by Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is in Hong Kong attending the graduation of
daughter, Bona, who has been studying at a local university.
According to the state-owned Sunday Mail, Mugabe and wife, Grace, will be on
hand to witness their daughter’s graduation with a Bachelor of Accountancy
degree at Hong Kong’s City University on Tuesday.
Mugabe’s latest trip abroad triggered fresh speculation over his health,
having travelled to the Far East several times this year to seek treatment
for what officials initially described as a cataract complaint.
The 87 year-old dismisses the speculation and declared himself “fit” after
returning from Singapore at the end of October for what officials described
as a private visit – his eighth to the region this year alone.
He is set to represent his Zanu PF party in elections expected to be held
early next year.
Meanwhile, while in Hong Kong, Mugabe is also expected to meet Jewellers
keen to import Zimbabwean diamonds after the country was recently cleared to
export gems from the contested Marange area.
From there he will proceed to China for meetings with investors including an
airline said to be exploring the possibility of a partnership with the
struggling Air Zimbabwe.
JASON MOYO HARARE, ZIMBABWE - Nov 11 2011 15:59
Zimbabwe's unity government faces a major crisis as violent attacks on
President Robert Mugabe's opponents escalate, aggravated by fears that
Mugabe himself may no longer be in control of his own supporters.
Keen to stave off regional pressure, Mugabe called a joint meeting of
leaders of his party and those of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
on Friday, but the MDC doubted this could quell tension.
Violent attacks by Zanu-PF militants have escalated despite Mugabe's
repeated pleas for an end to violence. MDC leader and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai said that this showed Mugabe might have lost control -- "state
security agents have instituted a coup over the civilian authority", he
In a new report to President Jacob Zuma the MDC said the unity government
was now "dysfunctional" -- Zanu-PF ministers were refusing to attend
meetings chaired by Tsvangirai, MDC rallies were being banned and Zanu-PF
militants were barring Tsvangirai from rural areas controlled by Mugabe's
According to the report, about 600 MDC members had been arrested since
January for various offences and Zanu-PF had set up "parallel government"
structures, paralysing the unity government and allowing Zanu-PF a platform
to plan violence and looting. "This is manifested in the generation and
expenditure of state resources outside government treasury rules and
regulations. Of note was the continued sale of state resources such as
diamonds, without the knowledge of the treasury," the MDC said.
The attacks have also highlighted the failure of efforts to transform the
country's security services -- a key benchmark of the country's reform
Mugabe wants elections to be held next year, but the MDC said violence in
Harare's townships during the past two weeks showed that Zimbabwe still had
much ground to cover before a new, free poll was possible.
Mugabe hoped that the appearance of rival leaders together in public,
denouncing violence, would ease tension among grassroots supporters. But
scores of people were injured last weekend when Zanu-PF youths attacked MDC
supporters gathering for a rally that was to be addressed by Tsvangirai in
Chitungwiza, 30km from Harare. Tsvangirai was forced to cancel the rally
because of the violence.
After meeting Mugabe about it on Monday, Tsvangirai said free elections
would be impossible in the current conditions.
"If the current situation prevails, then the election will be a sham,"
Tsvangirai told reporters. "We have to create conditions for free and fair
elections that are universally accepted.
"So I am hoping that, by the time we call the election, the conditions will
be ideal for us to run a free and credible and legitimate election."
A referendum on a new constitution, which would lead to new elections, is
expected by March next year.
Zanu-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo denied his party was behind the attacks
and said the MDC was provoking violence to get the attention of President
Jacob Zuma's facilitation team, which arrived in the country this week on a
"This is a strategy by the MDC to create a violent atmosphere so that they
can say we can't have elections because the environment is not good," Gumbo
Lindiwe Zulu, a member of Zuma's team, described the violence as
"unacceptable" and said her team would discuss the violence.
Police reluctance to act at the weekend was only the latest frustration for
the MDC with the security services.
On Sunday, the party said, its supporters were under attack for more than an
hour before the police intervened -- and, according to some activists, the
police became involved only when MDC youths organised and launched
retaliatory attacks on the Zanu-PF activists.
The MDC was preparing for the rally at a stadium in Chitungwiza when Zanu-PF
militia, using iron rods and clubs, attacked. MDC youths retaliated with
catapults and clubs, resulting in street brawls that spread through the
town. Police later used tear gas to end the fighting. The MDC said more than
60 of its supporters had been injured.
Tsvangirai had "complained bitterly" about the police's failure to act but
Mugabe said he had been told by the commissioner that the police had failed
to intervene because "the MDC made it clear to the police that they were not
welcome at their meetings", Mugabe's spokesperson George Charamba said.
TOPICS IN THIS ARTICLE
By CHEGE MBITIRU firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted Sunday, November 13 2011 at 20:00
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma is running out of time, not so much at
home but in his backyard, Zimbabwe, the country’s northern neighbour.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) gave South Africa an
unpleasant job of reconciling Mugabe and his opponent, now prime minister
Morgan Tsvangirai, nearly three years ago.
Mr Mugabe, in power since 1980, leads ZANU-PF and Mr Tsvangirai, the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Since the formation of the MDC in 1999, Mr Tsvangirai has got, at least
publicly, more beatings by Mr Mugabe’s security agents than the president
ever got from the late and racist Ian Smith.
Yet in 2008 parliamentary and presidential elections, the MDC gave the
ZANU-PF a shellacking. Mr Mugabe came second. The MDC won a legislative
majority. Mugabe and his supporters responded brutally.
The violence forced Mr Tsvangirai to retreat. With Mr Mugabe as the sole
candidate, the runoff was a formality.
SADC, a grouping of 10 southern Africa and Indian Ocean states, suggested a
solution: power sharing.
Turned to ‘Big Brother’
Through a glorified deal, the Global Political Agreement, the coalition
government would instate political and institutional reforms.
Fully implemented, these would create a political level playing field and do
away with repressive laws that Mugabe has used against opponents since
shortly after independence.
SADC member states turned to “Big Brother” South Africa to tame their
troublesome “Kid Brother” and ensure the implementation of the GPA.
South Africa can exert pressure on Zimbabwe. It did against Smith, who, like
Mugabe, used brutality against opponents, Africans and Whites.
Trouble was Mugabe treated the then facilitator, South Africa President
Thabo Mbeki, like a privileged schoolboy. Mr Mbeki did behave as such. He
forgot the issue wasn’t age, but a programme to save Zimbabweans from “The
State is Me” Comrade Bob. Enters Zuma, who ousted Mr Mbeki, peacefully.
In July 2009, Mr Zuma told Parliament that “interventionist measures would
be taken through the… SADC if there is any indication that the provisions of
democracy are compromised” in Zimbabwe. Mugabe listened. Mr Tsvangirai got
his seat in the National Security Council.
However, the implementation of the GPA remains awfully behind schedule.
Mugabe continues to wield the big stick against opponents—Tsvangirai
Presidential cronies—including the generals who have vowed to prevent an
MDC-led government—get huge carrots.
Elections are expected next year. Mugabe, 87, plans to contest, his health,
now discussed derisively notwithstanding.
Mr Mugabe’s longevity aside, Mr Zuma needs to put some muscle on his 2009
warning. The GAP must be in place come elections. Without a written and
final agreement, nobody can be called to account.
On Friday, Mugabe and Tsvangirai jointly appealed for peace and tolerance.
That’s indicative of volatility.
Indications are Zimbabwe is recovering from Mugabe’s days of skeletal
The Kimberly Process, a multilateral grouping that keeps “blood diamonds”
from the international market recently gave Zimbabwe’s stash an okay. That
means tidy billions.
As for sanctions, mostly by Europe and the United States, a full
implementation of the GPA would wave them good-bye.
Zuma and Mugabe need a firm tete-a-tete. Zuma should get Mugabe to use his
remaining clout to see through the GPA.
“You don’t wish bloodshed in your wake” might jolt him to shake hands with
opponents instead of clenching fists.
by Staff Reporter
SOME 127 Zimbabwean women may have contracted HIV during human trials for a
drug experts thought could help reduce infection.
The women, who are said to have been previously HIV negative, took part in
regional trials for Tenofovir, a drug researchers hoped would help reduce
the spread of risk of contracting the deadly disease.
One of the researchers told The Sunday Mail participants in the Vaginal and
Oral Interventions to Control the Epidemic (VOICE) were drawn from groups
that were “always at risk of infection”.
The trials – which also involved South Africa and Uganda, have since been
“The decision to discontinue the use of the Tenofovir tablet in VOICE came
after the drugs were found to be ineffective in preventing HIV contraction
among the women enrolled for the trials,” project director, Dr Nyaradzo
Participants who tested positive would receive help with HIV counselling,
contraceptives and other medical support services.
Project officials insisted that prospective participants signed consent
documents making clear the study objectives and the risks involved.
An official in the ministry of health, Dr Portia Manangazira said the
Medical Research Council approved the study but was not aware that some
participants had been infected.
630 Zimbabwean women took part in the study along with 4 077 South Africans
and 322 Ugandan.
By Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Sunday, 13 November 2011 11:00
HARARE - The decision by President Jacob Zuma’s ruling African National
Congress (ANC) to suspend its youth league leader Julius Malema for five
years has left President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF with a massive political
This quandary was acknowledged by Zanu PF secretary for administration,
Didymus Mutasa, who told the Daily News on Sunday in an interview yesterday
that they sympathised with Malema and remained loyal to him.
“Malema supports Zanu PF and we support him as well. We have no choice but
to sympathise with him. If they (ANC) are chasing him away from the party we
will sympathise with him.
“We stand by our position because Malema believed in what Zanu PF believes
in, but we will not interfere with the sovereignty of the ANC because they
are independent from us. But we still think that Malema is just and fair in
his cause,” he said.
In contrast, deputy MDC spokesperson, Thabitha Khumalo, hailed Malema’s
lengthy suspension and described the fiery ANC Youth League president as
“Malema is not a peace builder at all. To us as a political party we view
him as destruction and someone you cannot work with. The fact that he had
the guts to come here and insult other principals to the Global Political
Agreement (GPA) — which his president, both from a country and party
perspective, is the mediator — is a sign that he has no respect for his own
“This should serve as a lesson to all other individuals that they should
respect their leaders and be guided by their party constitutions,” Khumalo
So, how and why does Malema’s suspension cause problems for Mugabe and Zanu
A well-placed source within the ANC said on Friday that Malema had an
“unhealthy” relationship with Zanu PF — which had caused Zuma, the ANC and
the South African government “immense” problems in their efforts to help
bring normalcy to politics in Zimbabwe.
“There have essentially been two problems with regard to Julius’ untenable
position and relationship with Zanu PF."
“The first one is that he was perceived to be pushing a personal agenda in
which there have been allegations that he was being given Marange diamond
funds to confuse Pretoria, the ANC and South Africans in general in their
interactions with Zimbabwe.
“Secondly, there were genuine worries that he had conveniently and, again
for selfish reasons, sought to embrace Zanu PF’s necessary but wrongly,
chaotically and corruptly implemented land reform — believing that the same
madness could and should be exported to South Africa.
“The majority of comrades in the national executive committee (of the ANC)
abhorred this unhealthy piranha relationship, as well as the destructive
tendencies he sought to import here from Harare,” the source said.
Another source close to Zuma said it was clear that Malema had “borrowed a
leaf out of the Zanu PF politics manual”.
“Malema’s departure is good riddance to bad rubbish. It is very clear that
this unguided missile had borrowed a leaf out of the Zanu PF politics
manual, which is a no, no in the ANC.
“While the ANC and Zanu PF shared many aspects in the past, the two
organisations are like chalk and cheese today.
“Malema’s despicable behaviour with regards to Zimbabwe did not just
threaten to put spanners in the works of President Zuma’s mediation efforts
in Harare, it also had the potential of creating chaos in South Africa
“He was openly campaigning for Zanu PF to the detriment of peace, stability
and progress in both Zimbabwe and South Africa.
“Now that he is gone, Zanu PF will have to come up with something new to
delay progress in our countries,” he said.
Questions about Zanu PF’s questionable relationship with the controversial
ANC youth league leader were first openly raised two months ago when ANC
secretary-general Gwede Mantashe visited Zimbabwe, amid allegations that
Mugabe’s party was funding and training Malema.
Mantashe forthrightly and undiplomatically accused Zanu PF’s leadership of
“influencing” Malema, who has been campaigning in recent months for
Zimbabwe-style land reforms and the nationalisation of mines in South
During his visit here, Mantashe met separately with vice president John
Nkomo, Zanu PF’s national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo, vice president Joice
Mujuru and Mutasa.
Mutasa revealed in interviews with state media later that Mantashe had
claimed that Zanu PF was “feeding” Malema’s radical campaign. Mutasa said
the ANC secretary-general had also claimed that Zanu PF youths had massed
outside the South African embassy in Harare to demonstrate against the ANC’s
decision to charge Malema.
Zanu PF strongly denied that it was influencing Malema, with Mutasa saying:
“We told them that we are not influencing him. If he speaks like Zanu PF,
that is the way he likes to speak, we cannot change him. If he thinks like
us that is up to him”.
However, SW Radio Africa reported at the time that it was “widely known”
that Zanu PF was funding Malema, apparently because the former ruling party
was not happy with Zuma and, ostensibly, his mediation efforts in Zimbabwe.
Journalist Geoff Hill told the radio station that there was no evidence to
support the claims that Zanu PF was directly funding Malema, adding that it
was likely that the allegations were linked to Malema’s alleged close
relationship with empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
“Malema has developed a close link with Kasukuwere who is responsible for
the Green Bombers. My information is that when Malema was in Zimbabwe
earlier this year, Kasukuwere gave him training kits and DVDs and other
material related to the Green Bombers.
“This was apparently aimed at setting up a radical and dangerous, not armed,
but violent wing of the ANC Youth League,” Hill said.
11 November 2011
Some Zimbabweans applaud the decision by South Africa’s ruling party to ban
renegade Julius Malema – but others added that the African National Congress
cannot afford to ignore his populist economic agenda
Violet Gonda | Washington
South Africa based political commentator Paul Chimhosva said the Malema saga
was typical of the drama seen from time to time in African liberation
Zimbabweans responded in various ways to the suspension Thursday by South
Africa's ruling African National Congress of Julius Malema, the firebrand
former president of the ANC Youth League whose declarations unnerved
politicians and investors alike.
Malema was banned for five years from the party after an ANC disciplinary
committee found him guilty of sowing divisions and bringing the party into
disrepute by urging regime change in neighboring Botswana and swearing at a
Malema said he would appeal the suspension, saying the “gloves were off and
it was time to confront and fight the enemy."
South African financial markets rallied on news of his suspension –
investors were shaken by his calls for nationalization of mines and
Zimbabwe-style land reform.
Analysts said Malema seemed to model his thinking on the policies of
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF. The ANC recently accused the
Zimbabwean party of “influencing” Malema’s stances on mines nationalization
and land reform.
Zimbabwean political commentator Alex Magaisa, a lecturer at Kent University
in the United Kingdom, said Malema may have been flawed as an individual in
his politics, but it would be a mistake for the ANC not to address his
“I think it’s actually a cause for introspection in terms of whatever views
he represented and I think that South Africa needs to address those issues
in as much as Zimbabweans needed to address the issues of minority ownership
of resources in the country because to not address them, I think, is an
error,” Magaisa said
Analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said that while Malema enjoyed strong support among
youths, the decision by the ANC showed it is a party capable of reining in
“The ANC has shown its capacity to reign in on over-enthusiastic renegades
that defy the order of institutional organizations. They sent a stronger
message that their party can institute disciplinary measures even to people
who believe they have strong roots.”
South Africa based political commentator Paul Chimhosva said the Malema saga
was typical of the drama seen from time to time in African liberation
By Chengetai Zvauya, Senior Writer
Sunday, 13 November 2011 14:08
HARARE - What started as a jovial Sunday for MDC supporter Olivia Murape
ended at a hospital with the 31-year-old nursing a broken arm.
Zanu PF militia that had invaded the town to block a rally to be addressed
by MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai turned the country’s third largest
populated urban area into a blood bath.
Murape and a group of fellow MDC supporters had sensed danger when they saw
the large number of Zanu PF youths who looked vicious “patrolling” their
“I was on my way to the rally together with three other female friends when
we met up with a group of Zanu PF youths wielding stones, iron bars,
knobkerries and sticks.
“They asked us where we were going and we told them that were going to a
funeral because we realised that if we had told them we were going to the
rally they were going to attack us,” Murape told the Daily News on Sunday
last week as she recovered from her injuries.
“They left us for the first time after buying the lie. But then they came
back and started to attack us saying we were lying to them as we are MDC
supporters. I was struck with an iron bar on the head and all over my body.
“We managed to flee from the youths but I was badly injured and we sought
shelter in nearby houses. When the violence ended I was taken to hospital by
the party leadership where I received treatment, but I am still in pain,”
Another victim who suffered attacks is Zebediah Juaba, the MDC National
Director for Organising and Party-Building.
Juaba sustained serious injuries all over the body.
“We did not provoke Zanu PF supporters. It is them who came armed with
stones and iron bars to attack us in the stadium where I was supervising the
erection of the tent by party members,” said Juaba.
“I was struck with an iron bar on the head and I was also struck on the
right knee before I fell down,” he added.
“The youths were shouting that uri mutengesi, vanhu vekwaTsvangirai, muri
kutengesa nyika zvino tinokuurayai (You are a sell-out. You Tsvangirai
people are sell–outs. We will kill you,” said Juba.
MDC Chitungwiza province chairman Alexio Musundire had his vehicle damaged
in the mayhem and had several of his supporters attacked.
“We had a peaceful road show on Friday and Saturday when we were mobilising
people to come to our rally. We did not interfere with Zanu PF supporters on
Saturday at Chibuku stadium when they were playing their soccer tournament,”
“On Sunday, we called the police several times for help as we were under
attack from Zanu PF but they did not respond. It is not true that our party
members started the violence but it was Zanu PF youths who attacked us at
the stadium,” said Musundire.
Musundire is the MDC MP for Zengeza. Musundire accused the police of being
The police have previously accused the MDC of undermining the authority of
its officers and chasing away state security personnel from their functions.
The police have in the past month banned and disrupted MDC meetings across
Rallies were disrupted in Nkayi, Lupane and Victoria Falls in Matabeleland
Province last month where Tsvangirai was supposed to address.
On Friday, political party leaders President Robert Mugabe for Zanu PF and
MDC faction leaders Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube
addressed a joint meeting of their party top organs to stem resurgent
A group of suspected Zanu (PF) youths invaded a disused factory building in
Bulawayo’s Belmont industrial area last week.
by Zwanai Sithole Harare
The building, owned by Kenny Lameck who now lives in South Africa, was
invaded by youths under the leadership of a Retired Major Sibanda. Workers
at Locos Seed Manufacturing Company, which is located near the factory, said
a group of youths broke the factory’s gates and doors to gain entry.
“This building has been vacated since 2007 when its owner left the country.
When we came to work on Monday morning, we were shocked to see youths as
16 milling about in the factory building. They put up President Robert
Mugabe’s posters on the walls. Most of the time they sing anti-MDC and pro
Zanu (PF) songs,” said a worker who requested anonymity.
“The water and electricity was cut long back at the factory so the youths
were fetching drinking water at our company. But the management has since
barred them from doing that,” he said.
Zanu (PF) youths have been invading vacate white and Asian owned buildings
in the city under the guise of indigenisation. Two weeks ago the riot police
and messenger of court officials in Bulawayo evicted Zanu (PF) stalwart and
businessman Joseph Tayali from R.Chitrin buildings along Jayson Moyo Avenue.
November 13, 2011 04:11
By Gift Phiri
Attempts by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono to wriggle
out of the heap of trouble he invented for himself through his quasi-fiscal
activities are nothing, but hopeless.
While the state media has been conspiring with him to cover his back, no
amount of spin doctoring will help him as two key issues arise from his
conduct at the apex bank.
Having run up a largely $1,1 billion odious debt, Gono must be relieved of
his duties in terms of the RBZ Act and, secondly, nothing in terms of the
Global Political Agreement (GPA) will let him off the hook for crimes
committed against the suffering masses.
While the RBZ chief claims government owes his institution a staggering $1,4
billion and which money will leave him with $300 million if paid, the
question remains on why he deviated from his core mandate in the first
place? Gono might have been able to cleverly shift blame on President Robert
Mugabe’s government for ordering him to print money for buying scorch carts
and seed maize, but is it also not a known factor that he bankrupted
Zimbabwe’s lender-of-last-resort to shore up Zanu PF?
Therefore, isn’t it disingenuous for Gono to play the victim and claim: “my
management team spent US$1, 1 billion either buying tractors and
scotch-carts or simply went on a debt-contracting spree and blew away the
money in support of non-existent programmes or, at worst, the whole amount
is a Gono debt which he must find a way to pay.”
Instead of trying to obfuscate his role in killing the economy by way of
obliterating the Zimbabwe dollar, oiling a repressive regime and routing an
unprecedented hyperinflation on the country’s economy, wouldn’t it be better
for him to try and reach out to the very same povo who bore the brunt of
ruinous policies such as the acquisition of guns and ammunition from Michael
In lieu of the 2008 election atrocities where close to 300 people were
reportedly killed or abducted in CAM and Mahindra trucks that he helped
acquire for security forces, how does he answer for this aberration and
coincidence? If anyone needs a reminder, a review of Hirschman’s court
evidence or testimony would show you the RBZ was one of the Zimbabwean arms
dealer’ biggest clients in recent years and we all know what happened to
innocent civilians such as Tonderai Ndira in subsequent times.
For presiding over the world’s fastest shrinking economy and deviating from
his main role of managing inflation, interest rates and exchange rates, Gono
is guilty of financial crimes against the people, especially economic
displacement. It is such a public disservice and insult to many a pensioner,
whose savings were wiped out by an obsequious governor and expedient
political player now trying to absolve himself for the chaos that engulfed
Zimbabwe for nearly a decade.
Gono has imperilled this economy, he has continued to do so and is one of
the many reasons why the West refuses to give any meaningful support to our
country. With the people still reeling under a harsh socio-economic climate,
it would be better if he goes and, to be honest, only Mugabe and the
inclusive government expedient politics have kept him in office.
Instead of gloating and thumping his nose at the very same masses about his
“bacossi economy”, he should actually be apologising and taking a
conciliatory tone or approach. On the other hand, Gono remains an
outstanding GPA issue for vandalising the economy and failing his RBZ duties
as provided for by the main bank’s Act.
Seleous, November 13, 2011 – Worsening divisions within Zanu-PF leadership
in Mashonaland West forced the party’s bigwigs to further postpone for the
second time in less than three months.
The elections were scheduled to be held in Seleous on Saturday but the
provincial coordinating committee that engineered suspension of John Mafa
who had an upper hand among sponsored candidates forcibly deferred elections
to a later date.
Some party insiders said they were confused as some candidates are hardly
"It was a desperate move to hold elections after Phillip Chiyangwa was
blocked to contest by the politburo as none of the aspiring candidates is
better than Mafa" said a party insider requesting not to be named.
It is alleged the faction led by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo
put forward Walter Chidhakwa to contest after earlier attempts to push
Chiyangwa to provincial chairmanship position was blocked by President
Robert Mugabe saying he is not interested in his relatives taking advantage
of his position as Head of State.
"Unfortunately Chidhakwa's name could not be sold to the electorate even in
area of Zvimba, leaving Mafa squaring it out with Reuben Marumahoko who has
no support either" .
"Some politburo members saw it as a slap in the face that Mafa had this
support and pushed to postpone the elections. It was embarrassing as both
Mafa and Marumahoko do not belong to Chombo's camp who is the kingmaker in
this game giving decisions as divisions persist. Marumahoko has the support
of former cabinet minister and party spokesperson Nathan Shamuyarira among
other senior members" added the source speaking on condition that he is not
Chombo could not be reached for comment. Other candidates included former
deputy information minister Bright Matonga, John Yotamu, Joseph Chirongoma,
Betty Biri and a virtually unknown Menhlomakulu who all submitted resumes
for the chairman post.
Marumahoko has been acting since April following the death of Robert
Sikanyika who had assumed chairmanship after Mafa was suspended but was
allowed to contest after an appeal.
Acting chair Marumahoko was dumped by party supporters from his Hurungwe
home, Siakobvu and Chegutu.
By Sue Grant-Marshall
Sunday, 13 November 2011 12:21
HARARE - MORGAN Tsvangirai must rate as one of the modern world’s most
For the past 20 years, he has led the only opposition to the tyranny of
President Robert Mugabe.
He’s been vilified not only by Mugabe but by the West, Africa and a
breakaway faction of his own party, the Movement for Democratic Change
At times, even his civil society supporters and friends derided him for
being “weak and lacking a decisive killer punch”, he writes.
Mugabe, not unknown for his way with words, has called him “a white man’s
tea-boy and an uneducated fool”.
Tsvangirai spells out his shortcomings and failures remarkably frankly in
his memoir. He has had his skull cracked by men in police uniforms.
In another incident, he and his supporters were systematically beaten “to a
pulp” at a police station as he drifted in and out of consciousness.
He was also destined for death when war veterans tried to fling him from the
10th floor of a Harare building. His secretary’s screams saved his life.
He has won both party and presidential elections, twice, yet has had so
little power, and the indelible Mugabe prevented him from travelling by
refusing him a passport.
At one point, Tsvangirai fled for his life to sanctuary in Botswana.
Yet when we chat about his memoir, Morgan Tsvangirai: At The Deep End
(Penguin), he’s polite and gracious without a shred of bitterness.
That well-known, oft-battered face creases with smiles.
He’s in a smart grey suit with a zippy tie that differs markedly from his
former “signature garb, which made me instantly recognisable”.
For years, he wore a shiny black leather jacket, made by a friend from an
old ox hide, and the steel-toed miners’ work boots he was wearing when he
became a trade unionist.
He’s hard-pressed to explain his survival when he has danced so often with
“Every time Mugabe was celebrating my demise, I came around,” he says,
slapping his knee as he roars with laughter.
Only days after police in Harare made threats against a member of the Vigil management team, three obvious CIO operatives were photographed at the Vigil.
The three men were spotted emerging from the side door of the Embassy. They passed by the Vigil before coming back to the front table, where they asked questions and requested a flyer which explains what we are about. They read our petitions: one of them signed but the other two declined. They then crossed the road when they noticed we were taking pictures of them (see captioned photos on our flickr website: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/). Two of the men were later photographed entering the Embassy.
Ironically, the photos were taken by Fungayi Mabhunu, who only this week received a chilling message from a contact in Harare, a musician who had gone to the police band at Morris Depot (next to State House) to get his alto sax tuned. He happened to ask them whether they knew Fungayi (a former member of the police band) and they said: ‘Yes, he’s the one who was on TV denouncing the head of state. We will get him.’
Fungayi, who has indefinite leave to remain in the UK, believes the reference was to his appearance on a BBC World television programme after the last elections. The message he got from our contact was ‘don’t come back’. Here is the Shona text of the email: ‘Fungai haubatsire nekureba kwaNyazika nhunu vese vangaziva panaKenny here. Atleast daiwandiudza nechapapi coner nani, pakati here kana pamucheto. Iyo body yakauya here? Mafe akoeku polica band ndakatosvika pabasapavo ndichidaku chinusa Alto yangu, ndikanzi na Mudhara Knox Dhauya, Fungai ndomuziva mupfana wekumbare uyu akazenge obuda paTV achitaura zvisinabasa uyu. Akangouya kuno anomama tichadhila naye. Ndikati wakamakwa, ukadzoka kuno vanokusata. handinakuzombo taura kuti ndinokuzivirepi.’
Fungayi’s response to this threat is ‘I’ll never stop. I’m glad they are getting the message. We must continue exposing what the police are doing’.
The incident comes amid widespread criticism of the police. The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights condemned them this week for their arbitrary actions in harassing officials from the Oxfam humanitarian organisation: ‘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 statement. It goes on to say: ‘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.’ (See: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/old/nov12_2011.html#Z10 – Zim officials criticised over Oxfam detentions).
· We were glad to be joined by Shamiso Kofi, who was recently released from detention in the UK after two unsuccessful attempts to send her back to Zimbabwe as a failed asylum seeker. Shamiso, who used to be a star dancer at the Vigil, was limping heavily. As we have previously reported she says she was violently treated when she resisted deportation and injuries sustained at that time are still causing problems. She gave an impassioned account of what she had experienced and was listened to with rapt attention.
· Many British war veterans in London for Remembrance Day and the Lord Mayor’s Show dropped by the Vigil and signed our petitions. Caroline Witts a supporter from Devon, who was at the front table, said one of the veterans recalled he had been on HMS Tiger when efforts were made in 1966 to end the Smith rebellion against the British government’s insistence on majority rule before independence (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Smith).
· Voice of America came to the Vigil recently and did a great piece on the Vigil band (see: http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Zimbabwean-Musicians-Protest-Through-Song-Dance-133248353.html and video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKD5QFlT3nY). The band have released the Vigil song ‘Vigil Yedu’ which we thinks is miles better than Mugabe’s new vocal offering….
· It was good to meet up again with Tor-Hugne Olsen of the Zimbabwe Europe Network (ZEN). ZEN wants to mark UN Human Rights Day on Saturday 10th December at the Vigil. ZEN will be providing some high profile civil society activists. We will be providing more information on this as it becomes available.
· Thanks to Sekai Viola Zinyau who, for the past few weeks, has been coming to the Vigil at 2 pm to set up, standing at the front table throughout the Vigil, and helping to pack up the Vigil at 6 pm.
· We enjoyed reading in the Daily News about life as a Zanu PF chef (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/old/nov11_2011.html#Z16 – Chombo brags about riches).
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.
FOR THE RECORD: 82 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
· The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.
· ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.
· The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://ourvigil.notlong.com. To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: http://Shungurudza.notlong.com and http://blooddiamonds.notlong.com.
· STAR (Student Action for Refugees) Conference on Torture. Saturday 19th November, Venue: 111 Isledon Road, London N7 7JW – nearest underground: Finsbury Park. Vigil management team member Luka Phiri has been invited to be a keynote speaker at this conference. He will be speaking at 2.30 pm.
· ROHR Manchester Vigil. Saturday 26th November from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Cathedral Gardens, Manchester City Centre (subject to change to Piccadilly Gardens). Contact; Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353. Future demonstration: 31st December. Same time and venue.
· ROHR Manchester Meetings. Saturday 10th December (committee meeting from 11 am – 1 pm, general meeting from 2 – 5 pm). Venue: The Salvation Army Citadel, 71 Grosvenor Road, Manchester M13 9UB. Contact; Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353.
· Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
· Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
· ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe. To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to email@example.com and send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe.
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.
By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 13/11/11
With the exception of the suspension of Malema by the ANC of South Africa
for 5 years for bringing the party into disrepute, there was not much of
good news from Southern Africa in the week ended 11/11/11.
However, there are fears that the Zimbabwe crisis could end up in a bloody
uprising like the one in Syria, where the United Nations said Tuesday the
death had reached 3,500.
There are a number of reasons why that prospect appears likely under the
prevailing circumstances starting with the shock agreement by the three
principals to hold elections as early as possible regardless of stalled
electoral and constitutional reforms.
The other reasons are Mugabe’s 9 Singapore visits so far this year alone;
Kasukuwere’s threat of violent company grab; increased state paranoia;
reluctance to reform security sector among others, coupled with General
While Mugabe’s Singapore visits have paralysed government as Cabinet has
rarely met to deliberate on urgent government business due to the absence of
its sole chairman, in the event of him dying in office, all hell will break
One of the stalled duties of the President is to call by-elections in 18
vacant seats in the House of Assembly and Senate including Lupane East,
Nkayi South and Bulilima East which have been vacant since August 2009,
meaning that the three constituencies have no voice in parliament.
According to Veritas, since the present Parliament first on 26th August 2008
neither members of the House of Assembly nor Senators have been paid their
sitting allowances and the fixing of such allowances is the responsibility
of the President (absentee president!).
For some reason Zanu-pf is reluctant to face reality that all is not well
with Mugabe who reportedly arrived an hour late for the graduation ceremony
at the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo on Thursday
and capped the graduates in groups rather than individually.
Proposed amendments to Zimbabwe’s electoral and human rights laws are
unlikely to see the light of the day after their expiry at the end of the
last Parliament session in August which sat on 48 occasions from 13/07/10 to
05/09/11 in the case of the House of Assembly sat while the Senate sat on 33
Increased State paranoia manifests in many ways including the police raid on
an Oxfam meeting at the Bronte Hotel, in Harare briefly arresting 10 foreign
nationals and several workers of the British charity ahead of possible
bloody elections amid reports of a looming famine in most of Matabeleland
South, Midlands, and parts of Masvingo and Manicaland provinces.
The threat by Zanu-pf Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere on Friday
11/11/11 to deal heavily with black employees working for foreign firms who
refuse to be part of his controversial company grab scheme only helps to
make the situation more tense. The timing of his threats and the Zanu-pf
conference in Byo next month is not accidental.
Generals loyal to Robert Mugabe reiterated Friday that they won’t entertain
any talk of security sector reforms in Zimbabwe. Speaking at the 28th
anniversary of the Presidential Guard in Harare, Major General Chedondo
charged that security sector reform was a way by which Rhodesians are trying
to effect illegal regime change through the inclusive government. They have
also said they won’t salute anyone who did not fight for liberation..
The recent threats by controversial 3 infantry Brigade commander, Brigadier
General Douglas Nyikayaramba that he will deploy soldiers to deal with those
villagers who “disrespect” the authority of local partisan chiefs are
another cause for concern.
The analogy with Syria could work like this, democracy uprisings erupt in
Harare and spread throughout the country. Mugabe loyalists in the Joint
Operations Command would then respond with fire and casualties mount.
That would be followed by SADC dithering on expelling Zimbabwe in the same
way the Arab League did in the case of Syria, then eventually suspend the
country after maybe 3,500 people killed as the West watches helplessly
fearing criticism of another Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan. And so on.
With so much repressive legislation on the books making it impossible to
demonstrate and express oneself freely and faced with elections based on a
flawed voters’ roll, the only route left possible for effecting change looks
like the equivalent of Tahir Square - of Zimbabwe’s Africa Unity Square!
Nobody wishes a bloody uprising in any country including Zimbabwe. But that
scenario looks more plausible than ever before.
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Polittical Analyst, London, 13/11/11