The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Harare under seige

By Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Friday, 11 November 2011 11:51

HARARE - Harare is under a heavy police lockdown with deployments around the
city amid escalating tension as the country’s three main political parties
meet today to discuss ways of ending violence that has swept across the

The meeting of top officials of parties in the coalition government comes as
police maintain a heavy presence in Harare’s streets, particularly the
Central Business District where they have maintained a vigil in front of MDC
headquarters at Harvest House.

So intimidating is their presence that some analysts have described the
atmosphere as that of a virtual police state.

Yesterday, heavily armed police officers could be seen circling around the
MDC headquarters where they confiscated various goods from vendors operating
close to Harvest House.

Since last week, the police have been on a clamp down. Last Monday, they
closed down central Harare after attacking vendors, afternoon shoppers and
city workers in a blitz analysts said betrayed panic within pro-Zanu PF
state security institutions.

The clampdown has also been extended to foreigners as the security details
are suddenly becoming suspicious of anyone. On Wednesday police detained 10
Oxfam Great Britain (GB) officials who were attending an Harare under siege
internal planning meeting in the country.

Their actions have attracted heavy criticism from human rights groups such
as Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, who described the move as

Political parties say they are geared for today’s meeting as they want to
avoid the spreading of the recent spate of violence, which they believe
might end up degenerating into scenes similar to what happened in North

Douglas Mwonzora, spokesperson of the mainstream MDC party, told the Daily
News that today’s meeting should conclusively deal with violence and
identify perpetrators.

“We hope that tomorrow’s (today) meeting will come up with mechanisms that
push the police to be professional and arrest perpetrators and not victims
as has become the norm whenever we have violence.

“The meeting was called by President (Robert) Mugabe and his Zanu PF party
so we hope they will be able to send the message down to their supporters
and even to some members who are in the politburo to stop causing violence,”
said Mwonzora.

Last weekend, about 10 MDC supporters were injured in Chitungwiza after
suspected Zanu PF youths attacked them using iron bars, machetes, catapults
and wooden clubs as the party prepared for a rally at Chibuku stadium.

Party president Morgan Tsvangirai was supposed to address the rally.

The rally was cancelled because of the violence.

The police have occasionally been accused by the MDC and civil society of
failing to curb violence and taking sides with the former ruling Zanu PF.

Kurauone Chihwayi, deputy spokesperson of the break-away MDC faction led by
Welshman Ncube, said the resurging violence signalled police tardiness in
dealing with violence.

“The problem is not with the national executives or the central committee.
It is with the police who are very reluctant to arrest even known
perpetrators of violence,” said Chihwayi.

“We have people who are known perpetrators and it is clear that they are
behind the violence which has resulted in many people being injured but the
police are not willing to arrest them,” said Chihwayi.

Tsvangirai’s MDC party last week sent a dossier to South African President
and Sadc-appointed facilitator to the Zimbabwean political crisis Jacob Zuma
detailing incidents of violence in which his supporters were attacked by
suspected Zanu PF supporters.

Mwonzora said Mugabe should rein in his party members and instruct police
commissioner Augustine Chihuri to stop the violence.

“President Mugabe should come out clear and ensure that Augustine Chihuri
does his work professionally. The biggest challenge we have in Zimbabwe is
the selective application of the law by the police and this has motivated
Zanu PF members to commit violence and still walk free.”

Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa told the Daily News
yesterday evening that his party views today’s meeting as crucial because it
wants to see an end to violence.

“The principals have agreed that this meeting should go ahead and it is
aimed at ensuring violence comes to an end. We want to ensure that we
promote peace at all levels,” said Mutasa.

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Zimbabwe's Mugabe and Tsvangirai Talk Peace

November 11, 2011

Peta Thornycroft | Johannesburg

Following a new surge of political violence in Zimbabwe, mostly against
supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change party, President Robert
Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai held a meeting Friday and both
committed themselves and their parties to peace.  Mugabe, longtime leader of
the ZANU-PF party, surprised many when he used a phrase from a memorable
speech he made in 1980 to calm the tense, war-weary population on the eve of
Zimbabwe’s independence.

After Friday's summit of leaders from the three parties who make up
Zimbabwe's inclusive government, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said he has
regularly told Mr. Mugabe about the violence against his party.  He said the
police do not provide protection to those being attacked, nor do they arrest
perpetrators of the violence.

“I am happy that the president is here with us because in our Monday
meetings I have brought before his attention the issue of violence and how
it has soiled our politics and the image of our country in the region, in
Africa," said Tsvangirai. "I have brought before his attention the blood
unnecessarily shed in the villages on farms and in all our communities -
simply because one is MDC and the other is ZANU-PF - while the police
watches, and it is sad to note to date there has been no single arrest.”

When Tsvangirai said he had told Mugabe that people are defenseless against
the security sector, including the army and the central intelligence
organization, his supporters applauded loudly.

Mugabe said he had seen a lot in his nearly 88 years, some of it good, some
of it bad, but he said peace was a priority.

He used phrases from a historic speech he made more than 30 years ago about
how about how all Zimbabweans black and white were brothers, a speech which
calmed the nation after a brutal civil war to end minority white rule.

"We want peace," said Mugabe. "Let’s look forward and that is it, if
yesterday we fought each other and we were enemies, today I say we can not
avoid each other, we are bound together by our nationality, we sing the same
national anthem, fly the same flag.”

Mugabe has called for an end to violence several times this year, but the
MDC says it has regularly suffered from violence committed by his ZANU-PF
supporters.  Security forces have repeatedly stopped or disrupted MDC
gatherings, and last weekend, ZANU-PF youth broke up a rally where
Tsvangirai was due to speak.

Tendai Biti, secretary-general of the MDC, said he hoped the statements made
Friday were made sincerely.

“Can we walk the talk?  So sincerity is number one," said Biti. "We have to
tolerate each other.  This issue was stated differently by each of the
speakers but the net effect was tolerance.”

ZANU-PF, MDC, and a smaller MDC party have been in the inclusive government
since 2008, when they reached a political agreement after that year's
violence-marred elections, in which MDC won control of parliament.

The leaders' three-hour summit Friday was also attended by the three
political parties' national executive councils, who will attempt to draw up
a code of conduct based on statements by their leaders.

As the meeting ended, many of the politicians from all the parties joined
hands and sang the Zimbabwean national anthem.

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Zimbabwe takes delivery of 20,000 AK-47’s from China

By Lance Guma
11 November 2011

A Southern African bulletin focusing on political and economic intelligence
issues is reporting that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) has taken
delivery of “the first of several consignments of Chinese small arms and

The says that the consignment has been negotiated
by Defence Minister Emerson Mnangagwa and includes 20,000 AK-47 automatic
rifles, uniforms, 12-15 trucks and about 21,000 pairs of handcuffs. With
elections said to be looming next year the development is set to generate a
lot of concern.

China has been supplying Mugabe’s regime with weapons for some time,
especially after western governments imposed an arms embargo over ZANU PF’s
gross human rights abuses. In 2008 six container-loads of small arms and
equipment, destined for Zimbabwe aboard the China Ocean Shipping Company
vessel the An Yue Jiang, were blocked from being unloaded in Durban by South
African trade unions.

Another attempt to have arms equipment delivered to Zimbabwe from China was
thwarted in April 2011. This time the consignment, containing AK-47
ammunition, mortar rounds and rocket-propelled grenades, was addressed to
Abaxis Enterprises, a company owned by Neville Mutsvangwa, the son of the
former Ambassador to China, Christopher Mutsvangwa.

According to the Southern Africa Report: “After Mozambican trade unionists
informed their counterparts in Harare, the containers were reportedly never
collected.” It was only in March this year that Defence Minister Mnangagwa
told local journalists that the army was looking for arms, but was
struggling to acquire them because of the arms embargo.

Given this history of failed deliveries, it would appear the latest reported
delivery of arms was done via an unidentified intermediary. The indirect
route was also intended to keep the deliveries below the radar of Western
governments. A second consignment of arms is said to be due before the end
of the year.

Cooperation on military equipment between Mugabe’s regime and China has been
at an all time high given the country’s international isolation. Southern
Africa Report says that since 2004 China has sold to Zimbabwe 139 military
vehicles and 24 combat aircraft. During Zimbabwe’s involvement in the war in
the DRC, China sold to Mugabe at least US$66 million worth of small arms.

This year controversy has also surrounded a US$97 million dollar Chinese
loan to help build a Defence College outside Harare. The college being
constructed by a Chinese company has been described as nothing but a ‘giant
spy centre’ which will help prop up Mugabe’s regime.

That particular deal bonded Zimbabwe to a 20 year arrangement where Marange
diamonds are to be used to pay off the loan. Critics say such huge sums of
money should have been used to fund more critical areas, like health and

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Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Ncube call for end to violence

By Tichaona Sibanda
11 November 2011

The country’s three main political leaders met in Harare on Friday to
initiate a rare drive to curb the violence that has plagued Zimbabwe and
threatened to derail the unity government.

With the country reeling from the devastating episodes of violence that have
erupted since February, Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube,
representing the MDC-N, met to discuss how their parties could come together
to react.

The upsurge in unrest has been blamed mainly on ZANU PF militants, including
the notorious Mbare based outfit, Chipangano. Doubts still linger as to
whether Mugabe, aided by his security forces will stop the crackdown on his

Simon Muchemwa, our correspondent in Harare, told us the leaders all called
for an end to bloodshed. He said the three urged Zimbabweans to respect the
opinions and beliefs of each other because it is the only way to preserve
the country. The parties also agreed to adopt a code of conduct against
political violence.

It is believed the code of conduct will seek to prosecute perpetrators of
violence, regardless of party affiliation. The parties will soon meet to
draft this code, though many people believe a single instruction from Mugabe
to stop the mayhem would instantly end the crisis.

Muchemwa said Mugabe, who stopped short of blaming the police for their
inaction to curb the violence, said people must hold their meetings without
interference. Police and ZANU PF militia have this year blocked several
MDC-T rallies that were to be addressed by Tsvangirai, igniting calls for
security sector reform.

‘Mugabe said he wants to see people live peacefully in the country where
there is no violence. He also said the police should protect all citizens,’
Muchemwa said. Analysts however remain sceptical his party will stop its
violent tendencies, as the country is heading towards its most critical
stage, an election set for 2012.

The MDC-T leader said the safety of Zimbabwe should be above all other
goals, adding that violence is a collective national shame because you don’t
have to shed blood to convince people to follow and believe in your

‘So today we meet here to chart a new path for national peace, national
development and prosperity. Because there cannot be any prosperity and
development in this country without peace,’ Tsvangirai said.

He continued; ‘So peace in this country will unlock hidden opportunities,
give the people reprieve and allow them to differ with dignity, respect and
tolerance. And peace is impossible in a poisoned environment of war and
conflict; in a country where we continue to butcher each other simply
because we belong to different political parties.’

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Serious violence hits Zim farming community

By Alex Bell
11 November 2011

A wave of serious violence has once again hit the country’s remaining
community of commercial farmers, with at least six different incidents being
reported in recent weeks.

One of the attacks has left a Guruve farmer hospitalised and in a very
serious condition. The President of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU)
Charles Taffs told SW Radio Africa that the farmer was seriously beaten in a
robbery at his home. The farmer is now “in and out of coma and in a very
serious state.”

Taffs explained that the level of violence is shocking, explaining how whole
families have been beaten in their homes by men wielding pipes and even
machetes. He said the attacks are being passed off as violent robberies, but
he said: “I believe these are engineered to send us a message, because once
again we are facing another election.”

He also explained how other farmers are being evicted countrywide, with farm
invaders taking over the properties, livestock and produce, all in the name
of more senior officials. Currently, a South African national who leases a
Belgian owned tobacco farm near Mazowe, is fighting to get the Zim
government to intervene, after he was evicted by land invaders this week.
The farm, Taveydale, is one of the biggest tobacco producers left in the
country. The South African farmer is also meant to be protected under a
bilateral investment agreement between Zimbabwe and his country.

“What is happening on the land is blatant human rights abuse based on the
selective application of the law against an ethnic group. It breaks every
moral and ethical code that our government has ever signed up,” Taffs said.

Taffs was speaking after returning from a tour of farming districts, and he
explained that the situation is worrying.

“It is shocking to me how little progress there is in terms of productive
agriculture, short of tobacco. We are the least prepared we have ever been
for a new farming season and we are heading towards a catastrophe,” Taffs

He added: “There is not a hope in hell for Zimbabwe to turn a corner and for
things to improve if nothing is done and this is allowed to keep happening.”

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ICU Patients Forced To Vacate For Ailing Mugabe

Bulawayo, November 11, 2011- Some critically ill patients at United Bulawayo
Hospital (UBH) in Bulawayo were on Thursday forced to temporarily vacate the
Intensive Care Unit which was reserved for ailing President Robert Mugabe
who officiated at a National University of Science and Technology (NUST)
graduation ceremony in the city.

Highly placed sources at the government run health institution told Radio
VOP that two armed police officers spent Wednesday night and the whole day
on Thursday guarding one of the intensive care unit which had been reserved
for the President in case  any mishap happens to him.

“One intensive care unit was on Thursday reserved for the President, in case
of any emergency. Some patients in that unit were removed. The hospital
authorities were forced to buy new bad linen and other equipment for the
President’s special medical unit which was also manned by doctors,” said a
source at the hospital that can not be named for fear of victimisation.

Some of the hospital’s ambulances were also on standby the whole day on
Thursday. Mugabe who travelled to Bulawayo with a chartered plane capped 1
234 grandaunts at the institution’s 17th graduation ceremony before
officially opening the university’s ceremonial hall.

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President leaves for China

By Staff Reporter 57 minutes ago

HARARE - The embattled Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has left the
country for China on an official visit.

Mugabe is accompanied by his wife Grace Mugabe, Foreign Affairs Minister,
Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation
Development Minister, Dr Joseph Made and senior government officials.

He was seen off at the Harare International Airport by Vice President John
Nkomo, Defence Minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, Transport, Communication and
Infrastructural Development Minister, Nicholas Goche, Youth Development,
Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, service chiefs
and top government officials.

During his official visit to Beijing, Mugabe and his delegation are expected
to hold high level meetings with the Chinese government over possible power
handover, amid reports of failing health and complex internal party

Zanu PF and China enjoy cordial bi-lateral relations which date back to the
days of the liberation struggle.

On the political front, the Asian giant has stood by Robert Mugabe.

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Grave site reveals sad tale of Chiadzwa violence

The Daily News photo shows the grave of Maxwell Mabota, an innocent villager who became the victim of political greed.

By Tererai Karimakwenda
11 November, 2011

The recent decision by the diamond watchdog the Kimberley Process, to allow the sale of diamonds from Zimbabwe’s controversial Chiadzwa mines angered some observers and experts, who criticized the KP for ignoring evidence of ongoing abuses in the area.

The abuses in Chiadzwa have been well documented. But a picture published by the Daily News on Friday, showing the plaque at the grave of a victim of Chiadzwa’s violence, should serve as a reminder to the KP as to why so-called “blood diamonds” should not be sold.

The Daily News photo shows the grave of Maxwell Mabota, an innocent villager who became the victim of political greed. The plaque says “Born in Mutare 25/07/75.” Beneath that it says “Beaten in Chiadzwa 24/12/08”, placing Maxwell in Chiadzwa when military troops sealed off the area where the diamonds had been discovered.

Reports say small scale miners were shot in the back from helicopter gunships and no one knows how many were killed. There are estimates that more than 200 people died and thousands were injured.

Maxwell had injuries that were serious enough to require extensive medical attention, not available in Zimbabwe. The plaque says “Treated in Mutare to 06/01/09” and “Transferred to South Africa 07/01/09”.

But the plaque says Maxwell died in South Africa 08/01/09, so he didn’t survive long and was buried in Mutare on 17/01/09.

Luke Zunga from Global Zimbabwe Forum said when politicians debate issues they forget there are human beings struggling to get through the day and suffering.

“They forget the people who were removed from Chiadzwa, and are moving around without a plan, no job, and no future. Some go into forced labour and become statistics,” Zunga explained. The activist said he is working in South Africa to find solutions for Zimbabweans who wound up there.
The Daily News photo is a sad reminder of the suffering that Zimbabweans are being subjected to at the hands of Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF. Institutions like the Kimberley Process, as well as the United Nations, African Union and SADC, need to keep in mind that their actions affect ordinary people who have a name, a face and dreams for a better life.


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Zimbabwe minister admits smuggling is rife barely a week after diamond export ban is lifted

Frik Els | November 10, 2011

Mining Review reports the decision last week to allow Zimbabwe to resume
diamond exports from the controversial Chiadzwa and Marange alluvial fields
is being questioned, after the country’s mines minister admitted on Thursday
that smuggling was still rife. The comments are in stark contrast to his
previous insistence that the country’s diamond industry was meeting
international trade standards.

Zimbabwe is set to earn over $2 billion per year from exports with current
diamond output estimated to be in excess of 25% of world production. Rough
diamond prices have dropped by more than 10% over the last two months and is
set to fall further as the first Marange diamonds come onto the market by
the end of this month.

Mining Review reports minister Mpofu was shocked to hear Zambia and
Mozambique allegedly sought to join the Kimberley Process despite not having
any diamond operations of their own: “We have information that a lot of our
diamonds went through these countries. There are massive leakages at the
border posts, but policing of the border is not the responsibility of the
Mines Ministry.”

The Times of India reports India, Israel and Belgium would be processing
more than $17 billion worth of rough diamonds this year, a 27% increase over
the $13 billion in 2010. reported at the end of October on allegations that diamonds are
funding a ‘parallel government’ in Zimbabwe. A presentation made to the
Zimbabwean parliament details the secrecy, corruption and human rights
abuses that accompany mining activities in the Marange alluvial diamond

Hundreds were killed and thousands of local miners were driven off claims
when the army seized control of the area in 2008 and most observers believe
an international ban on these gems are being widely flouted. The report
alleges that in contrast to the official $200 million, as much as $2.8
billion – equal to all other tax revenues – found its way into a parallel
government via the army, police, prisons and intelligence agencies which all
have ‘permits’ to mine there.

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Zim officials criticised over Oxfam detentions

By Staff Writer
Friday, 11 November 2011 17:28

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has condemned the
“arbitrary and stubborn” actions of the police and some department of
immigration officials, who on two consecutive days, harassed officials from
humanitarian  organisation Oxfam GB (Oxfam).

Some members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Law and Order Section
accompanied by officials from the department of Immigration on Wednesday
detained 10 Oxfam officials, who were attending an internal planning meeting
in Zimbabwe.

“The contemptuous conduct of the police and the Department of Immigration
officials portrays a government that is suffering from persecutory
delusional disorder, which is typical of paranoid states,” ZLHR said in a

According to ZHLR, the police and department of immigration officials
rounded up the 10 foreign participants who were attending an internal
meeting at Bronte Hotel, seized their passports before taking them to the
immigration offices at Liquenda House to ostensibly verify their passports.

ZLHR argued that the verification of passports as well as the status of
their participation at the meeting should have been done at the port of

Oxfam  country director Tsitsi Choruma and humanitarian programmes manager
Ransom Mariga  were also detained for four hours after the police accused
them of holding an unlawful gathering which they had not sanctioned.

ZLHR  said Oxfam was not obligated to notify the police because they were
holding an internal meeting which is exempted under the provisions of the
obnoxious Public Order and Security Act (Posa), after which the police left
the venue.

The police then went on to engage the department of immigration before
descending on the officials once again confiscating their passports and
detaining them at Liquenda House.

The harassed officials were only released and given back their travel
documents after ZLHR intervention.

“ZLHR is extremely concerned at the unmistakable and extreme collusion
between the police from the ZRP Law and Order Section and the Department of
Immigration officials and their uncivilised conduct in harassing bona fide
visitors, whose organisation’s interventions have sustained livelihoods,
health and the less privileged people of Zimbabwe, which shows an
unacceptable disregard for the rule of law in our country,” ZLHR said in a

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UN Funder of Zimbabwe Constitutional Revision Raises Concerns About Violence

10 November 2011

Sources said the UNDP, which pledged to give the parliamentary committee
revising the constitution another US$8 million, fears the exercise could go
off track at a late stage in the game if violence persists

Blessing Zulu and Tatenda Gumbo | Washington

The United Nations Development Program says it is seriously concerned at the
steep rise in political violence in Zimbabwe and wants assurances that a
constitutional revision stakeholders meeting it is funding later this year
will not be disrupted.

Sources said the UNDP, which pledged to give the parliamentary committee in
charge of revising the constitution another US$8 million to complete the
process, fears the exercise could go off track at a late stage in the game
if violence persists.

Alleged ZANU-PF supporters attacked a rally of the Movement for Democratic
Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Sunday in the Harare
satellite town of Chitungwiza, throwing stones and wielding other weapons

Alleged ZANU-PF militants disrupted the first all-stakeholders
constitutional conference in 2010 at the Harare International Conference
Center, hurling abuse at Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo, and throwing
the proceedings into chaos.

The meeting was eventually abandoned, signaling trouble ahead for the
constitutional revision process, often delayed by disruption of the public
comment process.

Co-Chairman Douglas Mwonzora of the parliamentary select committee on
constitutional revision for the Tsvangirai MDC formation told reporter
Blessing Zulu that organizers are also troubled and the second
all-stakeholders conference might not be funded.

But ZANU-PF Co-Chairman Paul Mangwana professed ignorance of UNDP concerns.

Committee Co-Chairman Edward Mkhosi of the MDC formation led by Industry
Minister Welshman Ncube said that if current violence continues, the safety
of participants in the as-yet-unscheduled stakeholders session cannot be

Blessing Vava of the National Constitutional Assembly, which has opposed
Parliament's leadership of the constitutional revision process, said the
United Nations should pressure Harare to guarantee that the stakeholders
meeting will not be troubled by violence.

In light of the UNDP concerns, much is riding on the meeting of leaders of
the three co-governing political parties called Friday by Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai in a bid to achieve a common view on the necessity of
keeping the peace in politics.

Observers said it’s not clear the meeting will do much to halt violence,
noting that other such meetings ended in a political impasse.

For perspective, reporter Tatenda Gumbo reached out to political commentator
Effie Dlela Ncube and political analyst Joy Mabenge, who said it is good
that the political parties are engaging – but added past experience has not
been encouraging.

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'Put up or shut up', Gono tells ministers

10/11/2011 00:00:00
    by Gilbert Nyambabvu

CENTRAL bank chief Gideon Gono has told ministers blaming him for the RBZ’s
troubles to do the honourable thing and “resign in protest”, insiting that
without the bank’s forced intervention they would not be enjoying the luxury
and power that comes with government office.

In an interview with New on Thursday, Gono said: “This GNU
(Government of National Unity) behaves as if they dropped from Mars!

“If I had not done what I did there would not have been the 2008 harmonised
elections, and if what I did is bad, illegal and terrible; and the
government does not want to accept or takeover this debt from the books of
RBZ, why don't the entire government or those who only see evil out of my
deeds resign in protest at being a bi-product or political and financial
genetic descendant of RBZ illegalities?

“Let us see those clean souls in government ... (who think they are) direct
descendants of Saint Peter, Saint Mark and Saint John resign as a sign of
their clean conscience and purity of deeds.

“They should put up or shut up and desist from the habit of pointing their
fingers at RBZ or Gono (because) they are the prime beneficiaries of those
same actions and rescue programmes we embarked on."

Gono is furious at being made the fall-guy for the country’s near-economic
collapse over the last decade, with critics accusing him of effectively
running a parallel government that was accountable only to itself.

They insist his quasi-fiscal operations – which saw the RBZ fund various
government programmes including elections, acquisition of farm implements
and luxury vehicles for government officials – helped stoke world record
inflation which reached 11.2 million percent in 2008.

The RBZ is now technically insolvent, saddled with debts of up to US$1.1
billion, forcing the institution to put several assets up for sale and
retrench hundreds of staff in a bid to cut costs.

Treasury has refused to assume responsibility for the debt, infuriating the
RBZ chief who insists that the majority of the expenditure was “demanded and
authorised” by successive finance ministers.

Gono says the government owes the RBZ US$1.4 billion and argues the
institution can easily liquidate its obligations if treasury pays up.

He said he was being blamed for mobilising funds for key grain imports and
for barely managing to keep the economy on its feet as the country was
buffeted by the combined effects of sanctions and collapsing productivity in
all key economic sectors.

“We had a whole nation to feed when we failed to fully utilise our farms,”
Gono said.

“Importation of grain was a necessity so that we survive and my critics also
partook in eating the imported grain as sadza or bread ... that is why
(these critics) are around and able to speak like they do (otherwise) they
would have died.”

The RBZ chief said had found himself backed into a corner when the
government called the 2008 general elections without bothering to check
whether the funding was available.

“If  you go into or call for elections without the necessary funding, what
else do you expect the technocrats to do? Just fold their arms and say 'it
can't b done'? Well, I operate on the basis that I would rather try to do
something and be blamed for it tomorrow than take the easy route or behaving
like a statue.”
He warned that fresh polls expected to be held early next were equally
threatened by the unavailability of funding.

“Without that guaranteed funding, I don't see those elections being held
soon, more-so if we make the mistake of assuming that someone else besides
ourselves as Zimbabweans is going to extend a helping hand to fund the
elections,” he said.
“The consequences of under or no funding will both be catastrophic and
embarrassing to all given that this time around the RBZ is nowhere near or
able to support the inevitable funding hiccups associated with all previous

Gono said he regretted raiding bank statutory reserves as well as NGO and
corporate accounts as the country -- frozen out by Western donors –
struggled for foreign currency.

“The raiding of people’s funds was and remains controversial and
regrettable, but what softer alternative was there to the constitutional
necessity to having the elections for instance and other imperatives we had
to defend?”

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Mugabe gives elephants to China


Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

Cree Indian Prophecy

7th November 2011


Zimbabwe has donated 3 elephants to China. This was in appreciation for the
fact that China helped President Mugabe’s wife build an orphanage for 1000

On the 19th May this year, President Mugabe reaffirmed the Presidential
Decree, protecting the Presidential Herd of elephants. We do not know where
the 3 donated elephants came from but on the one hand, the president is
promising to protect the elephants, and on the other, he is giving them
away – subjecting them to a long traumatic journey which they may not even


Towards the end of October, Charara residents spotted an injured hippo on
the flood plain. The hippo was clearly suffering and at least 2 people
reported the matter to Kariba National Parks and asked them to come and put
the animal out of its misery. Four days later, National Parks had failed to
respond and the hippo died. If National Parks had only responded quickly,
this poor animal could have been saved a lot of pain and anguish.


Two rhinos were killed by poachers in the Mazunga Conservancy area of Beit
Bridge. One of the poachers, Lloyd Ndou was shot by game ranchers and is now
fighting for his life. His four accomplices have escaped with rhino horns
worth $120 000.


We have received complaints about a Chinese owned milling company in Shamva,
next door to the GMB. It is alleged that local gold miners in Umfurudzi,
Shamva and Bindura take their ore to the milling company to have the gold
extracted. The milling company sells 3,5 kilograms of mercury to each miner
and this mercury is then used in separating the gold from the ore. After
separation, the balance of the ore is dumped in a huge pile which is now
approximately 15 feet high, 30 feet wide and 60 feet long and the
complainants are concerned that there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that
the mercury is removed from the waste ore prior to dumping. The mill runs 24
hours per day and mills 4 tons of ore per hour This means that approximately
96 tons are milled and dumped per day. One miner claims that he used 700
grams of mercury to process 28 tons of ore.

The biggest concern is that when the rains come, the mercury contaminated
waste ore will be washed into the Mazoe River system, poisoning the water
which is a hazzard both for the aquatic life and the humans in the area.
Mercury is poisonous and can cause various diseases including cancer. It is
believed that no Environmental Impact Assessment has been done and we are
appealing to the Environmental Management Authority to please investigate
the situation urgently.


Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force

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ZCTU Fights Take New Twist

Harare, November 10, 2011 ---- The fight for the control of the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) will take an interesting twist this weekend
when a rival faction holds its provincial congresses, which it says will
lead to fresh elections.

A congress held in Bulawayo in August elected Japhet Moyo to take over from
Wellington Chibebe as the new secretary general.

Chibebe left the ZCTU to join the International Trade Union Conference
(ITUC) in Brussels after he was appointed deputy secretary general.

Veteran trade unionist George Nkiwane was also elected president of the
country’s largest labour center to replace Lovemore Matombo.

But a faction led by Matombo is challenging the outcome of the elections
saying they were fraudulent.

On Saturday, the group calling itself “the true Congress of Trade Unions
which is made up of principled servants of democracy” will hold provincial
congresses in Harare, Chinhoyi, Masvingo, Gweru, Bulawayo and Mutare.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to reiterate without equivocation that
what took place in Bulawayo from the 19th to the 20th of August 2001 was a
shocking electoral fraud that must be looked at in disdain by all genuinely
patriotic Zimbabweans across the political divide, especially that it was
done,” the ZCTU said.

“They can be likened to the 2007 predetermined June 27, 2008 one man race. “

Matombo’s faction unsuccessfully tried to stop the Bulawayo elections
through a High Court application.

They accuse Matombo of imposing Moyo and Nkiwane but their rivals have
dismissed them as bad losers.

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Chombo, councillors trade accusations

By Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Friday, 11 November 2011 15:53

HARARE - Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Ignatius
Chombo says Harare councillors are immature and lack a clear vision for
improving service delivery as compared to their Bulawayo counterparts.

He said this during a meeting with an official from the Bill and Melinda
Gates Foundation, Melanie Walker, who was visiting the country to assess
housing projects for the poor.

Chombo said Harare councillors had failed to provide leadership skills to
transform the city.

“I would say Bulawayo is not as bad. There is stability in the leadership.

“I also see councillors slightly more mature than councillors here in Harare
and other cities,” said Chombo.

Chombo has fired several MDC councillors and mayors since he took over as
minister of local government 10 years ago using the contentious Urban
Council Act which legislators now want amended.

He has presided over the decay of service provision in the country’s cities
for the past decade, according to MDC.

“Compared to the rural district council where the councillors have little
financial base, the performance of the rural district councils is way above
those of urban,” said Chombo.

Chombo accused Harare council of failing to deal with the bloated workforce
which he says was milking the cash-strapped local authority.

However,  Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda said the current situation is a
result of Chombo’s Zanu PF party which used council as a “dumping ground”
where party activists were given jobs as incentives during the era of
unelected commissions appointed by Chombo.

“I verily believe that there is an unassailable need for right-sizing the
complement of staff within the city of Harare at all levels,” said Masunda.

“However,  it should be noted that the situation was all because of Zanu PF
that used council as a dumping place for its entire political activists,”
said Masunda.

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Governor in land controversy

By Bridget Mananavire, Staff Writer
Friday, 11 November 2011 15:07

HARARE - Chinhoyi town council has attacked Mashonaland West governor and
resident minister Faber Chidarikire for taking over council land, suspecting
the land could be used as militia bases ahead of elections.

This comes as black-on-black land ownership fights escalate after virtually
all white farmers were evicted during the often-violent land reform

Chinhoyi mayor Claudius Nyamhondoro said there was “no other practical
explanation” as to why Chidarikire was repossessing the land since the local
council was fully utilising it.

“There were people already using that land. Why would he repossess and
re-allocate it and have people clashing over the land,” Nyamhondoro said.

“I suspect the land is going to be used for a violent campaign against
another party.

“I have heard stories of people who live nearby being forced to attend
meetings and there is no reason why it should be redistributed,” said
Nyamhondoro, a member of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party.

Chidarikire belongs to Zanu PF, which has repeatedly fought allegations of
fanning violence using state institutions.

Nyamhondoro fears of the farms being used to house militias come at a time
when tensions between Zanu PF and the MDC are rising ahead of elections to
be held possibly next year.

Nyamhondoro told the Daily News in an interview that he had approached
Chidarikire after council requested an explanation on why the governor had
repossessed the land without consulting council.

Chidarikire showed no interest in discussing the matter with council
officials, Nyamhondoro said.

“I sent a request to meet him to discuss why he would take such an action on
council land without consulting us but he came up with excuses not to meet
with us.

“The only communication we had with him was when he sent two letters
informing us he was repossessing three council farms,” he said.

Chidarikire denied being involved in the land disputes. But this newspaper
is in possession of letters from the governor’s office proving otherwise.

In one of the letters, Chidarikire asks the council to cede land within its
jurisdiction to new farmers.

“While I appreciate that you have future plans for this piece of land, I
propose that this area for now, be demarcated into 0,5-1 ha plots which can
be allocated to urban residents interested in farming.

“Beneficiaries will be advised not to construct any structures as they will
be moved by council when need arises,” Chidarikire wrote in a letter to
Chinhoyi council dated October 11 2011.

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Reflections after my 39th arrest

My name is Jenni Williams, national coordinator of Women of Zimbabwe Arise
(WOZA). I am persecuted for being a human rights defender, just getting over
my 39th arrest and recovering from my 3rd stint in a Zimbabwean jail as a
unconvicted prisoner. Arrested on the 21st of September World Peace Day, I
spent 2 days in horrific conditions at Bulawayo Central Police and then 10
days at Mlondolozi female prison in Khami complex. This brings my tally to
73 days of my life spent in jails wearing the bright green dolly rocker
tunic of a remand prisoner. Despite so many arrests, the state has been
unable to criminalise my right to peaceful protest so they through a
particular officer with personal grudges have now resorted to criminal
charges of kidnapping and theft. Anyway that is just a bit of background,
the real reason I write this is to make a heartfelt plea to Zimbabweans.

In Zimbabwean jails, you have nothing to do except watch and SEE what
happens and to talk to other prisoners. Life in prison is dreary, many
nights spent on hard floors, dirty blankets, stinking cells, long hours (16
hours) of lock down in small overcrowded cells can surely drive one up the
wall. I slept next to murderers, car jackers, thieves , fraudsters,
prostitutes, all of them human beings trying to survive. I was not there to
judge them but to share in the battle to eke out some form of dignity for
oneself and avoid being harassed or beaten or tortured by prison guards.
Counting the hours and days in your head or watching how the shadows change
as the sun sets as you are not allowed to know the time becomes a favourite
past time of many. A prison is supposed to be a place for correction and
reform , but Zimbabwe’s prisons become places of slow death and places where
one’s dignity and self esteem are stripped. I have seen none of the
correction and reform except forced labour or nonsensical things like the
daily watering down to clean the 12x25 meter concrete yard.

During 2008, time in prison was hell as there was such widespread hunger and
skeletons habited most of Zimbabwe’s jails. Things have improved somehow in
terms of supply of food in Mlondolozi but I am afraid to say the food is
badly cooked and hungry eyes tell the stomach that it cannot finish the meal
served on plastic plates as it is so unappetising. Sadza and spinach is such
a simple meal to prepare if cooked in clean pots with clean water and with
care but both are lacking at Mlondolozi. The sadza of an indescribable
colour with relish of either spinach drowning in it water and not a drop of
oil or beans swimming in an Olympic pool of liquid are the 11:30 lunch and
3pm dinner menu. Porridge too is a burden to eat as it is cooked in
yesterday’s unwashed pots and 20% of inmates have that magic item called a
spoon. Those with the other scare item called a toothbrush use one side for
brushing and another for dribbling porridge into their mouths. And so I
learn that eating is half hunger and a whole lot to do with how appetising
the food is, the result, inmates don’t get their basic right to a decent
cooked nutritious meal. Due to my friends and relatives I am able to get a
meal and something for breakfast delivered to me daily but as before I find
I cannot eat in those conditions and lost 4kgs despite spending most of the
day sitting in the tiny yard. One appetite killer is the thought that
someone in the cells who does not have relatives to visit and cannot stomach
prison food will go for days without a morsel. My colleague Magodonga spent
many meal times urging me to eat so I could take my antibiotics to treat the
infection of my recent surgery. There was no bathing or shower facilities in
Hotel Central Police station and my pleas for clean water for me to cleaning
my wounds for 3 days fell on deaf ears, it was if I was asking for a rock
from the moon. By the grace of God the antibiotics worked, and the infection
has cleared.

I have three things to ask of anyone reading this note but I am no expert
but just sharing based on experience. Firstly talking to convicted
prisoners, it becomes so clear that that people can be too trusting and this
sets them up for a fall. Please take time to study and analyse people and
take more seriously advice on how to prevent crime or carjacking. Don’t
leave your keys in the ignition and step out. Don’t trust strangers no
matter the gender, smile or eloquence. I am not saying go through life being
suspicious and lose confidence in the basic good of a human but take the
time to THINK before you act. This will and can save you from injury, harm
death and or even losing your property.

Following on from the basic good point, some of the crimes that resulted in
prisoners being given the yellow dress of a convicted person could have been
solved by facilitated dialogue processes. Again, I ask us to think and try
to find other ways than to send someone to a prison that cannot feed them in
a country that will not reform or correct them. Instead of prisoners coming
out as reformed members of society they re-enter society as hardened
criminals with little hope of being reformed. I am also talking to employers
of domestic staff. The police and justice systems in our country are not
working as they should so in the meantime society must find another way to
peacefully deal with crime that involves genuine reform and correction and
restitution. By the way I have had lots stolen from me and many break ins
but because of who I am, I am deprived of my right to walk into a police
station and report a crime as it has resulted in my personal persecution for
my human rights work.

If you have a relative in jail, please visit them, they need to see you even
if you have nothing to give except your smile and a teaspoon or an empty
container to use as a lunch box! If you can donate food or practical things
to Mlondolozi for the 100 women there, please do so but make sure there is a
record of the donation or demand to give it to a prisoner direct or through
charitable organisations. Send body cream but not face cream. Don’t send
deodorant or things that women like to use to make themselves pretty and
feminine because for strange undisclosed reasons feeling feminine is not
allowed. During my stints I normally coped by reading magazines or short
simple romance novels and prisoners and guards alike had always loaned these
books to read so it is something that you can do to help pass the day or
night, while waiting for Zimbabwe’s slow wheels of justice to take their

May I take this opportunity to thank the many whom I know had me and my
colleague in their prayers.

God bless Jenni


Support Mlondolozi Prison. Contact them directly on +263-9-64228

Or send your support via Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and
Rehabilitation of the Offender (ZACRO):
Stand No 12922 Ndhlela Way, Mbare, Harare
+263-4-780401/3, 770046
+263-772-485851, 77212177, +263-773-133673,,

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CFU President Press Release

It is with dismay, but not unexpected that the persecution and attacks on
our members continues and indeed in recent days has increased despite our
continued calls to Government for immediate relief.

In the last two months alone our members have suffered murder, eviction,
extortion as well as theft of their personal property in some cases in full
view of the Police, the very people who are mandated to maintain peace and
stability as well as ensuring the rights of all citizens.

After 11 years this situation unfortunately has become the norm hardly
raising a worthy news story let alone headline status. Let us be absolutely
clear, what is happening on the land is blatant human rights abuse based on
the selective application of the law against an ethnic group. It breaks
every moral and ethical code that our Government has ever signed up to
either in our Constitution or the GPA and is in direct contravention to the
United Nations Charter for the protection of human rights.

It is therefore no wonder that our country is facing such dire financial
challenges with little hope of escaping from poverty when all its citizens
are subjected to such constrant abuse.

We have entered an agriculture season, which in our view is the least
prepared for in over 50 years. Growers of all sizes, and from all
backgrounds have no security; there is little funding available for inputs
and their ability to plan have been removed due to the constant threat of
eviction. Zimbabwe is going to suffer massive food shortages next year and
the concern must be who is going to assist us this time around. For the last
11 years we have survived on food hand outs, but the world is changing, many
of our traditional donor friends are no longer in a financial position to
donate millions of dollars to fund our basic food deficits, possibly leaving
us the Zimbabwean people, at the mercy of countries who have no concern or
feeling for Zimbabwe and its citizens, but whose only interest is to plunder
our natural resources.

This status quo can no longer continue, for the sake of our country let us
put this land issue to bed, once and for all. It is the unresolved land
issue that is holding this country to ransom by perpetuating the negative
image of Zimbabwe on the world stage and highlighting our country’s
disregard for property rights which is ultimately preventing any foreign
direct investment with the resulting collateral damage affecting all

We need urgently to create mechanisms to compensate those who need to be
compensated, restore sound property rights, create an active land market,
and get inflows of money into the productive sector, with the ultimate aim
of getting Zimbabwe working again. Zimbabwe has the land, the natural
resources, the water, the expertise, the best infrastructure in Central
Africa outside of South Africa together with a highly educated and motivated
population. We ask our leaders; please give us the stability and policy that
will return this economy to again be the power house of the region.

11 November 2011

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Political parties share platform on violence

Friday, 11 November 2011

Senior party officials from the MDC National Council, the Zanu PF Central
Committee and executive of the political formation led by Professor Welshman
Ncube met today in Harare to find ways on how best to end the increasing
political violence in the country.

The three principals to the Global Political Agreement (GPA), President
Tsvangirai, Robert Mugabe of Zanu PF and Professor Ncube gave keynote
addresses at the historic meeting.

The meeting was organised by the Joint Monitoring and Implementation
Committee (Jomic) and was aimed at ensuring that the three political parties
stick to Article 3 and Article 18 of the GPA, which states that all parties
should shun violence and not turn political differences into hostilities.

There was consensus among the three principals for security agents
especially the police to provide adequate security to all citizens
irrespective of their political affiliation and not for them to be enemies
of the people.

The police have in the last month banned or disrupted MDC meetings across
the country. Four MDC rallies were disrupted in Nkayi, Lupane, and Victoria
Falls in Matebeleland North at the end of last month where President
Tsvangirai was the main speaker.

Two other MDC rallies were disrupted by Zanu PF youths and the police in
Harare North and Chitungwiza where MDC supporters were assaulted while
others were arrested although the known perpetrators are yet to be

MDC secretary-general, Hon. Tendai Biti said there was need to come up with
a declaration that would factor in 10 pertinent issues that will result in
the end violence in the country.

These issues include;

1. No to violence where Zimbabweans sign an oath against violence;
2. Show sincerity- Politicians should walk the talk against violence and act
in a Nicodemus manner;
3. Tolerance;
4. That we should be aware that we are all Zimbabweans;
5. Need for freedom of expression, assembly and choice;
6. Need for a tolerant leadership;
7. Vision;
8. Security agents should serve all Zimbabweans;
9. Spirituality; and
10. That the issue of curbing violence should cascade to the branches and
cells across the country where the violence is most prevalent.

“Let us act now, together and differently. It cannot be business as usual,”
Hon. Biti said.

Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga of the Ncube formation and Didymus Mutasa of
Zanu PF also addressed at the meeting.

The people’s struggle for real change. Let’s finish it!!!

MDC Information & Publicity Department

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