notices and Statutory Instruments: See end of Bulletin
Elections in the USA 
Not only were there nationwide celebrations in the US but also worldwide celebrations when the US presidential poll ended in victory for Senator Barack Obama and his dynamic message of change.  After a hard-fought but peaceful election campaign the result was swiftly announced, and defeat was gracefully conceded by the losing candidate.  Both Mr Tsvangirai and Mr Mugabe have sent congratulations to Mr Obama on his victory.
Elections in Zambia
In Zambia Mr Rupiah Banda narrowly won the presidential poll and was promptly sworn in as President.  Mr Mugabe attended the swearing-in ceremony.  Runner-up Mr Sata refused to accept the result and has gone to court seeking a recount. 
SADC Summit to discuss Power-Sharing Agreement
On the agenda of the Extraordinary SADC Summit meeting on Sunday 9th November in South Africa will be "a discussion of as well as reports of the ongoing facilitation efforts in Zimbabwe".  The current escalation of conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo is also on the agenda.  It is hoped that the magnitude and urgency of the crisis in the DRC will not derail SADC's final push to settle the political stalemate in Zimbabwe.
The MDC-T has listed six issues to be resolved by the Summit [see Bill Watch 43] and insists that there has be a proper balance in the allocation of key ministries.  ZANU-PF spokesmen have continued to maintain that only the allocation of the Ministry of Home Affairs is outstanding.  MDC-T also insist that the ten provincial governorships be shared.  These Governors have already been appointed and are all ZANU-PF.  As they are ex officio members of the Senate they give an important extra 10 seats to ZANU-PF in a Senate where the elected representatives are balanced 30 to 30.  The fact that the appointments were gazetted on November 7th [see General Notices at end of bulletin], just ahead of the SADC Summit, may indicate that ZANU-PF does not consider this issue still negotiable.
The Home Affairs deadlock: ZANU-PF claim that surrendering this Ministry will threaten their party's internal unity and MDC-T claim that as they have conceded the Ministry of Defence it should go to them and that without it they cannot establish the stability necessary for economic recovery.  There has been a suggestion that a solution could be the appointment of an independent and impartial Commissioner of Police from one of the SADC countries, thereby rendering political control of the Ministry less contentious. 
Tensions within SADC:  Botswana President Khama's recent remarks on the Zimbabwe situation - that "the one viable way forward in Zimbabwe is to have a rerun of the Presidential Election under full international sponsorship and supervision" - drew an angry response from the Zimbabwe Government, which described it as unwarranted interference in Zimbabwe's internal affairs and an extreme provocation.  At a meeting of SADC Troika security ministers in Mozambique, Zimbabwe accused Botswana of training MDC-T youths to destabilise Zimbabwe.  Botswana denied the accusation, called for documented evidence to support it, and invited the Troika, together with the Government of Zimbabwe, to undertake a fact-finding mission to Botswana at the earliest opportunity. The Troika accepted the invitation and requested evidence from Zimbabwe [Note: On the principle of non-interference see the  AU Chairperson's address to the Pan-African Parliament, below]
Despite the tensions and divisions, there are many leaders in SADC who feel that negotiations have dragged on long enough. A spokesman for the South African Government has said it will be taking a very firm position to make sure that the parties in Zimbabwe understand the urgency of finding a settlement.  ANC President Jacob Zuma has said the weekend talks are a last opportunity to compromise on political disagreements and that he agrees with those calling on SADC to exert more political pressure on President Robert Mugabe and the MDC to immediately enforce the September 15 power-sharing deal.
Another ZANU-PF Senator appointed:  Mr Mugabe has appointed Mr Joseph Made as a non-constituency Senator; he was sworn in as a Senator on Tuesday.  Mr Mugabe has now filled four of the five seats set aside for appointed Senators under section 34 of the Constitution [the other three ZANU-PF appointed Senators, all named in August, are Vice-President Msika, Mr John Nkomo and Mr Chinamasa]. 
The Senate's sittings this week were very brief - 40 minutes [Tuesday] and 65 minutes [Wednesday]. 
The only business conducted was the debate on the President's Speech.  Contributions touched on various issues of national concern - the food crisis, water supply problems and the related cholera outbreaks, corruption etc. 
Zimbabwe and the DRC:  None of the Senators who spoke mentioned the press reports about Zimbabwe troops being mobilised for deployment in the DRC [see below].
Committees:  There were no elections for Senate members of the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders.  Until this Committee is formed, neither Portfolio Committees [government oversight committees] nor the Parlliamentary Legal Committee can be appointed. 
The adjournment until 16th December appears to have been designed to accommodate the ZANU-PF People's Conference [scheduled for 10th to 14th December].  [Reminder: Standing Orders permit the President of the Senate to recall the Senate early if the public interest so requires - but only if the State President so requests.]
House of Assembly
On the House of Assembly Order Paper [Agenda] for 11th November
The following items are on the agenda:
·   Motion on Post-Election Violence [debate not yet commenced]
·   Motion on Economic Crisis and Other Problems Facing Zimbabwe [debate not yet commenced]
·   Motion on the Food Crisis [debate in progress]
·   Debate on President's Speech [debate in progress]
An opportunity may arise for tackling the Government about the press reports of moves for Zimbabwe to send troops to the DRC [see below].
Zimbabwe Defence Forces for Eastern DRC?
Press reports outside Zimbabwe have recorded claims by a spokesman for the CNDP rebels that Zimbabwe is mobilizing forces to fight in the civil war in the Eastern DRC in support of the government of President Kabila.  The claims have been denied by the Zimbabwe Government.  Zimbabwe's previous military involvement in the DRC [1998-2002] was politically and economically controversial and raised constitutional issues.  [The Constitution states that the defence forces are established "for the purpose of defending Zimbabwe", words arguably not apt to cover fighting in the far distant DRC civil war.]  Other relevant legal aspects are that the President's decisions on operational deployment of troops are not for him alone, but require the concurrence of the Cabinet [which does not exist at the moment]; and that additional funds which would inevitably be needed to pay for external troop deployment would have to be voted by Parliament.
Pan African Parliament [PAP] Session
On 31st October the head of the PAP Election Observer Mission to the Presidential Run-Off Election presented the Mission's report to PAP, confirming the adverse verdict announced in the Mission's Interim Statement issued immediately after the election.  Details of the ensuing discussion are not yet available. 
President's Kikwete, Chairman of the AU, made an inspiring  speech to PAP.  In the following excerpts he deals with the issues of African responsibilities and democracy: "The old principle of non-interference in internal affairs of member states is no longer tenable on our continent. Africa, these days no longer stands by and watches when democratic values are being infringed upon or when governments brutalize their own people. Usually the AU, RECs [Regional Economic Communities] or even countries neighbouring the troubled nation would act.  We expect this Parliament to be that added voice of reason and perhaps for action on these cardinal tenets. You should compliment the voice of the Assembly of Heads of States and Government and the relevant councils of the AU on these matters. I am glad you are already being seen and felt in election monitoring in the continent these days. We need to see more of you in governance and human rights issues as well. Keep on reminding African leaders and peoples about their duties and responsibilities with regard to these important issues. Let you be heard and felt where things are not right and suggest what needs to be done."
"The principle of leaders coming into office through democratic processes has been underscored and duly emphasized by the African Union. This is well defined and embedded in the AU Constitutive Act. Any government which comes into office through undemocratic means will not be tolerated and will be censured and suspended from AU membership. Indeed, the principle has been invoked a few times and the countries concerned have been sanctioned, Mauritania being the latest."
Update on General Notices and Statutory Instruments
General Notices gazetted on 7th November give official notification of the appointment of Vice-Presidents Msika and Mujuru on 13th October [GN 122] and the ten ZANU-PF Provincial Governors on 25th August [GN 121]. 
Statutory instruments: 
SI 158/2008 - authorisation of the issue of the new $100 000, $500 000 and $1 000 000 banknotes [gazetted 31st October]
SI 159/2008 - regulations under the Pig Industry Act providing for the payment of a levy on all pigs produced and slaughtered in the country [gazetted 7th November].
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.

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SADC under siege

Zim expats ‘sick and tired of failing leaders’ 

Dudu Busani and Sapa

HAD ENOUGH: MDC supporters protest against the Zanu-PF government outside the SADC meeting in Sandton yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS
10 November 2008

While African leaders opened the one-day SADC summit at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg yesterday, protesters outside sent a clear message: “We are sick and tired of being failed by our leaders.”

Innocent Muteredziwa, 18, who has been in South Africa for a year insists that the power-sharing deal in Zimbabwe will be an insult to democracy.

“Why the power sharing deal? [Robert] Mugabe lost the election. He has shown that he does not want to share,” said Muteredziwa.

Inside, the African leaders grappled with the long-simmering crisis in Zimbabwe and a new humanitarian catastrophe in Congo.

They lamented that war and conflict stand in the way of development in the world’s poorest continent.

President Kgalema Motlanthe opened yesterday’s extraordinary SADC summit with a call for a cease-fire so humanitarian aid can reach those displaced by fighting in eastern Congo.

In recent weeks Congo’s east has been engulfed in fighting involving rebels, government soldiers and pro-government militiamen.

The world’s largest United Nations peacekeeping contingent has struggled to protect civilians in eastern Congo.

The peace keepers’ “current mandate limits their ability to become real peacemakers and provide for a lasting solution,” Motlanthe said yesterday

Congolese president Joseph Kabila attended the meeting of the regional bloc, whose 15 members include sprawling Congo and several of its neighbours.

A year ago, the bloc appointed Motlanthe’s predecessor Thabo Mbeki to mediate in the dispute between Zimbabwean president Mugabe and his political opposition.

The Zimbabwean opposition is pressing leaders at the summit to call for a fair division of cabinet posts in a proposed unity government.

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ZPP September 2008 human rights violations report

Zimbabwe Peace Project
September 2008, 2008

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Fifteen September 2008 is poised to leave an indelible imprint in Zimbabwe’s protracted search for lasting national peace and socioeconomic stability. The day was witness to the signing of a historic power-sharing Agreement between ZANU PF and the MDC factions which should form the basis for an all-inclusive Government. Among other things, the deal saw the appointment of the leadership of the MDC faction as Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister-designates with signatories making public commitments to walk the Agreement by forming an all-inclusive Cabinet. The fanfare, pomp, and conciliatory language and global glare that graced the occasion carried the promise of the dawn of a new era characterized by political tolerance, social healing and nation building.

Despite this promising start, the historic deal is yet to take off as all efforts at implementing the deal ended in deadlocks with the political leadership reportedly disagreeing on the sharing of ministries, especially the strategic ministries of defence, home affairs, information, finance and justice.

The political deal appears under siege with forces opposed to an all-inclusive Government reportedly re-grouping and re-strategizing to ensure that the deal hardly sees the light of the day. Provincial reports suggest that the deal was grudgingly received by its key stakeholders with some high profile hardliners reportedly ridiculing it as a sell-out Agreement. Its take off was further weakened by the fact that signatures were put on paper before the signatories agreed on how ministries will be shared. A cloud of mistrust also lingers among the signatories to the deal, scenarios that have relegated all power sharing enforcement efforts to a circus of deadlocks and reverse jiving with negotiations going one step forward only to go five steps backwards. The political-will to sustain the power-sharing momentum is visibly low with unilateralism and winner-take-all inclinations taking centre stage. Unilateral allocation of ministries with all key ministries reportedly under ZANU PF may be interpreted as flying in the spirit of power-sharing. In fact, as the historic month came to a close, visible progress was yet to be realized.

Observed scenarios

Despite the signing of the 15 September power-sharing Agreement, the idea of an all-inclusive Government is yet to be fully accepted within ZANU PF structures with some war veterans reportedly moving around telling people not to believe ZTV and radio explanations about the all-inclusive Government. In fact, in most provinces, meetings by MDC councillors and MPs are reportedly denied by chiefs and village heads or youths.

Political intolerance remains on the low side with anti-MDC slogans still gracing most ZANU PF rallies, print and electronic media. Since the signing of the deal there has been an upsurge in incidents of intra party violence with members of the same political party reportedly clashing over differences on the 15 September Agreement. MDC members are still viewed as sell-outs with incidents of people being harassed and assaulted for being members of the MDC, for attending MDC T meetings, wearing opposition regalia, commenting on the economy and inter-party Talks, for celebrating the signing of the 15 September Agreement or the appointment of the MDC President as Prime Minister -designate, among other things.

While physical violence has visibly subsided, verbal and psychological violence remains cause for concern with most political language evidently discriminatory, intimidating and abusive. Those who returned to their villages after the signing of the 15 September political deal are reportedly going through gruelling interrogations, assaulted, and in some cases made to pay acceptance fines and in the event of failure threatened with eviction.

While this feet-dragging and preoccupation with power continues unabated, all is not well a-ground as the 220 million inflation rate has virtually reduced the bulk of Zimbabweans to perpetual window-shoppers ever racing behind soaring prices. For the first time since independence, public examinations [Grade Seven, O and A-levels] have been postponed following a full-term of no learning in schools while State Universities remain indefinitely closed reportedly because the requisite infrastructures are not in place.

The continued political impasse is also having its toll on the food situation in the country with all provinces reportedly food-disaster zones. According to a recently released World Food Programme report, 2 million Zimbabweans facing starvation while by January 2009 the number is projected to have increased to 5 million. GSF sources are reportedly bulking under pressure with some GMB outlets going for months without maize supplies, scenarios that have seen some villagers surviving on wild fruits and boiled vegetables. While thee ban on food relief agencies has been lifted, there have been delays in NGO food distribution as a number of these relief agencies are reportedly still facing some operational constraints. Food politics, looting and diversion of GMB maize meant for the starving villagers as well as selling of scarce maize in foreign currency has reportedly worsened the food crisis in Zimbabwe.

In some provinces, it is reportedly pay-back-time for those that fomented violence in the run up to the 27 June elections with reports that brutalised and harassed Mudzi villagers are now demanding justice for the alleged misdeeds of ZANU PF militias by employing unorthodox means-the use of voodoo, a development that has reportedly had a devastating psychological impact on the ringleaders of the command bases.

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World Bank, FAO fund Zimbabwe agric with US$ 21.4 million

Monday, 10 November 2008 06:06

Zimbabwe said Friday it had received US$ 21.4 million in combined
agricultural funding from the World Bank and the Food and Agricultural
Organisation (FAO). In a statement, the government said the funding was
intended to cover cropping this year and finance the procurement of farming
inputs, including fertilizers and seeds.

The World Bank, which has suspended economic aid to the country over
policy differences with the government, will provide US$ 10 million and FAO
US$ 11.4 million.

It said much of the funding would be targeted at rural farmers, most
of whom had been left struggling in the country's deep-seated economic

Zimbabwe has been facing food shortages for years now because of
droughts and poor farming policies and is this year importing hundreds of
thousands of tonnes of cereals to avert starvation.

South Africa has also announced a R300 million farming package for
Zimbabwe in the form of agricultural inputs.

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