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Zimbabwe parliament recalled as African leaders urge Tsvangirai to accept Mugabe's terms

Zimbabwe's parliament is due to meet on Tuesday, just two days after the
country's neighbours demanded that Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai's
power-sharing government be formed 'forthwith'.

By Sebastien Berger in Johannesburg
Last Updated: 12:09PM GMT 10 Nov 2008

A constitutional amendment - which has yet to be formally put on the
agenda - needs to be rushed through to create the prime ministership that Mr
Tsvangirai has been allocated under the deal, along with other posts and

Asked on state television when a new cabinet would be formed, Mr Mugabe
said: "We will try to institute it as soon as possible."

But the opposition Movement for Democratic Change is rejecting a demand by
the southern African Development Community (SADC) that the key home affairs
ministry, which includes authority over the police force and elections,
should be shared between the parties.

The SADC summit in Johannesburg decided that 'the ministry of home affairs
be co-managed' between the two, its communiqué said.

Mr Mugabe, the octogenarian who has presided over Zimbabwe's collapse,
agreed to the proposal, but Mr Tsvangirai refused, saying he was "shocked
and saddened" at the meeting's conclusions.

But the MDC appears to have only two options - accept a compromise which it
says does not amount to 'equitable' power-sharing, or walk away from the
entire agreement, which it has previously said it will not do.

Appeals for intervention from the African Union or United Nations have not
led anywhere in the recent past, and in any case without Mr Mugabe's
agreement - which would not be forthcoming - they would be meaningless.

Arthur Mutambara, leader of a smaller MDC faction which holds the balance of
power in parliament, said that he backed the compromise, even though it was
not his grouping's preferred position, as SADC had been asked to rule on the
issue and as a matter of principle its decision should be accepted.

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SADC allows Mugabe to dictate terms at Johannesburg summit

By Tichaona Sibanda
10 November 2008

SADC leaders at the extraordinary summit on Zimbabwe allowed Robert Mugabe
to dictate the terms, giving him the coveted backing of the regional bloc,
Newsreel learned on Monday.
The summit ruled that the Ministry of Home Affairs must be co-managed by
ZANU PF and the MDC T, a proposal presented by Mugabe. MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai has rejected this.
It's reported that the ZANU PF leader took advantage of the absence of his
critics, namely Botswana President Ian Khama, to advance his accusations
that Khama was actively working with the MDC to destabilise Zimbabwe.
Botswana has strongly refuted the accusations.
The latest failed diplomatic effort - which attracted only five leaders from
the 15-nation bloc - leaves the country sinking deeper into a humanitarian
crisis. Only Kgalema Motlanthe, the South African host, Joseph Kabila from
the DRC, President Hifikepunye Pohambo of Namibia, Armando Guebuza of
Mozambique and Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili were present. The
rest had representatives standing in for them. An extraordinary situation
when you consider that the summit was set up to discuss two major crises -
Zimbabwe and the DRC. But we should also remember that Kgalema Motlanthe was
the head of the South African observer mission to the massively rigged
Zimbabwe presidential election in 2002. He declared that poll completely
free and fair.
After Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara made their
presentations to the SADC leaders, the trio was asked to recuse themselves
from the room to allow the summit to deliberate and issue a ruling.
Basildon Peta, a Zimbabwean journalist who covered the summit, said
Tsvangirai and Mutambara made their way out, but Mugabe flatly refused to
leave the room.

"Mugabe told them (SADC leaders) point blank he was not going out. So he sat
in judgement of his own case. He had his way and no leader, including the
South African President, challenged him on that," Peta said.

Mugabe's participation in the deliberations, where he had 'vested interests'
was also raised by Tsvangirai during a press briefing at the end of the
summit. The MDC told the SADC leaders they lacked the courage to tell Mugabe
that his position was wrong.

There are reports from the summit describing Mugabe as 'extremely
contemptuous' of Tsvangirai throughout the summit, and interrupting him
during his presentation. When the MDC leader said he had won the March 29
election, Mugabe shouted 'You didn't! You didn't!'

Although the SADC leaders ruled that the contentious Home Affairs Ministry
should be shared, almost all leaders, except Mugabe, acknowledged that it
was not workable. SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salamao admitted that not
only was it not workable but SADC had never heard of a similar situation,
and never experienced it in their own countries.

Peta said Salamao was of the view the situation in Zimbabwe was 'abnormal,'
and they were 'trying to get a middle of the road position for the crisis.'

"Salamao told us it was a bizarre solution they were prescribing to the
crisis. I think what they wanted was to bury their heads in the sand."

Asked if the summit had discussed anything apart from the Home Affairs
issue, Peta said the SADC position was, "go home, establish a new government
and then the rest will follow." SADC said all other areas that were being
contested would be resolved once there was a government in place.

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Mugabe set to form new government

November 10, 2008

MDC supporter carries a mock coffin while protesting outside the venue of the SADC meeting in Johannesburg, Sunday.

HARARE (AFP) - President Robert Mugabe said Monday a new Zimbabwe government would be formed “as quickly as possible” despite his rival Morgan Tsvangirai’s rejection of a regional compromise on a power-sharing deal.

“We will try to constitute (the new government) as quickly as possible,” said Mugabe, who unilaterally appointed key ministries to his own ruling ZANU-PF last month.

The veteran leader told reporters on Monday he hoped the opposition leader would change his mind and accept a proposal by regional leaders to immediately form a government and share the disputed home affairs ministry.

“I hope they will” agree, the 84-year-old leader told reporters on state television as he boarded his airplane back to Harare, following the emergency heads of state meeting in Johannesburg on his country’s worsening crisis.

Mugabe’s lead negotiator Patrick Chinamasa said that Tsvangirai had been asked to submit names for ministers from his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

“We invited Mr Tsvangirai to submit names from his party. Whether he will respond positively or not only time will tell,” Chinamasa told state television.

But Tsvangirai, who defeated Mugabe in the first-round of the presidential election in March, has already rejected the proposal by the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

“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,” Tsvangirai said after the talks in Johannesburg.

“This issue of co-sharing does not work. We have said so ourselves, we have rejected it, and that’s the position,” he told reporters.

“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 said.

A unity government is seen as a life-line to save Zimbabwe from political and economic crisis, and foreign donors have warned that no rescue packages will reach the southern African state without a new government.

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

But the deal has stagnated over the share out of key ministries, particularly the home affairs ministry which runs the police.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s official spokesman voiced disappointment Monday with the impasse in the former British colony.

“The international community is quite clear that it expects an equitable agreement on the allocation of ministries between ZANU-PF and the MDC,” the spokesman told reporters.

“The longer there is a delay in appointing a cabinet, the more difficult it will be for Mr. Mugabe and ZANU-PF to convince the world of their commitment to the September 15 agreement,” he added.

Mugabe has unilaterally allocated all the key ministries to his own party

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 posts.

“The deal is teetering on the verge of collapse. Technically it has collapsed,” said Sydney Masamvu, an analyst with the International Crisis Group.

“SADC have failed in mediating the Zimbabwe crisis by failing to come up with a compromise position agreeable to all the principal parties.”

With inflation running at more than 231 million percent, half of the population requires emergency food aid while a breakdown in basic services has led to deadly outbreaks of cholera in Harare.

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MDC Statement on the SADC Extra ordinary Summit

9 November 2008

Statement from the Movement For Democratic Change on the outcome of the SADC Extra ordinary summit on the Zimbabwe dialogue

The Extraordinary Summit of the SADC leadership, held on the 9th November 2008, has just concluded with the resolution that a Government of National Unity be formed immediately in Zimbabwe and furthermore that the Ministry of Home Affairs be co-ministered between the MDC and Zanu PF.
In addition, the SADC leadership have stated that Constitutional Amendment 19, which would provide the legal framework for the agreement, should be drafted as soon as possible, but only after the new government has been formed.
With greatest respect to SADC, the issues before them, which were not resolved by the facilitator's various visits to Zimbabwe and by the Troika meeting held in Harare on 27th October 2008, centred around the

•  The equitability and fairness in the allocation and distribution of all ministerial portfolios.
•  The immediate agreement and legal passage of Constitutional Amendment 19
•  The constitution and composition of the National Security Council
•  The equitable allocation of Provincial Governors
•  The fraudulent changing of the Global Political Agreement between its acceptance by the principals on 11th September 2008, and the signing of the same on 15th September, 2008

The MDC is shocked and saddened that the SADC Summit has failed to tackle these key issues .
Firstly, the principle of equity and fairness. It is the MDCs position that any coalition or cooperative government has to be based on genuine power sharing of portfolio allocations. In this regard, we had proposed a formula which seeks to pair various ministries on the basis of relative parity. Thus, in our view, to the extent that Zanu PF had allocated itself the portfolios of defence and state security, it only made sense that the Ministry of Home Affairs should go to the MDC.

Equally, this methodology was suggested and communicated to the facilitator in writing on Wednesday the 15th October , to the Troika on the 27 October 2008 and to the SADC Executive Secretary on 30 October, 2008. Thus SADC knew fully our position.

Secondly, we had also made it clear that the issue of the enactment of Constitutional Amendment 19 was a precondition to the formation of any new government. More importantly, the offices being created in the
global political agreement, such as that of the Prime Minister, could only come into being with Constitutional Amendment 19. Events after the 15th September 2008, in respect of which serious lack of sincerity has been displayed by Zanu PF, demonstrated quite clearly that one could not proceed on the basis of good faith in a government not grounded on a legal foundation. Thus the question of Constitutional Amendment 19 cannot be postponed as it is not a question of procedure but rather an issue of substance.

Furthermore, in a political environment such as ours, poisoned by lack of a paradigm shift by Zanu PF, lack of sincerity and utter contempt towards the MDC and the wishes of the people, quite clearly the concept of co-ministering cannot work. In any event, what is the rational of proposing a co-ministry only in relation to the Home Affairs portfolio in total oblivion to Defence and State Security which Zanu PF already holds.

In our view a great opportunity has been missed by SADC to bring an end to the Zimbabwean Crisis. This omission has occurred because SADC approached this summit without any concrete strategy and did not have the courage and the decency of looking Mr Mugabe in the eyes and telling him that his position was wrong.

For the record, in today's meeting it had been agreed that all the Zimbabwean principals would recuse themselves to allow an open and unfettered dialogue to take place amongst the SADC leaders. However, Mr Mugabe refused and the Chairman of SADC did not tell him to leave.
Thus, Mr Mugabe became a judge in his own case.

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 rather than the party that lost an election and has flouted the spirit and substance of the agreement, namely Zanu PF.

The failure of this summit to acknowledge the only fair and rational solution with regard to equitable power sharing, places the Zimbabwean people in a quandary. It is no exaggeration when I say that the needless suffering being experienced by millions of Zimbabweans every day is unprecedented in our country's history.

It is precisely because of this that we remain committed to the agreement signed 15th September. It is precisely because of this that we cannot accept any arrangement that does not allow the MDC to effectively contribute to ending this suffering.

I would like to put out that the failure to consummate and implement the Global Political Agreement means that there is no legitimacy on any government or any person purporting to be Head of State. In short, Mr Mugabe is not the President of Zimbabwe without this agreement.

Given this dangerous and precarious situation and the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe we 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.

We remain committed to the agreement and peaceful resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis and I am hopeful that sooner, rather than later, the democratic voice and vote of the Zimbabwean people will be heard and respected by our African institutions.

Until that day, the MDC will continue to stand with the people of Zimbabwe, for it is from them that we derive our legitimacy, and because of them, that we remain resolute in our struggle for democracy.

Thank you
Morgan Tsvangirai
President Movement for Democratic Change

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Regional leaders toothless in Zimbabwe crisis

Monday November 10, 2008

By Michael Georgy
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Southern African leaders are highly unlikely to
ever force Zimbabwe's rival parties to implement a power-sharing deal and
their lack of resolve will continue playing into the hands of President
Robert Mugabe.

An emergency weekend summit of the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) failed to break the deadlock in talks on cabinet posts which
threatens a Sept. 15 power-sharing deal seen as the best chance to rescue
Zimbabwe from economic collapse.

SADC was more assertive than usual, saying Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai should share control of the powerful Home Affairs ministry and
quickly form a unity government.

But Tsvangirai rejected the idea and Mugabe quickly capitalised on that,
apparently seeking to portray the opposition leader as a spoiler and vowing
to form a unity government "as soon as possible."

Aware that SADC is divided and lacks the will to force the sides into a
deal, Mugabe knows he has time to wait.

"They (SADC) would love to have this go away and have it swept under the
carpet. It's difficult for them to come out and impose anything on Mugabe's
regime," said Mark Schroeder, director of risk analysis for sub-Saharan
Africa at Stratfor.

Mugabe has held power since 1980 with what critics say is patience, cunning
and ruthlessness. He has already survived international isolation and
sanctions imposed by Western foes.


Although neighbouring countries are struggling with millions of refugees
fleeing Zimbabwe and fear a total meltdown there, they have few practical
steps to take even if they could agree on the need to take stronger action.

While Botswana and Zambia have taken a tough line on Mugabe, others still
respect him as a former African liberation hero.

"You have this mythological figure. Robert Mugabe is like George Washington,
he can't be touched," said one Western diplomat.

Influential regional politicians who have made the strongest calls for an
agreement in Zimbabwe also have more pressing issues to worry about.

Jacob Zuma, leader of the ruling African National Congress in regional
powerhouse South Africa, has said Zimbabwe's parties must be forced into a

But he is distracted on the home front after senior ANC members defected to
form a breakaway group in the biggest political upheaval since the end of
apartheid in 1994.

Analysts believe South Africa's caretaker president, Kgalema Motlanthe,
cannot make a difference before South Africa's election next year, which is
expected to put Zuma in power.

Zambian President Rupiah Banda is fighting opposition accusations he rigged
in last month's presidential election -- which might make it harder for him
to champion Tsvangirai's assertion that Mugabe cheated him of election


Zimbabwe's economic decline, once seen by the opposition as the only factor
that could weaken Mugabe, has been worsening while he digs in for a
prolonged power struggle which now centres on the Home Affairs ministry -- 
seen as crucial to the veteran leader's survival because it controls the

But Mugabe knows the economy cannot get much worse.

Inflation is officially 231 million percent. Even under government price
controls, the cost of bread is doubling every week and all food is in short
supply. Zimbabwe is dependent on handouts and malnutrition is on the rise.

With Mugabe keeping a strong hold, the chances of badly needed aid and
investment from Western countries are nil.

"Mugabe will not listen to anybody at this stage because he is resigned to
fate. He knows nothing will change about the economy even if he continues to
hang onto power because it has already gone down," said prominent Lusaka
economist and political analyst Chibamba Kanyama.

"There was so much hope that there would be change in Zimbabwe and donors
had begun to reposition themselves to bail-out the country, but now Mugabe
realises that the bail-out will not come quickly because of the global
financial crisis and as such he will hang onto power."

Zimbabweans can expect more of the same -- talk of a unity government, new
accusations and counter-accusations, calls for SADC intervention -- while
Mugabe keeps the upper hand.

Western countries, pre-occupied by their own worries, are unlikely to do
much more and had in any case always emphasised that it was the region that
needed to play the main role.

An exasperated Tsvangirai complained at the weekend summit that SADC leaders
told opposition parties to leave their meeting while they formulated a
resolution but allowed Mugabe to stay on as what he called a judge of his
own case.

"SADC is made up of a group of leaders that are friends of President Mugabe.
Many of them have been in power for a long time and do not respect
democratic decisions," said Fernando Macedo, political analyst and professor
at Luanda's Lusiada University.

(Additional reporting by Shapi Shacinda in Lusaka, Henrique Almeida in
Luanda and Rebecca Harrison in Johannesburg)

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US 'very disappointed' at outcome of summit on Zimbabwe

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States said Monday it is "very disappointed"
at the outcome of a summit to carry out a power-sharing deal between
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his rival Morgan Tsvangirai.

State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood told reporters that a proposal
at a summit of the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC)
only served to reinforce Mugabe's grip on power.

Wood said the US government is "very disappointed by the outcome of the
discussions on Zimbabwe at the SADC summit" in Johannesburg.

"This proposal that was put forth to share the home affairs ministry, to us,
is just another example of the Mugabe regime's attempt to subvert the will
of the Zimbabwean people," Wood said.

Under the unity accord signed on September 15 in Harare, 84-year-old Mugabe
would remain as president while his Tsvangirai, leader of the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change, would become prime minister.

However, the long-awaited deal has stagnated over the share out of key
ministries, particularly the home affairs ministry which runs the police.

The SADC has proposed co-sharing the home affairs ministry between the
ruling ZANU-PF and Tsvangirai's MDC as a way out of the deadlock, at least
for a trial period of six months.

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

Asked if he believed Tsvangirai was cooperating, Wood replied: "I think you
can understand his position right now.

"This is supposed to be power sharing. This example of trying to share the
home affairs ministry ... doesn't reflect the will of what the Zimbabweans
voted for," Wood said.

"What we want to see is true, substantive power-sharing negotiations so that
they can agree on a cabinet so that Zimbabweans can feel they have a
future," the deputy spokesman added.

Asked if it was time for more sanctions against Harare, Wood replied: "I'm
not going to say it's time at this point.

"We obviously want to have further discussions with our partners and see if
that is a route we want to pursue," he said.

"But if he (Mugabe) continues to subvert the will of the people, then we
will have to look at additional measures," he added.

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Britain 'disappointed' at failure to resolve Zimbabwe deadlock

Mon Nov 10, 7:53 am ET

LONDON (AFP) - Prime Minister Gordon Brown's official spokesman voiced
disappointment Monday after a summit of southern African leaders failed to
push feuding Zimbabwean parties into a power-sharing deal.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF party faced
growing scepticism about his commitment to a September agreement with the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the spokesman added.

The 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) failed Sunday in
a bid to persuade Mugabe into a compromise with opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai in closed-door talks in Johannesburg.

"We are disappointed that the SADC meeting hasn't been able to resolve the
deadlock over ministries," Brown's official spokesman said.

"The international community is quite clear that it expects an equitable
agreement on the allocation of ministries between ZANU-PF and the MDC," the
spokesman told reporters.

"The longer there is a delay in appointing a cabinet, the more difficult it
will be for Mr. Mugabe and ZANU-PF to convince the world of their commitment
to the 15th September agreement," he added.

Under the unity accord signed on September 15 in Harare, 84-year-old Mugabe
would remain as president while Tsvangirai would become prime minister but
the much-awaited deal has stagnated over the sharing out of key ministries,
particularly the home affairs ministry which runs the police.

Britain is the former colonial power in Zimbabwe, which gained independence
in 1980 with Mugabe as its first leader.

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SADC and embarrassment for Africa, the facts and the situation

SADC and its Leadership have once again failed their mission, embarrassed
the Continent and disappointed the people of Zimbabwe. Implementing SADC's
ill considered decision of yesterday will solve none of the issues facing
the population of Zimbabwe. But yesterday's summit assures us that
Zimbabwean's will die even faster and that the topic will remain on Africa's
and the World's agenda going forward.

Let us remember that the MDC is the winner of the only recognised election
in Zimbabwe and has nevertheless agreed to share power, something they need
not have done. Robert Mugabe and his colleagues in SADC are now trying to
force the MDC into a position which largely ignores the will of the people
expressed in the March 29 election, as well as the economic, food and
medical disaster added by a huge amount of violence brought to bear on the
people of Zimbabwe by ZANU-PF and its leaders.

· March 29, 2008 was a flawed election in Zimbabwe marred by violence
against the opposition, nevertheless the MDC and Morgan Tsvangirai won on
all accounts against huge odds. Yet Morgan Tsvangirai is treated by SADC as
the leader of the opposition, not the winner of the election. He is still
denied a passport and unable to make his case in person to the SADC and AU
Governments. By SADC standards that appears to be a fair situation as
otherwise they would have insisted on a passport to be issued.

· June 27, 2008 saw a massively flawed Presidential run-off election, marked
by extreme violence by the ruling party youth brigades, but recognised by no
one, not even the ruling party ANC in South Africa. Yet the single
participant in this fraudulent election is treated as President and head of
state by African leaders.

· Yesterday's SADC summit in Johannesburg reached a conclusion biased to
Robert Mugabe and places pressure on the opposition MDC rather than ruling
party ZANU-PF:

· When both parties were asked to recluse themselves from the Zimbabwe
debate, Morgan Tsvangirai left the forum. Robert Mugabe refused, stayed on
and was tolerated by the Heads of Government. A level playing field was
clearly not available from here on.

· Mugabe and the ruling party have single handedly awarded themselves all
senior Ministries with the exception of Finance. This is in total disregard
of the spirit of the Power Sharing Agreement reached in September.

· The issue is not about the Ministry of Home Affairs alone. If ZANU-PF
wants to control the Armed forces it is a balanced approach for the MDC to
control the Police. Attached is the MDC letter to SADC laying out the
sharing of ministries going forward. None of these issues have been
addressed. And unless the winner of the elections, MDC, receive at least 50%
of the senior ministries, Governors and other positions, they simply can
neither attract foreign assistance nor will they be able to effect change so
desperately needed.

· We must understand that ZANU-PF has no interest in seeing the proposed
Transitional Government succeed. Only if it fails will ZANU-PF have a chance
of winning a new election in two years time. A fair and free election today
would give Mugabe less than 15% of the votes and the MDC a landslide
victory. Only if the MDC is discredited severely will this picture change.








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Zim Political Leaders Disappointing: Motlanthe

HARARE, November 10 2008 - South Africa President Kgalema Motlanthe on
Sunday fired a broadside at Zimbabwe's political leaders - calling them
"disappointing" in an opening speech at the Southern Africa Development
Community (SADC) emergency Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Motlanthe told the Zimbabwean leaders that he was disappointed with
their continued haggling and urged them to quickly reach an agreement.

"The political leaders of Zimbabwe should show maturity because they
owe it to the people of Zimbabwe to see to it that they come to an agreement
and solve the crisis," said the caretaker South African leader in a no holds
barred speech.

South Africa has been for a long time accused of taking a soft
approach on Zimbabwe's veteran leader Robert Mugabe.

"We urge the leaders of the three political parties to build on the
agreement breached thus far and solve the outstanding issues including the
Home Affairs Ministry issue," said Motlanthe.

The Zimbabwean political parties signed a historic power sharing
agreement on September 15 in Harare but talks on cabinet sharing have been
deadlocked since then.

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[10th November 2008]
Communiqué of the Extra-Ordinary Summit of the SADC Heads of State and Government, Sandton, Republic of South Africa
1. The Extra-Ordinary Summit of the SADC Heads of State and Government met in Sandton, Republic of South Africa on 9 November 2008.  The Extra-Ordinary Summit met to review the latest Political and Security situation in the Region with particular reference to the current developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Zimbabwe.
2. The Extra Ordinary Summit was chaired by H.E. Kgalema Motlanthe, President of the Republic of South Africa and the Chairperson of SADC.
3. The Extra-Ordinary Summit was attended by the following Heads of State and Government or their representatives:
DRC                                       H.E. President Joseph Kabila, Deputy Chairperson of SADC
Lesotho                                      Right Honourable Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili
Mozambique                              H.E. President Armando Emilio Guebuza, Deputy Chairperson of the Organ and Acting Chairperson of the Organ
Namibia                                      H.E. President Hifikepunye Pohamba
South Africa                               H.E. President Kgalema Motlanthe, Chairperson of SADC
Zimbabwe                            H.E. President Robert Gabriel Mugabe
Botswana                                   His Honour Vice President Lieutenant General Mompati S. Merafhe
Swaziland                                   Right Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini     
Angola                                        Honourable Assuncao A. De Sousa dos Anjos, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
United Republic of Tanzania    Honourable Bernard K. Membe, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Seychelles                                 Honourable Patrick Pillay, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Zambia                                       Honourable Kabinga J. Pande, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Malawi                                        H.E Agrina Mussa, High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa
Mauritius                                     H.E. Mahomed Ismael Dossa, High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa
Madagascar                               H.E. Bary Rafatrolaza, Consul General of Madagascar in Cape Town, Republic of South Africa
4. The meeting was also attended by His Excellency Thabo Mbeki, Former President of the Republic of South Africa and Facilitator on the Zimbabwe Political Dialogue, Leaders of MDC Formations, Right Honourable Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister Designate and Honourable Professor Arthur Mutambara, Deputy Prime Minister Designate of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and the Executive Secretary of SADC, Dr. Tomaz Augusto Salomão.
5. In his opening remarks, His Excellency President Kgalema Motlanthe of the Republic of South Africa and the Chairperson of SADC welcomed all delegates to the meeting and re-affirmed SADC's commitment in supporting peace and stability in the Region, in particular, DRC and Zimbabwe.
6. The Extra Ordinary Summit considered and endorsed the Joint Statement of Heads of State of the Great Lakes Region Summit of 7 November 2008 on the situation in DRC, in particular the following:
(i) immediate ceasefire by all the armed men and militia in North Kivu;
(ii) establishment of humanitarian  corridors throughout the area to ensure immediate address of the humanitarian crisis and tragedy;
(iii) immediate implementation of Nairobi Communiqué, Goma Agreement and all the relevant agreements and protocols to ensure sustainable peace and durable political stability;
(iv) the Summit of the Great Lakes Region called on the UN Secretary General to strengthen the mandate of the peacekeeping forces in DRC and provide adequate resources and be able to address the volatile situation;
(v) the Great Lakes Region would not stand by and witness incessant and destructive acts of violence by any armed groups against innocent people of DRC; if and when necessary the Great Lakes Region will send peacemaking forces into the Kivu Province of the DRC;
(vi) the Summit of the Great Lakes Region called on the UN and all humanitarian agencies that have shown great support for the victims of military violence to continue to sustain and increase their support until human tragedy is stopped.
7. The Extra Ordinary Summit noted that:
(i) the security situation in the DRC is affecting peace and stability in the SADC and the Great Lakes Regions;
(ii) the security and humanitarian situation is deteriorating in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo;
(iii) many agreements entered into regarding peace and security in the Great Lakes Region were not implemented because of the intransigence of  Laurent Nkunda;
(iv) DRC Armed Forces need to be assisted in order to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country;
8. In view of the above issues, the Extra Ordinary Summit resolved that:
(i) the SADC Team of Military Experts be deployed immediately to assess the situation in the Eastern DRC;
(ii) SADC should immediately provide assistance  to the Armed Forces of the DRC;
(iii) the SADC Military Advisory Team be deployed immediately to advise the Command of FARDC on matters which will be agreed by the Government of the DRC;
(iv) the SADC would not standby and witness incessant and destructive acts of violence by any armed groups  against innocent people of DRC, if and when necessary SADC will, within the Nairobi framework, send peace peacekeeping force into Kivu Province of the DRC;
(v) the SADC Military Monitoring Commission  be dispatched to the DRC immediately to monitor the border between DRC, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda;
(vi) the SADC Troika of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation meet with the Troika of the Great Lakes Region expeditiously to avoid overlaps and map a joint way forward;
(vii) the Teams established by the Double Troika of Defence Sub Committee should implement their mandate of providing technical assistance in the DRC as a matter of urgency; and
(viii) the deployed Teams should report to SADC via the Organ Troika.
9. The Extra Ordinary Summit decided to have a SADC representative in the mediation mechanism established by the Great Lakes Region for the DRC to be based in Nairobi, Kenya, with immediate effect.  
10. The Extra Ordinary Summit considered the political and security situation in Zimbabwe and observed that no government has been formed subsequent to the holding of the elections and the signing of the Global Political Agreement. As a result, the country is unable to effectively address the challenges facing the people of Zimbabwe.
11. In view of the above, Summit decided that:
(i) the Inclusive Government be formed forthwith in Zimbabwe;
(ii) the Ministry of Home Affairs be co-managed between the ZANU-PF and MDC-T;
(iii) the efficacy of the arrangement referred to in paragraph 2 above, be reviewed after six (6) months by the Parties with the assistance of the guarantors, SADC, AU and the Facilitator.
(iv) to give effect to these decisions and the provisions of the Global Political Agreement, the Parties must, without any further delay, introduce the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Number 19.
12. The Extra-Ordinary Summit appreciated the efforts of His Excellency Thabo Mbeki, Former President of the Republic of South Africa and the Facilitator of the Political Dialogue on Zimbabwe in finding an amicable solution to challenges facing the Republic of Zimbabwe and encouraged him to continue with his mediation efforts.
13. The Extra-Ordinary Summit will continuously remain seized with the ongoing political situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Zimbabwe.
14. The Extra-Ordinary Summit congratulated the Republic of Zambia for the professionally managed credible presidential by-elections held on 30 October 2008 and wished H.E. Rupiah Banda, President of the Republic of Zambia well in his new role as Head of State.
15. His Excellency President Kgalema Motlanthe officially closed the Extra-Ordinary Summit.
Sandton, Republic of South Africa
09 November 2008
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.

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Zim action groups promise more action after SADC failure

By Alex Bell
10 November 2008

Organisations lobbying against the ongoing political stalemate and
humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe have lashed out at the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) after the regional body once again failed to
end the impasse between ZANU PF and the MDC over the weekend.

Thousands of protestors gathered outside the venue of the extraordinary SADC
summit on Zimbabwe in Johannesburg on Sunday, to pressure African leaders to
facilitate an end to the deadlock over cabinet ministries. Men and women
from different pressure groups waved placards reading "Mugabe must go" and
"Hands up for freedom", while child sized coffins were carried during the
demonstrations to symbolise the many children dying in Zimbabwe while the
stalemate persists.

Carrie Shelves from People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) , whose members are
spearheading the Zimbabwean Women Solidarity Campaign in South Africa,
explained on Monday that there is a definite "anger and sense of urgency"
felt by its members and by other pressure groups, caused by the lack of
action by SADC.

"We are all aware that the longer there is this delay in resolving the
political crisis, more people will die from hunger and disease," Shelves

She added that the "apathy of African leaders to deal with dictators" means
pressure groups need to adopt different strategies to keep the Zimbabwe
crisis in the forefront of news and of general concern, explaining that POWA's
members were still campaigning about the human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

At the same time John Vincent Chikwari from the Zimbabwe Revolutionary Youth
Movement said on Monday the group was extremely disappointed and concerned
that SADC was unable to produce a successful end to the political impasse.

"A lot of hope was riding on SADC's influence," Chikwari explained. "Our
only hope now is that the AU will make a difference where SADC could not."

Chikwari added that the Revolutionary Youth Movement was planning
demonstrations to target and pressure the AU, saying the group will not rest
until a lasting solution to Zimbabwe's devastating crises was found.

"We cannot lie idly by while Zimbabwe burns," he said. "We will not let our
voices be silenced; instead we will take our action to whatever levels until
an end is reached."

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MDC to meet Friday to plan way forward

By Tichaona Sibanda
10 November 2008

The MDC will summon its entire leadership on Friday to deliberate on the
outcome of the SADC summit in Johannesburg and plan the way forward.

Party spokesman Nelson Chamisa said they will not accept a 'false settlement'
to the country's political crisis, adding that the leaders will be
considering the future of the power-sharing deal, signed nearly two months

Chamisa told journalists that the MDC position was that a false settlement
was riskier than no settlement. He said the MDC wanted a deal that would
give it 'the influence to change the situation of the people of Zimbabwe.'

The summit in Johannesburg on Sunday called for Robert Mugabe and Morgan
Tsvangirai to form a unity government immediately, saying the parties should
jointly control the disputed Home Affairs ministry, which controls the

Tsvangirai, who defeated Mugabe in March elections, has rejected this
proposal as unworkable, while Mugabe told state television on Monday he
would form a government soon, despite the disagreement.

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MDC braced for crackdown as talks falter

By Richard Lapper in Johannesburg and James Blitz in London

Published: November 10 2008 18:16 | Last updated: November 10 2008 18:25

Zimbabwe’s main opposition party says it is preparing to face a government
crackdown after it yesterday rejected a South African-backed proposal to
share the ministry that commands the country’s police force and controls its
electoral machinery.

Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change and prime
minister-designate, rejected the idea of sharing the home affairs portfolio
with President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF as unworkable.

“They [Zanu-PF] are on the war path,” said an MDC spokesman in Harare, who
said that party leaders would meet later this week. “Now we have rejected
the carrot, the next thing will be a very, very huge stick.”

Mr Mugabe welcomed the SADC proposal, telling Zimbabwe state television that
he intended to form a “unity government as soon as possible”.

The proposal, fashioned at a special weekend summit of the 15-nation
Southern African Development Community, would have involved both the MDC and
Zanu-PF naming home affairs ministers. The MDC said it was “shocked and
saddened” at the proposal, which it said violated the “principle of equity
and fairness”.

Britain yesterday ex-pressed disappointment over the failure to break the
deadlock. A spokesman for Gordon Brown said: “The international community is
quite clear that it expects an equitable agreement on the allocation of
ministries between Zanu-PF and the MDC.”

European Union diplomats also expressed concern. “Tsvangirai was hoping the
SADC would put the MDC in charge of home affairs and finance,” said one.
“They got the finance portfolio – but with a desk and a chair and not much
else. As far as home affairs is concerned, it is clear that Zanu do not want
to hand over control of the police to the MDC.”

There was also concern about the status of Mr Tsvangirai. “He still doesn’t
have a passport, he travelled to the summit on emergency documents,” said a
western diplomat. “That is another manifestation of the clear lack of desire
of Zanu to work with the MDC.”

The MDC won elections in March but then withdrew from presidential polls,citingviolence against its supporters. In a recent report Amnesty International,
the human rights group, said 180 people had been killed and 9,000 injured
since March, blaming the security forces, Zanu-PF and pro-Mugabe veterans
for most violence.

Mr Tsvangirai and other MDC leaders have been concerned that failure to
secure control of either the police force or the army would make it
impossible to agree a wider division of power.

According to The Herald, a pro-government newspaper, Zanu-PF was reluctant
to hand control of the police to the MDC because it alleged the opposition
party was training anti-government militias.

Analysts said that southern African leaders’ refusal to pressure Mr Mugabe
had handed a propaganda victory to the leader, who has been in power since
1980. “This has been a great comfort for Mr Mugabe. He will be able to tell
his party that we have seen them [the MDC] off,” said a western diplomat
based in Harare. Equally, Mr Tsvangirai had been placed in an impossible
position. “They are basically asking him to join a Mugabe government in a
junior position. It is hard to see where we go from here.”

Sydney Masamvu, a Pretoria-based analyst at the International Crisis Group,
also criticised the proposal: “The MDC won the election in March and has
already conceded a lot. SADC should have been looking to pressure Mugabe

In the run-up to Sunday’s summit Kgalema Motlanthe, South Africa’s
president, and other senior figures from the ruling African National
Congress had indicated that South Africa would adopt a more active
diplomatic stance, marking a change from the “softly softly” approach of the
former president, Thabo Mbeki. Instead, said Mr Masamvu, this break with the
past had failed to materialise and “the new administration had let Mr Mugabe
off the hook”.

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NCA countrywide protests on Tuesday

By Violet Gonda
18 November 2008

It is reported that SADC leaders admitted at their extraordinary summit in
Sandton, Johannesburg on Sunday that they had never experienced a situation
in their own countries where rival parties actually share ministries, and
yet they chose to prescribe this bizarre solution to end Zimbabwe's
political impasse. In their final communiqué they said the rival political
parties should immediately form a government of national unity and that the
contentious Home Affairs ministry should be shared.

There has always been a clear division of powers in cases where rival
political parties are expected to share power. Not even in Kenya (held up as
the role model for Zimbabwe) do President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister
Raila Odinga share a ministry.

But National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairperson Dr Lovemore Madhuku
says the decision by SADC is not surprising as the regional body has a
history of taking positions that are in favour of ZANU PF. He said SADC
merely endorsed this 'ministry share' to appease Robert Mugabe.

The outspoken civic leader also said it is "unrealistic and naïve" for
anyone to think SADC would have taken a different position from its Troika
and mediator Thabo Mbeki. Both the former South African President and the
SADC Troika on Security and Defence had in recent weeks supported the
co-sharing of the Home Affairs ministry.

Madhuku urged the MDC and Zimbabweans in general to focus more on finding
their own solutions locally, saying the solution doesn't lie by just waiting
for SADC, the African Union or the UN, as their results are very

Madhuku said as a political party with the greatest support in the country
the MDC will always have permanent options and should be urging supporters
to make a noise in Zimbabwe, rather than wasting time on "lengthy and
useless discussions" with ZANU PF.

 "You must ask why the MDC is in an arrangement with such a dishonest party
like ZANU PF. If they found reason to sign a deal on the 15th  of September
I think it is too much to simply blame ZANU PF. The blame must be put on the
shoulders of both parties as that agreement on the 15th was unworkable from
the start," Madhuku added.

Starting Tuesday the NCA will embark on countrywide demonstrations as part
of their civic initiative to focus the nation on pushing for a transitional
government that would address hunger and other forms of suffering. The NCA
chairperson said they also want fresh elections, under a new constitution.
The Zimbabwe National Student Union (ZINASU) is expected to support the
pressure group, while other organisations are expected to join in a week
from Tuesday's demonstrations,

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Zim solidarity forum statement on SADC Extra-ordinary Summit


Secretariat hosted by

ACTION for Conflict Transformation in South Africa

10 November 2008

The Zimbabwe Solidarity forum in South Africa express deep concern over the
failure of SADC and the feuding political parties in Zimbabwe to find a
sustainable solution to the political impasse!

The Forum urges the conflicting parties in Zimbabwe to consider the needs of
the suffering people of Zimbabwe and immediately come up with a solution to
the ever deepening crisis. The people can not afford to wait any longer. In
his opening speech, during the SADC Extra-ordinary Summit, South African
President Kgalema Montlanthe expressed disappointment at Mugabe, Tsvangirai
and Mutambara for failing to form a new cabinet in line with the Mbeki
brokered power-sharing deal which was signed on the 15th September 2008.

The stance taken by Botswana and Zambia is also a welcome form of solidarity
for the people of Zimbabwe and it is imperative that other African Heads of
state join the band wagon of isolating the Mugabe regime. Zimbabweans are
struggling to survive amid widespread shortages of meat, milk and other
basic commodities as a result of the collapse of the agricultural sector.
The country is dependent on food handouts and malnutrition is on the rise.

Zimbabwe's economic crisis has forced millions of its citizens to flee the
country, an estimated three million of them moving to neighbouring South
Africa alone. Ties between Zimbabwe and neighbouring Botswana have also
become strained recently after Botswana President Seretse Khama Ian Khama
said a new election was the only solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe.
Establishing a unity government is seen as critical to reversing economic
meltdown in Zimbabwe, where inflation is officially 231 million percent.
Even under government price controls, the cost of bread is doubling every

The call for ceasefire and sending an increased number of peace-keeping
forces in DRC is a welcome development. Instability in DRC and Zimbabwe is a
threat to regional stability and there is a need for a quick, collective
regional response to the challenges.

The Struggle Continues!

The Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum in South Africa is a network of progressive
South African civil society organizations, which include youth, women,
labour, faith movements, human rights and student formations engaged in the
promotion of solidarity for sustainable peace, democracy and human rights
for the people of Zimbabwe. The Forum is hosted by Action for Conflict
Transformation in South Africa.

Sipho Theys

Action for Conflict Transformation, S.A

Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum

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Britain denies Zimbabwe insurgency plot

Monday, 10th November 2008. 5:36pm

By: Kumbirai Mafunda.

Harare: The British Embassy yesterday reacted angrily to a report
linking the British government to a plot aimed at sponsoring insurgency in

Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper, usually the government's
mouth-piece on Monday alleged that Britain, Zimbabwe's erstwhile colonizer
and the United States were conniving with the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) to spoil the establishment of a coalition government between President
Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party and Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party and Arthur
Mutambara's smaller faction of the MDC.

The Herald report alleged that the MDC was angling for a total
collapse of the Cabinet talks so that the party could then use some alleged
militias to destabilise the country and force the staging of a fresh
presidential election under "international supervision" early next year. The
newspaper also alleged that the US had already started courting the UN
Security Council members Russia and China that have previously vetoed UN
sanctions on Zimbabwe to support any vote sanctioning military intervention
in the troubled southern African country.

But Keith Scott, the First Secretary Political/Press and Public
Affairs at the British Embassy in Harare dismissed the Herald's insurgency
support report saying it is aimed at shielding President Mugabe's
administration from the fault of ruining the country's once prosperous

"These allegations are utter rubbish and an invention by ZANU (PF) to
distract attention from the ruin of Zimbabwe's economy, the collapse of
essential services and the impoverishment of its people" said Scott.

Veteran MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai at the weekend rejected SADC
recommendations forcing his party to co-minister the Home Affairs
ministerial portfolio with ZANU PF. The MDC party's national executive and
national council, the party's supreme decision making bodies, will meet
Friday to deliberate on the outcome of the extra-ordinary SADC summit
meeting held in South Africa last weekend.

Relations between Zimbabwe and Britain have been strained in recent
years chiefly because of London's outspoken criticism of Robert Mugabe's
controversial rule and human rights excesses.

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Chaos in Bulawayo as riot police clash with bank customers

By Tichaona Sibanda
10 November 2008

The city of Bulawayo was engulfed in tension over the weekend, following
bloody clashes between riot police and people queuing to try to access money
from their banks.

Scores were left injured on Saturday when heavily armed riot police ran
pitched battles with anxious customers who were losing patience after
failing to access their money from the city banks.

With tensions running high, things boiled over when the banks called police
to control the crowds. A witness to the chaos wrote to us saying the police
used baton sticks to try to control the crowds and this inflamed the
situation. Outside the CFX Bank, irritated customers retaliated and pounced
on a lonely policeman who was overpowered by the angry mob.

'The policeman was left in a daze after the clients at a local bank vented
their anger on him in revenge. He was left bleeding profusely after he was
attacked,' our source said.

Other reports said that on Friday some banks had enlisted the services of
soldiers to keep the peace in the queues. The soldiers used this to jump
queues and access the cash for themselves, beating up people in the process.
'Managers blamed the Central bank for its limited allocation of money to the
banks. While the Reserve Bank has increased the cash withdrawal limits to
Z$500 000 from $50 000, the money is still not enough as people spend the
nights sleeping outside the banks.'

In Harare, the military police on Saturday battled fellow soldiers who were
creating problems in bank queues. Reports say baton-wielding military police
beat soldiers in uniform. At Coal House in central Harare, where two
building societies are located opposite each other, fights erupted as
members of the public cheered.

It's alleged that a number of soldiers were bundled into military vehicles
and taken to barracks where they were expected to be detained.

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Lawyer of fugitive British journalist faces arrest

By Alex Bell
10 November 2008

The human rights lawyer representing a British journalist who skipped bail
and fled Zimbabwe last weekend, is now facing arrest himself - on charges of
defeating the course of justice.

Harrison Nkomo was representing Philip Warington Taylor - a journalist who
was arrested and charged with 'practicing journalism without accreditation'
more than a week ago. He was granted bail during a brief court appearance
and was expected back in court last Wednesday for the trial against him to
begin. Taylor, who was ordered to surrender his passport, pleaded not
guilty, arguing he was merely a visitor during his month long stay in the

The journalist was facing a possible two year jail term if found guilty.
Under the Access to Information and Privacy Act passed in 2000, it is a
criminal offence for local and foreign journalists to practice journalism
without accreditation from the state-controlled Media and Information
Commission (MIC).

After failing to appear in court throughout the day Taylor's defence lawyer,
Harrison Nkomo, told a magistrate in the Harare Magistrates Court on
Wednesday that the prosecution could not proceed as he had received reports
that Taylor had sneaked out of the country. Nkomo apparently told Harare
Magistrate Catherine Chimanda that Taylor had already left the country and
was in South Africa.

According to the Media Institute of Southern Africa the police now want to
charge Nkomo with defeating the course of justice. It's understood police
officers from the Law and Order section visited Nkomo's offices in Harare
looking for the him.  He was reported to be out of town.

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Should SA have protected farmer in Zim?

    November 10 2008 at 06:07PM

The Constitutional Court will hear argument on whether the South
African government should have provided diplomatic protection to a South
African citizen who had land taken away by the Zimbabwean government, when
it sits in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The Pretoria High Court ruled in July that the government had failed
to consider and deal with Crawford von Abo's application for diplomatic
protection after his farms there were expropriated without compensation and
he was arrested with a warrant for being on one of these farms.

The failure of the government to help him in respect of the violation
of his rights in Zimbabwe was found to be inconsistent with South Africa's
Constitution, the judge found.

The respondents - the government, the president, the foreign affairs
minister, trade and industry minister and justice minister - had a
constitutional obligation to provide diplomatic protection for him and were
ordered to take steps to remedy this.

In that judgment, the respondents were found to have shown a "shocking
dereliction of duty", had failed to respond appropriately and had dealt with
the matter in bad faith.

It was also noted that citizens of other countries in a similar
position had received the support of their respective governments when
trying to protect their investments.

Von Abo estimated that he had lost between R50-million and R60-million
through the Zimbabwe government's actions. - Sapa

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Why fear Zanu-PF if we are dying anyway?

November 10, 2008

By Sibangani Sibanda

ZANU-PF in general and Robert Mugabe in particular have been accused, over
the years, of gross violations of human rights. In the main, these have been
fairly straightforward violations and abuses - like the well documented
"Gukurahundi" massacres in Matebeleland in the 1980s and, more recently, the
"pre-presidential-run-off-elections" violence in 2008.

In between, there have been any number of other abuses that have included
the early 2000's land invasions in which some white commercial farmers lost
their lives, the denial of freedom of speech and association to the citizens
of Zimbabwe and the "normal" pre-election violence that have characterised
our electoral process.

Unfortunately, these are the public (therefore "newsworthy") violations that
the world gets to know about. Other violations and abuses, which are either
the result of the negligence of an uncaring government, or the willful
actions of elite whose only motivation for being in power is the amassing of
obscene wealth, or even the cynical doings of a government who will do
things simply because they can, barely get a mention.

Zimbabwe, or should I say Harare, is currently in the middle of a cholera
epidemic that threatens to take many lives. The reaction of the authorities
(what reaction there has been) is one of surprise rather than concern. It is
as if the signs, so ominously obvious to most, were completely unseen by the
powers that be.

About two years ago, we read with shock that Harare's main sewage treatment
plant was broken and that most of the city sewage was being discharged into
the city's water supply system untreated. At that point, there was no money
to fix the plant so this was likely to go on for a while (I am not sure
whether that treatment plant ever got fixed). At the same time, the city was
woefully short of water treatment chemicals! Many of us had already started
to question why the Manyame River, which flows into Lake Chivero, Harare's
main water reservoir, smelt like an open septic tank. I even wrote an
article, then expressing concern.

It fell on deaf ears.

Not long after, I wrote an article about how Highfields, that township that
is often touted as the birthplace of Zimbabwe's revolution (Zimbabwe's
revolution being the equivalent of Zanu-PF), had sewage running uncontrolled
all over the place. It had become so commonplace that the residents of
Highfields no longer noticed it!

Today, it is the whole of Harare (including those areas that we used to
describe as the leafy suburbs of Northern Harare) that smells like a
cesspit! Street vendors sell their wares (mainly food) sitting next to open
sewers; children - who are not going to school because of a teacher's
strike - spend their days playing alongside (or in) sewers; the homeless
find places to sleep in storm drains and sewerage pipes!

And everywhere is the stench of uncollected rubbish! The other day, I saw
two women struggling to move huge piles of rubbish with hand-held brooms. I
asked them why the rubbish had been allowed to pile up so much that it had
become such a problem to shift. Their answer did not surprise me but might
surprise a lot of readers. The city had all along had no money to buy
brooms! A consignment of brooms had only just been delivered thus they were
now catching up (or trying to catch up) with months of unswept streets!

All this because the city is broke, in spite of increasing rates and other
service charges for years. All that money went to creating wealth for some
employees of the city, who bought, not from the supplier of best value, but
from the one who gave the largest "cut", who demanded perks that were
equivalent to the best in the private sector, at the expense of the
residents of Harare. The money went to pay authorities that thought that
"preventive maintenance" meant the same as "no maintenance". And when the
residents of Harare booted out the Zanu-PF Council for non-performance,
Government booted out the elected council and replaced it with an
unaccountable commission that was made up of failed Zanu-PF stalwarts.

Now we have an epidemic, but the City Health Department has neither the
resources nor the personnel to begin to cope. But, who cares? All that
matters is that Robert Mugabe remains President of the sovereign and
independent state of Zimbabwe, to "protect" its territorial integrity. All
that matters is that Zanu-PF controls all key ministries and its leaders can
neither be held accountable for their failures nor "shown up" as the
incompetents that they are.

For this, the people will die, if they must. Just as they did at the hands
of the fifth brigade, at the hands of land invading war veterans, and just
as they continue to die of hunger in a land that has the ability to feed
them. They are, after all, cannon fodder for Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF.

But, if we are dying anyway, why are we so afraid of standing up to Zanu-PF?
They continue to kill us because we do not stand up to them. Surely a bullet
in the head while standing up for one's rights is an altogether more
merciful and dignified death than keeling over and dying of hunger or
choking on one's own vomit while lying in one's own bodily wastes in a
dingy, unmanned, drugless city health clinic?

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A long road to media freedom in Harare

Monday, 10 November 2008
Zimbabwe's power-sharing deal contains little cause for hope for
improved media freedom, argues jocoza's correspondent in Harare.  While the
ruling party's track record in dealing with the media is well known, the
opposition MDC has allowed President Robert Mugabe to retain control of the
Ministry of Communications - and has itself displayed hostility to

Our correspondent writes:

The signing of Zimbabwe's power-sharing deal on 15 September led to a
belief that Zimbabwe was about to turn the corner.  Indeed the prospects of
a new political, social economic and media life improved as the leaders
appended their signatures under the watchful eyes of the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) leaders in Harare on that historic day.

As a journalist coming from a background of four stressful and
miserable yeas caused by the closure of my newspaper, and like any other
Zimbabwean, I was keen to know what the deal held for me.

Among other key issues, the agreement seeks to respect and uphold
press freedom and transform the media industry in general. Given a
background of closures and arbitrary arrests of journalists by the state,
this raised hopes. However, as the weeks go by, the agreement seems
increasingly to be on its last legs. Disagreements and mistrust in
allocating ministries have driven the deal towards total collapse.

The failure by the SADC mediator, Thabo Mbeki, and the SADC troika
means that it will be a long way before Zimbabwe can start on the road to
recovery. For me, the inordinate delay in implementing the deal means that
there will be no quick recovery for the media.

What are disturbing are the actions of both political formations, Zanu
PF and the main faction of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by
Morgan Tsvangirai.

Zanu PF, whose destruction of the media is well documented, has
retained the Ministry of Information.  The MDC did not challenge this key
ministry being retained by Zanu-PF.

Under the stewardship of Zanu PF, four newspapers including the
largest circulating daily - The Daily News - have been shut down. Nearly a
thousand journalists have been rendered jobless as a result of closures of
newspapers and one television station.

The MDC itself has borne the brunt of media control as it was denied
space in both the state papers and electronic media. Allowing Zanu-PF to
retain the Ministry of Information means Mugabe and his party keeps a key
advantage over opposition parties.

While it can be argued that Tsvangirai as prime minister will run this
ministry including others, Mugabe will appoint the Information Minister from
his party. As Tsvangirai's boss, he will either veto or approve of his

Despite the MDC's majority in Parliament, Mugabe is able to use his
majority in the Senate to exercise power.

It is ironic that the MDC is demanding control of Home Affairs, which
includes police services, without looking at how it can help influence
reform in the media.

Yes, Mugabe has used the police to crush public dissent but control of
the media has been as effective as police in crushing opposition. Mugabe has
shown total disregard for press freedom. Zanu PF has driven the only
broadcaster - The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation - towards collapse.

Several journalists from the state media have been fired either for
"supporting the MDC" or trying to be professional. By retaining the Ministry
of Information, Mugabe will still pack these institutions with his
supporters. The veteran leader will surely resist reforms he deem

He has continued to abuse journalists despite changes to the law.  In
December 2007, both Zanu PF and the MDC amended contentious laws - the
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), Broadcasting
Services Act (BSA) and the Public Order Security Act (POSA) in the spirit of

This was done without the input of the civic society and media houses.

The amendments included the non-criminalization of practising
journalism without accreditation and disbandment of the Media and
Information Commission (MIC) which was on paper, replaced by the Zimbabwe
Media Council. But nothing has changed on the ground.
On 27 October hundreds of protesters were assaulted by armed police as
they marched towards the SADC troika summit in Harare to show their anger at
the slow pace in implementing the now shaky power sharing agreement.

Freelance journalists, who, under the amended AIPPA are no longer
compelled to seek accreditation, were barred from covering the SADC summit.
Secret service operatives who were manning the hotel entrance demanded
accreditation from the MIC.

It was baffling as it was nonsensical to ask for accreditation from a
disbanded organization (MIC).

But the MDC itself has also displayed disturbing behaviour.

At the beginning of October, journalists were barred from covering a
press conference at Tsvangirai's residence. His security personnel demanded
accreditation cards from the  MIC!

This was despite the fact that the MDC itself in official gatherings
and statements demanded the repeal of the restrictive media laws and the
scrapping of accreditation cards.  MDC security details said they were
acting on orders from "above".

Given the historical background surrounding the closure of papers and
a radio station in Zimbabwe and arrests of journalists, many had hoped for a
good sign from both Zanu PF and the MDC.

As for Zanu PF, very few hope that the party can change its spots.

This is why we had placed much hope on the MDC when it entered into
this deal.  Both parties are consumed with the power game whose ending is
far from known.

While I agree that media reform is necessary for recovery, I am not
too optimistic that there would be significant changes in the media under
this deal.

In short: it is a long way to press freedom and recovery.

* This column was written for by our correspondent in

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Zim Film

Hi there,
My name is Kyle Peters and I am a film student in Cape Town. I have my
graduation short film coming out at the end of November and it is entitled
‘Zim’. It is about undercover journalists operating in Zimbabwe. Dave
Coltart gave me your contact details and I am writing to you for two
reasons. Firstly I would like to ask if you can spread word about this short
film anyway possible. I really believe we have something special here that
can really make an impact. We are trying to promote this film anyway we can
and get as many key people as we can to see it. If you personally cannot
help, then perhaps you could forward this email to anyone you know or help
me get in touch with someone who could better spread the word. Secondly, we
would love to invite you to the Opening Screening of our film which will be
at Cinema Nouveau in Claremont, Cape Town on the 30th of November. Our final
marks depend on audience response and we want to get as many people who are
aware of the Zimbabwe situation to see the film.
If you are able to help in anyway possible, please get back to me as soon as
you can.
Thank you very much,
Regards Kyle Peters.

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